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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX35 First Thoughts
by J. Keenan -  3/22/2008

In the compact digital camera world, standard zoom lenses have tended to start out in the low- to mid-30mm focal range at the wide-angle end of the spectrum, a 35mm-equivalent length that isn't really all that wide. Every so often you'll come across a 27 or 28mm, but those have tended to be the exception rather than the rule. As a brand, Panasonic's lineup has a fairly high concentration of 28 to low-30mm lenses, but the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX35 breaks new ground in the compact wide angle sweepstakes: a 4x optical zoom starting out at 25mm.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX35

Is wider better? Well, the lens on Panasonic's new FX35 is one of the most defect-free compact digital performers I've come across, with minimal barrel distortion at the wide angle end. The rest of the camera surrounding that lens comes packaged in a smart-looking metal body with a 2.5 inch monitor, Panasonic's latest generation Venus Engine IV processor, and excellent shutter response. Image quality and color appear first-rate in my initial shots.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX35
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One gripe about Panasonic has been that some of its past offerings don't seem to quite match competitors' ISO noise performance. Will the new Venus Engine processor bring Panasonic in line with the other guys? The jury is still out on that one and there's a lot more shooting to come, but the Panasonic is off to a good start and the complete review in a week or so will deliver the final verdict.

Additional Sample Images

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX35
(view large image)
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX35
(view large image)