Panasonic Lumix DMC-XS1 Ultra-Thin Primary Camera Review

8/28/2013 9:32:02 AM

Panasonic Lumix DMC-XS1 was introduced in January 2013 and is an ultra-thin primary camera. It features a 16.1 megapixel sensor, 5x optical zoom and available white, black, purple and red versions for $129.78.


Panasonic Lumix DMC-XS1 features a 16.1 megapixel CCD sensor and 5x optical zoom lens, which is a 35mm equivalent 24-120mm. It is likely to be expanded up to 8x when using Intelligent Zoom. To help keep photos as sharp as possible, we use the Mega OIS ((Optical Image Stabilization).

Panasonic Lumix DMC-XS1

Panasonic Lumix DMC-XS1

The XS1 with Intelligent Auto mode makes images taken as many as possible as well as Intelligent ISO Control, Intelligent Exposure and Intelligent Scene Selector and Face Detection. There are eleven filters which are able to be applied in Creative Panorama mode as well as thirteen filters in the Creative Control mode. The filters are also able to be applied in playback using the Creative Retouch option.

Video are recorded in 720p HD.

The product Image placed horizontally

The product Image placed horizontally

Main Features

·         16.1 megapixel CCD sensor

·         5x optical zoom lens (35mm equivalent: 24-120mm)

·         Mega OIS (Optical Image Stabilization)

·         2.7-inch 230k dot LCD display

·         Thin 17.6mm body

·         720p HD video recording

·         ISO 100-6,400

·         5cm minimum focusing distance

·         Creative panorama mode

·         Creative control mode

·         Continuous shooting at 1.0 fps full resolution

·         There are versions available in white, black, purple and red

The product screen

The product screen


The Panasonic Lumix DMC-XS1 is really a very small camera and looks stylish; therefore it is pretty ideal to put it in your pocket or handbag when going out with friends. It owns a metal body and employs a Micro SD card used to keep the size down.

The buttons are also small, so they may not be ideal for those with larger fingers, we found that the on / off button particularly hard to press. It is located next to the shutter button. Buttons on the back side include mode, video recording, playback and delete as well as a zoom buttons and D-pad. This allows accessing to exposure compensation, flash and self-timer, and also is used to navigate the menu.

The menu is easy to navigate, with a line at the bottom of the screen to make clear what the options marked do. The screen is small as you'd expect for such a small camera with only a 230k dot resolution, but is quite clear to see in all light.

Battery life is rated at 260 images according to CIPA benchmark results; these results are particularly good for a tiny camera. We selected some of the photos to test the responsiveness of the camera, from switching on the first photo, shot, focusing speed etc. We have some photos and then use the average to make sure that the tests are accurate and consistent, making it easy to compare with other cameras.

·         Shutter Response: 0.2 secs

·         Wide - Focus / Shutter Response: 0.4 secs

·         Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response: 0.5

·         Switch on Time to Taking a Photo: 3.1

·         Shot to Shot without Flash: 2.5

·         Shot to Shot with Flash: 2.7 secs

·         Burst: 0.8 fps

·         Hi-speed Burst: 10 fps

·         Flash Burst: 0.8 fps

The camera is slightly slow at booting up, but focus speed is good. The process of recording burst shooting at full resolution, but Hi-speed burst and Flash Burst are restricted to 3 megapixels.

The camera battery

The camera battery


The additional sample images and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, you may add your own reviews, images and product reviews.

Sample shots

Sample shots

Sample shots

Images have decent color reproduction and exposure. Portraits have decent skin colors, but red-eye is a common problem we often encounter.

Lens quality

The test images

The test images

Image detail is not the most powerful characteristic of the XS1 but as most users are going to resize their images to share on the website, this will not really be a problem, just do not expect quality large prints. There are some purple fringes in the contrasting areas, but this is kept under control. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of 5cm which allows you to capture macro photos highly well.

ISO image noise level

ISO test photos

ISO test photos

Noise is low at ISO 100 and 200, with images becoming a little bit soft at ISO 400. Images become softer until at ISO 800, and even lighter at ISO 1,600, but there is not much detail that is lost.

White balance performance

White balance test images

White balance test images

The automatic white balance (AWB) does a decent job under both settings of incandescent and fluorescent lights. There is a incandescent setup available, which yiels you a slight color layout under the incandescent light, the fluorescent light is not available, so you have to depend on the AWB here.

Panorama mode

You are able to capture panoramic images using filters, which is quite a unique feature. They are linked together, but detail is not very good, although still good for sharing on the web.

Panoramic images

Panoramic images

Digital filters

Digital filters

Digital filters

The XS1 has the color modes to opt for when using normal image mode. Yet, if you are in Creative Control mode, there are a variety of filters to select from, with the examples above.


The Panasonic Lumix DMC-XS1 is available for $129.78. The other primary cameras include Fujifilm FinePix AX650 at $74.99, Nikon Coolpix L27 at $74.99, Olympus VG-180 at $97.49, Canon PowerShot A1300 at $83.7, and Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS50 at $110.13.

You will also need to buy a memory card and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - just based on our complete guide to buy camera bags.


The Panasonic Lumix DMC-XS1 is an ultra-compact camera that is going to appeal to the young generation. Well, picture quality is not the best, but to share on the web, you are unable to complain anything at all. It owns a metal body, available in a variety of colors and battery life is pretty impressive. There are plenty of cheaper primary cameras on the market, but you will have to manage to find a smaller, more stylish one.


·         The body made ​​out of metal is compact.

·         Battery life is respectable.

·         The level of image noise is fairly fine at higher ISO settings.

·         Available in different color versions

·         Plenty of effects and panorama effects


·         The image quality is not very high.

·         Some of the buttons are too small.

·         There is no optical zoom while shooting videos

Panasonic Lumix DMC-XS1 Specifications


·         Max Aperture: f/2.8 - f/6.9

·         35mm equivalent: 24mm - 120mm

·         Optical Zoom: 5x

Image Sensor

·         CCD pixels: 16.1Mp (Megapixels)

·         Pixels (W): 4,608

·         Pixels (H): 3,456

·         Sensor Type: CCD

·         Sensor Size: 1/2.33

·         Sensor Size (width): 6.16mm

·         Sensor Size (height): 4.6mm

·         Aspect Ratio: 4:3; 3:2; 16:9; 1:1

LCD Monitor

·         LCD Monitor: 2.7in

·         Screen resolution: 230k

·         Touch Screen: No


·         Min Focus: 5cm

·         Focusing modes: Autofocus; Spot; Face Detection; Multi; Centre

Exposure Control

·         Shutter speeds shortest: 1/1,600sec

·         Shutter speeds longest: 60sec

·         Exp modes: Program; Scene modes

·         Metering: Multi Pattern

·         ISO sensitivity: 100 – 1,600

·         White balance: Auto; Manual; Outdoors/Daylight; Cloudy; Incandescent; Shade

·         Exposure Comp: +/-2

Shooting Options

·         Continuous shooting: 1fps


·         Movie mode: Yes

·         Video Resolution: 1,280x720 720p

·         Video FPS: 30fps

·         Stereo Sound: No

·         Optical Zoom with Video: No

Other Features

·         Image Stabilization: Yes


·         HDMI: No

·         USB: USB 2

·         Wi-Fi: No


·         Card Type: Micro SD; Micro SDHC

·         File Type: JPG

Power Source

·         Battery Type: Lithium-Ion

·         CIPA Rating: 260

Box Contents

·         Box Contents: No Data


·         Weight: 88g

·         Width: 93.8mm

·         Height: 53.5mm

·         Depth: 17.6mm


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