Product Reviews (19)
The Lumix DMC-FX9 Matches My Tuxedo...
Strengths: Cool design, large hi-res LCd, great lens, fast start-up, 6MP's for cheap, AF assist lamp, sd memory
Weakness: pics a bit noisy-- esp. in low light, weak-ish flash, some focal lag, no optical viewfinder
Recently I decided to replace my faithful, well loved, but somewhat banged-up, Konica Minolta G400. The problem is, I want to know so much about the new gadgets I’m considering that, if I let myself, I’ll do research until the thing I most covet is totally obsolete. Given this personality trait, I’ve had to learn to restrict myself whenever I get on a jag with any kind of new gear. I decided this time around not to really upgrade (say, from my point & shoot to a digital SLR), but to replace the basic functionality of my current cam. To that end, I decided that I needed a higher-res, ultra-compact digital camera which would support my current flash-memory investment of several 1-gig SD cards.
What is the purpose of such a camera? You know those times at a party or on the road when someone says, “I wish I had a camera.” Those moments you always miss. I like to be the one at the ready. I am, in fact, “the jerk with the camera…” It’s funny how during the following week nearly everyone comes begging for the pictures I took… OK, so I won’t bore you with all the research I did on choosing this small wonder. I will simply say that it came down to the Lumix DMC-FX9. and its main competition in price, size, and style is the Kodak V550. The V550 is a nice, slick camera in its own right, which uses my required SD cards, but it’s 1 megapixel short and comes with the battery life of a wind-up toy (a mere 120 shots). While the V550 does get some great (and well deserved) reviews, for just a few dollars more you can get the Lumix DMC-FX9.
The benefits? A cooler name? Sure. Sexy matte-black, all-metal construction? Yup. But mostly, I’m concerned about the equally small size, lower weight, and astonishing battery life (270 shots). Oh yeah, there’s also the spectacular Leica lens with true image stabilization*, rapid focus (thanks to the AF assist lamp), and a generous ISO range. All this, and that extra megapixel, will make you say, “Yum.” when you take a really gorgeous shot and blow it up for 12×16 printing. Keep a lookout for the soon-to-be released upgrade to this gem, the Panasonic DMC-FX01K.
*Apparently, the FX9 and its sister-cameras are the only compact cameras on the market, other than the Konica Minolta DiMAGE X1, with this incredibly helpful feature.
By demos2003 - Apr 5, 2006
great cam or the greatest?
Strengths: everything, the exellent personal and professional relation between its chief engineer, designer and the ceo of panasonic probably..don't know.
Weakness: The fact it isnt 2008 yet because of the design and production speed of memory card manufactorers in relation to this student's budget
Saw this camera while starting up my search for a new camera, tried to deny the fact I fell in love with it on sight by doing two months of research into other candidates, but the more I learned about the fx9's actual capabilities, the more I became sure I needed it. Love on first sight and I had to give into it, never regretted it, it isnt very often that the 'outside = inside' rule applies on a product.
In my opinion there are two uses for a camera; one is to record what you see as accurately as possible, the other is to record wat you want others to see, as accurately as possible.
The last of the two is wat studio/advertising photographers and snobistic tourists who rather spend half their vacation on getting a good picture of things then actually seeing things, do.
The first is what I buy a camera for, recording something you see, you like and want to see again. Preferebly by blinking your eyes to record it in your brain and being able to remember it just as it was. My memory sadly isnt that accurate and medical sience hasnt yet developed either an implant ccd chip or eyelid-shuttercontrol, so I was looking for a camera that could always be ready to take a picure wherever or whenever I want. (note that mobilephone camera's are no option, because I dont want to run out of battery because of one function at a moment when i really need the other function, and there's some ethics involved in knowing when someone is making a picture or just playing with his phone even though a quick covert shot is possible with the fx9)
That is what the fx9 does. 'blink, click' startup and response time are very low and image stabilizing prevents blurred pictures that would otherwise happen when moving and cliking your camera for a fast shot. It doesnt come as a body function, but the 'succes'-screaming looks are a good alternative.
