Panasonic launched the stylish Lumix DMC-FX77 compact digital camera in January 2011. It has a bright f/2.5 lens and 3.5 inch LCD screen. The camera is available in black for £199.99.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX77: Features
The bright f/2.5 lens will allow the user to take sharp clear images with a higher shutter speed in low light conditions. The camera also has a 12.1 megapixel CCD sensor, a 5x optical zoom lens which is a 35mm equivalent of 24 - 120mm and 6.5x Intelligent Zoom. The camera is controlled via the large 3.5 inch LCD touch-screen.
If you enjoy shooting portraits, you should enjoy using the Beauty Retouch which applies various effects such as clearing skin texture, teeth whitening and colour of lips, cheeks or eye-shadow. With Art Retouch mode you can apply colour effects such as saturation and brightness.
Other features available are iA mode, Motion Deblur Mode, MEGA OIS, Intelligent ISO Control, Face Detection AF/AE with Face Recognition, Intelligent Scene Selector, Intelligent Exposure, Happy Mode and AF Tracking. There is also a 3D mode, images taken using this mode can be viewed on a 3D TV.
Movies are recorded in full 1920 x 1080 HD with iA mode available when shooting as well as Mega OIS with Active Mode.
The camera feels good in the hand and operation via the touch-screen is fairly easy. If you do struggle with the touch-screen, Panasonic supply a stylus which does make it much easier, although many users are unlikely to want to carry it about. There are four buttons, all of which lie on the top of the camera. One of the buttons is a dedicated button which switches straight to movie mode.
The menus are fairly easy to navigate, but as we've found before on previous Panasonic compacts, when cycling through options such as recording settings and scene modes, there is just a symbol rather than any text. If you press and hold a symbol, text appears, but you have to be careful about how you remove your finger if you decide that option is not the one you are looking for.
In use the camera is quick to focus and is ready to shoot within a couple of seconds of switching on. The battery life is rated at 200 shots which might not be quite enough if you are out shooting for a full day, so a spare is likely to be a useful addition. The camera has 3 different continuous shooting modes. Burst (full size) achieves around 3.3fps, Hi-speed burst (4:3 3m, 3:2 2.5m, 16:9 2m, 1:1 2.5m) around 7 - 8 fps, and flash burst (4:3 3m, 3:2 2.5m, 16:9 2m, 1:1 2.5m) shoots approximately 1 - 1.5fps.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX77: Performance
The camera takes well exposed images with pleasing colour reproduction. At both ends of the lens, images have plenty of detail throughout, there is a hint of purple fringing in bright conditions on occasion, but generally the camera copes well. With a minimum focus distance of 3cm, the camera takes excellent macro images.
Panasonic Lumix FX77 Lens test images
Noise is handled extremely well at ISO100 and it doesn't worsen much through ISO200 and ISO400. At ISO800 a loss of detail and sharpness is evident but it's not much and again at ISO1600, it's only slightly worsened from ISO800. In high-sensitivity the camera can shoot up to ISO6400 at a reduced resolution.
Panasonic Lumix FX77 ISO test images
Below are example images using some of the scene modes available. Using landscape mode, the camera has enhanced the blues and greens to give a very pleasant scene. The FX77 takes pleasing portraits, with only a slight touch of red-eye. To see all the images shot using the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX77 please visit the ePHOTOzine Equipment Database.
Panasonic Lumix FX77 Scene modes
In our testing lighting conditions, the auto white-balance setting performs excellently. There is no preset for fluorescent light, which is typical on Panasonic cameras, so you are relying on the auto white-balance, which doesn't disappoint. There is an incandescent preset which gives an orange cast in the image, with the AWB setting taking the better looking picture.
Panasonic Lumix FX77 White-balance test images
There are six colour modes available to add creativity to your pictures, with examples of each below.
Panasonic Lumix FX77 Digital filters
Videos can be shot at full 1920 x 1080 HD, with use of the optical zoom lens available, an example of which can be seen on the ePHOTOzine Youtube Channel.
The FX77 has plenty of features such as the f/2.5 lens and touch-screen which aren't found on many compact digital cameras. Images produced are good whether shooting close-up or using the full 5x optical zoom, with the intelligent zoom a welcome addition. If you aren't able to charge the camera regularly, you may find the battery life of just 200 shots is a bit short so you may find yourself spending a bit extra on a spare battery. Overall, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX77, with its fast f/2.5 lens, is a camera we are happy to recommend.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX77 is packed with features and its performance doesn't disappoint.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX77: Pros
Easy to use touchscreen
Minimum focus distance of just 3cm
24mm wide-angle lens
Full 1920 x 1080 video recording
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX77: Cons
Battery life is quite short
ISO can't be manually set to higher than ISO1600