|Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX500K 10.1MP Digital Camera with 5x Wide Angle MEGA Optical Image Stabilized Zoom (Black)
|List Price: $399.95
Our Price: $240.15
You Save: $159.80 (40%)
The Panasonic DMC-FX500 Lumix compact digital camera features a hybrid control system that combines joystick control with touch-screen operation. Use the joystick for basic settings and the touch-screen for selecting features like AutoFocus or Auto-Exposure, Manual Operation and Slideshow functions, which can be adjusted by touching or moving a slider on the screen with your finger or with the included stylus pen. Set the FX500 to iA mode and let the five Intelligent Auto functions team up to help prevent shooting errors. Intelligent Exposure corrects lighting differences, so images come out just the way you see them; Intelligent Scene Selector chooses the mode that best fits the situation; MEGA Optical Image Stabilization (O.I.S.) helps prevent blurring from hand-shake; Intelligent ISO Control helps prevent motion blur; and Face Detection helps produce clear portraits by optimizing the focus and exposure settings. 5x Optical Zoom - Focal Length f=4.4-22mm (35mm Equiv. - 25-125mm) Leica DC Vario-Elmarit Lens Focus Normal/Macro, Quick AF, Touch AF/AE, AF Tracking - with AF Assist Lamp ISO Sensitivity Auto /100 / 200 / 400 / 800 / 1600 (High Sensitivity Mode - Auto (1600 - 6400)) White Balance Auto / Daylight / Cloudy / Shade / Halogen / White Set / White Balance Adjustment (+10steps, except for auto set) (Selectable at Portrait, Soft Skin, Self-Portrait, Sports, Baby, Pet, High Sensitivity, and High-speed Burst mode) Exposure Program AE, Manual, Touch AE Light Metering Intelligent Multiple / Center-weighted / Spot Scene Modes SCN (Portrait, Soft Skin, Scenery, Sports, Night Portrait, Night Scenery, Self-Portrait, Food, Party, Candle Light, Fireworks, Starry Sky, Beach, Aerial Photo, Snow, High Sensitivity, Baby 1&2, Sunset, Pet, Hi-Speed Burst) Shutter Speed/Shutter System 60 - 1/2000 sec; Self Timer 10 seconds / 2 seconds 27MB internal memory Still Image Recording with Audio 5
- 10-megapixel CCD captures enough detail for photo-quality poster-size prints
- 5x optical zoom; 25mm/f2.8 wide-angle Leica DC lens
- 3.0-inch touch-screen LCD monitor
- Face Detection; Advanced Optical Image Stabilization and Intelligent ISO
- Capture images to SD/SDHC/MMC (not included)
- Panasonic Lumix DCM-FX500K
This camera operates as advertised. It is a fine point and shoot camera with enough options to keep one learning and improving for a long time....more info
- Lumix Cameras
This is my fourth Panasonic Lumix and each has been excellent from the FX01 to the FX 07 and FX 100 they have all been first rate products. I moved to the FX 500 because I wanted the 25mm wide angle view and have now taken roughly a 100 pictures in the 10 meg size. No problems it's a great camera sufficient battery life easy to charge, simple to use and good pictures. I found that Microsoft has a program to update a computer SD slot to SDHC so I flip the 8gig card straight to the SD slot on my laptop. The FX 500 is slightly larger than my earlier Panasonics so I needed a new case and yet the battery is smaller so I can't share my chargers. I've no reservations about recommending this camera it is excellent. Note an English version is cheapest in America the export models overseas are more expensive while there are Japanese language only versions deeply discounted. ...more info
- So very happy...
This camera is exactly what I wanted and needed. It has all the features I needed for a point and click with the added feature of a mega zoom. It is lightweight and easy to just throw it in your bag and go. I am really happy with the purchase....more info
- No good.
I returned it. Door latch for battery is poorly constructed. Not a good camera. Much better point and shoots are available for the price....more info
- DMC-FX500 Digital Camera Review
This camera is a diamond in the rough. Pocketable and powerful. Many automatic options PLUS manual contol, which is rare in tiny cameras. The touchscreen is simple and saves on many button pushes. The 3.0" viewscreen has autobrightness as well as a special overhead mode. 5X zoom is better than average. Very little barrel distortion at wide angle with f2.8. Camera is solidly constructed. I don't know what the one guy is saying about the battery door, its solid enough.
25mm wide is excellent. Battery life seems good, too. The 720P HD video is certainly a bonus, though you can't zoom once recording has started. Smearing while panning is minimal compared to sony t500. Stabilization really helps. Clips are limited to 2GB (it appears) which is about 8.5 minutes of HD recording time @ 30fps. Audio is solid (unlike the TZ5 which audio sucks).
