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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH25 Review


Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH25 front in black




June 1st, 2011: Introduced earlier this year, the compact 16.1 megapixel Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH25 digital camera serves as an update to the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH20 from 2010. The Panasonic DSC-FH25 features the same sleek design with a 2.7-inch LCD monitor and 8x optical zoom as its predecessor, with the most notable update being an increase in sensor resolution from 14MP to 16MP, and the employment of a new AF system that according to Panasonic is approx. 42% faster than the system found in the Lumix DMC-FH20.

Designed to appeal to those who are looking for a compact take anywhere type of camera that can easily fit in a pocket or purse while offering a range of user friendly features combined with a versatile zoom range, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH25 is available in stores for around $230 Canadian - based on manufacturer's recommended retail price (MSRP). In Canada the Lumix DMC-FH25 is available in Black, Red or Violet.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH25 incorporates a 2.7-inch 230,000 pixel LCD, which in today's market is considered fairly average for a camera in this class. A grid display can be activated and superimposed on the monitor to assist in landscape or architectural composition. A lithium-ion rechargeable battery and charger comes supplied in the box.

Panasonic Lumix FH25 Major Features
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH25 Sample Images
Lumix DMC-FH25 Specifications

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH25 back view


Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH25 Major Features:

  • 16.1 megapixel CCD sensor
  • 28mm equivalent wide 8x optical zoom lens. Approximately 28mm-224mm field of view in 35mm terms
  • Incorporates Panasonic's optical image stabilizer technology to minimize the chance of blurred shots
  • Intelligent Zoom function digitally extends the zoom range by 1.3x for a total 10x zoom magnification (280mm equiv.)
  • One touch Easy Zoom button offers up to 18x zoom equivalent magnification (approx. 504mm focal length in 35mm terms at 3MP reduced file size) using center sensor crop
  • 2.7-inch LCD display with 230,000 pixel resolution
  • 11-area AF with Face Detection (can detect up to 15 faces in the scene)
  • Up to 4.4 frames per second fast shooting in Burst mode (up to 3MP file size)
  • Intelligent Auto (iAUTO) mode designed to recognize the type of scene and adjust settings accordingly
  • 27 convenient user selectable Scene modes for shooting stills
  • Panorama Assist Mode for stitching together multiple images with supplied software
  • Quick Menu button for fast access to change camera settings
  • Anti motion Blur mode to minimize effects of subject movement in low light
  • Built-in automatic flash and red-eye reduction feature
  • 720p MP4 movie mode: shoot 1280 x 720 high definition movies at 24 fps with sound
  • Auto ISO up to 1600 ISO
  • In-camera editing features including resize and cropping
  • Panasonic Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery and charger supplied

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH25 Overview:

Lumix DMC-FH25 top view


The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH25 features a 16.1 megapixel CCD image sensor providing lots of detail. With 16.1 megapixels, you can create photo-quality prints up to A3+ (13x19”) size, or crop your images and still come away with high resolution shots.

The 8x optical zoom provides a field of view from 28mm wideangle to 224mm at telephoto (in 35mm terms). The lens incorporates Panasonic's optical image stabilizer technology which assists handheld shooting in low light.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH25 at wide angle   Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH25 at telephoto

Using Intelligent Resolution technology, the Intelligent Zoom digitally extends the 8x optical zoom to 10x equivalent (280mm equiv.) with minimal compromise in picture quality. In addition, the Extra Optical Zoom function extends zoom power to 18x by using the center part of the CCD to make the subject appear even closer (approx. 504mm equiv. in 35mm terms with reduced file size up to max. 3MP).

Panasonic DMC-FH25 10x intelligent zoom setting

Taken with the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH25 set to 10x Intelligent Zoom

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH25 features a dedicated Easy zoom (E.ZOOM) button located on the top of the camera. With the camera set to REC mode, push the button once and the camera extends the zoom to the 8x tele position. Push the button again to activate the 18x extended zoom function. Press the button one more time to return to the wide angle zoom position.

In Intelligent Auto shooting mode, pushing the E.ZOOM button activates the 10x Intelligent Zoom feature, and pushing the button again extends the zoom coverage to 22.5x equivalent (max file size is 3MB). Pushing the button again returns the zoom to the wide angle position.

