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Panasonic Lumix DMC-LC5 4 to 5 Megapixel
Submitted by jdmurdoch a Expert
Date Reviewed: March 19, 2004
Strengths: Looks and acts like a classic range-finder with fast shutter and focus response.
Weaknesses: Poor quality control - at least 2 new LC5's shipped without confirming that the external hotshoes worked. LCD monitor has polished surface, making it impossible to use outdoors. Picture quality poor, with evident mushiness or posterization of details.
On Christmas Day I activated the LC5 for the first time and found that there was a red spot of inactive pixels in the LCD. Later found that the LC5 would not work with any external flash, the dealer returned it plus another new one to Panasonic for replacement of several electronic components to make the hot-shoes in both new cameras work. Worst example of quality control I've seen in 20 years of photography. Would not recommend Panasonic or Lumix cameras given the wide range of other high quality cameras available. Picture quality substandard because of smudging or posterization. Very disappointed in this camera and with Panasonic's customer service.
Price Paid: $699.00
Purchased At: Linden Audiotronics
Similar Products Used: Olympus C-2040, C-2100UZ, D-550
Submitted by Steve Hopkins a Expert from Vancouver, BC, Canada
Date Reviewed: June 4, 2003
Strengths: Ease of use, high quality images/lens.
Weaknesses: Case doesn't fit with sun-hood attached and you can't remove the front half of the case. They should bundle a control app that lets you control all of the camera's functions thru the USB line. Then you could do time-lapse and web-cam and really increase the value. Arcsoft is for kids. Anyone who can afford this camera already owns a hot PC with PhotoShop on it.
I have used this camera for a month since recieving it as a birthday present. Very nice image quality.
Price Paid: $1300.00
Purchased At: Lens & Shutter
Submitted by sherylariz a Intermediate
Date Reviewed: October 21, 2002
Strengths: Great lens
Quick to take manual or automatic pics
Small yet still an SLR feel and easy to hold;
Good F stops and ISO ranges
Able to use other lenses or flashes/filters with this camera
Price range great for such a good quality camera
Fits in my purse!
Comes with great software and quick to load pics into computer
Comes in standard black or a slick silver which is what I opted for and it is a beauty!
Weaknesses: Poor macro ability
Wish it had better optical range
Not too much to complain about!
This is about the 5th digital camera I have tried out. It has so far been the very best. I love the feel of this camera, it is just like a small SLR, but has a great big 2" LCD and they even give you a hood for it with the camera. I can get quite a few shots at the highest quality setting-- 2240 pixels which I find to be great compared to other cameras. I have taken some of the best sunset/sunrise shots ever and plan on using them as cards. The 8 1/2 x ll shots really turn out excellent as well as the smaller 4 x 6 shots. I love that you can manipulate the F stops right as you are looking through the LCD to get just the right one, change the ISO range and then flip right back to automatic and click your picture. Then it will automatically show you what you just shot, or just switch one little switch to look at it or other pictures you've taken--this works so fast its amazing!
It is one excellent camera and far better than the Sony DSC F707 that I tried, plus much less cumbersome. I can fit it in my purse with ease and go! I also like that when I pick this camera up to shoot a quick "in-action candid" shot, I don't have to fool with a bunch of dials to get my picture. The manual is very easy to read and explains everything in detail.
This camera also comes with a great variety of software that is userfriendly.
Whoever buys this camera will not be let down.
Price Paid: $700.00
Purchased At: Catalog
Similar Products Used: Sony Mavica 75; Sony DSC F707; Fuji Finepix 6800Z; Olympus Camedia C-730
Submitted by Jim Hathaway a Intermediate
Date Reviewed: September 25, 2002
Strengths: Large 2.5" LCD. There are very few digital cameras with LCDs larger than 2". The large LCD is a great compositional tool, and aids review of images, especially when using digital zoom on review.
Hinged monitor hood. I keep it attached to the camera at all times, to protect the LCD. It's also helpful for blocking glare on the LCD, and the way it attaches inline with the tripod mount makes perfect sense.
Exposure Bracketing and Focus Bracketing. The LC5's Exposure Bracketing allows for precision 0.25EV step control. The Focus Bracketing is a feature I've never seen on a camera (often wish I had on my 35mm). I do need to experiment more with this feature; the one time I used it, I could not tell the difference among the 3 focus-bracketed shots.
Hot shoe for external flash.
Shutter lag. The shutter button is responsive and shutter lag is negligible.
Easy to connect to the PC, quick image file transfer, and I'm very pleased with 5" x 7" print quality. Haven't worked with 8" x 10" or larger yet.
Weaknesses: Tends toward overexposure. Overly bright scenes are a challenge. I wish it had an ISO 50 setting, or better yet a built in ND filter.
Built-in flash tends toward over exposure. I use fill flash often, so I tend to turn the flash down (using FEC), as there is no auto fill-flash setting. I do like the dedicated button for changing flash modes on the fly. And there is room for expansion via the hot shoe for external flash.
Manual focus control. This is a great feature to have, but the LC5's focus ring goes around and around, unlike an SLR focus ring that has a finite range. I think this one operates in steps.
Reducing the time between shots would be a plus.
Does not do Macro or ISO 400 as well as the Sony DSC-S85. Grainy when shooting macro at ISO 400.
Have a problem with color casts (pinkish or blue-green most commonly). Also significant noise in low light images with large areas of static colors (i.e. black or dark blue skies, etc.
Owners manual is poorly written.
I had the experience of borrowing this camera for a couple of months, taking approx 700 shots in that time. I have been able to get some amazing photos from this camera, especially at slow shutter speeds (handheld at 1/5 sec in available light with no blurring). As a 35mm SLR user who prefers to shoot manually, I've really enjoyed the LC5. There is enough manual control for versatility, and overall, the controls are easy to use.
The A mode (Auto) works very well, but the P mode (Programmed AE) is the mode I most often use for point-and-shoot because the AE is right-on 95% of the time (tends toward overexposure, especially when using the built-in flash), and the other 5% of the time, I can make quick adjustments and re-shoot. The two most useful adjustments available in P mode are the Exposure Compensation (EC) and Flash Exposure Compensation (FEC).
The bright f/2 lens is a plus. I have yet to find an exposure that is too dark for this camera to handle. The close focus macro is also very good, and both macro and AF pictures are very sharp.
Similar Products Used: Sony DSC-S85 is the only other digital I have used and it handles macro and ISO 400 shots better than the LC5.
Submitted by pgmf a Intermediate
Date Reviewed: May 7, 2002
Strengths: Love the design.
Fast shutter speed and power up.
Weaknesses: A tad bigger than other models, but nice feel.
Lens acessories (wide angle and tele photo) do not seem to be on the market yet.
Very good camera with superb design and feel. I find the photo quality excellent, specially outdoors. Ability to take several snapshots in a row in brust mode is great.
Price Paid: $650.00
Purchased At: ecost.com
Similar Products Used: Cannon G2 and Sony.
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