The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX37 ultra-compact offers a lot in a little package for a reasonable price. From its excellent Leica zoom lens with built-in image stabilization, Intelligent Multi-metering that really works, Auto scene recognition, and 720p HD video, you’ll get sharp, well-exposed pictures with little effort. And isn’t that what an auto-camera is supposed to do?
My Best In Class Pick
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX37
What sets the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX37 apart from the competition is its excellent Leica DC Vario-Elmarit 4.4-22mm f/2.8-5.9 5x zoom (25-125mm equiv.) lens. With its impressive 25mm equivalent focal length, it has the extra coverage to meet those situations that most point-n-shoots cannot hope to match. With little or no distortion across the entire range, excellent contrast, plus built-in Mega O.I.S. optical image stabilization, you’ll get razor sharp images even at slow shutter speeds. The lens’ only caveat is some image softening in the corners. However, this would only be apparent, and only if you looked closely, in an extreme enlargement, say 16x20 or larger. In real world use, you’ll never see it.
To ease your shooting burdens, this camera comes with a host of useful features including macro focusing down to two inches, ISOs from 100 to 6400, five preset white balance options, plus manual; shutter speeds from 60 seconds to 1/2000th second, five flash options, +/- 2EV exposure compensation, Intelligent multi-segment metering, a plethora of shooting modes, including Intelligent Auto, which lets the camera pick the mode that best suits the scene conditions; frame rates up to 2.5 per second, five movie resolutions including 720p HD, three still formats (4:3, 3:2, 16:9), and USB 2.0 Hi-Speed for fast image transfers. It, however, lacks full manual control.
All in all, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX37 is a great little camera, and with its reasonable street price, a deal.
Comparison with Nikon Coolpix S610
A lessor zoom range of 28-112mm (equivalent), 4 sec to 1/1500th shutter speeds and sensor-shift instead of in-the-lens image stabilization relegated this fine little camera to alternate, but still recommended, status. It has a very good lens and produces sharp, low noise images, and with Nikon’s exclusive D-Lighting, you’ll get pictures without overly dark shadows or blown-out highlights.
- +Outstanding lens
- +In-the-lens Image Stabilization
- +Sharp, low noise images
- +Orientation sensor
- +50MB internal storage
- -No manual mode
- -2.5 inch, 230,000 pixel LCD
- -No optical viewfinder
Where to buy
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX37
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Comparing My Best In Class Pick with Other Good Choices
|Product||Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX37||Nikon Coolpix S610|
Close Effective Sensor Resolution The Effective Sensor Resolution tells you the total number of pixels that are recorded when you take a picture. The units are MP, which stands for megapixels or millions of pixels. For outstanding fine compression prints, 3MP is required for 5x7's, 7.1MP for 8x10's, and 10.9MP for 11x14's. The effective sensor resolution is only one of many important factors that will determine the quality of the photograph when displayed or printed at different sizes.
|10.1 megapixels||10.0 megapixels|
|HD Video Available||Yes||No|
|Max Video Resolution||1280 x 720 pixels||640 x 480 pixels|
Close Min Focal Length (35 mm equivalent) The 35 mm equivalent focal length is a measure that indicates the angle of view of a particular combination of a camera lens and the sensor size. The term originates from the time when the vast majority of photography was done with 35 mm film. On any 35 mm film camera, a 30 mm or less lens is considered a wide-angle lens.
|25 mm||28 mm|
Close Max Focal Length (35 mm equivalent) The 35 mm equivalent focal length is a measure that indicates the angle of view of a particular combination of a camera lens and the sensor size. The term originates from the time when the vast majority of photography was done with 35 mm film. Larger max focal lengths make distant objects appear more magnified.
|125 mm||112 mm|
Close Max Aperture (wide-angle) The aperture refers to the size of the opening in the lens that determines the amount of light falling onto the sensor. The maximum aperture (wide-angle) is the largest possible size at the wide-angle limit of the zoom lens. The lens aperture is usually specified as an f-number, the ratio of focal length to effective aperture diameter. A lower f-number denotes a greater aperture opening, which allows more light to reach the image sensor.
Close Max Aperture (tele-photo) The aperture refers to the size of the opening in the lens that determines the amount of light falling onto the sensor. The maximum aperture (tele-photo) is the largest possible size at the tele-photo limit of the zoom lens. The lens aperture is usually specified as an f-number, the ratio of focal length to effective aperture diameter. A lower f-number denotes a greater aperture opening, which allows more light to reach the image sensor.
|Image Stabilization Type||Optical (lens-shift)||Optical (sensor-shift)|
|Max Shutter Speed||1/2000 sec||1/1500 sec|
|Min ISO Setting||100||100|
|Max ISO Setting||6400||3200|
Close Viewfinder Available A viewfinder is a window that you look through to compose the picture. Some cameras do not have a viewfinder and instead use the LCD display. The LCD display may be difficult to see in bright light and may make it more difficult to capture fast-moving subjects because of the time required to update the display.
Close LCD Screen Size The LCD Screen Size is the length of the miniature LCD monitor measured diagonally.
|2.5 in.||3.0 in.|
|LCD Screen Resolution||230000 pixels||230000 pixels|
|Size (W x H x D)||3.7 x 2.0 x 0.9 in.||3.7 x 2.2 x 0.9 in.|
|Weight (with batteries)||5.1 oz||6.0 oz|
|Battery Life||310 shots||290 shots|
Nikon Coolpix S610
The Nikon Coolpix S610 packs a host of features into its slim (22.5mm) body including a 10.1 megapixel sensor with sensor-shift image stabilization, a Nikon 28-112mm (equivalent) 4x zoom lens, and a 3.0 inch 230,000 pixel LCD with anti-reflective coating. Additionally, it has 16 scene modes, Auto Scene Selector, AF modes that recognize faces or tracks movements automatically, ISOs from 100 to 3200, 45 megabyte internal memory, USB 2.0, and Nikon’s exclusive D-Lighting contrast control.
Where to buy
Nikon Coolpix S610
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