Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX07 Review

 
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Basic Specifications
Full model name: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX07
Resolution: 7.20 Megapixels
Sensor size: 1/2.5"
Lens: 3.60x zoom
(28-102mm eq.)
Viewfinder: LCD
ISO: 100-3200
Shutter: 60-1/2000
Max Aperture: 2.8
Dimensions: 3.7 x 2.0 x 1.0 in.
(94 x 51 x 24 mm)
Weight: 5.6 oz (160 g)
includes batteries
MSRP: $350
Availability: 09/2006
Manufacturer: Panasonic
Full specs: Panasonic DMC-FX07 specifications
7.20
Megapixels
3.60x zoom
1/2.5"
size sensor
image of Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX07
Front side of Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX07 digital camera Back side of Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX07 digital camera Top side of Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX07 digital camera    
Untitled Document Closely related to the DMC-FX50 model alongside which it was announced, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX07 is slightly smaller and lighter, the savings achieved courtesy of a reduced LCD display size (which also brings a slight battery life improvement). The Panasonic FX07 is based around the same seven megapixel imager and Leica-branded 3.6x optical zoom lens with MEGA O.I.S. image stabilisation that make up the FX50, with the lens / imager combo yielding effective focal lengths from 28 - 102mm. ISO sensitivity ranges from 100 to 1250, with the option to extend this to ISO 3200 in high sensitivity mode. In addition, Panasonic has added a new feature dubbed "Intelligent ISO Control", which basically adjusts the ISO sensitivity automatically in order to gain a fast enough shutter speed with which to freeze subject motion and camera shake. Images can be previewed or reviewed on a 2.5" LCD display with a higher than average resolution of 207,000 pixels, and as with the FX50 there's unfortunately no optical viewfinder - something which is sadly becoming rather rare on a lot of digicams these days.

Focusing on the Panasonic Lumix FX07 is catered for with a 1, 3, or 9-point autofocus function with AF assist lamp. Exposure modes include a generous nineteen scene modes, including Panasonic's unusual "Baby" modes that allow you to program a date of birth in each, and then have your images tagged with your children's current ages at the time a photo is taken. (Sharp-eyed readers will note this is one more than the number of scene modes in the FX50, the addition being an underwater mode).

Exposure variables are determined using an intelligent multiple metering system, and users can tweak the Panasonic DMC-FX07's exposure with +/-2.0EV of exposure compensation, in 1/3EV steps. Shutter speeds range from 1/2000 to 60 seconds - quite a bit longer than is common on many digicams - and the DMC-FX07 offers automatic or manual white balance control with four presets, and a custom white balance mode - letting you save white balance measurements for common situations for later recall. The Panasonic FX07 also includes a built-in five mode flash, with a range of up to four meters at wide angle or two meters at telephoto.

The Lumix FX07 offers a higher than average movie resolution of 848 x 480 pixels as seen on some of Panasonic's other recent cameras, as well as lower-resolution 640 x 480 and 320 x 240 pixel options - all of which use the QuickTime MotionJPEG format common on most digicams. The Panasonic DMC-FX07 draws power from a proprietary Lithium Ion rechargeable battery pack, and records images on Secure Digital or MultiMedia cards (with a not-so-generous 16MB card in the product bundle - plan to buy a larger card straight away). In addition, the FX07 supports the new SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity) standard, which extends the maximum capacity to a theoretical 32GB (4GB cards being the largest at the time of this writing), with sustained transfer rates of up to six megabytes per second. There's also both USB computer connectivity, and an NTSC / PAL switcheable video output to show your images on a TV, with the necessary cables included. An Arcsoft software collection rounds out the product bundle.

Three other features from the DMC-FX50 are absent in the FX07. While the FX50 can save a frame from a movie clip as a still image, and can simultaneously display two images side by side on the LCD display in playback mode, the FX07 lacks these abilities. It also doesn't include the FX50's "Out-of-Frame" display mode, which shrinks the live preview slightly in record mode so as to include a histogram and various other settings information around the outside of the image, rather than including the information overlaid on top of the image as most cameras tend to do.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX07 ships from September, priced at $350.

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