which Lumix??

My dad gifted me with a Panasonic Lumix point-and-shoot camera for my birthday in March. I had chosen a specific model, and had thought that was the one that I wanted, but my dad informed me that a new model was coming out in late March that had more cool features than the one I wanted. So we decided to wait to get the camera. My task was to research the different models (including the new model) and decide which one I wanted to go with.

Well, as my blog followers know, I’ve been a little busy, and although I have been super excited to finally get a digital point-and-shoot (I’ve never owned one that fits in a pocket), I haven’t had time to do the research since my birthday in mid-March.

So last night I finally spent some time looking at the different models online, and think I have it narrowed down. I know for sure I want one of the wide-angle models, because I don’t think I can live without wide-angle, even in a pocket camera, and now I just have to decide between super high-tech or medium-tech.

So the two I have it narrowed down to are:

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX35 (came out in January 2008)

and the

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX500 (the brand new one released late March)

They both have some truly amazing features, and even though I shoot professionally, I think it will take me awhile to learn all of the cool things the camera can do. Things like Intelligent ISO, Face Detection, Intelligent Exposure, High-Def video and so much more.

They both have the 25mm ultra-wide-angle lens that I want, and both have fully manual capabilities.

One key (and very big difference- aside from the $115 price difference between the black models), is that the new Lumix- the FX500, has a super fancy touch-screen LCD. It also opens to f/2.8 and the FX35 only opens up to f/3.3. The FX500 is also a teensy bit bigger, which is actually preferable to me. I don’t need a camera I can stick in my bra, ya know? The FX500 also has a slightly larger LCD screen.

Here is a side-by-side comparison on dpreview, for all of my techy friends.

Unfortunately there are zero reviews on the FX500 online, only the standard press release. I don’t think I have ever bought an electronic item without reading at least one review on it first, so it gives me a little bit of pause.

Having said that, I like the idea of the super fancy camera, because, really, who doesn’t want a super fancy camera? But in reality, I fear that I may not like the touch-screen feature. Has anyone used a camera like this before? Or even an iphone or pda like this? Does the screen get greasy fingerprints on it? Is it easy enough to train your brain to navigate with your fingers and not buttons? Do you like using the touch-screen more than regular button controls? Does the supplied stylus help or hinder?

I’m itching to get my new camera soon but don’t want to make the mistake of choosing something I don’t like, or something that is so much more than what I really need. Yes, I know I can send it back, but I know me, and my life is busy enough it would get put on the back burner until the return grace period ran out.

Any suggestions or input for me on which I should get?

Any advice is sincerely appreciated! Thank you! ๐Ÿ™‚

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