Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX07
A smart, easy-to-use slimline digicam with built-in image stabilisation and some useful functions for everyday photographers.Panasonic’s new DMC-FX07 is a minor upgrade to the DMC-FX01 model with slightly higher resolution (7.2 megapixels vs 6.0 on the FX01) and a marginally smaller and lighter body. The lens is the same in both models but the FX07 boasts the new Venus Engine III image processor and a couple of new functions that claim to improve its shooting prowess. . . [more]
Panasonic’s new DMC-FX07 is a minor upgrade to the DMC-FX01 model with slightly higher resolution (7.2 megapixels vs 6.0 on the FX01) and a marginally smaller and lighter body. The lens is the same in both models but the FX07 boasts the new Venus Engine III image processor and a couple of new functions that claim to improve its shooting prowess.
The new Intelligent ISO Control (IIC), which automatically adjusts the ISO setting up to ISO 800 and shutter speed when there’s a fast-moving object near the centre of the fame to counteract subject movement. On the FX01 these adjustments had to be made manually. Panasonic’s in-the-lens image stabiliser is essentially the same as in the FXO1, with two modes: Mode 1, which is on all the time, is not as effective and uses more power than Mode 2, which is only active for the exposure.
Other new features include superimposable guide lines (horizontal and vertical with or without diagonals), two new scene modes (Beach and Aerial) and direct button operation of the flash, exposure compensation, self-timer and playback modes via the arrow pad. The High Sensitivity mode tops out at ISO 3200 and a new Wide VGA setting (848 x 480 pixels) is added to the movie options. Travel Date setting, Calendar Display and World Time functions have been added to the set-up menu.
The test camera turned in a good performance, with natural-looking colours across all white balance settings. Image noise was visible at high ISO settings – but not particularly obvious. The flash required at least ISO 200 to illuminate an average room and we found a bizarre magenta shift with ISO settings of 800 and 1600 with both flash and available light shots.
The top image shows the magenta colour cast produced by the test camera with high ISO settings – but not with ISO 400 or lower. A comparison shot with a different camera (below) shows the extent of the colour shift.
Imatest confirmed this colour shift (see graphs below) and showed overall resolution to be good at high ISO settings, although not outstanding overall. It also detected a fall-of in resolution from centre to edge of field, although lens distortion was relatively low. Colour accuracy at ISO settings below 400 was very good. Saturation levels were typical of most digicams and chromatic aberration was negligible.
We measured an average capture lag of 0.9 seconds, which reduced to 0.2 seconds with pre-focusing. The high-speed burst mode recorded six shots at 0.4 second intervals, while the low-speed and unlimited modes recorded at 0.5 second intervals. The built-in O.I.S. system worked extremely well. However the digital zoom function, which delivered sharp images, was very artefact-prone. Close-up performance was quite impressive.
Movie clips were clear and smoothly recorded, although the mono sound made them less impressive than movies from a digital camcorder. However, the ability to record in widescreen format was impressive in itself, although you’re limited to about 33 minutes and MotionJPEG artefacts were just visible at this size. Fortunately, the FX07 supports the new SDHC cards.
Colour accuracy at low ISO settings.
Colour accuracy at high ISO settings.
Image sensor: 5.76 x 4.29 mm CCD with 7.38 million photosites (7.2 megapixels effective)
Lens: 4.6-16.8mm f2.8-5.6 zoom lens (28-102mm in 35mm format)
Zoom ratio: 3.6x optical, up to 4x digital
Image formats: Stills ““ JPEG (Exif 2.21); Movies – QuickTime Motion JPEG; 848 x 480, 640 x 480 and 320 x 240 pixels at 30 or 10 frames/second with monaural audio
Image Sizes: 3072 x 2304, 3072 x 2048, 3072 x 1728, 2560 x 1920, 2048 x 1360, 1920 x 1080, 2048 x 1536, 1600 x 1200, 1280 x 960, 640 x 480
Shutter speed range: 8 TO 1/2000 second (15, 30 and 60 seconds in Starry Sky mode)
Exposure Compensation: +/- 2EV in 1/3 EV step increments
Focus system/range: 9-area AF; range 50 cm to infinity; macro to 5 cm
Exposure metering/control: Multiple metering; Program AE plus 18 scene presets
White balance: Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Shade, Halogen, White set
Flash modes/range (ISO auto): Auto, Auto/Red-eye reduction, Forced On (Forced On/Red-eye reduction), Slow sync./Red-eye reduction, Forced Off; range 60 cm to 4 m
ISO range: Auto, ISO 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600 (to ISO 3200 in High Sensitivity scene mode)
Sequence shooting: 3 fps for 6 large/fine shots (high speed) or 2 fps unlimited
Storage Media: 13.5 MB internal memory plus SD/SDHC/MMC memory card slot
LCD monitor: 2.5-inch low-temperature polycrystalline TFT LCD with 207,000 pixels
Power supply: Panasonic CGA-S005A rechargeable lithium-ion battery
Dimensions (wxhxd): 94.1 x 51.1 x 24.2 mm
Weight: Approx. 132 grams (without battery and card)
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Rating (out of 10):
- Build: 8
- Ease of use: 8.5
- Image quality: 7.5
- OVERALL: 8