111 of 113 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last a photographers compact!
I was looking for a compact camera for 'light' use when I didn't want to carry my full DSLR kit around. The LX5 seemed like a good choice - small enough to fit into my trouser pocket (just), competent enough to take good images (with manual controls as well as auto) and the choice of JPEG or RAW formats. Having used this camera for several weeks now I am impressed - very...
Published on 20 Nov 2010 by Pete J
34 of 47 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Thought I had a fantastic camera that took great pics...but....
I spent days researching cameras to finally decide on this one so I was delighted when it arrived. I'm a designer and was looking for a more professional upgrade to my old Fuji Finepix f10. I just needed a good camera that took good detailed up close shots mainly, but i also wanted to use it in low light conditions for music performance photography. I'm only an amateur,...
Published on 24 Nov 2010 by Maria Flynn
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111 of 113 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last a photographers compact!,
This review is from: Panasonic Lumix LX5 10.1MP Digital Camera - Black (3.0 inch TFT LCD Display, 1/1.63 inch CCD, f/2.0 LEICA Summicron Lens with 3.8x optical zoom) (Electronics)I was looking for a compact camera for 'light' use when I didn't want to carry my full DSLR kit around. The LX5 seemed like a good choice - small enough to fit into my trouser pocket (just), competent enough to take good images (with manual controls as well as auto) and the choice of JPEG or RAW formats. Having used this camera for several weeks now I am impressed - very impressed.
Dislikes - there are very few of these, and each is forgivable. The manual is provided on a CD so you need a computer to view it (or a printer and lots of ink!). The camera comes with a neck strap - I replaced this immediately with a decent wrist strap because it's easier to fit in my pocket and keeps the 'compact' camera look. The LCD screen on the back shows finger prints too well - although cleaning with a soft cloth removes them easily enough.
Likes - where do I start? I quite like the lens cap - unusual on a compact camera but good protection with no chance of getting jammed or stuck. I know some people will find it 'old fashioned' but at least it has the option to fit a retaining cord so you can't lose it (I just take it off and put it in my pocket - seems easy enough). The camera feels solid and well built and fits my hand well (always a good sign, and making it a pleasure to use). Controls are easy to access despite the small buttons. Most of the controls I want are directly accessible, although some of the more advanced features are buried in the menu system and this takes a bit of getting used to - I'd rather have it this way however and keep to a simple number of useful buttons. Image quality is excellent, for both stills and HD video. My first picture (open box, insert battery and card, start playing...) was taken at ISO 1600 and the noise levels are acceptable - this is far better than any other compact I've ever had (most struggle over ISO 400). I've used RAW and JPEG modes, both giving excellent results. The lens range is a good compromise with enough range and coverage.
Perhaps the most important thing however is that I now carry it around with me, with the confidence that I'm unlikely to miss a good photo opportunity.
An added bonus is the 'traditional' hot-shoe on the camera. This, and the manual exposure settings, mean the LX5 should work with proper studio flash units - and it does, giving very good results.
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking - worth every penny - Six Months on,
This review is from: Panasonic Lumix LX5 10.1MP Digital Camera - Black (3.0 inch TFT LCD Display, 1/1.63 inch CCD, f/2.0 LEICA Summicron Lens with 3.8x optical zoom) (Electronics)A little bit hesitant to fork out the extra money after having to give up on my lovely TZ6 (chronic lens shutter problem), I am thrilled by this item. Having done a LOT of darkroom work on 35mm cameras including Canon, Olympus and Leica (rangefinder) negatives and medium format (Mamiya and Rolleiflex TLR) before moving to my first digital (Olympus C1) in 2003, I think I have some idea of the range of quality available. Simply using the camera straight out of the box on iA or Program is a real eye opener - cat in the cellar? - no problem even on the automatic settings. I did buy it specifically for the manual programs but I am seriously thinking that I might not get round to using them.
