Customer Review

70 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I have found my Holy Grail, November 7, 2010
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This review is from: Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 10.1 MP Digital Camera with 3.8x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 3.0-Inch LCD - White (Camera)
Two years ago, I would have bet and lost a large sum of money that I would NOT own a Panasonic camera by 2010. I had been a Minolta man for 37 years switching my allegiance to Canon when on that sad day Minolta stopped its camera business. I take photography VERY seriously as a hobby and by nature do not like to compromise with the tools I use to create. Therefore, my cameras are sacred instruments...

Acknowledging that I was in the market specifically for an advanced and easily portable compact camera, I waited many months before finally choosing a replacement for my beloved Canon SX-20 after its lens was irretrievably scratched. During this prolonged period of time, I asked many, many questions of many, many 'experts'; read countless online & print reviews and made scores of trips to B&H Photo in NYC for hours of hands-on exploration of a large number of camera makes and models, before deciding to buy the LX5. I've only had the camera for three days and have taken just 200 pictures, yet I will not hesitate to state that the LX5 has already surpassed my highest expectations. In its brief time in my possession, the LX5 has become my FAVORITE ALL-TIME (set lens) camera to date.

Immediately I was positively impacted by the LX5's construction, which is simply immaculate -- built mainly from metal, it has an incredibly sturdy feel that is much more akin to an old school rangefinder than to all other sub-DSLR cameras today. This is undeniable.

As a Canon user, I immediately found the LX5 controls to be fully intuitive, although I must admit I'm still learning ALL of the menu controls as I crave manual control and creative flexibility! The LX 5 delivers on both points.

The f2.0 Leica lens is stunning and the pictures range from perfectly acceptable to superb, in my initial tests, up to and including ISO 1250 (with ISO 12800 max!). RAW format provides jaw-dropping quality and Panasonic's Venus JPEG engine maintains excellent quality. The LX5 has raised the bar to a level beyond anything I've ever experienced with ANY similar cameras available today.

And the LX5 fits in my front pants pocket, albeit not as well as the Canon S95 would if camera size had been my main concern.

I evaluated it's supposed "cons" and have no problem whatsoever living with its "lacking Burst mode"; the non-optimal electronic user manual and the lens cap (see the excellent lens cap solution towards the end of this review). As far as I'm concerned, I have not yet found any glaring problems or 'deal breakers'. For what it is, in it's specific digital camera niche, Panasonic friggin' nailed the LX5!

I'll see if, over time and in varying situations, my results fully justify these initial comments, but ultimately no matter the extent to which its perceived (but as yet personally undiscovered) deficiencies become apparent, I will be no less thrilled that I waited as long as it took me to find the EXACT functionality I desired in a digital camera.

If the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 is seriously in your decision mix, I can guarantee that you'll NOT BE DISAPPOINTED with the LX5 and will MOST LIKELY BE BLOWN AWAY.

UPDATE, 11/14/10 -
I love my first pictures! If you're interested, there is a link to the very first pictures I took with my LX5 in the comments to my review below. I continued to be impressed by the LX5's lowlight capabilities as I prefer to use natural light whenever possible.

I have also discovered that not all LCD screen protectors are created equal and when it comes to the LX5, the best by far is the 14-layer GGS Optical Glass LCD Screen Protector: GGS Optical Glass LCD Screen Protector for Leica D-lux 4 and Panasonic Lx-3 Digital Cameras

UPDATE, 12/15/10 -
The ultimate solution to the lens cap inconvenience is the RainbowImaging Auto Lens Cap:
RainbowImaging Auto Lens Cap for PANASONIC LUMIX DMC LX5 LX-5 (Black), with a free lens pen

This item fully satisfies the overriding desire not to manually detach/re-attach the lens cap. Another testament to the LX-5's well-crafted design, the lens threads are concealed directly under the outer lens ring, which simply screws off, allowing the lens cap (and lens adapters) to be screwed solidly on to the camera.

UPDATE, 01/07/11 -
I adore this camera. I carry it in my left pocket at all times and have effortlessly captured some of life's great moments in vivid color and crisp detail.

UPDATE, 03/14/12 -
After over 10,000 pictures, my camera operates perfectly in every aspect. If anything, now that I know each and every feature and setting intimately, I have maximized my mastery of the LX-5. As far as wear and tear go, I have always treated my electronics as prized possessions. That said, with as much as I have used my camera the picture format/size designations on top of the lens ring (directly under the hot shoe) is worn and over time a couple of the designations have been scratched out from the camera rubbing against something in my backpack. Other than that, it is in absolutely superb condition.

What is now transpiring is that I am ready to migrate upwards to a camera that can give me substantially more quality and flexibility. So I have purchased a brand new Canon G1-X Canon G1 X 14.1 MP CMOS Digital Camera with 4x Wide-Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom Lens Full 1080p HD Video and 3.0-inch Vari-Angle LCD. My LX-5 will then be relegated as a secondary (and much more portable) sidekick to the G1-X. I guess it follows that in a couple of years from now, I'll dive into a high-end DSLR, with two backup cameras at my disposal.

Enjoy and savor!
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Comments

Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 19 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 10, 2010 12:40:39 PM PST
P. Strong says:
Thank you for your glowing review of the LX5. I'm trying to decide betwen the LX5 and the Canon S95. I have used Canon extensively and I'm familiar with the menu's and layout. I'm looking for a great low light performing p&s. Right now the price difference is only 25.00. Your review may have just pushed me over to the Panasonic side.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 10, 2010 2:18:45 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 7, 2011 2:39:06 PM PST
DJPeebs says:
PS, I thought about the S95 long and hard. It is an EXCELLENT camera! What sets the LX5 apart is image quality, creative flexibility and lowlight photography, which it truly excels at. There are small, niggly little things that seem to annoy a minority of users, such as the removable lens cap; lens doesnt retract fast enough in view mode, there can be a slight purplish tint when the ISO limits of the LX5 are pushed and it has, despite being small, a larger footprint than the S95, which is also lighter. None of these things bother me and as you have read, I am thrilled with the LX-5, but it is good to have all the facts.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 14, 2010 1:38:12 PM PST
Dyan Peebler says:
I have seen the pictures - as a very interested observer - and can testify to the superb quality of the images. They are truly spectacular! The proof, as they say, is always in the pudding...

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 14, 2010 5:20:11 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 14, 2010 5:21:11 PM PST
DJPeebs says:
Here is a link to a few of the first pictures I took with my new LX5:
http://picasaweb.google.com/djpeebs/PanasonicLX5FirstPics?authkey=Gv1sRgCMe1vuLArpfNjAE&feat=directlink

Posted on Dec 27, 2010 1:23:08 PM PST
Adanary says:
Great review, thanks!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 30, 2010 5:49:49 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Jan 7, 2011 2:40:59 PM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 30, 2010 5:51:24 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Jan 7, 2011 2:40:39 PM PST]

Posted on Dec 30, 2010 6:07:14 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Jan 7, 2011 3:07:44 PM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 7, 2011 5:53:02 AM PST
Maybe I am missing something here, but how does this device attach? I ordered one with my new LX5 and the cap appears to be the same diameter as the lens barrel. There are no threads so how do I install this cap? Could I have received the wrong model? Please advise.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 7, 2011 1:49:19 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 7, 2011 2:02:35 PM PST
DJPeebs says:
Another testament to the LX-5's well-crafted design, the threads are concealed directly under the outer lens ring, which simply screws off, allowing the lens cap (and lens adapters) to be screwed securely on to the camera.
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