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Photo samples: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS15

Check out an examination of photo quality for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS15, a compact 12-megapixel camera with a 29mm wide-angle lens with a 5x zoom.

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Joshua Goldman
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1 of 5 Matthew Fitzgerald/CNET
Overall, the photos produced by the FS15 are good for snapshots, but there are a couple of issues that keep the camera from getting a better rating. Photos, when viewed at 100 percent, show visible noise at all ISOs and faint yellow coloring. It isn't until ISO 400 that noise and noise suppression combine to soften detail. At ISO 800, photos take on a soft, painterly appearance and the yellowing gets more noticeable, but fine detail is still fairly good. Though there's still some detail at ISO 1,600, photos are for the most part unusable because they are covered in faint yellow splotches along with a good amount of noise.
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2 of 5 Joshua Goldman/CNET
The FS15 is at its sharpest in Macro mode.
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3 of 5 Joshua Goldman/CNET
Even at low ISOs, noise is visible at 100 percent. Also, if you look closely at the skin or the black frame of the sunglasses, you can see faint blotches of yellow. This is at full size, though. If you're only planning on printing or viewing at 5x7 inches or smaller, photo quality is good to ISO 800.
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4 of 5 Joshua Goldman/CNET
The 29mm-equivalent wide-angle lens has barely a hint of barrel distortion at its widest position (top). There was no discernible pincushion distortion when the lens was fully extended and chromatic aberration was minimal in high-contrast areas, too.
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5 of 5 Joshua Goldman/CNET
Colors are pleasing and natural from the FS15. Exposure is fairly good, too, however highlights tend to blow out.

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