The Lumix DMC-LS5 is an entry-level, AA battery-bearing point-and-shoot. The LS5 is most definitely a camera for beginners, relying on auto settings. It’s similar to the rest of the LS series: It’s small, it’s easy to use, and encourages users to explore the automatic scene settings–there’s no manual control over the aperture or shutter. But like competitor cameras of this design, there are more than a handful of shooting modes to choose from as well as intelligent scene selectors like Macro, Night Portrait, and Night Scenery. The most major departure from the rest of this lineup is the fact that it uses AA batteries, which means it’s likely to be quite affordable (pricing has yet to be announced).
As far as specs go, the LS5 compares nicely with most pocket cams in its price range – given that we’re correct to assume it will be pretty inexpensive. It has a 14.1-megapixel CCD sensor and 5x optical zoom with a maximum aperture of F2.8. Panasonic is promoting the low light performance of the LS5, and given its max aperture that’s a little surprising, but the sensor must be powerful enough to compensate.
The LS5 also includes optical image stabilization technology as well as 720p, 30fps HD video recording. It also comes equipped with YouTube and Facebook auto-uploading features and sports a 2.7 LCD screen (230K resolution).
Panasonic is also bringing a more advanced camera to the table. The FZ47 follows up the FZ40 and offers a few improvements to the already popular camera. It might not have the hip-factor Panasonic’s interchangeable lens Lumix line is enjoying at the moment, but the high-zoom FZ series is about as professional as it gets at this price. It boasts a 24x optical zoom and a maximum aperture of F5.2. These features are made all the more useful by the “Sonic Speed” AF, which Panasonic says is about 35-percent faster than in the previous model. It also packs a 12.1-megapixel CCD sensor and a Venus Engine FHD processor, which aids its full HD video capture.
Photographers will have full manual control with aperture and shutter priority mode. But this doesn’t mean the FZ47 doesn’t have built in creative functions–and then some. In addition to 3D capture capability, the camera also includes filters like Pin Hole, High Key, Film Grain, High Dynamic, Miniature Effect…the list goes on.
The only knock we have against the FZ47 is that it can’t shoot in RAW, but the outlook is bright for this camera that will retail for what sounds like an extremely reasonable $399.99 beginning in August. See below for full specs.
- Weighs approx. 1-lb
- Dimensions (W x H x D): 4.74 x 3.14 x 3.63 inches
- F2.8-5.2 aperture
- 24x optical zoom
- 60-1/2000 second shutter speed (stills)
- 3-inch LCD screen (460k pixels)