Panasonic has announced details of the new LX5, which replaces the excellent LX3 prestige compact. With an optically stabilized F2.0 Leica lens, which has a 24mm wide angle from a 3.8x zoom lens and 1/1.63″ 10MP CCD some stunning images should be possible from the camera.
As with virtually every compact released in the last twelve months a HD movie mode is present, utilizing the same AVCHD Lite format as it’s predecessors, and the Venus FHD engine has three CPUs to reduce noise and generally speed up performance.
Since the launch of the LX3 the prestige compact market has become more crowded, as the likes of the Samsung EX1 and Canon S90 have made an impressive splash. Although there must have been a temptation to increase the megapixels Panasonic has instead opted for a bright, wide lens to insure sharp images. The 1.163″ CCD offers a larger surface area than lower spec compacts as well, making it able to capture more light from the Leica lens. Although there aren’t too many huge leaps forward from the LX3 from a specs point of view there were few issues to correct, although the slightly longer zoom is a welcome addition.
Rounding out the features is a 3″ 460k LCD screen and RAW shooting mode, so those after absolute quality will be able to save uncompressed files. Check www.panasonic.co.uk or www.whatdigitalcamera.com/news.html for more details
First sample images from the LX5 here
Panasonic LX5 announced
Panasonic is proud to announce a long awaited DMC-LX5 – a successor to the DMC-LX3, acclaimed worldwide especially by the photography enthusiasts, after two years of silence. Since the birth of DMCLX3, the new category is established in the compact camera market, which is called premium compact cameras that features high picture quality and creative descriptiveness.
The new DMC-LX5 is fully re-designed in the lens, the CCD and the image processing engine together with other improvements and upgrades. The newly developed super bright F2.0 ultra wide angle 24mm LEICA DC VARIO SUMMICRON lens minimizes distortion for stunning, true-to-life images with outstanding resolution and detail. The 24mm of wide angle offers extraordinarily large viewing space and now the optical zoom is extended to 3.8x (90mm) making the LX5 even more versatile.
The highly acclaimed 10.1-megapixel CCD in the LX3 has been redesigned to achieve the expansion of dynamic range by increasing the sensitivity and the saturation. The Venus Engine FHD is also redesigned for advanced signal processing in both photo and movie recording. The high sensitivity made possible by the new sensor and the superior signal processing by the new imaging engine especially elevates the picture quality in low light situations.
For the movie recording, the DMC-LX5 is newly compatible with long time high quality HD movie recording in AVCHD Lite in addition to the conventional motion JPEG format. A host of creative options including Creative Movie mode, My Color mode and Film mode are available for more extended expression not only in photography but also in videography.
The external design is also improved to pursue high operability – the thickened grip for easier hold, the newly incorporated turn-and-push jog dial achieves various selection and setting more quickly. The hot shoe allows attachment of advanced accessories such as optional Live View Finder which helps shooting under strong Panasonic Europe Ltd.
1. F2.0 Super Bright 24mm Ultra-Wide-Angle* High Quality
LEICA DC VARIO-SUMMICRON Lens with Minimum Distortion
The DMC-LX5 is equipped with newly developed F2.0 24mm ultra-wide-angle
LEICA DC VARIO-SUMMICRON lens with even higher resolution. The super
bright, high quality lens is redesigned for extension of the optical zoom from LX3’s
2.5x(60mm) to 3.8x(90mm) to be even more versatile for snapshots including
portraits. The F2.0 lens is about twice as bright as the F2.8 lens, itself generally
considered a bright lens. The result is higher shutter speed can be used to capture
stunningly clear, sharp, blur-free images in lower lighting situation. This advanced
lens also makes it easy to produce beautiful photos with pleasing soft-focused
background thanks to the shallow depth of field provided by the extra light.
Also, the 24mm ultra-wide-angle lens – rare on a compact camera – gives
photographers a wider range of composition possibilities. The super-high-quality
LEICA DC VARIO- SUMMICRON lens minimizes distortion at the wide end, so
users can get stunning, true-to-life images with outstanding resolution and detail.
The LX5 captures approx. 213% larger viewing space compared to that normal
35mm camera does, and even approx. 136% larger compared to that 28mm wideangle
lens can do.
