Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ5 Review

 
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Panasonic DMC-LZ5 Performance


Timing and Performance

Good to slightly slow speed for a consumer camera.

Operation
Time
(secs)
Notes
Power On -> First shot
3.8
LCD turns on and lens extends forward.
Shutdown
1.4 - 3
First time is time to retract lens, second time is worst-case buffer-clearing time.
Play to Record, first shot
1.2
Time until first shot is captured.
Record to play
2.2 / 1.2
First time is that required to display a large/fine file immediately after capture, second time is that needed to display a large/fine file that has already been processed and stored on the memory card.
Shutter lag, full autofocus
0.84 / 0.97
First time is at full wide-angle, second is full telephoto.
Shutter lag, prefocus
0.012
Time to capture, after half-pressing shutter button.
Shutter lag, full autofocus, High-Speed
0.735
-
Shutter lag, prefocus
0.012
Time to capture, after half-pressing shutter button.
Cycle Time, max/min resolution
1.98 /
2.1
First number is for large/fine files, second number is time for "TV" mode (640x480) images. Times are averages. In both modes, shoots this fast continuously, clearing the buffer after each shot.
Cycle Time, Flash exposures
7.1
(Flash at maximum power output)
Cycle Time, continuous High mode, max/min resolution
0.35
(2.85 fps)
Shoots at the same speed regardless of resolution. Times are averages. Shoots 6 large/fine frames or 8 TV size frames before slowing to about 2.2 seconds per shot. Buffer clears in less than a second for any resolution.
Cycle Time, continuous Low mode, max/min resolution
0.48
(2.06 fps)
Shoots at the same speed regardless of resolution. Times are averages. Shoots 6 large/fine frames or 8 TV size frames before slowing to about 2.3 seconds per shot. Buffer clears in less than a second for any resolution.
Cycle Time, continuous "Infinite" mode
0.82
(1.22 fps)
Shoots large/fine images continuously at this rate, clearing the buffer after each shot.
Download speed
Windows Computer, USB 2.0
654 KBytes/sec
Typical Values:
Less than 600=USB 1.1;
600-770=USB 2.0 Low;
771-4000=USB 2.0 High

The Panasonic LZ5's performance ranges from good to the slow side of average, depending on what you're trying to do. It starts up a little slowly, and has a shutter response on the slow side of average at both wide angle and telephoto. On the other hand though, if you "prefocus" the camera by half-pressing and holding down the shutter button before the final exposure, it's blazingly fast, with a shutter delay of only 0.012 second, among the fastest on the market. Shot to shot cycle times are average, at about 1.98 seconds for large/fine JPEGs, regardless of how many shots you take. (That is, there's no slow-down after a few shots, once the buffer memory fills.) The LZ5 does have an annoying characteristic shared with a number of other cameras on the market, namely that it "penalizes" you for pressing the shutter button too quickly after having just snapped a shot. If you press the shutter button again while the camera is still processing the previous image, it will just sit there until you release and re-press the shutter again. The (much) preferred response would be for the camera to simply snap another shot as soon as it's able, rather than making the operator release and try again.

Continuous-mode speed is good in High mode, at about 2.85 frames/second, for up to six shots in succession. The flash takes about 7.1 seconds to recharge after a full-power shot, slightly slower than average. Connected to a computer, download speeds are fast enough that you probably won't feel a need for a separate card reader, but nonetheless are slower than the fastest cameras currently on the market. Bottom line, while not a first choice for sports or other fast-paced action, the DMC-LZ5 is responsive enough to handle most other amateur shooting situations.

Battery and Storage Capacity

Battery
Very good battery life.

Test Conditions
Number of Shots
AA alkaline batteries, 50% flash
140
AA NiMH rechargeable batteries, 50% flash
380
AA Oxyride batteries, 50% flash
235

The Panasonic DMC-LZ5 uses two AA batteries for power, and disposable Oxyride batteries are included with the camera. The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of (on either a fresh set of disposable batteries or a fully-charged rechargeable battery as appropriate), based on CIPA standard battery-life test conditions.

The battery-life rating with rechargeable NiMH cells is quite good. Plan on buying a couple of sets of high-capacity NiMH batteries and a good charger right along with the camera, they'll pay for themselves many times over, over the life of the camera.

Storage
No card is included with the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ5, although it accepts SD/MMC cards; 14.5MB RAM is built into the camera.

Image Capacity with
14.5MB Internal Memory
Fine Normal
2,816 x 2,112 Images 4 9
File Size 3.0 MB 1.5 MB
2,048 x 1,536 Images 8 17
File Size 1.6 MB 835 KB
1,600 x 1,200 Images 14 27
File Size 1.0 MB 524 KB
1,280 x 960
Images 21 40
File Size 672 KB 360 KB
640 x 480
Images 68 110
File Size 213 KB 131 KB

We strongly recommend buying at least a 128MB card, preferably a 256MB one, to give yourself enough space for extended outings.

 

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