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Panasonic Lumix FX37 review

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7

It was only a few months ago that I reviewed the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX35, an expensive but superb 10-megapixel, 4x zoom ultra-compact with a class-leading 25mm wide-angle ability, to which I awarded a well-deserved Recommended rating. Never content, the relentless juggernaut of the global consumer economy rolls ever onward, and so inevitably Panasonic has announced yet another incremental upgrade, with the launch of this, the DMC-FX37.

Anyone who's read my review of the FX35 might be forgiven for thinking that I'd simply re-used the same product shots. I didn't, but I probably could have done because the two cameras are outwardly almost identical. They are exactly the same size, exactly the same weight, have the same size monitors and identical controls. In fact the only outward sign that they are in fact different cameras is the model number on the top plate, and the maximum focal length written around the front of the lens. Where the FX35 had a 4x, 25-100mm equivalent zoom range, the FX37 has a 5x, 25-125mm zoom, for those times when 100mm just isn't quite enough.

The FX37 is currently selling for around £230, which is a lot of money for a compact camera. It hasn't been out long, and usually camera prices do tend to fall over time, but it's worth noting that the FX35 is now selling for £178, which is more than it was when I reviewed it in June. By comparison the Nikon S600 is now available for under £200, while the Canon IXUS 860 IS has dropped to £170. Is that extra 25mm of focal length really worth over £50?

nout

September 19, 2008, 9:50 pm

I think the review is a bit harsh, compared to the raving review the FX35 got.


Although I do not own any of these cameras, I did compare the testpictures of both cameras on this site (and other sites) and they appear to be very similar, not to say identical: bit soft, noisy in shadows and not that sharp compared to other brands.


(Post-processing these images, sharpen them a bit isn't possible without adding even more noise)





In fact I was somewhat surprised the FX35 got such a good score (9) for image quality, when other cameras of brands like Canon and Sony, which test images (to me at least) looked much better, 'only' recieved a score of 8.


It goes to show image quality is rather subjective.






DVR

November 12, 2008, 12:41 am

Indeed, I don't really understand what's happening here..


If you open and compare the test shots made by FX35 and FX37 on this site, you can clearly see that pictures taken by FX35 are considerably worse, particularly the one shot at ISO 100 !! There are clearly visible artefacts at the yellow inside part of the green car, which are practically absent on the FX37 shot.. The rest shots of FX35 are also worse that the ones from FX37.


I am really lost. Trying to understand how reviewer evaluates those shots. It looks like he was in the good mood when reviewing FX35, and in bad mood when doing the same with FX37..

Jimmy495

January 15, 2009, 10:33 pm

It's evident FX37's image quality made a step forward from FX35, so I'll also have to agree with nout and DVR; what was/is the reviewer thinking?

Keith 6

January 25, 2009, 11:46 pm

Where is the Conclusions page? Judging by the comments and the score of 7 there were some negative comments in the Conclusion - as I am considering this camera I would like to read them but there are no Conclusions posted.

DougM

April 2, 2009, 7:26 am

Once again, as I said in my comments on the FX500, I don't really understand Cliff's rating criteria, because the FX35 gets a better value rating when the price of it and the FX37 are the same ($349 US list price). Yes, the 5x zoom on the FX37 is perhaps not quite as sharp as the 4x on the FX35, but the difference is minimal and probably not visible unless pixel peeping. Prints at 8x10 or less would probably be indistinguishable. Cliff's sample photos from the FX37 look fantastic to me.

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