The lens unit consists of 10 elements in 9 groups with 3 aspherical lenses with 5
aspherical surfaces. Minimal distortion, high resolution, minimum artifacts such as
chromatic aberrations, ghosting and flaring are the proof of uncompromising
imaging made possible by F2.0 24mm ultra wide angle LEICA DC VARIOSUMMICRON
Thanks to the newly incorporated Intelligent Resolution technology, the Intelligent
Zoom is available with the LX5 which extends the zoom ratio by approx. 1.3x
maintaining the picture quality even combining a digital zoom. This means the 3.8x
optical can virtually extend to 5x equivalent. Furthermore, the Extra Optical Zoom
function that extends zoom power to 6.7x (at 3-megapixel resolution) by using the
center part of the large CCD to bring subjects even closer.
In addition, the iris diaphragm allows the users to adjust aperture at fine steps
*35mm film camera equivalent: 24-90mm
2. Newly Designed 1/1.63-inch 10.1-megapixel High Sensitivity
CCD with Wider Dynamic Range
The predecessor DMC-LX3 played a big role to cease the pixel count war by
adopting 1/1.63-inch CCD for 10.1-megapixel recording to realize the
unprecedented picture quality with a compact digital camera and even to establish
a new premium compact camera category in the market. The CCD in the LX3
which was highly acclaimed from the specialists worldwide is redesigned to
achieve the further expansion of dynamic range by increasing the sensitivity by
approx. 31% and the saturation by approx. 38%*. It is made possible by the
improvement of on-tip-lens design with larger light concentration and VCCD
expansion while deepening the photo diode to manage richer signal more
The result is a high resolution, noise-less pictures even in high sensitivity recording
and richly reproduced gradation in highly contrasted situations with the exquisitely
wide dynamic range. Taking advantage of the high sensitivity CCD and the
brightness of the lens, minimum illumination of DMC-LX5 is as low as 3 lux in
Normally, to produce an image of 3:2 or 16:9 aspect ratio, 4:3 picture will be
cropped, so the picture does not have the maximum advantage of these
extraordinary recording aspect. However, the CCD in DMC-LX5 can reproduce
images shot with the lens set from 24mm to 90mm in any of three aspect ratios;
4:3, 3:2 or 16:9, so you can always capture dynamic, richly expressive shots with a
wide perspective. The Multi Aspect mode allows the camera to take an image in all
three aspect ratios simultaneously for photographer to choose the one that best
takes the advantage of the scene after shooting.
*Panasonic in-house comparison with DMC-LX3.
3. The New Venus Engine FHD Assures High Picture Quality for Both Photo
For the image processing LSI, newly developed Venus Engine FHD is equipped
with the DMC-LX5 featuring even higher-speed, higher-performance while
compiling the Intelligent Resolution technology. It enables the recording of beautiful
photo and high-definition movie with higher quality signal processing. The triple
CPUs in this imaging engine dramatically speed up processing while achieving
exceptional noise reduction performance. The Venus Engine FHD’s excellent
energy efficiency supports long-time AVCHD Lite movie recording, and allows the
output of both images and sounds via HDMI.
At the same time, the multi-task image-processing engine Venus Engine FHD
supports a super-fast response time. The shutter release time lag is as short as
approx. 0.007 second and the camera’s quick response makes it easier to capture
sudden, spur-of-the-moment photo opportunities together with the Sonic Speed AF
(Auto Focus) that gains approx.40% higher speed* and the quick startup time.
With the Intelligent Resolution technology, 3 areas – outlines, detailed texture
areas and soft gradation areas are automatically detected. The outline parts are
enhanced effectively to give edges more clearness while giving a moderate
accentuation to the texture areas to look more finely detailed. To the soft gradation
part, superior noise reduction system of the Venus Engine FHD is applied to make
it smoother. Apart from the uniform enhancement of sharpness, the innovative
technology Intelligent Resolution precisely performs signal processing pixel by
pixel in the most effective way for it. As a result, images are naturally clear and
crisp in both photo and movie recording. The Intelligent Resolution technology also
realizes the Intelligent Zoom, which virtually extends the optical zoom ratio to its
approx. 1.3x equivalent maintaining the picture quality even combining the digital
zoom. Details of an image in high sensitivity recording tend to be lost in the noise
reduction process; however, the Intelligent Resolution works to keep them.
