The FX50 has proved a popular pocket camera among American Photo and Pop Photo staffers, not least for its 28-100mm (equivalent) f/2.8-5.6 Leica zoom. The lens covers the exceptionally useful range from true wide-angle to "double normal" portrait-tele focal lengths. It folds flat into a sturdy body about the size of a deck of playing cards, with a back that's dominated by a big, bright three-inch LCD monitor. There's no room for an optical viewfinder.
Fortunately, the FX50 helps steady arm's-length shooting with its Mega O.I.S., Panasonic's proven lens-based image stabilization. Low-light shooting gets another boost with a High Sensitivity mode that can push speed up to ISO 3200 while maintaining full resolution. And for wide-screen wonks, the FX50 can shoot 30fps movies at 848x480 pixels, which fits the screen's 16:9 aspect ratio. You can even take wide-screen stills.