This camera lets you limit the ISO from going above 400 in automatic modes to prevent finger paintings. I wish it would let you limit it to 200, but its still a great feature. Full auto mode plus iAuto mode makes it easy to get started.
Manual mode allows shutter as long a 60 seconds for night shots. All in all, its a great all around camera to have with you and packs a ton of features including usable HD video. Check out many of the photos I uploaded to see its very versatile....more info
- Poor image quality, especially in low light
There are many things to like about this camera (touch-screen controls, manual overrides, large viewing screen, image stabilization, Leica lens) unfortunately image quality is not one.
While daylight exposures at ISO 100 or lower are OK albeit not outstanding, the noise and fuzziness of the images at higher ISO's makes the camera unusable at those settings. The images look great on the camera screen but get them back to your laptop or printer and the lack of sharpness is appalling. It's so bad I thought something was wrong with the camera, but reading all the other reviews I see I'm not alone. I've tried overriding the factory noise reduction setting but to no avail, it produces different results of similarly poor quality. Wish I was still within my 30-day return period.
Not recommended....more info
- Very good value for the price
For a week I went back and forth between getting this or the DMC-TZ5. What finally decided it for me was that at the time on Amazon this camera was about $60 less than the TZ5, and every review I had read said the two cameras were pretty much the same except:
-The TZ5 has a 10x optical zoom; the FX500 only has 5x.
-The TZ5 has all automatic/preset controls; the FX500 has manual options.
-The TZ5 can zoom during video recording; the FX500 cannot.
-Also the FX500 is about 2/3 the depth of the TZ5 (the extra room is needed for the bigger lense).
For me it just wasn't worth the extra money for 10x zoom and video zoom, plus I wanted a high-quality camera I could carry in my pocket, and the TZ5 is supposed to be a little too bulky for that.
So far I've taken some shots indoors, as well as overcast outdoors and at the sunny beach, and I'll admit I've definitely gotten some bad pictures. But in my experience with the camera, a bad pic means I'm doing something wrong, and there's always a way to adjust to get a crisp, beautiful photo. If you're 100% a point-and-click kind of person, this may not be the best choice because the auto-mode doesn't always choose the absolute best settings, and you have to tinker around with it some to get optimal results. I personally like that aspect, however. I bought this camera for less than $200, and it was definitely a great deal.
Oh, a couple things about the zoom:
-You can't zoom DURING video recording, but you can zoom beforehand; so for example, if you want to record something far away, just zoom in before you hit the record button and voila! It is a little annoying that you have to choose the zoom level in advance, but I was happily surprised when I figured out I could zoom at all in video mode.
-Saying the camera has any more than 5x zoom is misleading. Besides optical zoom there are a couple other kinds (digital and one other, forget the name) that supposedly let you zoom in even more, but all these really do are crop the picture or decrease the quality; After 5x optical zoom, the more you zoom in, the lower the resolution or smaller the pic. Since I always take pictures at max resolution, I don't see the point in ever using the other zoom modes; if I want a picture to be narrowly focussed on a distant object, I'll just crop it after the fact....more info
- Sophisticated but not better than others
I have this camera. I got it in Japan.
It has many automatized features that looks very nice. The stabilization works well. The menu is very easy to use.
However, I have been disappointed by the poor quality of the pictures. It does not show better results than most other compact cameras whereas it is rather more expensive and heavier.
Most outdoor pictures are over-exposed (intelligent mode), and it is not easy to check with the display. I took many pictures that I thought were nice but finally looks very bad on the computer and print. Indoor pictures with flash and artificial lighting looks yellowish unless the subject is very close to the camera (<1 m). The pictures looks grainy or soft in many circumstances. Maybe Panasonic is not ready for 10 Megapixels.
As mentionned by others no zoom in video mode.
Nice wide angle but there is noticeable distortion at the edges. A person at the edge of a picture taken without zoom looks somewhat deformed.
I compared with my canon powershot 710IS. The canon (7 MPx, X6 optical zoom, stabilizer, digital zoom in video) is much better though just a little bit thicker. I was planning to give it to someone and keep the FX500... I may do the contrary!
Conclusion: nice piece of technology but disappointed by the results considering the price and the weight compared to other products....more info
- Quality of pictures is first-rate!
I used this camera on a two week vacation and was very pleased with prints of the pictures taken. So, it follows that I have to disagree with those who've written about the quality of the shots taken with this camera!
