The camera also has the now obligatory face detection, which works for up to 15 faces. There's a two-mode optical image stabilisation system; 25 scene modes; continuous shooting at 2.3f/s for a maximum of five frames at the highest resolution setting, or a high speed burst around 6f/s at 3MB file size or smaller; and VGA, QVGA and WXVGA resolution movie recording at 30f/s in Motion JPEG format.
The LCD juts out a little
Physically, the FS7 has 50MB of internal memory and measures 97.0 x 54.4 x 21.7mm. It weighs 139g with battery and card in place.
Switch on is fast - around two seconds - and for simple, point-and-shoot recording, just set the camera to Intelligent Auto mode, a sort of automatic mode on steroids. Under IA's control, the DMC-FS7 automatically selects the relevant scene mode - such as portrait, macro or scenery - activates the optical image stabiliser and face-detection systems, and selects the optimum ISO and shutter speed.
For a little more user control, you can opt for Normal Picture mode, which lets you adjust a few more parameters, including "intelligent ISO". This lets you set the maximum ISO speed from three possible settings: 400, 800 and 1600. The camera will then adjust accordingly up to the value you choose.
It’s very easy to find your way around the DMC-FS7. If you want to switch shooting modes, just press the Mode button and scroll down the list of options – Intelligent Auto, Normal, Scene and Motion Picture - presented on the screen. You can also add a frequently used scene mode to the menu list.
Even the most novice camera user will feel comfortable with the DMC-FS7
If you select Scene mode, you're presented with 25 icons, each with a text description. The options range from the usual - portrait, pet and food - to more exotic ones like aerial photo - for shooting through an aircraft window - self portrait and film grain, which, according to the instruction book, means: “Picture is taken with grainy texture as though blasted with sand.”
Next page: Sample Shots
Film grain mode?
Almost, but not quite, entirely unlike film.
RE: @ Peyton
I'd highly recommend the Panasonic TZ5 model, got awesome some and great stabilisation.
Another missing statistic
Another missing statistic: How many mm² is the sensor array?
The bigger the array, the more light you can capture before reaching saturation. More light captured means better contrast at low ISO, and lower noise at high ISO. In fact, the better the picture. My old Fuji 2800Z (1.92MPx) with a freakin' huge array took noticeably better pictures than many 4MPx cameras with smaller arrays.
seconded on the lack of interior sample shots. Daylight vs indoors is a huge difference.
I like the consistency of the euro, the blue door and the cathedral as standard samples, but I'm not such a fan of the general composition. the camera seems to be pointed downward a little too much for me.
need more info
I have shaky hands - does the image stabilization bit work well? (or does it just crank up the ISO) I'd love to find a decent pocket-sized camera with this, but it's always hard to find info on it in reviews (not just here - everywhere - darn photag reviewers and their ability to take good pictures without assistance :p )