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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX700 review
|DATE REVIEWED: 3rd Apr 2011||Add Camera To Comparison Chart|
|Camera Type||Compact||Shutter Speeds||1 - 1/2000 sec|
|RRP||£359||ISO Range||100 - 1600|
|Megapixels||14.1||Focal Length||24 - 120mm|
|Weight||176g||Aperture||f2.2 - 5.9|
|Dimensions||104 x 56 x 25mm (WxHxD)||Focus Distance||3cm - inf|
|LCD Size||3 inches||Zoom (Opt)||5x|
|Zoom (Dig)||4x||Storage||SD / SDHC / SDXC|
|Max Resolution||4320 x 3240||Battery Type||Li-Ion|
The Panasonic Lumix FX700 is a powerhouse in disguise as a slimline compact. At first glance it appears very similar to the FX70, and on the outside it is. Rounded edges, lightweight, a rubberised finish, a neat 5x optical zoom lens and a three-inch LCD touch screen. However, there are external clues to what lies beneath. At the bottom of the camera it shouts that this compact offers full HD AVCHD, as opposed to its predecessor’s AVCHD Lite. Turn the camera on and hit the Mode button and you’ll see that the FX700 offers full Manual, Aperture Priority and Shutter Priority, as well as Intelligent Auto, Program and Scene.
The specs list for this model is impressive. For a start, it boasts a 24mm wide-angle f2.2 Leica DC Vario-Summicron lens, which despite its credentials is very compact, sitting flush to the camera when not in use and with minimal telescopic extension even at its full capacity. This lens is versatile for both zoom and wide shots, helping prove its worth as an all-rounder.
Its other big feature is its ability to record full HD movies in AVCHD. There’s also the option to record in Motion JPEG, which is great for clips that are destined for the web, but the HD option means there is a real opportunity for creating home movies. In order to ensure HD quality, the FX700 has a specially developed 14-megapixel sensor. There is a mini-HDMI output, but the cable is optional. Should you own a Panasonic Viera screen, the output can even be controlled using the TV’s remote.
In use, you’ll notice that this camera has a lot of ‘intelligent’ functions: Intelligent Auto mode, Intelligent Resolution technology, Intelligent Zoom, Intelligent ISO Control, Intelligent Scene Selector, Intelligent Burst Mode and Intelligent Exposure. What these all add up to is a hard-working point-and-shooter for those who don’t want to mess around with settings. We found that in general results are very good. In low light, the Intelligent ISO can overcompensate, but the ability to set a maximum high ISO gives you a measure of control and results in much better shots.
All the settings are controlled via the touch screen, but they’re minimal when in iA mode. There’s a Quick Menu shortcut, which offers colour options, and you can turn the flash on and off. In the manual modes and Program mode there are touch buttons for controlling the aperture, shutter and ISO. It’s possible to control the zoom from the screen, but we found that a little awkward.
The biggest bugbear that we had with the controls was the fact that hitting the screen takes a picture. While a nice idea in principle, we found that we kept taking unwanted pictures when trying to change settings, as the buttons are quite small and the slightest miss registers on the main screen. It would be nice to be able to turn this function off.
The image quality is not bad. The focus was sharp, especially in macro and portrait shots; however, there was a tendency for luminance noise and chromatic aberration, causing purple fringing in high-contrast areas. This is not uncommon in 14-megapixel cameras, so it’s not a problem inherent to the FX700, and overall we were happy with its performance.
A nice camera that offers the best combination of auto functions and manual control weve seen so far. It has its foibles and the price is high, but its a good all-rounder
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|A nice camera that offers the best combination of auto functions and manual control weve seen so far. It has its foibles and the price is high, but its a good all-rounder|
Julie has a reputation for always having a camera to hand for those opportune moments and candid snaps, therefore she has a preference for compacts that pack a punch yet still offer creative, manual controls. Shes been reviewing cameras for around four years, putting all manner of compacts, ultrazooms and bridge models through their paces.
|Total Camera Reviews||14|
|Average Camera Rating||3.8|
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