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Pocket cameras are a boon to photographers. Think about it! For instance, imagine carrying a super zoom or even an SLR whenever you step out. Though they are considered to be a requirement for every shutter bug they don’t quite offer the same kind of portability that compact cameras offer. So let’s move on and find out if the Panasonic DMC-FP8 is really worth spending your money on.
The Panasonic DMC-FP8 is just another camera that has been brought into the mid range category. The camera is sleek at 95.7 x 59.6 x 20.2 mm, making it easy to slide into your pocket. The FP8 comes encased in a metal frame that makes it weigh a hefty 155 g, so you can forget about tucking it away in your shirt pocket. The camera comes with a power switch rather than the normal power button – so it eliminates the camera from getting switched on accidentally. Here you will also find the zoom rocker and the obvious shutter release button.
The FP8 comes with a 2.7-inch LCD display that doesn’t quite perform well in broad daylight. It comes with a 12 MP sensor and is complimented by a decent 4.6x of optical zoom. An added and well thought of feature is the dedicated “Intelligent Auto” button that allows you to switch on or switch off the same without requiring you to visit the menu subsystem. Moreover, the addition of a port flap is much appreciated since it prevents dust from settling when unused. What didn’t quite gel well was the grain sized buttons that the Panasonic FP8 comes with. People with large fingers will surely find it difficult to operate mainly due to the proximity of the buttons.
As with most cameras today the Panasonic DMC-FP8 comes with a 28 mm wide angle lens that makes it easier to capture wider landscapes. Nevertheless at this price range you can easily grab a camera with a 24 mm lens. However the camera comes with an overabundance of scene modes – 28 to be precise. Besides it’s got some decent modes such as “Starry sky” – that puts the camera on a 60 second shutter priority and “Hi-Speed Burst” – where the camera takes a series of shots but at a max of 3 MP. A few extra features thrown in would be the world time and travel date which basically allows you to set your departure and return journey. While having a world time is fine, it’s the travel date that makes me think doubt the usage of it on a camera.
However, the overall interface didn’t quite appeal to me and looked extremely bland. Everything from the icons to the overall layout was a real turnoff.
The Panasonic DMC-FP8 is capable of recording video at 720p at 30 fps. But regardless of this, video recording was a disappointment and appeared jittery with a considerable amount of lag when panning under low light conditions.
The Panasonic FP8 misses out on catching the subject’s natural colors. In other words they appeared rather loud and vivid and would actually make you scram for a pair for shades.
The camera’s sharpness is quite average and makes the overall picture seem quite washed out when scaled to 100 percent. That’s not something you would like to see when the overall lighting is good and ISO levels are at its lowest.
This is one place where the Panasonic FP8 fared badly. The images shot were considerably grainy and appeared blotched when viewed on a bigger screen. As you can see from the image shown below, the picture is hardly viewable since it appears too dark.
The camera's macro range lies at 3.5 cm, which is considered good. However the overall image clarity is just about average and looks a little too overburnt when compared to other competing cameras.
At the end of it all the Panasonic DMC-FP8 comes with a decent amount of flaws that makes it difficult to recommend. Moreover the DMC-FP8 is obviously not what a shutter bug would actually pick up for a point and shoot camera. With the camera priced at Rs. 16,999 you could get your hands on the Sony DSC-380 that performs well on almost all fronts. Besides, the video capture quality is far more superior than the Panasonic DMC-FP8 – that too for a price that’s a couple of thousand bucks less!!