Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ5 Review
Announced just before PMA in February 2005, the DMC-FZ5 is one of two direct sucessors to the popular (and dpreview Highly Recommended) DMC-FZ3. Like its predecessor the FZ5 sports a Leica-branded DC Vario-Elmarit zoom with a whopping 12x optical range (35-420mm equiv), though the larger sensor has resulted in a slightly slower F2.8-F3.3 aperture range. It also boasts the same newly-improved optical image stabilization system and the Venus II engine, which, according to Panasonic's documentation, is now equivalent to shooting at 3 or 4 shutter speed steps faster - (the figure for the FZ20 was quoted as 2 or 3 shutter speed steps).
Aside from the boost from 3 to 5 million pixels (bringing it in line with the high-end DMC-FZ20), the FZ5 has a range of relatively minor changes over the FZ3, including longer battery life, a repositioned shutter release and improved grip design, larger LCD screen, orientation sensor and a new fast focus mode, which Panasonic claims gives a 30% improvement on the previous model.
- 5.0 million effective pixels
- 36 - 432mm (equiv.) F2.8-3.3, 12x Leica DC VARIO-ELMARIT Zoom Lens
- Mega O.I.S (optical image stabilisation)
- 1.8-inch colour screen
- New fast focus mode
- Improved battery life
- New orientation sensor
- Venus II image processing engine
- 9 scene modes and full photographic control
- TIFF mode
- Ultra-fast startup, focus, shutter lag and shot-to-shot time
- 'Simple' mode for novice photographers
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ5 vs FZ20 (differences)
|Lens Max Aperture||F2.8||F2.8-3.3|
|Flash hot shoe||Yes||No|
|Built-in flash range||7m (22.9 ft)||4.5m (14.7 ft)|
• 130,000 pixels
• 130,000 pixels
|Weight||556 g (19.6 oz)||326 g (11.5 oz)|
|Size (HxWxD)||87 x 128 x 106 mm (3.4 x 5 x 4.2 in)||68 x 102 x 85 mm (2.7 x 4 x 3.3 in)|
|Battery life (CIPA)||240||300|
|Converter lenses||Optional||Not available|
The FZ5 closes the gap between the high end and mid-range Panasonic 'super zoom' to such a degree that the arguments for the DMC-FZ20 come down to size (some people prefer the bigger camera), flash (the FZ20 has a hot-shoe for external units and a more powerful built-in flash) and manual focus. Although Panasonic doesn't sell add-on lenses for the FZ5, third-party solutions are available.
Like the FZ20, the FZ5 will be available in two colors; black and silver. The camera used for this review is a silver model, though we much prefer the 'mini FZ20' look of the black version.
Panasonic DMC-FZ5 Key specifications
|Street price|| US: $499 (tbc)
UK: £360 (tbc)
|Sensor|| 1/2.5" CCD, 5.36 million total pixels
4.9 million effective pixels
2560 x 1920
|Movie clips|| 320 x 240 pixels @ 30fps
320 x 240 pixels @ 10fps
Duration only limited by card capacity (streaming)
Motion JPEG (.mov)
36 - 432mm equiv. (12x optical zoom)
|Focus|| 1-point, 3-point, 9-point Autofocus
Single shot or Continuous AF
Switcheable focus trigger
5cm macro mode (Wide), 100cm (Tele)
|Shutter speeds|| 8-1/2000 sec
Shutter speeds of over 1/1300 sec only available at apertures over F4.0
|Apertures|| Wide: F2.8 / F3.6 / F4.0 / F4.5 / F5.0 / F5.6 / F6.3 / F7.1 / F8.0
Tele: F3.2 / F3.6 / F4.0 / F4.5 / F5.0 / F5.6 / F6.3 / F7.1 / F8.0
|White Balance|| Auto
Custom WB (manual)
|Image parameters|| Color Effect (Cool, Warm, B/W, Sepia)
Picture Adjust (Natural, Standard, Vivid)
|Continuous|| 3 fps, up to 4 frames (fine), 7 frames (standard)
2 fps (limited only by capacity of card)
|Flash|| Built-in pop-up flash
Auto, Manual on/off, Red-eye reduction: on/off, Slow sync: on/off
Range (ISO auto): W 0.3m - 4.5m (0.98 - 14.8 ft)
Compensation (-2.0EV to +2.0 EV in 1/3EV steps)
16 MB SD supplied*
|Viewfinder|| EVF (114,000 pixels)
Field of view approx 100%
-4 to +4 dioptre adjustment
|LCD monitor|| 1.8" TFT, 130,000 pixels|
|Connectivity|| USB 2.0 Full Speed
|Power|| Panasonic CGA-S002A Lithium Ion pack
7.2V, 680 mAh
(Optional AC adapter)
|In the box*||
Panasonic DMC-FZ5 camera
Spot, Center-weighted & Multi-pattern metering
|Weight (inc batt)||326 g (11.5 oz) inc memory card and battery|
|Dimensions||108 x 68.4 x 84.8mm (4.25 x 2.7 x 3.3in)|
* Supplied accessories may differ in each country or area
Last week, more than a million tonnes of Californian coastline slid into the ocean, taking part of Highway 1 with it. Check out the remodeling in photos taken before and after the landslide.
