Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS15 Digital Camera

Panasonic's Lumix FS15 compact digital camera takes high-quality photos and is easy to use.

Panasonic's Lumix FS15 compact digital camera takes high-quality photos and is easy to use.

When the zoom feature on my old digital camera started malfunctioning, I decided to buy myself a new one. On my previous camera, I had an optical zoom up to 7x, but because the lens needs to be bigger for that amount of zoom, the camera was on the large and bulky side.

The LCD screen is large and the controls are easy to use.

The LCD screen is large and the controls are easy to use.

I found that I often didn't have the camera with me when I needed it, because it was so large and heavy to tote around. So this time I went in the other direction, and began looking at the ultra-compact digital point-and-shoot cameras.

When the optical zoom lens isn't sticking out, the FS15 is very thin.

When the optical zoom lens isn't sticking out, the FS15 is very thin. It slips easily into a pocket or purse, so you can keep it handy.

I ended up purchasing the Panasonic Lumix FS15. It's a very compact, lightweight little camera that packs a big punch. It can create high-resolution 12-megapixel photos that look great at full size on my 22" monitor. Yet the camera is small enough to slip into my pocket, and I'm barely even aware that it's there.

With an optical zoom of up to 5x (and digital zoom even higher), I can get up-close shots even when I can't physically get close to the subject.

With a few clicks of the buttons, you can choose from multiple "scenes," which automatically sets the optimum settings for things like nighttime, party, beach, portrait, sports, etc. It's easy to select a specific scene with a couple of button pushes, but the iA (intelligent auto) feature works so well on its own that I rarely bother with scenes.

When I'm in "replay" mode to review pictures on the LCD screen, I can use the zoom button to zoom in close, so that I can make sure I got the shot that I think I got.

Of course, like any modern camera, there's auto redeye reduction, the ability to toggle flash between auto, forced-on and forced-off. There's a macro setting for super-close-ups. It has all the usual features you'd expect.

The camera connects to my computer with a USB cable, and I can either manually copy the files over to my hard drive, or let iPhoto automatically import them. I believe there was some software that came with the camera, but who needs specialized software just to transfer photos from my camera to my computer?

I really like this camera, and I don't for one minute regret my choice. Lumix cameras are available from Amazon and eBay.

 

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