Solid build, none of the easily jogged top dial, smooth zoom action .... and btw I love the removable cap I have to say (after the trauma with the mechanical one mentioned above). Another thing about the lens cap is that if you try to turn the camera on with it still in place you get a polite reminder to remove it - on my old erstwhile favourite Olympus CW 7070 if you forgot to take it off, the extending lens simply smashed it off!!.. without apparent damage I have to say!!!!
I wouldn't be concerned about one comment about it being "soft at f2" that is universal at the edges of all lenses (and who is looking for good depth of field at that aperture???) .... it is still pin sharp where it counts - this is a superb lens on an amazing camera...... and don't forget that because an f2 lets in twice the light of a f2.8 the (large) screen illumination is startlingly clear...
The big thing for any camera for me is that it goes everywhere I go (I gave up the weightlifting kit in the bag act with a bad back and too many missed great shots because of the hassle of getting the right camera and lens out somewhere in the middle of Manchester or Bradford..)..... and this will do that admirably I hope...
I will follow up this initial impression in a few weeks time.
25th September... Just a note to say that my initial enthusiasm has, if anything, increased over the past six months.... it goes with me everywhere. A week walking the Pennine Way recently brought out all of the advantages of having such a handy, reliable and high quality camera.. I have toyed with the idea of the viewfinder but even in bright light it is not difficult to get a 'good enough' image to go on....
Bought an extra battery but not sure I really needed to do that.... five hundred plus shots last week and the indicator suggested that the battery was still a third charged...
Only negative is the 'Silkypix' RAW software - the instructional stuff appears to have been copy edited by a someone whose first language is not English. However, there is plenty of tutorial stuff on the web. I have to say that I don't bother with RAW at all now - shadow/highlight, levels and the occasional touch of curves delivers the goods as far as I am concerned.
Simply the best camera I have ever owned.
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I choose this over S95, G12, GRD3, EX1 and NEX-3 with pancake lens,
This review is from: Panasonic Lumix LX5 10.1MP Digital Camera - Black (3.0 inch TFT LCD Display, 1/1.63 inch CCD, f/2.0 LEICA Summicron Lens with 3.8x optical zoom) (Electronics)Like a true geek I poured over reviews and handled all the different cameras in the shop (except GRD3) before settling on the LX5. Actually, I had the NEX3 with pancake lens in my Amazon basket and was about to click "buy" (or whatever). I am a dSLR owner (Nikons) with a few lenses, but wanted a compact to take with me everywhere I go (especially for street photography). I wanted quality, flexibility, good handling (incl. ability to change settings quickly) and "invisibility" when shooting (well, as much as possible). For me, the LX5 has the best balance of all of those qualities. The NEX3 gives the best quality, but is the least flexible with the pancake 16mm (24mm equiv) lens. Also, it doesn't have a silent shutter like the others here. I would love an articulated screen, but the EX1 lacks in image quality compared to the others, and the G12 is just too big. The LX5 on the other hand, has a 24-90mm focal length range, a F2-F3.3 Leica lens and direct controls for aspect ratio and focus. After over a 1000 shots, I have fallen in love with the aspect ratio switch. For me, it is one of the best features of the camera. It helps so much with composition. Also, the ability to change focus modes on the lens and the easy-to-use manual focus system means it is perfect for street photography. Set the camera to focus from a chosen distance to infinity and you can shoot instantly with no perceptible shutter lag (not that the AF is slow, its actually really quick). There is so much scope to customise your settings, and its so quick and easy to do! Also, there is a dial for your custom settings - it works really well. It doesn't match my d90 Nikon for quality (if you pixel peep), but at up to A4 in good light, it will be difficult to see the difference. I have found myself making shots I would never be able to achieve with a dSLR. People don't look away when I get this camera out! It's so discreet with its silent operation (I turn off all the sounds). And finally, the camera looks beautifully retro. Okay, its not shirt or trouser pocket camera like the S95, but for me the whole package that is the LX5 just makes this "coat pocket" camera perfect!
