Panasonic Lumix DMC-LS80
- Low price, sharp images, lots of features considering cost
- Some noise issues, a little haloing, slow start-up time
Users looking for an entry-level digital camera are spoiled for choice at the moment and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LS80 is one of the better options, providing good quality pictures and a ton of features at a very affordable price.
Price$ 219.00 (AUD)
In the last six to 12 months the entry-level camera market has really been heating up. Cameras are finally at a point where you can get a high resolution sensor (7 megapixels or greater) and a good array of features for under $300, so even those users on a budget can enjoy high quality pictures. Panasonic's Lumix DMC-LS80 is the cheapest model in the company's new range and it falls firmly into this category offering great value for money.
It sports an 8-megapixel sensor and despite its low price tag it captures some pretty good images. They weren't quite as crisp as those produced by some competing 8-megapixel units but they performed well in our Imatest tests where our shots were crisp enough for small- and medium-sized prints.
There was quite a bit of haloing evident however, particularly in high contrast areas. It was most noticeable in our indoor test shots, with our outdoor shots strangely not exhibiting much purple fringing; a common trait in entry-level compact cameras.
Colour balance, while not as good as some of Panasonic's other recent units such as the Lumix DMC-FX36, was perfectly adequate. Despite the market position of the LS80, it comes equipped with a custom white balance mode which had a noticeable impact on our shots. Most primary colours were accurately rendered with a fairly soft, natural saturation level. Warm colours came out a little darker than usual but the overall balance was pleasing.
Unfortunately as with most Panasonic cameras in the past , noise was still a concern. It isn't that it increases sharply at low sensitivities, in fact the LS80's performance at ISO 400 and ISO 800 is fairly good, but even at ISO 100 and ISO 200 there is a fairly hefty grain visible, which will put off some users.
In our speed tests this unit was a mixed bag. It was very sluggish to start-up, sometimes making us wait up to four seconds till first shot and the shutter speed was a little slow at 0.12 seconds. However, its shot-to-shot time was speedy at 1.7 seconds and the burst mode was pretty quick, capturing four frames in 1.2 seconds on the fastest mode. Users should note this option is capped at just four frames, so if you need any more you'll have to use the slower mode which operates at about 2.5 frames per second.
Despite the low price tag this model has most of the features of its more expensive brethren. Panasonic's excellent optical image stabilisation is included, which helps eliminate handshake and keep your shots crisp. All the intelligent modes (intelligent ISO and intelligent auto) also make a welcome return and offer novice users a great way to take well configured pictures without all the hassle of changing settings manually. While they don't massively outperform standard automatic modes on other cameras, they definitely do a great job of taking balanced shots.
Design is really the only area that betrays the LS80's cost. Constructed from plain silver plastic, it looks uninspiring but is quite functional. The controls are intuitive, although the buttons could be a little larger. It uses AA batteries too, which is quite common in entry-level models. While that does mean you'll never really be stuck without power, it does add a little cost in the long run, so keep that in mind.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
- 2 Sony Xperia XZ review: turbo-charged last-gen phone
- 3 Sony X9300D and X8500D UHD 4K TV review
- 4 Hisense Series 7 ULED 4K UHD TV review
- 5 Moto X Force review: Leading features from a mid-range phone
Latest News Articles
- Boom: SanDisk just dropped the world's largest SD card
- Camera app makers tap into RAW power with iOS, and look forward to dual lenses
- Google Camera 3.2 lets you snap pictures while recording video
- CES 2016: Top 10 trends
- Sony α7S II aimed film-makers and low light photographers
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.
- Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: The new best Android phone
- Japan Robot, gadget and car expo slideshow
- Panasonic DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review: Best all-round TV ever?
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- CCPHP DeveloperNSW
- FTUX/UI DesignerNSW
- CCMultiple Opportunities - Baseline, NV1 or NV2SA
- FTWeb DeveloperNSW
- CCResident Engineer - Nexus 2K, 5K, 7K & 9KNSW
- CCICT Project Reporting Planning CoordinatorNSW
- FTSenior .Net Software EngineerVIC
- FTMid-Level .NET DeveloperVIC
- FTCRM Developer - MS Dynamics CRMNSW
- FTBI Developer-Micro-strategyNSW
- CCSenior Test Analyst (Brisbane Based)QLD
- CCJava Developers - Federal Government experienceNSW
- FTSenior Analyst Programmer Payments GatewayVIC
- FTAgile Front End Developer- HTML5 & CSS3NSW
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (HTML/JAVA/J2EE) 161025/AP/862Asia
- TPSoftware Engineer - C++QLD
- FTIntegration SpecialistSA
- CCSenior Network EngineerACT
- CCFront End Developer - Mid LevelNSW
- CCBusiness Consultant - CPM SoftwareVIC
- PTService Management AnalystSA
- CCOrganisational Change Manager - BankingNSW
- FTSoftware Development ManagerNSW
- FTSenior MS Dynamics CRM ConsultantQLD