The photos produced by the DMC-FS15 are good for snapshots, but there are a couple of issues that prevent us from giving this camera a better score. Photos, when viewed at 100 per cent, show visible noise at all ISOs and faint yellow colouring. It isn't until ISO 400 that noise and noise suppression combine to soften detail. At ISO 800, photos take on a soft, painterly appearance and the yellowing gets more noticeable, but fine detail is still fairly good. Although there's still some detail at ISO 1,600, photos are, for the most part, unusable, because they're covered in faint yellow splotches, along with a good amount of noise. The DMC-FS15's colours are pleasing and natural. Exposure is fairly good, but highlights tend to blow out.
Photos are at their sharpest when the camera is in 'macro' mode. Sharpness is good at the centre, but gets softer out towards the corners. The 29mm-equivalent wideangle lens has some minor barrel distortion at its widest position. Purple fringing is minimal in high-contrast areas, too.
(seconds; smaller is better)
|Time to first shot||Typical shot-to-shot time (flash)||Typical shot-to-shot time||Shutter lag (dim)||Shutter lag (typical)|
(Frames per second; larger is better)
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS15's design and features are pretty much spot-on for its price. Its performance and photo quality keep us from giving it an across-the-board recommendation, though. Those who want to regularly make prints larger than 8 by 10 inches, do plenty of low-light shooting with no flash, or try to snap subjects in motion, should probably pass on the DMC-FS15. It's otherwise well-suited for everyday snapshot photography.
Additional editing by Charles Kloet