Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ5

Discussion in 'Panasonic Lumix' started by Eric Babula, Apr 8, 2005.

  1. Eric Babula

    Eric Babula Guest

    The review of this camera is finally out on!

    Very interesting! Check out the 'Compared to' pages.

    Ok, I'm sold!!!
    Eric Babula, Apr 8, 2005
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  2. Eric Babula

    Eric Babula Guest

    What do you mean, how much did I fetch? If you're implying I'm getting
    money for this post, no, I'm not. I just know there are others that were
    waiting for the review of this camera. I do not own it, nor
    do I own any Panasonic product, yet. I'm not in any way affiliated with

    I was looking for a digicam with at least 10x optical zoom, decent macro
    capabilities, excellent pictures, for around the $500.00US range. I had
    some other requirements, too - if you're curious, you can do a search in
    this NG for Eric Babula. I researched a lot of cameras, and dropped my
    list down to these:

    * Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z5
    * Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ5
    * Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ20
    * Nikon Coolpix 8800
    * Canon PowerShot S1 IS
    * Kodak EasyShare DX 6490 (4MP, 10x zoom)
    Consumer Reports liked this one.
    * Kodak EasyShare DX 7590 (5MP, 10x zoom)
    * Olympus Camedia C765, C750 or C770 (4MP, 10x zoom for all three)
    Consumer Reports liked all three of these, too.

    After researching,,,,,,, and this
    NG, I was pretty convinced that the KM Z5 was the camera for me. Then, I
    read a review that kept referencing the Panasonic FZ4, FZ5, FZ15 and
    FZ20, while reviewing the KM Z5. I discounted the FZ4 and FZ15 and
    looked at the FZ5 and FZ20. After looking at the Pros and Cons of all
    the cameras on my shortlist, I cut my short-short list down to the KM
    Z5, Pana FZ5 and Pana FZ20. I found the KM Z5 and Pana FZ20 in a couple
    different stores, here, and actually held them in my hand. I thought the
    KM Z5 was nice enough to hold, and seemed to take good pics (from what I
    could tell in the store). I thought the Pana FZ20 was too big and bulky
    (especially would be for my wife, who was looking at the pocket-sized
    cameras!). So, the short-short list really was down to the KM Z5 and
    Pana FZ5.

    After long discussions with a few people here, and re-reviewing the
    reviews of each of these two cameras, I've been convinced that the Pana
    is the better camera. Maybe it's not, in reality, but I'm convinced it
    probably is. This latest review on, along with the direct
    comparison between the FZ5, the KM Z5 and even the Pana FZ20, has me
    convinced that the Pana FZ5 will be a wonderful camera.

    All cameras at this price range have their problems (noisy at higher
    ISO, some redeye, etc.). You have to figure out which 'Cons' you're
    willing to live with. But, for me, anyway, I think I'll probably be
    happy with the FZ5.

    Ok, was that long enough? Sorry for rambling.

    Eric Babula
    Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention
    of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body.
    But rather, it’s to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up,
    totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, 'Wow! What a ride!!!'
    Eric Babula, Apr 8, 2005
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  3. Lin Chung wrote:
    Looking at the DP Review images suggests that the Minolta Z5 is far worse
    than the Panasonic FZ5. If the lowest noise at high ISO is critically
    important to you, get a DSLR.
    More FUD I suspect. (Fear, uncertainty and doubt). Other manufacturers
    offer multiple resolutions in a similar sensor size (e.g. Nikon 5700 and
    8700) and the buyer can choose which they want.
    As the DP Review conclusion says, if manual focus or external flash are
    essential to you, then you can get the Panasonic FZ20 instead. They

    "There is so much to like here - and so little to complain about - that
    the DMC-FZ5 has to come highly recommended, and certainly has to make its
    way to near the top of the list for anyone looking for an affordable,
    compact super zoom camera."

    and I concur with that view. And I bought one!

    David J Taylor, Apr 9, 2005
  4. Eric Babula

    John Bean Guest

    I have a FZ1, an impressive little camera especially after I upgraded the
    firmware to give FZ2 functionality. The size of the FZ10 was a big turn-off
    to me, despite the attraction of more pixels, and the FZ20 didn't improve
    enough to justify its size to me either. I still like the idea of a small
    superzoom camera with IS to supplement my primary SLR but my FZ1's 2Mpix
    sensor is a little too restrictive in many cases. So the advent of a
    FZ1-sized camera with FZ20 image size makes the FZ5 very attractive indeed,
    especially as I'm perfectly happy with the handling quirks of the FZ1.

