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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80 Ultra Compact Review

We review the ultra compact Panasonic Lumix FX80 with bright f/2.5 lens, full HD video and 3 inch touch screen.

| Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80 in Compact Cameras

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80 Ultra Compact Review: Panasonic Lumix FX80 Front

The Panasonic Lumix FX80 is an ultra compact camera from Panasonic, and features a bright f/2.5 5x optical zoom lens, 12.1 megapixel Hi-speed CCD sensor, 3 inch touch screen, and full HD video recording with stereo sound.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80 Features

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80 Ultra Compact Review: Panasonic Lumix FX80 Angle

The Panasonic Lumix FX80 features an f/2.5 Leica 5x optical zoom lens, equivalent to 24-120mm in 35mm terms. On the back is a 3 inch touch screen, a dedicated video record button and playback button.

Key Features

  • 12 megapixel hi-speed CCD sensor
  • 5x optical zoom lens equivalent to 24mm - 120mm
  • f/2.5-6.4 aperture lens
  • Optical image stabilisation
  • 3 inch 230k dot touch screen
  • Full HD video with stereo sound
  • ISO100 to ISO1600 (Hi sensitivity mode ISO1600 - 6400)
  • 5cm macro mode
  • 4fps continuous shooting

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80 Handling

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80 Ultra Compact Review: Panasonic Lumix FX80 Top

Handling - The camera features a metal body, with on/off button, shutter and zoom rocker on the top. There is a dedicated video record button on the back so you can start recording video regardless of which mode you are in. There very little grip on the front of the camera and just an area of raised dots on the back so a wrist strap is recommended. The compact camera fits very easily into your pocket, and feels well built, although the tripod socket is in an awkward position at the very left of the camera.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80 Ultra Compact Review: Panasonic Lumix FX80 Rear

Menus – The back of the camera is where you'll find the large 3 inch touch screen - this is used to set the mode and options, either in the menu or on screen with the quick access shortcuts on the right of the screen. These can be customised in the menu so you can get quick access to your favourite settings. The Panasonic menus are very easy to use with the camera providing clear text and built in help showing what each option does. Where there are a number of icons, such as the scene mode, each one is explained. The number of options available in the menus changes depending which mode you are currently in, making it very easy to use even for the beginner.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80 Ultra Compact Review: Panasonic Lumix FX80 Bottom

Battery life
- CIPA life is rated at: 210 shots. We were able to take over 200 shots before the battery went flat. It's worth noting that the camera charges the battery in the camera using the provided USB cable connected to a computer or the provided AC adapter.

Speed - We tested each camera's performance at focusing, shutter response, shot-to-shot time, continuous shooting etc. and have posted the results below. To test this we took 6 or more shots and calculated the average, so that consistent results were produced.

Panasonic FX80 Panasonic TZ25
Shutter Response <0.05 <0.05
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response
0.2 0.15
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response 0.3 0.3
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo 1.8 1.6
Shot to Shot (without flash) 1.0 0.6
Shot to Shot with Flash 2.0 1.2
Continuous Shooting (JPEG) 4fps 10fps (4 shots)
Continuous 3 megapixels 8fps 40fps (40 shots)
Continuous Shooting (with Flash) 1fps (3m) 2fps (5 shots, 3m)

Focus speed is very good, as is shutter response. Shot to shot is decent and the camera has a number of high speed shooting modes, including 4fps at full resolution, and 8fps at 3 megapixels.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80 Performance

Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review and product ratings.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80 Sample Photos

Sample Photos - Portrait shots with flash show high levels of red-eye in photos, although colour and skin tones are good. Colour is pleasing with bright saturated colour and good levels of detail, although corners are a little soft.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80 Lens test images

Lens test images - Detail is better in the middle of the image, with soft corners. Purple fringing and chromatic aberration is higher than expected, and is particularly noticeable in areas of high contrast. There is some barrel distortion at the wide angle end, with pincushion distortion noticeable at full optical zoom. Macro mode lets you take a photo with the subject roughly 5cm from the front of lens, it's also possible to zoom slightly to get even closer.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80 ISO test images

