ReviewGist Report for Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5
Do not wonder why Panasonic has come up with a new roll-out a good two years after the last product. A simple look at the favourable reviews will convince you that the company believes that it is a product well worth the wait. Available from late August 2010 in black and white models, the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-LX5 is a compact that is better-endowed than the LX3. In this report we look at the innovations launched by Panasonic with the LX5 andÂ then look at what some of the top camera experts like Steves Digicam ,Good Gear Guide and Imaging Resource have said about the LX5.
What the Manufacturer Says
Panasonic highlights the ultra-bright F2.0 ultra-wide-angle 24mm LEICA DC VARIO-SUMMICRON lens introduced in the LUMIX LX5. This, the company claims, minimizes image distortion, resulting in stunning, true-to-life images with outstanding resolution and detail. Also, the 24mm wide angle lens is said to offer generous viewing space.
Panasonic is also introducing a new image processor, the Venus Engine FHD with the LUMIX LX5. With this, the company promises higher speed and performance, as well as reduced noise, increased creative modes, including very good results in low-light.
The other highlights of the Panasonic Lumix LX5 are as follows:
- Extended optical zoom 3.8x (90mm).
- 10.1-mega-pixel CCD, like the older LX3, but with an expanded dynamic range.
- AVHCD Lite HD video recording format that nearly doubles recording time (compared to Motion JPEG format).
- 3.0-inch large 460,000-dot high resolution Intelligent LCD, redesigned with High CRI (Color Rendering Index) backlight LED.
- Battery life promised is 400 photos (CIPA) per charge.
What the Reviews Say
Nearly all the assessments by experts vindicate the manufacturer's claims on the picture quality. The performance is quite commendable up to ISO 800, say PC Authority and PC World. Good Gear Guide and TechWorld also appreciate the high ceiling for ISO sensitivity, the ability to shoot at ISO 3200 at max resolution and at ISO 6400 and 12800 at a 3-mega-pixel resolution. Camera Labs has put the camera through its paces and found that the settings allow a fast enough shutter speed for increased sensitivity to let you capture moving subjects without blur.
When it came to video recording, the LX5 seems to win hands down in its class. It scores in terms of the captured movie quality, as well as the variety of adjustments made available in the camera. PC World goes a step further to certify that the LX5 gets the best video-quality rating of 2010. Most reviews have uniformly commended the 720p HD video recording mode in AVCHD Lite format. The Photography Blog feels the video shooting as being quite trouble-free and in the words of TechRadar, the HD video is really "idiot-proof".
Photo and video enthusiasts seem to have liked the creative modes option uniformly. For one, CameraLabs has found that the user can start to shoot video at any point, without having to select dedicated movie mode position on the dial. For another, PC World has liked the extra zoom length that makes it a great choice for shooting portraits and for general purpose. The use of the F2.0 24mm ultra wide angle lens is well-appreciated, and has bagged the Lumix LX5 even an honorable mention alongside digital SLRs in terms of performance from Trusted Reviews.
By and large, the LX5's handling is rated above average. What reviewers like is the broad range of manual and fully automatic exposure modes that allow quite desirable levels of control for novices, amateurs as well as pros. The layout and menu options have bagged mixed responses. While the highly respected Macworld feels that the user has to dig deep to get to some menu options, DCRP (Digital Camera Resource Page) has labeled the interface downright clunky.
In terms of image quality, the LX5 lives up to its maker's promises. MacWorld is particularly happy with the camera's performance for extreme close-ups. LX5's video quality too, has been found quite superior by the expert reviewer's critical eye.
The in-camera adjustments for shooting video , the use of the new kind of lens and the creative mode selection option make the camera a leader in its class.
The LX5 has merited the compliment of being a great step-up camera for anyone uncomfortable with automated settings, as well as a good companion for anyone accustomed to a DSLR.
In ReviewGist rankings the Lumix LX5 stands at at the top in half a dozen 'Best Digital Camera' counts (based on price, resolution, compactness).
Despite the extra time and patience that you might need to help yourself navigate the controls and menu options, you will surely feel that your effort and your money will both be worth it. If you wish for DSLR-like output, but your budget allows only a compact, the LX5 is a judicious choice.