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You are hereHome > Digital Camera Reviews > Panasonic LS2

Panasonic Digital Cameras


Panasonic LS2

Review Date: Feb 6, 2006

Category: Point-and-Shoot

Panasonic Lumic DMC-LS2
Click for a larger image


The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LS2 is light, compact and well built. It has an elongated shape with lots of space on the right side to hold comfortably and securely. It can be carried in a large trousers pocket or handbag. Startup and shot to shot time is fast at just above 1 sec., and there is no practical shutter lag. Autofocus is fast and precise (using 1-area High Speed AF).

- Colours: overall silver
- Looks: rounded corners
- Comfortable
- Straightforward controls
- Medium Compact: fits in a large pants pocket, coat pocket or small handbag
- Dimensions: 110.5 x 53.5 x 30.9 mm /
4.35 x 2.11 x 1.22 in.
- Weight: light at 138 g (0.3 lb) (Body) /
186 g (0.41 lb) (with Battery and SD Memory Card)
- Takes 2 AA Alkaline or Oxyride™ batteries, or 2 rechargeable NiMH batteries
- Fast startup with lens extending about 18 mm (0.75 in.) and LCD turning on in about 1 sec.
- Shot to shot time about 1 sec.
- No practical shutter lag

Included in the box are 2 AA Oxyride™ batteries that can take up to 250 pictures (CIPA Standard). To save money and be kind to the environment, we recommend that you purchase 2 rechargeable AA NiMH batteries and a battery charger. Do remember to select the appropriate battery type in SETUP screen 1.


Panasonic LS2 Top View

The top of the camera has the Power OFF/ON Switch, the Shutter Release Button with the Zoom Lever/Collar around it, the Optical Image Stabilizer button, and the Mode Dial. All the other controls are found on the back.

You press and hold the Optical Image Stabilizer button for a couple of seconds until [STABILIZER] displays on the screen. You can choose to turn it off (recommended when the camera is placed on a tripod), select Mode1 (continuous mode, so you can see the effet on screen) or Mode2 (stabilizer kicks in only when shutter release button is pressed at the moment picture is taken). The best stabilizing effect is obtained with Mode2, so we recommend you use this mode.

The Mode Dial has a number of symbols specific to Panasonic cameras: the Heart symbol represents Simple mode (i.e. Auto), the Camera symbol represents Normal Picture mode (i.e. Programmed Auto), an E represents an Economy mode where power consumption is minimized (brightness of LCD reduced, screen off in 15 sec., etc.). Playback, Macro, Movie and Scene Modes can also be selected on the Mode Dial.

In the MENU, you can specify which scene mode gets mapped to SCN1 and SCN2, or to just bring up the Scene Mode options when you rotate the dial to any one of these two SCN settings.

To customize the SCN1 and SCN2 settings on the Mode Dial:
- Set SCENE MENU to OFF in SETUP screen 3.
- Rotate the Mode Dial to SCN1 and press the MENU/SET button to bring up the SCENE MODE menu. Use the Arrow Keys to select the desired scene mode that will be set when you select SCN1. Press the MENU/SET button to set it.
- Repeat with SCN2.
- Now when you dial in SCN1 or SCN2, you will be automatically into the scene mode you customized for these two settings. To select another scene mode, simply press the MENU/SET button to bring up the SCENE MODE menu.

I counted about 17 steps zooming from Wide to Tele, and it takes approx. 2 sec. to zoom quickly. The lens extends about 18mm (0.75 in.).

You can record movies (no audio) at 320x240 at either 30fps or 10fps, limited only by the amount of your memory card. In Movie mode, you can only select Image Stabilizer Mode 1, and a Panasonic SD Card is recommended (according to Panasonic, some SD cards may not allow recording until the card is full).

At 320x240 30fps, you'll be able to store approx. 26 sec. of movie in the 14MB Internal Memory, approx. 980 sec. on a 512MB SD Card, or 1970 sec. on a 1GB SD Card.

For posting on the Web, you might prefer to shoot at 10fps, and you'll be able to store approx. 81 sec. in the 14MB Internal Memory, approx. 2870 sec. on a 512MB SD Card, or approx. 5700 sec. on a 1GB SD Card.

The rubber Terminal Cover is hinged at only one corner but swings out of the way for easy access to the USB connector.


