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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX500S 10.1MP Digital Camera with 5x Wide Angle MEGA Optical Image Stabilized Zoom (Silver)
List Price: $399.95

Our Price: $212.99

You Save: $186.96 (47%)

 


Product Description

The Panasonic DMC-FX500 Lumix compact digital camera features a hybrid control system that combines joystick control with touch-screen operation. Use the joystick for basic settings and the touch-screen for selecting features like AutoFocus or Auto-Exposure, Manual Operation and Slideshow functions, which can be adjusted by touching or moving a slider on the screen with your finger or with the included stylus pen. Set the FX500 to iA mode and let the five Intelligent Auto functions team up to help prevent shooting errors. Intelligent Exposure corrects lighting differences, so images come out just the way you see them; Intelligent Scene Selector chooses the mode that best fits the situation; MEGA Optical Image Stabilization (O.I.S.) helps prevent blurring from hand-shake; Intelligent ISO Control helps prevent motion blur; and Face Detection helps produce clear portraits by optimizing the focus and exposure settings. 5x Optical Zoom - Focal Length f=4.4-22mm (35mm Equiv. - 25-125mm) Leica DC Vario-Elmarit Lens Focus Normal/Macro, Quick AF, Touch AF/AE, AF Tracking - with AF Assist Lamp ISO Sensitivity Auto /100 / 200 / 400 / 800 / 1600 (High Sensitivity Mode - Auto (1600 - 6400)) White Balance Auto / Daylight / Cloudy / Shade / Halogen / White Set / White Balance Adjustment (+10steps, except for auto set) (Selectable at Portrait, Soft Skin, Self-Portrait, Sports, Baby, Pet, High Sensitivity, and High-speed Burst mode) Exposure Program AE, Manual, Touch AE Light Metering Intelligent Multiple / Center-weighted / Spot Scene Modes SCN (Portrait, Soft Skin, Scenery, Sports, Night Portrait, Night Scenery, Self-Portrait, Food, Party, Candle Light, Fireworks, Starry Sky, Beach, Aerial Photo, Snow, High Sensitivity, Baby 1&2, Sunset, Pet, Hi-Speed Burst) Shutter Speed/Shutter System 60 - 1/2000 sec; Self Timer 10 seconds / 2 seconds 27MB internal memory Still Image Recording with Audio 5

Features:
  • 3" LCD Touchscreen
  • 25mm/f 2.8 wide-angle Leica DC lens
  • Advanced Optical Image Stabilization and Intelligent ISO
  • Autofocus/auto exposure Face Detection
  • HD Motion Capture with component output

Customer Reviews:

  • quality build
    very impresssed with panasonic in general. helped my decide on this camera
    buildquality is excellent and pictures in IE mode are over all very good. Touch screen is a nice plus. very fast focus on faces. Very pleased with view screen and battery life and overall simplicity of use especially with IE mode Highly recomend this camera...more info
  • Good photos, but try it out in person first if you can
    This camera takes great photos, but I'd recommend trying it out in person first. The wide angle lens is amazing, and the photos are solid. HD video looks good, but in low light it gets a little grainy. The audio is probably the weakest part of the video experience- look to the ZS3 for superior audio... at twice the price.

    I will probably end up sending it back because it just doesn't work for me ergonomically. The silver bar on the side is an attempt to give you something to grab on to, but it just gets in the way. Also, the thin slice of control surface on the back that isn't covered by the screen is too little for my thumb to grab onto. The touch screen works well, but it's really just a gimmick that results in lots of fingerprints on the screen. Finally, the edges of the camera are really squared off - it's pocketable, but barely.

    The FX-35 or FX-37 will probably fix all these deficiencies for me, and since they both use the same sensor and pretty close to the same lenses, they might just fit the bill. This camera takes amazing photos for the price it's selling for right now. I'll leave it to you to decide if you can work through what I perceive as usability problems that keep a good camera from being great....more info
  • Very good value for the price
    For a week I went back and forth between getting this or the DMC-TZ5. What finally decided it for me was that at the time on Amazon this camera was about $60 less than the TZ5, and every review I had read said the two cameras were pretty much the same except:

    -The TZ5 has a 10x optical zoom; the FX500 only has 5x.
    -The TZ5 has all automatic/preset controls; the FX500 has manual options.
    -The TZ5 can zoom during video recording; the FX500 cannot.
    -Also the FX500 is about 2/3 the depth of the TZ5 (the extra room is needed for the bigger lense).

