Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80 Review

October 5, 2012 | Matt Grayson | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star


The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80 is a touch-screen digital compact camera with a 12 megapixel sensor, Full 1080p HD video and a 3D photo mode. Coupled with a bright f/2.5 Leica lens which starts at a wide angle 24mm, this seems like a camera for the tech savvy, while the clean lines and slick finish indicate a camera for the younger generation. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80 can definitely walk the walk and in this test we see if it can talk the talk. Available in any colour as long as it's black and costs around £230.

Ease of Use

If we were to judge a book by its cover then the Panasonic Lumix FX80 should be a thrilling read. The super smart exterior is simple and clean. A slight bulge at the front signifies the 5x optical zoom barrel of the Leica f/2.5 DC lens. A small, slim flash and AF emitter accompanies the lens on the front.

Move to the top of the camera and there's not much else to look at. The body sweeps over in an arc with the small power button and oval shutter release button sitting flush with the metal plate that lines the top of the camera. A small rocking switch for operating the zoom is all that sticks out. The back only has two buttons for direct video recording and playback. The large 3 inch screen does all the heavy work at this point being a touch-screen.

Switching the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80 on is nothing too fast. The camera seems to do it at a pace that suits it. When the screen bursts into life it's awash with icons, letters and numbers. In fact at first it looks a little cluttered. Newcomers to photography could be put off by the amount of information facing them for the first time. Still, it only takes a few moments to get used to the information available to you. Being a touch-screen, the body of the camera is bereft of buttons and instead they're located on the main screen which is the main reason for all the information.

In the top left corner of the screen is a small icon which represents the photo mode that you're in such as intelligent auto, auto, creative control, scene modes, 3D photo and cosmetic mode. If you've been living under a rock for the past few years, intelligent auto is a feature pioneered by Panasonic and has since been plagiarised by every other manufacturer. It works by analysing the screen and deciding the best mode to put the camera in from there. For example, if it sees a face it switches on face detection, readies the flash and puts the camera in portrait mode. For close up subjects, it puts the camera into macro mode and so on.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80
Front Rear

Creative Control is Panasonic's name for the digital effects. The name is dubious because although the picture looks different, you're not doing anything creative. The camera is putting all the effects on it for you. On the other hand, you could argue that you have to use creativity in choosing the effect in the first place. The effects are pretty cool though. There's Expressive, Retro, High key, Low key, Sepia, Mono (black & white), high dynamic range, toy camera, miniature and soft focus. The good news about the Creative Control menu is that it splits the scene modes down a bit. At one point the Scene menu was teeming with options but now there's a more modest 15 to choose from.

If you're 3D enabled, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80 has a 3D mode for shooting and viewing pictures in this fascinating new media. It works by taking a photograph, moving the camera slightly to the right and taking another picture. The camera then merges the two slightly misaligned in order to make a 3D image.

Finally, the photo mode menu holds the Cosmetic Mode. In recent times, portraits and self-portraits have become increasingly popular due to social networking. Profiles are awash with self portraits but they're not always flattering. Panasonic have decided to help out a little and add the Cosmetic Mode to the shooting options. You can choose the skin tone and the camera does the rest. We didn't see much of a difference in our tests self-portraits – which we put down to our flawless skin. However, for more of a boost, flicking into the playback mode will open up the options for you.

When viewing pictures you've already taken, there's a tab on the right with a person and a brush. Tapping this will open up loads of options for retouching the pictures. For portraits, use the Beauty Retouch, for everyday shots such as flowers or days out, the Artistic Retouch will be more beneficial because it holds three more options: Defocus effect, Creative retouch and Colour/brightness. The first option allows to to select an area to remain sharp while the rest of the image is blurred out. Similar to a sweet spot created by a Lensbaby. Creative retouch offers the digital filters found in the mode menu. Finally, Colour/brightness is pretty self-explanatory.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80
Front Top

