Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ5 Review

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Review posted 3/6/2006

Introduction & Physical Views

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Click on the Lumix LZ5 to take a 360° tour

Panasonic introduces two new models to its compact, affordable and consumer-friendly LZ series of Lumix digital still cameras for 2006. The six megapixel DMC-LZ5 and five megapixel DMC-LZ3 incorporate Panasonic's top-rated MEGA Optical Image Stabilization, large and bright LCD displays, 6x optical zoom, and a 1-point high-speed autofocus feature that is new to the LZ product line.

The MEGA Optical Image Stabilization, which Panasonic puts into all of its cameras, moves the lens to compensate for the slight hand movements most people make when taking a picture. It's hand movement that leads to most blurry pictures, a common complaint for amateur photographers. With MEGA Optical Image Stabilization, pictures come out clear, even when using the zoom feature or shooting in low light.

The LZ5 and LZ3 also have Panasonic's Venus Engine Plus, the processor that manages image capture and energy use for the cameras. Both cameras also come packaged with Panasonic's Oxyride AA batteries, which feature longer life and power than alkaline batteries. With Venus Engine Plus and Oxyride, users can get the most out of their picture-taking experience. With Venus Engine Plus and Oxyride, the LZ5 can take up to 235 images and the LZ3 up to 250. (The LZ5 and LZ3 also can use alkaline and NiMH rechargeable AA batteries.)

The LZ5's 2.5-inch LCD and the LZ3's 2.0-inch LCD are greatly improved over the previous cameras in the LZ series, with higher sensitivity for viewing in low-light situations as well as easy viewing from angles, which helps the user when holding the camera overhead for a high-angle shot.

In addition to the 5-point, 3-point high speed, 1-point normal speed and Spot autofocus, the LZ5 and LZ3 can be set to 1-point high-speed autofocus. This setting reduces autofocus time by about 40 percent compared to previous models. An autofocus assist lamp is also added for the first time to the LZ series cameras.

New features include an additional six scene modes, bringing the total to 14. That, plus Simple Mode, which offers easy shooting to novice photographers, makes these two cameras ready for just about any picture-taking situation.

Both the LZ5 and LZ3 have 14 megabytes of built-in memory, so they are ready to take pictures right out of the box. For additional picture-taking capacity, the cameras take SD Memory cards. Picture files can be transferred from the internal memory to an SD card and vice versa. Pictures can also be transferred to a computer using the included USB cable.

Major DMC-LZ5 Features:

  • 6-megapixel effective CCD for images up to 2816 x 2112 pixels
  • 6x optical zoom, equivalent to 37-222mm on a 35mm camera
  • Optical image stabilization to help prevent camera shake and blurring
  • High Sensitivity mode, up to ISO 1600
  • 5-point AF with 3 point, 1 point and Spot options
  • 2.5-inch TFT color monitor
  • Macro, Portrait, Sports, Panning, Night Portrait picture modes
  • Burst mode captures @ 3fps up to 8 frames
  • 640x480/320x240 QuickTime movies, 30fps or 10fps w/audio
  • Shutter speeds from 1/2000 to 8 seconds (Shutter priority and Manual modes)
  • Built-in flash with auto, fill, slow synchro and red-eye reduction modes
  • TTL Auto White Balance, 5 presets and custom set
  • 14MB internal memory plus Secure Digital memory card slot
  • Plug-n-Play USB, Mass Storage compliant
  • PictBridge Direct-Print compatible
  • Powered by two standard AA type batteries

The Lumix DMC-LZ5 is available with a suggested retail price of $279.95. The camera comes with two AA batteries; Video cable; USB connection cable; carrying strap and software on CD-ROM.

Physical Views

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ5

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ5

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ5Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ5

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ5

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ5

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ5

The DMC-LZ5 compared in size to a standard CD disc.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ5

The 6-megapixel DMC-LZ5 and the 5-megapixel DMC-LZ3
Besides higher resolution, the LZ5 has a 2.5" LCD and records audio.