Display: Live Histogram, Framing Guide, No Info


High Angle: When the Display button is pressed and held for 1 sec., the LCD screen brightens so it can be viewed easier when the camera is held at a high angle

- Arrow Pad: Exposure Compensation, Flash, Quick Review, Selftimer (10 or 2 sec.), MENU / SET button
- Burst Mode (Off, Hi, Lo, Unlimited) / Erase
- High speed: @ 3 frames per second, max. 3 shots in Fine and 5 shots in Standard; Exposure and WB set for first picture
- Low speed: @ 2 frames per second, max. 3 shots in Fine and 5 shots in Standard; Exposure and WB set for first picture
- Unlimited: @ 1.5 frames per second up to the capacity of SD Card; Exposure and WB adjusted for each picture
- Exposure compensation is directly accessible by using the UP ARROW key. Once it displays, use RIGHT and LEFT ARROW keys to dial in a value.
- Once set, the Exposure Compensation Indicator conveniently stays displayed on screen (lower left area) until it is reset to "0"
- Range: -2 EV to +2 EV (in 1/3 EV increments)
- The screen brightness will increase or decrease to reflect the value you use
- Note: the exposure compensation value selected is retained even when the camera is turned off (so remember to reset to "0" after using it or the next time you turn the camera on, your shots may be over- or under-exposed.)

LCD & Menus

There is no viewfinder but a 2.0 in. LCD monitor with a clear and very usable display. The low 85,000 pixels resolution is a bit surprising in this day and age with a refresh rate that is not quite fast enough for a smooth display. You can manually adjust the LCD monitor's brightness in SETUP. The LCD monitor does not gain up in low-light and there is no AF-assist Illuminator.

The Menu structure is very simple and straightforward. Note that to Format your card (or internal memory), you need to be in Playback Mode.

MENU 1 of 2

- White Balance (Auto, Daylight, CLoudy, Halogen, White Set)
- ISO Sensitivity (Auto, 80, 100, 200, 400)
- Aspect Ratio (4:3, 3:2, 16:9)
- Picture Size (5M, 3M, 2M, 1M, 0.3M)
- Image Quality (Fine, Standard)

MENU 2 of 2

- AF Mode (5-area, 3-area High Speed, 1-area High Speed, 1-area, Spot)
- Slow Shutter (1/8-, 1/4-, 1/2-, 1-)
- Digital Zoom (Off, On)
- Color Effect (Off, Cool, Warm, B&W, Sepia)
- Picture Adjustment (Natural, Standard, Vivid)

SETUP 1 of 3

- Battery Type (Alkaline, Oxyride)
- Clock Set
- Monitor Brightness
- Auto Review (Off, 1sec., 3 sec., Zoom)
- Power Save (Off, 1 min., 2 min., 5 min., 10 min.)

SETUP 2 of 3

- Beep Volume (Off, Low, High)
- File No. Reset (Yes, No)
- Reset Record Settings (Yes, No)
- USB Mode (Select ON Connection, PC, PictBridge)
- Video Out (NTSC, PAL)

SETUP 3 of 3

- Scene Menu (Off, Auto)
- Language (English, Deutsch, Français, Español, Italiano, Chinese, Japanese)



- Normal picture mode, Auto Flash, Custom White Balance, ISO 80, Picture Size 5M, Image Quality = Fine, Battery Power Indicator, Image Stabilizer Mode 1, High Speed Burst, Space left for 404 images, SD Card used, Live Histogram, 10 sec. Self-timer, High Angle Mode, Exposure Compensation


- Flash mode, Picture mode, Battery Power Indicator, Space left for 404 images, SD Card used, Backlight Compensation ON (Up arrow key toggles it On and Off),


- You can display a live Histogram and Exp. Compensation setting


- No exposure info is displayed


- Portrait
- Soft Skin
- Scenery
- Sports


- Night Photography
- Night Scenery
- Food
- Party


- Candle Light
- Fireworks
- Starry Sky
- Snow


- Baby 1
- Baby 2


- QVGA (320x240) 30fps
- QVGA (320x240) 10fps

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LS2 handles comfortably, especially if you have large hands. It is light, compact and the controls are spaced out enough to hold the camera safely. Operations and MENU are straightforward, simple-to-understand and easy-to-use for a beginner. And, of course, a very effective Optical Image Stabilizer helps reduce blurred images due to camera shake.

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