Auto retouch is good for if you're unsure or simply can't be bothered going through the options. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80 will work out the best retouching options to use and apply them. It then shows you the picture with a handy on/off option to see a before and after. If you like it, press ok and it saves an extra copy without destroying the original. This type of saving is called non-destructive because the original is intact. There's also a stamp effect for if you like placing silly cartoon icons on your pictures. This would be good for younger users who like to decorate their profile pictures on social network sites.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80's main menu offers three tabs for recording, motion picture and set up. The recording menu offers many similar features to what is normally found in the Panasonic Q.Menu with the exception that the FX80 lacks such a menu. So if you want to change the resolution, picture size, minimum shutter speed or continuous shooting mode, it's done in here. Motion picture (video menu) allows you to change the recording mode, quality, AF mode and wind cut. The first two only opening up when there's a card inserted. Because of this rearrangement, current Panasonic users not used to the touch-screen type camera won't be used to it and could find it difficulty at first. As with anything, eventually, you'll get used to it.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80 focuses on the position of the white target square on the touch-screen. It's default setting is the centre of the screen but if you enable touch focus, you can place it anywhere in the screen. This makes it useful for off-centre subjects.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80 is built to a good standard. The metal body feels solid and a little weighty. The lens has the world renowned Leica badge emblazoned across the top although it's manufactured by Panasonic to Leica specification. The f/2.5 wide aperture will increase the amount of light hitting the sensor making it better in low light without needing flash. There's little play in the lens (we only worry if it moves substantially). The battery door on the bottom is made of plastic and although it has a metal strip on it for reinforcing, it's still bendy. The HDMI and USB ports have a good quality door fitted. Although that's what we first thought. It's actually some simple plastic on a plastic hinge. The most obvious sign of the camera's status is the tripod bush. It's plastic which makes the camera a lower end camera in terms of the Panasonic range.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80
Memory Card Slot Battery Compartment

Our sample images on the shutter lag timer gave a response of 0.08sec which is pretty normal by all accounts. However, we also got a ghost image of the arm at 0.05sec which is certainly faster than a typical digital compact camera. Although we decided that the camera is simply using a slower shutter speed, it displays that while the majority of the exposure was done at 0.08, the camera starts recording at 0.05.

There are three continuous modes; On, High speed burst and flash burst. The first option is quite simple. The pictures are taken continuously while the shutter is depressed. That is while there's space in the buffer of course. Once that's full, it has to stop to download onto the memory card. High speed burst takes a small succession of high speed pictures which will allow you to then pick out the best. Good for portraits of someone smiling or motorsports. Flash burst is similar to the High speed burst but uses a strobe flash to add extra light in a dark situation. Don't start to think that because the mode is called high speed that you're going to get pictures rattling off at ridiculous velocities. It plods along taking pictures at a regular interval.

From a standing start to taking a picture, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80 is nice and fast. In fact, we managed to get a picture taken in half a second. We even tried that more than once to check it wasn't a fluke. From starting the camera to focusing and taking a picture takes around 2 seconds which is pretty standard.

In the box, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80 comes with the cables to connect the camera to your computer, a wrist strap, rechargeable lithium ion battery and CD software with the full manual on it as well.

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 12 megapixel Fine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 4.5Mb.


Throughout the test we were impressed with how good the pictures looked on the screen of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80. We couldn't wait to get back to the computer to check them on a bigger screen. Low ISO pictures look good until they're drilled down into and spots of green colour can be seen in the darker areas of our test images. Edge definition is good though while mid range levels and highlights are smooth enough.

As the ISO ratings get higher, noise reduction software kicks in because the noise isn't as bad at even ISO 200. Images start to soften a little at ISO 400 and blue colour joins the green to assault the darker areas and it can even be seen creeping into the mid-range areas. Saturation starts to sap out slightly at ISO 800 and the images smooth out as noise reduction ups the ante to keep it under control. The final ISO 1600 setting has invasive colour all over and edge definition is waning. However, we've seen much worse at this setting from other, more expensive cameras so comparably it's a good performance.

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)


ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)


ISO 1600 (100% Crop)



Below are samples of the images straight from the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80 and with sharpening added in Adobe Photoshop. We think the camera benefits from a basic boost definitely but it's a close line and if you start messing with the Unsharp Mask it could go too far.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)


File Quality

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80 has 2 different image quality settings available, with Fine being the highest quality option. Here are some 100% crops which show the quality of the various options, with the file size shown in brackets.

12M Fine (4.62Mb) (100% Crop) 12M Normal (3.15Mb) (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations

We found traces of chromatic aberration in various pictures we took, less so on the high contrast edges.

