Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX07 Review
Review Date: November 20th 2006
The new Panasonic DMC-FX07 takes over from its predecessor, the FX01, as the smallest digital camera in the world with a 28mm wide-angle digital zoom lens. The FX07 offers a 28-102mm, 3.6x zoom lens in a stylish and ultra-compact metal body. The Panasonic DMC-FX07 also features a 7 megapixel sensor, 2.5 inch LCD screen, and as with all Panasonic cameras, the company's MEGA O.I.S optical image stabilisation system for shake-free photos. The Panasonic FX07 offers an extended ISO speed of 100 to 1600, 9-point auto-focus system, LSI Venus Engine III image processing, and 3 additional scene modes. Intelligent ISO Control is a new feature which automatically adjusts ISO and shutter speed by analyzing the speed of subject movement, whilst the High Sensitivity Mode allows a maximum ISO of 3200, although at a reduced image resolution. Is the Panasonic DMC-FX07 the best ultra-compact digicam around? Read our review now to find out.
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The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX07 has a 7.38 megapixel, 1/2.5 inch CCD that delivers 7.2 effective megapixels. There are three aspect ratios on offer (4:3, 3:2, 16:9) with a range of image sizes (4:3 Aspect Ratio: 3072 x 2304, 2560 x 1920, 2048 x 1536, 1600 x 1200, 1280 x960, 640 x 480 / 3:2 Aspect Ratio: 3072 x 2048, 2048 x 1360 / 16:9 Aspect Ratio: 3072 x 1728, 1920 x 1080 pixels). Images can be recorded as either Fine or Standard quality JPEGs. The camera's 3.6x Leica DC Vario-Elmarit optical zoom lens is equivalent to a 28-102mm lens on a 35mm format camera. There is also a 4x digital zoom should you feel the need to use it. MEGA O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) is available with 2 different modes. The camera is supplied with a 16Mb SD Memory Card and also supports the SDHC and MultiMedia Card formats.
The Panasonic DMC-FX07 offers Auto, Simple and Macro exposure modes plus 19 different scene modes (Portrait, Soft Skin, Scenery, Sports, Night Portrait, Night Scenery, Self-portrait, Food, Party, Candle, Fireworks, Starry Sky, Baby1, Baby2, Snow, High Sensitivity, Underwater, Aerial photo, Beach). The maximum aperture is f2.8 (wide) – f5.6 (tele), and the shutter speed range is 60 secs. – 1/2000th sec. There are 5 ISO speeds ranging from 100 to 1600, Intelligent ISO Control mode, an Auto option and a High Sensitivity Mode that allows a maximum ISO of 3200, although at a reduced image resolution. There are 5 different White Balance presets to choose from (Daylight, Cloudy, Shade, Halogen, White Set), plus an Auto setting and White Balance Adjustment (150K step, -1500K - +1500K). The camera offers exposure compensation in ± 2 in 1/3 EV steps and auto-bracketing is available in +/- 1/3 EV -1EV steps for 3 frames.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX07 has a normal shooting mode, Self-timer (2 secs. or 10 secs.) and 2 different Continuous modes - High (3 fps) or Low (2 fps), with a maximum of 8 images in Standard JPEG Mode and 6 images in Fine JPEG Mode for both modes. There are 4 different colour effects available (Cool, Warm, Black and White and Sepia) and 3 picture adjustments (Natural, Standard, Vivid). The Macro setting allows you to focus on subjects that are as close as 5cms at the wide-angle lens setting. The camera offers 5 auto-focus systems - 1-point, 1-point high speed, 3-point high speed, 9-point and Spot - and you can choose from Normal or Macro focus. The exposure metering system is Intelligent Multiple. There is an AF assist lamp to help achieve focus in low-light situations. The built-in flash offers 4 different modes - Auto, Auto/Red-eye Reduction, Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction, Forced On/Off.
To compose your images, you can use the LCD monitor - there is no optical or electronic viewfinder. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX07 has a 2.5 inch TFT LCD Display which has 207,000 pixels and offers 100% scene coverage. There is a High Angle mode which allows you to hold the camera above your head and still see the LCD screen clearly, and a Power LCD mode which increases the screen's brightness. The Panasonic DMC-FX07 can record movies at 848 x 480 (16:9 aspect ratio), 640x480 or 320 x 240 pixels, at either 30 fps or 10 fps with sound. Video is recorded in the Quicktime with audio format, and the length is limited to a 2Gb memory card. A 5 second soundclip can be attached to an image. A histogram is available in both shooting and playback modes. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX07 supports the DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) and PictBridge printing standards, and it connects to a computer via USB 2.0.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX07's dimensions are 94.1 (W) × 51.1 (H) × 24.2 (D) mm, and it weighs 160g with the battery and storage card fitted. The camera is powered by a rechargeable Li-ion Battery Pack (3.7V, 1150mAh), which has an approximate CIPA battery life of 320 shots. There is a metal tripod mount in the left corner of the bottom of the camera.
Finally, the standard box kit contains a Battery Charger, Battery Pack, 16Mb SD Card, AV Cable, USB Connection Cable, AC Cable, Strap and Software CD-ROM (LUMIX Simple Viewer, ArcSoft PhotoBase, ArcSoft PhotoImpression, ArcSoft Panorama Maker, USB Driver). Note that you can only store 3 images at the highest quality JPEG setting on the supplied 16Mb SD memory card. You will therefore need to invest in some more memory cards to store your images on.
PhotographyBLOG is a member of the DIWA organisation. Our test results for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX07 have been submitted to DIWA for comparison with test results for different samples of the same camera model supplied by other DIWA member sites.