Panasonic Lumix LX5

Spooky

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I have had my LX5 for 10 days now. I bought it to replace my Ricoh GX100 as a take anywhere camera with sufficient options to allow creative clicking rather than just point and shooting.

First Impressions
The look and feel of the LX5 is joyous; this is a lovely camera and straight out of the box it exuded retro cool. It has a decent weight to it, is sturdy in the hand and the central positioning of the lens gives it a comfortable balance. All of the expected dials and buttons are present and it is here where things start to look a little cluttered and possibly fiddly for those with fatter than average fingers, especially on the rear panel. Saying that, however, the mode dial is well positioned and on the front of the camera, around the lens housing, rest the aspect ratio and focus mode switches. These are easily accessible and there is no need to &#8216;faff&#8217; about in menu systems trying to find them. The 16:9 and 1:1 ratios are good fun to shoot in. The zoom feels a little short compared to other compacts but at its widest angle, it really rocks. The focusing is quick and accurate and the ability to select your focus point is a very fine addition to this camera&#8217;s repertoire.

Images (all straight from camera)
Have not had much of an opportunity yet to really road test for pics but have been toying with the macro, the wide angle and shooting in low light and have been quietly pleased with the results.

Macro
By chance this was the first road test for the camera; my son wanted to go out and photograph spiders in the garden (his current obsession) and there were some particular horrible specimins clinging to their web despite the rain. This image I shot in Aperture Priority with a view to seeing its shallow dof capabilities. It did not disappoint! The sharpness of the spider is very pleasing and Archie and I liked the fact we could see the water droplets on the spider.


Spider by Spooky 173


The same afternoon we went out for a wander in the woods, which is where we found these mushrooms. I do not do much macro work but was again really impressed with the clarity produced by this camera.


Mushroom Macro by Spooky 173

By the way... here is Archie, he is 6 and loves taking photos - like his daddy! He was desperate to have a camera of his own and pleaded for a VTEC thing last Christmas. I toyed with the idea of buying him a toy camera and in the end opted for a cheapish and very cheerful compact from Tesco. He loves it!


Archie by Spooky 173

Wide Angle
This was shot in the landscape mode; I wanted to see what kind of a job the camera would do by itself thinking it would not do justice to the sky, clouds and stone work of the church. The colours look accurate and the camera has done a very good job of exposing the different tones, with no abundance of blow outs (something my Ricoh was notorious for doing)


church wide by Spooky 173

Low Light
I was shooting production photos for our local theatre and was intrigued to see if this little camera could do the job sufficiently well. The results are OK but I think I am biased as I was looking at them alongside those coming out of my D700. At 800 ISO noise is evident, even when looking at the images in the viewfinder.


at 800 ISO by Spooky 173

Results were better at 400 and still leagues ahead of my previous compact but I am not yet convinced I would shoot an entire show on it &#8211; especially one with a more challenging lighting design &#8211; for me the sharpness I am used to is missing.


at 400 ISO (2) by Spooky 173

I did go out and pap the spider again &#8211; this time at night and with an ISO of 800 set. Noise is passable in this shot, I think - will be in next post

In conclusion
This really is an enthusiast&#8217;s compact and a superb replacement / upgrade. I feel confident it will serve me well and that my wife will also be able to use it &#8211; and maybe I will start making it into family albums. It is clever enough to be left in Intelligent Auto mode and produce accurate and pleasing results, but it also packs enough to keep this creative snapper happy.

As I type I am thinking of trying long exposures and some candid style street snaps. I will post these in due course.

For now, the Panasonic LX5 gets a big thumbs up from me!(y)
 
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Spooky,

Great write up and first set of pictures.

How is the extended zoom mode where it drops down to 5-6 Mp but extends the optical zoom?

I am interested in this as a gig camera. I am normally in smaller venues and would like a mega zoom, but low light and mega zoom don't generally mix :( so can probably get away with 100-150MM equivalent.

Thanks in advance
 
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Spooky

Spooky

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Hello

Just had a play with this function and have attempted to answer your question

Sticking with the 9.5mp setting, you get a zoom equivalent of 24-360. Drop the resolution the zoom increases to 640 - this is digital zoom rather than optical. The optical zoom increases to 161 equivalent.

I have put an few example picture here - please bear in mind I am stuck in my office at the moment so am limited in what I can shoot and the lighting is horrible. Hopefully it will give you an idea of quality though.

