The Best Street Compact Gets Better
February 2011
  • excellent image quality
  • superb, fast 24-90mm zoom lens
  • compact and beautifully styled
  • light, solid, handles well in hand
  • quick and responsive
  • good large 3-inch LCD
  • multi-format: 4:3, 3:2, 16:9, 1:1
  • RAW, RAW + JPEG modes
  • Excellent HD video



  • continuous burst mode not impressive

  • nomad's favorite compact

The Panasonic Lumix LX5's spectacular and street-wise predecessor Lumix LX3 really had no close competitor when it came out more than two years ago. Now, the updated and improved LX5 has a few challengers: the Canon S95, Canon G12, and the newly released Olympus XZ-1, which are all excellent cameras. However, the challengers' zoom all starts at 28mm. For those who need a high-quality 24mm wide angle compact, the LX5 is the one.


Shaped similarly to the LX3, the new LX5 is just as beautifully crafted. It feels comfortable and well balance in hand. Shooting is quick and responsive as you would expect from a high-end compact camera.


Image quality is excellent for a compact camera, but do not expect to get the same quality as the bigger DSLRs or mirrorless interchangeable-lens cameras. Video features are also improved, and quality is very good. The LCD display is nice but we would like to see higher resolution.


Menu is typically Panasonic, clear and simple, but like any camera loaded with features and options, it takes time to get used to where everything is.


The 24-90mm zoom lens is superb and fast, 2.0 at the 24mm end making the LX5 a great camera for street photography. And that is why the LX5 is our most favorite compact.


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  • high-end compact for enthusiasts
  • price when tested: $499
  • 1.2011 street price: $399
  • colors: white, black
  • image stabilized zoom lens 24-90mm
  • lens aperture 2.0-8.0 / 2.8-8.0
  • raw file modes
  • multi-format: 4:3, 3:2, 16:9, 1:1
  • 3.0", 460 Kpixels LCD
  • 720 HD video
  • SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card
  • rechargeable Li-ion battery
  • 10 megapixels
  • dimension: 4.32" x 2.58" x 1.69"
  • weight: 0.61 lbs
  • Lumix LX5 info @