Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX500 Review

July 7, 2008 | Mark Goldstein | PhotographyBLOG | 10 Comments |

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX520The Panasonic DMC-FX500 is a new 10 megapixel compact camera with an official price of £330 / $399. Sure, you can find it cheaper if you shop around online, but why such a lot for what is just a 10 megapixel camera? The answers lie within the stylish and diminutive metal shell of the FX500. A 25-125mm, 5x optical zoom lens, innovative touch-screen interface, 720p high-definition movies, and full range of creative exposure modes all add up to make this one of the most unique compacts available today. And it’s not very often, in a year of copy-cat cameras, that we get to say that. Mark Goldstein finds out if the new Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX500 can live up to its impressive specification…

Website: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX500 Review



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#1 Charles Bandes

Any word on shutter/af lag on this camera? It sounds fantastic, but I want a really fast point-n-shoot for impromptu street photography...

8:52 pm - Monday, July 7, 2008

#2 Mark Goldstein

Charles, there's no shutter-lag to speak of, and the auto-focus is very quick.

9:08 am - Tuesday, July 8, 2008

#3 Peter Solmssen

I am enormously pleased with the FX500, astounded in fact at some of the pictures I have been able to take with it under difficult conditions. On the other hand, there is no way to lock the focus to take advantage of depth of field without holding the button half-way down, there is no stereo sound with video, and you cannot zoom while filming video.

6:12 pm - Tuesday, July 8, 2008

#4 Peter Lück

Very comprehensive test, thank you.
I have the camera has been in a few months daily use and the judgement "Highly Recommended" is correct. I, too, lacks a manual focus, as it around the Ricoh GX100 has very much.

Sorry, but the practice photos of this test are not very convincing and do not really know what the camera. Allow me, therefore, to a few
my practice to refer:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/peterlueck/sets/72157604895187560/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/peterlueck/sets/72157605106150098/

Best Regards
Peter Lück

10:05 am - Wednesday, July 9, 2008

#5 Harry

I find it very hard to judge noise on the basis of those image extracts. The image sections are relatively bright overall, with only very narrow bands of dark tones. Let's have some images with larger areas of darker values, please, since these are where noise is typically more intrusive. Your images allow any noise to hide, in the same way the JPEG compression artefacts hide, and in fact get read from a distance almost as sharpening. Your sample shots also fail to take shutter speed into account, although sensors deliver worse noise with slower shutter speeds such as are common with indoor or low light shots.

5:00 pm - Friday, July 11, 2008

#6 Peter Lück

@ "Your sample shots also fail to take shutter speed into account, although
sensors deliver worse noise with slower shutter speeds such as are common with indoor or low light shots."

Well Harry, would you help this? Under the following link you can also find long time exposures and recordings to ISO800:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/peterlueck/sets/72157604916939316/

Best Regards
Peter Lück

11:34 am - Monday, July 14, 2008

#7 Tom C

"you can take a photo at a faster ISO speed and therefore a slower shutter speed"

Surely shome mistake?

9:13 am - Thursday, August 7, 2008

#8 Marina

I have had the chance to use the TZ7 and the FX500 before deciding which one to buy. Both are excellent cameras and the image quality is excellent on both but I would recommended the FX500 above the TZ7 because of the excellent price. The current price is 144 english pounds.
Neither of these cameras are up to DSLR standards and are both limited in certain situations but if your expectations are not unrealistic then they are both excellent cameras.
I have read many negative reviews about the FX500 but I have found the camera to be excellent if the photograher uses their head and thinks of the best mode for difficult photos. I have changed the settings and have used manual mode many times to obtain an excellent photo. Obviously, you can’t rely on auto point and shoot all the time.
Maybe the TZ7 is more forgiving for most situations but the FX500 is just as good if a little thought is used before taking the photo.
I get more satisfaction from this fact because I have more control on the final results.
I am very impressed with the FX500. There isn’t anythibg better especially at the price of 150 quid. I would highly recommend it. The TZ7 is also excellent but not worth the extra 100 pounds

1:55 pm - Monday, August 17, 2009

#9 Marina

Hello Peter Luck. I have just looked at your sample photos taken with the FX500. Well done!! They are excellent. This shows that the camera is fantastic if used by a good photographer.
I also have this camera and I think that it's excellent if you know how to use the camera. There are many options to take perfect photos.

4:54 pm - Monday, August 17, 2009

#10 BJ

Bought this camera on the excellent features it offers.
Unfortuantely have been very disappointed as the focus mechanism is absolutely atrocious. If you leave it on auto, it consistently focuses on the wrong object. Had lots of blurry photos.
Inside photos are really grainy or blurry.

On the plus side, this camera takes fantastic photos in black and white mode, particularly in late afternoon.

2:50 am - Friday, February 12, 2010