40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning,
- I suggest buying the photographers guide book to the LX5 by White. I bought the digital version (better value) and it makes it very easy to look up certain features using electronic search. It also sets out the general operation of the camera in a way that is not obvious from the rather muddled Panasonic guide.
- Read the guide book from cover to cover and then read it again, and then play with the camera, lots and lots. Time spent handling and using all the features will really pay dividends. The images you can achieve will be impressive.
- Don't buy cheap third party batteries. I had two and the camera bricked both of them. The cheaper batteries are also a contact short of a full connection :) and therefore don't give a battery charge status on screen and don't support the LCD off and sleep power saving modes, making a spare battery less useful than it should be. I use two Panasonic originals, expensive though they are, and that seems to work fine for me.
- Once you have got a good idea how to make use of all the features, try to organise your common or general shooting setting to keep the ISO rating below 200 and be amazed at the stunning images you can get. I have had night time shots of Southampton waterfront, hand held at ISO 80 and 1/2 sec. that have to be seen to be believed.
- Finally, getting a case is difficult. My one gripe is that a camera this expensive doesn't come with a basic pouch case. I ended up with a LowePro Apex 60, which whilst it is a little big, it will take the camera, spare battery and memory card, lens cloth and the shoulder strap. Also, when the camera is round my neck, wallet and mobile both fit in the case perfectly, leaving two hands free for shooting.
Hope that helps.
39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thinking man's (and woman's) compact,
I've been using the camera for a few days now and it produces very good images for a small sensor camera, not quite as saturated as Canon and at base settings there is still the definite Panasonic 'look' to pictures: slightly cool colour balance with slight smoothing to some details. This can be nicely improved by some small changes in the menus. I do a lot of landscapes and one of the reasons I chose this camera is the 24mm equivalent wide-angle, which also is great for macro close ups- in AF macro mode you can almost have the lens touching the subject and get great, sharp shots with shallow depth of field; the LX5 excells at these kind of pictures. It handles high contrast scenes well too, with very little noise in dark areas compared to older models. The fast lens also allows low-light shooting without flash, which I much prefer. Some people have complained it's a 'bit big' for a compact, but this thing is tiny! As a male with average-sized hands I can just comfortably hold it and it fits into shorts pockets perfectly, so it now goes pretty much everywhere with me. Others have also moaned it has no viewfinder, but that's the norm on compact digitals. The LCD is very good, although can be hard to see in bright light, but you can always use your hand as a sun shield...
One of the things I disliked about the GF1 was I had to endlessly fiddle with the (over-complicated) menus to get a shot I was moderately happy with (it felt like Panasonic had tried to make more of a gadget than a camera). Although this still has loads of menus and options it seems far easier to get consistently good pictures with only a little tweaking.
Some of the main pros are the fast lens with good zoom range, switch for focus modes, switch for aspect ratio, fast and accurate auto focus, very good image quality, good video performance, good battery life, small size and good build, endlessly customiseable menus.
Main cons are manual lens cap is slightly annoying (but not a deal-breaker), LCD is prone to purple lines when composing into bright light sources (CCD overload), comes with a long shoulder strap instead of a wrist strap, needs tweaking to get it's very best.
I'd say if you're a point-and-shooter who has no desire to fiddle with settings then this will produce you very nice results, but you'd be better off spending less for a more basic model. If you're an enthusiast and like to know you can get entry-level D-SLR results with little fuss but also the options to adjust the camera and customise it to your preferences then it's more for you. A very powerful photographic tool in a small package and a solid 4.5 out of 5.
125 of 130 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it,
Pros - All of the above....wonderful crisp images, excellent low-light quality, attractive retro design.
Cons - The only thing I can really think of is the lack of a case with the product and there don't seem to be many custom-made ones about. Manufacturers of LX3 cases just re-specify to say that their case is suitable for LX3/LX5, though the LX5 is bigger...so I'm not sure.
Anyway, in my opinion this is the camera to get if you don't want a dslr but want dslr quality potential. The only premium-compact camera I've seen that I think gets close is the Canon powershot G10, which is hard to find for under £500....though this is probably better.
