Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX38
Slim compact camera with 25mm wide-angle lens
- Slim design, great colour balance, 25mm wide-angle lens, intelligent automatic modes
- Some detail loss at higher sensitivities, pricey
Panasonic's Lumix DMC-FX38 is a great compact camera for cashed-up consumers. It combines impressive image quality with a slim, stylish and sturdy design as well as a 25mm wide-angle lens, making it suitable for a variety of tasks.
Price$ 659.00 (AUD)
Looking extremely similar to the Lumix DMC-FX36, Panasonic’s Lumix DMC-FX38 is another fantastic point-and-shoot camera. It sports a 10-megapixel sensor, an ultra-wide 25mm lens and all of the usual automatic modes Panasonic users know and love. We were a little disappointed that little seems to have changed from the previous model, but this is nonetheless an attractive if somewhat pricey camera.
The one change we did notice is the 5x optical zoom (the Lumix DMC-FX36 had a 4x zoom). This isn’t a big change, but it's welcome nonetheless. The lens has the same awesome 25mm wide view as its predecessor, which makes for great landscape shots and group pictures.
On the whole we were impressed with image quality. The pictures were slightly on the soft side, with Imatest picking up some undersharpening. However, they were still detailed and crisp and we’d be happy making decent-sized enlargements. Chromatic aberration levels were somewhat high but not deal-breaking, with some minor haloing on high-contrast edges and detail loss towards the edges of the frame.
Colour balance was excellent. Colours were almost spot-on, with reds and yellows not too strongly saturated and greens and blues looking rich and vivid. Exposure was also well handled; highlights were not too blown out and shadow detail was excellent.
Noise was relatively well controlled. At large magnifications there was some very minor graininess evident even at low sensitivities but it wasn’t prominent enough to be troublesome. The noise correction algorithm does a good job of keeping the shots speckle-free, but it does so at the cost of clarity. Everything up to ISO 800 will be fine for small prints but you’ll notice some detail loss with bigger enlargements.
The unit's speed was fairly average. It exhibited 0.09 seconds of shutter lag, 2.2 seconds between shots and a start-up time of 2.4 seconds. The burst mode was a very quick 3.1 frames per second — but only up to three shots. There is also an 'infinite' mode that slows the shooting down a touch to 2.5 frames per second.
The features list is what you’d expect from a Panasonic compact. It has all the automatic beginner modes that Panasonic has been touting over the last few years, including intelligent ISO and intelligent exposure along with the more general intelligent auto. These modes do a pretty good job of calibrating settings and should prove great for beginners.
There are also standard compact camera features such as custom white balance and metering and focus controls. Face detection is also included and the 5x optical zoom is backed by Panasonic’s excellent Mega Optical Image Stabilisation.
In terms of design Panasonic has made basically no changes to this unit, but that’s fine because everything works pretty well. It is slim yet solid, with the entire body constructed of metal. The controls are simple and intuitive and the menu is clear and to the point.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Lexar® Portable SSD
Huawei Mate 9
Acer Swift 7
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Google Daydream VR headset
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Surface Pro 4
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- 2 ZTE Axon 7 review: Is ZTE dumping old stock on Australia?
- 3 Oppo R9s smartphone full review
- 4 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 5 Huawei Nova Plus smartphone review
Latest News Articles
- Boom: SanDisk just dropped the world's largest SD card
- Camera app makers tap into RAW power with iOS, and look forward to dual lenses
- Google Camera 3.2 lets you snap pictures while recording video
- CES 2016: Top 10 trends
- Sony α7S II aimed film-makers and low light photographers
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- Time to ditch Foxtel and the iQ3: How to replace Foxtel packages with cheaper alternatives
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- TPBusiness Intelligence Program ManagerVIC
- TPSharePoint AnalystQLD
- TPProject Technical LeadQLD
- CCNetwork Specialist - IPAM TelcoVIC
- FTData AnalystQLD
- CCIT Solutions ArchitectQLD
- FTApplication Support SpecialistNSW
- FTDevelopment Manager - SaaSQLD
- TPSenior Analyst Programmer - ContractQLD
- CCIntegration DeveloperNSW
- CCProject Specialist l Large Media Capital Investment ProgramNSW
- TPSenior Project CoordinatorNSW
- CCERP Business Analyst (Time Capture/ Management) - Contract - Sydney CBDNSW
- CCBPM DeveloperVIC
- TPSystem AdministratorVIC
- CCDesktop Engineer l WollongongNSW
- CCSenior Storage System Engineer -NetApp & TSMNSW
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Manufacturing and Trade & Logistics Modules)NSW
- CCSystem EngineerSA
- FTAnalyst Programmer (Natural/Adabas)SA
- CCDesktop Engineer l WollongongNSW
- CCDeployment EngineerSA
- CCSecurity AnalystACT
- FTCitrix EngineerNSW
- TP.Net DeveloperSA