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)
Best Deals (Selling at 2 stores)
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!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei P9 review: lifting photography to another level... sometimes.
- 2 Sony Xperia Z5 Premium review: Is the world ready for a 4K phone?
- 3 D-Link Taipan AC3200 Ultra tri-band modem-router review
- 4 Dell XPS 13 (2016) review: Making the very best Ultrabook
- 5 Microsoft Surface Book review: The verdict on Microsoft's first notebook
Best Deals on PC World
Latest News Articles
- 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
- Canon goes big on resolution with 250-megapixel sensor
- Hey, Saturn, take a selfie! World's biggest digital camera will photograph the universe
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
- FTTechnical/Solutions ArchitectNSW
- FTPractice Lead - InsuranceNSW
- FTTechnical/Solutions ArchitectNSW
- CCITSM ConsultantNSW
- FTSenior Manager Practice LeadNSW
- FTOracle Fusion Implementation ConsultantNSW
- FTMobility Developer x 2 - iOS and Android positions available!NSW
- CCData Warehouse Specialist- Power BI, SSAS DBA, Azure, SQLNSW
- CCSenior Developer - AWS Cloud HSMNSW
- CCSenior Project Coordinator - Large Telco - URGENTNSW
- CCContract Junior Programmer (JAVA / SQL) 160621/JP/224Asia
- FTBusiness Analyst - Clinical SystemsSA
- CCMaster Scheduler - IT Infrastructure ProgramsNSW
- CCSenior Business Analyst- BPMN, Testing backgroundNSW
- CCNetwork EngineerACT
- CCProject ManagerNSW
- CCTechnical BA - Networking/Infrastructure - Site RelocationNSW
- FTData Center Operator (1-Year Renewal Contract)Asia
- FTEnvironment ManagerVIC
- CCSharepoint Developer | Air Force project | NV1 clearanceNSW
- FTIT Support Analyst (Renewal Contract)Asia
- FTTechnical Services ManagerACT
- CCWindows 2003-2012 R2 Active Directory Consultant/ManagerNSW
- CCChange ManagerNSW
- CCProject/ Program AnalystVIC