Some thoughts on the Panasonic LX5


nightwolf75

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Dec 18, 2003
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#1
just bought my own LX5 a couple of days ago from TK Foto. AFAIK, this camera has gotten some pretty rave reviews online since it's launch in Nov 2010. normally, i am not a big fan of compact cameras. but, just like everyone else, when it comes to portability and ease of use, everyone invariably will own one.

prior to the LX5, i was using the Canon S90 and Sony NEX3 (ok... technically, NEX3 is not a compact camera). both were excellent cameras in their own right, with excellent out-of-the-cam JPGs. however, niggly things (S90's extremely short battery life and NEX3's menu diving) drove me nuts.

after using the LX5 for a couple of days, my initial impressions are that it is somewhere in between these 2 - quite decent battery life so far (after 100+ shots and a 2min HD video, and not a drop in the batt life) and a fair balance of menu diving with on-hand buttons to change settings. out-of-cam pics were, for no better word, 'accurate' (or as dpreview puts it - 'cool'). definitely not as punchy as canon or sony without tweaking the film settings (more of this later) or in photoshop. but, if you want accurate colours, the LX5 certainly delivers.

i bought a colour chart from SGCamerstore a couple of days ago for all the product testing (plus it has a handy grey card and white balancing tool). this is shot using my product tent, with a 5000K-rated fluorescent lighting. i used custom white balance within the camera. straight out of camera, except resizing in PSE8. all the settings within the camera has been reset to neutral.



as i see it, compared to the real life chart, the colours a little less saturated on screen.
 

nightwolf75

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Dec 18, 2003
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#2
did some high-ISO pics. as a compact camera, normally, i won't want to use anything above ISO400. LX5 is pretty clean, IMO, up to ISO800. anything after that, i personally won't want to use unless necessary.

ISO800


ISO1600


ISO3200


ISO6400


ISO12800


all these were shot on a tripod, camera on manual setting. now, this is where i discover some thing quirky with the AWB of LX5 - it shifts. all these shots were shot on f8 and same settings. only variation is the shutter speed to get the correct exposure. unless i give a fair bit of time between each shot, i somehow cannot get 2 consecutive pics with the same colour rendition. i have observed this in real life shoot at home. probably this quirk happens under artificial lightings. i don't see this happening (yet) under natural lighting.
 

nightwolf75

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Dec 18, 2003
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#3
still, this is, IMO, a fairly good camera for daily shooting. for compact cameras, i prefer cameras that allow me to take a fair bit of controls. certainly, the LX5 has oodles of settings to your heart's content. however, the simulated film modes are a tad tacky for me. honestly, i can't see any significant visible difference, beyond slight changes in the hue and saturation right out of camera... the difference comes if i am willing to up the saturation and contrast in PS (so far, by abt +10). hence, i have been using the Standard film mode for all my shooting. the B&W film mode is handy for those who want a variation. but, again, straight out of cam, nothing spectacular. again, this could probably be a LX5's tendency to render accurate JPGs. not a deal-killer for me, and it doesn't detract LX5's capabilities as a competent semi-proish PnS.

so far, one niggly issue i have is with the top control dial - it is way too easy to change the shooting modes just some a slight touch or bump. it is not as firm as i like to be. those who use the S90, it is similar problem to your rear turn-dial.

overall, it is certainly a great PnS for those who want a semi-pro like camera. here are some pics that i took over the last couple of days, including my fren's wedding this morning.

the usefulness of the 24mm...









the macro function and bokeh

 

Jan 12, 2011
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#5
Any LX5 owners can comment on the flash capabilities?

I used to own a panasonic lumix camera but the flash seems to be relatively week especially in indoor areas (such as ballroom).

Has the flash improved and perform to expectation for indoor shots?
 

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