With a slim body and a large touchscreen the FX77 is quite the looker, but do its results fare as well? The What Digital Camera Panasonic Lumix FX77 review finds out
Panasonic Lumix FX77 Review
Panasonic Lumix FX77 review – Features
The FX77 is one of the latest mid-range compacts to adopt a large touchscreen LCD in place of almost all physical controls. The 3.5in screen fills the rear of the model, and displays images and videos at 230k-dots, although images taken at the camera’s full resolution only fill its centre. Panasonic has also equipped the new arrival with a 12.1MP Hi-Speed CCD sensor capable of Full HD video recording too, although the camera is only capable of recording mono sound.
Despite its slim body, the camera manages to squeeze in a 5x optical zoom which offers a range of 25-125mm. A Mega Optical Image Stabilisation (MEGA O.I.S) system is included within the lens, which is said to keep images sharp through compensatory lens movement, while an additional ISO sensitivity-based Motion Deblur option works with the mechanical system to help counter both user-induced camera shake and subject motion.
Driving all this is the company’s Venus Engine FHD, which incorporates a number of additional ‘Intelligent’ technologies. These include Intelligent ISO control which picks the appropriate sensitivity for the scene being captured, as well as the Intelligent Scene Selector which does the same with the camera’s scene presets. There’s also Face Detection and Recognition, as well as AF tracking, and all of the above are helpfully incorporated within the camera’s Intelligent Auto mode.
Panasonic Lumix FX77 review – Design
The only physical controls on the camera are found on its top plate: power, shutter release and video buttons, as well as a zoom rocker used to regulate the lens’s focal length. Everything else is accessed through the display, where options are divided between Recording, Motion Picture and Set-up menus. Here, things can get a little frustrating, as the camera only displays a function’s name and purpose when its icon is pressed. Obviously, with commonly used icons such as flash and timer options the user can work things out for themselves, but it’s not quite as convenient for the lesser used options, particularly the slightly more cryptic ones in the set-up menu.
This frustration aside, there’s little to complain about with the camera’s build, design and operation. At just over 20mm thick the model should fit into even small pockets, while the simplicity of its external controls makes for an attractive minimal design. The body feels solid, and both the HDMI port and battery cover are sufficiently protected, although the zoom rocker barely protrudes from the top plate, and so is a touch less convenient to operate than it should be.