ISO Noise Performance - Noise is low at ISO100 and ISO200. At ISO400 images show more noise, with noise increasing further at ISO800. Noise reduction is quite stronge and noise becomes more visible at ISO1600, although if you don't need to print large photos then results are quite good overall.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80 White-balance test images

White Balance Performance - Auto White Balance performs quite well under Tungsten light with the Tungsten preset doing little to improve the image, instead giving it a slight orange cast. Auto White Balance performs very well under fluorescent lighting.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80 Ultra Compact Review: Panoramic | 1/400 sec | f/9.0 | 4.3 mm | ISO 500
Panoramic | 1/400 sec | f/9.0 | 4.3 mm | ISO 500

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80 Digital filters

Digital Filters - The camera has a number of creative control modes: Expressive, Retro, Hi-Key, Lo-Key, Sepia, Mono, High Dynamic, Toy Camera, Miniature, Soft. Some of the more interesting scene modes includes: Panoramic, hand-held night shot (merges multiple images), Glass through, as well as frames. The camera also features 3D Photo and Cosmetic mode, where you can alter skin tone with the choice of summer, soft and natural skin with each having a setting from Low, Standard and High. In playback there are a number of fun retouch options including: beauty retouch (makeup, appearance etc), artistic retouch (defocus, soft, toy, colour brightness), auto retouch and image stamp.

Video - The FX80 records full HD video with stereo sound, wind filter, continuous AF and optical zoom.

Value For Money

The Panasonic Lumix FX80 is available for £190, this makes it quite expensive for an ultra compact camera with a touch screen, although few have a bright f/2.5 lens. Alternatives include the Canon IXUS 240 HS (£232, Wi-Fi), Canon IXUS 125 HS (£179), Olympus SH-25MR (£179, GPS),  Nikon Coolpix S4200 (£119), Fujifilm FinePix Z1000EXR (£215),  Samsung MV800 (£139), Nikon Coolpix S100 (£175), Panasonic Lumix FX90 (£199, Wi-Fi). You'll also need to buy a memory card and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80 Verdict

The Panasonic Lumix FX80 is a stylish ultra compact camera with a wide range of features including full HD video with stereo sound, a bright f/2.5 5x optical zoom lens, a 12 megapixel sensor with high speed shooting and a good 3 inch touch screen. The camera is easy to use with a clear menu system and quick access to popular settings. If you are looking for an ultra compact camera, then the FX80 is quick, however image quality is a little disappointing and there are a number of alternatives available for a similar or lower price.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80 Pros

Ultra compact camera
f/2.5 aperture at wide end
Good 3 inch touch screen
Full HD video with stereo sound
4fps continuous shooting

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80 Cons

Purple fringing
Poor tripod socket position


Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80 Specifications

Max Aperturef/2.5 - f/6.4
35mm equivalent24mm - 120mm
Optical Zoom5x
Image Sensor
Pixels12.1Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)4000
Pixels (H)3000
Sensor TypeCCD
Sensor Size1/2.33 inch
Sensor Size (width)No Data
Sensor Size (height)No Data
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 3:2
  • 16:9
  • 1:1
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor3in
Screen resolution230,000 dots
Touch ScreenYes
Min Focus5cm
Focusing modes
  • Spot
  • Face Detection
  • AF Tracking
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/1600sec
Shutter speeds longest8sec
Bulb modeNo Data
Exp modes
  • A
  • Program Variable
  • Multi Pattern
ISO sensitivity100 - 6400
White balance
  • Auto
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Shade
Exposure Comp+/-2
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting3.7fps
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080 FullHD
  • 1280x720 HD 720p
  • 640x480 VGA
Video FPS25
Stereo SoundYes
Optical Zoom with VideoYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationYes
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeLi-ion Battery Pack (3.6V, Minimum: 680mAh)
Battery Life (CIPA rating)210shots
Box Contents
Box ContentsBattery Pack, AC adaptor, USB Cable, Hand Strap, CD-ROM

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Photographs taken using the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX80

Flying through the cloudAlpine Jumbolino

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Shcokete Avatar
Shcokete 12 32
30 May 2012 2:06PM
This seems better than the old model FS35 which can be bought for half the price. [£94.50]

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