If you find some compact cameras a bit fiddly to use – especially with cold hands or when wearing gloves – then take a look at the Lumix FX-500 from Panasonic. At the back of the camera is a large 3in LCD with a touch-screen interface. So, rather than having to negotiate a load of tiny buttons that are too close together, the main menu settings are (literally) at your fingertips.
The high-quality optical zoom lens is brilliant for wide-angle mountain vistas, offering an incredible 25mm at its widest so you can get even more of a scene in the frame. You’re not going to get any better on a compact today, unless you buy a lens adapter. The lens can also zoom in a fair way too, with 125mm at the telephoto end, allowing you to crop in pretty tight on more distant subjects.
The Lumix FX-500 also features Panasonic’s Intelligent Auto (iA) technology. This automatically sets the correct ISO for the scene and activates the anti-camera shake system. It can even – get this – sense the ambient conditions to select the best scene mode for the shot and if there are people in the frame, optimise the focus on them, too.
A truly foolproof camera – though it isn’t cheap.
Lens 5x zoom (25-125mm)
Memory type SD/SDHC
Video capability yes, with sound
Dimensions 95x57x23 mm
Weight 155g (without battery and card)
The Lumix FX-500 has a real prestige feel, and is equipped with some rather nifty and useful technology. We rated it a best for landscapes in our review.
Review by Phil Hall from Digital Photo magazine
First published in Trail magazine September 2008