Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX5 Review

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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX5

Features & Controls

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX5

The FX5 features an all-glass aspherical f=5.8 - 17.4mm Leica DC Vario-Elmarit Lens, it is comprised of 7 elements in 6 groups (with 3 aspherical lenses), equivalent to a 35-105mm zoom on a 35mm camera. It also features MEGA O.I.S. - Panasonic's optical image stabilization to help reduce the occurence of camera shake at slower shutter speeds. It has a fast F2.8 aperture at wide angle and F4.9 at full telephoto. It also features a 3x variable digital zoom.

When the camera is powered down the lens retracts into the body and is protected by a built-in lens cap.

The TTL contrast-detect auto focus system covers from 19.7 in to infinity in normal mode and from 3.9 in. (W) / 19.7 in. (T) to infinity in macro mode.

The eyelevel optical viewfinder is a real image zoom viewfinder that follows the focal length of the camera's zoom lens. It does not have dioptric adjustment. The two LEDs indicate focus and flash status as well as "camera busy."

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX5

The built in speedlight features Auto, Auto Red-eye reduction, Slow- synchro/Red-eye and Forced On/Off modes. The flash range (at ISO Auto) 1.3 - 10.8 ft (W), 1.3 ft - 6.6 ft (T). There is no external flash port or accessory shoe.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX5

Controls on the back: The Mode Dial (see below). The 4-way selector in Record mode toggles the flash mode when pressed "Right." When pressed "Up" it selects either exposure compensation or AE Bracketing. Press "Left" to activate the Self-timer, press "Down" to use the Quick Review mode to examine the last image captured. In Playback mode the 4-way selector is used to select images and of course in both record and play modes it is used to navigate the menu screens, press "Down" to accept (SET) menu selections. The Trashcan button is for deleting images and starting the AF. The DISPLAY button turns the LCD monitor on/off and controls the amount of data displayed. The MENU button calls up and dismisses the menu system.

The Mode Dial has positions for:

    Play - Playback of still images, movie or audio notes

    Simple - Point-n-shoot mode, has menu options for image size but called Enlarge (2304x1728), 4x6" (1280x960) and Internet (640x480) to not confuse novice users.

    Movie - Capture motion JPEG at 30 or 10 fps with audio, length of clip is limited only to available memory. Consumes approx. 10MB per minute

    Night Portrait - Slow shutter speeds and slow-synchro flash

    Landscape - Infinity focus and small aperture

    Portrait - Portrait mode uses large aperture to help blur backgrounds

    Macro - Macro focus mode for closeup photography

    Record - Normal still image capture mode with all menu options

The button in the center of the mode dial toggles the drive mode between Single frame, High Speed (4fps) or Low Speed (2fps) Continuous.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX5

Controls on the top include the power switch and combination shutter release and zoom control ring. The zoom ring is used in playback to enlarge the image or display an index page.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX5

Data I/O is via a USB v1.1 port, it is Mass Storage compliant with newer operating systems, no driver required for Windows Me, 2000, XP. A/V Out sends the audio and video to a television set, the video format is user selectable for NTSC or PAL standard.

The included AC power adapter can be connected to the DC IN port.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX5

Still images, movie clips and audio files are stored on removable Secure Digital or MultiMedia Card flash memory cards. Panasonic supplies a 16MB size SD card so the first thing you need to buy is a bigger one. We tested it with a spacious and speedy Sandisk Ultra II 256MB SD card.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX5

Power is supplied by a rechargeable 3.6v 680mAh lithium battery pack. The run time is rated at 120 pictures with the color LCD monitor on and 240 pictures with the LCD off. The charger included with the camera also functions as an AC power supply.

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