Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ5S 5MP Digital Camera with 12x Image Stabilized Optical Zoom (Silver)
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- 5.0-megapixel CCD captures enough detail for photo-quality 13 x 17-inch prints
- Amazing 12x optical zoom gets you close to the action without sacrificing image quality
- Super-fast shutter times: .008 seconds to release (not including AF time) and .4 seconds between shots
- Stores images on Secure Digital (SD) cards; 16MB card included
- Powered by a Lithium-Ion battery pack (7.2V, 680 mAh); battery charger included
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|Price||From $65.95||See price in cart||$59.00||$347.99||$497.99||$88.00|
|Shipping||—||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping|
|Sold By||Available from these sellers||Amazon.com||bestcamera||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||Amazon.com|
|Screen Size||1.8 in||3 in||2.7 in||3 in||3 in||2.7 in|
|Has Image Stabilization||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Item Dimensions||4.25 x 3.35 x 2.68 in||5.1 x 4.81 x 3.74 in||1.05 x 3.67 x 2.37 in||4.69 x 5.13 x 3.71 in||4.61 x 5.18 x 3.6 in||1.97 x 2.13 x 0.87 in|
|Item Weight||0.72 lb||1.3 lbs||4.16 ounces||1.4 lbs||1.52 lbs||4.48 ounces|
|Optical Sensor Resolution||5 megapixels||20.1 megapixels||16 megapixels||18.9 megapixels||—||20.1 megapixels|
|Video Capture Resolution||320 x 240, 30/10 fps, unlimited||HD 720p||HD 720p||4K UHD 2160p||4K UHD 2160p||HD 720p|
|Viewfinder||LCD||LCD||fixed LCD||electronic viewfinder||electronic viewfinder||None|
MD) CL) PAN DMC-FZ5 DIGITAL CAM
From the Manufacturer
Panasonic is pleased to introduce the 5.0-megapixel Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ5 with a Mega O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) that compensates the handshake, plus a newly developed 12x optical zoom lens (equivalent to 36mm to 432mm in a 35mm film camera). The DMC-FZ5 is heir to the 3.1-megapixel DMC-FZ3, but enhances its excellence not only through an increase in the total number of captured pixels, but also with other innovative technical improvements such as faster AF and various design development on the grip and position of the shutter button, to encourage higher-level shooting with comfortable operation. The DMC-FZ5 is distinct in its body size and usability, allowing users to enjoy an expanded world of photography.
The remarkable 12x optical zoom can capture large frames of photo subjects even a long distance away. Furthermore, Panasonic's Mega O.I.S. assures stability of the magnified image and resolves the problem of blurring when the zoom photography is operated by hand without the assistance of a tripod. The camera is equipped with a Leica DC Vario-Elmarit lens for high resolution imaging with very little distortion. Moreover, the combination of 3 aspherical lenses preserves an astonishingly compact body size even for a 12x optical zoom digital still camera.
The engine, or the brain, driving high picture quality and quick response of the camera is once again the leading-edge image processing LSI Venus Engine II, which boasts excellent resolution in the horizontal and the vertical, in addition to the diagonal. An industry-leading release time lag of 0.008 second and a shutter interval of approximately 0.4 seconds (not including time for AF) allows you to precisely capture your target subject. What's more, consecutive shooting performance boasts the capability of sequential shots at a rate of 3 frames per second at full resolution. An unlimited consecutive shooting function allows you to take photos in succession until the memory card or built-in memory is full.
Remarkable 12x Optical Zoom in a Compact Body
The Lumix DMC-FZ5 digital camera is equipped with a 5.0-megapixel CCD and newly developed Leica DC Vario-Elmarit lens offering 12x optical zoom (equivalent to 36mm to 432mm on a 35mm film camera) with aperture of f2.8 to f3.3. The combination of 3 aspherical lenses, the crystallization of Panasonic's optics technology, generates high optical performance while preserving the compactness of the unit. The zoom range can be totally extended to 48x when combined with 4x digital zoom.
Mega O.I.S.--The Essential Feature for Digital Cameras
Mega O.I.S., which Panasonic strongly believes is indispensable for a high-magnification model, is subsumed with two selectable modes. In Mode 1, the O.I.S. lens continuously compensates the vibration, and in all Panasonic's own Mode 2, the O.I.S. lens suppresses hand-shake only at the moment the shutter button is pressed. In this mode, the lens can move in all directions at the moment to maximize its effect, and higher-resolution image can be taken by capturing the image as close as to the center of the lens. Venus Engine II also encourages this advantageous performance in the point of enhancing the accuracy of hand-shake detection; consequently, even without using a tripod, it allows you to reduce the shutter speed more than three steps compared to the conventional cameras without O.I.S., while assuring clear images. It is difficult to capture crisp and clear images in shootings with high-powered zoom or with macro mode without using a tripod. The shutter speed tends to slow when shooting in low-lit indoor conditions or taking pictures of nighttime scenery. However, Mega O.I.S. enables you to easily take clear, beautiful pictures in such situations.
