Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX90 Review

December 15, 2011 | Matt Grayson |

Image Quality

All pictures were taken at full resolution and highest quality unless otherwise stated. Typical full size images were between 4.5 to 5Mb. The 5x optical zoom has a 35mm equivalent range of 24-120mm. The Leica lens on the FX90 is manufactured by Panasonic to Leica specification. It's a DC Vario-Summarit with an f/2.5 aperture. The bright aperture will mean that the ISO won't have to be increased as early and will ensure smoother pictures.


Noise performance on the FX90 is great at low ISO, we couldn't find any signs of colour or black and white noise. Edge definition is great and this sharpness continues through the stages. However at ISO 200 we could see slight patches of green in really dark areas when magnified to 100%. The problem exacerbates through the stages and starts to interfere with mid-tones at around ISO 800. At ISO 800 the image starts to get smoothed out by the noise reduction. It looks like Panasonic have their heads on straight and know the limitations of the sensor they've used. After all, they took the decision to cap the sensitivity at ISO 1600. Colour noise invades aggressively at this point so it's a good job that it ends there.

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)


ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)


ISO 1600 (100% Crop)



We sharpened a selection of pictures and found that although the standard sharpening in Adobe Photoshop CS4 did improve the pictures to a degree, the pictures are sharp enough. Below are a couple of the pictures we sharpened with the unsharpened versions to compare.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)


File Quality

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX90 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 (4.91Mb) (100% Crop) 12M Normal (3.39Mb) (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations

We managed to find some pictures showing chromatic aberration. Luckily, it doesn't show up all that much which is good.

Chromatic (100% Crop)


Macro on the Panasonic FX90 digital compact camera is good enough for the type of person it's aimed at.  The FX90 specification sheet shows a maximum close focusing distance of 3cm although we only got around 4-5cm.


Macro (100% Crop)


Adding flash to the FX90 pictures does give heavy vignetting to the corners of the frame. There's none at full telephoto which is good. We're happy with the image results without flash.

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)


Long exposures come out great on the FX90. The noise reduction system works just right that it doesn't allow heat from the pixels to affect neighbouring pixels. This means smooth, sharp pictures even though the mist in our sample picture was wreaking havoc with the test.

Night Shot

Night Shot (100% Crop)