Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH25 - review: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH25 -

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MSRP: $199.99

The Good The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH25 is a straightforward point-and-shoot with a flexible lens with good performance and photo quality for its class.

The Bad Its 16-megapixel resolution is a bit of a waste and you can't use the optical zoom while recording movies.

The Bottom Line Simple and satisfying, Panasonic's Lumix DMC-FH25 is an excellent point-and-shoot value.

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7.4 Overall
  • Design 8
  • Features 7
  • Performance 7
  • Image quality 7

Editors' note: Almost all of the design, features, and shooting options--including the camera's imaging sensor, processor, and lens--are identical between the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH25 and the

There are a lot of people out there who simply want an affordable camera that takes a decent picture in auto, has some extra zoom power, and can still be slipped in a pocket. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH25 is just that. With camera manufacturers trying to jam in as many features as possible in some models, the FH25 is notable for having only one big feature: an 8x, 28mm wide-angle lens. The rest of it is pure point-and-shoot backed by Panasonic's reliable Intelligent Auto (iA) mode, a healthy selection of scene modes, and 720p HD movie capture.

Key specs Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH25
Price (MSRP) $199.95
Dimensions (WHD) 3.9x2.2x1.1 inches
Weight (with battery and media) 5.6 ounces
Megapixels, image sensor size, type 16 megapixels, 1/2.3-inch CCD
LCD size, resolution/viewfinder 2.7-inch LCD, 230K dots/None
Lens (zoom, aperture, focal length) 8x, f3.3-5.9, 28-224mm (35mm equivalent)
File format (still/video) JPEG/Motion JPEG (MOV)
Highest resolution size (still/video) 4,608x3,456 pixels / 1,280x720 pixels at 24fps
Image stabilization type Optical and digital
Battery type, CIPA rated life Li-ion rechargeable, 250 shots
Battery charged in camera No; external charger supplied
Storage media SD/SDHC/SDXC
Bundled software PhotofunStudio 6.0 (Windows), Super LoiLoScope (trial version; Windows)

The FH25's photo quality is good to very good, but people expecting to be wowed by its 16-megapixel resolution may be disappointed. Though subjects look somewhat soft from the get-go, there isn't much difference from ISO 100 to ISO 400. That means shots taken in good lighting are quite nice and thanks to Panasonic's "Intelligent" technology, you can pretty much leave it in auto and get solid results. It isn't until you go above ISO 400 that things noticeably decline--especially at larger sizes--with smeary details and yellow blotching from noise. If you need something for great low-light shots, this isn't your camera. It does have low-light shooting modes, but the results are really only good for emergencies because of heavy noise reduction and off colors. Then again, if you just need shots for small prints and Web use, the high-ISO results might be acceptable.

Color is pleasing and natural. If you like your colors more saturated, you can switch from the camera's Standard color mode to Vivid when shooting in Normal Picture mode or Happy in Intelligent Auto. Colors are consistent up to ISO 400; there's a noticeable color shift at the two highest ISO sensitivities. Other than the auto white balance being a touch warm under incandescent lighting, white balance is good. Exposure is likewise good and Panasonic's Intelligent Exposure feature improves dynamic range and limits blown-out highlights. (Note: This photo quality analysis is for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH27. The FH25 uses the same sensor, processor, and lens as the FH27 and as such we expect it to perform identically.)

Video quality is on par with a basic HD pocket video camera; good enough for Web use and nondiscriminating TV viewing. Panning the camera will create judder that's typical of the video from most compact cameras. The zoom lens does not function while recording, but you do have a digital zoom. I suggest not using it as the results are not pleasant.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH25
ISO sensitivity (full resolution) Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1,600
White balance Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Shade, Incandescent, Manual
Recording modes Intelligent Auto, Normal, Scene, MyScene, Movie
Focus modes Multi AF, Macro AF, AF Tracking, Touch AF
Macro 1.9 inches (Wide); 3.3 feet (Tele)
Metering modes Face, AF Tracking, 11-area Multi, Spot, Touch area
Color effects Standard, Vivid, Natural, Black & White, Sepia, Cool, Warm, Happy (only in iA Mode)
Burst mode shot limit (full resolution) 100 shots