Panasonic LUMIX DMC-LX5 digital camera (preview)
We look at what Panasonic's new flagship compact digital camera will offer
- Longer lens zoom, more powerful processor, better movie recording
- It's expensive!
The new Panasonic LUMIX DMC-LX5 makes several improvements to the old flagship LUMIX DMC-LX3. It's an expensive product but the specifications look great -- we're keen to do some in-depth testing.
Price$ 799.00 (AUD)
The LUMIX DMC-LX5 digital camera is the new top dog in Panasonic’s compact digital camera line-up, taking over from the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-LX3. It has a host of new specifications and features that should make it a superior camera to its predecessor. The DMC-LX5 will hit Australian shores in September, and we're looking forward to putting it through our paces in our Test Centre.
Extra zoom: 3.8x vs 2.5x
The new Leica DC Vario-Summicron lens of the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-LX5 boasts a 3.8x zoom range, with a 35mm-equivalent focal length of 24-90mm. This offers an extra 30mm reach over the LUMIX DMC-LX3’s 24-60mm focal range, but thankfully the new lens is equally as bright — maximum aperture at 24mm is f2.0 just like the LX3, and the 90mm’s maximum aperture is still a relatively fast f3.3. The aperture of the LUMIX DMC-LX5’s 60mm mid-point remains at f2.8, again like the LX3.
We noted that the LUMIX DMC-LX3 had a relatively short zoom range when we reviewed it. The LX3 was an excellent landscape and group photo camera, but the LX5’s extra zoom length should make it a better choice for impromptu portraiture and general purpose use. An extra bit of zoom is never a bad thing!
Redesigned imaging sensor and processor
The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-LX5 has the same gross pixel count as the earlier DMC-LX3 — just over 10 megapixels, with a maximum 4:3 image resolution of 3648x2736 #8212; but the 1/1.63in sensor has been redesigned for significantly higher sensitivity and dynamic range. Panasonic quotes improvements of 31 per cent and 38 per cent respectively for sensitivity and saturation, which should translate into sharper images with more detail in highlights and dark areas. Panasonic's claim that images will be ‘noiseless’ is a bit rich — the sensor inside the LUMIX DMC-LX5 is still much smaller than the one inside a camera like the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-G2 or Canon EOS 550D — but a newer and more powerful image processor should mean that JPEG images are cleaner and more detailed than those taken with the LUMIX DMC-LX3.
The new processor allows for faster start-up and shutter times, as well as quicker autofocusing. A new Intelligent Resolution feature analyses images to determine detail, edge and out-of-focus areas and adjust processing and compression accordingly — this should translate into slightly better detail in high ISO images, such as those captured in dim lighting.
AVCHD Lite movie recording
The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-LX3 didn’t have the processing power to compress its 720p high-definition movies on the fly, resulting in very large QuickTime Motion JPEG files. The LUMIX DMC-LX5 can save its movies in the popular AVCHD Lite format, which significantly cuts down on movie file sizes while maintaining good quality levels in video. The LUMIX DMC-LX5 also lets users manually control shutter speed and aperture settings, allowing for extra creative control. After recording, simple movie editing features are available in the camera for viewers to cut out unwanted scenes.
New controls and accessories
The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-LX5's controls are largely the same as the DMC-LX3's, but a new jog dial allows easy adjustment of incremental settings without requiring multiple button presses. The aspect ratio switch on the camera’s lens barrel housing now includes a 1:1 ratio for square shooting, and a moulded grip on the right side of the camera makes one-handed shooting easier.
An accessory port and flash hot-shoe on the top of the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-LX5 allow for the same electronic viewfinder as seen on the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GF1 to be used. An optical viewfinder with a 24mm viewing angle can also be purchased for use in the camera’s hot-shoe.
The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-LX5 follows the same basic formula as the excellent LUMIX DMC-LX3, which earned high praise when we looked at it two years ago. The new LX5 makes significant improvements in some areas, and we’re definitely keen to get our hands on it for some in-depth testing.
Become a fan of GoodGearGuide on Facebook
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @GoodGearGuide
Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Huawei Mate 9
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Acer Swift 7
Lexar® Portable SSD
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Google Daydream VR headset
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Surface Pro 4
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Dell XPS 13 laptop
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 2 Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
- 3 Panasonic Blu-ray recorder PVR set-top box review
- 4 Garmin Fenix Chronos fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 5 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
Latest News Articles
- Boom: SanDisk just dropped the world's largest SD card
- Camera app makers tap into RAW power with iOS, and look forward to dual lenses
- Google Camera 3.2 lets you snap pictures while recording video
- CES 2016: Top 10 trends
- Sony α7S II aimed film-makers and low light photographers
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
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.
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!
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.
- First look at the Formula 1 2017 pit lane in Melbourne, Australia
- LG 2017 OLED and Super LED UHD 4K TVs: Hands-on review
- Oppo R9s Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- CCWeb Devops EngineerNSW
- FTSenior IOS DeveloperNSW
- CCMicrostrategy DeveloperVIC
- TPDeployment EngineerVIC
- FTNetwork Solution ArchitectVIC
- FTRuby on Rails DeveloperQLD
- CCAutomation TesterQLD
- CC.Net Developer - SilverlightVIC
- FTSolution Architect l MS Exchange, O365NSW
- FTArcFM/Gis Lead DeveloperNSW
- CCProcess Improvement Specialist - TelcoVIC
- TPSenior Node.JS DeveloperNSW
- FTSenior C++ EngineerACT
- FTApplication Support LeadQLD
- CCApplication Support Specialist- Bathurst or Port MacquarieNSW
- TPSenior SAP Time and Payroll Functional ConsultantQLD
- CCInside Sales ConsultantNSW
- CCProject MangerWA
- TPSenior Project ManagerVIC
- TPBusiness AnalystNSW
- FTJunior Applications SupportNSW
- CCProject ManagerNSW
- FTSolution Architect l MS Exchange, O365NSW
- FTChief Architect - Public SectorACT