Though it's hardly a speedster, the DMC-FX50 keeps up with the rest of its class pretty well. After a brief 1.5-second wakeup-to-first-shot interval, it shoots 1.3 seconds apart in good light, and 2 seconds with flash. Typical shutter lag is on the high side at 0.6 second, but competitive in dim light at 1.1 seconds. Depending upon shooting mode, the DMC-FX50 captures a run of between 6 and 8 frames at about 1.7fps.
As is typical, however, Panasonic hits the wall on photo quality. It fares reasonably well when it comes to exposure, color, and white balance, and the lens is surprisingly good, with no distortion at telephoto and little at the wide angle. But if image noise had a sound, the FX50 would make my ears bleed. Its photos start out with significant amounts of noise at the lowest sensitivity setting of ISO 100, then just get worse. There's a switchover between ISO 200 and ISO 400, where aggressive noise suppression kicks in and changes the type of artifacts--from Seurat's pointillism to Monet's brush strokes. These photos are best viewed small.
If Panasonic could just nail the noise, the Lumix DMC-FX50 might stand a chance against competitors such as the Canon PowerShot SD800 IS and the Sony Cyber Shot DSC-T30. As it is, however, you're better off letting the FX50 sit this one out.
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
|Typical shot-to-shot time||Time to first shot||Shutter lag (typical)|
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
|Typical continuous-shooting speed|