Panasonic Lumix DMC-LC5 Review

Steve's Digicams

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LC5

First Look Posted 03/05/2002
Full Review Posted 04/30/2002

Click to take a 360-degree QTVR tour of the Lumix DMC-LC5

Panasonic has developed a relationship with world-renowned Leica Camera of Germany, to incorporate Leica lenses in its entire 2002 Lumix digital still camera line. The top-of-the-line DMC-LC5 features a 4.0 Megapixel (3.9 megapixel effective) CCD imager, USB port and a SD/MMC memory card slot. It was designed to emulate a film camera's "feel," ideal in size, weight and balance, and with consideration made for every control button, knob and switch. The sharp and fast LEICA DC VARIO-SUMMICRON 3x (33-100mm) zoom lens renders images with more warmth, subtlety and expressiveness. Traditionally, the use of more pixels translates into more detail but less light sensitivity. To counter this Panasonic uses an innovative gapless lens to boost light-collecting efficiency. The size of the pixels has also been increased to 3.25 microns, allowing them to receive an extra margin of light.

To capture sudden events as they unfold, Panasonic wanted to develop a fast, responsive digital camera that could take consecutive pictures nearly as quickly as a motor-driven film camera. The new MEGA BURST™ recording feature, a Panasonic exclusive, combines four frames per second with undiminished quality from frame to frame. Users can shoot up to a maximum of eight frames (depending on image quality setting) and the last frame will be just as clear and crisp as the first. This is achieved thanks to Panasonic's new High Speed Multitasking Image Processing technique, which replaces traditional serial signal processing methods with a more advanced parallel processing technique.

For precise, instant focusing, a new hybrid auto focus system in the DMC-LC5 shatters the myth of a digital camera's slow response. This system cuts focusing time to less than half that of previous Panasonic cameras. Images and movie clips are stored on either SD Memory Cards or a MultiMediaCard. A 32MB SD Memory Card (about the size of a postage stamp) is included. The DMC-LC5 is also packaged with a long-life, 1400mAH rechargeable Lithium Ion battery to ensure that users will always have the power to capture all of those unexpected, once-in-a-lifetime shots.

Lumix DMC-LC5 Features at a Glance

  • 4-Megapixel CCD yields up to 2240 x 1680 pixel images
  • LEICA DC VARIO-SUMMICRON 3x f/2 zoom (33 - 100mm 35mm equiv)
  • Large 2.5-inch color LCD with detachable/folding hood
  • 320 x 240 QuickTime Movie mode with audio
  • Auto, Program AE, Aperture-priority, Shutter speed-priority and Manual exposure modes
  • Auto Exposure Bracketing of 3 or 5 frames
  • Focus Bracketing, Flash and exposure compensation
  • Multi, Center-weighted averaging or Spot metering
  • Built-in flash and flash hot shoe for external flash units
  • Auto focus, macro focus and manual focus with ring
  • ISO sensitivity; Auto, 100, 200 or 400 fixed
  • Five second audio notes can be attached to images
  • A/V output with selectable NTSC or PAL video
  • Epson PRINT Image Matching compatible
  • Secure Digital or MultiMediaCard removable storage
  • Lithium rechargeable battery 1400mAh and charger included
  • Looks, feels and operates like a regular camera

The Lumix LC5 will be available soon with a street price of $799.

Physical Views

Panasonic Lumix LC-5

Panasonic Lumix LC-5

Panasonic Lumix LC-5Panasonic Lumix LC-5

Panasonic Lumix LC-5

Panasonic Lumix LC-5

Panasonic Lumix LC-5

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LC5 compared in size to a standard CD.

Panasonic Lumix LC-5

The Lumix DMC-LC5 is available in an all-black or silver body.

