Business Traveller tested out Panasonic’s smart new Lumix DMC-FS30
It’s always hard to choose when it comes to purchasing a compact because there are so many on the market, and Panasonic alone has a wide variety in a number of styles, colours and prices under its Lumix brand. For me, the FS30, a relative newcomer to its fold, ticks all the key boxes, and for the price (search around and you can find it for even less online), it is a great buy.
Unfortunately, unlike some of its counterparts (such as the new FX70, FX60, LX3, TZ6) this 14-megapixel model does not have a Leica lens, instead fitted with a 28mm wide-angle Lumix DC Vario, which does do the job nevertheless. Picture quality is crisp and smooth, colour is natural, and images view well on the smooth 2.7-inch LCD screen. Playback and recovery time between taking photos is also fast.
Available in black, silver, sky blue and dusty pink, it’s a well-designed unit, with a small, streamlined, easy-to-hold body, and intuitive control panel, with separate buttons for mode, flash, macro, timer, display, exposure, picture quality and intelligent auto, which offers face detection and image stabilisation if your hands are shaky or it’s windy. The zoom (8 x optical) is decent enough, allowing for good cityscape and architectural shots, and if taken in high resolution can be good enough for publication.
As well as high-definition movie recording – which did a great job of capturing a high speed boat ride in the Everglades on a recent trip to Florida, there are 25 scene modes that help you make the most of whatever light conditions you happen to be in. I found “night portrait” and “night scenery” to be the most helpful, and the images didn’t look artificial or the colour out of balance, as can often be the case with other cameras.
PROS Excellent image quality, attractive, smart unisex design
CONS No Leica lens