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Panasonic Lumix LX5 review

Is this SLR replacement radical enough for Panny to stay ahead?

Our Verdict

For

  • Superb lens
  • Idiot-proof HD video
  • Advanced features

Against

  • Loose aspect-ratio slider
  • Lens distortion in 16:9 mode
  • Fixed rear LCD

The Panasonic Lumix LX5 is a refresh of the popular Lumix LX3, a well-regarded power compact that's also caught on as a D-SLR replacement.

Update: See our video review below

The first thing you notice about the Lumix DMC-LX5 is that it feels more compact and pocketable at 110 x 66 x 43cm than the LX3, and the metal body is really sturdy.

Panasonic has junked the joystick controller in favour of a clickable control wheel, and there's also a slider around the lens for changing aspect ratio (a mixed blessing, as we'll see later). A simple movie-record button's been added too, making it very easy to record 720p HD video in AVCHD or Motion JPEG format.

lumix lx5

Onto the more significant improvements of the Lumix LX5 . These include a 10.1 megapixel sensor with an eye-poppingly high ISO range of 80-12,800, and a 24-90mm equivalent lens (f/2 maximum aperture).

In terms of positioning and competition, the LX5 sits below Panasonic's interchangeable-lens hybrid cameras, but lacks the power zoom of the new Lumix FZ45.

lumix lx5

It's currently selling for around £360, so while this isn't a particular cheap D-SLR replacement, it's a very convincing rival to the Canon G11 (also sporting a 10.1 megapixel sensor, high ISO range and 28-140mm lens). Panasonic's clearly going after the G11, so will it win this power compact challenge?

Tech Specs

Product TypeCompact Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Green CompliantYes
Maximum Video Resolution1280 x 720
Effective Camera Resolution10.1 Megapixel
USBYes
Wide AngleYes
PictBridgeYes
Product FamilyLumix LX
Image StabilizationOptical
ColourBlack
Optical Zoom4x
Digital Zoom4x
Brand NamePanasonic
FeaturesFace Detection, Manual White Balance, Aperture Priority, External Flash Shoe, Continuous Shooting Mode
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsQuickTime Motion JPEG
Weight (Approximate)233 g
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityREACH
Flash Memory Capacity40 MB
Minimum Focus Distance10 mm
Maximum Image Resolution3648 x 2736
Maximum Frame Rate30 fps
Number of Batteries Supported1
Battery RechargeableYes
Battery IncludedYes
Display Screen TypeLCD
Image Sensor TypeCCD
Total Camera Resolution11.3 Megapixel
HDMIYes
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC)
Height65.5 mm
Width109.7 mm
Depth43 mm
Autofocus Points23
Product SeriesLX
Focal Length5.10 mm to 19.20 mm
Image FormatsJPEG
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerPanasonic
Product ModelDMC-LX5
Product NameLumix DMC-LX5 Compact Camera
Product LineLumix
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberDMC-LX5EG-K
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.panasonic.co.uk
Marketing Information

The DMC-LX5 packages an f/2.0 LEICA DC VARIO-SUMMICRON lens with 24mm wide-angle and 3.8x optical zoom. This low-distortion, high-resolution lens lets you capture truly dynamic 24mm wide-angle images while rendering the tiniest nuances clearly, from corner to corner. The fully open f/2.0-3.3 aperture and iris diaphragm also work together to produce stunning scenes with gentle soft focusing. The 24mm wide-angle lens captures approx. 213% larger viewing space compared to a normal 35mm lens.

Battery Life400 Shot
Package Contents
  • Lumix DMC-LX5 Compact Camera
  • Battery Charger
  • Battery Pack
  • AV Cable
  • AC Cable
  • USB Cable
  • Shoulder Strap
  • CD-ROM
  • Lens Ring Front
  • Hot Shoe Cover
  • Lens Cap
  • Lens Cap String
Display Resolution460000 Pixel
Limited Warranty1 Year
Built-in DevicesMicrophone, Speaker