Support Cameralabs by shopping at my partner stores or buying me a coffee!
Buy me a coffee!

Follow my RSS feed at Camera Labs RSS Feed
  Latest camera reviews

Lumix G80 / G85
Olympus OMD EM1 II
Sony RX10 Mark III
Sony RX100 Mark V
Nikon COOLPIX B700
Sony A6500
Lumix FZ2000 / FZ2500
Nikon COOLPIX B500
Lumix LX10 / LX15
Fujifilm XT2
Nikon D3400
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
Ricoh GR II
Canon G7X Mark II
Canon SX720 HS
Canon EOS 80D
Olympus TG Tracker
Nikon D500 review
Canon EOS 1300D / T6
Lumix GX80 / GX85
Fujifilm X-Pro2
Fujifilm X70
Lumix TZ80 ZS60
Sony A6300
Canon PowerShot G5X
Lumix TZ100 ZS100
Sony A7s Mark II
Sony RX10 II
Lumix FZ330 / FZ300
Sony RX100 IV
Canon G9X
Fujifilm XT10
Nikon COOLPIX L840
Canon SX530 HS
Olympus OMD EM10 II
Canon SX410 IS
Panasonic Lumix GX8
Olympus TOUGH TG860
Sony A7r Mark II
Canon PowerShot D30
Olympus TOUGH TG4
Canon PowerShot G3X
Canon EOS 5Ds
Nikon COOLPIX S9900
Sony HX90V
Canon EOS T6s 760D
Panasonic Lumix G7
Panasonic Lumix SZ8
Canon EOS M3
Olympus EPL7
Samsung NX3000
Panasonic Lumix GM5
Nikon D5500
Panasonic Lumix GF7
Olympus OMD EM5 II
Nikon COOLPIX S9700
Canon SX710 HS
Panasonic TZ70 / ZS50
Sony Alpha A7 Mark II
Canon EOS 7D Mark II
Fujifilm X100T
Nikon COOLPIX S3600
Sony Alpha A5100
Sigma DP1 Quattro
Sony Cyber-shot W830
Nikon COOLPIX L830
Nikon D750
Canon SX400 IS
Sony Cyber-shot H400
Panasonic Lumix LX100
Canon SX60 HS
Canon ELPH 340 IXUS 265
Canon G7X
Nikon COOLPIX P530
Canon SX520 HS
Canon G1 X Mark II
Panasonic Lumix FZ1000
Panasonic TZ60 / ZS40
Sony RX100 III review
Sony A3000 review
Canon EOS 1200D T5
Sony WX350
Nikon P600
Sony Alpha A5000
Sony Cyber-shot HX400V
Panasonic Lumix GH4
Panasonic TS5 FT5
Sony Alpha A6000
Canon SX700 HS
Canon SX600 HS
Olympus TOUGH TG2
Nikon AW1
Nikon D3300
Fujifilm XT1
Olympus STYLUS 1
Sony Cyber-shot RX10
Olympus OMD EM1
Panasonic Lumix GM1
Nikon D610
Sony Alpha A7
Nikon D5300
Canon PowerShot A2500
Sony Alpha A7r
Canon ELPH 130 IXUS 140
Nikon COOLPIX P520
Nikon COOLPIX L820
Canon PowerShot S120
Panasonic Lumix GX7
Canon SX510 HS
Canon PowerShot G16
Fujifilm X20
Panasonic FZ70 / FZ72
Canon EOS 70D
Sony RX100 II
Canon ELPH 330 IXUS 255
Panasonic Lumix GF6
Fujifilm XM1
Olympus EP5
Panasonic Lumix LF1
Panasonic TZ35 / ZS25
Olympus XZ2
Sony HX300
Panasonic Lumix G6
Sony HX50V
Fujifilm X100S
Canon SX280 HS
Canon EOS SL1 / 100D
Panasonic TZ40 / ZS30
Nikon D7100
Fujifilm X-E1
Canon EOS 6D
Nikon D5200
Panasonic Lumix GH3
Canon PowerShot S110
Panasonic Lumix G5
Sony NEX-6
Panasonic Lumix FZ200
Canon PowerShot SX50 HS
Nikon COOLPIX P7700
Olympus E-PL5
Canon EOS M
Panasonic TS20 / FT20
Canon PowerShot G15
Nikon D600
Nikon COOLPIX L810
Canon PowerShot D20
Sony RX100
Panasonic Lumix LX7
Canon SX500 IS
Fujifilm HS30 EXR
Sony HX200V
Panasonic FZ60 / FZ62
Canon 520HS / 500HS
Canon 110HS / 125HS
Nikon D800
Canon EOS T4i / 650D
Canon PowerShot A3400
Panasonic ZS15 / TZ25
Olympus E-M5
Nikon D3200
Fujifilm X-Pro1
Canon PowerShot A2300
Canon SX240 / SX260
Samsung NX200
Sony Alpha SLT-A77
Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Panasonic ZS20 / TZ30
Canon PowerShot G1 X
Sony NEX-7
Panasonic GX1
Olympus E-PM1
Nikon V1
Sony NEX-5N
Canon EOS T3 / 1100D
Canon EOS 600D / T3i
Nikon D7000
Canon EOS 60D
Canon EOS 550D / T2i
Canon EOS 7D

All camera reviews
  Best Buys: our top models
  Best Canon lens
Best Nikon lens
Best Sony lens
Best budget DSLR
Best mid-range DSLR
Best semi-pro DSLR
Best point and shoot
Best superzoom
Best camera accessories

Camera Labs Forum

Any questions, comments or a great tip to share? Join my Camera forum and let everyone know!
  DSLR Tips

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX33 Gordon Laing, November 2007


Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX33 Verdict

Panasonic’s Lumix DMC-FX33 is a good, solid compact digital camera. It’s smaller than many rival models, built to a very high standard, offers a stabilised zoom with useful 28mm wide angle coverage, and gives you quick and easy access to most of the key settings. So long as you keep the sensitivity low, the image quality is pretty good too.