Despite the high performance, the Venus Engine FHD is superior in efficiency to
extend the battery life of DMC-LX5 to 400 pictures (CIPA) per a single charge.
*In comparison with DMC-LX3, using 1-area AF, at wide/tele-end.
4. Save Memories in Movie – Start Enjoying Videography As You
In addition to Motion JPEG images, the DMC-LX5 can record high-definition motion
picture in AVCHD Lite. It features almost doubling the recording time in HD quality
compared with the conventional Motion JPEG format. The picture quality is greatly
enhanced thanks to the newly added Intelligent Resolution technology. The LX5
also features Dolby Digital Creator to record high quality audio.
In movie recording, the DMC-LX5 goes further than simply recording HD movies.
Apart from the movie recording capability of conventional digital compact cameras,
the DMC-LX5 also features a Creative Movie mode, which lets the user set the
shutter speed and aperture manually to make even more impressive movies.
Changing the shutter speed brings special effects to movies, which is especially
suitable for shooting fast-moving subject. The ability to control the aperture is
convenient when there are several subjects at different distances and it is desired
to have each of them stand out. My Color mode, which will be detailed later, is also
available in movie recording.
The optical zoom is available in movie recording, too. With the newly added Video
Divide function, users can divide the video into two sections to shorten or delete
the unwanted part on the spot in the camera. You can cut out a clear still image
from a movie in the camera thanks to the Intelligent Resolution technology. A Wind
Cut function is also available to block out most of the noise from background wind.
The minimum illumination is as low as 3 lux thanks to the F2.0 super bright LEICA
DC VARIO-SUMMICRON lens and the high sensitivity CCD.
The popular iA (Intelligent Auto) is also available in movie recording. The POWER
O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer), Face Detection, and Intelligent Scene Selector
also support shooting beautiful movie with ease. The Intelligent Scene Selector
automatically switches between Normal, Portrait, Macro, Scenery, and Low Light
modes according to the situation to optimize visual quality. The Intelligent
Exposure that also optimizes the exposure to prevent over/under exposure part
Still or motion images recorded in AVCHD Lite on SD Memory Cards are easy to
view on a Panasonic VIERA TV. Simply insert the card into the VIERA Image
Viewer (SD Memory Card slot) on VIERA TV or DIGA Blu-ray Disc Player to
playback your contents. Alternatively, you can use an optional mini HDMI cable to
output the still and motion images you took from the LX5 directly to the TV for
VIERA Link. You can take maximum advantage of LUMIX camera’s playback
functions including the slideshow in which both still and motion images are
integrated in the timeline, category playback according to the scene mode you
used or calendar display and so on. All control is possible using only the TV’s
In addition, with the included software PHOTOfunSTUDIO 5.0 HD Edition, it is
easy to view and edit your recorded contents. You may also choose to upload your
videos to YouTube or burn them to a DVD disc for archiving.
Motion images can be recorded continuously for up to 29min 59 sec in European PAL areas
Continuous recording exceeding 2GB is not possible when recording motion JPEG. Remaining time
for continuous recording is displayed on the screen.
Use a card with SD Speed Class with “Class 4″ or higher when recording motion pictures in [AVCHD
Lite]. Also, use a card with SD Speed Class with “Class 6″ or higher when recording motion pictures in
*SD Speed Class is the speed standard regarding continuous writing.
5. Enhanced Operability and Unlimited Possibility for
Studying the feedback from the users of the predecessor DMC-LX3, the DMC-LX5
has been also redesigned externally to pursue its operability. Its size is almost the
same but the new gently formed grip provides easier handling even in active
shooting style. The hot shoe is newly added for attachment of the optional Live
View Finder (DMW-LVF1), users can also choose the External Optical Viewfinder
(DMW-VF1) according to their shooting style. The newly adopted jog dial enhances
the operability for quick setting change and the dedicated playback button lets the
user play back the images and return to the shooting menu in split seconds. The
aspect can be changed directly with the aspect switch on the lens barrel among
4:3, 3:2, 16:9 and the new 1:1.