There is some noise in the pictures when you zoom in on them on your pc, and probably when you print them on poster size, especially from iso 200 and up (100 also actually). It is a clear problem because its the only one. Yes I would have liked it if the problem didnt exsist, for the sake of perfection and such, but the practical things to remember here are: how often do you print a poster (a3 and bigger) and how often do you press your nose against one? largest print i made was actually a night shot, in a3, because of image stabilizer and the night-scenery option, it is clear as anything (could have made it in one of the 'starryskies' modes, with recording time of up to 60seconds, but that gives to light pictures and problems with the movement of the stars (little arcs), not with the movement of the camera.
Same principle as for the pictures counts for the movies, clear as (hd)dvd when played on big screen tv's (let alone your pc especially when you convert them to .avi for better playback and sound there). And the o.i.s. does miracles here too, I've used it to make a movie of me while doing aerobatics in a plane, a lot of shaking and high and abrubt g forces couldnt ruin the quality and stability of the recording, its an incredible invention. Im very curious as to what the 'aerial photography' scene-mode in the 'new' fx01 does btw, I was very surprised they thought of such a thing, or maby not, because the above mentioned in air usability.
There are some moments on the edges of normal use where absolute manual control on forehand could have saved me from having to take three pictures to get the image right, the large screen with place for 24 tumbnails makes selective bulk removing of unessecary pictures fast and easy, but the large size of movies and pic's lets you also use it a lot, luckely 1 or 2 gb cards arnt as expensive as when i bought the fx9 last winter.
conclusion: buy it, now! you need it, even if you're not looking for it.
Perfection, aside from the continious progression in megapixels, can only be reached now in making the camera dustproof and waterproof for, say a couple of feet, and by using some sort of methode to reduce te size of images and movies, or by supporting 10gb sd cards, so you really dont have to think about limitations of your cam.
succes! I really had to spread the word.
By jjwr - Oct 2, 2006
One of the camers with the best price performance
Strengths: - Image Stabilizer really works. - Big and bright 2.5" LCD - Easy navigation on LCD - Good quality for both photo & video
Weakness: - Viedo file becomes very big (about 10 minutes with 1GB card) - Texture on metal portion could be better - Lack of manual capability
I recommend this camera to novice to medium users. Big and bright 2.5" LCD with Image Stabilizer makes photo taking very easy and pleasant. Image quality is more than acceptable (at least to me) by considering the size of this camera. Navigation is very easy once you get used to "right button = select". I hope FX10 or 11 in the future will have a capability of manual photo, I will definitely buy it again.
By hfukushima - Oct 10, 2005
Incredible Image Stabilization, Great Movies, Nice Sturdy Grippy Feel
Strengths: Size, Sticks to the hand, Great Movies, Image Stabilization, Leica lens, blog site for owners
Weakness: Lowlit indoor shots off a bit, Panasonic customer service very corporate
This was the best camera in its class Christmas '05. Great image stabilization really works in movie and still mode. Movie mode is very crisp and the sound very clear. This camera has been particularly good at outdoor and natural light shots. And the FX9 has a great new rubbery feel that sticks to your hand.
Lastly, the modes allow every member in my family to enjoy it, from simple mode to...
By jimmytaps - Mar 7, 2006
Strengths: ultracompact, stylish design, easy to use, sturdy, takes good pictures in almost any conditions
Weakness: none so far
This camera is a replacement for my old Minolta S414. Since they are in different classes, I will not elaborate comparing the two. I will only say that this little camera takes way better pictures than Minolta. It virtually doesn't have focusing problems, has a very user-friendly interface and is real pleasure to use. I think Image Stabilization plays a great role in taking quality pics in problematic situations. I am happy and will keep this camera for a long time.
By lyolya - Jan 8, 2006
lumix dmc-fx9k black digital camera
Strengths: the clarity on this camera is incredible!! it has a nice large lcd screen. very light camera. i love the color. black and silver. very easy to learn how to use.
Weakness: the only thing i didnt like about this camera is that is comes with a 16 mb memory card which only hods 5 pictures. its a must you buy a upgraded memory card.
the clarity on this camera is incredible!! it has a nice large lcd screen. very light camera. i love the color. black and silver. very easy to learn how to use. i would reccomend this camera to everyone! the best digital camera i have ever purchased!!!!!
