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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX700 review




Our Score:


User Score:


  • Responsive touch-screen
  • Full HD video
  • Very good audio quality


  • Expensive
  • Heavy
  • Barrel distortion at wide angle

Key Features

  • 103.5 x 55.8 x 24.5mm
  • 176g
  • 14MP 1/2.3-inch sensor
  • Automatic ISO control
  • Motion Deblur
  • Manufacturer: Panasonic
  • Review Price: £190.49

The gap between still cameras and video cameras is getting narrower every year. If you look at the specification of high-end compact cameras from the middle of 2008, most of them offered at best 640 x 480 resolution video with mono audio. Over the past year or so, more and more compact cameras have come along offering 1280 x 720 resolution HD video, until it's now more or less a standard feature. Now Panasonic has taken it one step further. The new Lumix DMC-FX700 is a sleek luxury compact camera which features full 1920 x 1080 50i (25fps interlaced) HD video with stereo audio, recording in the high quality AVCHD format.

That's not all it does either. The FX700 also features a fast f/2.2 5x zoom Leica-branded lens equivalent to 24-120mm, a big 7.5cm (3in) touch-screen monitor, a 14.1-megapixel 1/2.3-in MOS high-speed sensor which enables high-speed continuous shooting at up to 10fps at full resolution, and the option of full manual exposure control. There aren't too many cameras on the market that can come close to the FX700's specification, and what few there are are very expensive. It is competing with only a handful of top-end models such as the Canon IXUS 300 HS (£280) or the IXUS 1000 HS (£350), the Sony HX5 (£275) or the new TX7 (£350). However compared even to to these top-of-the-range luxury models the FX700 is expensive, with a current high street price of £379. It is possible to find it for less online, but then the same is true of its competitors.

To be fair though the FX700 certainly looks like £379 worth of camera. Despite its exceptional specification it has a sleek shape that it almost small enough to earn the description “ultra-compact”, measuring 103.5 x 55.8 x 24.5mm. Like most expensive gadgets it is heavy for its size, weighing a reassuringly hefty 176g including battery and memory card. It's difficult to tell what the body is made of – presumably aluminium – because it is covered in a smooth matt black plastic which looks great, setting off the bright chrome details nicely.


October 1, 2010, 1:41 pm

Ever since the TR review of the FX500, I have owned one. Excellent camera and a decent video camera. I am very tempted by this as an upgrade as we do not have an HD camcorder in any event and it is always a PITA if you have the wrong camera with you - 2 in 1 seems excellent to me.


October 1, 2010, 1:44 pm

For me, image quality comes first. That there are other cameras that do it better and for a lower price means "Thanks, Panny, but no thanks." And if anyone from the company reads this: how about including an interval timer one day? That's a feature that would swing me.


October 1, 2010, 3:16 pm

I recently bought one of these cameras online for £275 and am very pleased with it. Just a few comments, mainly on the video mode. As well as 1080 50i there's 720 50p, which, according to the specs is actually true 50p, not the frame doubling of 25p available on earlier Panasonic models. The zoom is audible (though in no way loud) when shooting in very quiet indoor areas, but fine when there's ambient noise (ie most of the time). I had a Sony HX5 a while back and returned it as the battery life was very poor, particularly when shoting video. I believe the FX700's battery is CIPA rated as having a slightly lesser shoting capacity, but in real terms I have found that it lasts considerably longer, and charges quicker also. The FX700 is not perfect by any means, and it definitely struggles in dark scenes, but in my view it's a decent all-rounder.


October 1, 2010, 6:44 pm

@Cliff - I was surprised to see such a high overall score (8/10) considering the less than stellar value (5/10). Ultimately, it's the value of a product that more or less determines if it's worth getting in the first place. That's why I think that the overall score and the score for value should never be more than 2 points apart (at the most). So a 7/10 overall might have been enough.

I also think the score for image quality (8/10) was a bit high, especially considering the price of the camera. For £359, that kind of "IQ" should only get a 7/10, maybe even 6/10.

Take a closer look at the first picture of the statue (in wide angle) at it's original size. There's quite a lot of chromatic aberration around the statue at the top, and the detail of the flowers and trees is far from impressive.

Come on, you can almost get an LX5, or a Canon S90/S95 for that kind of money. And their image quality is in a completely different league.


October 1, 2010, 10:16 pm

Saw this today and was impressed. One or 2 questions though. Is it much better than the FX 70? Also was shown the TZ10 which had 12x optical zoom but seemed bulky.I am basically a happy snapper as my husband has a Nikon D80 for any more serious stuff. Good video needed as we don't have any other video camera. Any advice please? This one felt good!


October 2, 2010, 1:21 am

I forgot to add in my earlier comment that compared to the HX5 the FX700's images are noticeably sharper, and suffer much less from barrel distortion at wide-angle.

Tom MacFarlane

October 2, 2010, 1:36 pm

If searching for a similar-sized digicam with full-size movie mode also consider the Samsung WB2000. This superb camera also offers RAW mode for stills, which is so fast that I now use it all the time.

alireza doraghi

December 20, 2010, 1:44 am

it is(fx700) very good

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