It's true that "intelligent auto" isn't the best choice for shooting in low light. (That mode, however, works very well for other shots, including those with action that needs to be stopped at high speed.) But, as several have noted on the other side ... e.g. in reviews of the FX500 silver ..., there are other choices in the Mode selection that work very nicely in low light conditions.
I'm very pleased that I choose this camera instead of similar Canon or Sony models!...more info
- One of the best cameras I've had to return.
I have had quite a few point and shoot cameras and this one is the nicest I've owned. I've alway been a fan of the Canon line of cameras and was a bit skeptical about switching brands, but the lackluster reviews of the recent Canons made me look at other options. The FX500 has met or exceeded all my expectations for the camera. The pictures are exceptional, the touchscreen is a joy to use, and the battery life is above average. Our pictures have been bright and vivid with minimal user intervention, the HD video is wonderful and its compact size and durable case means we can take it anywhere.
If I had any negatives to report, it's the same issues with other PnS cameras, we experienced some red eye, a bit of noise in the pictures and the audio quality wasn't all that great.
After having the camera for almost a month it pains me to say it, but its being sent back. I mentioned noise in my review and after looking at all the pictures we've taking in great detail the pictures are just not crisps and clear. My wife is the main user of the camera and she constantly take pictures, runs them through photo shop and then prints them. When she sat down to do the first set from our vacation she found when zooming the pictures really become grainy and are blurry when printed. They look fine without the zoom, but when you start to zoom in you loose detail that our older camera captures.
Its really disappointing, the camera has the best interfaces I've seen and the touch screen is very nice. If your just wanting a nice point and shoot and aren't into photo manipulation, then this would probably be a decent camera, otherwise you may want to look at other options. ...more info
- I REALLY wanted to like this camera... but I don't
I completely fell in love with my Panasonic DMC-FX01, which has taken many unbelievable photos over the last 3 years until it finally ingested too much sand and died. I badly wanted a pocketable camera with 5x optical zoom, manual controls, a wide angle lens, and above all, great image quality. I have been so happy with Panasonic compacts that I decided to wait 2 months for the DMC-FX500, but I feel like that was a complete waste of time. With all its bells and whistles, and the promise of full manual settings, this camera just doesn't take good photos.
For the steep $350, I expected the camera to at least somewhat approach the image quality of my Canon G7, which has near-DSLR IQ. This camera sadly doesn't even hold a candle to my wife's DMC-FX03, an older, low/middle-range Panasonic. Photos are generally very soft, and lacking focus. Highlights are often blown out, and lack vibrant colors. About 1 in 4 photos actually comes out decent, with somewhat acceptable focus. The 9-point auto focus setting turned in the best results, but even those were spotty.
I spent much of a 3-day weekend trying to tweak the manual settings, white balance, megapixel levels, sharpness and noise reduction controls, and came up with about the quality I'd expect from a $100 camera. Neither close-ups nor wide shots lacked sufficient detail. The "intelligent" auto setting is odd b/c there seems to be nothing intelligent about it - the results are almost random - some are way under-exposed and others are badly blown out. Some shots are relatively well-focused, while others are soft/blurry. Almost none approach a "great" shot.
I keep wondering if I've gotten a bum unit, but I'm so disappointed with this camera that I don't feel like bothering. Even with the Canon SD870IS' questionable reliability (our friends had trouble with theirs), I'd rather drop down to 4x zoom and 8 megapixels, which will be better anyway due to not having to stuff too many MP into a small image sensor. I don't have any doubt it will take the quality of photos I expect from a higher-end compact, and for about $90 less than this one. ...more info
- Compared to FX-35 it pros, it has cons...
Just upgraded from the FX-35 and did quite a few tests yesterday. Overall, the FX-500 is an excellent camera but dollar for dollar you get a little more with the FX-35. That being said, I am selling my FX-35 and keeping the FX-500 (see eBay!) because some small specific differences weigh in favor of the FX-500 for me as a photographer, but not necessarily because the camera is better. There were a few primary issues I want to mention between the two cameras though.
