I am a serious amateur photographer owning a DSLR and a selection of lenses, filters , tripods, etc. As you can imagine this kit is quite bulky to carry around so I wanted a compact camera that I could carry with me at all times to enable me to take quick snaps of things that take my fancy review them on the PC and if they look good go back with the serious kit and re-take them. I looked at many compact camera's from different manufactures and decided on the Panasonic Lumix FX550. At 12.1mp with an f2.8 Leica lens and with the ability to use full auto, aperture priority, shutter priority and full manual control it has proved to be ideal for the purpose. With a touch screen it's extremely easy to use and as a bonus I can take HD movies, recording my grandaughter growing up, and view them in HD by connecting the camera to my Panasonic Viera TV. All in all I am extremely pleased with my purchase, the image quality is good enough to let me enter prints in local competitions, so it would also be a great camera for any one wanting to get into photography for the first time and not wanting to go to the expense of a DSLR and all the lenses.
This is a good compact that is slightly above the standard entry level product (and hence a slightly heavier price tag). It allows you to snap away in a solid automatic mode, but also, importantly allows the user to exercise more control - less than for a full DSLR of course - but certainly allows more creativity.
The drive towards greater megapixels is not straightforward. The problems arise when the lens (here a good Leica one, but also still a compact lens) cannot cope with the light intake required for clarity at high resolution. I tend to keep mine at less than the full 12MP - partly for storage purposes and partly because the higher resolution is only an issue if you want to blow up your pictures.
The battery life is not great - but that reflects the capabilities of the unit (eg limited movie mode). You might want to consider a separate spare battery if you are going on a long trip.
And I do think it daft that they don't include a memory card (there is very limited in-built memory) in the package.
The market is very crowded and this is a solid contender. I like the touch screen (although beware small children's messy fingers!). I'm pleased with it, without perhaps being quite as wowed as I would like - but it's a stylish, small, light and powerful unit that genuinely will fit into a pocket or small bag. Recommended.
I bought this to replace my older Casion Exilim 7 mega pixels. The features on the Panasonic are great, e.g. auto-focus by using the touch screen. However the HD video isn't brilliant. It is quite juddery when panning and the colours are a little washed out. Also couldn't see any mention on any web sites that it restricts you to 8 minutes per 'shoot' even if you have a high capacity SD card.
I bought one of these cameras for my son, who is more photographically savvy than I am. He was over the moon with it. I took the plunge and bought another one for myself, thinking that as my son had the same camera, he could show me how to use it. He didnt need to. Within half an hour I was taking pictures and viewing them (love the swipe screen). So easy to use and the video facility is brilliant.
I'm a pensioner so any new gadget take more driving than it used to. However, the LX550 is light, compact and easy to use (intelligent-auto mode). It has a good wide angle and optical zoom lens capability, plus a very viewable 3" LCD display. My wife and I love it!
I bought this camera one year ago and I was never disappointed. The user interface and handling are top although the camera is like a brick. The build feels very solid. In my jeans I prefer the Fuji Finepix JX 350 because it has rounded edges. The image quality of the FX550 is perfect for such a small sensor, even low-light pictures are OK with an acceptable amount of noise. The colors are very neutral under most lighting conditions and the pictures are usually sharp and crisp. After switching on, the camera is quickly ready to shoot. I don't know if it is my memory card or the camera but the delay is sometimes annoying when you need to take several pictures in row manually - but the FX550 is still faster than my new Fuji Finepix JX 350. I am using the FX550 mostly as a point & shoot device but sometimes I am shooting pics with the manual settings for getting a more creative touch. All creative and program settings can be reached easily and most of these are self-explanatory. Helpful is the extra button for disabling/enabling the screen information which avoids to walk through a menu for getting an uncluttered screen. The 5 x zoom allows to take extra-wide pics (25 mm) what is great for landscape pics. Additionally to the step zoom button a full zoom/zoom reset button is located close to the shutter button what allows an easy max. zooming or zoom reset. The touch-screen is nice but in the playback mode I am running too often into the zoom mode when I simply try to swipe to the next picture. That is annoying. The battery life-time is about 300 pictures (with a lot of zooming and reviewing) what was always sufficient for me. The macro capability is also sufficient. My last 3 Canon point & shoot cameras broke down quiet fast. The FX550 gives me the impression that it will last. The FX550 is still available for small money. I simply can recommend it if you are not a participant in the megapixel race.
After looking at a lot of compact digital cameras i finaly decided to go for the FX550. Partly because of the brand and partly because of other reviews i have seen. This camera really is a solid all rounder, Its more then capable inteligant auto mode lets you happily snap away all day, and the added user adjustability is good for tweaking it to get the results you want. The 25mm wide angle leica lense is a nice touch. The Stary Sky mode is paticualy intresting, allowing you to chose from 15, 30 or a full 60 second exposure, with a varying degree of results. It definatly has the edge over similarly priced cameras with the sheer amount of settings cramed into this thing! All in all, its perfect for anyone wanting to take good quality photos without any hassle!
There are so many features on this camera that it will take a long time to use all of them. This seems a substantial improvement on an earlier model my daughter has due to larger screen an improved features such as touch screen, face recognition, better zoom range and wider angle lens. The only problem I have found is that the tripod bush is offset, so the camera falls over if on a light weight mini tripod.
I would recommend this camera to anyone with a casual interest in photography, who wants to experiment with different shots and styles. This is because it is very affordable for a camera of its quality and has many different settings, allowing you to edit shutter speed, aperture etc.
Overall a great camera that I have had great fun using.