One of the latest compacts equipped with touch-shooting, the FS37 also packs in an 8x optical zoom and high resolution sensor. The What Digital Camera review of the Panasonic Lumix FS37 finds out whether its the ideal photographic companion for the casual user
Performance and Image Quality
Panasonic Lumix FS37 – Performance
The display comes on quickly once the camera is turned on, although it takes a little longer for the camera to be fully operational. The screen is generally bright enough for standard shooting conditions, although it lacks a little bite when compared with similar £150 cameras which offer slightly better contrast. Still, it displays the scene realistically, and so it can be relied upon when it comes to adjusting white balance, colour and so on.
While not blisteringly quick, the camera’s focusing system works well, only slowing in darker lighting conditions. There’s only a little sound from the lens as it focuses, and the zoom moves quickly through its range, although some might appreciate a slower pace here for more precise control, considering that the Easy Zoom Function can be used to quickly go from one end to the other. The touch-shooting control is impressive, though, with particularly fast focus and instant capture once the subject has been pressed on screen.
Panasonic Lumix FS37 – Image Quality
The overall standard of images from the FS37 is high. The sensor picks up good detail and when the lens is stopped down sharpness is maintained well to the edges and corners of the frame. The camera’s noise reduction system does well to keep noise minimum at lower sensitivities while preserving good details, although, inevitably, some softening and processing artefacts are visible.
The camera’s metering system performs well, even when faced with the usual headache of balancing bright skies and darker foreground details, and the only images in which any adjustment is necessary are those where the scene contains too wide a dynamic range for the camera’s sensor.
As with many similar cameras, highlight details are lost a little prematurely, although this is usually a consequence of the metering system’s accuracy (as opposed to underexposure which would preserve these). Still, the sensor is highly populated, and fewer pixels would undoubtedly allow it capture a wider dynamic range.
There’s little to fault with the camera’s auto white balance and colour reproduction, though, and straight out of the camera the majority of images appear accurate and pleasing. The only problem here is an occasional tendency for the camera to produce marginally warmer images than expected, typically noticeable by a warm magenta tint over neutral areas.