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I bought the FX30 a year ago and am ashamed to admit that it is the only digital camera I have ever used! With that said, I am reviewing the camera purely as a novice.
Before taking the plunge and purchasing the FX30 I read numerous reviews and must say that I was tempted by the waterproof and "indestructible" cameras on offer. Ultimately, the appearance of the FX30 and its all round capabilities swayed it for me. I haven't regretted my decision as the camera is usually safe in its case and I can't imagine being able to take a decent underwater photo anyway!
The FX30 has an optical zoom of 3.6 and a 28mm wide angle lens. Very handy for fitting all of my pals into the photo!
I have found the camera very easy to use in "simple mode" and have even managed a few decent pictures taken without the aid of this ;-) Picture quality is much better than my boyfriend's SLR (smug face!) and I don't notice noise but I'm sure someone more experienced would.
I know some people like their digital cameras to have view finders but I haven't found the lack of one a problem.
One thing to look out for - when I bought in 2007 the black version was £50.00 cheaper than the silver and in my opinion looks much better!
The DMC-FX30 is a remarkably slim and super-stylish camera. The body features a distinctive finish, with a different texture to match each body color. Its cool design and lightweight make it easy to take with you everywhere you go, just like a fashion accessory, for even more photographic fun.
The 7.2-megapixel DMC-FX30 houses a 28mm wide-angle f/2.8 Leica DC lens in a slim and stylish body. A new lens design using five aspherical lenses, including Extra High Refractive Index Aspherical Lens (EA Lens), made it possible to fit the 28mm wide-angle lens into this compact body. The lens unit comprises a Leica DC lens with seven elements in six groups. The new lens design combines higher optical performance with compactness. The 28mm wide-angle lens lets you easily capture large groups of people indoors or expansive architectural structures and scenes with dynamic width and rich perspective.
The DMC-FX30 is equipped with a bright 3.6x optical zoom lens that captures beautiful shots of people or landscapes. With this powerful zooming function, you can easily capture and magnify distant subjects.