    John Bean

    Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build
    better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce better
    idiots. So far, the Universe is winning (Rich Cook)
    John Bean, Apr 9, 2005
  5. Eric Babula

    Nostrobino Guest

    Relax, he was just referring to your saying "Ok, I'm sold!!!"

    I just bought the (apparently now discontinued) Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ15K,
    which has everything I need in the way of a superzoom camera and is
    currently selling at irresistible prices (well under the newer FZ5, which
    seems an inferior camera). I am *very* impressed with it. Build quality
    seems great, the Leica lens is fantastic as you would expect, and it has
    every feature and control I can imagine ever needing on this type of camera.

    Nostrobino, Apr 9, 2005
  6. Stephen Henning wrote:
    What is the basis for this statement? What are the comparitive power
    figures - I have not seen them widely quoted.
    Actually the Panasonic FZ5 has a special fast-focus mode, and it seems
    quite adequate in use.
    providing the buffer doesn't fill, I don't think save speed is any longer
    an issue for JPEG files. It might be for RAW or TIFF data, in which case,
    what are the figures you have?
    Personally, I now prefer a single battery to change rather than having
    eight AA cells rolling all over the floor. I would not wish to go back to
    multiple AA batteries.

    David J Taylor, Apr 9, 2005
  7. Your good right of course. But when I bought my camera I paid about
    EUR 20 for a set of 4 NiMH AA cells and charger. I happened to notice in
    the rack a proprietary battery (I no longer remember for which camera)
    without charger for EUR 84. That is one hell of a price difference.
    Stephen Poley, Apr 10, 2005
  8. Eric Babula

    John Bean Guest

    It doesn't matter to me that the FZ20 has all the extra features - it's too
    big. If the FZ5 is overpriced then it will be a failure. If it sells well
    then it isn't overpriced. As the person with the money, only you can decide.
    There is nothing that interests me, but it's very unlikely that our
    requirements coincide. I'm biased by my very positive experience of the FZ1,
    and the FZ5 improves on that in all sorts of ways, not just number of
    John Bean, Apr 10, 2005
  9. Oh, if cost was the only concern, of course AA NiMH come out top. They
    also have the advantage of being able to use non-rechargables in an

    While I would agree that Li-ions and chargers are over-priced (in addition
    to basically being more expensive), you can buy 3rd party cells such as
    Hahnel (a brand I trust) for a lot less than manufacturer's own brand.
    Hahnel batteries for both the Nikon 5700 and Panasonic FZ5/FZ20 retail in
    the UK at about 36 Euro.

    David J Taylor, Apr 10, 2005
  10. measekite wrote:
    Compare the images at:

    The Panasonic measures higher - more noise - but look at the map and watch
    images. Which looks better? Try printing the image at your usual size.
    Does the noise matter? Try printing the sample ISO 80 images.

    If you want noise-free, wait until you can afford a DSLR.

    David J Taylor, Apr 10, 2005
  11. Eric Babula

    John Bean Guest

    Yes, that is my perception too. I've had all sorts of cameras with all sorts
    of noise, and simple measurement is not necessarily useful. The image is
    all-important and images are interpreted by human senses, not
    Indeed. And even in this domain noise "character" is at least as important
    as its magnitude, just as in the silver halide world there are grainy films
    that look good and less grainy films that look ugly.
    John Bean, Apr 10, 2005
  12. Eric Babula

    John Bean Guest

    I can't agree with this at all, it just doesn't match up with my experience.
    There are lots of things that can ruin a photo, the most common one by far
    being the photographer. On the equipment front, bad exposure, poor
    sharpness, colour fringing, jagged rendering.... there's a whole lot of
    things that can damage a real-world digital image much more than noise.

    But if you find the noise levels of the FZ5 unacceptable then buy something
    else. It's as simple as that.
    John Bean, Apr 10, 2005
  13. Eric Babula

    Nostrobino Guest

    Yes, the smaller body is really appealing, though in the case of this style
    of camera it's still not small enough to be pocketable, of course.