    For me it just wasn't worth the extra money for 10x zoom and video zoom, plus I wanted a high-quality camera I could carry in my pocket, and the TZ5 is supposed to be a little too bulky for that.

    So far I've taken some shots indoors, as well as overcast outdoors and at the sunny beach, and I'll admit I've definitely gotten some bad pictures. But in my experience with the camera, a bad pic means I'm doing something wrong, and there's always a way to adjust to get a crisp, beautiful photo. If you're 100% a point-and-click kind of person, this may not be the best choice because the auto-mode doesn't always choose the absolute best settings, and you have to tinker around with it some to get optimal results. I personally like that aspect, however. I bought this camera for less than $200, and it was definitely a great deal.

    Oh, a couple things about the zoom:

    -You can't zoom DURING video recording, but you can zoom beforehand; so for example, if you want to record something far away, just zoom in before you hit the record button and voila! It is a little annoying that you have to choose the zoom level in advance, but I was happily surprised when I figured out I could zoom at all in video mode.

    -Saying the camera has any more than 5x zoom is misleading. Besides optical zoom there are a couple other kinds (digital and one other, forget the name) that supposedly let you zoom in even more, but all these really do are crop the picture or decrease the quality; After 5x optical zoom, the more you zoom in, the lower the resolution or smaller the pic. Since I always take pictures at max resolution, I don't see the point in ever using the other zoom modes; if I want a picture to be narrowly focussed on a distant object, I'll just crop it after the fact....more info
  • Terrific Camera!
    Others have written reviews that capture the key features of this camera. I want to add that this is a very easy camera to use -- even for someone like me who is not especially tech-savy. The interface is quite intuitive and, indeed, fun to use. Intelligent Auto works well in most situations, though as other writers have suggested, in low light situations it's best to go to one of the specific "scene" modes intended for such instances.

    I had the camera with me on a recent 2 week vacation. Both the wide angle lens and the 5x zoom paid for themselves, I felt, with the scenes I could capture using them. (The wide angle of this Panasonic may not add much width in a living room scene, but it certainly does when shooting a mountain panorama.) Battery life was more than adequate for a full day of picture taking; and it's of note that the battery's charger comes (free) in the camera box. Best of all, I'm really pleased with the quality of the photos taken with this little camera. ...more info
  • No good.
    I returned it. Door latch for battery is poorly constructed. Not a good camera. Much better point and shoots are available for the price....more info
  • not sharp and noisy
    I have to agree with the review of "napleswill" and "Inman". The images from the IA (intelligent auto) and standard default program AE mode for indoor shots were not good, bordering on atrocious because of the blurriness and noise. I can only compare it to my previous quite old camera, the Pentax Optio WPi. I'm an amateur, point & shoot kind of photographer so my standards are not high, but the printouts from my HP photo injket and commercial photolab easily shows the low quality of the images. I don't understand how many of the reviews rate the images as "excellent". Be sure you can return the camera in case you still want to proceed with the purchase and even better if you can compare if with comparable cameras from Fuji and/or Canon....more info
  • Very good value for the price
    For a week I went back and forth between getting this or the DMC-TZ5. What finally decided it for me was that at the time on Amazon this camera was about $60 less than the TZ5, and every review I had read said the two cameras were pretty much the same except:

    -The TZ5 has a 10x optical zoom; the FX500 only has 5x.
    -The TZ5 has all automatic/preset controls; the FX500 has manual options.
    -The TZ5 can zoom during video recording; the FX500 cannot.
    -Also the FX500 is about 2/3 the depth of the TZ5 (the extra room is needed for the bigger lense).

