Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX3 Review

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Review posted 11/3/2006

Introduction & Physical Views

Click to take a QuickTime VR tour of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX3
Click on the Lumix FX3 to take a QuickTime VR tour

One of several new "FX" series Lumix cameras for 2006, the DMC-FX3 is a sleek and very pocketable 6-megapixel camera with a high-quality Leica 3x optical zoom that features Panasonic's MEGA Optical Image Stabilization, a feature that counters shaky hands, the main culprit for blurry pictures. This diminutive camera boasts a large 2.5-inch color LCD, fully automatic exposure and numerous scene modes for fun and easy picture taking in all kinds of settings and situations.

The FX3 also lets you choose between three aspect ratios (4:3 PC, 3:2 TV, 16:9 HD) in Still record mode and two (4:3 PC, 16:9 HD) in Motion Image (Movie) mode. This model utilizes 13.5MB of internal memory or optional SD memory cards, which can be used with Panasonic Diga DVD recorders for easy playback and transfer to DVD-R discs or DVD-RAM discs.

Powered by a rechargeable Li-ion battery that delivers up to 320 shots per charge, you're always ready to capture that special moment. USB connectivity with Windows and Mac computers and PictBridge compatible for direct printing with any PictBridge enabled photo printer.

Major DMC-FX3 Features:

  • 6-megapixel imager with 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9 aspect ratios
  • 3x Leica zoom lens, equivalent to 35-105mm on a 35mm camera
  • Optical image stabilization to prevent camera shake and blurring
  • 1-point and 3-point high-speed, 5-point AF system
  • Macro focus with autofocus down to 5 cm
  • Large 2.5-inch high-resolution TFT color monitor
  • Auto, Simple, Movie and 17 scene modes
  • ISO Auto, 100, 200, 400; High Sensitivity Mode (ISO 800 - 1600)
  • 3fps Burst, AE Bracketing and Timelapse modes
  • QuickTime movies, 30fps or 10fps 640x480 or 320x240
  • Built-in flash with auto, fill, slow synchro and red-eye reduction modes
  • TTL Auto White Balance, 5 presets and custom set
  • 13.5MB Internal memory or Secure Digital card storage
  • Plug-n-Play USB, Mass Storage compliant
  • PictBridge Direct-Print compatible
  • Powered by rechargeable Li-ion battery

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX3 is available in black or silver finish, with an MSRP of US$279.95.

Physical Views

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX3

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX3

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX3Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX3

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX3

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX3

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX3

The DMC-FX3 compared in size to a standard CD disc.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX2

The 10-megapixel DMC-LX2 and the 6-megapixel DMC-FX3.

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Features & Controls

Lumix DMC-FX3 Specifications

Image Sensor 1/2.5", 1/2.5" CCD Primary Color Filter
6.37 total megapixels
6.0 effective megapixels
f = 5.8 - 17.4 mm (35mm Equiv.:35-105mm)
7 elements in 6 groups (3 Aspherical lenses/3 Aspherical surfaces)
Aperture Range Wide: F2.8/F5.6 (2 steps)
Tele: F5.0 - F10 (2 steps)
Extra Optical Zoom 4:3 Aspect Ratio:
4.1x for 3 Mega, 2 Mega, 1Mega, 0.3 Mega
3:2 Aspect Ratio:
4.1x for 2.5 Mega
16:9 Aspect Ratio:
4.1x for 2 Mega
Zoom Optical : 3 x
Digital: 4x (Max. 12x combined with Optical Zoom without Extra Optical Zoom) (Max. 16.5x combined with Extra Optical Zoom)
Optical Image Stabilizer MEGA O.I.S. (Mode1/Mode2)
Focusing Area 5-area-focusing/3-area-focusing/1-area-focusing/Spot-focusing
Focusing Range Normal: 50 cm(1.64 feet) - infinity
Macro/Simple: Wide 5 cm(0.16 feet) / Tele 30 cm(0.98 feet) - infinity
AF-Assist Lamp Yes
ISO Sensitivity Auto/100/200/400
High Sensitivity Mode: ISO 800 - 1600)
White Balance AUTO/Daylight/Cloudy/Shade/Halogen/White set
White Balance Adjustment (150K step, -1500 +1500K) (except for auto WB)
Exposure Program AE
Exposure Compensation 1/3 EV step, ±2 EV
Backlight Compensation Yes (at simple mode)
Auto (AE) Bracketing ±1/3EV - 1EV Step, 3 Frames
Light Metering Intelligent Multiple
Modes Normal (Program), Simple, Macro, SCeNe (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), Movie, Playback
Shutter Speed 8 - 1/2,000 sec.
Starry Sky Mode: 15, 30, 60 sec.
Motion Picture: 1/30 - 1/20000sec.
Self Timer 10 sec./2 sec.
Picture Adjustment Natural, Standard, Vivid
Color Effect Mode Cool, Warm, Black & White, Sepia
Recording Image Size 4:3 Aspect Ratio:
2,816 x 2112 pixels
2048 x 1536 pixels
1600 x 1200 pixels
1280 x 960 pixels
640 x 480 pixels

3:2 Aspect Ratio:

16:9 Aspect Ratio:

Image Quality Fine/Standard
Recording file format Still Image: JPEG (design rule for camera file system), DPOF corresponding
Still Image with Audio: JPEG (design rule for camera file system) + QuickTime Motion Images: QuickTime Motion JPEG
Motion Image
Quick Time Motion JPEG)
4:3 Aspect Ratio: 640x480 or 320x240
16:9 Aspect Ratio: 848x480
(Max. recording time depends on SD Card capacity.)
Burst Shooting Mode Full-resolution image:
Standard Mode: Up to 8 images at 3 or 2 frames/sec.
Fine Mode: Up to 6 images
Still Image Rec.
with Audio
5 sec
Audio Dubbing Max.10 sec.
Built-in Flash AUTO, AUTO/Red-eye reduction, Forced ON (Forced ON/ Red-eye reduction), Slow sync./Red-eye reduction, Forced OFF

Range: approx. 0.98 feet (30 cm) - 13.1 feet (4.0 m) at wide angle using ISO Auto
High Sensitivity mode: 2.62 feet (80cm) to 18.7 feet (5.7m) at wide angle

Viewfinder LCD monitor only
LCD Monitor 2.5" Polycrystalline TFT LCD Display (115K Pixels)
Field of View : approx. 100%
Recording Media Internal Memory: 13.5MB
Optinal:SD Memory Card, SDHC Memory Card, Multimedia Card
Microphone Yes
Speaker Yes (Only for beep sounds)
Interfaces DC Input, AV Output (NTSC/PAL), USB 2.0 Full speed
Direct Print PictBridge
Power Supply Li-ion Battery Pack CGA-S005A (3.7v 1150mAh) (Included)
Battery Charger DE-A11 (110-240V AC) (Included)
AC Adaptor (110-240V AC) Optional
Battery Life
320 pictures
(CIPA standard*)
Dimensions (WxHxD)

94.1mm x 51.5mm x 24.2 mm (3.7 in. x 2.01 in. x 0.95 in.)
(Not including protruding parts)

Weight (Approx.) 125g (4.41 oz) (Body only)
153g (5.40 oz) (with Battery and SD Memory Card)

(Specifications as provided by the manufacturer.)

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