Panasonic Lumix FX700 – The Best Pocket Camera For Action Photos?

2010 Photokina Featured News Panasonic Uncategorized

New Panasonic Lumix FZ700 - The Best Action Pocket Camera? Panasonic announced five new cameras last week, including a new high-end pocket camera that falls somewhere between the super premium LX5 and the featured-packed ZS7 pocket superzoom. I think the new Panasonic Lumix FX700 could be the sleeper camera out of the recent batch. It has a 14-megapixel CMOS sensor, a 24mm 5x Leica lens, full HD 1080p AVCHD video with stereo sound, and a 3-inch touchscreen LCD display. All that is packed into a very pocketable 4.08 x 2.20 x 0.97-inch package (10.36 x 5.59 x 2.46 cm).

You don’t need to dig too deep into the FX700′s specs to see that it’s a special pocket camera. At the top of the list is the 24-120mm f/2.2-5.9 Leica DC Vario-Summicron zoom lens. With that big f/2.2 aperture and Panasonic’s POWER O.I.S image stabilization, the FX700 is going to be a hell of a low light point-and-shoot. And 1080p AVCHD video with stereo sound in your pants pocket is pretty neat, too.

Panasonic Lumix FX700 point-and-shoot camera - front and back

One thing they glossed over in the official press release is the speed the new CMOS sensor makes possible. CMOS sensors are popping up in lots of high-end compact cameras lately. One reason is better image quality. But speed is part of the package, too. I believe the FX700′s 1080p video resolution is possible because of the CMOS sensor. And it also allows the FX700 to have a 10 frames-per-second burst rate at full resolution. Yeah – you read that right – 10 FPS. I found that buried in the specs. Heads-up to action sports photographers looking for a worthy pocket camera! The FX700 can also shoot 60 FPS at 2.5-megapixels if you want super high-speed sequences.

Let’s recap – the new Panasonic Lumix FX700 has a 14-megapixel CMOS sensor, a 5x f/2.2 wide-angle Leica zoom lens, optical image stabilization, 1080p AVCHD video with stereo sound, and a 10 FPS full-res burst rate. If you’re an action photographer, you should check your bank balance, the Mason jars buried in your back yard or the stash in your mattress and put aside $400 for this camera. Thinking over all the pocket point-and-shoot cameras out there right now, I don’t think there’s another camera that compares for action shooting – at least on paper. I definitely want to get one for review so I can see if it lives up to the specs. Now, if Panasonic can just make a waterproof and shockproof version…

The Panasonic Lumix FX700 point-and-shoot camera should be available in late August. It will only come in tough-guy black and the MSRP is $399.95.

Official Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX700 Press Release >>


Related Content:
All Panasonic User Reviews
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Digital Cameras Forum
Sports Photography Forum
Panasonic News & Articles
Panasonic Web Site

Panasonic Lumix FX700 point-and-shoot digital camera

Panasonic Lumix FX700 - top view

Panasonic Lumix FX700 - rear LCD

About the author: Photo-John

Photo-John, a.k.a. John Shafer, is the managing editor of and has been since the site launched back in 1999. He's an avid outdoor enthusiast and spends as much time as possible on his mountain bike, hiking or skiing in the mountains. He's been taking pictures for ever and ever, and never goes anywhere without a camera.

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  • Mike says:

    Does the CMOS sensor account for the wider angle lens than used to be available with compact cameras?


  • Photo-John says:

    No, Mike. The focal length of the lens has nothing to do with the sensor. That’s a decision the manufacturer makes, based on what they think the consumer will buy. Panasonic has actually been making point-and-shoot cameras with 25mm lenses for a few years now. Here’s a review I wrote for an FX model a couple of years ago:

    Panasonic Lumix FX35 Pro Review >>

    The tradeoff is that the wider they go, the less they have to offer on the telephoto end – especially in pocket-sized point-and-shoots. So in the case of the FX700, you will be giving up some on the long end for that 24mm wide zoom.

  • Mike says:

    Oh. I was thinking that the bigger sensor makes the same lens effectively wider like the 5d vs 7d. I’ve always wanted wider P/S cameras. I really “need” something like this for biking. I’m too lazy to lug around the biggun.


  • Photo-John says:

    The sensor isn’t actually bigger, Mike. It’s still a pocket camera with a tiny point-and-shoot sensor. The 24mm spec is a 35mm equivalent.

  • Raymond says:

    Great article John. I think this is the camera I’ve been waiting for.

  • shiggy says:

    I started wondering about how “hardened” it is as I read the features. You answered that at the end. Looking forward to a full test report.

  • Photo-John says:

    I think shockproofing is somewhat overrated, Shiggy. Those cameras will take a small drop. But a full on crash, probably not. I have only broken one camera on the trail and that’s because it had no grip and slipped out of my fingers into rocks. Keep it in a case on your shoulder strap and it’s probably going to be fine. Plus, there’s no “rugged” camera that has features even close to these. So it’s sort of a mute point. You either take the risk and reap the rewards, or you don’t.

  • Shiggy says:

    My Stylus 1030 has some hefty dents in the case and is still going strong.

    The Canon S3is was in my pack when I did a somersault over some pointy boulders on the Hurricane Rim Trail. Makes crunchy sounds when the lens moves out and in on startup/shutdown. Still works fine.

  • Photo-John says:

    I should have worked a note about it into the article, but you should look at the new Panasonic FZ100 as a replacement for your Canon. The FZ100 has the same sensor as the FX700. It has the same video specs, 11 FPS burst rate (that’s faster than pro Canon and Nikon DSLRs) and a 24x lens with a 600mm telephoto zoom. I was really excited about the FZ100 until I saw the FX700. I’m partial to pocket-sized cameras, though.

  • Patia says:

    Looks snazzy. I have sure liked my TZ4. It’s great for a camera small enough to carry everywhere in my purse.

  • Rich says:

    Have you also checked out the FX75? It was announced a month or two before the FX700 and is just now becoming available. It has the same MP, same fast lens, and many of the other same specs. The main difference, however is that it has a CCD sensor rather than CMOS, so the burst mode is not nearly as fast and it doesn’t have FULL HD. So, it wouldn’t necessarily supplant the FX700 for your choice as a pocketable cam for action shots, but it would serve well for some of the other commenters up there as a pocketable take-anywhere cam.

    One other thing it has going for it – it’s about $100 cheaper than the FX700 (it’s actually listed for $225 right now via the Panasonic purchase program).

    Here’s the difference in continuous shooting modes:

    Full-Resolution Image, 1.8 frames/sec Max.5 images (Standard mode), Max.3 images (Fine Mode)-High-speed Burst Mode: apprx. 6.0 frames/sec (image priority), apprx. 10 frames/sec (speed priority) (recorded in 3M for 4:3,2.5M for 3:2,2M for 16:9,2.5M for 1:1)

    Full-Resolution Image, 10 frames/sec Max. 15 images High-speed Burst Shooting: max. 60 frames/sec (recorded in 2.5M for 4:3, 3M for 3:2, 3.5M for 16:9, 2M for 1:1)

  • Aaron says:

    The Canon SD4500 looks pretty sweet as well.

  • Ron says:

    The only thing I don’t like on this JEWEL is its front part. Couldn’t Panasonic, for heaven’s sake, stop filling their cams faces with a bunch of “advertising”??? Let’s count, Panasonic, giant Lumix logo, fullHD, AVCHD, power OIS/24mm wide, L badge…

    I would take only the word “Panasonic” and/or the L trademark ….besides of the Leica inscription on the lens of course.

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