The Venus Engine ll Leads the Industry for Its Quick Response
The Venus Engine ll engine is the brain of digital camera, driving high picture quality and quick camera response. Panasonic has achieved great improvements in both resolution and response compared with the performance of previous Venus Engine. In the previous Venus Engine, the luminance signal was extracted from all RGB pixels to improve the diagonal resolution by 50%. In addition to that, the Venus Engine II gains a new imaging process that adds the luminance signal extracted only from the G pixels upon detecting the horizontal/vertical lines in the image. This results in the improvement of the horizontal and vertical resolution by more than 10% compared with the former Venus Engine, while maintaining the 50% improvement in the diagonal resolution.
The multitask image-processing LSI realizes outstanding response with an industry-leading shutter-release time lag of 0.008 seconds minimum and a shutter interval of approximately 0.4 seconds (not including time for AF), achieving more stress-free operation. It also boasts high consecutive shooting performance, providing shooting at 3 frames per second at full resolution. The Unlimited Consecutive Shooting function allows limit-free consecutive shooting up to the capacity of the memory card or built-in memory. The number of recordable picture depends on the memory card size, battery life, picture size, and compression.
The Industry-Leading Short AF Time for a High-Zoom Model
An AF method can be selected according to the shooting situation: 9-point, 3-point high-speed, 1-point high-speed, 1-point normal-speed, and Spot. In the newly incorporated 1-point high-speed AF, the shutter time lag (including AF speed, i.e. the time from full shutter realease to image capture) has dramatically been reduced to one-third the level of the previous DMC-FZ3 model, and has resulted in achievement of industry-leading short shutter time lag for a high zoom model.
Although screen-freeze in high-speed AF is now minimized, if you take the picture of a subject with fast movement, you can select 1-point normal-speed AF, which does not have any screen-freeze while focusing. In addition, an AF assist lamp expands the AF ability even at night or under the low-light conditions.
A Variety of Settings with Mode Dial and Scene Modes
Convenientyly select from 9 scene modes that meet most any shooting situation thanks to the newly installed Scene Mode Help screen. This shows the description of each mode on the LCD monitor and makes it easier to select the mode that best fits the shooting conditions.
Manual functions such as aperture-priority AE, shutter-priority AE, or manual exposure are selectable directly by the mode dial, which offers smooth control. It also offers easy shooting even to entry-level users by providing a Simple Mode in which most settings are determined automatically. You just aim at the subject, zoom in or out, and press the shutter button.
High-End Usability Satisfies a Wide Range of Photographers
A 1.8-inch LCD monitor provides immediate visual image confirmation, and an extended battery life of 300 images (CIPA) gives the FZ5 more staying power than its predecessor.
Auto-angle detection, another new feature, records whether an image was taken horizontally or vertically. This ensures that when playing back on the LCD monitor and displaying images on your TV by connecting your Lumix with an AV cable, vertical images are automatically displayed vertically and horizontal images are automatically displayed horizontally.
Read about our customers' top-rated cameras on our review page: Point-and-Shoot Cameras
Top customer reviews
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The camera FAR exceeded my expectations. It is very easy to use and the photo quality is outstanding. I was able to get incredible close up shots (the camera has 12x optical zoom and also has digital zoom so you can take shots which are 48x zoom). The image stabilization works wonderfully.
As a beginner I was very pleased with how intuitive and easy to operate the camera is, and the variety of features it offers. With very minimal time investment (5-10 minutes of familiarizing yourself with the camera) you can take great photos. I quickly found simple mode to be too simple and preferred photo mode, which has auto-focus but allows for a lot more zoom and other options.
The playback features are also excellent. You can view up to 9 images at a time, there's a multi-delete and an all-delete feature, and you can zoom in on the pictures to focus on a certain area and/or make sure you got the shot you wanted.
The battery life is also excellent. I was taking around 800 photos a day, as well as reviewing and deleting shots, and each battery charge lasted more than one full day. At night I copied the contents of the SD cards onto a Wolverine and then deleted all photos. With two batteries and two SD cards I was able to go 4-5 days without electricity or recharging.
If you don't want to spend a fortune but you want a camera that offers great zoom and is still light and small, this camera is a great choice. I was also impressed that it stood up to very tough travel conditions - very, very bouncy roads, dust, heat, humidity, etc. It never faltered. It comes with a lens hood which helps in bright conditions, and for about $30 you can buy a clear lens protector as an accessory (which I recommend if you are travelling to a dusty location and planning on lots of photos).
Another perk: you don't need a converter to charge the battery internationally - just a plug adapter for the country you are going to. It is built to handle voltages both in the US and abroad.
