Panasonic DMC Lumix LX5
The Panasonic LumiX DMC LX5, also know as the LX5 for short is a compact digital camera
that I was fortunate enough to try out.If that name rings any bells, it’s because the LX5 is the direct successor to Panasonic’s LX3, which also gained a foothold in the high-end compact digital camera market, with aplomb. The LX3 offered a remarkable array of features and image quality to those fortunate enough to own one, but they saw room for improvement and lo the successor, and now a Panasonic Lumix LX5 review, is born.
Lumix LX5 At a Glance
The LX5 continues the series’ rather unassuming appearance, though the controls and right hand grip have been beefed up a bit to accommodate a larger array of manual options and menu buttons. It certainly isn’t a deterrent though, the size increase is almost negligible, especially considering the improvement in grip if/when you decide to add on larger flashes or secondary displays the new model can now accommodate, but we’ll get to those features later. Perhaps the most noticeable, at least the most valuable, improvement Panasonic made to the LX5 was to its lens. While the LX3 can only zoom in 2.5x, the LX5 is capable of a 3.8x zoom. The aspect of the new lens that is truly worthy of remark is how it mitigates the loss of light, even at full zoom. At its widest scope, the same 24mm its predecessor offered, the improved LX5 lens boasts an aperture of f2.0, and at its full 90mm stretch, its focal ratio only increases to f3.3.
|DigitalRev Cameras||Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5|
The DMC-LX5 packages an f/2.0 LEICA DC VARIO-SUMMICRON lens with 24mm wide-angle and 3.8x optical zoom. This low-distortion, high-resolution lens
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|B & H Photo Video||Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 Digital Camera (Black)|
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 Digital Camera (Black), 10.1 Megapixel Digital, 3.8x 24mm Wide-Angle Leica Optical Zoom, 3.0" LCD Display, Venus Engine FHD
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|iSave.com||Panasonic DMC-LX5K (Black) Lumix 10.1 Megapixel Digital Camera|
"Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5, The Panasonic DMC-LX5 is a 3.0"" TFT Screen LCD Display digital camera with 10.1 Megapixel sensor, 3.8x optical zoom and HD
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|B & H Photo Video||Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 Digital Camera with Deluxe Accessory Kit (Black)|
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 Digital Camera with Deluxe Accessory Kit (Black), 10.1 Megapixel Digital, 3.8x 24mm Wide-Angle Leica Optical Zoom, 3.0" LCD
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|B & H Photo Video||Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 Digital Camera (White)|
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 Digital Camera (White), 10.1 Megapixel Digital, 3.8x 24mm Wide-Angle Leica Optical Zoom, 3.0" LCD Display, Venus Engine FHD
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Lumix LX5 New and Improved Features
Now on to manual features. The LX5 is equipped with a clickable thumbwheel that makes for remarkably simple navigation when selecting a value or switching between adjustable functions. For instance, say you’d like to adjust the shutter speed for a new scene, but the dial is set to adjust aperture: click to change function, slide to set value. Another crucial feature the LX5 offers that the LX3 was lacking is an accessory port for attaching a secondary viewfinder capable of tilting 90 degrees horizontally. The port is located directly behind the hot shoe on top of the camera. The hot shoe is moved slightly from where it sat on the LX3 to accommodate the new feature. Like the LX3, its aspect ratios are manually adjusted from the front of the camera, however the LX5 features a new 1:1 aspect ratio in addition to the 4:3, 3:2, and 16:9 offered by the LX3. The left side of the camera is fitted with a switch that allows to user to switch between Macro AF, AF, and manual focusing modes.As for the rear interface, the LX5 retains a layout that will be familiar to LX3 owners.
Right-side button layout is basically a shot for shot remake, with the inclusion of a new standalone play button, rather than the dual play / record switch. That function was moved to the shutter release, which switches automatically from play mode when pressed halfway down. This makes for a much more convenient, and thereby faster, transition between playback and camera. One of the prevailing complaints people had with the LX3 Was that it took so long to start up when it was turned off in play mode.
