Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX78

$250
  • 12 MP
  • 5x f/2.5
  • 1/2.5" CCD
  • 3.5" LCD
Released January, 2011
[4:3] VGA: 640 x 480 pixels, 30fps (Motion JPEG) / QVGA: 320 x 240 pixels, 30 fps (Motion JPEG) / [HD Movie] 1920x1080 pixels, 50i (Sensor output is 25p) / (FSH:17Mbps/AVCHD) / 1280x 720 pixels, 50p (Sensor output is 25p) (SH:17Mbps/ AVCHD ) / 1280x 720 pixels, 30fps (QuickTime MotionJPEG).
Rated 80% by by Photography Blog (Apr, 2011)

Conclusion Check out the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX78

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First reviewed December, 2011

Features Key features of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX78

Back view of Panasonic DMC-FX78 / DMC-FX77
With near total reliance on the touch screen, Panasonic has thrown the kitchen sink at it in terms of touch panel technology.
Rated 80% by by TrustedReviews (Jun, 2014)

megapixels

0 MP
15.9 MP

4.9 MP
12 MP
20 MP
That said, it's still something of a rarity to see a camera with almost not physical controls, as here with the new 12.1 megapixel Panasonic DMC-FX77: the larger-than-average 3.5-inch screen swallows up the entire backplate of the camera, in iPhone fashion.
Lumix DMC-FX78 by TrustedReviews (Jun, 2014)
In single shot mode a full 12 megapixel resolution JPEG is committed to memory in around two seconds, which is again par for the course.
Lumix DMC-FX78 by TrustedReviews (Jun, 2014)

sensor size

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX78
HP Photosmart E337
Samsung WB850F
As with Panasonic's Micro Four Thirds compact system cameras and its co-announced FT3 and TZ20 brethren, the Lumix DMC-FX77 offers Auto ISO and 'intelligent' ISO for those who want to leave the camera to decide, and with commendable consistency.
Lumix DMC-FX78 by TrustedReviews (Jun, 2014)
If that's not enough, its maker provides the 'extra optical zoom' option to extend this to a 9.8x reach, as long as you don't mind resolution dropping to three megapixels as only the central portion of the CCD sensor is utilised; the camera in effect making a crop.
Lumix DMC-FX78 by TrustedReviews (Jun, 2014)

wide angle lens

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX78
HP Photosmart E337
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX70
Not the most visually arresting of shots, but this wide angle image shows the kind of detail achievable from the FX77.
Lumix DMC-FX78 by TrustedReviews (Jun, 2014)
The T and W icons do usefully allow you to quickly zoom to the full telephoto or full wide-angle focal lengths with a single press.
Lumix DMC-FX78 by Photography Blog (Apr, 2011)

aperture size

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX78
Nikon Coolpix S6300
Samsung WB850F
The same is true if we're being picky in terms of our shot lacking contrast at maximum albeit modest 120mm equivalent telephoto setting, but comparing these two images should provide a very good idea of how close you can get (and from how far away) with the lens provided.
Lumix DMC-FX78 by TrustedReviews (Jun, 2014)
Intelligent Resolution performs two main functions - it either makes a standard image look like a higher resolution one by processing the contour areas, texture areas and smooth areas individually, or it digitally boosts the zoom magnification from 5x to 6.5x with minimal loss of quality and no reduction in resolution.
Lumix DMC-FX78 by Photography Blog (Apr, 2011)

zoom range

0x
10x

5x
21x
30x
Full HD movies with stereo sound, various creative effects and full use of the zoom are the icing on the cake.
Lumix DMC-FX78 by Photography Blog (Apr, 2011)
Beneath the unassuming but not unattractive metal and plastic exterior the FX77 packs the advantage of a 5x optical zoom, starting at a wide angle of 24mm equivalent (in 35mm terms) and peaking at 120mm at the telephoto end.
Lumix DMC-FX78 by Photography Blog (Apr, 2011)

body size

99.1 x 55.9 x 20.3 mm
95 x 32 x 63 mm
109.6 x 61.9 x 24.9 mm
Outwardly, the solid feeling, pocket-sized Lumix DMC-FX77 has a slim 20.6mm depth and glossy black and silver finish to our review sample.
Lumix DMC-FX78 by Photography Blog (Apr, 2011)
AVCHD features almost double the recording time in HD quality compared with Motion JPEG, but software support is still a bit thin on the ground.
Lumix DMC-FX78 by Photography Blog (Apr, 2011)
 

