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Panasonic launches Lumix DMC-XS3 slimline zoom compact

By dpreview staff on Jul 18, 2013 at 13:49 GMT

Panasonic has announced the Lumix DMC-XS3, a budget zoom compact camera that's just 14mm thick. It sports an optically-stabilised wideangle 5x zoom lens (24-120mm equivalent), a 14.1MP 1/2.3" High Sensitivity MOS sensor, and can record Full HD video in MP4 format. It includes a range of Creative Filters which can be applied either during or after shooting, and can also be used when shooting panoramas. The XS3 appears to be a Europe-only release, and will be available in September at a price of £119.

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Press Release:

Panasonic’s DMC-XS3 – An Ultra-Slim Camera with Stunning Image Quality and Superb Performance

Panasonic’s new DMC-XS3 offers users the ultimate in compact style and substance, combining superb camera performance with stunning design. Carefully designed from every angle, the XS3 is a small enough to slip inside a pocket, yet packed with technology to ensure those spontaneous moments are captured beautifully.  With 14.1 megapixels and at just 14mm thick, the XS3 is the perfect accessory for anyone taking regular pictures on the go.

Akin to a traditional analog camera design yet with an added futuristic appeal, the XS3 looks stylish and edgy. Yet the appeal of the XS3 goes more than skin deep with a technical specification to be proud of.

Superb Performance

The XS3 incorporates a 14.1-megapixel High Sensitivity MOS sensor for clear, crisp images even in low- light situations. Perfect for using at parties, at nighttime or for pre-dawn walks in the park for example, the XS3 ensures low-light situations are catered for. The advanced image processor Venus Engine further enhances images with advanced noise reduction. Together, these technologies realize high speed consecutive shooting and full-HD video recording.  The XS3 also enjoys a quick start-up and Light Speed AF to catch the most fleeting shooting opportunities.

Comprising of 6 elements in 5 groups with 3 aspherical lenses with 5 aspherical surfaces in its unit, the F2.8 fast 24mm wide-angle LUMIX DC VARIO lens in the DMC-XS3 features a 5x optical zoom (35mm camera equivalent: 24-120mm) despite its stunningly slim, compact body profile.  The 24mm ultra wide angle lens gives photographers a wider range of composition possibilities with approx. 213% larger viewing space compared to that of 35mm camera. It captures more subjects in a limited focusing distance and is good for shooting group portraits, indoor objects or dynamic landscapes. For distant subjects, the Intelligent Zoom can be used for the extended magnification to 10x by combining the digital zoom with minimum deterioration of image quality.

Creativity Catered For

Aspiring photographers can take advantage of a wide array of creative and artistic features. With the Creative Panorama function, it is possible to shoot a horizontal / vertical panoramic image with consequent shots taken by overlaying the previous picture and to put on a filter effect of Retro, Expressive, High Key, Low Key, Sepia, Dynamic Monochrome, Impressive Art, High Dynamic, Old Days, Cross Process and One Point Colour.

The Creative Control and Creative Retouch features a total of 13 filter effects – Retro, Expressive, High Key, Low Key, Sepia, Dynamic Monochrome, Impressive Art, High Dynamic, Cross Process, Toy Effect, Miniature Effect, Old Days and One Point Colour. The Creative Control lets users shoot with a filter effect while checking how it affects the picture. The Creative Retouch allows users to apply a filter effect on the picture even after shooting in camera – perfect for transforming a shot post-shooting.

Full HD Please

Fully versatile, the DMC-XS3 provides 1920 x 1080 full HD video recording in MP4* format for effortless playback on a computer or other portable electronic devices without having to convert the files.  Inherently user friendly, a dedicated button enables users to instantly start recording videos while shooting photos without having to make any extra settings, making it extremely convenient to switch between photo and video shooting instantly. The popular iA (Intelligent Auto) can also be used in video recording and users can enjoy max. 4x zooming in video recording**.

Beautiful Images Thanks to iA and MEGA O.I.S

The Intelligent Auto (iA) mode can be set with one-touch for the reduction of misshots. With iA it is easy to take great photos anywhere, at any time. The MEGA O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) is integrated in the iA mode for to suppress hand-shake. Apart from the digital image correction, MEGA O.I.S. corrects a jolt of light axis by shifting the O.I.S. lens unit to offset it, resulting in clear, sharp images, without any digital affect or deterioration on the image. In addition, Intelligent ISO Control, Intelligent Scene Selector, Intelligent Exposure and Face Detection automatically work for users to get the best result. With a host of cutting-edge technologies, and a beautifully designed form, the XS3 offers the perfect combination of style and performance. The DMC-XS3 will be available from September in a choice of two colours.

*Sensor output is 30p (NTSC) / 25p (PAL).