First, the FX-500 is noticeably larger than the FX-35. I know specs are specs, but just the weight and feel make it larger and it is less comfortable in a shirt pocket. The bonus is that for those of us with larger hands it is more comfortable to use without always hitting buttons with your thumb. Second, the lens is not quite as wide as the FX-35. This could be a number of factors, but since we know the chip processes not only noise but some optical distortions (try comparing the RAW and JPEG versions of a few Lumix camera images!) this could be post processing by the chip. I would guess the FX-500 is about a 25.5mm or 26mm wide angle compared to the FX-35. That, or the FX-35 is a 24.5mm :)
The most disappointing aspect of the FX-500 is that the images are not quite as good as the FX-35. Look close, mainly in low light. I notice significantly more noise artifact in the FX-500 images compared to the FX-35 in all ISO's. This make sense since the FX-500 has a much larger screen sitting right behind the chip and more electronics. I am sure the FX-500 generates more electronics noise from this fact alone and that has to be processed out. Luckily, the FX-500 has many more manual controls and you can adjust contrast, sharpness and noise reduction and little. Still, making as many adjustments as I could I could not get the same quality out of the FX-500 that I could get out of the FX-35. Let me stress that this image difference is small and only available to Pixel Peepers when you zoom in 100%, but it is noticeable. So, if you shoot wide and hope you can later crop in to get the image you want you will do better with the FX-500 to frame tight to reduce the amount of cropping.
Those were the largest issues I saw, but let me say the build quality is excellent as it always is with Lumix cameras. The menus are intuitive and the touch screen works wonderfully (even with a screen protector on the LCD). I think the actual number of items the touch screen is useful for is smaller than the number of things you can actually do with it, but for those things it is nice. The focus control is sweet, changing modes and scenes is quicker and easier and things like the playback control for movies now offer you real buttons on the screen which is very intuitive.
When you compare the fact that the FX-500 has more manual controls, a larger LCD, fancy gadget points for the touch screen and a slightly longer lens at 125mm, I decided to stick with it. This is also because I got one on eBay for about $350. If you are not really going to play with the gadgets on this camera that much and want a pocketable point and shoot with excellent, amazing optics, pick the FX-35. If you want a little more manual control, some sweet gadget novelty with the touch screen and perhaps a slightly longer lens and don't mind spending $100 more, get the FX-500. I decided on the FX-500 but really I am just waiting for a new and improved upgrade for my FZ-18! (I want a 10M chip and fancier processor, other than that I love the FZ-18!)
Two last notes: the rubberized case feel of the FX-35 is more secure in your hand in some ways and I really miss that on the FX-500. Also, the FX-500 seems to eat batteries a little faster. (makes sense though, expected...)
1. longer zoom range nice
2. larger, heavier body easier to hold for large hands
3. intuitive touch screen, fast & easy
1. more chip noise than FX-35, but manageable
2. larger heavier body less pocketable
3. costs $100 more than FX-35 for minor upgrades
4. battery life a little shorter than FX-35...more info
- Lumix FX500
A gem with super wide-angle and good movie. All for 16:9 HDTV. It's a pity that component cable as option only....more info
- Poor Image Quality
I really liked the features and specifications. The wide angle, touch screen, zoom and higher resolution video really lured me to this camera. However, the photo image quality was poor compared to my older Sony DSC-N1 or the replacement Canon I bought. (Sony N1 video is poor & jerky)
I think some reviewer are impressed with their first touch screen - as they are impressive - but I am used to them since my Sony DSC-N1 has a touch screen.
I have a critical eye for image quality, and the colors from the Lumix FX500 had a blah quality and yellow tint. I tried to compensate by setting the white balance to Warm - it helped a lot - but it still could not compete with the Sony or Canon. Also, the FX500 focus was often soft and not sharp. When in focus, FX500 resolution was equal to my Sony N1 that has 8 MegaPixels. In general the Sony Color looked better in the side-by-side shoot-out comparison. (even when tweaking the FX500 settings, and leaving the Sony on Auto). Though Sony saturates colors a bit, the overall photos just looked better. The Color was not true in DMC-FX500 photos - and the photos had a yellow tint (yuck!). I bought a Canon SD870-IS, and returned this Lumix DMC-FX500 camera. Wow, the Canon SD870 photos have great true colors and are sharp (Much better color that Lumix and truer color than Sony). The Canon video is standard 640x480 resolution - but very good quality. Living without a touch screen is fine. I am technical and did not have issues with the Canon interface. I was hesitant to buy a Canon - as I had reliability issues and experienced poor customer service 9 years ago with a high end digital Canon camcorder (broke just out of warranty with little use). A friend also had a Canon digital camera break easily and Canon repair is expensive. But the images from the Canon SD870 camera are fantastic and the video is good (much better video than the Sony N1). You can Zoom while shooting video with the Canon - but focus gets blurry with video zoom above 3.8x. The Canon SD870 has been working like a champ for the past 3 weeks with heavy daily use. I am really glad I returned the Lumix and bought the Canon. I wish the Lumix DMC-FX500 image quality was comparable to the Canon - because the Lumix features and specs are great....more info
- Excellent at it strengths, good even at it's weaknesses
First of all, I can't comment much on the value for the money, since my purchase was based solely on features and I was willing to pay for them. I searched for 6 months for a camera that met my requirements (in this order).
