Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX3 Review

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Features & Controls

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX3

The all-glass Lumix DC VARIO ELMARIT 3x zoom lens is equivalent to a 35-105mm zoom on a 35mm camera. It has a F2.8 to F5.6 maximum aperture and is constructed of 7 elements in 6 Groups (with 3 Aspherical Lenses.) The lens is protected by a built-in shutter whenever the camera is powered down.

Jitter from shaky hands is the biggest single cause of blurry shots. LUMIX cameras help solve this problem with advanced MEGA O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) technology. A built-in gyrosensor detects any hand-shake and a signal is relayed to a high precision control circuit built into the Venus Engine Plus LSI, which instantly calculates the compensation needed. A linear motor then shifts the O.I.S. lens as necessary to guide incoming light from the image straight to the CCD. Panasonic's highly evolved Venus Engine Plus LSI makes this process even faster and more accurate. This helps extend the MEGA O.I.S. correction range more than 3 steps below (slower than) the shutter speed that is generally considered to be the limit for handheld shooting.

The TTL contrast-detect auto focus system has selectable 1 point, 1 point high speed, 3 points high speed, 5 points and Spot options and works in Single-AF or Continuous-AF mode. It has an AF-assist lamp for low light focusing. The normal focus range is 50 cm (1.64 ft) - infinity. Macro closeup range is: Wide 5 cm (0.16 feet) / Tele 30 cm (0.98 feet) - infinity.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX3

The large 2.5-inch color LCD has 115,000 pixels of resolution and is used for framing, review and menu operations. It offers 100% frame coverage. Press the Display button for more than 1 second to enable Power LCD mode to brighten or dim it. Real time histograms can be displayed when desired. There is no optical viewfinder.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX3

The built-in speedlight features Auto, Auto Red-eye reduction, Slow-sync Red-eye, Fill and Forced Off modes. The flash range in Wide angle is from 0.98 - 13.1 ft. (30cm - 4.0m), in High Sensitivity mode it covers from 2.62 - 18.7 ft. (80cm - 5.7m) at ISO Auto.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX3

Controls on the back:

The Mode Dial (see below).

The 4-way selector in Record mode toggles the flash mode when pressed "Right." When pressed "Up" it adjusts exposure compensation. Press "Left" to activate the Self-timer and press "Down" to use the Quick Review mode to examine the last image captured. In Playback mode the 4-way selector is used to select images and in both record and play is used to navigate the menu screens. The MENU button calls up the menu system. The DISPLAY button toggles the amount of overlay information shown on the LCD, when held for more than a second it brightens the display. The Drive mode button selects normal or sequential shooting mode, in playback it is for deleting images.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX3

Controls on top include the Power on/off button. The combination shutter release and zoom lens control ring. The zoom ring is used in playback to enlarge the image or display an index page. The button to the right of the shutter release turns the image stabilizer on/off. Below that is the Mode Dial.

The Mode Dial has positions for:

    Movie - Capture motion JPEG with audio, length is limited only to available memory.

    flower icon - Macro close-up mode

    heart icon - Simple "point-n-shoot" mode

    camera icon - The automatic point-n-shoot mode

    arrow icon - Playback of still images, movie or audio notes

    SCN - Scene: Settable for Portrait, Soft Skin, Scenery, Sports, Night Scenery, Night Portrait, Food, Fireworks, Party, Candle Light, Starry Sky, Baby 1 & 2, Snow, High Sensitivity, Self-portrait, Underwater

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX3

The A/V Out port sends the video to a television set, the video format is user selectable for NTSC or PAL standard. This is also the USB 2.0 (Full speed) data I/O port, it is Mass Storage compliant and also supports the PictBridge direct-print standard.

An optional AC power adapter or external battery pack can be connected to the DC IN port.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX3

The DMC-FX3 is powered by a proprietary 3.7v 1150mAh rechargeable Li-ion battery. Fully charged it provides power for up to 320 frames with flash used 50% of the time (CIPA standard).

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX3

Still images and movie clips are stored on removable Secure Digital cards. Panasonic supplies a 32MB SD card. We tested it with a fast and spacious SanDisk Extreme III 1GB SD card.

Approx. Storage capacities

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX2

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX2

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