    For me it just wasn't worth the extra money for 10x zoom and video zoom, plus I wanted a high-quality camera I could carry in my pocket, and the TZ5 is supposed to be a little too bulky for that.

    So far I've taken some shots indoors, as well as overcast outdoors and at the sunny beach, and I'll admit I've definitely gotten some bad pictures. But in my experience with the camera, a bad pic means I'm doing something wrong, and there's always a way to adjust to get a crisp, beautiful photo. If you're 100% a point-and-click kind of person, this may not be the best choice because the auto-mode doesn't always choose the absolute best settings, and you have to tinker around with it some to get optimal results. I personally like that aspect, however. I bought this camera for less than $200, and it was definitely a great deal.

    Oh, a couple things about the zoom:

    -You can't zoom DURING video recording, but you can zoom beforehand; so for example, if you want to record something far away, just zoom in before you hit the record button and voila! It is a little annoying that you have to choose the zoom level in advance, but I was happily surprised when I figured out I could zoom at all in video mode.

    -Saying the camera has any more than 5x zoom is misleading. Besides optical zoom there are a couple other kinds (digital and one other, forget the name) that supposedly let you zoom in even more, but all these really do are crop the picture or decrease the quality; After 5x optical zoom, the more you zoom in, the lower the resolution or smaller the pic. Since I always take pictures at max resolution, I don't see the point in ever using the other zoom modes; if I want a picture to be narrowly focussed on a distant object, I'll just crop it after the fact....more info
  • Great!
    This camera is wonderful! It is a great travel camera, enabling you to plug in the dates for your trip as well as the title. It gives you time for your home as well as your destination. I love the picture sorting features too because my memory chip is always large and to share a photo with a friend is easy when you can pull up the category it is under (such as pets, kids, sports etc) The picture quality is great and the camera is really steady. I love that you can take pictures in sepia and B+W, and there are lots of other features for people who enjoy tinkering with the advanced settings. I like the size as well because it is small enough to fit in my pocket, but large enough to feel sturdy and strong. Not one complaint from this happy reviewer!...more info
  • Excellent at it strengths, good even at it's weaknesses
    First of all, I can't comment much on the value for the money, since my purchase was based solely on features and I was willing to pay for them. I searched for 6 months for a camera that met my requirements (in this order).

    Must Haves:
    -fast first picture from 'off' state
    -good low light pictures (as good as a compact anyway)
    -small enough to fit in pocket (for bars, parties, etc)
    -HD Video
    -7MP or more

    Nice to have:
    -manual photo options
    -Zoom while video record
    -.avi video recording
    -4x zoom or more

    I was originally going to purchase the TZ5, but this model's manual options and smaller size won me over. For my purposes, giving up the 10x optical zoom was well worth it.


    PROS:
    -excellent (amazing) "Auto Ai" mode: It's truly point-and-shoot if you want it to be
    -image stabilization 'mode 2' works very well to reduce blur
    -about 1.25 second to first pic from off (about 2 sec with flash)
    -battery life (second only to the Casios that I've purchased for friends and family)
    -low-light pictures: if you set the correct scene mode, you can get a very decent picrture without flash - better thatn any other compact digitals I've seen.
    -great video quality: 720p .MOV format is compatible with iMovie and looks great on a 42" 1080P LCD TV on a computer (you'll need to pay extra for the cable that goes directly from the camera to the TV)
    -25mmm wide-angle is surprisingly useful, but you have to remember to zoom slightly if you don't want a slight 'fisheye' view.
    -there is a 'quick menu' that gives you 2-button access to all the most often used functions (they change with each mode)
    -one touch access to self-timer (great for quick self-portraits)

    CONS:
    -no zoom while video recording (TZ5 only as far as I know)
    -sometimes it's unclear whether to use touchscreen or the joystick (I think anywhere that uses the touch should also be able to use the joystick)
    -flash pics are about 6 seconds shot-to-shot (with 2/3 battery on full iA mode with double red-eye reduction flash)

