The FX30 was marketed upon its release in 2007 as the world's slimmest digital camera with 28mm wideangle lens
One of the latest compacts in Panasonic’s FX range, the FX30 was marketed upon its release as the world’s slimmest digital camera with 28mm wideangle lens. Based around the successful FX01 model, the camera has seen a few improvements with regards to exposure and image processing.
The sensor has been upped to seven megapixels while the 28-100mm lens results in an optical zoom of 3.6x. Mega Optical Image Stabilisation features too, but where on previous models its activation was via a switch on the top panel prior to every shot, it has now been incorporated into the menu system with the distinct advantage of being kept on continuously. The high sensitivity mode seen on previous models has now been complemented by an Intelligent ISO feature, adjusting the ISO according to conditions present.
The design deviates little from the previous FX8 and FX9 models with the same fascia at the front and 2.5in LCD screen and menu pad at the rear. The only other notable change is that the camera is a couple of millimetres slimmer.
The Venus III processing engine has helped to improve start-up and focusing times, with both being impressive. The menu system still has the same clear and user-friendly layout, with explanations where necessary as to the role of particular functions.
Degrees of shift between the ISO increments is minimal with good colour rendition and a white balance system that does what it should. Fringing is controlled, as is edge softness, though a small amount of barrelling is present at 28mm.
Hats off to Panasonic, whose FX30 boasts ease of use, great noise control and wideangle capabilities which are complemented by its Mega Optical Image Stabilisation to seal the deal as a fantastic compact choice.