Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX55 review: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX55

CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
Review Date:
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The Good Large bright LCD screen, simple to use (particularly with Intelligent Auto Mode); rechargeable battery.

The Bad No removable media supplied; could be faster writing maximum-resolution shots; optical image stabilisation not always infallible.

The Bottom Line Panasonic's run of producing the goods when it comes to digital compacts shows no signs of slowing. The Lumix DMC-FX55 is easy to use and reliable, producing consistently sharp, evenly exposed, colourful images -- it's all you could hope for from a pocket snapshot camera

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A comparative latecomer to digital stills cameras, Panasonic has been steadily producing the goods over the past couple of years, with the 10x zoom DMC-TZ3 a particular highlight. Though the 8-megapixel Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX55 squeezes a more modest 3.6x optical zoom into its slender ultracompact frame, the Leica lens does go as wide as 28mm, proving very useful for group portraits and landscapes.

The recommended price of £279 is towards the higher end of the scale for its feature set. In practice, you can find the FX55 for around £230 online.

Design
A tad taller than a credit card and the width of your thumbnail, pick the FX55 up and it immediately pulls off the trick of feeling reassuringly weighty in the palm yet at the same time lightweight enough to slide into a coat or jeans pocket without discomfort. Which is exactly what you want from a point-and-shoot camera.

Flick the simple on/off slider on top of the camera and the FX55 powers into action, taking just over a second for the lens to extend to maximum wide angle from storage flush to the body.

Keeping things simple, Panasonic has not only stripped the FX55's outer controls back to a minimum -- seven in all, though some serve a dual purpose -- it's included a new Intelligent Auto Mode setting on the mode dial, which is neatly recessed into the body to avoid it accidentally slipping on to a setting you didn't want when it's in your pocket.

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Where to Buy

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX55

Part Number: CNETPanasonic Lumix DMC-FX55

Typical Price: £230.00

See manufacturer website for availability.