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Lumix LX5 and Four More Cameras Announced by Panasonic


Lumix LX5 and Four More Cameras Announced by Panasonic

Panasonic has unveiled a flurry of new cameras, with the much anticipated DMC-LX5, the star of the show.

The Lumix LX5, or or to give it its full name, the Lumix DMC-LX5, is the successor to the LX3, that we were completely bowled over by when we looked at it – so no pressure then. Panasonic claims that the LX5 is ‘fully-redesigned’ with changes to the CCD and image processing engine. Its hot-shoe is now compatible with the optional electronic viewfinder, while the focal length of the Leica DC Vario-Summicron lens now extends from 24-90mm – up from 60mm. It will also now record 720p video using the AVCHD-Lite format.

The FZ-100 is a ‘bridge’ camera. Sitting atop the FZ range, it’s the follow up to the DMC-FZ38 - a hybrid of large SLR with compact camera features. The zoom range of the Leica DC Vario-Elmarit lens now extends to 25mm and it can record full 1,920 x 1,080 HD onto its 14.1-megapixel MOS sensor. It can capture images at up to 11fps at that resolution. It also features a new processing engine and what Panasonic claims is an industry fastest start-up speed.

Other cameras in the range are the DMC-FZ45 – another bridge camera with a 14.1-megapixel sensor, further down the range, and then there’s the DMC-FT10, a compact geared for outdoor use and the successor to the DMC-FT1 . It’s waterproof to 3m, shockproof to 1.5m, freezeproof to -10 degrees C and dustproof – so don’t mess with it – or rather, do mess with it. It sports a range of shoot assist functions, such as MEGA O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) for hand-shake, Intelligent ISO Control for subject movement, Face Detection and Intelligent Scene Selector. 720p Motion JPEG video is also on offer.

Finally, we move to the DMC-FX700 (predecessor is the DMC-500), which has a 5x optical zoom, and ‘super-bright’ F2.2 lens and 1,920 x 1,080 recording capability. That 14.1-megapixel sensor and the range of image features such has image stabilisation are all present.

All-in-all, an impressive new line-up, but it’s the LX5 that will have most enthusiasts chomping at the bit to get hold of it. Let’s hope the UK prices, when they’re announced, are competitive.

Feel free to tell us what you think of the new range.

Link: Panasonic UK


July 21, 2010, 7:22 pm

The LX3 is a very good camera, with an enthusiastic following. Looking just at the specs, it seems like there's just a few very small changes, the most notable being the focal length range. I can imagine they would've improved the video handling aswell, and maybe include zoom during recording. I can't see the image quality being drastically improved, but I hope I'm proven wrong, so for me, it doesn't seem like it will be worth the (most likely) very premium price tag.


July 21, 2010, 7:26 pm

A rather tame update


July 21, 2010, 7:27 pm

A rather tame update to the LX3, IMO, after two years of development.


July 21, 2010, 8:14 pm

Hmm... I like it, and I'm also very pleased that Panasonic haven't abandoned the LX3 format in favour of the Micro-FourThirds format as was rumoured not too long ago. From what I've read, you have a much better lens, better IS, better high ISO operation, better image processing and significantly better video. They haven't added AutoHDR, sweep panorama and the other bells and whistles one finds in Sony's NEX and high-level compact cameras, but given that this is unashamedly an enthusiasts' pocket camera, are those really so important?

Cliff Smith

July 21, 2010, 8:48 pm

To be fair, there aren't that many ways that you could improve on the LX3, apart from halving the price. Nonetheless, the new lens has 30mm longer focal length but is still very fast with a maximum aperture of f/2.0 - f/3.3 (the LX3 was f/2 - f/2.8), and the new sensor has larger, higher quality micro lenses and larger, deeper photodiodes, for which Panasonic claims 31% greater sensitivity and 38% better colour saturation. It has an improved AF system which is supposed to be 40% faster, and the new Venus Engine FHD processor looks pretty amazing too, with three CPUs. Panasonic claims it has improved noise reduction and a 0.007-second shutter lag. In terms of handling, the body is about the same size, but the grip has been improved, as have some of the controls, and the monitor screen has an anti-reflective coating. Personally I'm pretty excited by it, and can't wait to try it out.


July 21, 2010, 9:28 pm

I'm not exactly an expert but when you compare the LX3 to the new Sigma DP2, the Sony NEX-5 (waiting for this review) and also to the new Samsung EX1 (still not in Europe?) the LX3 got blown away in pure picture quality? The LX3 was a big step up for the compact camera's and now they will release only a slightly better version?


