We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Cameras Reviews
15,670 Reviews

Panasonic Lumix FX500 review

£299 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Panasonic

Our Rating: We rate this 4.5 out of 5

The 10Mp Panasonic Lumix FX500 is a point-and-shoot compact with sophistication written all over it.

The 10Mp Panasonic Lumix FX500 is a point-and-shoot compact with sophistication written all over it.

Its brushed metallic surface, well-placed, slim flash, and 25mm-to-125mm Leica 5X optical zoom lens are appealing, but the marquee feature of the Panasonic Lumix FX500 point-and-shoot camera is its 3in touchscreen display, which is sure to be controversial with photography purists who would otherwise be attracted to its manual settings.

The touchscreen is bright enough for viewing in almost all lighting conditions, and it's not so hair-trigger that it invites accidental selections. You can use it to access some of the Panasonic Lumix FX500's menu settings more easily, as well as to zoom in and out on photos you've taken.

For some operations you must use it, although casual snapshooters may be disappointed that it does not supplant more menu options. (Besides the touchscreen, the Panasonic Lumix FX500 has a four-way toggle switch you can use to reach particular settings.)

If you touch a subject on the touchscreen, the camera will focus on the selection - a novel and quite effective approach. The zoom-and-drag options for viewing images on the screen are another nifty feature.

You can touch an area of the screen and then either zoom in on the selection or drag it around on the touch screen. It's a convenient way to check sharpness, facial expressions, and other details at 100 percent of actual image size. Tapping arrows on the Panasonic Lumix FX500's touchscreen lets you move the entire image around.

The touchscreen eliminates some of the tedious drilling-down that many cameras force you to perform to get to settings such as scene modes and playback options.

That's good news because the Panasonic Lumix FX500 offers 21 preset scene modes, including portrait, party, soft skin, and starry sky. The beach and snow modes will help keep your highlights where you want them in those environments; and flower enthusiasts and the detail-obsessed will find the camera's macro mode awe-inspiring.

All of that touchscreen action may be a bit draining.

In our lab tests, the Panasonic Lumix FX500's rechargeable lithium ion battery was good for 240 shots on a single charge - not too shabby, but far short of the 300 or more shots per charge that some more energy-efficient point-and-shoot models offer. 

My only serious gripe with this sleek-but-expensive little camera relates to its manual settings. The Panasonic Lumix FX500 saves all images in JPEG format; there's no RAW option. Also, to adjust manual settings, aperture priority, and shutter priority you have to use scroll bars on the touch screen.

Even people with fine motor control of their hands may find this process frustrating unless they resort to using the Panasonic Lumix FX500's included stylus; without it, we laboured to obtain the aperture and shutter speed combinations we wanted. 

Carrying the stylus cramps your style, but attaching it to the camera strap and stuffing it into your bag could damage the Panasonic Lumix FX500's beautiful screen. Fortunately, the Panasonic Lumix FX500's excellent Intelligent Auto mode and subject autofocus tracking kept me covered without my having to think too much, and the icons on the touchscreen helped me switch modes quickly and accurately.

NEXT PAGE: video, image quality and our expert verdict > >

Visit Photo Advisor for reviews of the latest compact, SLR and video cameras

Panasonic Lumix FX500 Expert Verdict »

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX500 reviews verified by Reevoo

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX500 Scores 9.0 out of 10 based on 51 reviews
5x optical zoom
4x digital zoom
1/2.33in, 10.7 Total Megapixels CCD, Primary Color Filter
F2.8 / F8.0
max resolution: 3648 x 2736
HD: 1280 x 720 - 30fps, 15fps
  • Build Quality: We give this item 8 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 9 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 9 of 10 for value for money
  • Overall: We give this item 9 of 10 overall

The Panasonic Lumix FX500's responsiveness was excellent, with almost no lag time between when we pressed the shutter and when pictures wrote to the card, even at the highest quality setting. This characteristic, combined with the Panasonic Lumix FX500's quick, accurate autofocus and exposure, makes the camera very satisfying to shoot with.

  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX55 8.1Mp compact camera

    Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX55 8.1Mp compact camera

    The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX55 compact camera has a superb 3in LCD, but the screen saps battery life, and images weren't as sharp as those of the Panasonic FX100.

  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX100 12Mp compact camera

    Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX100 12Mp compact camera

    A new contender in the bantamweight division of the digicam market, Panasonic's Lumix DMC-FX100 packs a lot of power into a compact package that's easy to carry and use.

  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX75 review

    Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX75

    The point-and-shoot Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX75 may seem like your typical touchscreen camera, but it distinguishes itself from the pack with a bright F2.2 lens, above-average video quality, and a few fancy features that might catch your eye.

  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28 review

    Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28

    The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28 has features that give it a jump on many of its competitors in the advanced point-and-shoot and megazoom categories.

  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18 review

    Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18

    An inexpensive high-end compact camera/DSLR crossover, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18K offers an 18x optical zoom, a 28mm wide-angle lens, and a host of manual controls for a very reasonable price.

IDG UK Sites

Best camera phone of 2015: iPhone 6 Plus vs LG G4 vs Galaxy S6 vs One M9 vs Nexus 6

IDG UK Sites

In defence of BlackBerrys

IDG UK Sites

Why we should reserve judgement on Apple ditching Helvetica in OS X/iOS for the Apple Watch's San...

IDG UK Sites

Retina 3.3GHz iMac 27in preview: Apple cuts £400 of price of Retina iMac with new model