Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FH5 camera

Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FH5 review: A compact digital camera that's useful for happy snaps

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now
Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FH5
  • Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FH5
  • Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FH5
  • Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FH5
  • Expert Rating

    3.00 / 5

Pros

  • Good controls and comfortable to use
  • Easy to operate
  • Good focusing performance

Cons

  • LCD screen struggles in bright conditions
  • Can't handle highlights properly
  • No ISO limiting

Bottom Line

The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FH5 is a decent camera for happy snaps, but it does struggle in bright conditions. However, it's comfortable to hold, simple to operate and has plenty of scene modes, many of which are fun to use.

Would you buy this?

The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FH5's power-on time was swift and its shot-to-shot performance was reasonably good in our tests — there is a slight delay after you take a photo as it shows you the preview before it allows you to shoot again, but we never felt like the camera was holding us up. Its zoom was steady and relatively smooth, and its focusing performance was fast.

The camera focuses constantly, which means that shots will appear in focus on the screen even before you press half-way down on the shutter button. We like the tracking mode that it offers. Using this mode you can lock on to practically any object in the frame and track it to another location within the frame while keeping it in focus. This worked well in our tests, but sometimes the tracking was lost when we moved a little too quickly.

The picture quality of the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FH5 is reasonably good; there isn't any noticeable chromatic aberration and images have reasonably good clarity. You won't want to crop images too closely though, as definition is lost when pictures are viewed at the native size, but the clarity is good enough for photos to be displayed on a Full HD television or uploaded to social networking sites. The camera doesn't handle highlights well, especially in photos with a lot of dynamic range, and this was shown when we took photos in bright daylight conditions — highlights were often blown out.

Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FH5

You can see that a lot of the highlights in this photo are noticeably blown out.

The low-light performance of the LUMIX DMC-FH5 is good, but unlike some higher-end LUMIX cameras, the FH5 doesn't have an ISO limiting function. Without a limiting function, you can't tell the camera what its maximum ISO speed should be when in automatic mode. In our tests, we found its quality up to ISO 400 to be relatively clean, but it produced noticeably blurry shots at ISO 800. The camera has built-in optical stabilisation, which helps to fight blur when the shutter speed is low and also when you are zoomed in. In our tests, shots down to around 1/8sec were acceptably clear.

Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FH5 LUMIX DMC-FH5: ISO performance

You can shoot high-definition video with the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FH5 up to a resolution of 1280x720. Its quality is not too bad when the camera is steady and the light stays consistent, but dramatic lighting changes can wreak havoc on the exposure. Like most compact cameras, when the camera is moved while a video is being shot, the picture will tend to look very choppy. You can't zoom once you've started recording.

Overall, the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FH5 is comfortable and also quite fun to use. It has a swag of useful scene modes and it even comes with software that allows you to upload still images to Facebook and videos to YouTube without actually visiting those Web sites. Its image clarity is decent for a compact camera, and it's a useful camera for happy snaps. However, it did struggle to handle highlights, and this can be annoying when shooting on bright days.

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 Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Read more on these topics: Panasonic Lumix, Panasonic, digital cameras
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

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.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

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!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

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.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?