Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX7 Review
Features & Controls
The all-glass aspherical Leica DC-VARIO ELMARIT 3x zoom lens is equivalent to a 35-105mm zoom on a 35mm camera. It has a two-step F2.8/F5.6 (Wide), F5.0/F10 (Tele) aperture. The Leica lens is constructed of 7 elements in 6 Groups (3 Aspherical Lenses/3 Aspherical Surfaces.) On power-down the lens retracts into the body and is protected by a built-in lens cap.
The FX7 is equipped with Panasonic's MEGA O.I.S. image stabilization system to minimize camera shake. You will really appreciate image stabilization when using a small and lightweight camera that is easily "jiggled" around, it's not just for those BIG long focal length zooms!
The 9-point TTL contrast-detection auto focus system covers from 1.64 ft.
(50cm) to infinity in normal mode. Macro mode focuses as close as 0.16 ft (5cm) Wide
/ 0.98 ft (30cm) Telephoto.
Auto focus options include normal Single AF, Continuous AF and Spot AF. There
is a focus-assist illuminator to aid in low-light conditions, note that it is only
effective up to 4.92 feet (1.5 m).
The built-in speedlight features Auto, Auto Red-eye reduction, Slow-sync Red-eye, Fill
and Forced Off modes. The flash range is shown below.
*Except when the flash mode is set to Slow sync./Red-eye reduction
The FX7 does not have an optical viewfinder, the enormous 2.5-inch color LCD monitor with 114,000 pixels of resolution serves as the viewfinder and offers 100% frame coverage in record and review modes. When displaying the camera menus it uses large text fonts that are very easy to see even in brightly-lit conditions.
Controls on the back: The 4-way selector in Record mode toggles the flash mode when
pressed "Right." Press "Up" for exposure compensation/AE bracketing. Press "Left"
to activate Self-timer and press "Down" for Quick Review to examine the
last image captured. In Playback mode the 4-way selector is used to select images and
navigate menu screens. The MENU button calls up and dismisses the menu system. The
DISPLAY button controls the amount of data displayed on the LCD screen. The DRIVE button
is used to change drive modes (Normal, Burst) and is used for deleting images in playback
Controls on the top: The Power on/off switch, the combination shutter release and zoom control ring. The zoom ring is used in playback to enlarge the image or display an index page. The "shaking hand" button to the right toggles the image stabilizer on/off.
The Mode Dial has positions for Normal, Simple (point-n-shoot mode for beginners),
Macro mode for closeup photography, Movie - capture motion JPEG w/audio,
SCeNe mode (Portrait, Sports, Scenery, Night Scenery, Night
Portrait, Fireworks, Party, Snow, Self-Portrait) and Playback.
The A/V Out port sends the audio and video to a television set, the video format
is user selectable for NTSC or PAL standard. This is also the USB 1.1 data I/O
port, it is
Mass Storage compliant and also supports the PictBridge direct-print standard.
Still images, movie clips and audio files are stored on removable Secure Digital or
MultiMedia Card flash memory cards. Panasonic supplies a 16MB size SD
card so the first thing you need to buy is a bigger one. We had no problems using a
fast and spacious
Sandisk Ultra II 512MB SD card.
Approximate Picture Storage
Power is supplied by a Panasonic CGA-S004A 3.7v 710mAh Li-ion battery pack. The battery is good for approx. 260 pictures (CIPA standard testing). It has a continuous playback time of 240 minutes.
The 110-240V AC Panasonic DE-991B battery charger plugs directly into a wall outlet with folding prongs, it can replenish a fully depleted pack in 120 minutes or less. Batteries are charged out of the camera so you can be charging one battery and using another.
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