Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 review

£330
Price when reviewed

The DMC-LX5 has a hard act to follow. Its predecessor, the DMC-LX3, was so good we’d still recommend it today. So what does this one offer as an upgrade?

It certainly looks the part, and is littered with the sort of features you don’t normally see on a compact camera, such as a hot shoe for attaching a flash and a mode dial for manual controls.

Minor external changes are evident. On the rear, the old joystick control has been replaced by a DSLR-style click-wheel that makes adjustments to aperture and shutter speed more quickly, and there’s a movie record button too.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5

It’s inside where the big changes have been made, with a new higher resolution 10-megapixel sensor, an uprated 3.8x zoom f/2 to f/3.3 lens, and an improved image processing engine. The DMC-LX5 can also now shoot at up to ISO 3200 in standard mode, and in general we were impressed with its high ISO performance, especially in RAW mode. We found the DMC-LX5 produced usable shots at up to ISO 1600, and although noise begins to creep in, it’s well controlled.

The fast f/2 lens impressed as well, and the extended zoom range makes it more flexible. Barrel distortion is noticeable at its widest aperture, but elsewhere we found little to criticise. The video mode records at 720p in AVCHD Lite format, quality is excellent, and the zoom and autofocus remain active, which they don’t on the Canon PowerShot S95.

That said, these two cameras are very close. If you’re after top quality in a pocketable form, the Canon PowerShot S95 is the way to go; the Panasonic DMC-LX5 offers more features, control and flexibility.

Basic specifications

Camera megapixel rating 10.1mp
Camera screen size 3.0in
Camera optical zoom range 4x
Camera maximum resolution 3648 x 2736

Weight and dimensions

Weight 271.000kg
Dimensions 110 x 43 x 66mm (WDH)

Battery

Battery type included Lithium-ion
Battery life (CIPA standard) 400 shots
Charger included? yes

Other specifications

Built-in flash? yes
Aperture range f2 - f3.3
Shortest focal length (35mm equivalent) 24
Longest focal length (35mm equivalent) 90
Minimum (fastest) shutter speed 1/4,000
Maximum (slowest) shutter speed 1 mins
Exposure compensation range +/- 3EV
ISO range 80 - 3200
Progam auto mode? yes
Shutter priority mode? yes
Aperture priority mode? yes
Burst frame rate 2.5fps
Memory-card type SD
LCD resolution 460k
Secondary LCD display? no
Video/TV output? yes

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