The On/Off switch, zoom lever control and shutter release button are also located on the top of the Lumix DMC-FH25, while the main operation buttons are found on the back of the camera as shown below.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH25 buttons and controls

The top located zoom control lever is easy to operate by simply toggling back and forth with your thumb. A sliding Record / Playback mode switch is located near the top on the back right side of the camera.

To play back an image or a movie you simply slide the switch to the green playback position, and then use the left and right positions on the 4-way push control pad to scroll through images.

In still shooting mode the 4-way push control pad surrounding the MENU / SET button provides control over navigating the camera's menus and direct access to adjusting the following settings:

Pushing on the top portion of the 4-way control pad activates the camera's exposure compensation function. Exposure can be adjusted from -2 to +2 EV in 1/3 steps before taking the picture.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH25 exposure compensation menu

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH25 auto exposure   Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH25 +1 exposure compensation
DMC-FH25 with Auto Exposure
 
DMC-FH25 with +1 EV Exposure Adjustment
Lumix FH25 in Auto exposure mode   Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH25 with -1 EV exposure adjustment
DMC-FH25 with Auto Exposure
 
DMC-FH25 with -1 EV Exposure Adjustment

Pushing on the right side of the 4-way control pad displays the Flash Mode menu which allows users to control settings for the built-in flash. The built-in flash is capable of providing illumination up to 5.8m in Intelligent Auto ISO mode. Available flash mode settings include; Auto, Auto / Redeye, Fill Flash, and Flash Off.

The bottom position on the control pad is used to select settings for close-up (macro) photography. The choices include; AF Macro, Macro Zoom (digital zoom close up), and Off. The Lumix DMC-FH25 can focus down to 5cm from the subject.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH25 in close-up mode

The left position on the 4-way control pad is used to activate the camera's self-timer settings. Options include; 10 sec delay, 2 sec delay and off.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH25 features a MODE button which is located to the right of the LCD screen. The MODE button is used to select the desired shooting or playback mode.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH25 Shooting Mode Menu   Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH25 Scene Mode Menu

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH25 Camera Menu Settings

When the sliding switch on the Lumix DMC-FH25 is set to REC mode, pushing the "MODE" button superimposes the camera's shooting menu on the LCD screen. The following options are available by scrolling through the menu;

Intelligent Auto: When you don't know which mode will give you the best shooting results, or when a sudden photo opportunity pops up and you don't have time to make any settings, simply choose the iA (Intelligent Auto) Mode and let the camera do it all for you. You just choose the IA Mode, aim at your subject, and shoot. 6 detection and correction functions are simultaneously activated to optimize camera settings.

Unlike traditional auto mode, Intelligent Auto (iAuto) mode thinks for you, recognizing scenes, lighting conditions, faces, and adjusts settings accordingly.

Normal Picture Mode: in 'Normal Picture' mode although the camera still determines the exposure automatically, users have control over other settings such as ISO, Exposure Compensation and White Balance.

My Scene Mode: Select and assign one of the camera's automatic Scene shooting modes for quick access to a frequently used Scene mode.

Scene Modes:The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH25 features 27 convenient user selectable Scene modes. Choose the desired Scene mode (as seen in the above LCD screen grab on the right) and the camera automatically adjusts settings to match the conditions.

In Soft Skin scene mode for example, the camera recognizes skin tones and reduces the appearance of blemishes and wrinkles without affecting the rest of the shot.

Movie Mode: the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH25 offers 720p HD movie recording at 24fps with sound. Once you select movie shooting mode simply press the shutter release button to start movie recording and again to stop. Movies can also be recorded at lower quality QVGA resolution which extends the movie recording time with some sacrifice in quality.

The Lumix DMC-FH25 does not offer zoom during movie recording. You can adjust the camera's zoom to the desired position before recording, although no further adjustment can be made once the recording starts.


With the Lumix DMC-FH25 set to 'Normal Picture' recording mode, pushing the MENU / SET button activates the camera's REC menu settings. (In Intelligent Auto or Scene mode the options found in the REC menu are more limited.)

