Excerpt: The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX55 ($349) is a midrange camera in
Panasonic's ultra-compact camera lineup. It features an 8 Megapixel CCD, wide-angle
3.6X optical zoom lens, optical image stabilization, 3-inch LCD display,
widescreen movie mode, and superb battery life.
Pros: Very good photo quality (by ultra-compact standards), though see issues below, Wide-angle, 3.6X optical zoom lens, Optical image stabilization, Ultra-compact metal body, comes in three colors, Huge 3-inch LCD display; screen visible outdoors and in low light; useful Power LCD and High Angle featu...
Cons: Visible noise at lowest ISOs; noise reduction kicks in soon after, smudging details; some corner blurriness, Redeye a big problem, LCD resolution no better than smaller screens, No optical viewfinder, No metering option; more manual controls would be nice, High sensitivity scene mode worth skippi...
Excerpt: Built around a lens forged in the vaunted house of Leica, the FX55 is packed with a laundry list of features: an ultra wide zoom with twin mode optical image stabilization, three aspect ratios, and a three-inch LCD. Sweet specs, right? Yup, they are.
Pros: Beautiful industrial design with superior Leica optics. Shoots in 3:2, 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios. Sharp QuickTime videos.
Cons: Menus are unnecessarily murky. Key functions like exposure compensation, flash adjustment, and delete require deep menu digging rather than direct access. The function dial makes mode changes slower than a tortoise full of rigor mortis.
Summary: Panasonic's run of producing the goods when it comes to digital compacts shows no signs of slowing. The Lumix DMC-FX55 is easy to use and reliable, producing consistently sharp, evenly exposed, colourful images -- it's all you could hope for from a pocket snapshot camera
Pros: Large bright LCD screen, simple to use (particularly with Intelligent Auto Mode); rechargeable battery.
Cons: No removable media supplied; could be faster writing maximum-resolution shots; optical image stabilisation not always infallible.
Excerpt: The extra coverage of 28mm over 35mm can be really useful, especially if you take a lot of landscapes or group shots. It also incorporates Panasonic’s MEGA O.I.S. anti-shake system too, with two modes – constant or only active when the shutter is depressed.