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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ5
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ5
4.0
1

Hey! You should know that this product has been discontinued. Here are our current recommended cameras in the Point and Shoot Digital Cameras category.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ5

B-
We've given the DMC-FZ5 a grade of B-.

Editor's Review

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ5 sports a tremendous 12x optical zoom and tries to keep users of different skill levels equally satisfied. The powerful Leica zoom lens and 5.36 megapixel resolution is a strong combination, allowing for greater depth and detail at long distances. The Lumix DMC-FZ5 consistently garners praise for its versatility, and though it is a user-friendly camera, newer users might not need all the options included in this model.

Specifications

  • 5.36 megapixels
  • 12x optical zoom/4x digital zoom
  • autofocus only
  • auto and manual exposure
  • JPEG and TIFF file formats
  • ISO 80-400
  • proprietary lithium battery
  • movie mode with sound
  • Part Number: DMCFZ5PPS
  • UPC: 037988985098
  • Release Date: Jul 11, 2005

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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ5 Reviews

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ5 Reviews by Digital Camera-HQ Users

  • 5.0 out of 5
DMC-FZ5 (Teagan — 11/27/2006)

Excellent camera, with 5 Megapixles and a 12x zoom. Easy to use for beginners or advanced photographers. Set it to simple mode or manual. I would recommend it to anyone.

  • 5.0 out of 5
I dropped my Nikon Camera (Lawrence Jay — 09/16/2006)

Whilst on holiday in Thailand this year I dropped my Nikon Collpix 4300 which rendered it unusable on te first day of the holiday.
Found a dealer in Chiang Rai who offered me the Lumix DMC-FZ5 complete with an additional 256Mb card and a Panasonic case for a price of about ����268.00 although it was cheaper at Dubai duty free for ����200 I found this out on the my return).
Whilst in Thailand and having taken over 600 pictures and the camera performed brilliantly and never letting me down. From tigers to elephants, the River Kwai and Myanmar (Burma).

A great camera even better than the Nikon SLR which I own although it is now defunct and moribund. Well done Panasonic for a great product with a good build.
Lawrie (Malta)

  • 5.0 out of 5
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ5 Digital Camera (Lawrence Jay — 09/14/2006)

One of the best digital cameras on the market. Does almost everything a SLR digital camera will do and even more without having to change the lens

  • 5.0 out of 5
genius (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

perfect

  • 4.0 out of 5
First Digital Camera (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I am new to photography in general. My other camera is a thirty year old SLR. I must say that while I'm not as technically savvy as many reviewers of this product,I still know fine pictures with great color and detail. This camera is a work in progress for me, but so far I love it. Being able to shoot in available light is a really new thrill for me. The biggest thing for me has been learning to use all the features. I can kind of understand some of the durability concerns others have brought up, but I take care of my things so it's not a priority.

  • 3.0 out of 5
Good features, easy to use, memory card corruption problem (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I like this camera overall. It makes excellent pictures, has plenty of features, a great zoom, and good sharpness and color. I have one caveat, though: if the battery indicator gets low enough to start blinking red, you may just kiss most of the pictures on the memory card goodbye. Somehow, a glitch at low power will corrupt the card and pictures will disappear. What's worse, you can't take more pictures until the card is reformatted. I don't think that it's the memory card because it's a 1GB Lexar platinum, a good card. It reformats just fine.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Brilliant camera (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I previously owned a fuji2800zoom and i was impressed by that till i saw the DMZ-FZ5. it takes brilliant pictures and its affordable!!

  • 5.0 out of 5
The best buy , Terrible to miss! (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

Don't even think of getting a better cam even with 150$ more! A must for all shooters. Tahe it from someone has this cam beside Nikon D200! you are'nt gonna beleive me until u try it! TRY ONE NOW!

  • 5.0 out of 5
Great near perfect camera and features, low price. Utilize its strengths and forget flash or movie mode settings. (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I am a Shutterbug now for almost 60 years. This is my sixth digital camera. I added it to my collection mainly for the 12x tele capability for sports, wildlife and scenic. Of all the many cameras both film (4x5 to 8mm) and digital I have owned the past 60 years I love this camera the most!!!!
Best features : Image stabilizer and 12x optical zoom Leave your tripod at home!!! This gem is compact , has a good feel, balance and looks and light in weight. Easy to manipulate and adjust settings. Simple uncomplicated menus. Great macro pics. I even use it for copying magazine articles at the library under existing light conditions instead of the copy machine!!! Well thought out control buttons on camera body. Excellent Leica lens produces high quality color perfect pictures( You may have to fiddle with white balance controls. )Image stabilization capability is fantastic even when coupled with optical and digital zoom. I recently took some amazing close-ups of tigers and lions at the nearby Out of Africa Wildlife Park here in northern AZ. Even at 48X (12 optical 4 digital) quality is remarkably good .
I usually use my Olympus 5050 with 1.8 lens for existing light photos. I recently took some indoor party pictures san flash using the stabilizer using full 2.8 aperture at aperture priority mode on the F Z5. Room lighting was dim to average. Pics came well exposed and sharp and color perfect ( except for subject movement of hands etc). Shutter speeds were 1/30 to 1/5 but sharp due to stabilizer!!! Better to use higher ISO however. Sound recording is great for note taking. I personally do not use it.