    MINOR ANNOYANCES:
    -the LCD turns off after a some flash pictures for 1.5 sec or so (I suppose to help the flash recharge more quickly)
    -tripod mount is to far left of body: bad for tiny portable tripods, but placement allows you to change battery/card without disconnecting tripod
    -USB cable is not a (current-standard) mini-USB on the camera end. This may be a plus later on as more phones and cameras use micro-USB


    SUMMARY:
    This is the best camera available for my requirements, and an excellent overall compact. It has the best low-light pictures (with defeated flash) that I've seen on a digital compact (aside from the old, old Fujis). It's the first camera that I've been truely comfortable setting on 'auto' and knowing I will almost always get a good picture.
    If you want a pocket-sized camera that you can just whip out at an event and be assured of a good picture or take a great looking video clip, while retaining the ability to do some limited manual exposures, this is the one for you. ...more info
  • okay except the optical 5x
    This camera is okay. However, its 5x optical lense doe not produce anything better than the 3.6x lense of FX01....more info
  • Those that sent it back should have had it replced
    I have shot 200 or so pics with his great little camera, and if you leave to it's own devices you will be very satisfied. I have a 17" plasma monitor on my computer and I have to tell you the detail is beyond my expectations after reading some reviews that complained that thier pictures were not clear, they must have had a defective camera or they must have had some settings wrong. I would definatly reccomend this camera to a friend.
    My only gripe is that the Hi Def cable should be included as the suplied A/V cable degrades the picture on my 60" flat screen.
    Buy it, try it, you'll keep it!...more info
  • I REALLY wanted to like this camera... but I don't
    I completely fell in love with my Panasonic DMC-FX01, which has taken many unbelievable photos over the last 3 years until it finally ingested too much sand and died. I badly wanted a pocketable camera with 5x optical zoom, manual controls, a wide angle lens, and above all, great image quality. I have been so happy with Panasonic compacts that I decided to wait 2 months for the DMC-FX500, but I feel like that was a complete waste of time. With all its bells and whistles, and the promise of full manual settings, this camera just doesn't take good photos.

    For the steep $350, I expected the camera to at least somewhat approach the image quality of my Canon G7, which has near-DSLR IQ. This camera sadly doesn't even hold a candle to my wife's DMC-FX03, an older, low/middle-range Panasonic. Photos are generally very soft, and lacking focus. Highlights are often blown out, and lack vibrant colors. About 1 in 4 photos actually comes out decent, with somewhat acceptable focus. The 9-point auto focus setting turned in the best results, but even those were spotty.

    I spent much of a 3-day weekend trying to tweak the manual settings, white balance, megapixel levels, sharpness and noise reduction controls, and came up with about the quality I'd expect from a $100 camera. Neither close-ups nor wide shots lacked sufficient detail. The "intelligent" auto setting is odd b/c there seems to be nothing intelligent about it - the results are almost random - some are way under-exposed and others are badly blown out. Some shots are relatively well-focused, while others are soft/blurry. Almost none approach a "great" shot.

