Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH5 Review

Review posted 03/21/2011

Quick Take

  • Ultra Compact, easy to carry
  • iAuto makes it easy for anyone to shoot
  • Huge 16-Megapixel image
  • Excellent image quality for a compact camera
  • Very good shooting performance
  • Outstanding camera for under $150
  • Battery Life is short-lived
  • Can be difficult for large hands to hold on to and operate
  • Small, weak flash
  • No HDMI output for HD movies
Bottom Line
The Panasonic Lumix FH5 is a high-quality ultra-compact digicam. With good performance, excellent image quality and a price tag under $150, this is a camera worth considering if you are on a budget. Read more in our Full Conclusion.
2011 is a promising year for fans of Panasonic's LUMIX FH-series of point-and-shoot digital cameras, which will see performance upgrades as well as 20% slimmer profiles than their predecessors. The 16.1-megapixel ultra-compact LUMIX DCM-FH5 features a newly-developed retractable 28mm wide-angle LEICA DC lens with a 4x optical zoom (increased to 5x with the Intelligent Zoom feature), as well as the newly-incorporated Venus Engine VI (it elevates resolution, zooming capabilities, start-up speed, and auto focusing).

Like all cameras in Panasonic's LUMIX series, the FH5 features their popular iA (Intelligent Auto) mode. New to this model year are Intelligent Exposure (prevents blocked shadows and blown highlights), and AF Tracking (for following moving subjects). Remaining features include Intelligent ISO Control, Face Detection, MEGA OIS (Optical Image Stabilization), and Intelligent Scene Selector. Another nice feature is the ability to - directly from the camera when it is connected to a PC - upload images to Facebook and videos to YouTube.

Panasonic LUMIX FH5 features include:
  • 16.1-Megapixels
  • 1280 x 720p HD video recording
  • 2.7-inch Intelligent LCD (detects lightning conditions and adjusts its own brightness levels)
  • 4x Leica DC Optical Zoom Lens (increased to 5x with Intelligent Zoom)
  • MEGA OIS (Optical Image Stabilization)
  • Intelligent ISO Control
  • Intelligent Auto
  • Intelligent Resolution
  • Intelligent ISO Control Motion Detection
  • Intelligent Scene Selection
  • Face Detection AF/AE
  • Intelligent Scene Selector (Macro, Portrait, Scenery, Night Portrait, Night Scenery and Sunset)
  • LUMIX Image Uploader (photo and video sharing directly from the camera when connected to a PC)
  • Scene Modes (28 variations to choose from)
  • 70MB built-in memory
Panasonic's LUMIX DCM-FH5 is available in a metallic, noble hairline finish (silver, black, violet, and gold), with a MSRP of $149.99 US.

What's in the box?:
  • FH5 Digital Camera
  • Rechargeable Battery
  • Battery Charger
  • AV Cable
  • USB Connection Cable
  • CD-ROM
  • Hand Strap
  • Owner's Manual

Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.