On January 7 2013, Panasonic announced its 2013 line-up of LUMIX compact cameras - ZS30, ZS25, TS5, TS25, LZ30, XS1, and SZ3. The line-up features new connectivity options, including in-built Wi-Fi and NFC (Near Field Communication) technologies, to provide the widest range of remote shooting options, remote viewing and instant sharing on social networks. The LUMIX ZS30 is Panasonic's most advanced photo and video hybrid compact camera to date. It features 18.1 Megapixels MOS Sensor, 20x Optical Zoom, 60p Full HD video recording capabilities and a host of creative features. It comes with integrated Wi-Fi and NFC capabilities. For users that don't require the connectivity options, the ZS25 offers similar features and functions with a 16.1 Megapixels sensor instead. The LUMIX TS5 can waterproof to a depth of 43 feet, shockproof from a height of 6.6 feet, freeze proof down to a temperature of 14 degrees Fahrenheit and pressure resistant to 220 lbs. It features a 16.1 megapixel sensor, Full HD 1920x1080 AVCHD Progressive movie recording, Wi-Fi and NFC capabilities. Alongside the TS5, the TS25 can waterproof to a depth of 23 feet, shockproof from a height of 5 feet and freeze proof down to a temperature of 14 degrees Fahrenheit.
The LUMIX LZ30 features a 35x Optical Zoom 25mm wide-angle lens, 16.1 Megapixels sensor, and a host of creative options and modes. You can set the aperture to control the depth of field, adjust the shutter speed to freeze moving subjects and create motion blur. There is also the Panorama Shot Mode, the Creative Control and Creative Retouch modes. The LUMIX XS1 is the first in a new range of slim and stylish compact cameras. The camera comes with a 16.1 Megapixels sensor in an ultra-slim design at just 14mm thick, as well as a range of creative and artistic features and functions, including Creative Control which allows you to choose from a selection of different filters before you capture your photos or video. Two similar LUMIX cameras are also available in the shape of the LUMIX FH10 and LUMIX F5. The FH10 provides identical performance to the XS1 (without Creative Control filters) in a slightly larger camera. The entry-level LUMIX F5 retains the design of the XS1 and FH10 and includes a 14.1 Megapixels sensor. Finally, Panasonic's new compact LUMIX SZ3 features a 16.1 Megapixels sensor, 10x Optical Zoom LEICA lens and 12 creative effects. Here's the summary review of the DMC-XS1 by PCMag, giving the camera a rating of 3 out of 5:
"I used Imatest to check the sharpness of images captured by the XS1. We use a center-weighted average score of 1,800 lines per picture height to call a photo sharp, but the XS1 falls shy of that mark. It manages just 1,585 lines on the test; the central third of the frame does mange 1,900 lines, but sharpness drops off quickly as you move toward the edges, showing 1,500 lines through the middle third and just 600 lines across the outer third of the frame. Some drop-off at the edges is expected for a compact camera, but better lenses usually stay above 1,800 lines at all but the outer third. The compact lens design is likely to take some blame here; the slim Nikon S01 fared similarly, notching just 1,527 lines on the test, and also showed a very sharp center with details that became muddy as you approach the edges of an image. Imatest also checks photos for noise, which can detract from image quality when shooting at the high ISO settings that are required for snapping images in low light. The camera uses a CCD image sensor, which doesn't perform as well in low light as more modern CMOS chips. Noise is kept under 1.5 percent through ISO 800, but there is some loss of image quality when the camera is pushed that far. I took a look at shots from our ISO test sequence on a calibrated NEC MultiSync PA271W display. At ISO 800 fine lines in a foreign banknote in our scene smudge together. There's some smudging at ISO 400 as well, but it's less apparent at ISO 200. If you can keep the camera set to ISO 400 or below (which won't be an issue in daylight), you'll be able to share images on the Web without concern, but even at lower resolutions the loss of detail at ISO 800 and up will be noticeable. Serious photographers who want a compact from which they can make detailed prints, but don't want to spend too much, should look at the Elph 330 HS; its lens is sharper and it keeps noise under 1.5 percent through ISO 1600.
Video is recorded in QuickTime format at 720p30 quality. It's not the best quality; even under the bright lights of our studio scene the footage lacks definition and appears grainy. The lens can't zoom in or out when recording, but the XS1 does a decent job at keeping up with focus. The only external connector on the camera is a proprietary USB port, located on its base. This is how you charge the battery (there's no external charger included). The target user isn't likely to buy a second battery for this one, but it is unfortunate Panasonic didn't use a standard micro USB connector so that it would be easier to share charging cables with other devices. The slim design necessitates the use of microSD memory; it's only labeled to support SD and SDHC cards, but a 64GB microSDXC card worked just fine for me. The major drawback to the tiny card slot is that you can't use an Eye-Fi Mobi Wi-Fi memory card to transfer images to your phone for quick online sharing. But if your phone has an easily accessible microSD slot, you can get images online that way. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-XS1 falls short on a lot of benchmarks, and on the surface you might expect it to get a slightly lower rating. But its slim form factor, bantamweight mass, and low asking price make it possible for us to recommend it--albeit with reservations. Its lens isn't the sharpest in the world, and if you're using it for indoor photos you'll need to utilize the flash. But for daylight snaps that are destined for the Web, it'll do an ample job. Our Editors' Choice compact, the Canon Elph 330 HS, is a much better camera, and it's got Wi-Fi built in. It's just not quite as inexpensive, or as amazingly slim."
DMC-XS1 Camera Reviews Roundup
|Photography BLOG - Oct 17 2013|
"If you're a happy snapper type of photographer, then the Panasonic Lumix DMC-XS1 is going to suit you down to the ground. It has an extremely simple operation to it and an easy to use UI. It nails the "point and shoot" term perfectly. There are, obviously, issues with some of the performance areas. While we're happy with the focusing, speed of ope..." More »
|Amateur Photographer - Jul 22 2013|
"The XS1 does not have Wi-Fi connectivity, but that is to be expected for a camera that can be bought for a street price of under £100. A big advantage with using Micro SD memory cards is that they are compatible with many smartphones. Simply removing the card from the camera and inserting it into a smartphone means the emailing and sharing of photos online..." More »
|ePhotoZine - Jul 18 2013|
"Image detail isn't the XS1's strongest characteristic but as most users will resize their images for sharing on the web this won't really be an issue, just don't expect quality large prints. There is some purple fringing in contrasting areas but this is kept under control. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of 5cm which allows for a fairly decent macr..." More »