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The LCD monitor is clear and bright, with an effective anti-glare coating so it’s usable even in bright sunlight, if you can find any. With only 115K pixels it’s not particularly sharp though, and it has a fairly low refresh rate, so it can appear slow and jerky if you’re moving the camera around to follow action.
Overall performance is unimpressive. The camera takes a slow four seconds to power up to the point where it’s ready to shoot, and over 3 seconds to shut down again as the lens retracts quite slowly. The AF system is about average, taking roughly a second to lock on in most lighting conditions, although the lack of an AF illuminator limits its usefulness in low light conditions.
In continuous mode it can shoot at around one frame every one and a half seconds, which isn’t too bad for a low-cost camera, and it can keep this rate up until the memory card is full. At maximum resolution and image quality the L5 produces JPEG files that average around 2.2MB, which is very small for a 7MP camera, but does mean that a 1GB SD card is enough for approximately 282 pictures or 11 minutes 36 seconds of video footage at the highest quality setting.
The built-in flash is nice and powerful, with a maximum range of 5.5m at wide angle and excellent frame coverage, but it does take a long time to charge between shots, frequently over eight seconds.
As I mentioned, the L5 is very short on features. It has no manual ISO setting, just an automatic adjustment with a maximum of ISO 400. Unfortunately the maximum setting is very noisy, and since there’s no way to prevent the camera from selecting it, this does mean that some low-light photos are of very poor quality.
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