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-FX30 Gordon Laing, August 2007

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX30 design and build quality

Panasonic’s FX30 is a smart-looking compact sporting the clean design and excellent build quality we’ve come to expect from the current Lumix line-up. Pictured side-by-side with Fujifilm’s FinePix F30 below, it’s clear the FX30 is both smaller and thinner than it looks when pictured alone. Indeed the FX30 shaves 2mm from the thickness of its predecessor the FX07 to become the world’s slimmest compact with a 28mm equivalent wide angle lens.


Panasonic FX30 - side view

Like most compacts of this size, there’s not a great deal in the way of a grip, although the horizontal ridge on the front and thumb rest on the rear do allow it to be held securely and with reasonable comfort. It can certainly be held and operated easily with one hand, although to reduce the chance of wobbling even with the FX30’s built-in stabilisation, we’d always advise using both hands where possible.

Panasonic FX30 - underwater housing

The build quality like other Panasonic compacts is excellent with the classy metallic body bereft of creaks or poor joins. It feels very sturdy – indeed more so than Panasonic’s plastic-bodied super-zooms like the FZ8 – and measuring just 22mm thick, it’ll slip into most pockets without difficulty. Weighing 154g fully loaded with battery and a memory card it’s also no burden to carry around. And if you fancy making a splash with your photography, the optional DMW-MCFX30E underwater housing (below) lets you take the FX30 to depths of 40m.

The FX30’s upper surface houses the main controls, and while they’re immediately familiar to anyone who’s used a Panasonic before, there’s no dedicated button for image stabilisation here. So from left to right you have a small on / off switch, the shutter release button housed within a circular zoom rocker, and the mode dial. This dial is actually recessed within the body with much of its surface hidden, which makes for a clean, uncluttered upper surface.

Panasonic FX30 - top controls

The mode dial offers eight positions: Normal, Simple, Playback, Macro, Movie, Print, Scene and Panasonic’s Intelligent ISO mode, more of which later. Since much of the dial’s surface is hidden, you can only see the selected mode and one on either side at any time, which can result in a bit of extra turning just to find the right option, but as you can see on the screen-grab below right, the FX30 also displays a virtual mode dial on-screen, allowing you to spot the desired mode as it comes round.

Panasonic FX30 - macro meu

None of the modes offer any kind of manual control over aperture or shutter speed, although careful selection of the varied scene presets allow you to achieve a wide range of creative effects – see our Features pages.

Panasonic FX30 - rear controls
Panasonic FX30 - flash menu

The rest of the controls are concentrated in the lower right corner on the rear of the camera. Four buttons arranged like a joypad are used to navigate menu options, scroll across images during magnified playback, or select various options during shooting. A button in the middle of these four brings up the main menu system or confirms settings.

Pressing the top of the four buttons while shooting presents the exposure compensation settings, offering the traditional +/-2EV range for darkening or brightening exposures. Pressing the bottom button shows the last image taken (or viewed during playback), and like playback mode, you can magnify using the zoom lever.

Panasonic FX30 - exposure compensation menu

Pressing the left button lets you choose between a 10 or two second self-timer, while pressing the right button cycles through the five options for the built-in flash: Auto, Auto with red-eye reduction, Forced on (with optional red-eye reduction if you’re using the Party or Candle Light scene presets), Slow sync with red-eye reduction and Forced off.

Below the main group are two further buttons: one dedicated to display options and the other used to delete images or fire-up the FX30’s quick access menu, a great feature inherited from Panasonic’s higher-end LX and FZ range; this menu also includes control over the FX30’s image stabilisation options. We’ll describe all of these in the Features pages.

Connectivity and battery

Panasonic FX30 - battery and card

A single small door on the right side of the body opens to reveal DC-in and a combined USB / video out port. A larger door under the grip side of the body houses the battery and memory card. The FX30 can take SD, SDHC or older MMC cards, although doesn’t support video recording on the latter.

The Lumix FX30 is powered by a DMW-BCE10E 1000mAh Lithium Ion battery pack and the camera is supplied with a mains recharger. Panasonic claims each charge is good for 280 shots under CIPA conditions, but like other Lumix compacts we found that estimate a bit optimistic. Under normal use with stabilisation active and a few videos recorded, we found the FX30 battery was good for closer to 100 shots, so investing in a spare would be advisable.

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