Lumix DMC-FH25 REC mode menu   Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH25 REC mode menu 2

The REC settings menu provides for control over the following options:

Picture Size: Select the desired image recording size.

ISO Sensitivity: Select ISO settings from Auto i-ISO (default) or manually set 80 / 100 / 200 / 400 / 800 / 1600 ISO.

Panasonic Lumix FH25 Intelligent ISO Control Setting   Lumix DMC-FH25 ISO Range

White Balance (WB): The camera can automatically determine the WB (default) or users can manually set the WB from a number of WB presets.

WB options include: Auto (Intelligent) / Daylight / Cloudy / Shade, Incandescent, Custom, Set Custom. In a difficult lighting situation, the Custom setting allows users to take a WB reading based on the lighting source.

Focus Mode: Focus Mode settings include; Face Detection, AF Tracking, 11-area AF and 1-area AF.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH25 with Face Detection   Panasonic Lumix FH-25 AF Mode Menu

In Face Detect AF the camera will indicate the main subject detected by displaying a yellow bounding box around the primary face as seen above. (Closest subject priority)

i.Exposure: Select from On or Off. Dynamic range correction to balance the overall exposure between shadow and highlight detail.

i.Resolution: In-camera image processing to enhance sharpness and resolution of the image.

Burst Mode: select single frame or continuous shooting mode. The Lumix DMC-FH25 can capture up to 1.4 frames per second in full resolution mode. The camera can capture up to 4.4 frames per second at reduced 3MP resolution.

Color Mode: A variety of image processing parameters are available to choose from including; Standard, Natural, Vivid, B&W, Sepia, Cool and Warm.

AF Assist Lamp: Select from On or Off. Assists the camera in focusing under low light conditions at close range.

Redeye Removal: Select from On or Off. The camera corrects for Redeye often common to pictures taken with flash.

Stabilizer: Select from On or Off. The camera's image stabilizer feature can be disabled (recommended if using a tripod).

Date Stamp: the camera will add the date the image was taken to the image file.

Clock Set: adjust the settings and date for the camera's clock function.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH25 offers a Quick Menu button (located on the bottom right side on the back of the camera), which doubles as the delete button when the camera is set to playback mode. Pushing the Quick Menu button with the camera set to 'Normal Picture' record mode brings up the Quick Menu screen superimposed on the live view seen on the LCD monitor.

In the Quick Menu, main items from the REC mode menu can be easily accessed for faster adjustment. The settings available in the Quick Menu are; Image Stabilizer, Burst Shooting, AF Mode, WB settings, ISO, Image Size, and LCD screen display settings.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH@5 Quick Menu settings in Normal Picture shooting mode

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-F25 offers a number of playback functions. Playback is activated by sliding the dedicated switch to the playback position. Pushing the MODE button with the camera set to playback mode provides access to a range of playback options.

The features available in the camera's playback menu include;

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH25 playback modes   Lumix FH25 playback with shooting info

- Normal Play: Use the left and right positions on the 4-way control pad to scroll through images and movies.

- Slideshow: Choose to play back a slideshow of selected images with or without music (viewed on the LCD screen or by plugging the camera into an external TV)

- Filtering Play: Choose to only playback images from a specific category or from favorites

- Calendar Playback: Use to only playback images taken on a certain date

Add location data to images taken with the DMC-FH25

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH25 offers some in-camera editing features, including; resize image, trimming (crop), text stamp (add location data to an image), and images can also be sorted into a favorites category.

The Panasonic Lumix DM-FH25 does not offer an HDMI output for direct connection to an HD TV source. The camera does come supplied with a standard Audio / Video cable for connection to an external monitor or TV.

The camera uses Secure Digital (SD) or SDHC media memory cards. The camera does not come supplied with a memory card although features a small amount of built-in memory to take a few photos in a pinch.

The Lumix DMC-FH25 runs on a Panasonic NCA-YN101G Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery which provides up to approximately 250 shots per charge. The camera comes supplied with one battery and a charger. The charger is very compact and has a built-in plug for connection to the wall socket so there is no extra cable required to bring with the charger.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH25 in Violet


Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH25 Review: User Experience

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH25 is a compact camera that lends itself to family and travel photography. The camera is simple to operate and provides a feature set that is in-line with expectations for this type of camera.

