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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS16 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £120
inc VAT

Dependable photo and video quality, great controls and a stylish design; a strong contender that just misses out on an award.


1/2.33in 14.0-megapixel sensor, 4.0x zoom (28-112mm equivalent), 118g

It’s not unusual to find a camera with a 14-megapixel sensor, 4x wide-angle zoom lens, 720p video recording and 2.7in screen for just £120, but they’re rarely as stylish as the FS16. With its aluminium shell measuring just 19mm from front to back, it could easily pass for a premium compact camera.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS16

The plastic buttons around the back give the game away, but these controls are a pleasure to use. A Q.MENU button provides quick access to the autofocus area, white balance, ISO speed, continuous mode and various other settings without having to delve into the main menu. Unlike many cameras at this price, the camera responds instantly to button pushes, so changing these settings takes a second or two whereas it can take 10 or more seconds elsewhere. We also like the physical switches for power and playback, which for some reason feel more satisfying to use than buttons.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS16 back

There are no bells or whistles on the 720p video mode, with fixed zoom and focus for the duration of clips, basic M-JPEG compression and maximum clip lengths of just over eight minutes. However, both picture and sound quality were excellent. This camera won’t replace a dedicated camcorder but for occasional clips it doesn’t disappoint.

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Basic Specifications

Rating ****
CCD effective megapixels 14.0 megapixels
CCD size 1/2.33in
Viewfinder none
Viewfinder magnification, coverage N/A
LCD screen size 2.7in
LCD screen resolution 230,000 pixels
Articulated screen No
Live view Yes
Optical zoom 4.0x
Zoom 35mm equivalent 28-112mm
Image stabilisation optical, lens based
Maximum image resolution 4,320×3,240
Maximum movie resolution 1280×720
Movie frame rate at max quality 30fps
File formats JPEG; QuickTime (M-JPEG)


Memory slot SDXC
Mermory supplied 70MB internal
Battery type Li-ion
Battery Life (tested) 270 shots
Connectivity USB, AV
HDMI output resolution N/A
Body material aluminium
Lens mount N/A
Focal length multiplier N/A
Kit lens model name N/A
Accessories USB and AV cables
Weight 118g
Size 54x94x19mm

Buying Information

Warranty one-year RTB
Price £120

Camera Controls

Exposure modes auto
Shutter speed auto
Aperture range f/3.1-9 (wide), f/6.5-20 (tele)
ISO range (at full resolution) 100 to 1600
Exposure compensation +/-2 EV
White balance auto, 4 presets, manual
Additional image controls i.Exposure
Manual focus No
Closest macro focus 5cm
Auto-focus modes multi, centre, face detect, tracking
Metering modes multi, face detect
Flash auto, forced, suppressed, red-eye reduction
Drive modes single, continuous, self-timer