    Panasonic makes an impressive product. I have over a dozen digital cameras
    (buying them is a kind of sickness with me) but this FZ15 is my first
    Panasonic camera ever. They sure make an impressive product, and I'm sure
    you'll be happy with your FZ5. Best of luck with it!

    Nostrobino, Apr 10, 2005
  14. Eric Babula

    Nostrobino Guest

    I think so too, but of course it's a new model. Wait a few months. ;-)

    Have you looked at the FZ15? It's essentially the same as the FZ20 except 4
    megapixels, no hot shoe and no mike. Those differences are not important to
    me. Generally I'd like a hot shoe but a superzoom like this is going to be
    pretty much an outdoors-only camera for me anyway. I just bought one last
    week for $372 at and I love it. (Today I see it's $367 there.

    Nostrobino, Apr 10, 2005
  15. measekite wrote:
    Agreed. Perhaps one reviewer got a bad camera? Perhaps one got a
    supoer-good sample? Perhaps the reviewers have different views of how
    much noise matters?
    Yes, less noise, but less pixels and no audio with movies. You pays your
    money and takes your choice!

    David J Taylor, Apr 10, 2005
  16. Eric Babula

    Ron Hunter Guest

    When I can dart into a drug store in a town of under 1500 and buy one
    (Li-ion for this camera), let me know, until then, I would MUCH rather
    use AA NIMH.
    Ron Hunter, Apr 10, 2005
  17. measekite wrote:
    As I said before, to have noise-free 11 x 8.5 inch images might require a
    15MP DSLR. The difference between 4MP and 5MP is the same sized sensor
    will be quite subtle, with the 5MP sensor producing slightly noisier
    slightly higher resolution images. With the two side-by-side, I suspect
    you would need to look quite hard to see the difference. I also cannot
    know which of the two you will prefer. If you need a long zoom, and also
    more pixels, the Nikon 8800 may be the camera for you, but it costs more.

    I bought a Panasonic FZ5, and my wife bought a Panasonic FZ20. I would
    suggest you find out how well a camera handles for you before purchase.

    David J Taylor, Apr 10, 2005
  18. Whilst that might apply to 35mm lenses, is it also true for the smaller
    elements in P&S lenses. Nikon, Canon and Panasonic don't show any extra
    battery drain with lens-based image stabilisation, which is why I asked
    you for the figures.
    I have read the tests - I have used the camera and am happy with it.
    Again, I have used the camera (actually the FZ20 for movies). The
    limiting capacity in movie mode is the size of the card, not the buffer
    size or the camer save speed.
    Take a couple of batteries with you and you have enough for the day - no
    need to buy more. It's a choice you make, and there is no wrong or right

    David J Taylor, Apr 11, 2005
  19. Eric Babula

    Eric Babula Guest

    I'm sorry. I didn't mean to imply that the Panasonic FZ5 was a pocket-
    sized camera - it's not. Well, maybe coat pocket, but not shirt pocket.

    My wife was originally hoping to get a pocket-sized camera. I had other
    plans - I wanted a really good zoom (8x or better). Well, I ended up
    winning that battle - neither the Panasonic FZ5 nor the Konica Minolta
    Z5 are shirt pocket sized cameras, but do have 12x zoom. I dropped the
    Panasonic FZ20 from my short list, because it was definitely too big,
    especially for my wife.

    I'm not sure about the chrominance noise. I'm no expert at all - far
    from it. Maybe someone else can address this issue for you.
    Eric Babula, Apr 11, 2005
  20. Stephen Henning wrote:
    Yes, the movie modes available are different. In normal use of the
    camera, either for stills or video, the write speed of the FZ5 is simply
    not an issue. By the way, DP Review lists the Panasonic FZ5 write speed
    as 4800KB/s, more than enough for the larger movie size. About the
    Minolta they say: "With write times averaging around 3.2 seconds for a 5MP
    Fine JPEG the Z5 is no slouch, though the transfer rate - approximately
    615KB/s - is hardly stretching the capabilities of the SanDisk card
    (quoted write speed: 9MB/s), nor does it compare that well with some of
    its speedier competitors".
    You make a good salesman for the Z5, but without providing any facts to
    backup your claims. For example, what are the comparitive power
    consumptions of the FZ5 and the Z5 for anti-shake. Figures not hearsay,
    please. Over what range of motion do the two anti-shake operate? Figures
    again, please.

    David J Taylor, Apr 11, 2005
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