Based on our tests with the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH25, the 8x optical zoom coupled with Panasonic's optical image stabilizer technology delivers decent sharpness and quality throughout the zoom range. The intelligent zoom feature, which magnifies the camera's optical zoom by 1.3x using digital processing, delivers good enough quality for smaller size prints and for online use such as emails or social networking sites.

The 11-point Auto focus system did a good job at maintaining focus for still image shooting, and the camera's Face Detection system was very responsive and quickly locked in on faces in the scene. In general the metering system performed well. Taking advantage of some of the camera's built-in selectable scene modes and exposure compensation allowed us to compensate and get the desired shot that might not have been as achievable by simply using Auto mode.

With respect to high ISO performance, we found that the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH25 did not perform as well as some competitors in the same price range. Image quality is good at the lower ISO settings with digital noise becoming more noticeable at 400 ISO and above. Image quality at 1600 ISO renders images that are suitable for web use and smaller size prints.

In order to fit 16 megapixels on a sensor that is the same size as the sensor found in the 14 megapixel DMC-FH20, the pixels on the DMC-FH25 sensor have to be smaller and packed closer together. As a result, the 'pixel pitch' (size of a pixel) on the DMC-FH25 is smaller compared to the pixel pitch on last years Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH20. Larger pixels offer enhanced light gathering ability.

'Pixel density' (or how closely together the pixels are located) is calculated by dividing the number of pixels on a sensor by the imaging area of the sensor. As such, the pixel density on the new Lumix DMC-FH25 is higher versus the pixel density in the FH20. There are disadvantages associated with higher pixel density sensors, including lower dynamic range and reduced high ISO performance.

The HD 720p video quality is average for this class of camera. There are other competitor models that provide an edge in terms of movie recording quality, such as the compact Sony DSC-W570.

We found the 2.7-inch LCD screen on the Lumix DMC-FH25 to be adequate. The camera's monitor is not as high resolution as on some competing models. The camera's high angle LCD mode was useful though when shooting at different angles.

The menu interface on the Lumix DMC-FH25 is quite intuitive and geared towards simple operation. Overall the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH25 is easy to handle and use.

Taking into account the compact dimensions of the camera at 99.2 x 56.5 x 27.8 mm (about the size of a deck of cards), the most impressive feature with the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH25 is its 8x optical zoom range, a feature that most camera's in this class can not match.

If you are looking for a user friendly, extended zoom range compact digital camera that can easily be brought with you in a pocket or purse, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH25 is a good option to consider. Check out our Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH25 sample test images below and decide for yourself.

To buy the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH25 we recommend the Lumix DMC-FH25 in Blue from Amazon Compare US street prices. See Canadian prices here.

Panasonic FH25 in red front view

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH25 Review Sample Image Gallery:




Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH25 Specifications
Sensor Type 2.33-inch / 16.6 Total Megapixels / Primary Color Filter
Effective Pixels 16.1 Megapixels
Optical Zoom 8x
Focal Length f=5 - 40 mm (28-224 mm in 35 mm equiv.)
Extra Optical Zoom (EZ) 10.1 x (4:3 / 10M), 14.4 x (4:3 / 5M), 18 x (4:3 / under 3M)
Lens Type LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR
9 elements in 7 groups
(3 aspherical lenses / 6 aspherical surfaces)
Image Stabilizer System Optical Image Stabilizer - MEGA O.I.S. (Off / On)
Focus Distance Normal: Wide 50 cm - infinity / Tele 200 cm - infinity
Macro / Intelligent AUTO / Motion Picture: Wide 5 cm - infinity / Tele 100 cm - infinity
AF Assist Lamp Yes
AF Modes Normal / Macro, Macro Zoom, Quick AF (Always On), AF Tracking
AF Type Face / AF Tracking / 11-area / 1-area
Shutter Speed Still: Approx. 8 - 1/1600 sec
Starry Sky Mode: 15, 30, 60 sec
Intelligent ISO Control IA Mode when shooting stills
Intelligent Scene Selector In IA Mode: Portrait, Scenery, Night Portrait, Night Scenery, Sunset, Macro
Red -Eye Reduction Digital Red Eye Correction (Redeye Removal) for stills
File Formats Still Image: JPEG (DCF / Exif2.3)
Motion Picture: QuickTime Motion JPEG
Mode Dial Settings Intelligent AUTO, Normal Picture, SCN, My SCN, Motion Picture
Scene Modes
(Still Image)
Portrait, Soft Skin, Transform, Self-Portrait, Scenery, Panorama Assist, Sports, Night Portrait, Night Scenery, Food, Party, Candle Light, Baby1, Baby2, Pet, Sunset, High Sensitivity, Hi-Speed Burst, Flash Burst, Starry Sky, Fireworks, Beach, Snow, Aerial Photo, Pin Hole, Film Grain, High Dynamic (Standard, Art, B&W), Photo Frame
Continuous Shooting High-speed Burst Mode: Approx. 4.4 frames/sec (Image priority)
(Recorded in 3M for 4:3, 2.5M for 3:2, 2M for 16:9)
Unlimited Consecutive Shooting 1.4 frames per second
Movie Modes 16:9
HD Movie 1280 x 720 pixels, 24 fps (Motion JPEG)