    I keep wondering if I've gotten a bum unit, but I'm so disappointed with this camera that I don't feel like bothering. Even with the Canon SD870IS' questionable reliability (our friends had trouble with theirs), I'd rather drop down to 4x zoom and 8 megapixels, which will be better anyway due to not having to stuff too many MP into a small image sensor. I don't have any doubt it will take the quality of photos I expect from a higher-end compact, and for about $90 less than this one. ...more info
  • Terrific Camera - Image Stabilization Works Well
    I am highly impressed with the FX500. The touch screen is very cool, though most of the actual setup and operation must be done with the small joystick (also easy to use). The large 3" display is crystal clear and bright, even in sunlight. The camera has a metal body and machined metal lens casing and buttons - very sturdy camera. The photos are excellent in quality, better than my last Canon (the SD1000, total junk camera) by FAR. Lightweight and the video recording in HD at 720P feature is AWESOME for shooting small clips that look excellent on my 42" plasma. Flash is bring enough for all situations, and in natural light shooting with no flash the Optical Image Stabilization helps a lot. Some graininess noted in photos above ISO 400 and in a basement with no windows and lighting dimmed WAY down, but that's to be expected from ALL cameras. Quick fiddling with the manual mode (done by touchscreen) and you can take 10MP photos in very low light with no flash and they look quite good... very impressed. One last note, this works perfectly with my Macbook Pro, recognized by iPhoto right away and imports are lighting quick too!...more info
  • So very happy...
    This camera is exactly what I wanted and needed. It has all the features I needed for a point and click with the added feature of a mega zoom. It is lightweight and easy to just throw it in your bag and go. I am really happy with the purchase....more info
  • Sophisticated but not better than others
    I have this camera. I got it in Japan.
    It has many automatized features that looks very nice. The stabilization works well. The menu is very easy to use.
    However, I have been disappointed by the poor quality of the pictures. It does not show better results than most other compact cameras whereas it is rather more expensive and heavier.
    Most outdoor pictures are over-exposed (intelligent mode), and it is not easy to check with the display. I took many pictures that I thought were nice but finally looks very bad on the computer and print. Indoor pictures with flash and artificial lighting looks yellowish unless the subject is very close to the camera (<1 m). The pictures looks grainy or soft in many circumstances. Maybe Panasonic is not ready for 10 Megapixels.
    As mentionned by others no zoom in video mode.

    Nice wide angle but there is noticeable distortion at the edges. A person at the edge of a picture taken without zoom looks somewhat deformed.

    I compared with my canon powershot 710IS. The canon (7 MPx, X6 optical zoom, stabilizer, digital zoom in video) is much better though just a little bit thicker. I was planning to give it to someone and keep the FX500... I may do the contrary!

    Conclusion: nice piece of technology but disappointed by the results considering the price and the weight compared to other products....more info
  • Fab Cam
    I purchased the FX500K to replace an aging 6mp camera, and immediately took it on a trip to Rome -- and shot 500 pictures. I had read reviews complaining of abberations at high resolutions, but I have no complaint. The camera was a gem - shooting in tough lighting situations was relatively easy after getting used to the options menus. I shoot with entirely natural light (even in almost pitch black situations) and the ccd was sensitive enough for all situations I encountered (even in the catacombs). Battery life is excellent, but backups definitely recommended on all-day shoots. Video mode was great. The only negative thing I have to say about the camera is that for someone with large hands like me it is a bit small. But that inconvenience is more than made up for by the ease with which one can stick it in your shirt pocket. Great cam....more info
  • One of the best cameras I've had to return.
    I have had quite a few point and shoot cameras and this one is the nicest I've owned. I've alway been a fan of the Canon line of cameras and was a bit skeptical about switching brands, but the lackluster reviews of the recent Canons made me look at other options. The FX500 has met or exceeded all my expectations for the camera. The pictures are exceptional, the touchscreen is a joy to use, and the battery life is above average. Our pictures have been bright and vivid with minimal user intervention, the HD video is wonderful and its compact size and durable case means we can take it anywhere.

    If I had any negatives to report, it's the same issues with other PnS cameras, we experienced some red eye, a bit of noise in the pictures and the audio quality wasn't all that great.

    ********UPDATE*******
    After having the camera for almost a month it pains me to say it, but its being sent back. I mentioned noise in my review and after looking at all the pictures we've taking in great detail the pictures are just not crisps and clear. My wife is the main user of the camera and she constantly take pictures, runs them through photo shop and then prints them. When she sat down to do the first set from our vacation she found when zooming the pictures really become grainy and are blurry when printed. They look fine without the zoom, but when you start to zoom in you loose detail that our older camera captures.