Chromatic 1 (100% Crop)

Chromatic 2 (100% Crop)


The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80 gets sufficiently close to the subject for reasonable close up pictures. Pictures are detailed enough but the lens does suffer from distortion towards the edges.


Macro (100% Crop)


The flash centres in the middle of the frame with light falling off to the edges. This leaves a slight vignette at the corners. At full zoom the same issue is prevalent but without the vignetting. Without flash, the vignetting disappears.

Flash Off - Wide Angle (24mm)

Flash On - Wide Angle (24mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

Flash Off - Telephoto (120mm)

Flash On - Telephoto (120mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are a couple of portrait shots. Both the Forced On setting or the Auto/Red-eye Reduction option caused a tiny amount of red-eye.

Forced On

Forced On (100% Crop)

Auto/Red-eye Reduction

Auto/Red-eye Reduction (100% Crop)


Taking long exposures can be done either in auto mode using ISO 100 or by putting the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80 into night mode in the scenes menu. The advantage of the former is that you can control the white-balance. One issue with long exposures is that they create a particular type of noise from the pixels heating up and affecting neighbouring pixels. In our tests, the FX80 suffers from it.


Night (100% Crop)


Night Auto

Night Auto (100% Crop)

Sample Images

This is a selection of sample images from the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80 camera, which were all taken using the 12 megapixel Fine JPEG setting. The thumbnails below link to the full-sized versions, which have not been altered in any way.

Sample Movie & Video

This is a sample movie at the highest quality setting of 1920x1280 pixels at 30 frames per second. Please note that this 32 second movie is 63.3Mb in size.

Product Images

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80

Front of the Camera

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80

Front of the Camera / Turned On

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80

Isometric View

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80

Isometric View

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80

Rear of the Camera / Turned On

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80

Rear of the Camera / Quick Menu

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80

Rear of the Camera / Image Displayed

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80

Rear of the Camera / Special Effects Menu

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80

Rear of the Camera / Main Menu


Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80

Rear of the Camera / Rec Menu

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80
Rear of the Camera / Motion Picture Menu
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80
Rear of the Camera / Setup Menu
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80

Top of the Camera

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80
Side of the Camera
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80
Side of the Camera
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80
Front of the Camera
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80
Memory Card Slot
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80
Battery Compartment


The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80 is a fun little camera that will appeal to the tech savvy and anyone looking for a camera to replicate the vintage effect that's so popular at the moment. It's a neat little package that bursts with nice features such as the touch-screen and Leica lens. The build quality is borderline good – the metal body and locking battery door, for example. But the humble tripod bush (believe it or not) is the benchmark for build quality. The plastic version seen on the FX80 shows that the camera is set at a lower range than the previous features would suggest. The touch-screen is a welcome addition but we'd prefer something more responsive. We were forever stabbing at the screen to get the camera to respond to our commands.

Everyday picture quality is good with lots of detail and a decent dynamic range. Saying that, we did get some burn-out on hard highlights such as bright sunshine. Focusing is fast and we're impressed with the shooting time from standby. In normal shooting circumstances, colours are recorded accurately with a little push in saturation from the processor. Contrast is dealt with nicely and the metering seems to cope well in complex light.

We think the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80 will suit someone who wants to play around with the pictures they're taking, maybe a fan of social networking or picture upload sites. The filters will give enough variety for most situations and they work well. However, they take a while to process which is annoying. The charger being built-in will interest young travellers because it means less to carry. The easy upload markers will make getting the pictures online easier from an internet cafe, wherever you are in the world, and the SDXC compatibility will ensure larger capacities.

If you're off on your travels and looking for a small sharp shooter with fast reflexes, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80 is definitely a good option to look at.

4 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4
Features 4.5
Ease-of-use 4
Image quality 4
Value for money 4

Review Roundup

Reviews of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80 from around the web. »

The Panasonic Lumix FX80 is an easy to use premium compact camera that boasts a bright wide angle Leica lens, Full HD video recording with stereo sound plus a 3-inch touchscreen.
Read the full review » »

A good choice for beginners and less confident users, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80 takes care of the technical side of photography while you concentrate on finding good subjects and framing them. Light and slim, it's one to slip in your pocket for impromptu, spontaneous snaps.
Read the full review » »

