The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FX01 is the most elegant tool I have ever used.

The build quality is fantastic, more reminiscent of the Leica’s of old (and indeed this is a Leica of sorts, they use Leica optics and Leica sells their own version of this range). Instead of thin metal or plastic that you can quite physically feel will be outmoded in a few months, this does not feel disposable.

This is an upgrade to the earlier, wonderful FX9. The only differences I can notice is a slightly more ergonomic body, wider lens (and actually useful widening from 35 to 28mm) and wide screen video recording.

The 6MB still photography this camera is capable of is superb, but it is not the reason I rave about it. This camera, for me, is all about the video. It features TV quality (that is, 640*480 by 30fps) video with – get this – great audio. The sound recording from this camera is better than from my semi-pro SONY 3CCD video camera.

Sure, the image quality is not the most impressive out there, compared to dedicated video cameras, especially the HD cameras, but as I have written about on – as an artist, I feel more like I am wielding a quick pencil and notepad than a video camera. Crucially, the people I take pictures of feel the same. Have a look, there is now some (compressed, smaller size) video up on Fleeting Moment.

This camera is part of a new era for art.

It is as significant as the introduction of color film. Or talking pictures. It’s that big a deal.

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