    Its really disappointing, the camera has the best interfaces I've seen and the touch screen is very nice. If your just wanting a nice point and shoot and aren't into photo manipulation, then this would probably be a decent camera, otherwise you may want to look at other options. ...more info
  • One of very few cameras that has a manual mode
    Excellent small camera with very good automatic mode, which actually does a very good job at determining the scene kind and picks very good exposure. At night it will actually choose to extend the exposure and turn on the flash, so the background gets enough exposure... all automatically. And if you want to take exposure into your own hands, you can, shutter/aperture priorities, or full manual... YES, full manual on a small camera. It's very nice for people who don't think in terms of "let's set the camera to night mode", but simply want to set the shutter to 1/4 of a second, and compensate a stop on the exposure. Don't want to bother with any of this? Set it in auto, and it'll take beautiful pictures by itself (better than my previous canon sd770 ever did). The touchscreen is a gimmick. You can scroll pictures in preview, you can adjust some settings, but it's just as easy to do on non-touchscreen cameras. ...more info
  • Do not buy advisory....
    This camera has been crippled from the get go by removing ZOOM from the video mode (except for 10 fps mode, which does not count). If this is the business model Panasonic wants to practice (so as not to compete with their camcorder dept.) that's fine with me, but they should explicitly state so, otherwise their "5 x zoom" marketing is misleading and deceptive. A month ago I bought Canon SD870IS and was happy with it, except for its 3x zoom (too small for lots of professional dance shots that I make). Then I read the announcement for the upcoming FX500s. They sold me on the 5x zoom and HD movie resolution (that Canon lacks). I was in a 14 day return period so I decided to part with Canon and wait a month for this one. Today I gladly received Lumix DMC-FX-500S, but was dismayed and upset that having decided to sell it as the most advanced pocket size cam on the market (e.g. manual exposure that e.g. Canon lacks) Panasonic has decided to drop zoom mode while filming (you set the zoom prior to the recording but not during it, which is outright dumm). I hope there will be more returns like mine (sorry Amazon) so they can learn their lesson the hard way and be forced to rethink their modus operandi and perhaps upgrade the firmware. I am sorry, but as it is now, lack of the zoom in video recording mode is a deal breaker for me. For others who don't mind this may be a superior product. ...more info
  • great camera
    took this camera on a ski trip on the haute route in the french/swiss alps. I was going to take a large Canon 5D but it was just too large to bring.

    I ended up going with this camera for a few reasons:

    1.HD Video
    2.Wide-angle lens for landscape
    3.large screen for viewing, with touchscreen navigation
    4.under $200 - our other point and shoot doesn't have sound with video so we had to get a new one but didn't want to spend a ton.

    overall this camera was perfect. the hdvideo isn't perfect, but the quality was fine for what i was using it for. loved the wide-angle lens.

    all of these pics/videos were taken with the camera http://www.flickr.com/photos/j_red/sets/72157616581084385/...more info
  • Panasonic Lumix Digital Camera
    Love this camera and it is easy to operate. I use it for getting candid shots when my professional camera is too bulky to carry around....more info
  • best camera you can get for the price
    I bought this camera in April 2009 for hundered seventy bucks..

    I think it is packed with great features that you wont find anywhere else..

    1. wide angle.. 25mm lens..
    2. HD video.. look at the sample on youtube.. search HD
    3. 3 inch LCD screen
    4. touch screen makes it look really expensive model
    5. nice photos..
    6. photos at high ISO are grainy but for the prices its very good..

    Some reviewers gave this 2 and 3 stars.. probably because they paid 400 bucks for it and for that price its not that great.. so price should be kept in mind while reviewing.....more info
  • Compared to FX-35 it pros, it has cons...
    Just upgraded from the FX-35 and did quite a few tests yesterday. Overall, the FX-500 is an excellent camera but dollar for dollar you get a little more with the FX-35. That being said, I am selling my FX-35 and keeping the FX-500 (see eBay!) because some small specific differences weigh in favor of the FX-500 for me as a photographer, but not necessarily because the camera is better. There were a few primary issues I want to mention between the two cameras though.

