Expert Review of Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 Point & Shoot Digital Camera Black
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 Point and Shoot Digital Camera is a unique camera that supports a number of aspect ratios and does not prefer to crop the picture. The shape of the sensor backs aspect ratios 4:3, 16:9, 3:2. There are also options for better low light performance wherein, the credit go to f/2.0 aperture and 3.8x optical zoom. The conventional cameras make use of full CCD area for recording pictures but this isn’t the case with this camera. DMC LX5 uses a 1/1.63-inch CCD sensor with 10.1MP as the effective resolution. It records AVCHD video with HD resolution and the focal length covers 24mm to 90mm. The build quality is fine and the overall performance of all the parts as discussed below is fair to excellent. This makes LX5 a value for money camera.
Design and Build Quality
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 Point and Shoot Digital Camera feels to be quite well built with a solid and strong body made of metal. The dial and buttons have high quality finishing and the buttons too have a metallic finish. The rubber grip at the front of this imaging machine and the textured grip for thumb make up for an improved build design. The joystick on the earlier model, LX3 has been replaced with a job dial, which holds two functions - it can be scrolled letting you to alter options like manual focus or turn between changing the aperture and shutter speed under manual mode.
The controls are quite easy to use since there is a long list of features and settings having dedicated buttons like focus, self timer, ISO settings, aspect ratios etc. Some faint marks on a few buttons may make it difficult to view the text, so you would have to become familiar with the buttons. The positions for the buttons are quite simple and the options can be easily managed by a thumb. The switches for options about the lens fall easily in hand when you are using the camera with two hands.
Focus and Face Detection
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 Point and Shoot Digital Camera is quite fast though when the focus is turned to autofocus or macro, the focus system becomes slower. The imaging machine takes 1.7-1.8 seconds to turn on to capture the first photo, which is a bit better than the average performance of other cameras. Shutter response seems to be excellent at .1 seconds.
Lens and Image Stabilization
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 Point and Shoot Digital Camera does not produce lens flare. The quality of lens is brilliant just like what you would expect from a Leica branded lens of a premium camera. Distortion is visible and there are no such defects in the quality of the image. The makes at least the lens performance quite appreciable. LX5 is so good that Leica sells its own version of the same camera called Leica D-LUX5.
Screen and Menus
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 Point and Shoot Digital Camera comes with a 3-inch wide TFT LCD screen having a resolution of 460k dots. The menu system is well laid out and a quick button for menu lets you choose the oft-used and common options like selecting film mode, setting for flash, burst mode shooting, Autofocus mode, metering, image size, white-balance, quality of video, and brightness of screen. For enhanced settings, you can access the full menu, which is made of seven screens wherein there are options for photos, four screens for video options and seven other screens for setup choices.
The setup menu lets you alter the text size from normal to large, and with the selection of the large option, the number of screens increases since less number of options get displayed on every screen. There is no ‘small’ option that fits more and more options on a single screen. Many options make the menu system a bit difficult to navigate but with a big number of external controls, entering the menu system is a rare event.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 Point and Shoot Digital Camera comes with a battery life that is rated at 400 pictures per full charge. The battery has been found to be not so impressive and over a full charge, it takes only 280 shots. The battery pack holds a 1250mAh Li-ion battery along with an AC adapter.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 Point and Shoot Digital Camera records videos with a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels at a frame rate of 30fps. You can use the optical zoom and optical image stabilization feature to record videos. There are a number of options such as manual, automatic exposure, sharpness, saturation, contrast, noise reduction, ISO settings, white balance, wind filter, and stabilization. The camera records videos in mono sound where a number of its competitors also offer stereo sound.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 Point and Shoot Digital Camera offers a CCD 1/1.63-inch sized 11.3MP sensor. The ISO sensitivity range covers from ISO80 to ISO200. The resultant images are quite good with low noise levels, good color and detail. ISO400 too delivers impressive images where you will notice some reduction in the quality of images, when viewed at an actual size of 100 percent. At ISO800, noise begins to take away the color from detail along with edges, which are all noticeable within dark colors. At ISO1600, since noise reduction becomes aggressive, it becomes less noticeable - at ISO800. At ISO3200, there is a lot of noise and hot blue pixels, which are to be better avoided. Images taken at ISO12800 and ISO6400 can only be availed at 3MP resolution and the images thus obtained are required to be resized in order to be used on the web.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 Point and Shoot Digital Camera delivers excellent quality images
Macro mode works well
There are a lot of options and controls
Wide angle 24mm lens
Options for different aspect ratios
The camera is speedy, focus, shutter response and shot-to-shot time is short
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 Point and Shoot Digital Camera comes with a separate cap for lens
The camera is quite heavy and with its protruding lens, it becomes difficult to find safety cases