Cheers

Spooks

Taken at 161mm zoom equ. (optical)
800 ISO
1/100 sec
f 3.3
reduced sensor to 3mp


P1010157 by Spooky 173
 
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Brilliant, thank you...

For web publishing 3Mp may well be fine.....

I am seriously tempted..
 
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I think 3mp is suitable for a lot more than web publishing.

I'm very impressed.
 
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looks good. shame its not massively better than the LX3 as i'd be feeling the urge to get one :naughty:
i mean yes its better but not enough to make a tightwad like me spring for one :LOL:
 
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Great user review of the LX5. I have own my LX3 for nearly 2years now and have enjoyed using it everytime I take it out. On recent trip to China/HK, I also took my Lumix G1 but LX3 as usual got used the most. I had a quick play of the LX5 in the shops and felt really nice in me hands, am I gonna upgrade? Hmm undecided, I really want something with bigger sensor and 'better' high ISO performance, so been checking on the Olympus E-P1, at it's current low price, hard to ignore. But for now, I will never part with my LX3, it's that good...
 
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Might be a daft question Spooky, but I hope you can help. What's the delay like from pressing the shutter to actually taking the shot. Have not used a compact for some time, but always found the non-instant response frustrating.

Have just put my GF1 up for sale, as I'm looking for a smaller pocket size alternative. Found the GF1 great for everything else other than size.

Cheers Bradders
 
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After a bit or reading i've decided on an LX3. I love Panasonic Lumix, have a G1 but find it too big to carry around most of the time, LX3 looks just right.
 
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Might be a daft question Spooky, but I hope you can help. What's the delay like from pressing the shutter to actually taking the shot. Have not used a compact for some time, but always found the non-instant response frustrating.

Have just put my GF1 up for sale, as I'm looking for a smaller pocket size alternative. Found the GF1 great for everything else other than size.

Cheers Bradders
It is quick. Certainly not as frustratingly slow as most compacts. I have not yet found myself cursing the lag as I have not really noticed it.
 
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gingerweasel

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The first two shots look fantastic, wouldn't have though they came from a compact. Nice and portable, big thumbs up!
 
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Taking mine up to Malham in the Dales today so will hopefully post some pics tonight. I'm no great photographer, but hopefully it will give you some idea :D I've just changed from a 450D to the LX5 just because of having to carry the DSLR and all the extra's. Very impressed uo to now, and the lag, or lack of it, hasn't been an issue :)
 
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Great news on the lag. Another big thumbs up in the direction of the LX-5.

Cheers Bradders
 
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I ordered one to compliment not replace my DSLR, should arrive tomorrow :) I will be testing it at Brixton Academy watching Placebo on Monday :)
 
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I'm looking to get one to replace the GF1. The DSLR is staying!

Would be interested in seeing shots after the gig.
 
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I'm out @kew on Saturday as well so will try to get a mix of pics and post them up.
 
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Why buy a Panasonic LX5 for £400 when you can buy a Leica D-Lux 5 (LX5 with Leica badge!) for £625 !!! :D :D :D

The LX5 looks to be a very nice camera and for the money probably the best out there.
 
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Why buy a Panasonic LX5 for £400 when you can buy a Leica D-Lux 5 (LX5 with Leica badge!) for £625 !!! :D :D :D

The LX5 looks to be a very nice camera and for the money probably the best out there.
JPEG OOC ;)
 
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This month's AP magazine has a full review of the LX5 and it gives it a great score. They even said it's "Currently one of, if not the best high-end compact camera available"

Sweet eh!
 
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gingerweasel

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Been looking at the various reviews today, it's looks a very nice camera with a useful focal range but I can imagine image quality at reasonable print sizes is not there? ISO also looks a bit noisy beyond 400, which I go beyond just sat in the house on a dull day.

Can someone please build me a camera like this but with see in the dark ISO and large format IQ :LOL:
 
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I wish this thread would stop popping to the top of the page - I keep thinking I need an LX5!! I am a little tempted by the Pen, but seriously do not understand the logic of getting big lens's to go on the front!! For me that negates the whole idea of it being compact. Can someone tell me that I do not want one of these? Would be just right when I don't want to lug the big guns!
 
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Can someone please build me a camera like this but with see in the dark ISO and large format IQ :LOL:
Have you looked at the new Canon s95? Supposed to be good in low light!
 
