Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS42 digital camera
A cheap compact digital camera that does the basics well
- Vibrant colours, cheap, decent low-light performance
- Images could be sharper, nothing to make it stand out from the crowd
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS42 is an ultra-affordable compact camera that does the basics well. It might not excel in any one area, but at this price, it's not supposed to. A good choice for skint casual users.
Price$ 199.00 (AUD)
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS42 is an entry-level compact digital camera aimed at casual photographers and shoppers on a budget. It’s the most modestly priced camera that Panasonic offers, trumping the dirt-cheap Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS62R by $80. As you’d expect, image quality and manual features are not strong points of this camera, but it offers a decent performance for the asking price.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS42 is quite attractive for a sub-$200 camera. Okay, so there’s no mistaking it for a Canon IXUS 120 IS or Leica C-LUX 3, but it cuts an elegant figure nonetheless. There are three different colours to choose from: black, silver and pink.
Measuring 98x55x22mm and weighing a mere 112g, the DMC-FS42 strikes a good balance between portability and usability — it’s neither too small, nor too large. This helps to keep the user interface roomy and uncluttered, with decent sized buttons.
Despite its small size, the 2.5in LCD display does a good job of displaying images -- handy for passing around amongst friends. You can even add dinky borders to the frame before shooting, if you like that sort of thing.
Like the DMC-FS62R, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS42 produces acceptable results, especially for unfussy shooters. The 10.1-megapixel CCD sensor is capable of taking surprisingly vivid images that are more than suitable for medium-sized printing. Despite being a little on the soft side, our test shots exhibited no glaring flaws (unlike certain other entry-level cameras we could name). Naturally, the DMC-FS42 works best in bright, sunny environments, with noise coming to the fore at ISO 400 and above.
If you can stomach the presence of grain, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS42 does a pretty good job in dim environments, too. When we used the camera at night, it captured a fair amount of detail in shadowy, dimly lit areas. Unlike the DMC-FS62R, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS42 lacks an optical image stabiliser. This means you’ll need to employ a tripod or keep a steady hand when using slow shutter speeds.
But this is a pretty small quibble — compared to other cameras in its price range, there really isn’t much to complain about. The 4x optical zoom lens is nothing to sniff at either. (Most entry-level units offer 3x optical zooms.)
Like many budget-level point-and-shoot cameras, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS42 doesn’t have any manual modes to speak of. Thankfully, the Intelligent Scene Selector does a good job of adjusting shutter speed and exposure on the fly. For those who prefer a slightly more ‘hands-on’ approach, a brace of scene modes, colour effects and white balance presets await you in the menu screen. Naturally, face detection is also included, along with Intelligent ISO (which delivered mixed results) and a so-so SD video mode.
All up, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS42 is an average all-rounder that neither wows nor disappoints when it comes to image quality and features. Nevertheless, it remains well-worth considering thanks to the ultra-low asking price.
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @GoodGearGuide
Join the PC World newsletter!
Gadgets & Things
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 2 Google Daydream View VR full, in-depth review
- 3 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
- 4 Apple iPhone 7 Plus review: including Portrait Mode
- 5 MSI GS70 laptop review
Latest News Articles
- Judge paves the way for British hacker's extradition to US
- FBI faces lawsuit because it's stayed mum on iPhone 5c hack
- Early iPhone 7 reviews: You'll miss the headphone jack, but the camera and battery life are tops
- Toshiba's new SSD line features rock-bottom pricing
- Watch out: iOS 10 install is reportedly bricking some iPhones
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- The top 10 best and worst tech gadgets and products of 2016
- TV of the year award 2016
- Best phone of the year 2016
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- CCMiddleware SpecialistACT
- FTRuby On Rails DeveloperVIC
- CCJDE ERP Technical ConsultantVIC
- CCSME Senior Financial Planner - MelbourneNSW
- TPSHAREPOINT SPECIALISTQLD
- FTMarketing and Customer AnalyticsSA
- CCTechnical Change Manager- Electrical Network EngineeringSA
- CCService Desk Consultants - Urgent - Large multinational!!NSW
- FTSoftware Implementation ConsultantVIC
- CCSenior Automation TesterVIC
- CCSenior Platform DeveloperNSW
- CCIT Service Design Analyst- ITSMNSW
- CCSenior Integration DeveloperOther
- TP.NET Developer (Sitecore)QLD
- FTLead Front End DeveloperVIC
- TPSharePoint Designer / DeveloperQLD
- CCApplication Specialist (Cerner) - Brisbane basedOther
- FT.NET DEVELOPER | MID-SENIOR LEVEL | MEDIA INDUSTRYNSW
- CCC ProgrammerACT
- CCSolutions Designer/Architect- ServiceNowVIC
- FTIdentity Management Team LeaderQLD
- FTTest AnalystVIC
- CCChange Manager (Office365) required for leading digital innovator in SydneyNSW
- FTBusiness Development ManagerQLD
- CCJava API DeveloperTAS