Panasonic DMC FX550 Review

Stylish Digital Cameras

Picture
Panasonic DMC FX550 Ease of Use 9
Features 9
Movie Mode 9
Build Quality8
Colours 8
Photo Quality 8
Style 8
Lowlight 8
Macro 8
Value for Money 8
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Amazon Marketpla GBP 173.99

Overview

The Panasonic Lumix DMC FX550 is different to other smaller, compact digital cameras. It has a great range of features. These include an extreme wide angle lens (for squeezing in very wide scenes), manual exposure and a top quality 3 inch LCD screen that is controlled by touch. The Lumix DMC FX550 has 12 megapixels and a 5x optical zoom lens. The amount of zoom available can be increased when shooting at lower resolutions.

Why Buy The Panasonic DMC FX550

If you are looking for extra features, a good looking camera and good picture quality then the Lumix DMC FX550 is hard to beat for its size.

Main Features

Megapixels:
Zoom:
LCD Screen:
Dimensions:
Weight:

12
5x
3 inches
94.9 x 57.1 x 21.9 mm
145g

Macro:
HD Movies:
Manual Controls:
Batteries:
Memory Cards:

5cm
Yes
Yes
Lithium ion
SD/SDHC

Where to Buy - Panasonic DMC FX550


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GBP 173.99
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Image Quality - See Sample Images Below

Outdoor Scenic Shots in Good Light

Outdoor 1 (Medium Zoom): One thing Panasonic digital cameras do better than any other brand I test is to bring out more detail in some of the shady areas of a photo. In this example the name on the front boat is shaded from the sun, but rather than being badly affected by noise the name can still be clearly made out on a good sized print. Overall the picture is of a high quality. Sharpness remains true as you move away from the centre of the picture.

Outdoor 2 (No Zoom): Here you can see the difference an extreme wide angle lens can make. There is far more of the width of the scene showing in the shot. This will be a big plus point if you enjoy taking landscape style shots. Considering just how wide angle the lens is, the levels of sharpness are good. Most cameras with wide angle lenses produce softer shots.

Outdoor 3 (Maximum Zoom): With the zoom lens being zoomed all the way in sharpness is good again. There does appear to be a slight haze around the boats as the Lumix DMC FX550 finds some difficulty dealing with such bright, reflective objects.

Outdoor 4 (Building): As with my other outdoor test shots sharpness is above average and does not fall away to any large degree as you move out towards the edges of the shot. I use multi point focusing for my scenic shots in an attempt to get focusing to be sharp right across the picture.

Portraits

Outdoor Portrait: There is plenty of brightness in this picture. The colours are about right. The pinks in the skin tones have a natural look and the picture has a warm feel to it.

Indoor Portrait with Flash: The picture is not short of light from the built in flash unit. The problem is the light is not spread as evenly as I would like it to be. There are areas on the face that reflect back too much light, losing detail, while areas of the hair could do with some extra illumination.

Indoor Portrait without Flash: I like this picture. I think it has a more natural look to it than the photo taken with flash. The Lumix DMC FX550 handles the imperfect light better than most cameras do.

Macro, Colours and Noise

Macro: The macro shoot is a good one. The Lumix DMC FX550 is able to show a high level of detail. Common problems such as purple fringing have been avoided. You should be able to photograph a variety of close up subjects and produce pleasing results.

Colours: The colours in my test shots look how each of the scenes were on the day. In some of my outdoor tests I would like to have seen a touch more brightness. This would have helped to give the scenes a more vivid feel.

ISO 400 and ISO 1600: Lower ISO settings produce average noise levels, but as you step up to higher levels noise levels are very high. The good news is that you are unlikely to use the higher settings often - if at all.

Summary

The Lumix DMC FX550 produced a good set of test shots. There were very few negatives and plenty if plus points.

See sample images link arrow

Style

This is a very rectangular digital camera. Apart from the corners being rounded there are a lot of straight lines. It still manages to look stylish.

Shutter Lag Times

Shutter Lag Rating Par

Single Shot
Five Shots
Single Shot With Flash
Five Shots With Flash
Turn on Time

0.31 seconds
12.79 seconds
0.51 seconds
12.79 seconds
3.01 seconds


Shutter Lag Table link arrow

Ease of Use

Ease of Use - Easy The way that Panasonic has incorporated the touch screen is excellent. With other brands where every feature is controlled through touch I have often found the interface fiddly and can slow me down. With the Lumix DMC FX550 you select options like the shooting mode by touch with various other features controlled through a more traditional menu. To me this gives the best of both worlds.

Points I Like

Best touch screen setup - manual exposure - HD movies - extreme wide angle lens - picture quality

Where it Could Improve

There are no areas that really stand out

Verdict

Taking the whole package into account including the features and picture quality, the Panasonic Lumix DMC FX550 is a class act. I would be very happy to own one.

Product Shots

Front View

Front View

Back View

Back View

Top View

Top View

Sample Menus

menu 1 menu 2

menu 3 menu 4

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Related Pages

Panasonic DMC FX550 Review Panasonic DMC FX550 Specification Panasonic DMC FX550 Sample Images Panasonic DMC FX550 Features Canon IXUS 990 IS vs Panasonic Lumix DMC FX550 Panasonic Digital Cameras

Review Date

May 2009

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