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
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