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Panasonic Lumix FX37 - Panasonic Lumix FX37

By Cliff Smith



Our Score:


Not too surprisingly, considering how many components they share, the FX37's overall performance is identical to that of the FX35. It starts up in a creditable 2.5 seconds, and in single-shot mode it can sustain one shot every 1.7 seconds, which is pretty quick, and in long-period continuous shooting it more than doubles that to a shot every 0.7 seconds.

The autofocus system is as good as ever, with excellent low-light performance. It has the same nice bright AF assist lamp, and can focus in total darkness at a range of around three metres. As with the FX35, if it fails to focus an on-screen display tells you the safe in-focus area so you can tell if the shot will be sharp.

Unfortunately the one major difference between the FX37 and its predecessor is image quality, and ironically the blame here sits with the only major new component, that 5x zoom lens. While focusing, exposure metering and colour rendition are all very good, the lens design just doesn't work as well as the previous 4x zoom, and despite the Leica badge it suffers from both barrel distortion and significant corner blurring at wide angle.

While the FX37 has the same Venus Engine IV processor as the FX35, I think the noise reduction system may have been turned up to eleven for the new camera. Noise reduction effects are now plainly visible from 200 ISO upwards, blurring fine detail and fine gradations of tone. 400 ISO looks very messy and and the 800 and 1600 ISO settings are best avoided altogether. I was just beginning to believe that Panasonic was making some progress against its perennial noise problems, but in this respect at least the FX37 is a big step backwards.


If the Panasonic Lumix FX37 was crammed full of any more advanced technology it would glow blue and hum like a lightsabre, but for all its cleverness and sleek style it still suffers from significant image quality problems. The lens simply isn't as good as the one on the FX35, and the brutal noise reduction system robs images of detail and tonal subtlety. Considering its very high price, I'd have to say that it's simply not worth the money. Get the FX35 instead.


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.


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..


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.


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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