Panasonic DMC-LC5

Digital camera

The DMC-LC5 is targeted at the semi-serious photographer wanting a quality image and as such is focused on offering auto everything, as well as the ability to tinker with the "controls when needed. The 4-megapixel CCD enables the user to capture images that can easily be printed at A4 size.

The LC5 features a high-quality Leica DC Vario Summicron lens operating at f2.0 - f2.5 with a 3X zoom equivalent to 33 - 100mm on a 35mm camera. The f2.0 aperture allows you to use a faster shutter speed when shooting in low light conditions, providing clearer shots with less camera shake.

One of the highlights on the LC5 is the Mega Burst feature, providing up to eight images at four frames per second even when the camera is set at the highest resolution. This feature is perfect for busy occasions or when the subject is moving - simply keep your finger on the shutter and you have four chances at taking the perfect shot.

The collection of buttons and dials on the LC5 are assigned fewer tasks than on most other digital cameras, which means less time drilling down through the menu system and more time taking shots.

A small dial next to the lens allows a quick change in focus from auto to manual and macro (down to 6cm). A focusing ring on the lens provides accurate control when working in close or when you want to focus on a specific point.

A review button provides the option to see the last picture taken without having to change from record mode to playback mode, and you can instantly decide whether to keep the image you have just taken.

Exposure modes include full auto, aperture priority, shutter priority or full manual control. You can also shoot QuickTime moving image clips and audio at 320x240 pixels at 10fps, with playback on the 2.5in LCD screen and internal speaker.

If you were looking for a downside, the detachable LCD monitor hood on the LC5 is a poor bright light viewing solution when compared to the elegant swivelling LCD screen on the Canon G2. Otherwise, a combination of quality optics, fast focusing and sensible controls make the DMC-LC5 an ideal digital still camera for the experienced photographer.

Panasonic DMC-LC5 ****1/2

The DMC-LC5 features solid construction with an extremely useful rapid shot Mega Burst feature, although most users are destined to lose the detachable LCD monitor hood.

Price: $1979.

Phone: 13 2600.

URL: www.panasonic.com.au.

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