Panasonic Lumix DMC FX700 Full Review - Cameras For Photographers
Specifications 2:

Type:
ultra compact

Weight (inc. Battery) [?]:
176g

Wide Angle [?]:
24mm

Max. Focal Length [?]:
120mm

Zoom Range [?]:
x5

Sensor Size:
Unknown

Low Light Support [?]:
well lit rooms

Image Stabilization [?]:
Optical

Raw Format Support [?]:
none

Manual Exposure [?]:
yes

Video Resolution [?]:
1080p

Optical Zoom In Video [?]:
yes

Stereo Sound [?]:
stereo

Battery Life [?]:
300 shots

Flip Lcd [?]:
none

Touch Screen [?]:
touch

Viewfinder [?]:
none

Freeze / Water / Shock - Proof [?]:
no

Dimensions (w-h-d) [?]:
0 x 0 x 0 mm

Macro Distance [?]:
0 cm

Built-in Wireless [?]:
none

Built-in GPS [?]:
none

Direct Video Button [?]:
none

Panorama [?]:
none

Rank: [?]
48.6

Initial Price:
$199 (change: $0, 0%)

Last Lowest Price:
$199





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Panasonic Lumix DMC FX700 - Full Review

Last Lowest Price: $199
B&H | Amazon | Adorama
It's Panasonic's new touch-screen high-end ultra-compact camera - proving that good thinks do come in small packages!
fx700
Panasonic Lumix DMC FX700 (photo: Panasonic)

The FX700 inhabits a new niche, occupied by only a few other cameras. It's an ultra compact which stands out in terms of features and support for low light conditions. It has an extra wide 24mm lens (that's as wide as lenses go on point and shoots), a x5 zoom range, the highest 1080 video resolution, a large 3 inch touch-screen lcd display and a high speed shooting mode of 10 frames per second.

That's an honorable list as it is, but there is a very important addition to it, mostly unattended by potential consumers. The FX700 has a widest aperture setting of f/2.2. That means that when zoomed out, its lens can gather almost twice as much light as lenses of most other cameras, and even more than that when compared to the rest of them. However, Panasonic didn't go all the way in terms of image quality and low light support, as it gave this camera the highest pixel count and the smallest imaging sensor that are customary in the compact camera market today.

Strengths:
As just mentioned, a major strength of this camera is its wide maximum aperture setting. Designed to gather much more light, it allows shooting at either lower shutter speeds or lower sensitivities when the sun goes down or when indoors. The resulting images are either less blurry or less noisy, comparably.

Perhaps the most striking effect on user experience is its 3 inch, touch-screen lcd. That means, of course, that it has few buttons or controls, and all its handling is done by the on screen menus and displays. If it isn't clear to you whether this type of controls suits your photographic style, then I strongly advise you to try it out before you buy it. You may love it, but you might also not like it at all.

Panasonic broke their standard of 25mm wide angle lens and went a little further, setting the lens widest focal length at 24mm. That's the widest compact camera focal length available today. They went on with including other highest available features.

One is the Full HD high resolution video and the second is a high frame rate of 10 frames per second at maximum resolution. When shooting that fast, the focusing system is engaged only once, when the burst initiates. On top of that, a lower (but still high) 5 frames per second rate incorporates continuous focusing as well.

The FX700 has an elaborate support mechanism for fully automatic operation. This means you can literally point and shoot and it will take care of everything. By using scene recognition, face and movement detection, it will set exposure, focusing, sensitivity and frame rate. However, if you prefer partial or full control over focusing and exposure, you can take over. Exposure can be set in Aperture priority, Shutter priority of Full Manual modes, and manual focusing can be done by pointing at the desired focus point on the touch screen display.

Weaknesses:
The FX700 offers a rather short x5 zoom range. Although quite enough for many, it stands shy in light of double-digit zooms that other cameras have.

Like most other cameras, the FX700 has a high pixel count and a small imaging sensor, resulting in a very small pixel size. Compact cameras usually handle low light situation pretty miserably. Some high-end cameras have a wider maximum aperture setting that allows more light through the lens, a larger imaging sensor and a lower pixel count, such that each pixel is larger and is therefore hit by more light.

This camera is half baked that way, incorporating a wide f/2.2 aperture and also adding some other techniques to enhance image quality during evening or indoors. Still, this is not a true high-end low-light camera (no ultra compact is).

The Competition
The are only few other cameras which resemble the FX700 in more than one way. In terms of semi high-end quality in an ultra compact body, amongst its competitors are Canon's SD4000 (compare ), and Sony's WX5 (compare ). If you're looking for a true high-end compact camera (you'll have to pay more, and it won't be an ultra compact), take a look at Canon's S95 (compare ) and Panasonic's LX5 (compare ).

Who is it not for?
If you don't like touch-screen controls, steer away from this one.
If your budget is limited and you need a simple, inexpensive camera, this isn't it.
If you are looking for a camera with a large zoom, this one isn't for you.

Who is it for?
If you like touch-screen controlled cameras, this is one the best available options to consider.
If you are looking for a high quality, ultra small camera with much better than average low light support, this one should be high on your list.
If you want a highly sophisticated fully automatic or fully manual camera, this may be the one.

Last Lowest Price: $199
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Total Rank:
48.6


 
Panasonic Lumix DMC FX700 Eyal Gurevitch June 26, 2012 $199 48.6 100

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