Panasonic LUMIX DMC-LX5 digital camera (preview)
We look at what Panasonic's new flagship compact digital camera will offer
- Longer lens zoom, more powerful processor, better movie recording
- It's expensive!
The new Panasonic LUMIX DMC-LX5 makes several improvements to the old flagship LUMIX DMC-LX3. It's an expensive product but the specifications look great -- we're keen to do some in-depth testing.
Price$ 799.00 (AUD)
The LUMIX DMC-LX5 digital camera is the new top dog in Panasonic’s compact digital camera line-up, taking over from the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-LX3. It has a host of new specifications and features that should make it a superior camera to its predecessor. The DMC-LX5 will hit Australian shores in September, and we're looking forward to putting it through our paces in our Test Centre.
Extra zoom: 3.8x vs 2.5x
The new Leica DC Vario-Summicron lens of the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-LX5 boasts a 3.8x zoom range, with a 35mm-equivalent focal length of 24-90mm. This offers an extra 30mm reach over the LUMIX DMC-LX3’s 24-60mm focal range, but thankfully the new lens is equally as bright — maximum aperture at 24mm is f2.0 just like the LX3, and the 90mm’s maximum aperture is still a relatively fast f3.3. The aperture of the LUMIX DMC-LX5’s 60mm mid-point remains at f2.8, again like the LX3.
We noted that the LUMIX DMC-LX3 had a relatively short zoom range when we reviewed it. The LX3 was an excellent landscape and group photo camera, but the LX5’s extra zoom length should make it a better choice for impromptu portraiture and general purpose use. An extra bit of zoom is never a bad thing!
Redesigned imaging sensor and processor
The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-LX5 has the same gross pixel count as the earlier DMC-LX3 — just over 10 megapixels, with a maximum 4:3 image resolution of 3648x2736 #8212; but the 1/1.63in sensor has been redesigned for significantly higher sensitivity and dynamic range. Panasonic quotes improvements of 31 per cent and 38 per cent respectively for sensitivity and saturation, which should translate into sharper images with more detail in highlights and dark areas. Panasonic's claim that images will be ‘noiseless’ is a bit rich — the sensor inside the LUMIX DMC-LX5 is still much smaller than the one inside a camera like the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-G2 or Canon EOS 550D — but a newer and more powerful image processor should mean that JPEG images are cleaner and more detailed than those taken with the LUMIX DMC-LX3.
The new processor allows for faster start-up and shutter times, as well as quicker autofocusing. A new Intelligent Resolution feature analyses images to determine detail, edge and out-of-focus areas and adjust processing and compression accordingly — this should translate into slightly better detail in high ISO images, such as those captured in dim lighting.
AVCHD Lite movie recording
The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-LX3 didn’t have the processing power to compress its 720p high-definition movies on the fly, resulting in very large QuickTime Motion JPEG files. The LUMIX DMC-LX5 can save its movies in the popular AVCHD Lite format, which significantly cuts down on movie file sizes while maintaining good quality levels in video. The LUMIX DMC-LX5 also lets users manually control shutter speed and aperture settings, allowing for extra creative control. After recording, simple movie editing features are available in the camera for viewers to cut out unwanted scenes.
New controls and accessories
The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-LX5's controls are largely the same as the DMC-LX3's, but a new jog dial allows easy adjustment of incremental settings without requiring multiple button presses. The aspect ratio switch on the camera’s lens barrel housing now includes a 1:1 ratio for square shooting, and a moulded grip on the right side of the camera makes one-handed shooting easier.
An accessory port and flash hot-shoe on the top of the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-LX5 allow for the same electronic viewfinder as seen on the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GF1 to be used. An optical viewfinder with a 24mm viewing angle can also be purchased for use in the camera’s hot-shoe.
The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-LX5 follows the same basic formula as the excellent LUMIX DMC-LX3, which earned high praise when we looked at it two years ago. The new LX5 makes significant improvements in some areas, and we’re definitely keen to get our hands on it for some in-depth testing.
Become a fan of GoodGearGuide on Facebook
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @GoodGearGuide
Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Dell U3223QE review: A winning debut for an IPS Black monitor
- 2 Netgear Nighthawk M5 mobile router review: Probably too expensive, but nice
- 3 Dell P2723QE review: A solid 4K USB-C hub monitor for home offices
- 4 MSI Katana GF76 review: Decent gaming performance for a reasonable price
- 5 Asus ROG Flow Z13 review: A full-fledged gaming PC disguised as a tablet
Latest News Articles
- Apple offers 6 months free Apple Music, Keynote holiday greeting card templates
- Adobe expands Creative Cloud M1 support, claims over 80% better performance than Intel
- GoPro delivers Quik solution for videos and photos
- Got a GoPro Hero 8? You can use it as a webcam for your Mac
- Canon embolden mirrorless offering with EOS R5 and R6
PCW Evaluation Team
Set up is effortless.
The strength of the Aruba Instant On AP11D is that the design and feature set support the modern, flexible, and mobile way of working.
Aruba backs the AP11D up with a two-year warranty and 24/7 phone support.
Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.
This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.
It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.
- What laptop should I get? Top 12 things to consider
- Best Optus iPhone SE (3rd gen) plans
- eSIMs: The advantages and disadvantages for smartphone users
- Everything you need to know about Smart TVs
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?