Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ5
- Very solidly built
- Image noise at higher ISO levels
A competent entry into the 8 megapixel arena.
Price$ 769.00 (AUD)
Panasonic's new Lumix DMC-FZ5 is an upgrade to the popular DMC-FZ3, and brings with it a higher resolution CCD and a slightly tweaked design. Although seemingly identical to its predecessor, closer inspection reveals a more substantial grip and a better-placed shutter button.
While it has the same outstanding Leica 12x optical zoom lens as before, the change from a 1/3.2in 3Mp CCD to a 1/2.5in 5Mp sensor has slowed the aperture to F2.8-F3.3 (the DMC-FZ3 was F2.8 throughout).
In use, the camera is very responsive, with a fast start-up (about 3sec) and marginal processing time between shots. The improved optical image stabiliser is a useful accompaniment to the long zoom, with none of the fringing that this feature caused in previous models. However, despite claims of improvement, we found the autofocus a little sluggish and not always accurate. A full manual focus mode would help, but that's a feature reserved for the more expensive DMC-FZ20.
That aside, the DMC-FZ5 provides a range of advanced controls, including shutter/aperture priority and full manual modes, live histogram display, three metering modes and six autofocus settings. Image quality is extremely good - although you'll notice pronounced barrel distortion at wide angle - and if you're not happy with the default colour balance, you can increase or decrease the saturation, but not the sharpness.
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GGG Evaluation Team
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For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
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