The Panasonic Lumix FX80 is an ultra compact camera from Panasonic, and features a bright f/2.5 5x optical zoom lens, 12.1 megapixel Hi-speed CCD sensor, 3 inch touch screen, and full HD video recording with stereo sound.
Read the full review »



Dimensions (W x H x D) 96.3 x 56 x 19.4 mm / (3.79 x 2.20 x 0.77 inch)
Weight Approx. 114g with Battery and SD Memory Card (0.25 lb) / Approx. 131g without Battery and SD Memory Card (0.29 lb)


Camera Effective Pixels 12.1 Megapixels
Sensor Size / Total Pixels / Filter 1/2.33-type CCD sensor / 12.5 Total Megapixels / Primary Color Filter
Aperture F2.5 - 6.4 / 2-Step (F2.5 / 9.0 (W), F6.4 / 20.0 (T))
Optical Zoom 5.0x
Focal Length f=4.3 - 21.5mm (24 - 120mm in 35mm equiv.) / (28 - 130mm in 35mm equiv. in video recording)
Extra Optical Zoom (EZ) 6.1x (4:3 / 8M), 7.8x (4:3 / 5M), 9.8x (under 3M)
Intelligent Zoom 10x
Lens LEICA DC VARIO-SUMMARIT / 6 elements in 5 groups / (3 Aspherical Lenses / 5 Aspherical surfaces)
Optical Image Stabilizer MEGA O.I.S. (On with Active Mode(only for motion picture) / Off)
Digital Zoom 4x
Focusing Area Normal: Wide 50 cm - infinity / Tele 100 cm - infinity / Macro / Intelligent AUTO/ motion picture: Wide 5 cm - infinity / Tele 100cm - infinity
AF Assist Lamp Yes
Focus Normal, AF Macro, Zoom Macro, Touch AF/AE / Quick AFON/OFF(On in Intelligent Auto), Continuous AF(only for motion picture) / AF Tracking
AF Metering Face / AF Tracking / 23pt / 1pt / Spot / Touch Area
Shutter Speed approx. 8 - 1/1600 sec


File Format Still Image: JPEG(DCF/Exif2.3) / 3D Image: MPO / Motion picture: AVCHD, MP4
Mode Dial / Mode Button Intelligent Auto, Normal Picture, SCN, 3D Photo, Cosmetic, Creative Control
Creative Control mode Expressive, Retro, High Key, Low Key, Sepia, Dynamic Monochrome, High Dynamic, Toy Effect, Miniature, Soft Focus
Still Image Scene Mode Portrait, Scenery, Panorama, Sports, Night Portrait, Night Scenery, Hand Held Night Shot, Food, Baby1, Baby2, Pet, Sunset, High Sensitivity, Glass Through, Photo Frame
Continuous Shooting Mode Full-Resolution Image, 3.7 frames/sec Max. 6 images / High-speed Burst Mode: approx. 10 frames/sec / (recorded in 3M for 4:3, 2.5M for 3:2, 2M for 16:9, 2.5M for 1:1) , Max. 100 images
Motion Picture Recording (*2) [HD Video] 1920 x 1080 pixels, 50i (FSH: 17Mbps / AVCHD) (Sensor output is 25p) / 1280 x 720 pixels, 50p (SH: 17Mbps / AVCHD) (Sensor output is 25p) / 1920 x 1080 pixels, 25 fps (FHD: 20Mbps / MP4) / 1280 x 720 pixels, 25 fps (HD: 10Mbps / MP4) / [STD Video] 640 x 480 pixels, 25 fps (VGA: 4Mbps / MP4)
AVCHD (Continuous recordable time [motion pictures]) approx. 60 min (FSH), 65 min (SH)
MP4 (Continuous recordable time [motion pictures]) approx. 60 min (FHD)
AVCHD (Actual recordable time [motion pictures]) approx. 30 min (FSH), 33 min (SH)
MP4 (Actual recordable time [motion pictures]) approx. 30 min (FHD)
Exposure Auto(Program AE)
Exposure Compensation 1/3 EV step, +/-2 EV
Auto (AE) Bracketing 1/3 -1EV step, Max +/-1EV, 3 frames
Light Metering Intelligent Multiple
ISO Sensitivity Auto / i.ISO / 100 / 200 / 400 / 800 / 1600 / High Sensitivity mode (ISO 1600-6400)
Still Picture Recording [1:1] 2992x2992 (9M) / [4:3] 4000x3000 (12M) / 3264x2448 (8M EZ) / 2560X1920 (5M EZ) / / 2048X1536 (3M EZ) / 640x480 (0.3M EZ) / [3:2] 4000x2672 (10.5M) / [16:9] 4000x2248 (9M)
Zoom in Motion Picture Yes
Image Quality Fine / Standard (3D mode: MPO Fine / MPO Standard )
White Balance Auto / Daylight / Cloudy / Shade / Incandescent / White Set / White Balance Adjustment
Color Mode / Color Effect / My color Color Mode : Standard, Black&White, Sepia, Vivid(in normal), Happy (only in iA Mode)
Digital Red Eye Correction (Red-Eye Removal) Yes
Self Timer 2sec / 10sec