77 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not your regular point and shoot,
It's a nice looking thing - black and silver, like most of my other gadgets. The finish is matte and the only fingerprint magnet is the 3" screen. The mostly metal body feels pleasantly cool to the touch and there's a solidness about it that I like. A faux leather ridge on the front offers reassuring grip. One of the reasons I didn't consider the Canon S95 was its sleekness.
First and foremost, it takes great pictures. You don't have to take my word for it: just search for LX5 sample galleries and you'll find a wide variety of shots showcasing the excellence of lens and sensor. Even some of my own have turned out well, and as I said, I'm a novice. You should see some pics from me at the top of the page soon.
The settings are easy to understand and use. Intelligent auto mode is great for when you're giving it to someone who doesn't want to faff about with manual settings, while the PASM modes allow for increasing levels of control. The scene modes offer a wide range of presets for different situations, though P mode has served me so well that I haven't used them all that much aside from the night scenery mode.
There's a physical control on the front for changing aspect ratio instantly. The ratios go from the boxy 1:1, old TV style 4:3, regular 3:2, and widescreen 16:9. It's amazing how useful it is to select an aspect on the fly depending on what you're shooting.
The screen, despite not being flippy like the G11 or OLEDy like the new Samsungs, is bright and big enough that I didn't really miss the absence of a viewfinder.
**It fits well in my jacket pocket.** This was a major consideration when I was looking for cameras. A DSLR would have given me better image quality and a system that I could build on for years, but I wouldn't be able to take it work with me and snap things on the walk, and I wouldn't want to lug it around when travelling. The LX5 gives me quality that I can accept and even be impressed by in a much more convenient package.
The build quality is fantastic, with a few minor exceptions.
The camera is bundled with RAW editing software called Silkypix. I've not spent a great deal of time in it, but it seems effective and relatively easy to use with an obvious workflow and a decent interface.
I'm still getting used to the lens cover, though I'm sure taking it off and putting it back on will become subconscious the more I use the camera.
The plastic covers over the battery and HDMI connections are a bit flimsy in comparison to the rest of the camera. I'd have to go out of my way to damage them, though.
3.8x zoom is less than I am used to. My primary camera for years, before it broke, was the classic TZ1, which had 10x zoom.
I honestly can't think of anything truly bad, yet. I suppose it is slightly too big to fit in my jeans pocket, but I never expected it to. Aside from that, well, the intelligent auto mode seems to have pretty aggressive noise reduction (opting for smoothness over detail) that is evident if you pixel peep. The problem doesn't appear to affect the other modes.
I can see this being the perfect camera for me to learn photographic techniques with a high degree of control without sacrificing too much portability or quality. It's a step up from other point and shoots I've used. It also seems to be popular among more experienced, even pro photographers, who need a smaller back up camera.
Addendum, comparison to LX3:
I've never used the classic LX3 before, so this is purely based on what I've read elsewhere -
-Zoom is greater on the LX5.
-Supposedly has better low light performance.
-Click wheel instead of joystick.
-Bigger grippy ridge on the front.
You're probably best off googling for comparisons from owners of both. I've seen a few very technical comparisons around.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A pocket DSLR, almost!,
The big attraction was the manual facilty with the big F stop and great high ISO. Used it all christmas day and the battery seemed to last forever taking photo's and of course family wanting to review them, so it had a lot of use. The HD video is very impressive and certainly holds it own against the Nikon, and the LCD is crystal clear.
The price will probably put a lot of people off, but I would consider this camera as the top end of point and click. I am certainly not disappointed with the results and would recommend if your wanting superb digital results intending to print.
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Panasonic LX5,
At the price ,Panasonic could have included a case, but then who does? As far as images go ,I can't fault the Leica lens which is 24-90mm and covers 99% of the subjects I take. On the rare occasions I need a longer focal length that can be fixed afterwards anyway.
I got mine through Amazon and it arrived earlier than the predicted date ( at the best price I have seen so far ).
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Panasonic LX5,
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