Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX30 review
Wow! This camera is incredible! I can't recommend it enough. I bought it to travel to Venice (the most photogenic place on earth), and took 1,200 photos in six days.
The camera is elegant, light, easy to use, and takes wonderful photos.
I wanted something small to free me of the weight and bulk of my digital SLR. The FX30 photos compete for clarity and vivid images. My favorite features are:
(1) the 28 mm lens. Wow! I took easily 80% of my photos at 28 mm. Nearly every image--from a gondola on the Grand Canal photographed from another gondola to my friends laughing faces at sunset--looked best at 28 mm. Why do people do without?
(2) The big, clear lcd screen
(3) Color settings, such as "vivid" and "warm" (which my friends call "the rose colored glasses." This may seem like cheating. I think it's making great images. It also has "standard" color settings.
(4) 16:9 aspect ratio. Gives you that wide aspect ratio (like a movie) that is incredibly dramatic. Combined with the 28 mm lens? Wait for the "Oooooooh" when you show your first photo.
(5) Size and weight: It's about the size of a box of Altoids, but rock solid. When you travel to a place like Venice, people are always asking you to use their cameras to photograph them (and you ask them to use yours). I was amazed how basically every single camera I held felt cheap and flimsy (with tiny screens) after using my FX30.
(6) Low-light photography. I took dozens of photos of my friends at candle-light dinners, or of the city at night. I did not use a flash, not once, in all 1,200 photos. The night time photos are beautiful. Beautiful.
(7) Number of photos: with a basic 1 mg card, I could photograph 300 images at 7 megapixels, without changing either memory card or battery. (although I never use the flash).
This camera seems like a miracle to me. And at $250, it's got to be the best value out there. I should have bought this a year ago.
The only problems I can name seem like nit-picking.
(1) The on-off switch is literally a switch, so sometimes when I slide it into its case it turns itself on. But no harm comes of this, as it just turns itself off in 3 minuites automatically.
(2) Images with flash always look terrible to me, so it's not surprising that these do too. I didn't keep any of them from my trip
(3) The battery must be removed to be changed (won't charge through the USB cord). This is a slight hassle, and it would be nice if it would charge while it was plugged in.
These are small problems. This tiny, simple, powerful camera is wonderful.