Panasonic fixed this issue by giving the user the option to allow startup into play mode, which incidentally avoids the pesky lens cap error message that appears before play mode is enabled, and press the shutter release halfway to exit play mode. This results in a much faster and error message-free transition if the camera is shut off while still in play mode. Together, the new thumb wheel and play button combination make for a far smoother transition than the more awkward joystick and record / play toggle of its predecessor.Though the LX5’s movie mode is still shot in 720p resolution, Panasonic included loads of extra features and options to compensate. For example, you can now perform optical zoom during a recording. The user can now also adjust exposure and has an AVCHD mode, where videos are stored in smaller files, allowing for longer durations for recorded video. There is a contingency however, AVCHD high definition videos aren’t supported by the camera’s on board memory.
Another new addition is the mini HDMI port that replaces the LX3’s analog component output. Needless to say, this improves the quality of video output immensely. The battery and charging units also saw improvements; the LX5 now sporting a battery that lasts about 33% longer than the LX3.
Image Title Panasonic Lumix ZS20 14.1 MP High Sensitivity MOS Digital Camera with 20x Optical Zoom (Black) Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS8 14.1 MP Digital Camera with 16x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 3.0-Inch LCD (Black) Panasonic DMC-FZ150K 12.1 MP Digital Camera with CMOS Sensor and 24x Optical Zoom (Black) Brand Panasonic Panasonic Panasonic Color Black Black Black Feature 3-inch LCD display
High Sensitivity MOS Sensor
The DMC-ZS8 features a powerful 16x optical zoom lens.
The 16x Optical Zoom Keeps the Subject Sharp While Giving the Background a Soft focus.
The DMC-ZS8 features a 1/2.33-inch CCD with effective 14.1-megapixel high-resolution;displkay size 3.0
Images remain clear and sharp even when they are enlarged to A2 size.
The Sonic Speed AF system includes numerous re-engineering enhancements, including a higher-speed actuator.
Leica DC Vario- Elmarit 24x Zoom Lens
Shoot 3D images and view on your 3D capable TV
3 inch free-angle 460K dot resolution LCD screen
Label Panasonic Panasonic Panasonic ListPrice $ $279.99 $499.00 Manufacturer Panasonic Panasonic Panasonic Model DMC-ZS20K DMC-ZS8K DMC-FZ150K ProductTypeSubcategory point-and-shoot point-and-shoot point-and-shoot Title Panasonic Lumix ZS20 14.1 MP High Sensitivity MOS Digital Camera with 20x Optical Zoom (Black) Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS8 14.1 MP Digital Camera with 16x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 3.0-Inch LCD (Black) Panasonic DMC-FZ150K 12.1 MP Digital Camera with CMOS Sensor and 24x Optical Zoom (Black) Price $249.00 $194.99 $439.88 Rating Reviews Read Reviews Read Reviews Read Reviews Link More Info More Info More Info
Lumix LX5 Field Performance
As mentioned earlier, the LX5 is now capable of zooming in by 3.8x at a focal length of 90mm, 30mm greater than the LX3, and at surprisingly little sacrifice to focal ratio. This equates to more light in the lens (lower f-number) and, in turn, maintaining a clear image at a drastically improved reduction in the depth of field.
A positive effect of the impressive focal ratio is reducing the effect of camera shake on the quality of the image. Camera shake is more noticeable when less light is let into the lens and the shutter speed is increased, capturing any motion that occurs over the longer amount of time necessary to capture the image. By keep the f-number low, as the LX5 does well over other comparable cameras of similar zoom and resolution capabilities, the shutter speed is increased, reducing exposure time and the motion that occurs therein, and resulting in a final picture that is higher in quality (due to the increase of light exposure), and lower in blur (due to the reduced amount of time necessary to capture the image) that really brings out the best of it’s 10.1MP resolution. It’s a win-win.
In conclusion, the Panasonic Lumix DMC LX5 is a clear winner. Panasonic addressed all the issues with controls and ergonomics that hindered the usability of the old LX3 model, and even improved upon the LX3’s best features. It all comes together seamlessly: the controls are faster and easier to use while accommodating entirely new features, the lens and zoom have been upgraded and fitted with optional manual controls for fluid adjustments, and there are far more options for video recording and output. This camera maintains portability while still being compatible with added extras for drastically improved quality. So, my Panasonic Lumix LX5 review boils down to the camera’s central dogma: It’s a high-end compact with a slew of extra features, it given it’s remarkable performance in the field, I would say it’s certainly found a comfortable niche in the transient casual / professional market.