Snap Happy: Panasonic Lumix XS1

Jourdana ON May 05, 2013 AT 5:55 am

As technology becomes more intelligently integrated than ever before, I find myself increasingly craving a return to simpler single-function products. It’s a strange feeling considering, as a beauty editor, I want my products to be as multi-purpose and multi-tasking as possible, creams that hydrate, protect and slow down the ageing process all whilst covering imperfections and with a hint of slow-building faux tan (not much to ask!). And yet when it comes to my daily activities; making calls, taking photographs, filming, reading and writing features, I like to do each task on a specially-created piece of equipment. An e-book for reading. A laptop (or if i’m feeling particularly old-school a notepad!!) for writing. And a camera for picture-taking.

Smaller than the iPhone5!

Which is what led me to getting my hands on the new Panasonic Lumix XS1.

I’d like to say that it was the amazing automatically-adjusting camera sensors (that adapt to suit your surrounds) that attracted me to the Lumix, or even the powerful 5 x optical zoom lens with ultra-wide angle. But actually, and initially, it was the size. All 14 mm and 103 grams of it. Because (as a female) there’s something intrinsically covetable about a bite-size product. If there’s a mini-version I’ll want it. No matter what it is. I just will. Especially when it comes to technology because small suggests ease. There can’t possibly be anything too fiddly, high-tech, intimidating or hard-to-use about a camera this small.

And surprisingly enough, there isn’t.

The Panasonic Lumix XS1 is intuitive. I barely glanced at the instruction manual. And yet I just knew what to do. There were no accidentally deleted pics or badly lit images.

The functionality of being able to just slip it back into my pocket (as I would do my mobile phone) meant that I became far more snap-happy than I would ordinarily be with my phone’s camera, whilst there was no need to worry about drained batteries or cumbersome carry-ons such as the lenses, covers and cases that accompany my SLR.

But what really sealed the deal for me with the new Lumix XS1 are the inbuilt filters because whilst I hate that you have to share them with the world, I love the immediacy of freshly-filtered Instagram pictures. And although I realise that there are hundreds of filter-tastic apps available to convert any quick-snap phone-pics, the whole process just feels that little too lengthy for my liking.

But the 13 ‘retro’ ‘pop’ and ‘miniature’ filters that immediately improve and add ambiance to photos are a joy to have as an option.

There’s also a 180 degree panoramic mode, which I never thought I’d need or use, but have grown to love (and become a little obsessed with using, even in the most inappropriate of settings).

IMG_1761

All in all, the Panasonic Lumix XS1 is small but perfectly formed. And that’s it’s unique selling point. Slip into into your pocket, snap away (hidden from the prying eyes of all things social media) and get back to photography at it’s best.

Panasonic Lumix XS1, £120, available in red, purple, white, black and silver. Available online at Shop.panasonic.co.uk

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