Retouch Beauty Retouch / Artistic Retouch (Defocus Effect / Creative Retouch / Color/Brightness) / Auto Retouch / Image Stamp
Playback Mode Normal Playback, Slideshow, Filtering Playback (Picture Only, Video Only, 3D, Category, Favorites), Album Playback, Calendar Playback
Thumbnails / Zoomed Playback 12,30-thumbnails / Yes (Touch Magnification)
Calendar Display / Dual-Image Playback Yes / No
Set Favorites / Rotate Image Yes / No
Show Histogram Yes
DPOF Print Setting / Set Protection Yes / Yes
Resize / Cropping / Aspect Conv. / Leveling Yes / Yes / No / No
Copy / Title Edit / Text Stamp Yes / Yes / Yes
Cut Animation Yes
Video Divide Yes
PictBridge Support Single / Multi / All / Favorites / DPOF


OSD language Japanese, English, German, French, Italian, Spanish


Battery life (approx.) 210 pictures (CIPA Standard)*1
LCD Monitor 7.5cm(3.0") TFT Touch Screen LCD Display (230K dots) / Field of View : approx. 100% Wide Viewing Angle / Power LCD mode, AUTO Power LCD mode
Built-in-Flash Auto, Auto/Red-eye Reduction, Forced On, Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction, Forced Off, / 0.6 - 4.1m (Wide/ISO Auto), 1.0 - 1.6m (Tele/ISO Auto)
Recording Media Built-in Memory, SD Memory Card, SDHC Memory Card, SDXC Memory Card
Built-in-Memory Approx. 60MB
Microphone / Speaker Stereo / Mono
Interface miniHDMI, AV Output (PAL/NTSC), USB2.0 High speed
Power Li-ion Battery Pack (3.6V, Minimum: 680mAh) / AC Adaptor (Input: 110-240V AC)(Included, connect with USB cable, playback only)
Included Software PHOTOfunSTUDIO 8.0 Advanced Edition / Adobe Reader
Standard Accessories Battery Pack, AC adaptor, USB Cable, Hand Strap, CD-ROM

Further Specifications

NOTE *1 / Recording conditions by CIPA standard / - CIPA is an abbreviation of [Camera & Imaging Products Association]. / - Temperature: 23 oC (73.4 oF)/Humidity: 50%RH when LCD monitor is on. / - Using a Panasonic SD Memory Card (32 MB). / - Using the supplied battery. / - Starting recording 30 seconds after the camera is turned on. (When the optical image stabilizer function is set to [ON].) / - Recording once every 30 seconds with full flash every second recording. / - Rotating the zoom lever from Tele to Wide or vice versa in every recording. / - Turning the camera off every 10 recordings and leaving it until the temperature of the battery decreases. / - The number of recordable pictures decreases in Auto Power LCD Mode and Power LCD Mode. / *2 / - These are standard times taken at a temperature of 23 oC (73.4 oF) and a humidity of 50%RH. / - The time available for recording varies depending on the environment, the interval between recordings, and the manner of use. / - Actual recordable time is the time available for recording when repeating actions such as switching the power supply [ON] / [OFF], starting/stopping recording, zoom operation etc. / *3 / - Maximum time to record motion pictures continuously with [AVCHD] is 29 minutes 59 seconds. (excluding when [SH] is set) / - Motion pictures in [MP4] can be recorded continuously for up to 29 minutes 59 seconds. Also, motion picture recorded continuously in [MP4] is up to 4 GB.

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