Panasonic introduced the Lumix DMC FP3, a stylish ultra-compact digital camera with plenty of features. Here is a review on the same:
The Panasonic Lumix DMC FP3 camera comes with an effective resolution of 14.1 megapixels from a 1/2.33" RGB CCD image sensor, which Panasonic has coupled to a Lumix DC Vario branded 4x optical zoom lens with a rather tight 35mm-equivalent wide angle. Importantly, the Panasonic FP3's lens features a true optical image stabilization system with which to fight blur caused by camera shake. The Panasonic FP3's lens has a two-step aperture that offers F3.5 and F5.6 at wide angle, or F5.9 and F7.1 at telephoto. The minimum focusing distance for the Panasonic DMC-FP3 is ordinarily 30 centimeters, but drops to ten centimeters at wide angle when switched to Macro mode. The ISO sensitivity ordinarily ranges from 80 to 1600, with the ability to extend this as far as ISO 6400 equivalent in High Sensitivity mode. The shutter speed on this camera ranges from 1/1600 to 60 seconds. The Panasonic DMC-FP3 uses Intelligent Multiple metering, and offers six white balance settings including Auto, Manual, and four fixed presets.
A whopping selection of twenty-five scene modes let users tailor the look of their images, useful given that the Panasonic FP3 doesn't offer aperture-, shutter-priority, or fully manual modes. There's also an Intelligent Scene Selection function, which can automatically select from a subset of six commonly used scene modes. A four mode flash strobe includes red-eye reduction capability, and has a rated range of up to 4.9 meters at wide angle, or 2.9 meters at telephoto. The Panasonic DMC-FP3 also includes the company's Intelligent ISO and Intelligent Auto modes as seen on past models. The camera shoots 30 frames-per-second movies with monaural sound at resolutions of 1280 x 720 pixels or below, although the compression used is the older QuickTime Motion JPEG type so file sizes are likely to be hefty. This camera stores its images and movies on either SD or SDHC cards, as well as the latest SDXC types. There's also a generous 40MB of built-in memory. Connectivity options include a USB 2.0 Full-Speed connection. The processing on this camera is handles via Panasonic's on-board Venus Engine IV. Panasonic claims its inclusion has enabled a shutter as brief as 0.006 second, the ability to lock 'sonic speed' AF on a subject in a blink of an eye with an impressively brief start up time of a fraction under a second at 0.96.
Design and Display:
The Lumix DMC FP3 sits comfortably in the palm of the users hands. The camera feels quite solidly built and weighs just 145 grams including battery and card. Its metal augmenting infused with well-disguised plastic makes it appear quite well done. Interestingly enough, the camera gets its power from a proprietary Lithium Ion rechargeable with ID-Security feature that prevents use of counterfeit or third-party batteries, and is rated as good for 300 shots on a charge to CIPA testing standards. There's sadly no optical viewfinder, with this camera. But, the 3.0 inch touch screen LCD display that comes with the camera has a 230-k dot resolution.
This camera is incredibly light and feels quite solid. A few more features would have been a delight. But, it’s still a fine buy.