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I wish this thread would stop popping to the top of the page - I keep thinking I need an LX5!! I am a little tempted by the Pen, but seriously do not understand the logic of getting big lens's to go on the front!! For me that negates the whole idea of it being compact. Can someone tell me that I do not want one of these? Would be just right when I don't want to lug the big guns!
Look into my eye's, not around the eye's, look into my eye's.......

You need one of these cameras in your life!:D
 
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I wish this thread would stop popping to the top of the page - I keep thinking I need an LX5!! I am a little tempted by the Pen, but seriously do not understand the logic of getting big lens's to go on the front!! For me that negates the whole idea of it being compact. Can someone tell me that I do not want one of these? Would be just right when I don't want to lug the big guns!
Would love to help out but you do need this little camera. I stupidly let my LX2 go because I got a GF1. It really was the best camera I've ever owned and the most rewarding to shoot with.

The LX3 didn't seem like an improvement to me but the 5 just looks about perfect. No it won't do everything and you need to choose your battles. It's not going to be as good as your DSLR for action at dusk but as an alrounder, doubt you'll beat it.
 
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gingerweasel

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I thought that was it with you now you have the Nikon thingie?!! :D
You'd have to pry my D700 from my cold dead hands. Handles like a dream and the ISO performance really is jaw dropping. I've taken pictures in really dark rooms that look like they had spot lights everywhere.

:love::love::love::love::love:

Nikon all the way baby!

All Nikon have to do now is get it to fit in my pocket, lol
 
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Back from Malham with a few pics ... don't laugh at my skills though :D These are only to give you an idea what the camera does set on iauto (scenery) mode with a total amateur ;) Took me ages to work out flickr too :)











 
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Why buy a Panasonic LX5 for £400 when you can buy a Leica D-Lux 5 (LX5 with Leica badge!) for £625 !!! :D :D :D

The LX5 looks to be a very nice camera and for the money probably the best out there.
Well you do get lightroom 3 with the leica, so I guess they realise the red dot doesn't hold the value they thought with previous D lux incarnations.

I do love the description in the press release of the D lux being a "truly unique" camera. :LOL:
 
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:thinking: I must be a bit dim today....explain! :D
RAW files are identical, so for a raw shooter the leica is a waste of money. The JPEGS though use different internal camera processing, images to me look more rich & sharper than the LX3, I havent tried a LX5 yet. For what it is worth I tried for hours to get the Leica RAW to look as good as the JPEG and couldnt get there, so now I just tweak the JPEGs in C1 and that is it.

I swapped my GF1 for the D-Lux 4 and am really pleased I did as I prefer the images, granted they are not as good as the GH1 with a 7-14 but that is a whole new level, and a lot bigger set up.

I am going to try a D-Lux 5 with a LX5 and see if its better than my D-Lux 4. May have a copy of Lightroom going soon as its no good to me.

Sorry this is a bit off thread, have to say the images posted from the LX5 in the thread look very good.
 
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Mike, that last shot looking down the valley is simply stunning. The rest are good, but that one shines to me.

OK, as soon as the GF1 finds a new home, I think I've found it's replacement.

Swag, if you hear from Kerso, can you post back on this thread with details?
 
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Back from Malham with a few pics ... don't laugh at my skills though :D These are only to give you an idea what the camera does set on iauto (scenery) mode with a total amateur ;) Took me ages to work out flickr too :)
Looks like a pretty perfect trip, beautiful open countryside, babbling water and a pub. (y)

The pics are just what I would I expect from an LX. At web size totally not evident as a compact at all. The 2nd shot is just great, my type of thing to a tee.
 
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I was just looking at some specs, The Lx3 is stated as being 27mm thick, and the Lx5 as 43mm thick. Is this right? Sound like a big increase.
 
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OK, so what is the best case for one of these? I've not ordered just yet, thought I'd see if Kerso can get hold of them first.
looks like 353....

Amazon

This was the best main stream price I could find...

Mine has arrived, feels like a quality camera.....

Battery is charging... :)
 
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Spooky

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Had a look at a few cases and it was the lens that was causing traumas with the hard shell cases. I have now ordered a Lowepro Hipshot 20 for mine - hopefully awaiting me at home as I type. Will let you know how it fits.

Mike - some fab shots here - glad you are liking the camera.

Swag - sorry to say but this is a lovely little camera. I think my D700 is about to start sulking as it no longer goes everywhere with me!

Spooks
 
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