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Panasonic: DMC-FX07 unveiled
(Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - 05:54 EDT)

In its second FX-series announcement of the day, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. has taken the wraps off its new Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX07 digital camera.

Closely related to the DMC-FX50 model alongside which it was announced, the 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 Lumix 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 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 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 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 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 DMX-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 will ship in September, priced at $350. The official press release can be found in our coverage of the DMC-FX50 announcement.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX07
Camera TypeCompact
Model NumberDMC-FX07
Dimensions3.7 x 2.0 x 1.0"
94.1 x 51.1 x 24.2mm
Weight160.0 g
5.6 oz
Planned Price$349.95
Planned AvailabilitySep 2006
Image Capture
Sensor Type1/2.5" CCD
7.38 megapixels (total)
7.20 megapixels (effective)
Filter TypeRGBG
Aspect Ratio4:3, 16:9
Image Dimensions3072 x 2304 (7.1 megapixels)3072 x 2048 (6.3 megapixels)3072 x 1728 (5.3 megapixels)2560 x 1920 (4.9 megapixels)2048 x 1536 (3.1 megapixels)2048 x 1360 (2.8 megapixels)1920 x 1080 (2.1 megapixels)1280 x 960 (1.2 megapixels)
Capture SpeedContinuous: 3.0 frames per second for 6 frames
Image Quality2 levels
Image Preview / Review
LCD2.5", 207,000 pixels
100% field of view
Playback Zoom8.0x max
3.6x optical zoom
Image StabilizationYes
Focal Length4.6 - 16.8mm (actual)
28 - 102mm (35mm equivalent)
Aperture RangeWide: F2.8 / F8.0; Tele: F5.6 / F16
Focusing System1-point, 1-point high speed, 3-point high speed, 9-point, Spot with AF assist lamp
Focusing RangeNormal: 20" - infinity (50 cm - infinity)
Macro: 2.0" - infinity (5.0 cm - infinity)
ISO SensitivityAuto, Intelligent ISO, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1250, 3200* (high sensitivity mode)
Shutter Speed60 - 1/2000 second
Exposure ModesProgram
Metering ModesIntelligent Multiple
Exposure Compensation+/- 2.0EV in 1/3EV increments
White BalanceImage Sensor - Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Shade, Halogen, White Set, Manual
Internal FlashModes: Auto, Auto/Red-eye Reduction, Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction, Forced On, Forced Off
Range: Wide: 0.6 - 4.0m; Tele: 0.3 - 2.0m
Scene ModesPortrait, Soft Skin, Scenery, Sports, Night Portrait, Night Scenery, Self-portrait, Food, Party, Candle, Fireworks, Starry Sky, Baby1, Baby2, Snow, High Sensitivity, Underwater, Aerial photo, Beach
Digital Zoom4x
Self TimerYes, 2 or 10 seconds
Movie FormatQuickTime Motion JPEG with audio
848x480 and 640x480
Max. frame-rate: 30 frames per second
Recording MediumSD/MMC, SDHC
File SystemComplies with Design Rule for Camera File System (DCF)
File FormatJPEG (EXIF 2.2)
VideoYes, NTSC / PAL switchable
ComputerUSB 1.1
OtherDC In
Battery TypeLithium Ion rechargeable
Battery Form FactorProprietary
Product Bundle
SoftwareLUMIX Simple Viewer, ArcSoft PhotoBase, ArcSoft PhotoImpression, ArcSoft Panorama Maker, USB Driver
Battery / Charger1 x Proprietary Lithium Ion rechargeable battery and charger
Flash Memory16.0MB Secure Digital Card
Digital Print Order Format (DPOF) compliantYes
PictBridge CompliantYes
Internal MicrophoneYes
Internal SpeakerYes

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