In addition to the Film mode in which user can select the texture of the photo as
you choose a film, My Color mode is newly added to DMC-LX5. My Color mode is
a special option that gives free reign to the user’s creativity. User can select the
color out of 12 options including Expressive, Retro, Pure, Elegant, Monochrome,
Dynamic Art, Silhouette, Pin Hole, Film Grain, High Dynamic, Dynamic B&W and
Custom (the parameter of color / brightness / saturation adjustable). This makes it
easier and more fun to create interesting, expressive images. The user can adjust
the settings that best suit the shooting conditions and his or her expressive intent,
for greater photographic control. It is available also in movie recording giving the
user a wider range of expressive possibilities to explore together with the Creative
6. Other Features That Add Fun and Ease to the Camera
The DMC-LX5 is equipped with a 3.0-inch, 460,000-dot Intelligent LCD with super
high resolution and a wide viewing angle. The screen brightness automatically
adjusts in 11 steps as the surrounding brightness level changes, ensuring easy
visibility at all times. The big screen reflects fine details, making it easy to check
the focus before shooting. It also serves as a small photo and video viewer,
allowing the user and friends to enjoy viewing the still and motion images together.
Plus, reflection is suppressed with the AR coating. Plus, adopting the High CRI
(Color Rendering Index) LED backlight realizes vivid, impressive color reproduction
true to the memory color that your eyes remember.
The ISO value can be set in 1/3 EV increments for finer control. The maximum
setting is ISO 12800* enabling shooting in extremely dark places.
The new Step Zoom option, zoom range can be set to 24mm, 28mm, 35mm,
70mm or 90mm via the easy menu as you change the fixed focal length lens with
D-SLR. Max.800mm is available if combining the Intelligent Zoom and digital zoom.
The DMC-LX5 has advanced functions that will satisfy experienced photographers,
yet is easy enough for beginners to use comfortably if iA(intelligent Auto)mode is
used. POWER O.I.S.(Optical Image Stabilizer), Face Recognition, AF Tracking,
Intelligent ISO Control, Intelligent Scene Selector, Intelligent Exposure are
available in photo recording and POWER O.I.S. Face Detection, Intelligent Scene
Selector and Intelligent Exposure in movie recording. Once you enter the iA mode,
these functions happen automatically, so you can shoot without the bother of
adjusting settings every time conditions change. You can enjoy easy, trouble-free
shooting in any situation and get the satisfaction that comes with capturing clear,
*In 3-megapixel recording mode.
7. Rich options for expandability
The DMC-LX5 offers a wide variety of options to choose from to match every
shooting situation and shooting style. Newly equipped hot shoe allows the
attachment of optional tilt-shift Live View Finder of 1.04x (0.52x*) magnification,
202,000-dot, 100% field of view, which ensures comfortable monitoring even under
the strong daylight.
Live View Finder: DMW-LVF1
External Optical View Finder: DMW-VF1
Wide Conversion Lens: DMW-LWA52 NEW
Conversion Lens Adaptor: DMW-LA6 NEW
MC Protector: DMW-MC52
ND Filter: DMW-LND52
PL Filter: DMW-LPL52
External Flash: DMW-FL220(GN22) / DMW-FL360(GN36) / DMWFL500(
Genuine Leather Case:DMW-CLX5 NEW
Battery Pack: DMW-BCJ13 NEW
About Included Software PHOTOfunSTUDIO 5.0 HD Edition
The latest version of exciting software PHOTOfunSTUDIO 5.0 HD Edition comes
bundled with DMC-LX5. With quick start-up and fast read-in of images, the
PHOTOfunSTUDIO 5.0 HD Edition makes it possible to sort and organize photos
not only of those newly taken but also of those stored in your PC. The Face
Recognition function that recognizes the faces in the picture and the software
automatically sorts the photos by the registered faces without picking out each
photo one by one when you only want pictures of a specific person. You can also
enjoy slideshows with a variety of effects and use your iTunes music library as
background music. Motion pictures can be uploaded directly to YouTube using the
built-in YouTube uploader even in HD (High Definition) quality. It also lets you
create a 360-degree rotation panorama file in MOV, which is especially easy if
Panorama Assist mode in the camera is used. Experience and feel the outstanding
benefit of the PHOTOfunSTUDIO 5.0 HD Edition. It will surely allow you to view,
edit and archive your captured photos and motion pictures with greater ease and