The Panasonic DMC FX500 is a 10 megapixel digital camera with a 5x optical zoom lens. It has more features than any other pocket sized camera I have reviewed.
Why Buy The Panasonic DMC FX500
If you are looking for a feature rich pocket camera then you will be delighted by the DMC FX500. It has manual exposure controls, a wide angle lens, high definition movies and a large 3 inch screen. A number of options are touch screen controlled.
On top of these headline features there is also image stabilisation, a setting to make it easy to see the LCD screen when the camera is help above eye level and bracketing. You can also increase the amount of zoom available when shooting at lower resolutions.
94.9 x 57.1 x 22.9mm
Image Quality - See Sample Images Below
Outdoor Scenic Shots in Good Light
Outdoor 1 (Medium Zoom):
The DMC FX500 does especially well when handling the lighter colours in the shot. This camera is able to show more detail on the boats than the majority of digital cameras manage. When it comes to colours the blues and greens have a natural feel to them. Focusing is sharp without hitting the same levels as the very best compacts manage.
Outdoor 2 (No Zoom): This scene is a stern test for a camera with a lens as wide as this one. In terms of focusing the camera does well, although there is a small amount of drop off in light and brightness as you move towards the edges.
Outdoor 3 (Maximum Zoom): With the lens fully zoomed in the DMC FX500 does well enough when it comes to focusing, but does not earn itself a place in the top quarter of pocket sized digital cameras.
Outdoor 4 (Building): My final outdoor test is another that tests out how well the camera is able to focus. Based on this set of tests the DMC FX500 does well enough without matching up to the very best. I would give it 7.5 out of 10 for focusing at distance.
No problems here. Focusing is good with the camera being that much closer to its subject. The extra colour in the shot helps to create a warmer portrait. I think the DMC FX500 does well to find detail in the darker areas of the shot.
Indoor Portrait with Flash: Even with the flash on the DMC FX500 manages to retain colour in the shot. On the whole this photo works well for me. Again there is no problem with the sharpness of the shot.
Indoor Portrait without Flash: I would like to have seen more brightness and definition in this photo. Owing to the DMC FX500 not being able to pull enough light into the shot noise starts to creep in. This takes the edge off the definition of the shot. Although it is not a bad effort I prefer the indoor portrait with flash.
Macro, Colours and Noise
This is a decent macro shot. I would say it places the DMC FX500 in the top 25 percent of compact digital cameras for close up shots.
Colours: Over time I feel that Panasonic digital cameras have toned down the colours they produce a notch or two. I think this is a good thing as the colours now have a more natural look to them.
ISO 400 and ISO 1600: There is nothing out of the ordinary for my higher ISO tests. There is noise even in the lighter areas of the ISO 400 shot. Noise levels increase in the darker areas of the shot. At ISO 1600 noise is a problem in all areas.
Perhaps not up there with the very best pocket digital cameras, but a worthy effort none the less.
Looks wise the DMC FX500 is a fairly regular pocket sized digital camera. It is available in black and silver.
Shutter Lag Times
Single Shot With Flash
Five Shots With Flash
Turn on Time
Ease of Use
Considering all the features packed into the DMC FX500 Panasonic have done a very good job of making the camera as easy to use as possible.
Points I Like
Ease of use - high definition movies - high angle LCD screen - design - manual exposure controls - touch screen controls
Where it Could Improve
A touch more brightness in some of the photos
There is no doubt that the Panasonic DMC FX500 is an impressive camera when it comes to the number of features packed into its compact body. Picture quality is good too and all in all Panasonic have produced a very good digital camera.
Top Rated Cameras in this Category
Sony DSC TX55 Rating 85/100
If the touch screen was perfect then the Sony Cybershot DSC TX55 would be a truly outstanding digital camera. As it is picture quality is hard to beat for such a small camera. Style and design is very impressive and the features on offer give you more or less everything you are likely to want in a point and shoot pocket camera and a bit more on top. It can be very hard to find the perfect touch screen so if touch control is important to you then this camera is well worth a place on your short list.
Read Review: Sony DSC TX55 Review
Panasonic DMC FX90 Rating 79/100
Panasonic offers some excellent digital cameras and can normally be replied upon to produce crystal clear photos. As with previous reviews of cameras in the FX part of the range the Panasonic Lumix DMC FX90 just does not match up to those usual high standards. Focusing is softer than it should be and you are likely to see the results of this even with relatively small sized prints.
Read Review: Panasonic DMC FX90 Review
Panasonic DMC FX70 Rating 79/100
The Panasonic Lumix DMC FX70 does not quite match up to the picture quality I am used to seeing from Panasonic digital cameras. It does have a lot of other plus points, but if you are looking for true clarity in your photos there are better pocket cameras around.
Read Review: Panasonic DMC FX70 Review