Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX38
Slim compact camera with 25mm wide-angle lens
- Slim design, great colour balance, 25mm wide-angle lens, intelligent automatic modes
- Some detail loss at higher sensitivities, pricey
Panasonic's Lumix DMC-FX38 is a great compact camera for cashed-up consumers. It combines impressive image quality with a slim, stylish and sturdy design as well as a 25mm wide-angle lens, making it suitable for a variety of tasks.
Price$ 659.00 (AUD)
Looking extremely similar to the Lumix DMC-FX36, Panasonic’s Lumix DMC-FX38 is another fantastic point-and-shoot camera. It sports a 10-megapixel sensor, an ultra-wide 25mm lens and all of the usual automatic modes Panasonic users know and love. We were a little disappointed that little seems to have changed from the previous model, but this is nonetheless an attractive if somewhat pricey camera.
The one change we did notice is the 5x optical zoom (the Lumix DMC-FX36 had a 4x zoom). This isn’t a big change, but it's welcome nonetheless. The lens has the same awesome 25mm wide view as its predecessor, which makes for great landscape shots and group pictures.
On the whole we were impressed with image quality. The pictures were slightly on the soft side, with Imatest picking up some undersharpening. However, they were still detailed and crisp and we’d be happy making decent-sized enlargements. Chromatic aberration levels were somewhat high but not deal-breaking, with some minor haloing on high-contrast edges and detail loss towards the edges of the frame.
Colour balance was excellent. Colours were almost spot-on, with reds and yellows not too strongly saturated and greens and blues looking rich and vivid. Exposure was also well handled; highlights were not too blown out and shadow detail was excellent.
Noise was relatively well controlled. At large magnifications there was some very minor graininess evident even at low sensitivities but it wasn’t prominent enough to be troublesome. The noise correction algorithm does a good job of keeping the shots speckle-free, but it does so at the cost of clarity. Everything up to ISO 800 will be fine for small prints but you’ll notice some detail loss with bigger enlargements.
The unit's speed was fairly average. It exhibited 0.09 seconds of shutter lag, 2.2 seconds between shots and a start-up time of 2.4 seconds. The burst mode was a very quick 3.1 frames per second — but only up to three shots. There is also an 'infinite' mode that slows the shooting down a touch to 2.5 frames per second.
The features list is what you’d expect from a Panasonic compact. It has all the automatic beginner modes that Panasonic has been touting over the last few years, including intelligent ISO and intelligent exposure along with the more general intelligent auto. These modes do a pretty good job of calibrating settings and should prove great for beginners.
There are also standard compact camera features such as custom white balance and metering and focus controls. Face detection is also included and the 5x optical zoom is backed by Panasonic’s excellent Mega Optical Image Stabilisation.
In terms of design Panasonic has made basically no changes to this unit, but that’s fine because everything works pretty well. It is slim yet solid, with the entire body constructed of metal. The controls are simple and intuitive and the menu is clear and to the point.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Gadgets & Things
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- Boom: SanDisk just dropped the world's largest SD card
- Camera app makers tap into RAW power with iOS, and look forward to dual lenses
- Google Camera 3.2 lets you snap pictures while recording video
- CES 2016: Top 10 trends
- Sony α7S II aimed film-makers and low light photographers
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- The top 10 best and worst tech gadgets and products of 2016
- Best phone of the year 2016
- TV of the year award 2016
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTBrand Marketing Manager - Premium Entertainment BrandNSW
- TPChange ManagerNSW
- CCMid-level Java Developer / Programmer (Contract) Finance CBDNSW
- FTLife/400 Developers / Programmers - Permanent - North Ryde areaNSW
- FTTechnical Consultant/Systems AnalystQLD
- TP.Net DeveloperVIC
- TPICT Project CoordinatorQLD
- TPSenior Applications Support AnalystSA
- CCTechnical Business Analyst-DevOpsNSW
- FTTechnology Testing CoordinatorQLD
- CCVirtualization ArchitectACT
- CCService ManagerACT
- FTLevel 2 Service DeskNSW
- FTConsulting Solution/Integration ArchitectVIC
- FTLevel 3 EngineerNSW
- TPMS Dynamics Post Implementation BAQLD
- CCSystem Engineer - AdelaideWA
- FTSenior Linux Systems AdministratorNSW
- TPSystem AdministratorQLD
- FTBack End DeveloperNSW
- FTSOE Team LeaderWA
- FTMicrosoft Dynamics AX Finance ConsultantNSW
- FTTechnical Consultant/Systems AnalystQLD
- CCBusiness and Change Deployment LeadVIC