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 Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 2 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Kogan Atlas UltraSlim Pro laptop: full, in-depth review
- 4 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 5 Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
Latest News Articles
- Settings in iOS 10: Every notable change you need to know
- 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
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Samsung Galaxy S8 phone: full, in-depth review
- Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5 CPU Australian review
- Mass Effect Andromeda review: One for the fans
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTFull Stack Developer - Symfony 2QLD
- CCSAP CRM Functional AnalystNSW
- FTSystem AnalystSA
- FTSecurity Solutions Manager - Perth BasedNSW
- CCProcess Engineer- TelcoVIC
- FTNetwork EngineerSA
- TPProject ManagerQLD
- FTPayroll Systems AnalystQLD
- FTSolution Architect - SecurityVIC
- CCSenior Security AnalystsACT
- CCProject Manager - Security - TelcoVIC
- FTBusiness Analyst/Project ManagerQLD
- FTHRIS Systems Support Analyst (Kronos)NSW
- FTTechnical LeadVIC
- CCDevops Consultant - 12 month contractVIC
- FTProject Administrator - Telecommunications InfrastructureNSW
- FTSenior C# DeveloperNSW
- TPIntergration SpecialistQLD
- FTSenior Sales Operations AnalystNSW
- FTSolutions Architect (Collaboration Technology) - Permanent - Sydney CBDNSW
- CCTest Analyst - Oracle CC&BVIC
- CCTechnical Business AnalystSA
- FTTechnical Business AnalystACT
- FTHealthcare Application Integration SupportQLD
- FTProcurement AdvisorQLD