Right, this was bought as a small and stylish Compact for everyone in our family to use, although it will mainly be my mum using it.
10MP CCD Sensor
4x Optically Stabalised Lecia lens (33-132mm Equivalent)
Panasonics iA Mode
£131 from Amazon UK
After handling the camera for the first time, my immediate thoughts were that it is rather light, very stylish and very tough at the same time. After a few hours of messing around with it these observations still stand strong. The camera has a nice feel to it although the grip is not brilliant, it's good enough considering it's designed as a Stylish compact. After turning the camera on for the first time, i noticed that the screen is nice and fairly accurate with the colours and at 2.7" perfectly big enough to compose a shot through. The menu also stood out to me, as it is very nicely designed and reasonably logically put together, although saying that i did find myself thinking which button gets me to that menu sorta thing, but that's just a niggle really. I found the AF to be fairly speedy, taking about an average of 1 sec or less to focus.
Panasonic's iA mode (intelligent Auto) impressed me, as it seemed to be rather clever at detecting the scene and using the correct settings, which is certainly a plus for beginners or lazy photographers.
I am putting this bit in for those of us with DSLR's who may want a pocketable compact camera as well, for those night outs or partys etc
Manual control seemed adequate, while there is no ability to change Aperture or Shutter Speed, there are options to quickly and easily (via the Quick menu) change settings including, exposure compensation, White Balance, AF mode, ISO, continous shooting and self timer. I will also point out that the Quick Menu, allows very quick and easy changing of settings.
Here are some pictures i took of the camera, while waiting for the battery to charge:
Image quality dosen't seem to bad so far, although coming from a DSLR, it's not going to look brilliant me. Metering seems good and it manages to get the right exposure, sharpness is also pretty good. I will upload some more sample images for you in due course, when i take them, although for now i have done a small comparison to my 40D below.
Ok so here is a comparison of the same image, taken with the FS7 and my 40D. I used the Lumix's iA setting, and set my camera to Program, Auto WB + ISO, and Evaluative Metering. Although i will confess i did forget i was shooting in RAW, and ended up converting the Raw file with DPP, without any editing at all and the 'Standard' Puicture style selected.
There is certainly a green tint to the FS7's image, proving the AWB is not as acurate to that on my 40D, althogh the FS7 has metered and exposed for the scene correctly, it hasn't quite got Dynamic range of my 40D, which i definately to be expected.
This little camera certainly seems a good asset to any DSLR owners bag, and looks to be good for family and general use. From what i have seen so far the IQ is good and the images are nice and sharp although certainly in that test shot the WB certainly looks to be off a little, but time will tell, if that problem continues to occur. But from my initial impression, i would recommend this, because for the price (£131) it is very good value for money.
Hope that was interesting, anyway do let me know if you want some more comparisons, or have any questions about the camera. I will also do a long term impression in the future after some serious use.