A low cost digital camera
The leader on the market of consumer cameras has updated its product lines last year. HD video is in the spotlight. The Lumix DMC-F3 model is a compact camera produced in order to be sold at a low price (129 €). It has a resolution which goes up to 12.1 Mpix. It also features a wide-angle and a maximum optical zoom of 4x.
The DMC-F3 model, tested and reviewed by our team today, was launched at the CES 2010 ceremony, during which Panasonic announced its models for recreational use and modest budgets (199 € max). No revolution in sight, but some small details were revealed, such as the support for SD cards XC. Unlike SD cards – limited to 4GB – and SDHC – 32 GB -, the ones on this model can go up to 1TB of storage. The wide angle is also widespread on all of these entry-level devices, with focal lengths that start at 28mm. Nothing unusual: many compact devices offer wider angles of about 26 or 24 mm for photos at panoramic rendering. Panasonic also announced five different models in detail.
The most accessible model launched is the Panasonic Lumix DMC-F3, which has been sold in Europe since March 2010 for 129 euros in a single color, black. Its features are: 12.1 Megapixel sensor, Wide Angle (28mm), 4x optical zoom small, selection of type of automatic scene and especially HD video, unusual at this price.
Just above, the DMC-FS10 model costs about 149 Euros and was released in February 2010. This model is available in black, pink, blue and orange. It incorporates the features of the F3, but with an advanced smart mode, presented by Panasonic as capable of reducing the risk of image blur. We tested this model and it seemed to work fine.
The DMC-FS11 has been available for 179 euros ever since February 2010 in a black, red, blue or pink case. Its looks and functions are the same as those of the FS11, but with a more ambitious 14.1-megapixel sensor (even if less comfortable in low light, as confirmed by our review).
Up to 14.1 MP sensor
Relying more on design, the DMC-FP1 cost about 179 euros at the time of its release in February 2010. It has a black, pink, blue or orange case that houses its ultra fine (1.6 cm thick, 121 g only) body. However, it has a short focal length (zoom x4 only), especially for pics taken up close (35 mm, far from wide-angle 28 mm, or a very wide-angle 24 mm).
Finally, the most powerful model from the series, the Lumix DMC-FS30, costs 199 euro. It is available in two colors, black and purple. Some of its technical features are: a 14.1-megapixel sensor, a nice zoom x8 and a stabilized wide-angle 28mm. The Intelligent mode Panasonic is also included.
Positive points (pros)
* Good price – 200 € maximum;
* HD video for all models;
* Several color modes included as standard;
* An intelligent way to take pictures;
Negative points (cons)
* During our test it didn’t seem to be very wide angled;
* Not very original;
Resolution of sensor: 12.1 Megapixel;
Maximum Optical Zoom: 4X;