Menus and controls can be viewed thru viewfinder also. There is a toggle switch to go from one to the other. A nice feature saves battery power and obviates having to look at LCD screen each time when changing settings.

I opted for the 5 Meg FZ5 rather than the more recent 8 meg because the FZ5 is more compact, lighter especially when carrying it around all day long. Also F stop is maintained at F2.8 throughout tele range.

CONS: Lens hood and extension tube difficult to attach. Filters do not attach directly to lens but to front of an extension tube. For flash you must take off auxiliary sunshade which attaches to lens extension. In my case to attach an off size filter using a step-up ring. There is no provision for manual zoom control. No wide angle capability. However I have some auxiliary wide angle lens , A Nikon and a Sony which I hand hold in from of my lens for acceptable scenic and still indoor shots.
I miss an optical viewfinder. When taking pictures pointing camera downwards my lens cap falls into camera view. I have attached Velcro to hold lens cap in place on camera body! A swivel LCD would have been a great convenience especially for macro and overhead shots. Lightweight may be a compromise for stronger body. Camera must be handled with care and protected from shock and rough handling. It is not a field camera!!!!
Forget flash pics Flash is too weak. Forget movie mode Buy a camcorder!!!!

If you use the features I pointed out I say this camera is a bargain for the money. Give this camera a try. You will be delighted with it.!!!

  • 5.0 out of 5
Compact great for telephoto shots and natural light handheld (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

This is my fifth digital camera and I love it.
I purchased it mainly for the long telephoto lens for wildlife and scenic photography. My others have limited telephoto capability.
The image stabilizer is fantastic. I took some indoor party pics sans flash at slow shutter speeds. They came out great using the image stabilizer( you do pick up some body movements) The 12 optical zoom is fantastic and when coupled with the 4x digital gives an amazing 48x image and a pretty decent image quality even using the digital addition. It is comparable to my 400mm lens on my 35 film cameras (which sit on my shelves unsused)

The camera is small, light and easy to manipulate. Not the best for using flash however. If I need to use flash I use my 5050 Olympus with 1.8 lens which also has a dedicated flash shoe.

I would recommend this camera for a first camera as long as one reads and studies the manual.

  • 1.0 out of 5
Fragile (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

could not hold up under normal wear and tear and warranty does not cover much. The LCD screen cracked within a month of me purchasing it now the camera is junk what a waste If you need repairs good luck to you. Cause you are on your own. panasonic DMCFX8K

  • 5.0 out of 5
What more could you want? (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I've had this camera for 2 months and I can't praise in enough.
I bought it as a joint replacement for both my ageing SLR, and my compact digital camera as I wanted the ease of a Digital with more adjustability, but didn't feel I could justify a Digital SLR Camera - I'm waiting for the prices to fall a little!

The FZ5 has adjustability in abundance; point and shoot if you like, try some of the semi adjustable modes or experiment with the full manual functions - (I noticed that if you "play back" the photo's on the camera, and adjust the display, it'll show you what mode you were using, and which aperture and shutter-speeds were used etc.) You can learn a lot from this, and with a bit of practice, surprise yourself with some spectacular photo's.
Despite being surprisingly small, it's well weighted, has no shutter-lag, nice controls, a huge lens range, good autofocus and outstanding performance in almost any lighting conditions, it also features an above average built in flash(it recovers exceptionally quickly).
The "Mega O.I.S." is a great feature too, and allows high-zoom shots without a tripod.
The lens ring adapter allows the use of filters, whilst the supplied hood helps keep flare to a minimum in "awkward" lighting situations.

All aspects have been really well thought out; even simple things like the battery locking in place, so it can't fall out when you're changing your memory card, the TIFF recording quality and the brushed aluminium lens surround add a real touch of quality.

This all helps to make the FZ5 one of the best cameras I've ever used.

My only gripes are that you don't get a case with the camera, and that the supplied 16MB card is a bit of a joke, buy at least a 521MB one, you'll need it!
I think that the move capture quality is poor, but it is a Photo camera, not a camcorder so I can't really complain.
The cost of a spare battery made me wince a little bit too, but a charge lasts for ages and under normal use you won't need one.

I think to sum it up; the FZ5 is the ideal middle ground between the simplicity of a compact, and the performance of a digital SLR. Good enough for both beginners and Pro's.

  • 5.0 out of 5
takes superb pictures (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I had owned a old slr but lost that on holiday. I was very upset till I bought the fz5. I now realise what i was missing. This is the first digital camera I have owned and I bought it for the 12x zoom but everything else about this camera is superb. I have no complaints at all and all I can say to everybody out their is buy it you wont be dissapointed.