By alanstev - Dec 12, 2005
Strengths: Pocket-size, very easy to use, LCD monitor very large
Weakness: nothing so far
Great product...from design to features....very easy to carry with you...easy to use in the dark...great options for various picture output..small enough to fit in your pocket
By jeffstevens - Nov 14, 2005
Great @ Filming!!
Strengths: Small size and great video quality.
Weakness: Only 3x optical zoom.
I was looking for a small digital camera with video recording function so that I could carry it all the time and shoot small films wherever I was at, so, my review is gonna be on the VIDEO RECORDING function of this device.
First of all, I am COMLETELY SHOCKED by the quality of videos that this pocket-size camera can record!!! At the highest quality setting, images are crystal clear and better than those of commercially available DVDs'. The camera automatically adjusts brightness as you pan it from a dim to bright area like camcorders do. This may well be a replacement for your old camcorder.
Weaknesses that are kind of minor for me include:
1) The output format of videos is something that's only playable on Quick Time Player, which is a little inconvenient for Windows Media Player (WMP) lovers like myself. In order to play output from the camera on WMP, you need a) a video converter (software), for instance, CinemaForge (free online) that converts output files from the camera into the AVI format and b) DivX codec (free @ www.DivX.com)installed on your computer. CinemaForge supports conversions to MPEG (you don't need the codec to play MPEG files on WMP), but much of the oh so great! quality of output from the camera will be lost during the conversion, especially if the origianl video was shot at the highest quality setting this camera offers.
2) There are only 4 types of quality setting for filming that are either extremely good or only alright. The settings are:
a) 30fps (meaning the camera takes 30 pictures/frames every second, and this is the highest fps for commercially available DVDs) with an extremely high number of bits in each frame (therefore, very clear image),
b) 10fps (at this frame rate, a fast moving object may not look like it's moving smoothly) at the same high number of bits in each frame.
c) 30fps with about 1/3 of the maximum bits in each frame (the image is blurry when viewed on WMP's free screen mode on a 17-inch monitor),
d) 10fps with about 1/3 of the maximum bits in each frame.
Off course, the higher the fps and number of bits in each frame, the larger the file size is and the more memory your recording consumes. So, in the instances of prolonged recording, I cannot help but to wish that the camera had a setting that's somewhere in betweeen, for instance, 25fps and 2/3 of the maximum bits in each frame would be nice.
3) OK audio recording quality. Well, I don't wanna say 'poor' because audio that this camera is able to pick up should be good enough for anyone who wants to film conversations, etc. But if you are the type who films concerts and makes mp3's from your videos, then, you may want something better than what this camera can do. Output videos have 64kbps (after compression) and 44000Hz for audio, off course, mono channel (not stereo).
4) Only 3X optical zoom and fixed zoom during filming. I would love to have higher than 3X optical zoom for pictures, but what bothers me more is the camera's lack of ability to change the degree of zoom during filming. The 3X maximum zoom and fixed zoom are THE things that separate this camera from camcorders.
Overall, I consider this camera as an excellent filming device. It's a small little thing that can record excellent videos, and the price is completely reasonable. Though there are a few things I wish they'd done better, I cannot really complain.
By nyfilmer - Aug 7, 2006
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX9
Strengths: Leica lens, image stabilization, large LCD screen, compact size, plethora of features, good battery life
Weakness: LCD is still hard to see in bright light, no viewfinder, function wheel has become loose in less than a year of regular use, flash seems a bit weak beyond a few feet, focus problems in low light
This is the first digital camera I have used or owned. I was looking for a more standard size 35mm but a techie friend recommended the FX-9 because he liked the sharp Leica lens and could take the compact camera anywhere.
The FX-9 first felt too small for me, but it was soon with me everywhere, all the time, because it fit in my pocket.
It generally takes very sharp pics in a wide array of easy to use modes and I've been amazed with its overall quality and function. I have noticed low light focus issues and blur, but with 400 speed it still has very good range. Photography is, after all, writing with light, so having a good source helps.
