Panasonic LUMIX DMC-LS5 Camera Preview
The compact, entry-level Panasonic Lumix DMC-LS5 digital camera offers an effective resolution of 14.1 megapixels from a 1/2.33" RGB CCD image sensor, which Panasonic has coupled to an unbranded 5x optical zoom lens with a generous 26mm-equivalent wide angle.
Panasonic DMC-LS5: Lens
Importantly, the Panasonic LS5's lens features a true optical image stabilization system with which to fight blur caused by camera shake. The Panasonic LS5's lens has a two-step aperture that offers F2.8 and F7.9 at wide angle, or a rather dim F6.5 and F18.4 at telephoto. The minimum focusing distance for the Panasonic DMC-LS5 is fifteen centimeters at wide angle, or 60 centimeters at telephoto.
Panasonic DMC-LS5: Display
There's sadly no optical viewfinder, with the Panasonic LS5 instead opting solely for a 2.7" LCD display with 230,000 dot resolution on which images and videos are both framed and reviewed.
Panasonic DMC-LS5: Auto-Focus
The Panasonic DMC-LS5 has a nine-point multi-area autofocus system which also includes a single-point focusing mode. As with many digital cameras these days, there's also a face detection function, with Panasonic's implementation using the information to adjust both focus and exposure to properly capture your subjects' faces.
Panasonic DMC-LS5: ISO & Shutter
ISO sensitivity ordinarily ranges from 100 to 1,600 equivalents, with the ability to extend this as far as ISO 6,400 equivalent in High Sensitivity mode. Shutter speeds from 1/2,000 to 8 seconds are possible.
Panasonic DMC-LS5: Other Features
The Panasonic DMC-LS5 uses Multiple metering, and offers six white balance settings including Auto, Manual, and four fixed presets. A generous selection of fifteen scene modes let users tailor the look of their images, useful given that the Panasonic LS5 doesn't offer aperture-, shutter-priority, or fully manual modes. There's also an Intelligent Scene Selection function, which can automatically select from a subset of five commonly used scene modes--Portrait, Scenery, Night Portrait, Night Scenery, or Macro. A six mode flash strobe includes red-eye reduction and slow sync capabilities, and has a rated range of up to 4.6 meters at wide angle, or 2.0 meters at telephoto. The Panasonic DMC-LS5 also includes the company's Intelligent Auto mode as seen on past models.
Panasonic DMC-LS5: Video
As well as JPEG still images, the Panasonic LS5 can capture 30 frames-per-second movies with monaural sound at resolutions of 1280 x 720 pixels or below, although the compression used is the older QuickTime Motion JPEG type so file sizes are likely to be hefty.
Panasonic DMC-LS5: Storage & Connectivity
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LS5 stores its images and movies on Secure Digital cards, including the newer SDHC and SDXC types. There's also a not-so-generous 10MB of built-in memory. Connectivity options include a USB 2.0 High-Speed connection, but no video output connectivity is provided.
Panasonic DMC-LS5: Battery & Software
Power comes from two standard AA batteries, and is rated as good for 310 shots on a charge to CIPA testing standards using 1,950 mAh NiMH rechargeables, or 160 shots with alkaline disposables. The software bundle includes PHOTOfunSTUDIO v6.0, Quicktime, and Adobe Reader.