The FX35 takes good quality photos, though there are definitely some issues to point out. On the whole, photos were well-exposed, with pleasing, vivid color. Images are on the soft side, though it’s not too bad. Panasonic has made great strides in reducing the amount of noise reduction they apply to images on their newest cameras, and that shows on the DMC-FX35.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ5 is quite an impressive package. It’s not perfect, but it’s arguably the best camera in the “compact” ultra zoom class. From its 28 – 280 mm lens to its 720p movie mode, the TZ5 can do just about everything.
One of the truly amazing new features highlighted during the press conference was Light Detection/Intelligent Exposure. What the engineers at Panasonic have figured out is a way to chop the scene the camera sees into 3000 sections and then figure the correct exposure for each section. The result is a scene that more closely matches what your eyes see.
The image quality from our outdoor images are excellent for a camera in this category. Our photos show good overall exposure and natural color saturation. The Leica 10x zoom lens offers a 35mm equivalent focal range of 28-280mm, and is an outstanding feature on this camera.
Image quality when using 8M Fine mode was average when compared to similar models in this class. When shooting outdoors, the camera produced crisp, clear images with good exposures and colors. The Leica 5x optical zoom lens has a 35mm equivalent of 32-160mm, giving you an excellent wide angle end as well as a good telephoto coverage.
The Lumix FS20 is a companion model the the FS5, offering a larger LCD screen and slightly better handling. Build quality is excellent, and the overall design is functional but attractive. It is a point-and-shoot camera with a limited but sensible range of features, and performs well in most situations, with good low light capabilities.
Update Apr. 4, 2007: DPReview’s new review of the TZ3.