The camera can certainly come off as a toy until you take a few pictures. Once you do, you quickly come to appreciate the fast focus and fast shutter release of this camera. The level of flexibility and control offered by the cameras buttons and menu system was intuitive and easy to master. I am no pro, but I knew right away that this camera would make me a better photographer. I love how quick and easy it is to set auto bracketing, adjust EV exposure and flash strength. White balance and ISO settings, are easy to access as the first two options on the menu system. I would have liked the auto focus options and metering modes on the first menu screen also, but it's not that hard to toggle through the screens. The number of AF modes including the high speed choices are very helpful. The burst mode is cool and very fast and easy to select by a separate button. Too bad the burst modes and the auto bracketing feature don't work with the flash on. I guess they figure the flash takes too long to regenerate, but I wouldn't mind waiting until the flash is ready for the next shot. I did quickly bumped up against the FZ5's lack of a manual focus option, because of it's low light focusing limitations. There is an AF light, but it only works to maybe 8 feet away. The LCD or EVF don't show much of anything in low light. The onboard flash has very respectable performance when you let the Auto ISO setting move up to 400. Noise is noticeable on the computer screen with images taken at 400 ISO, but 4x6 prints turn out just fine. If you force the ISO to 80 or 100 the range of the onboard flash is fairly limited. Here than you bump up against the FZ5's other major weakness ... The lack of a flash shoe or even a sync connection
I have taken picture indoors, outdoors with & without flash over the past few days. I have used the cameras excellent macro capabilities and I have given the imaging stabilization on the 12x zoom a run for it's money. I moved up from a 3 mega pixel camera that is almost 4 years old, so I may be a pushover for the 5 mega pixel images of the FZ5. They are tack sharp with good contrast and natural well saturated colors. The images look nice on the computer screen and print out even nicer. The movie mode on the camera works fine. The resulting movies are relatively low resolution compared to some other super zooms on the market. Not a big issue for me as I also have a Panasonic Digital 3CCD video camera.
The Optical Image Stabilization (O.I.S.) in tandem with the 36-432mm lens is of coarse the real defining feature of the FZ5, and the half a dozen other cameras on the market that have it. As someone who knows what it's like to try to take a steady picture using a 35mm camera with a 300mm F5.6 lens .... I really appreciate the performance of this camera's 432mm F3.3 Lens. With a steady hand I have been able to take pictures that I could never have taken with my old 35. I can't wait to try this camera for wildlife photography! The O.I.S. technology greatly extends what was once possible with a conventional lens of these gigantic focal lengths, but it too eventually runs up against the limitations of the available light. I suspect that is why a few reviewers here on Amazon have complained about blurry picture. They are probably use to point & shoot cameras and assume you can handhold the same shoots at 12x that they use to at 3x. The other issue is that these super zoom cameras can't focus at full zoom on really close objects. Even in Macro mode I believe the limit is around 5 feet. That isn't to say this camera can't be used by a beginner. The program AE mode is easy to use and though I didn't use it there is also a "Simple" mode. All the auto settings seem to work very well. Exposures, white balance, ISO and flash intensity seem well chosen 95+% of the time.
I would say that I am happy with my decision to buy the FZ5. I looked at the comparable: Canon S2, Sony H1, Kodak P850, Minolta Z6 models and also the Panasonic FZ20 and FZ30. I bought the FZ5 because it is the smallest and lightest camera in this class and about $50 to $150 cheaper than any of the other super zoom (except the Minolta). I couldn't justify the price tag of the FZ30, so my second choice was the FZ20. It offers a constant F2.8 lens, flash hot shoe and manual focus. I was a little put off by the FZ20's size and weight, but as I have come to learn this may not be all bad when it comes to getting a grip. The FZ20 is also suppose to be a little slower at auto focusing. My third choice would have been the Canon S2. Based on my research the Canon's image quality is just a hair behind the Panasonics, but the full feature set offered by the S2 including the VGA movie mode made it a close call.
The plummeting prices of the Digital SLR's made me stop and take a look. While they have far superior low light capability they still cost twice what the FZ5 cost and you don't get a O.I.S. 12X zoom. The bottom line is that all the "Super Zoom" camera's on the market with an O.I.S. 12x zoom lens represent a tremendous value. They are so close in overall performance that it really comes down to your band preferences and maybe the trade off of a couple features. I would recommend the FZ5, but there aren't really any bad choices.
Image stabilization works wonders on this long zoom camera. I took a 12X zoom picture outside in a 25 mph wind, and the result was outstanding. The wind was shaking me all over, but the pic came out as crisp as can be, thanks to the image stabilization.
To Ann I say that the DMC-F5Z may be kind of big by your standards, but I would have to say this Lumix is a very compact camera, even compared to my Canon G2, which is no monster by any stretch.
To Jimmy, I am certainly not a Panasonic employee, but I can't give this camera a poor review. If 75% of your shots are blurry with the Lumix, then either your camera is defective, or the operator is defective! Is it possible to take a blurry picture with this camera? Yes, but it's pretty hard, especially with Image Stabilization turned on.
For mid-priced long zoom cameras, the Lumix DMC-FZ5 has to be at or near the top of its class, at least for right now. For those who can wait, you might want to compare this camera to the Canon 2S IS, which is coming in June.
Most recent customer reviews
It fits nicely in my purse, and the picture quality is really good.Read more
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