Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 Review

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REVIEW SUMMARY

Specifications

  • 10.1-megapixel CCD captures enough detail for photo-quality poster-size prints
  • 3.8x F2.0 ultra-wide-angle 24mm Leica DC Vario-Summicron lens
  • 3.0-inch Intelligent LCD
  • Record HD videos in AVCHD Lite
  • Creative Movie mode
  • Venus Engine FHD image processor
  • hot shoe for easy accessorization
  • Capture images to SD/SDHC memory cards (not included)
  • Release Date: 2010-08-20
  • Final Grade: 91 4.55 Star Rating: Recommended

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4.55 Star Rating: Recommended
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Panasonic Lumix LX5
Our initial thoughts on Panasonic's new high-performance compact after getting hands-on for a few minutes.
By Digital Admin, Last updated on: 6/9/2014

The LX5 is the successor to the beloved LX3, a high-performance compact in league with the Canon G11 or the Samsung TL500. It's the kind of camera that hardcore photographers carry around as a supplement to a dSLR setup, one that's portable but powerful. Since the target audience is so discerning about their equipment, the LX5 should get the photo enthusiasts all riled up – the nit-picking has already begun at a few photography forums.

We've had the benefit of a brief hands-on with a pre-production version of the LX5. It's impressive, and at the very least, a worthy upgrade from the LX3. The new lens is similar to the old one, a 24mm (equivalent) Leica starting at f2.0, but with a longer 3.8x zoom lens this time around. It still packs a 1/1.63-inch, 10 megapixel CCD sensor, which as large as any that you can find in a compact camera (that's a good thing), but there have been some tweaks that Panasonic claims will allow for faster performance and better low-light shooting. It's paired with the brand new Venus Engine FHD processor. Panasonic claims that it can “separate chromatic noise from color borders,” so when noise reduction does kick in, it should look much less smudgy than we typically see from compacts.

Talk is cheap, but the Panasonic reps showed us some sample images comparing shots at ISO 3200 from the LX5, LX3, G11, and TL500. The LX5 shots were noticeably sharper less noisy than the shots from its competitors. (The LX5 does extend to ISO 12800 at lower resolutions, if that's your thing.) Obviously, we want to see some independent sample images, but the LX5 looks like an incredibly promising camera. We wouldn't be surprised if Canon fired back with a new G Series model any day now, but it looks like it will have some stiff competition from the LX5.

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Panasonic Reviews

As a manufacturer known just as well for their camcorders as their cameras, Panasonic was the first on scene to offer 4K video inside a dedicated camera. The Panasonic Lumix GH4 is the first mirrorless camera boasting the higher video resolution, with the FZ1000 as the first compact, bridge-style camera to do so.

Panasonic also produces cameras that provide both a longer zoom range and image stabilization at a price that's relatively cheap. For photographers that need versatility in a small package, Panasonic digital cameras can provide many selections that are suitable. Having something for amateurs and serious enthusiasts at the same time, Panasonic offers a great selection of digital cameras, from ultra compacts to mirrorless cameras. They can be hard to compare because every camera comes with its own unique features and traits.

Panasonic cameras are perfect for consumers that prefer to use automatic modes. Almost all Panasonic cameras currently produced come with a feature called iAuto, which will automatically select the best scene mode for any subject. This feature, in combination with image stabilization will make it very easy for someone just starting out to take excellent photos.

Panasonic cameras are designed to be easy to figure out, giving the user easy access to settings, and users that have reviewed Panasonic digital cameras are quick to confirm this fact. When you opt for a Panasonic camera, you'll discover that it comes with an LCD screen, an optical zoom lens which is very versatile, and is both lightweight and fairly compact.

Panasonic's most popular models are their super zooms and mirrorless, with models ranging from cameras with huge zooms to mirrorless cameras earning the “smallest yet” distinction like the GM-1. They've been more focused on their mirrorless line lately, without introducing budget point-and-shoots in quite some time.

We here at Digital Camera HQ offer unbiased, informative reviews and recommendations to guide you to the right camera. We're not an actual store; we're just here to help you find the perfect camera at the best price possible by using our camera grades. Let us know if you have any problems or questions, we're happy to help.