Lumix LX5 Review


My beloved Canon g10 was getting a little long in the tooth so I decided to buy this badass lil camera as a Xmas/Bday present to myself. Absolutely loving it and thought that I would share some first impressions and notes with you all.

Things I’m loving about it:

- Great n solid feel. nice ergonomics. smaller than my g10 but still feels badass.

- A sharp as a tack 24mm equivalent lens. It’s now the widest lens in my collection and it fits in my pocket!

- A 2.0 lens. even at it’s longest it’s only 3.3. insanity!

- Really nice (and usable!) higher iso results.
1600 is really impressively clean for a point n shoot. kinda shocking really. my g10 was barely usable in the 800 iso + range and didn’t go over 1600. this thing goes well over 3200 but you take a size (and massive quality) hit. still cool that it can do it in a pinch though.

- Really great image stabilization that lets you use lower iso / shutter speeds for better quality shots

- Aspect selection switch on the barrel of the camera.
i’m really diggin the 1:1 (square) and 16:9 aspects especially.

- Ability to shoot multiple images at once. eg you can shoot both a color and a black and white pic at the same time.

- Really, really cool “film grain” art filter
I don’t generally believe in these, but this is really nice for in cam. negatives for it = you can’t use it as one of the multiple images mentioned above andddd it only allows you to shoot it as a .jpg (no raw)

- Dedicated movie record button

Things that are meh about it so far:

- it has a lens cap. really? reallllly? this makes one-handed use more difficult. i had to put my coffee down more than once to shoot. grrr :) there actually is a replacement ricoh-inspired lens cap that you can keep on at all times but some have reported vignetting from its use and others say that it can interfere with the focus assist beam. I might pick one up to judge for myself soon.

- Menus are a lil un-intuitive and there are ALOT of them (especially compared to a Canon.) You can assign one of the directional buttons to whatever you’d like to access quickly, however, so that’s nice.

- The zoom is slooOOoOoooow.

- The white balance seems rather…dumb. fixable if you use lightroom / aperture, of course, but it seems to make some really peculiar choices. perhaps i’m missing something / need to turn something off to make it “smarter.”

- The standard colors for .jpgs are definitely pretty wack. apparently panasonic’s profiles are just kinda crap and goes for the overly noise-reduced / sharpened look. way to fix this ( to some degree ) = turn the noise reduction all the way down and bump the sharpening down as well. i’m personally just shooting in RAW to avoid the issue all together :)

All n all tho, i think this cam is a definite winner and a worthy successor to my g10. I’m really looking forward to using it more and especially trying it at a smaller show soon!

Here is an ever-evolving collection of photos that I’ve taken with the LX5.

If you found this review helpful and you decide to purchase one for yourself on Amazon please use this link so i get a few bucks. Thanks!


  1. Ki wrote:

    Nice review
    I bought this camera over s95
    White balance – I either do manual preset or Kelvin and dial in
    Loving the lens!

    • Redboy wrote:

      Thanks Ki, glad ya dug it :)

      Yeah, the s95 is definitely a cool lil camera but I already owned a tiny Canon (sd780 is) and wanted to go for the slightly wider 24mm of the Lumix. I wish I had the patience to dial in the WB every time like you do. I always just end up fixing in post. *shrug* :) and yeahhh! the lens rocks it for sure. Can’t wait for the weather to get a *tad* warmer so I can go back to my usual routine of wandering and shooting. :)

  2. pardes wrote:

    Yes, it is indeed a wonderful camera. It takes the sting out of not dragging the big honker dslr with me everywhere since I know I’ll still get great shots with the Lumix LX5. I’m loving it too. I look forward to seeing more of your photos taken with it.

  3. Dan wrote:

    I also love this camera and am holding off on a DSLR.
    I have a Contax with Zeiss lenses for film and just couldn’t get into the cheap feeling of the DSLR that I was seeing. I really think you’d have to spend a lot of money to make a huge difference in the quality of the photos with the LX5.

    After all the camera doesn’t matter, if you know how to use the one you have and know about composition. I’ve seen a book by a famous photographer that has outstanding photos that were all taken by an iPhone. So, I’m sticking with this great little camera with the fast Leica lens. If I ever feel limited by the camera, I’ll get a Cannon 5d Mark II

    Anyway, Ive gotten around the white balance thing by buying a little biz card sized thing called a WhiBal
    Card. I do a lot of still lives and I take one shot with the card in the scene and then am able to set the white balance in Aperture for all the photos taken in that light in about 3 seconds.

    You can’t go wrong with the Lumix LX5.

    • mort wrote:

      the ricoh type lens cap sold on ebay works great . i have used it on the lx3 and lx5 (different sizes ) . had to make some additions on lx3 , but on lx5 it works perfectly .

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