Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX700 Review

October 20, 2010 | Mark Goldstein | |


The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX700 adds two significant improvements, Full HD video and manual control over exposure, to the much cheaper FX70 model, but unfortunately does so at the expense of still image quality, with slow ISO speeds suffering from obvious noise and smearing of fine detail.

Just like its cheaper sibling, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX700 partners an effective touchscreen interface with a fast, wide-angle 5x zoom lens and the tried and tested FX series styling, resulting in a classy point-and-shoot that feels like a premium product. Having to operate almost everything by interacting with the LCD does inevitably slow things down though - the jury's still out for us on whether a touchscreen interface makes absolute sense for a digital camera. The ability to focus on and even capture your subject with the touch of a finger is undeniably appealing and genuinely useful though.

The impressively fast f/2.2 lens is a cut above the rest of FX700's competitors, allowing the camera to collect more light and effectively allowing you to use a slower ISO speed to achieve a similar shutter speed. Having such a wide-angle setting of 24mm is also a real attraction of this model, with the telephoto reach of 120mm enough for candid head and shoulder shots.

The FX700 uses a different 14.1 megapixel sensor to the one found in the FX70, presumably in order to offer Full HD video, and it actually worsens the image quality when compared to the FX70 model. Noise is all too readily apparent at ISO 200 and more obvious at ISO 400 along with smearing of fine details, with the fastest speeds of ISO 800 and 1600 being something of a last resort.

An official asking price of £359 / $399 is too high for a camera that delivers only average picture quality, despite the welcome inclusion of manual control of the aperture and shutter speed and the headline-grabbing 1080i video mode. We'd advise you to choose the 720p, point-and-shoot FX70 model instead if you like Panasonic's intuitive touchscreen experience and styling.

4 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4
Features 5
Ease-of-use 4
Image quality 3.5
Value for money 3.5
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