Panasonic LUMIX DMC-LX5 digital camera
Panasonic LUMIX DMC-LX5 review: Panasonic's best camera has an excellent lens but complicated menus
- Bright lens with reasonable zoom range, good ISO performance up to ISO 800, excellent build quality, excellent multi-aspect sensor design
- Frustrating lens cap design, mediocre LCD screen, convoluted menu structure
Panasonic's LUMIX DMC-LX5 is a digital camera that's appealing to enthusiasts because of its manual control features and excellent image quality.
Price$ 799.00 (AUD)
The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-LX5 is the best digital camera that the company has produced, with an excellent quality 10-megapixel sensor and a versatile 24-90mm lens that has a maximum aperture of f2.0 at the wide end. It can take high quality photos even in dim lighting thanks to the combination of good high ISO performance and a well-designed lens. However, we don't like the menu structure and there are a few design features that are disappointing.
Looking to buy a camera? Have a look at our camera buying guide.
If you've already got one, learn how to take care of your digital camera.
Panasonic LUMIX DMC-LX5: Design
The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-LX5 has a traditional digital camera design. The camera's top face includes an accessory hot shoe that can be used with a Panasonic electronic viewfinder. On the rear of the camera a 3in 460k dot LCD screen is accompanied by a typical button layout that includes a rear dial to adjust manual settings like aperture and shutter speed.
On the whole the camera's layout is intuitive and easy to grasp, but we took issue with the LCD screen which generally looks washed out — as a result, pictures look better when viewed on a computer screen or printed than on the camera itself. The use of a clip-on lens cap also adds unnecessary complication to the lens assembly, and in our testing we often left the cap off for convenience's sake. We would have preferred an in-lens shutter like the one on the Canon Powershot S95.
The menu of the Panasonic LX5 is an odd combination of overly simplistic and unnecessarily convoluted. There are only three main menus — Setup, Motion Picture and 'Rec', which we gather stands for Recording — but this simple approach means it can be hard to find the setting you're looking for. The Recording and Setup menu options each have seven pages of options to scroll through, which is excessive.
Thankfully it's not necessary to delve into the labyrinthine menu often. A quick menu allows common settings to be altered while still shooting, and this is far more logically laid out. Manual control in the P/A/S/M modes is easy thanks to the rear dial, which can be clicked to switch between aperture, shutter speed and exposure compensation when appropriate.
Panasonic LUMIX DMC-LX5: Picture quality and performance
The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-LX5 produces excellent quality pictures for a compact digital camera. It's easily on par with the Canon Powershot S95, Nikon Coolpix P7000 and other great digital cameras thanks to its large (for a compact) sensor size and high quality lens. The 10-megapixel JPEG and RAW images the Panasonic LX5 produces have impressive detail levels at the base ISO of 80, and good detail levels are retained in default JPG settings up until ISO 800. Images get progressively grainier and noisier until the maximum of ISO 3200, and ISO 6400 and 12800 options are available for low-light photography (albeit at a reduced 3 megapixel image size).
The multi-aspect switch on the lens barrel allows users to easily switch between 1:1, 16:9, 3:2 and the standard 4:3 aspect ratios, and the specialised sensor means non-standard aspect ratios are almost equal in terms of megapixels. If you enjoy trying out different compositions when shooting this is a great feature.
The f2.0-3.3 24-90mm Leica-made lens on the Panasonic LX5 is excellent at every step of the zoom range — 24mm provides a relatively undistorted wide angle and 90mm works well for portraits. We didn't find any significant problems with the lens of the LX5 — it's among the best we've seen on a point and shoot camera.
Panasonic LUMIX DMC-LX5: Conclusion
The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-LX5 is a high-end digital camera with great specifications including an excellent lens and sensor combination. It has some annoying design elements like the surprisingly poor LCD screen but otherwise it's an impressive camera.
Become a fan of PC World Australia on Facebook
Follow PC World Australia on Twitter: @PCWorldAu
Stay up to date with the latest news, reviews and features. Sign up to PC World’s newsletters
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei P10 smartphone review
- 2 Huawei P10 Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Motorola Moto G5 smartphone review
- 4 Oppo A57 phone: full, in-depth review
- 5 Moto G5 Plus phone: full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Boom: SanDisk just dropped the world's largest SD card
- Camera app makers tap into RAW power with iOS, and look forward to dual lenses
- Google Camera 3.2 lets you snap pictures while recording video
- CES 2016: Top 10 trends
- Sony α7S II aimed film-makers and low light photographers
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- Huawei P10 smartphone review
- Huawei P10 Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - online gamblingNSW
- FTResearch Officer / Data Scientist .Work Location- ACTACT
- TPAV Design Specialist - Newcastle BasedNSW
- CCImplementation Manager/PlannerQLD
- FTBI and Report DeveloperQLD
- FTBI Developer (SQL Server Reporting Services)SA
- CCSolution ArchitectQLD
- FTSolution Architect - NetworksVIC
- FTSenior Business AnalystNSW
- TPSupport AnalystVIC
- TPDelivery Coordinator - ProjectsQLD
- TPBI DeveloperNSW
- CCSenior Network Architect l CCNP/CCIE R&S l Cisco ACINSW
- TPSenior Deployment Officer (Office 365)QLD
- FTQlikview Developer | Contract 6-12mthVIC
- CCSenior Process ModellerNSW
- FTSCRUM Master, CX, Financial ServicesNSW
- TPSenior Business Systems AnalystQLD
- FTSenior Project ManagerNSW
- FTSystem Analyst - IntegrationQLD
- TPInfrastructure Project ManagerQLD
- FTMid Level .Net DeveloperVIC
- TPAgile Projet AdministratorVIC
- FTSenior Solution Designer, Investment and Trading PlatformNSW
- FTEnterprise Architect - BusinessQLD