My first digital camera

Barry D. Hunt

New Member
Not made by Fisher Price but by Panasonic: a Lumix DMC-FS15.

For a few years now I have been wanting to investigate digital photography. What has prevented me doing so, has been not knowing what I wanted. To put it simply I wanted everything in a camera the size of a fag packet, yet wanted interchangeable lenses and an eye level viewfinder. An impossible list of requirements. If I had the money I would have gone for a Leica M9, but at £5,000 for the body only - no, though I could have made use of my Leica lenses. I soon settled down to looking at the Lumix range. Panasonic make the sensors for Leica digital cameras (with the exception of the M9) and Leica provide the lens design in return. Even so, I could not make up my mind whether it would be one of the G series or other SLR or a pocket camera.

Time was running out and anticipating a rise in VAT, went out yesterday and just bought a likely looking Lumix pocket camera to get me started. As it turned out, being the last one in the shop I was given a 10% discount, which with a memory card, came to £112.

As it was a last minute decision I did not, and have not, looked up this model on dp-review. It ought to be half decent and was bought simply to get me going in digital photography.

I'll briefly describe it to you - and you can then tell me if I have bought a 'pig in a poke'!

Sensor: 12.1 Mpx, 1/2.33" CCD (does that mean the sensor has a diagonal dimension of 0.429" = 10.9mm ?)

Lens: Leica Vario-Elmar 5.2mm/F3.3 to 26mm/F5.9 (35mm 3:2 aspect ratio equivalent to 29mm to 145mm) (given that information, I should be able to work out the sensor dimensions)

Aspect ratio: can select between 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9

Sensitivity: ISO 80 to 1600 (with option 1600 to 6400)

Shutter: 1/1000 to 8 s

Monitor: 2.7" TFT LCD (not eye-level, something I'll have to get used to)

Recording file format: JPEG (not ideal; but this is a starter camera for me)

So any good? You will be able to judge when I have posted some pictures.
thats good money for that camera matey...
they are good ... i wouldnt push the iso much past 400-800 ... compact cameras still suffer terribly with noise .. especially that nasty chroma noise which gives a sorta mottled blotchy wrong colour effect... the noise reduction in pannys works but it cant do miracles... but that isnt just your camera ... all compacts, to a point, are like that... even ones costing 3 times what you paid...
still, its a good honest camera that will no doubt serve you well.... half the battle is learning the limitations of the camera and working round them.... so just keep pressing that shutter button!