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Features & Controls

Lumix DMC-LZ5 Specifications

Image Sensor 1/2.5" CCD, Primary Color Filter
6.37 Total Megapixels
6.0 Effective Megapixels
Lens Lumix DC Vario 6x Optical Zoom
f=6.1-36.6mm (35mm equivalent: 37-222mm)
F2.8 - F4.5 max. aperture (Wide-Tele)
4x Digital Zoom (up to 24x when combined with 6x Optical)
8 Elements in 7 Groups (2 Aspherical Lenses)
Aperture Wide: F2.8 - F5.6 (2 steps)
Tele: F4.5 - F9 (2 steps)
Focusing Area Normal:
Wide: 1.64 feet; Tele: 3.94 feet-Infinity
Wide: 0.16 feet; Tele: 1.64 feet-Infinity
Focus TTL Contrast-Detect AF System
Normal/Macro, 5 points / 3 points high speed / 1 point / Spot-focusing / 1 point high speed
Optical Image Stabilizer MEGA O.I.S. (Mode 1 / Mode 2)
Image Processor Venus Engine II™ LSI
Recording Image Size (Pixels) 4:3 - 2816 x 2112, 2048 x 1536, 1600 x 1200, 1280 x 960, 640 x 480

3:2 - 2816 x 1880, 2048 x 1360

16:9 - 2816 x 1584, 1920 x 1080

Motion Image 4:3: 640 x 480, 320 x 240

Motion Image (Quick Time Motion JPEG) 30 or 10 fps with audio
Length of movies depends on available memory.
ISO Sensitivity Auto / 80 / 100 / 200 / 400 (High Sensitivity Mode: 800 - 1600)
White Balance Auto/Daylight/Cloudy/Halogen/Flash/White Set
White Balance Adjustment
(except for Auto WB)
Exposure Modes Program AE
Scene Modes SCN1 and SCN2 is user-settable for:
Portrait, Sports, Food, Scenery, Night Scenery, Night Portrait, Fireworks, Party, Snow, Baby, Soft Skin, Starry Sky, Candle, Soft Skin, Baby1, Baby2, High Sensitivity
Exposure Compensation 1/3 EV Step, ± 2 EV
Auto Bracketing AE +1/3EV-1EV Step, 3 Frames
Light Metering Intelligent Multiple
Shutter Speed 8 - 1/2,000 sec.
Starry Sky Mode: 15, 30, 60 sec.
Self Timer 10 seconds / 2 seconds
Picture Adjustment Natural, Standard, Vivid
Color Effect Mode Cool, Warm, Black & White, Sepia
Image Quality JPEG - Fine/Standard
Mega Burst® Shooting Mode Full-resolution image:
Standard Mode: Up to 8 images at 3 or 2 frames/sec. Fine Mode: Up to 6 images
Still Image Recording with Audio 5 sec.
Audio Dubbing Yes, max of 10 sec.
Built-in Flash Mode Auto, Auto/Red-eye Reduction,
Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction
Forced On/Off
Flash Output Adjustment (1/3EV step, -2 +2EV)
Wide: 0.5 - 4.2m (ISO Auto)
Tele: 0.5 - 2.6m (ISO Auto)
High Sensitivity Mode: 0.8 - 5.7 (Wide), 0.8 - 3.5 (Tele)
External Flash No
Real-time Histograms Yes
LCD Monitor 2.5" Diagonal TFT LCD Display (85k pixels)

Field of view: approx. 100%
Viewfinder LCD monitor
Built-in SD Card Slot Yes
Recording Media 14MB internal memory + optional SD Memory Card (SD)
Microphone yes
Speaker no, beeps only
Conversion Lens Compatibility No
Auto Review 1 sec/3 sec/zoom
Quick Review 1x/4x/8x/16x
OSD Language English, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, German, Italian, French
Playback Mode 25, 16 or 9-Thumbnail Display
Zoomed Playback (16x max)
Image Rotation
Slide Show
Trimming, Protection
DPOF Setting
Direct Print Yes, PictBridge compatible
Interface DC Input, Video Output (NTSC/PAL), USB 1.1
Power Supply Included: Two Oxyride™ AA Batteries

Optional: AA Ni-MH Rechargeable Batteries, AA Alkaline Batteries

AC Adaptor (Input: 110-240V AC)

Battery Life Up to 235 pictures (CIPA Standard) with included Oxyride batteries
Up to 390 pictures with NiMH or 175 pictures with alkaline type.
Dimensions (H x W x D) 2.44" x 3.94" x 1.77"
Weight 0.41 lbs
Included ArcSoft® Software ArcSoft PhotoImpression
ArcSoft Panorama Maker;
ArcSoft PhotoBase
Other Included Software Lumix Simple Viewer
USB Driver
Included Accessories Two AA Oxyride™ Batteries, Video & USB Cable, Strap, CD-ROM

(Specifications as provided by the manufacturer.)

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