    First, the FX-500 is noticeably larger than the FX-35. I know specs are specs, but just the weight and feel make it larger and it is less comfortable in a shirt pocket. The bonus is that for those of us with larger hands it is more comfortable to use without always hitting buttons with your thumb. Second, the lens is not quite as wide as the FX-35. This could be a number of factors, but since we know the chip processes not only noise but some optical distortions (try comparing the RAW and JPEG versions of a few Lumix camera images!) this could be post processing by the chip. I would guess the FX-500 is about a 25.5mm or 26mm wide angle compared to the FX-35. That, or the FX-35 is a 24.5mm :)

    The most disappointing aspect of the FX-500 is that the images are not quite as good as the FX-35. Look close, mainly in low light. I notice significantly more noise artifact in the FX-500 images compared to the FX-35 in all ISO's. This make sense since the FX-500 has a much larger screen sitting right behind the chip and more electronics. I am sure the FX-500 generates more electronics noise from this fact alone and that has to be processed out. Luckily, the FX-500 has many more manual controls and you can adjust contrast, sharpness and noise reduction and little. Still, making as many adjustments as I could I could not get the same quality out of the FX-500 that I could get out of the FX-35. Let me stress that this image difference is small and only available to Pixel Peepers when you zoom in 100%, but it is noticeable. So, if you shoot wide and hope you can later crop in to get the image you want you will do better with the FX-500 to frame tight to reduce the amount of cropping.

    Those were the largest issues I saw, but let me say the build quality is excellent as it always is with Lumix cameras. The menus are intuitive and the touch screen works wonderfully (even with a screen protector on the LCD). I think the actual number of items the touch screen is useful for is smaller than the number of things you can actually do with it, but for those things it is nice. The focus control is sweet, changing modes and scenes is quicker and easier and things like the playback control for movies now offer you real buttons on the screen which is very intuitive.

    When you compare the fact that the FX-500 has more manual controls, a larger LCD, fancy gadget points for the touch screen and a slightly longer lens at 125mm, I decided to stick with it. This is also because I got one on eBay for about $350. If you are not really going to play with the gadgets on this camera that much and want a pocketable point and shoot with excellent, amazing optics, pick the FX-35. If you want a little more manual control, some sweet gadget novelty with the touch screen and perhaps a slightly longer lens and don't mind spending $100 more, get the FX-500. I decided on the FX-500 but really I am just waiting for a new and improved upgrade for my FZ-18! (I want a 10M chip and fancier processor, other than that I love the FZ-18!)

    Two last notes: the rubberized case feel of the FX-35 is more secure in your hand in some ways and I really miss that on the FX-500. Also, the FX-500 seems to eat batteries a little faster. (makes sense though, expected...)

    Pros:
    1. longer zoom range nice
    2. larger, heavier body easier to hold for large hands
    3. intuitive touch screen, fast & easy

    Cons:
    1. more chip noise than FX-35, but manageable
    2. larger heavier body less pocketable
    3. costs $100 more than FX-35 for minor upgrades
    4. battery life a little shorter than FX-35...more info
  • DMC-FX500 Digital Camera Review
    This camera is a diamond in the rough. Pocketable and powerful. Many automatic options PLUS manual contol, which is rare in tiny cameras. The touchscreen is simple and saves on many button pushes. The 3.0" viewscreen has autobrightness as well as a special overhead mode. 5X zoom is better than average. Very little barrel distortion at wide angle with f2.8. Camera is solidly constructed. I don't know what the one guy is saying about the battery door, its solid enough.

    25mm wide is excellent. Battery life seems good, too. The 720P HD video is certainly a bonus, though you can't zoom once recording has started. Smearing while panning is minimal compared to sony t500. Stabilization really helps. Clips are limited to 2GB (it appears) which is about 8.5 minutes of HD recording time @ 30fps. Audio is solid (unlike the TZ5 which audio sucks).

    This camera lets you limit the ISO from going above 400 in automatic modes to prevent finger paintings. I wish it would let you limit it to 200, but its still a great feature. Full auto mode plus iAuto mode makes it easy to get started.

    Manual mode allows shutter as long a 60 seconds for night shots. All in all, its a great all around camera to have with you and packs a ton of features including usable HD video. Check out many of the photos I uploaded to see its very versatile....more info
  • Panasonic Lumix DCM-FX500K
    This camera operates as advertised. It is a fine point and shoot camera with enough options to keep one learning and improving for a long time....more info