Anyone familiar with Panasonic’s range will however notice the above equally applies to its predecessor the FX30, and it’s true the new FX33 only offers minor improvements. The extra Megapixel doesn’t make much difference and the boosted 6400 ISO is operating in a fantasy land. But the inclusion of face detection is worth having while Panasonic’s Intelligent Auto mode really does an uncanny job of knowing what you’re trying to photograph. Together they make the FX33 – along with Panasonic’s other July 2007 launches – a joy to use in automatic.

As for the downsides, there’s no manual control over shutter and aperture. More importantly, noise artefacts are still an issue, although compared against its predecessor we’d say while the FX33 doesn’t capture discernibly greater real-life detail, it holds it together much better in terms of colour saturation at 400 and 800 ISO. So while we once again have another compact which looks best kept to its lowest sensitivities, at least it appears an improvement over its predecessor.

So before wrapping up, how does the FX33 compare to the competition?


Compared to Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX30


The new Lumix FX33 is little more than a tweaked version of its predecessor, the FX30 – the body, lens, controls and operation are essentially identical. The older FX30 may be a Megapixel worse off, but you’d hardly notice in practice, and its maximum sensitivity of 3200 ISO is effectively as pointless as the 6400 ISO option on the new model. Pixel-peepers may prefer the output of the new FX33, but they’re pretty close in practice.

So far, so similar, but the older FX30 is missing out on its successor’s face detection and excellent Intelligent Auto mode, both of which make automatic photography as close to foolproof as you’ll find today. We’d say they’re worth getting the new FX33 for, but if you can live without them, the FX30 remains a superb compact with decent stabilisation, 28mm wide angle and a small, well-built body. If you can find it on-sale cheaper than the FX33, it's worth considering. See our Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX30 review for more details.


Compared to Canon Digital Ixus 860IS / PowerShot SD870


Canon’s Digital Ixus 860IS / PowerShot SD870 is another excellent compact digital camera with many similarities to the Panasonic FX33. Both have 8 megapixel resolution, optical stabilisation and share roughly the same zoom ranges with 28mm wide angle coverage. The Canon body is slightly taller, but features a bigger 3in screen on the back which looks great. It’s lacking the widescreen movies of the FX33, but does offer time-lapse recording just like the PowerShot G9. Neither model allows you to manually adjust the aperture or shutter though.

It’s a tough one to weigh-up, although the Panasonic FX33 is cheaper – its smaller 2.5in screen playing a factor in price. The ultimate decision will however boil down to which model you personally prefer the look and feel of. See our Canon Ixus 860IS/ PowerShot SD870 review for more details.


Compared to Fujifilm FinePix F50fd


For roughly the same money as the Panasonic FX33, you can buy Fujifilm’s FinePix F50fd. Go for the Fujifilm and you’ll get 50% more Megapixels (12 to the Panasonic’s 8), manual control over the aperture and shutter, and some neat approaches to using the flash for indoor portraits. So for the same money it’s the better camera, right?

Not quite. The Fujifilm F50fd is let down by a pedestrian 3x optical zoom which misses out on the FX33’s 28mm wide angle coverage, and is nowhere as smooth either. Its sensor-shift stabilisation certainly works, but in our tests wasn’t as effective as the Panasonic. And the screen, while slightly larger at 2.7in just didn’t look as good, nor were the controls as well thought-out. That said, the good points are pretty compelling, so if they outweigh the cons for you personally, then the F50fd is well worth considering. See our Fujifilm FinePix F50fd review for more details.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX33 final verdict

Ultimately the Panasonic Lumix FX33 may not offer a great deal more than its predecessor, but it brings genuine benefits to what was already an excellent compact. So you get the small, well-built body of the FX30 with its 28mm wide angle coverage, effective stabilisation, widescreen movies and decent controls, but now also enjoy face detection and one of the most cunning automatic modes we’ve yet tested.

The only real downsides are a lack of manual control over the aperture and shutter, and of course noise artefacts at higher sensitivities. To be fair though, both affect most compact digital cameras, and in Panasonic’s favour, the FX33’s 22 scene presets give you plenty of creative flexibility, while the noise levels actually appear to be a slight improvement over its predecessor.

So if you’re not bothered about full manual control and can avoid higher sensitivities – or pixel-peeping – then the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX33 is a great compact camera. It’s smaller than most of the competition, offers a stabilised lens with 28mm wide angle coverage, and some of the best automatic features around. This combination edges the FX33 beyond its predecessor and into our Highly Recommended category. The FX33 ain’t perfect, but most people would be very happy with it – and if you fancy a bigger 3in screen, consider the FX55 version.

Good points

28mm wide angle and optical stabilisation.
Slim body and shorter than many rivals too.
Very good Intelligent Auto mode.
Quick and easy access to settings.

Bad points
Best-used at 200 ISO or below.
Little or no manual control.
No control over noise reduction.
Bigger 3in screen of FX55 may be tempting.


(relative to 2007 compacts)

Build quality:
Image quality:


18 / 20
16 / 20
17 / 20
18 / 20
18 / 20


If you found this review useful, please support us by shopping below!
All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2017 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.

/ Best Cameras / Camera reviews / Supporting Camera Labs