  • Use a card with SD Speed Class with "Class 4" or higher when recording videos. SD Speed Class is the speed standard regarding continuous writing.
  • Maximum time to record motion pictures continuously with [MP4(FHD)] is 20 minutes.
  • Maximum time to record motion pictures continuously with [MP4(HD/VGA)] is 29 minutes 59 seconds

**Digital zoom

Additional images

Comments

Total comments: 37
p5freak
By p5freak (9 months ago)

A microscopic sensor and f6.9 ? Really ? That is already diffraction limited wide open.
I wouldnt even use such a lens on my DSLR because its to slow.

0 upvotes
SWSF14
By SWSF14 (9 months ago)

Nice styling, especially the black model. Looks like a great shape for pockets too. If $150 this would make an outstanding gift or travel camera.

0 upvotes
pbailey4
By pbailey4 (9 months ago)

My Lumix DMC FX35 with is 25mm (equiv) lens is a star performer its with me all the time and this looks like the replacement and upgrade. and using a phone instead? my FX35 with its tiny sensor produces A3 size prints to equal my Nikon FX D700

1 upvote
guamy
By guamy (9 months ago)

Camera only? No phone capabilty? Never mind i'll stick to my iphone 4s that i carry everywhere i go and take pictures discreetly.

0 upvotes
yonsarh
By yonsarh (9 months ago)

this camera would be perfect for travel photography

0 upvotes
owenleve
By owenleve (9 months ago)

Pretty funny that a camera that was a total fairy tale a few years ago gets totally bashed for not being able to make phone calls. Stop and think about this camera for second. Reflect on your first digital/pocket camera. Mine was the first generation canon elph..... Frankly, I'm amazed with the specs on this and other small cameras.

I am a Nikon dslr shooter as a pro. Owen a sony rx100 and have an iphone. But this camera is interesting due to it's size. You don't ALWAYS have to have 'the best' camera with you. Can't we just enjoy fun personal photos? This camera looks good to me.

2 upvotes
Geekapoo
By Geekapoo (9 months ago)

Makes my happy I paid the extra bucks ($600) and bought a Sony RX100. Fits in my pocket and takes amazing pictures (IMHO, best compact camera available). If I only have one chance in a lifetime at an amazing pic, I want the best camera money can buy...the panny is cute but a toy, a quite capable toy but why compromise?

0 upvotes
Alexis D
By Alexis D (9 months ago)

This is really slim but there is no way this can beat a mobile phone in size because the phone has to be carried by anyone (no extra weight), and any P&S however small means an extra thing to carry, fiddle and lose. Its raison d'etre must be superior image quality, but I doubt it is that much better than high end smartphones. Any tiny phone is necessarily going to have limited IQ advantage over a good phone. Most people will just save their money to put into a better phone.

Nokia got the right idea and get a phone with serious image quality, getting the best camera in a phone. Too bad it keeps using the wrong OS. Let's hope it makes a phone with an OS that people want to buy before it disappears.

0 upvotes
ybizzle
By ybizzle (9 months ago)

I will stick to my Nokia 808 and make calls on it as well. Now there's a great combo!

0 upvotes
SergioMO
By SergioMO (9 months ago)

Great job Panasonic ! I allways carry one like that on my pocket (Sony DSC-TX66). I prefer not to pay hundred of "reais" for a cameraphone ! I´ll change

0 upvotes
ludwik123
By ludwik123 (9 months ago)

Stick this ultra thin 5X lens on the back of a smartphone and you have a winner.

3 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (9 months ago)

Didn't they had DMC-XS1 announced just 6 months ago, with the same lens and 16 mpix sensor?
Just when the market for short-zoom small-sensor point-and-shoots disappears, Panasonic doubles down and creates a whole new line. And you wonder why Pana camera division loses money. What's wrong with them?

4 upvotes
Artistico
By Artistico (9 months ago)

Now, if only it could also be used as a phone...

4 upvotes
Gesture
By Gesture (9 months ago)

I wish images were defined at 100 percent view. Otherwise, Panasonic make excellent point and shoots. Agile, quick on and first exposure, good white balance and tonality, the iAuto mode works well, and so does spot or pinpoint focus. Would like to see this one in US. From a FX55 user.

0 upvotes
radissimo
By radissimo (9 months ago)

perhaps this is way to go with P&S : bring something unique to the table, in this case: size, why not? almost as slim as your mobile, with zoom and better control...

1 upvote
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (9 months ago)

I bet most camera phones are better than this camera.

1 upvote
rpm40
By rpm40 (9 months ago)

Well, it's got a larger sensor, actual zoom, more controls, accepts sd cards... so it's probably better than my iphone.

12 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (9 months ago)

You would be surprised.