Performance Real world tests of Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX78

max continuous shooting

Offering a large 3.5-inch LCD with full touchscreen operation, the 12.1 megapixel FX77 also features a bright f/2.5, 24-120mm 5x zoom lens, 1920 x 1080 full HD movie recording in the AVCHD Lite format, 3D Photo Mode, 3.7 fps burst shooting, Intelligent Resolution technology, and Intelligent Auto mode with Motion Deblur anti-blurring function.
Lumix DMC-FX78 by Photography Blog (Apr, 2011)
In terms of ticking boxes for the latest must haves, its maker also adds the rapid fire 3D shooting mode seen on its latest raft of Lumix compacts, whereby you pan the camera across the scene and the 3D image is automatically put together from the combination.
Lumix DMC-FX78 by TrustedReviews (Jun, 2014)
 

Our analysis How does it stack up against its top 10 competitors

pros

  • 3.5"
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 30 fps
  • f/2.5
  • Fewer buttons, interact directly with menus
  • Optical
  • Stitches together multiple photos into a single ultra-wide view
  • 60 s
  • 20.3 mm
  • 142 g
  • 99.1 x 55.9 x 20.3 mm

cons

  • 5x
  • 1/2.5"
  • 230 k dots
  • Jan, 2011
  • 12 MP
  • Less capability to adjust white balance and exposure
  • No automatic 3D
  • Lens capabilities are fixed
  • No automatic HDR
  • Lacks the ability to create slow motion video
  • Won't have that film look

Reviews Word on the street

Rated 80%
Read the review (Jun, 2014)
The choices here include a highly colour saturated pop art option, alongside retro, pure and mono choices, plus high dynamic range, silhouette, pin hole camera and film grain.
Rated 80%
Read the review (Apr, 2011)
The screen has a poor resolution of 230k dots,which is far too low for an LCD panel of this size, resulting in a grainy display.

Screen

That said, the FX77 does offer the versatility of a relatively bright f/2.5 lens, theoretically allowing for better results when attempting low light photography.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX78 | Rated 80% by by TrustedReviews (Jun, 2014)
We get the ability to bias focus and exposure to a particular subject by touching it on screen, fire the shutter release with a subsequent touch, and even zoom in or out with a semi-circular swipe of a finger tip.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX78 | Rated 80% by by TrustedReviews (Jun, 2014)
So, while it's still a good choice, you may prefer some cheaper non-touchscreen alternatives, including this camera's predecessor the FX70.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX78 | Rated 80% by by TrustedReviews (Jun, 2014)

Lens

You can move through the complete focal range from wide to tele setting in just over two seconds, which again is fast without being surprisingly so.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX78 | Rated 80% by by Photography Blog (Apr, 2011)
We're not getting much in the way of barrel distortion and although the image is softening slightly towards the corners ever so slightly, it's not to a significant degree.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX78 | Rated 80% by by TrustedReviews (Jun, 2014)
The zoom control is ridged to provide some purchase for the fingertip and prevent it from slipping when toggling back and forth.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX78 | Rated 80% by by TrustedReviews (Jun, 2014)

Video

The FX77 can record full 1080p HD 1920x1280 movies and 720p 1280 x 720 movies, both at 30 frames per second in the AVCHD (MPEG-4/H.264) format.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX78 | Rated 80% by by Photography Blog (Apr, 2011)
This is much quicker and more intuitive than having to select the movie mode then press the shutter button, as on the majority of compact cameras.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX78 | Rated 80% by by Photography Blog (Apr, 2011)
Panasonic have introduced a brand new stabilisation mode especially for shooting video.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX78 | Rated 80% by by Photography Blog (Apr, 2011)

Image quality

In terms of image quality, as one would expect from a Panasonic camera, good results are delivered with the minimum of fuss and with a reassuring consistency and reliability.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX78 | Rated 80% by by TrustedReviews (Jun, 2014)
When shooting in normal mode with the FX77 there's the ability to select the 'color mode' options with a press of the menu button if you feel your image needs a boost in terms of saturation, or even toning down.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX78 | Rated 80% by by TrustedReviews (Jun, 2014)
Detail has however held well and even in the murkiest shadow areas we're not seeing any grain.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX78 | Rated 80% by by TrustedReviews (Jun, 2014)

Flash

From the front the DMC-FX77 displays a clean, unfussy faceplate, with the retractable lens barrel the most prominent feature, top left of which is a lozenge shaped window for the built-in flash - sufficiently clear of the camera edges to avoid fingers partly obscuring it - and to the right, we also find a small porthole housing the reasonably powerful AF assist lamp/self timer indicator.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX78 | Rated 80% by by Photography Blog (Apr, 2011)
Flanking the lens on the front are a self timer/AF assist lamp and integral flash.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX78 | Rated 80% by by TrustedReviews (Jun, 2014)

Competition What else you should consider

Editions Editions of the Panasonic DMC-FX78 / DMC-FX77

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$250
DMC-FX78 North America
 
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DMC-FX77 Europe
 
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Unanswered Questions

May 18, 2012
Zooming in on fine detail of low light indoor objects

I would like a camera that is easy to use that has automatic settings for taking indoor pictures of items I post on eBay.  I need to be able to capture small details on jewelry like "14k" and on...

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