-fast first picture from 'off' state
-good low light pictures (as good as a compact anyway)
-small enough to fit in pocket (for bars, parties, etc)
-7MP or more
Nice to have:
-manual photo options
-Zoom while video record
-.avi video recording
-4x zoom or more
I was originally going to purchase the TZ5, but this model's manual options and smaller size won me over. For my purposes, giving up the 10x optical zoom was well worth it.
-excellent (amazing) "Auto Ai" mode: It's truly point-and-shoot if you want it to be
-image stabilization 'mode 2' works very well to reduce blur
-about 1.25 second to first pic from off (about 2 sec with flash)
-battery life (second only to the Casios that I've purchased for friends and family)
-low-light pictures: if you set the correct scene mode, you can get a very decent picrture without flash - better thatn any other compact digitals I've seen.
-great video quality: 720p .MOV format is compatible with iMovie and looks great on a 42" 1080P LCD TV on a computer (you'll need to pay extra for the cable that goes directly from the camera to the TV)
-25mmm wide-angle is surprisingly useful, but you have to remember to zoom slightly if you don't want a slight 'fisheye' view.
-there is a 'quick menu' that gives you 2-button access to all the most often used functions (they change with each mode)
-one touch access to self-timer (great for quick self-portraits)
-no zoom while video recording (TZ5 only as far as I know)
-sometimes it's unclear whether to use touchscreen or the joystick (I think anywhere that uses the touch should also be able to use the joystick)
-flash pics are about 6 seconds shot-to-shot (with 2/3 battery on full iA mode with double red-eye reduction flash)
-the LCD turns off after a some flash pictures for 1.5 sec or so (I suppose to help the flash recharge more quickly)
-tripod mount is to far left of body: bad for tiny portable tripods, but placement allows you to change battery/card without disconnecting tripod
-USB cable is not a (current-standard) mini-USB on the camera end. This may be a plus later on as more phones and cameras use micro-USB
This is the best camera available for my requirements, and an excellent overall compact. It has the best low-light pictures (with defeated flash) that I've seen on a digital compact (aside from the old, old Fujis). It's the first camera that I've been truely comfortable setting on 'auto' and knowing I will almost always get a good picture.
If you want a pocket-sized camera that you can just whip out at an event and be assured of a good picture or take a great looking video clip, while retaining the ability to do some limited manual exposures, this is the one for you. ...more info
- Terrific Camera!
Others have written reviews that capture the key features of this camera. I want to add that this is a very easy camera to use -- even for someone like me who is not especially tech-savy. The interface is quite intuitive and, indeed, fun to use. Intelligent Auto works well in most situations, though as other writers have suggested, in low light situations it's best to go to one of the specific "scene" modes intended for such instances.
I had the camera with me on a recent 2 week vacation. Both the wide angle lens and the 5x zoom paid for themselves, I felt, with the scenes I could capture using them. (The wide angle of this Panasonic may not add much width in a living room scene, but it certainly does when shooting a mountain panorama.) Battery life was more than adequate for a full day of picture taking; and it's of note that the battery's charger comes (free) in the camera box. Best of all, I'm really pleased with the quality of the photos taken with this little camera. ...more info
- Big disappointemtn if Quality of Picture is Important!
I've been a Photo enthusiast for 50 years and go way back with many film and at least 10 digital cameras from near SLR-size to pocket compacts and was so thrilled when I ordered the FX500 (because of the Leica lens and the wide angle shooting capability) I could barely sleep until it arrived... Sad to say the camera construction & layout itself, the interface is wonderful but the quality of pictures (its "reason for being" in the first place, right?)is borderline horrible (in comparison say to the Canon SD850IS which is an almost perfect comparison in size & specs...to the FX500 side-by-sde, picture-for-picture using the exact same settings, light and subject...). Urg! I am so disappointed. The photos are so grainy and un-sharp... fuzzy by comparison... My bad! as my son would say, I did not wait for the DP Review to come out, but bought it the first week it was available... Well, it makes a fine paperweight on my desk and for shooting those "unimportant" fun shots of the dog playing onthe rug beside my desk... Don't buy this just for the pazazz unless you are using it only for email-sized postcard shots. Sorry Panasonic! this is the unvarnished truth about your otherwise wonderfully designed camera....more info