The software suite works well and includes an easy-to-use panorama feature that is fun. Auto-fix works very well, even on pictures that seem overly dark.
The FX-9 allows me to take pictures quickly and always have a good camera at the ready. Its small lens size let me take some nice shots of my son's Little League games. While other parents were trying to work around the chain-link fence, I was able to fit the FX-9 lens right through it!
The Panasonic Lumix FX-9 stops motion remarkably well and gives me many pictures from just one photo because of the sharpness of the image and the ability to enlarge and crop small segments.
It's generally much better in the day, but is sensitive enough to be able to yield decent ambient light shots in many night-time settings without having to resort to the limited flash. Bright, colorful neon lights come out very well. Everything I shot at Disneyland at night was like magic.
Sunsets have also come out very nicely with good color and subtle detail.
For a long time I've wanted to have a good camera I could take with me wherever I go so I can be ready for the unexpected. My previous camera body and set of lenses were too restrictive. Now I'm a compact fan.
I was completely enamored with this camera until the function wheel began to get sloppy and fall out of its settings recently. As a result, I'm planning to return this unit and possibly get the newer FX-01 (I may also look at a Nikon CoolPix P3). But I hate to think of being without this camera for even a day. It's become a real friend and a constant companion.
I have especially enjoyed being able to take pics of or for cameraless folks I meet and sending them shots via e-mail.
The Leica lens, the large 2.5" LCD screen and the very special image stabilization feature are the main reasons I bought this camera, but the digital video function is a nice added bonus.
By t3nwen2 - Aug 2, 2006
Sturdy camera with lots of features
Strengths: size, casing, photography features, easy to navigate menu
Weakness: LCD view screen detail images distorted sometimes, flash not powerful enough to reach the object when shoot in dark area
I have been looking for a camera which is small and offers more for the money. This camera is relatively small and have more features compared to others in its class. First out of the box, the camera felt very sturdy with the metal casing.
With the not so confusing button, navigating through the menu was quite fun and easy. I love the photo options the camera offered and also the ability do make some adjustments after taking the photo (e.g. size, zoom). I also took the advise from one of the reviewer and purchased a 1GB ScanDisk Ultra II.
The camera takes great pictures without blurred images. I have not yet used the image stabilizing function and many more, but I can see how one can have lots of fun with this camera. There are just so many neat feature that you have to try in order to appreciate it.
By mson70 - Jan 25, 2006
Not a very good camera
Strengths: Small and sturdy
Weakness: Horrible picture quality, unusable photos, weak customer service.
Contrary to other user opinions, the camera I purchased takes deplorable pictures that are grainy and lack resolution. When comparing it to my Sony P-150, the Sony rivals the Panasonic in every category (and I am not a Sony fan either). I will be returning the camera to the retailer promptly. Maybe I received a defective unit, but this was enough to scare me away from Panasonic cameras for awhile. My cell phone takes better photos!
By ggieseke - Feb 23, 2006
Good everything except lack viewfinder
Strengths: image stabilizer, LCD screen
Weakness: no viewfinder, only 3x optical zoom.
I think this is a great little camera -- (although maybe a little too small). But it is sorely missing a viewfinder. Also, 3X optical zoom adequate -- would have been nicer if they could have squeezed a 4x optical zoom.
By kishnakushna - Feb 5, 2006
Pocket friendly, feature packed!!!
Strengths: Abundant modes for just about every situation. Easy navigation, and OPTICAL image stability.
Weakness: Hmmm....If I have to nitpick...nope, I just have to say this Panasonic was everything my girlfriend needed in a camera.
I gave this camera to my girlfriend for Christmas '05. She is the "this is a great moment, I wish I had a camera to document it type person". I knew that she would like a point-and-shoot with ease of use built-in. Although there are a wide array of capture modes that automatically set the ISO and shutter speeds for her, she just wanted something she could whip out of her pocket, aim and snap.
