"Outstanding Compact Camera"4.0 starson by reeltime
Pros: Full manual control. Leica on the cheap. RAW Capture. Compact design, yet solid. Ability to high-speed sync flash. 24mm wide angle. Aspect ratio a real plus. Key controls easy to find and adjust.
Cons: Pretty noisy at higher ISOs. Pricey. Deep menus difficult to navigate. Manual focus not good. USB not standard connector.
Summary: When my old compact camera, a Canon, took one too many trips to the ground-- it was time to replace.
I struggled with the choice between the Canon and Panasonic. But having heard raves about the LX-3, I thought the LX-5 might make a good replacement. I haven't been disappointed.
At ISO 400 and below, the pictures off of the camera are nothing short of stunning. This camera likes a lot of light. Wide open at f/2, the bokeh, for a compact is decent. At higher ISOs, though-- grain is palpable. I was hoping for a little nicer performance in low light-- this won't make me dump my Nikon D700 any time soon.
Nice 24mm lens. One of the widest in a compact, and that's a good thing.
The on-camera strobe is okay, but using an external flash-- you can sync flash at any frame rate because there's no shutter. This is a huge advantage for bright sunlight.
Controls? Terrific on the surface. The thumb wheel controls aperture and shutter speed and ev. But to get to anything else, it's menu diving time, neither easy nor intuitive.
I thought aspect change was a bit of a gimmick-- not so. i've wound up using it more than I thought, and having the adjustment on the lens is a bonus.
Manual focus however-- oh boy... bad controls. Getting into that mode isn't hard-- another lens switch. But finding focus is not worth the effort.
All metal body. It's a solid camera. It's still pocket-able.. but it will fill that pocket.
Battery life isn't great-- and it's an all-new battery. Finding a spare isn't easy yet.
I gotta mark points off though on the camera sync cable. Why not just go USB 2.0 like the rest of the world so I don't have to pack a separate cable? Drives me nuts!
At $500 dollars, it isn't cheap, but the camera has game, and is worth the money.