4:3
VGA: 640 x 480 pixels, 30 fps (Motion JPEG)
QVGA: 320 x 240 pixels, 30 fps (Motion JPEG)
Exposure Program AE
Exposure Compensation 1/3 EV step, +/-2 EV
Back-Light Compensation Yes (Only in Intelligent AUTO Mode)
ISO Sensitivity I.ISO / 100 / 200 / 400 / 800 / 1600
High Sensitivity (ISO 1600-6400)
Recording Aspect Ratio 4:3 / 3:2 / 16:9
Image Size 4:3
4,608 x 3,456 (16M) / 3,648 x 2,736 (10M EZ) / 2,560 x 1,920 (5M EZ) / 2,048 X 1,536 (3M EZ) / 640 X 480 (0.3M EZ)

3:2
4,608 x 3,072 (14M)

16:9
4,608 x 2,592 (12M)
White Balance Auto / Daylight / Cloudy / Shade / Incandescent / White Set (Selectable at Portrait, Soft Skin, Transform, Self-portrait, Panorama Assist, Sports, Baby, Pet, High Sensitivity, High-speed Burst, Pin Hole, Photo Frame, High Dynamic)
Quick Menu Yes
Image Parameters Standard, Vivid, Natural, Black & White, Sepia, Cool, Warm, Happy (Only in IA Mode)
LCD Monitor 2.7-inch TFT Screen LCD Display (230 K dots)
Field of View: Approx. 100%
AUTO Power LCD Mode, Power LCD Mode, High Angle Mode
Composition Guide Line Yes (1 pattern)
Self Timer 2 sec / 10 sec
Playback Mode Display Normal Playback, Slideshow, Filtering Playback (Category Playback), Calendar Playback
In Camera Cropping and Resize Yes
Menu Languages English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Russian, Chinese (Traditional), Chinese (Simplified), Dutch, Thai, Korean, Turkish, Portuguese, Arabic, Persian, Japanese, Swedish, Danish, Finnish, Greek
Built-in Flash Auto, Auto / Redeye Reduction, Slow Sync. / Redeye Reduction, Forced On, Forced Off

Range:
0.6 - 5.8 m (Wide / I.ISO), 1.0 - 3.2 m (Tele / I.ISO)
Recording Media Built-in Memory, SD Memory Card, SDHC Memory Card, SDXC Memory Card
Microphone / Speaker Mono
Interface AV Output, USB2.0 High-speed
Battery power Li-ion Battery Pack (3.6 V, Minimum: 660 mAh) (Included)
Battery Life 250 pictures (CIPA Standard)
Dimensions 99.2 x 56.5 x 27.8 mm
(3.9 x 2.2 x 1.1 inch)
Weight Approx. 152 g with Battery and SD Memory Card (0.33 lb)

Approx. 135 g without Battery and SD Memory Card (0.30 LB)
Included Software PHOTOfunSTUDIO 6.0
QuickTime
Adobe Reader
Included Accessories Battery Charger, Battery Pack, AV Cable, USB Cable, Hand Strap, CD-ROM
 
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