After carefully researching the small, somewhat expensive point and shoots from Kodak, Sony, Canon, Fuji, Casio, and Samsung, we discovered that Panasonic is the only manufacturer that uses Optical Image Stability, and doesn't rely on digital image stability. The lens actually compensates for the unsteady hand, and not a computer chip. Huh. After test driving a Minolta Dimage X1 with 8 megapixels, and a Canon SD500, we decided that Panasonic had the best features and almost the best picture. I would give praise to Sony for its picture quality but it was missing the image stability function. The Minolta had deplorable write speed to the memory card and dismal picture quality in low light, long shutter lag, and weak flash. (It could also be attributable to the fact that it was a floor model; but in the store the camera performed well when it was writing to its internal memory under flourescent lights.)
We bought the Panasonic at a Costco in Georgia, and an 1 GB SD card from Fry's. To date the camera has performed flawlessly. We applied a PDA protection film to the 2.5 inch screen to help prevent scratches. The camera came with a case for your belt, but my girlfriend likes to drop it in her pocket and go, so the film was a good idea. (It lasts about two months, and needs re-application.)
We use Photoshop CS for cropping and minor adjustments. We print from an Epson RX500 and use Epson premium glossy photo paper, either 4X6 or 8X10 and our photos look fantastic. "Fan-tabulous" in her native Virginian...Hahaha. We are both very pleased with this camera and I have yet to use my own Fuji Fineplix S7000 since we got it.
Great camera and it's even cheaper now. I think I may need to get one for myself.
By kward70 - Apr 12, 2006
Best compact digital I have every had
Strengths: Image stabilization is truly effective. Easy menu navigation. Incredible screen. Screen visible in low light. 4.1x optical zoom,
Weakness: No optical viewfinder. Tiny 16MB SD card. Slightly thicker than other similar cameras.
This is the best compact digital that I have ever had. I was dubious of the image stabilitzation feature, but it really does work. The camera even has a built in demo to prove it to the skeptics. Very user friendly menu system. Camera is very easy to learn how to use. The battery life is pretty good and the screen is great. When you buy a camera of this size, it comes as not surprise that there is no optical viewfinder, still one would be nice. Also, why do they even bother with the 16MB memory card. Camera is probably 0.1 inches thicker than others in its class. All in all, the positives definitely outweigh the negatives. I highly recommend this camera.
By misterfeathers - Mar 4, 2006
Lumix DMC-FX9K Panasonic Camera
Strengths: Large Viewing window: Fast response time concerning the shutter speed: Durable Construction: The best lenses that are made:
Weakness: The flash is a litle to weak for the camera: There should be a charging prt outside of the camera to insure ease of charging:
This beutiful camera takes crisp clear pictures and is so compact a person could forget they were carrying it. This camera is also very user friendly for the first time buyer.
By anonymous; - Dec 6, 2005
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX9
Testseek.com has collected 25 expert reviews for Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX9 and the average expert rating is 74 of 100. The average score reflects the expert community’s view on this product. Click below and use Testseek.com to see all ratings, product awards and conclusions.
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By testseek.com - Feb 9, 2009
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX9K
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX9K receives an overall TopTenREVIEWS score of 2.69 out of 4.00. It is ranked the #161 Compact digital camera of all time. The overall rating represents an intelligent balance of features, value as a function of price to features, and a summary of reviews from a variety of sources. The TopTen REVIEWS' formula gives a picture of important consumer features, market value, and a...
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By TopTenREVIEWS.com - Jul 16, 2008
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX9
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX9 seems about average at first, with a 3x zoom in a small, stylish body, and a big 2.5 inch LCD. But when you learn it has Panasonic's MegaOIS Optical Image Stabilization technology added, despite its average 3x zoom, that's better than average. Image stabilization is becoming a hot feature, capturing sharper images in lower light at low shutter speeds without raising...
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By Imaging Resource - Mar 27, 2006
DCRP Review: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX9
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX9 may look like just another ultra-compact camera, but it has one feature that none of the competition has: image stabilization. Most people thing that's only useful for ultra zoom cameras, but that's not the case at all. The FX9's OIS system will give you sharper photos in lower light conditions than a camera without it. That, along with the FX9's other nice features,...
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By DCResource - Sep 13, 2005