Expert Recommendation

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Best Digital Camera for Interior Photos Under $400
Expert (88 Recommendations and 32 Compliments)
Send a ComplimentComplimented (Change)
October 8, 2008 Updated: October 9, 2008
Overview

Equipped with a sharp wide-angle view zoom lens and a 10 Megapixel resolution sensor, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28 is the perfect camera for photographing interiors. Featuring full manual modes and supporting a RAW image format, it will tackle difficult lighting situation with aplomb.

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My Best In Class Pick
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28

The latest super-zoom from Panasonic, the Panasonic FZ28 packs an 18x zoom lens with a wide-angle view.

Despite such an ambitious zoom range, the lens produces minimal barrel distortion (merely 0.2%) at the wide end of zoom and retains good corner-to-corner sharpness.

The camera also offers full-featured manual controls including a RAW mode and a useful Aperture Priority mode (i.e. one can set the lens aperture while the camera decides on the other parameters). Frequently, small f/8 settings are used to improve the depth of field, which is a required feature for photographing interiors to have a sharp focus everywhere.

The RAW mode is a desirable feature for photographing interiors because one can remove color cast (artificial lighting can cause superimposition of unsightly blue, orange, or even green color casts on image) by adjusting the white balance (process of removing unrealistic color casts) later during the image conversion to a more popular image format (e.g. JPG or TIFF) with the supplied software.

If one doesn’t want the hassles of RAW mode then there is color temperature display that makes it easier to set the white balance more accurately, and a color bracket function too.

Its Intelligent Exposure function brightens up blocked shadows and suppresses blown highlights to capture images that look natural. It now features an automatic backlight compensation function that activates whenever the camera detects that the light source is behind the subject. This is useful when the effect of Intelligent Exposure is not enough due to the strong backlighting through windows, etc. The overall image quality is good.

Comparison with Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX500

The Panasonic FZ28 has a RAW mode while the Panasonic FX500 does not. However, if one can live without a RAW mode then FX500 is the way to go as it has wider angle view.

Comparison with Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX37

The Panasonic FZ28 has a RAW mode and aperture/shutter priority and manual modes.

Pros
  • +
    Superb lens (class leading low distortion)
  • +
    Good corner to corner sharpness
  • +
    Useful features (Aperture/ Shutter priority, manual mode & noise reduction control)
  • +
    Good battery life
  • +
    RAW mode
Cons
  • -
    Image processing could do with less noise reduction
  • -
    Default contrast is a bit too high
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28 is the Best Digital Camera for Interior Photos Under $400
Where to buy
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28
Specifications
  • Zoom: 18.0x
  • Wide-Angle Lens: 27mm (30% wider)
  • Resolution: 10.1MP
More
Want More Opinions? See:
Website Reviews (3 reviews)
  • Highly Recommended at DPReview.com
  • Dave's Pick at Imaging-Resource.com
  • Rated Very Good by CNET.com

Comparing My Best In Class Pick with Other Good Choices

Product
Best badge
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28
2
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX500
3
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX37
Customer Rating
Price $667.00 $279.00 $249.96
Size (W x H x D) 4.6 x 3.0 x 3.5 in. 3.7 x 2.3 x 0.9 in. 3.7 x 2.0 x 0.9 in.
?
Effective Sensor Resolution
10 megapixels 10.1 megapixels 10.1 megapixels
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Shutter Lag Time (including auto-focus time)
0.4 - 0.5 sec 0.6 sec 0.3 sec
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Min Focal Length (35 mm equivalent)
27 mm 25 mm 25 mm
Optical Zoom 18.0x 5.0x 5.0x
Auto Focus Assist Light Available Yes Yes Yes
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Max Aperture (wide-angle)
f/2.8 f/2.8 f/2.8
Aperture Priority Mode Available Yes Yes No
RAW Mode Yes No No
LCD Screen Resolution 230000 pixels 230000 pixels 230000 pixels
Battery Type Proprietary Lithium Ion rechargeable Proprietary Lithium Ion Rechargeable Proprietary Lithium Ion Rechargeable
Battery Life 460 shots 280 shots 310 shots
Image Quality
Barrel Distortion (%) approx. 0.2% (lower than average) approx. 0.3% (lower than average) approx. 0.3% (lower than average)
Corner to corner sharpness Good Good Good
Fine details in image Very good Good Good
2
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX500

The Panasonic FX500 is a premium ultra compact camera featuring a 25mm ultra wide-angle 5x zoom lens.

The camera produces images with low barrel distortion (merely 0.3%) at its widest angle zoom setting.

The camera also offers full-featured manual controls and a useful Aperture Priority mode. It also features an Intelligent Exposure function that automatically controls the ISO sensitivity to increase the exposure of only the darkened area due to backlighting (e.g sunlight coming through windows, etc.)

The overall image quality is good.

Comparison with Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX37

The Panasonic FX500 has Aperture/Shutter Priority and Manual modes.

Pros
  • +
    Good image quality
  • +
    Low barrel distortion in images
  • +
    Useful features (Aperture/ Shutter priority, manual mode & noise reduction control)
  • +
    Well built body
Cons
  • -
    Lack of RAW mode
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX500 is one of the Best Digital Cameras for Interior Photos Under $400
Where to buy
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX500
  • Best Price: $279
    Amazon See It »
Specifications
  • Zoom: 5.0x
  • Wide-Angle Lens: 25mm (40% wider)
  • Resolution: 10.1MP
More
Want More Opinions? See:
Website Reviews (2 reviews)
  • Rated Very Good by CNET.com
3
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX37

This camera is essentially a stripped down version of the flagship Panasonic FX500. It has a similar 5x ultra wide low distortion zoom lens but lacks the touch-screen interface, manual mode and aperture/shutter priority modes. However it does include Intelligent Exposure function, which is a useful feature for interior shots. Some of the scene modes (e.g. night scenery mode) might also be useful for the purpose.

Comparison with Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX150

The Panasonic FX37 has a wider angle view. However if a RAW mode and higher resolution are priorities then the Panasonic FX150 is the way to go.

Pros
  • +
    Good image quality
  • +
    Low barrel distortion in images
  • +
    Well built body
Cons
  • -
    Lack of RAW mode
  • -
    Lack of Aperture/Shutter Priority mode & manual mode.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX37 is one of the Best Digital Cameras for Interior Photos Under $400
Where to buy
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX37
  • Best Price: $249
    Amazon See It »
Specifications
  • Zoom: 5.0x
  • Wide-Angle Lens: 25mm (40% wider)
  • Resolution: 10.1MP
More
Want More Opinions? See:
Website Reviews (1 review)
  • Highly Recommended at DPReview.com
4
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX150

This camera is equipped with an extremely high 14.7 megapixel resolution sensor and a 3.6x zoom with a wide-angle view. The camera produces images with minimal barrel distortion.

It’s inclusion here in the list is mainly due to availability of the useful RAW mode. (It does include a manual mode but that has limited functionality as only one of the two aperture values are selectable.)

It also features color temperature display and Intelligent Exposure function similar to that on Panasonic FZ28.

Pros
  • +
    Extremely high resolution
  • +
    Low distortion in images
  • +
    RAW mode
Cons
  • -
    Lack of Aperture/Shutter Priority mode & full featured manual mode.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX150 is one of the Best Digital Cameras for Interior Photos Under $400
Where to buy
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX150
  • Best Price: $399
    Amazon See It »
Specifications
  • Zoom: 3.6x
  • Wide-Angle Lens: 28mm (25% wider)
  • Resolution: 14.7MP
More
Want More Opinions? See:
Website Reviews (1 review)
  • Rated Very Good by CNET.com

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