September 23, 2010

Panasonic LX5


Whoa, it looks like I missed a slew of new camera announcements. The one I'm particularly interested in is the announcement of the new Panasonic LX5 camera, the successor of the LX3. I own the LX3 and it's a really great camera, especially in low light.

The LX5 camera extends the zoom range to 90mm from 60mm, it is now 24-90mm f/2.0-3.3, versus the LX3 which had a 24-60mm f/2.0-f/2.8. Sensor size is the same but it's a brand new one which supposedly has an increased dynamic range and even less noise. It looks like the sensor changes will improve movies in low light, since the minimum illumination is as low as 3 lux in movie recording mode.

Another addition is the new AVCHD Lite recording format for movies, which allows longer movies to be shot. The movies are no longer limited to the maximum 2GB file size. I haven't heard about the AVCHD Lite version before, but I find AVCHD a pain to work with. At least on Mac, you can't see the movies by opening them in QuickTime, you need to convert them first using an editing program.

Overall it looks like the LX5 is a nice incremental improvement over the LX3. I can't wait to see some side-to-side image comparison of the two cameras. For my usage, I think the LX3 is good enough. I don't shoot movies that long using the camera, so the new movie recording format doesn't affect me. With a 16GB SDHC card, I have plenty of space to shoot movies and pictures for a whole day.

Judging by the performance of its predecessor, I heartedly recommend buying the LX5 camera. Its low light performance is astounding for a compact camera.

Here are some pictures I've taken at various concerts using the LX3.

Umphrey's McGee at the Warfield, San Francisco:

Chickenfoot at the Greek Amphitheater, Berkeley:

Of course, the camera is great during daylight. Here's a picture I took last winter at Heavenly, South Lake Tahoe.

Posted by ovidiu at September 23, 2010 09:52 AM |
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