Panasonic Lumix FX700
14 megapixels; 5x optical zoom; 24mm wide-angle; f2.2 max aperture; Optical image stabilization (POWER OIS); Venus Engine FHD processor; 10 fps burst shooting; Intelligent Auto (iAuto); Full manual control; 3-inch touchscreen LCD; 1080i HD video (AVCHD); Captures to SD/SDHC/SDXC media cards; Rechargeable lithium-ion battery
The FX700 is Panasonic's luxury point-and-shoot, built to perform in dim settings like clubs, bars, and concert venues, and slick enough to fit in as a fashion accessory in the VIP lounge. It's a clear competitor to the Canon SD4000, so it faces some tough competition. The imaging specs are up to snuff -- 14 megapixel MOS sensor, 24mm wide-angle, 5x zoom, f2.2 max aperture, 1080i HD video, though some early reviews suggest that image quality starts to degrade around ISO 400, not what we'd like to see in a luxury-type compact. We had a brief hands-on with the FX700 where we got to tinker with the interface. The touchscreen interface is sexy and helpful for touch-to-focus, though we still prefer a button-based interface: it's easier on the battery, easier to adjust settings in manual modes, and easier to see in the sun. The FX700 has a lot going for it on paper, but the execution is somewhat flawed, especially considering the price. Still, image and video quality is quite good overall and there are plenty of interesting features within. We'd also recommend a look at the newer CCD-powered FX78 as well.