July 21, 2010, 10:32 pm

I think the 4/3 GF1 is where they want people to go who are looking for a LX5 alternative.


July 21, 2010, 11:45 pm

Where is the GF2? Surely the gf1 is set for an upgrade?


July 22, 2010, 3:59 am

What more can actually be done to the GF1. I don't own one but on paper its pretty dam good.


July 22, 2010, 6:43 am

Yeah like Cliff says it was already a great camera, there wasn't much they could do, but they have made a lot of hopefully useful changes. I don't see what else people could expect for this design of camera, the GF1 is there as others say if you want more control. It's maybe more a LX3.5, I wouldn't rush to sell my LX3 for it, but if I was in the market for a new camera it'd certainly be top of the list. It keeps it ahead of the Canon G11 which for me had only one selling point over the LX3 which was its longer lens (and it was a brick of a camera unlike this).

@apojapo: both the Sigma and the Sony NEX have gotten some pretty damming reviews. The lenses might be great, but the usability and speed of operation really let them down. They're great concepts but don't deliver.

Nicholas Pires

July 22, 2010, 1:46 pm


As an owner of the NEX-5 you'll see reviews don't tell the whole truth. You need to actually use this camera to understand what's going on. Don't go by what you've read on dpreview says for the camera UI as they have a strong bias against sony.

It's not the best but it's totally workable unlike what they make it out to be. I'd say not many people have a problem using it. If you have a modern phone these days you can get around the NEX interface without any hassle.

I've got the dual kit lens of the NEX-5 and if you actually read the forums on different sites from users of the NEX you'll soon find out the camera is fantastic.

Yes it does have it's flaws but it easily outclasses other cameras in it's class and hold's it's own against some higher end canon cameras. Don't believe me? You only need to google. Should even check DXO mark for it's sensor ratings which are pretty good :)

and by saying it's a great concept but doesn't deliver is overly harsh as this thing is still picking up momentum!


July 22, 2010, 3:16 pm

@Nicholas Pires: Why does there always have to be a bias? From my experience of the NEX5, pdreview was spot on with its assessment. For camera that is ultimately still aimed at enthusiasts it's control system really is rubbish.

All told, I'm actually much less enthusiastic about all these mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras now that i've used most of them. They're inherently not as compact as you might like and if you're into your photography, you still can't beat a proper optical viewfinder. Obviously you still get a slightly smaller body than a proper SLR but then you lose out on ergonomics as well. That's why the LX3/5 makes so much sense. You don't get quite the image quality but it's much more compact and versatile. Also, I think what Panasonic has done to the LX5 is absolutely spot on. If only I hadn't just bought a rugged compact instead - I can't be trusted to take a proper camera to gigs, on camping trips, and out partying.

Nicholas Pires

July 22, 2010, 3:59 pm

There doesn't always have to be a bias and I'm not saying there always is. However in this particular instance it became a bit apparent. I was a forum lurker on dpreview until recently and noticed a lot of oddness...

Quite a few forum posters picked up on this (with proof pointing to their reviews on the same site and subsequently got banned for bringing it up repeatedly lol). There&#8217s been a big hoohah over this &#8220conspiracy&#8221 on the site over the past few weeks after the review of the camera came up who knows maybe it might have been a Sony fans stirring trouble or maybe they had truth in what they said.

Dpreview had some valid points about the interface but I wouldn't go as far as saying it's rubbish. Though some joke and say maybe Sony Ericsson division had a say in the UI it isn't that bad you can pick it up in a few mins.

The target audience the NEX was marketed for are "P&S upgraders looking for quality shots in the compact form factor" and that's exactly what it is. Due to it&#8217s compactness and great IQ enthusiasts are checking it out as there are many adapters coming out for it that allow you to mount Nikon, Canon, Leica etc quality glass on it. Some are using it as an alternative to an M8 etc&#8230

Yes enthusiasts might savor after this camera but might get put off (with lack of a EVF) but what some of the reviewers failed to consider was to take it for what it was and not what it isn't.

I learn to adapt to use different systems that's just the way I am and I can understand that not everyone is like that, but I appreciated that Sony took a different approach with this design.

Rather than what Panasonic, Olympus and Samsung did. Shrinking the tried and tested DSLR body they redesigned it to make something else.

I accepted this when dpreview and other sites previewed and some slated it, but still I went ahead and preordered it knowing what to expect and found out it wasn't bad at all!