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Lumix DMC-LC5 Specifications

CCD Imager 1/1.76" CCD w/Complementary Color Filter
3.9 million effective pixels
(equivalent to a 33 - 100mm zoom on a 35mm camera)
Construction: 8 elements in 7 groups w/2 aspherical lenses
Digital Zoom Maximum 2x (variable)
Aperture Range f/2 - 8 ( adjustable in 1/3 steps EV)
Shutter Speeds 1/1000 sec. - 8 sec.
ISO Auto or fixed 100, 200, 400 (equivalent)
Recording Mode(s) Still image: EXIF TIFF (uncompressed RGB), EXIF JPEG, DCF (design rule for Camera File system), EPSON Print Image System (PIM), QuickTime® Motion JPEG (Movie Mode)
Adjustable Resolutions 2240 x 1680
1600 x 1200
1120 x 840
640 x 480

320 x 240 QuickTime Motion JPEG
records up to 160 seconds per video clip
Still image recording with audio 5 seconds
DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) Print Reserve, All print reservation, Date/time; Trimming
Sequence 4 frames/second (up to 4 images in FINE or 8 in STANDARD quality)
Viewfinder Optical real image viewfinder with zoom function and diopter compensation; magnification: 0.33 - 0.90x. Field of view 82%
LCD 2.5" color PS-TFT LCD (205,000 pixels) for viewing, reviewing or editing images. Detachable, folding hood is included. Brightness is adjustable +/- 3 steps
Focusing System Hybrid AF with AF Sensor (Passive Type), Auto/Macro/Manual Switching, Spot AF Switching, Manual Focus Ring
Focusing Ranges Normal: 11.8" (30 cm) - infinity
Macro: Wide: 2.4" (6 cm) / Tele: 7.9" (20 cm) - 19.7" (50 cm)
Exposure Control Fully automatic (AUTO)
Program AE (P)
Aperture-priority (A)
Shutter speed-priority (S)
Manual (M)
Exposure Compensation +/- 2EV in +/- 1/3 EV steps
Auto Exposure Bracketing Selectable from 0.3 EV, 0.7 EV and 1 EV, 3 or 5 images
Metering System Multi, Center-weighted averaging or Spot
White Balance System Automatic, manual, pre-sets for (daylight, overcast sky, halogen light, fluorescent light, flash)
Flash Built-in, Guide number 10 (metric) 33 (feet)
Range: Wide-angle approx. 4.5 m (15 ft); Telephoto approx. 3.5 m (11.5 ft) (ISO 100)
Flash Modes Automatic; flash on; flash off; red-eye reduction; slow synch (first or second curtain); hot shoe with contact for external flash units
Flash Exposure compensation ± 2 EV in 1/4 EV steps
Flash Charging Time Less than 6 seconds (at normal temperature)
Removable Media Card Secure Digital (SD) or MultiMedia Card (MMC)
32MB SD card included
Selftimer/Remote 10 or 2-second delay
Outer Connectors USB 1.1; DC IN; A/V output (video is PAL/NTSC selectable)
Auto-connect USB Compatible with Windows 98 rev2/ME/2000 Pro/XP
MacOS 9.x/OSX
Image Playback Index display, up to 16X enlargement, Slide-show, Scene rotation
Operating Environment Operation: 32° F - 104°F (0°C - 40°C) 30-90% Humidity
Storage: -4° F - 140°F (-20°C - 60°C) 10-90% Humidity
Power Supply Lithium-ion rechargeable battery 1400 mAh, 7.2V, 110-240V AC adapter/battery charger (included); charging time in the camera: approx. 2 hours
Date/Time Calendar Simultaneous recording into image date
Calendar Automatic up to the year 2031
Size 5.01" (W) x 3.23" (H) x 2.50" (D)
(127.5mm x 82mm x 63.4mm)
Weight 360 g / 12.7 oz. (without battery)
LC5 Package Contents LC5 camera, Li-Ion Battery, AC Adaptor/charger, 32MB SD Memory Card, Monitor Hood, Lens Cap, A/V Cable, USB Cable, Strap, Software CD-ROM (ArcSoft PhotoBase™, ArcSoft PhotoImpression™, ArcSoft PhotoPrinter® Pro, ArcSoft Panorama Maker™, SD Viewer, PictureStage Image Uploader)

NOTE: These Specifications are as represented by the manufacturer.

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