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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS7 review: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS7

If you pick up the Lumix DMC-FS7 you won't be disappointed as it's a great camera for someone who is not too fussy about having all the bells and whistles, and simply takes great pictures.

Lexy Savvides Principal Video Producer
Lexy is an on-air presenter and award-winning producer who covers consumer tech, including the latest smartphones, wearables and emerging trends like assistive robotics. She's won two Gold Telly Awards for her video series Beta Test. Prior to her career at CNET, she was a magazine editor, radio announcer and DJ. Lexy is based in San Francisco.
Expertise Wearables | Smartwatches | Mobile phones | Photography | Health tech | Assistive robotics Credentials
  • Webby Award honoree, 2x Gold Telly Award winner
Lexy Savvides
3 min read

The Lumix DMC-FS7 is a competent little camera, sitting at the lower-end of Panasonic's compact camera line up. For all the other fancy bells and whistles other manufacturers are pulling out of their sleeves, it's refreshing to see a camera that doesn't sacrifice functionality and image quality for good looks. This camera replaces the FS3 and offers incremental updates.

7.9

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS7

The Good

Excellent image quality. Stylish design in a range of colours.

The Bad

Small buttons. A little expensive. No wide-angle lens.

The Bottom Line

If you pick up the Lumix DMC-FS7 you won't be disappointed as it's a great camera for someone who is not too fussy about having all the bells and whistles, and simply takes great pictures.

Design

The FS7 goes head-to-head with other stylish offerings from Canon, such as the IXUS 95 IS, and Nikon, such as the Coolpix S220, though it beats them both in the design stakes. Available in sleek silver, black and pink, the FS7 screams understated simplicity. Its appearance is enough to make it stand out from the pack but not enough to make it conspicuous to attract the wrong sort of attention.

Strikingly similar in design to another Panasonic we recently tested, the FS15, the FS7 doesn't really differ at all in the style stakes. It's a more simplified version of that camera, with a four-way directional pad, menu buttons and playback switch situated next to the 2.7-inch LCD screen with 230,000 dots. At the top is the intelligent auto button, as well as the power switch, shutter button and zoom rocker.

Features

At the front sits a 33mm-132mm (or 4x optical zoom) lens, with little decoration apart from the Leica badge it wears proudly on the surrounds, and the image stabilisation denoted with "Mega OIS". Apart from the obvious scrawled on the front fascia, the FS7 it features a 10.1-megapixel sensor, and the usual gamut of controls like face detection and red-eye correction. The lens is f/2.8 at its widest aperture, which is nice to see on a camera of this class.

Shooting options are fairly limited: intelligent auto, program mode, night scenery, scene mode and video being the only options available. In program mode, ISO, exposure compensation and macro are available, whereas intelligent auto takes care of everything for you.

Performance and image quality

The FS7 starts up in a smidgen under two seconds which makes it about average for a camera of its class. Shot-to-shot time was relatively quick as well, and in burst mode, the camera took around 0.9 second per frame.

Overall, we were fairly impressed with the image quality that the FS7 delivered — results were remarkably similar to those seen on the FS15, exhibiting nice sharpness, natural colours and not too much saturation, though pinks were quite developed compared to other colours. For a full discussion of image quality, please see our review of the FS15.

Click image to enlarge (Credit: CBSi)

Noise control was relatively satisfactory for a camera of its class, with noticeable grain appearing at ISO 800, and ISO 1600 being mostly unusable but for all the most non-critical shots.

The additional scene modes provided a bit of extra interest to standard shooting options, with film grain and pinhole effects being the most interesting to use.

Conclusion

For AU$389 we think the FS7 is a little overpriced for what it is, considering that for around AU$50 more you can pick up the FS15 with a wider angle lens and longer zoom. That said, if you pick up the FS7 you won't be disappointed — it's a great camera for someone who is not too fussy about specifications, and simply takes great pictures.