(I have the NEX-5 btw waaaay better grip than the NEX-3 and is solid)

As with the interface etc I'm not sure where this whole DSLR interface and layout...comes into account as soon as a camera is branded that it can do &#8220DSLR quality photos.&#8221

I don't know maybe that's what "photo enthusiasts" are used to but being the average joe with an interest in photography and a bit of a gadget geek the interface posed no problems for me. Subjective I guess, it's not like it's the only camera with a sketchy interface (I could probably do a Steve Jobs and point out other manufacturers but I won't lol)

The camera's a hybrid, and I like it for what it is, and hopefully if people try these cameras out in person they can probably accept them for what they are or not and go down the common route.


July 22, 2010, 6:42 pm

@Nicholas Pires: People keep getting banned on the dpreview Sony forums - and they've banned about as many people for slagging off Sony about MLU and other such things as they have for whining about 'bias' in the NEX5 review. The NEX5 is a fantastic camera for P&S shooters who want the quality they'd get from a DSLR but don't want the level of manual control a DSLR gives. If that's who Sony are targeting (as opposed to enthusiasts), they've done a pretty decent job. But it's not an enthusiasts' camera, and dpreview's target audience at the end of the day are enthusiasts, so their points about controls are spot on. Review sites aimed at a broader audience have given the NEX5 more positive reviews.

Getting back to the LX5, where it differs fundamentally from the NEX5 is that it is, at the core, an enthusiasts' camera. It's for people who want the sort of control and adjustability they expect from an SLR, but in a package they can put into their pockets, and are willing to take the slightly worse photo quality you get from a smaller sensor. That's the category I'm in. And, for people like me, the NEX5 - and EVIL cameras generally - just don't do anything. If I can't fit the camera with a decent zoom lens (3-5x) into my pocket - and none of the EVIL cameras let me do this - I might as well take my DSLR.


July 23, 2010, 3:36 am

Accuse me of nitpicking but . . . Hasn't it got lots of lovely writing on it?! If you look a bit harder you're even rewarded with not-so-obvious bits of writing! Bonus!


July 23, 2010, 6:38 am

I wanted to bring up something completely different about this news article. I wish the author would have used a bit more common sense when categorizing the two bridge cameras. He says that the DMC-FZ100 is "the follow up to the DMC-FZ38", while just calling the DMC-FZ45 "another bridge camera with a 14.1-megapixel sensor, further down the range". If you bother to read about the two cameras' specs at all, you quickly realize that the FZ45 is in fact the follow up model to the FZ38 (as the name would suggest), and that the FZ100 is actually a completely new range topping model. I'm sure this will be evident in their prices as well, as I expect the FZ45 to be around the same price as the FZ38 has been, while the FZ100 will most likely be considerably more expensive.

Pretty similar then to what Canon did when they released the Powershot SX10 IS, a follow up model to the S5 IS. Then at the same time releasing the new range topping SX1 IS, a model with higher specs and a much higher price tag.

Hopefully TR will give these successor/predecessor claims a bit more thought in the future, since it's not the first time the wrong call has been made.

I can't wait to read some reviews about the new FZ100 though, since it now finally has an articulated monitor (among other great features), something that Canon has done so well for many years now.

I feel like the Fujifilm HS10 has basically all the features I'm looking for in a camera, it's just too bad it comes at the cost of image quality. So here's to hoping that Panasonic's DMC-FZ100 has significantly better image quality than the HS10 (and Canon's SX1 IS).

Have a good one!

John Shewsbury

July 23, 2010, 8:51 pm

I wanted to buy Panasonic LX3 for quite sometimes now.... after I saw the minor cosmetic changes on the LX5 body - especially no more joystick now but rather the standard wheel thingy... plus all that internal improvement... I think I will rather wait for LX5.

It's good that Panasonic did not concern so much to add more pixels to the LX series but rather just making some internal and engines changes to improve an already outstanding compact camera.

It would be useless if Panasonic add more pixels on LX5 but did not do any changes inside it.

So IMO, Panasonic decision to stick with 10MP and address other important issues on the LX5 is really a step in the right direction. Even Canon stick with 10MP for their G11, there is a reason for that - am I right?

Can't wait for the LX5 review in TR.... hope to see it soon and I hope the price wont be as premium as I have imagined now... around SGD 1,000 (GBP 500 / USD 740) ???


July 23, 2010, 9:04 pm

@John Shewsbury: Some of the US sites have said it'll ship at around USD500, the same price point as the LX3. Of course, going by what other companies have done that could mean a UK price of anything from £350 to £600...

Claire Young

August 15, 2010, 5:23 pm

Will you be reviewing the FZ45 soon? Am interested to know if the image quality stands up with the extra zoom.

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