0 upvotes
Rob Sims
By Rob Sims (9 months ago)

Perhaps some of the top end smart phones (GS4, HTC1, iPhone5...etC) have similar performing sensors (despite being smaller) but even then I don't see any that have a 24mm wide lens (and 5x zoom)... and it seems a bit strange comparing a $500 smartphone with a $150 camera, and still coming up short.

0 upvotes
audijam
By audijam (9 months ago)

this is definitely a good camear you could leave in your car for unexpected events...

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (9 months ago)

Don't you have your phone on you for that?

0 upvotes
FRANCISCO ARAGAO
By FRANCISCO ARAGAO (9 months ago)

hes talking about real photos no cell phone photos

5 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (9 months ago)

F6.9 is the new 16 Megapixels. It sounds great on paper but actually hurts the image quality more than anything else when you combine it with a really small sensor.

If they sold this camera for $2 I wouldn't even give it a second look.

2 upvotes
areichow
By areichow (9 months ago)

Who in their right minds think that f/6.9 sounds like a great idea?

1 upvote
rpm40
By rpm40 (9 months ago)

$2? Come on now. Low end consumer compacts aren't your cup of tea. We get it.

2 upvotes
Dazed and Confused
By Dazed and Confused (9 months ago)

Why does f/6.9 sound good on paper? Because it's a bigger number than f/2.8?

Do you really think that consumers are that stupid?

"I bought the car that's 0-60 in 12s, as it's a bigger number than 5s, so it must be faster!" said nobody ever.

0 upvotes
0MitchAG
By 0MitchAG (9 months ago)

You clearly don't work in retail, do you?

1 upvote
Neodp
By Neodp (8 months ago)

Of course the trick is, f/1.8 is the bigger number, than f/6.9. That's because it's (Fraction) shorthand. 1/1.8 is greater than 1/6.9.

So, it's math really, people don't get it. People also, just don't add. If they did, then they wouldn't pay monthly payments; that look better. They also wouldn’t use credit cards. Because sooner, or later, there are fee's, and/or you're in debt. If people would actually, practice simple adding(over time), then they would not spend more than they make. Not to mention; knowing discretionary purchases, from non-discretionary ones. By the time the average person learns the hard way, undeserved folks have taken advantage of there lack of wisdom.

Nothing justifies crazy camera prices. It's the lack of total benefits, in your chosen camera package, that's way overpriced. This dictates, that reasonably priced cameras are handicapped. It's your wallet. You determine the affordable, total, and balanced benefits; by your collective camera purchases.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 11 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Neodp
By Neodp (8 months ago)

...and why can't sales be down; due to lack of a reasonable, combined benefits, selection; that has nothing to do, with crappy cell phone cameras? I'm still waiting. Aren’t you?

1 upvote
joe1512
By joe1512 (9 months ago)

Um, what is so new and different about this thing? Not a bigger sensor obviously. Unsure if its even backlit, which is fairly standard. HD video isn't anything new. Neither is image stabiliziation, and its only 5x zoom? WTF?

Lots of little cameras have like 12x zoom or more with their small 1/2.3 inch sensors. 5x zoom is more for enthusiast cameras with larger sensors.

2.8 aperature isnt anything special. This looks like junk.

0 upvotes
cgarrard
By cgarrard (9 months ago)

It's slim and has a wonderful zoom range, and it's very much affordable. It obviously doesn't appeal to you so you aren't it's intended market. Neither am I, btw. But I can see that it might appeal to style and space concious folks wanting a good wide angle pocket camera- females especially in this case.

I do think that camera companies ought to start raising the bar higher though on designs if they want to show consumers that cameras like this are worth carrying in addition to a cell phone. Better sooner than later, but have some patience.

8 upvotes
JEROME NOLAS
By JEROME NOLAS (9 months ago)

I am sure this is a fine camera but why screaming about STUNNING IQ?

0 upvotes
rpm40
By rpm40 (9 months ago)

...because it's a press release. Never expect anything but praise. What should they say to help sell their product, "an ultra-slim compact camera which required compromises in lens design leading to soft corners"? Read reviews for balanced opinions, not press releases.

2 upvotes
JEROME NOLAS
By JEROME NOLAS (9 months ago)

So much for stunning IQ....
http://www.ephotozine.com/article/panasonic-lumix-dmc-xs1-review-22262

0 upvotes
oluv
By oluv (9 months ago)

but the lens is quite sharp... in the center!

1 upvote
edu T
By edu T (9 months ago)

This corner mushiness is typical of zoom lenses that by way of design/cost compromises are plagued by barbarian WA distortions which rely on further firmware-based correction to achieve a minimally presentable photo. (Stretching corners dilutes information.)
You can see that the steeple photo @120mm-equiv doesn't show the same softness issue.

1 upvote
ngc894
By ngc894 (7 months ago)

I never use my phone as a camera, but then again I don't have to justify having spent 600 euros on a phone... which seems to be the case very often

Comment edited 57 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Total comments: 37