The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH20 (also known as the DMC-FS30) has a couple of advantages over other under-$200 pocket digital cameras, reviews say: it comes with an 8x zoom lens, and experts say its 14.1-megapixel sensor produces reliably good photos in bright light. Like the Canon PowerShot SD1400 IS (Discontinued), the Lumix DMC-FH20 shoots 720p HD video (neither camera allows you to use the optical zoom while shooting movies) and has a myriad of modes you can select for various shooting situations (Starry Sky, Fireworks, etc.), or you can let the camera analyze the scene and automatically pick the right settings. At just over an inch thick and 5.6 ounces, the Lumix DMC-FH20 is slightly larger and heavier than the PowerShot SD1400 IS, but reviewers don't have a problem with its size.
The Canon PowerShot SD1400 IS offers only a 4x zoom lens, but its photo quality fares better overall in reviews than the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH20. While some professional testers declare the Panasonic a winner in dim light -- Brenda Paro said its Auto mode even manages to take excellent photos in "a closet about as dim as a bar or a room after sunset without any lamps turned on" -- Imaging-Resource.com testers say the Lumix DMC-FH20's low-light photos look best printed at smaller sizes, and they describe its flash photos as "mushy," "dim" or "blotchy." Testers there also say the Lumix DMC-FH20's autofocus takes a while in single-shot mode. More than one tester wishes the Panasonic had included an HDMI port to allow the user to hook up the camera to a TV to watch videos in HD, as the Canon PowerShot SD1400 IS does.
PhotographyBlog.com publishes a very thorough, expert review of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH20. Tester Gavin Stoker bases his opinions on data and points out better-performing cameras. Tests at PC World, About.com and PCMag.com aren't as detailed, but they still give valuable alternative opinions about the Lumix DMC-FH20. Amazon.com posts both positive and negative reviews.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH20 (aka FS30) shoots "reliably consistent images" and includes a versatile 8x zoom lens, making it a good choice for a pocket-sized travel camera. Gavin Stoker's two main complaints are that the camera won't let you use the zoom while recording video, and it has no HDMI jack for hooking up to a TV.
Review: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS30 Review, Gavin Stoker, Aug. 6, 2010
Brenda Paro has high praise for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH20. It's easy to use, works well in most lighting conditions and captures kids and pets in motion. It also features a speedy shutter, making it a good choice for just about anyone looking for a good, inexpensive pocket camera.
Review: Panasonic Lumix FH20, Brenda Paro, Feb. 26, 2010
Unlike other testers, Imaging-Resource.com's reviewers have problems with the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH20 in tricky light, and they find its speed in autofocus mode "a bit slow." It's not a top pick here.
Review: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH20, David Elrich and Stephanie Boozer, June 22, 2010
ConsumerReports.org tests 71 point-and-shoot cameras, including the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH20, and ranks them from best to worst. Editors rate each camera's image quality, low-light photos, flash photos, video quality, response time, image stabilization and more, but there's almost no discussion apart from the ratings.
Review: Point and Shoot Digital Camera Ratings and Reliability, Editors of ConsumerReports.org
Each color of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH20 gets a separate page -- and separate reviews -- at Amazon.com. The black version has the most reviews (over 120), with an average rating of 4 stars (out of 5).
Review: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH20 14.1 MP Digital Camera with 8x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 2.7-Inch LCD (Black), Contributors to Amazon.com