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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ5

By: Dave Etchells

Panasonic updates its 12x optically stabilized Leica lens digicam to five megapixels.

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Page 1:Intro and Highlights

Review First Posted: 05/09/2005

5.0-Megapixel CCD delivers 2,560 x 1,920-pixel images
12x optical zoom lens covers 36-432mm equivalent range
Full range of manual and automatic exposure options, with nine preset shooting modes
Styled like a traditional 35mm SLR


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Introduction - The Panasonic FZ5

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Panasonic is a company that started a little slow in the digital camera market, but have really come on strong in the last year or two. The five megapixel Panasonic FZ5 is largely based on the three megapixel FZ3 model we reviewed in 2004, which at the time was one of the best deals on the market for a camera with anti-shake technology in the long-zoom category. Relative to the FZ3, the Panasonic FZ5 increases image resolution, swaps in a larger, higher resolution LCD display, adds a new orientation sensor, and slightly refines the body design. Like its predecessor, the Panasonic Lumix FZ5 offers a 12x Leica zoom lens, incorporating Panasonic's own "Mega OIS" Optical Image Stabilization technology. As I've said about other cameras offering image stabilization, it's hard to overstate the benefit of this technology on long-zoom digicams: It makes an incredible difference in the usability of long telephoto focal lengths, and the Panasonic FZ5's 12x lens with Mega OIS is no exception. The long-zoom category is becoming increasingly crowded, but the Panasonic FZ5 has the features and image quality to compete strongly there. Read on for all the details, but if you're in the market for a relatively affordable long-zoom digicam with optical image stabilization, the Panasonic Lumix FZ5 could be the camera for you.


Panasonic FZ5 High Points

  • 5.0-megapixel CCD delivering up to 2,560 x 1,920-pixel resolution images.
  • Electronic optical viewfinder.
  • 1.8-inch, color LCD monitor.
  • 12x Leica zoom lens, 6-72mm (equivalent to a 36-432mm lens on a 35mm camera) with auto focus only and a nine-point focus area.
  • As much as 4x digital telephoto.
  • Program AE, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority, and Manual exposure modes, as well as nine preset "Scene" exposure modes.
  • Manually adjustable aperture settings from f/2.8 to f/8.0, depending on zoom setting.
  • Manually adjustable shutter speed settings from 1/2000 to 8 seconds. (1/1300 and above only at smaller lens apertures)
  • ISO sensitivity equivalents: Auto, 80, 100, 200, and 400.
  • Three metering modes: Multiple, Center-Weighted, and Spot metering.
  • White balance setting with six modes, including a manual setting.
  • Built-in pop-up flash with six operating modes and flash exposure compensation.
  • JPEG and TIFF still image file formats, movies saved as Motion JPEGs.
  • Images saved to SD/MMC memory cards, 16 MB card included.
  • Movie mode with sound.
  • Flip Animation mode, plus three Burst continuous shooting modes and Auto Exposure Bracketing.
  • Color Effects option, plus sharpness adjustment with three settings.
  • DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) compatibility.
  • USB cable for high-speed connection to a computer.
  • Lens hood and hood adapter included.
  • ArcSoft PhotoImpression, Panorama Maker, and PhotoBase software on accompanying CD ( for both Mac and Windows)
  • Powered by Panasonic rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack, with optional AC adapter.


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