Even after eighteen months of reviewing the latest, greatest, shiniest and must-buy-me-est new gear, DPReview staffer Carey Rose has continued to use older DSLR cameras for his freelance work. But now, that might be changing. Read more
Sony is the world's leading mirrorless camera brand but remains third for ILCs overall, it's said in a presentation to investors. A focus on high value cameras and lenses should boost operating income, it says. Read more
It's nicknamed the 'Cycloptic Mustard Monster,' and is a 3D printed medium format camera. Read more
The new NanGuang LED lights are battery powered and come with accessories including filters and diffusers.
Have you been telling yourself, "Hey, I really need one of those 8K displays?" A video about Dell's new 8K monitor shows you what to expect. Is it really that much better?
Tamara Lackey, a Nikon ambassador USA and pro shooter, discusses embracing self-consciousness as a means of connecting with subjects.
There's a new Spiderman movie coming out and the poster been generating a lot of online chatter. Mostly about how it looks like the creation of a fevered teenager that just discovered Photoshop.
An honest defense of the system's merits, with photos as proof.
Copyright disputes are no fun at all. 'Binded' is a new startup that aims to simplify the process of registering - and enforcing - copyright for photographers. Read more
Not everyone wants to pay a premium for a long zoom camera. Thankfully, there are many reasonably priced cameras available, though they won't offer the same image quality as enthusiast models. In this updated roundup we look at big zoom cameras with more consumer-friendly price tags. Read more
Think Tank Photo has updated two of its popular bag lines with improvements to functionality. Read more
We’ve all seen Bob Jackson’s Pulitzer Prize winning photo, but there's another.
The sample footage looks good.
It will automatically pick the best camera settings depending on shooting conditions. It even promises enhanced functionality for your camera, like exposure and focus stacking. It already supports many cameras from Canon, Fuji, Nikon and Sony. Read more
As if $13,950 wasn’t enough to pay for a special edition lens, the Leica Store in San Francisco is offering a prototype of said lens for $24,995. Read more
Make those old photos disappear without deleting them forever.
Firmware updates enable 10 fps shooting with adapted A-mount lenses, and faster startup times and better compatibility for 20 fps shooting when using native lenses on the a9.
Fujifilm has released firmware updates for its camera models X-T2, X-Pro2, GFX 50s, X-T20, X100F and X-T1 and updates to three of its software products.
A 22 year-old Romanian photographer uses his DJI Phantom 4 drone to capture unique perspectives of the city where he now lives.
What's it like to ride the waves with champion surfer Kelly Slater? This VR video from Teton Gravity Research gives you a taste.
When Nikon released the full-frame D3 in 2007, it changed the professional photography industry. In this week's Throwback Thursday, Barney remembers a legend. Read more
The new stuff should have better red hues, improved sensitivity and finer grain - but don't worry - will still shift blues to green, greens to purple and yellows to pink.
Ricoh has introduced a new rugged compact camera with a 16MP CMOS sensor, 28-140mm lens, 2.7" LCD and built-in LED macro lights. Read more
This compact drone can shoot HD video using a 2-axis stabilized 12MP camera. Read more
The new Prynt Pocket can print a photo directly from their iPhone simply by inserting the phone into the printer, then snapping a photo. Each print will cost about 50 cents. Read more
Updates for Adobe Camera Raw and Lightroom CC bring support for the Sony A9 and Panasonic ZS70/TZ90, along with bug fixes.
The Triggertrap remote camera control system is no longer sold due to the company folding, but now users will be able to build their own. Read more
The Magic Format Converter comes with internal optics that expand the image circle of full-frame DSLR lenses for use on the Fuji medium format camera. Read more
The usually Apple-exclusive MacPhun software developer has announced that it will introduce PC versions of two of its most popular applications. Both Aurora HDR and Luminar should be available for the Windows operating system by the autumn of this year. Read more