  • 4.0 out of 5
good camera (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I like it with it's all features,it could be better if the movie resolution was some higher.I compared with the others cameras and i'm very glad with my buy.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Better than I expected!!! (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I have been looking for a new digital camera after someone decided they needed my little Fuji more than I did. I wanted to upgrade to a superzoom, as I like to photo wildlife at distances. Every good thing that I have heard about the FZ5 in reviews is spot on. A big camera in a great little camera's body!! I am no photographey expert by any means, and I am taking some truly great pictures with this camera. There are few things that ALMOST turned me off of the camera that I found in reviews, and now find that either they were misworded or just flat out wrong.

First, from some reviews I've read I believed that you could not zoom and record movie clips, in other words only record clips at 1X. To clarify, you can film throught the zoom range, you just can't change the zoom while recording which is of little consequence to me. Secondly, a lot of people made it sound as if it was just a plastic playtoy waiting to break. I have the black model and find it very well constructed. Sure its made primarily of plastic, but I find it very sturdy. Third, I have NO problems with the flash. Some have reported how weak it is.......I don't see that at all. Very adequate flash. If I had to do it over again, I'd go with the FZ5 every time.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Small is beautiful and take very good photos (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I think that camera as a very good concept between quality and small dimension.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Excellent Value (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

Having just spent 2 weeks in Peru using this I must say just how pleased I was withy the results. In fact 2 other people I was with are now still thinking of buying one. The 12 x lens plus OIS were faultless. Only disappointment was that the battery didn't last as long as expected, possibly because of 2 much time looking and playing with results.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Awesome images, zoom is breathtaking, very versatile (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

Having owned this camera now for two months and having taken over 2000 pictures with it I would like to say that the camera is an absolute delight.

My first digital camera was a 3 MPixel Canon Ixus. A lovely camera in its own right but with only a two times zoom lens. It replaced a Pentax MZ5 film camera which I sold. The Canon never really managed to match the Pentax. This Panasonic is the first digital I have seen that is a good substitute for a good film SLR.

Some of the really good features is its small size. I absolutely love how it sits in my hands, even though they are quite large.
The controls are easy to use. The best features is the amazing lens and the fantastic shots I have been able to take. I use the camera professionaly, mainly to shoot images of cars and am sometimes prevented from getting too close to them. With this camera this is not a problem. So overall highly recommended.

  • 5.0 out of 5
So Simple to use (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

Having not had a digital camera before and being somewhat computer illiterate i found the camera very easy to use(ok i still have to learn all the fine points and tricks) and the pictures very easy to upload and manipulate. A very wise buy.

  • 2.0 out of 5
Distant cousin to FZ20 (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

To say I was shocked when I recieved this camera is an understatement. Having owned the FZ20 for six months I should have payed closer attention to dimensions. This camera is so small I couldn't even hold it to take a picture. I bought it for my girlfriend and even she found it way to small.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Panasonic has another winner. (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I am a semi-pro who had retired years ago and wanted to get back into the business. I decided to go digital when I spoke with the folks at several camera stores. I haunted the closest camera store for weeks before I bought the FZ5. Actually, it was so new that I couldn't get my hands on one to try, so actually bought mine on line. The camera was broken shortly after I purchased it as a result of an accident. Panasonic repaired it at no cost under the warrentee. A word to the wise, buy repair insurance on your camera before you take it out of the store. I'd have had a heart attack if I had had to pay for the repairs. The lens alone would have cost me over $350. The FZ5 was so new that the service shop didn't have the tools to repair it yet and it took a little time to get the parts from Japan. It seemed like it took forever, but actually they got it done in a very short time. While it was down, I bought an FZ20 to add to my stable. I had been absolutely spoiled by the FZ5, and couldn't go back to using anything less than one of Panasonic's cameras.

Well, I have both cameras in hand now, and trade off between the two daily. I love them both. Besides the camera and insurance, buy skylight filters, and polarizing filters. If you use the camera hard, get extra 1 gig cards and batteries. You won't regret any of these purchases. I was shooting a basketball camp with Meadowlark Lemon (of Harlem Globetrotters fame) for the last three days, shooting over 600 shots per day. I ran out the charge on two batteries each day and had to charge them while shooting to get through the shoot besides having to use two cards each day. I really put these things to the test. The FZ5 seems a little faster to auto focus, and gets more shots off per battery charge.

In all the work I do, the FZ5 performs well under virtually all conditions including bright sunlit days, cloudy, overcast, and low light situations (don't forget to turn off the AF light if you don't want to attract attention). By the way, I find that the noise suppression works well with the ISO set at 400. Graininess is not a serious factor. The camera is very quiet, very fast and enjoyable to use. It's much quieter than my FZ20.

As I said, Panasonic has spoiled me. I have given away, or sold my other cameras. Unless you need to impress someone with the professional appearance of the camera, having an f2.8 throughout the range, an external shutter release, or you need a hot shoe, buy the FZ5. I love it, and it is extremely unobtrusive. Otherwise get the FZ20. For the price range and quality you can't beat these babies.

I have no complaints about my FZ5. It's absolutely wonderful.

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