The stand-out feature is obviously that extra-wide-angle minimum zoom setting. Most digital compact cameras have a wide-angle of around 35mm, which is fine for general snapshots. An increasing number however are featuring 28mm-equivalent settings, traditionally regarded as the start of true wide-angle photography. The FX35 has a minimum zoom setting equivalent to an even wider 25mm though, and it’s amazing how much difference that extra three millimetres makes. The horizontal angle of view is approximately 71.5 degrees, compared to 65.5 degrees for a 28mm lens or 54.4 degrees for 35mm. Suddenly you can fit half the room into the frame, where before you’d have a hard job fitting in everyone sitting on the sofa.
The FX35 is a snapshot camera at heart, but it is loaded with advanced automatic features to help produce good pictures in almost any circumstances. As well as the usual program auto mode, it also features an improved version of the Intelligent Auto mode introduced with the FX33, in which the camera automatically selects the optimum scene mode, metering mode and ISO setting for the situation. Elements of the iAuto function can be selected individually in program mode via the menu.
The FX35 also features Panasonic’s acclaimed Mega OIS system, a mechanical lens-based image stabilisation system that uses tiny gyroscopic sensors to detect camera movement and tilts lens elements to compensate. It is an extremely effective system, providing at least three stops of extra low-speed stability.
If all that isn’t enough, the FX35 also has an exceptionally good movie mode, which can shoot 720p high-definition movies at 30fps with mono audio, with maximum recording time limited only be storage space.
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