Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX8 review
The FX8 delivers consistently sharp and properly exposed images, based upon the nearly 500 photos I've taken with mine. Its sleek black-and-chrome appearance, coupled with its credit-card size, are attention-getters in themselves, and the camera's fit-and-finish details (e.g., its spring-loaded USB cover, which opens and closes with the precision of a BMW door) are quite impressive.
Functionally, the FX8 produces evenly-saturated images in most lighting conditions. (For interior available-light shooting, however, the camera's automatic white balance does better with fluorescent than incandescent lighting, but the balance can be set manually for most any light source.) The flash is more powerful than most of the Panasonic LZ cameras, by comparison, and yields especially good results in the "slow-synch/redeye" mode. The FX8 also has excellent macro-focusing capabilities, thanks in part to its powerful and effective auto-focus assistance lamp.
Based on my experience with it, the LX8 has two limitations: (1) proportionately high image noise at settings beyond ISO 200, and even at ISO 80 in some cases; and (2) an inferior (though large) low-resolution LCD that produces herky-jerky rather than smooth-flowing images on the screen when the camera is moved from one direction to another. Although the newer FX9 overcomes the LCD limitations of the FX8 (and also adds a sixth megapixel), the pricetag of the FX8 is being discounted steeply enough to make it as affordable as it is attractive. Few ultra-compacts can compete with it on either score.
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