Camera Review: Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5

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Food blogging has really open wide my eyes to see what life has to offer. I could list down 101 benefits of being a blogger and I reckon that you will be motivated to start your own online diary after scrolling through the list. That is provided you’re willing to submit to a life of rigid writing and endless photo editing. Maybe I’m a perfectionist and so I tend to take more time than the average Joe…

Gastronomic blogging might be my passion but in actual fact it is a rather board concept that encompass a few related hobbies. One of which is food photography. It is almost a every-minute ritual for all of us to check our Instagram for new updates of visually tempting pictures uploaded by our fellow friends or popular food bloggers. As cliche as it might sound, a photo is definitely worth a thousand words. I mean how many of us are motivated to visit a particular eatery after being convinced by the photographer’s skills?

I sure am!

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I’ve been using the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 since the inception of my food blog and this is one camera I never regret getting. I never forget that very day when I decide to invest in one proper camera after I got bored of smartphone photo taking. I don’t really recommend a photography newbie to get a DSLR immediately not because I think it’s expensive or slightly harder to use. Rather, I think those high-end lens are just a bit of a overkill given the lack of experience taking breathtaking views or deliciously justified desserts.

So really, just get a decent compact camera and enjoy your virgin experience taking photos. Never mind if the images are blur or a far cry from your desired mental image. Speaking from personal experience, I say practice taking photos of happenings in your daily life and hobbies just to make photo taking more focus and interesting.

Get the picture?

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It was really a close fight between Lumix 5 (as I like to call in short) and the Sony Powershot S100. I made it a point to make discerning comparisons but neither one was really outshining the other in terms of specs. I have to profess that for a high end digital camera, these two are the best in terms of pricing and capturing quality photos when they were first released into the market.

It was more of a case of knowing how well Lumix 5 was selling out fast despite the fact that it’s a 2010 model while the newer S100 was still pretty much untouched after 3 days of selling and promoting. That to me is the best sign I should be grabbing the last model before someone does. There’s no need to wait and compare anymore. I just grab my orders and head straight to the cashier and make payment! It might sound like a rash decision to you but for me, it’s one of the best buys I had in 2012.

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The photos in my blog are the perfect testimony to showcase the compact camera capability. I didn’t want to bombard you with just mere numbers like most camera review sites do. I think my knowledge in photography is still a tad too little to share much but there are a few things that I feel Lumix 5 stands out more when I compare with other digital cameras:

Long Battery Life
First and foremost would be the battery life and I must admit that I rarely charge my camera battery. Say maybe once a month I will decide to charge it? Although I don’t take a lot of photos but on average it’s about 400 to 500 hundred shots before I really need to recharge it. In fact, I don’t even feel the need to use the spare batteries knowing that my current one will last me a rather long time.

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Easy to configure settings
Mastering Lumix 5 was no easy task despite being a point and shoot process. I have to get accustom of shooting in manual mode while grasping concepts like ISO, aperture and shuttle speed. Not the easiest things to learn especially when you’re in self-teach and self-practice mode. I don’t always have friends to guide me along but fortunately we live in the 21st century when there is a guide to everything!

Again, my personal experience would be to use an ISO range of 100-200 in normal room/outdoor lighting. I feel that anything beyond ISO 500 creates too many noise so I rarely shoot in dim places or at night where lighting is an issue. An aperture of F/2.0- F/2.8 for optimal food photography, macro mode. Shuttle speed is really dependent what you’re intending to  shoot and how stable your hands are.

If the colours are dull and boring, try shooting in Dynamic mode. I find the pictures tend to pop out a little more than other shooting modes.

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Works well in outdoor environment or in strong lighting setting
Like I said in the earlier part of this post. I am not an outdoors outdoor person. I wouldn’t mind travelling around Singapore to visit popular cafes or new restaurants but I sure won’t purposely travel up hill and break a sweat. A little outdoor can’t be bad and I sort of realised how beautiful landscape photos are too. Especially when there’s a healthy dose of natural lighting.

In general, I don’t have much to complain about the product from Panasonic and Leica marriage. I have to say for a camera that fares well in both food and landscape photography, Lumix 5 is as close as you can get to practice and still take quality photos. I might get better cameras in the future but Lumix 5 will always own a rightful place in my memory bank.

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  1. Ceri Jones

    HI there! I just came across your blog as I have the same camera. I’ve had it for a year now, and still am shooting on automatic. Works in the way I want it sometimes – but not all the time! Its hit or miss whether I get a good shot! I’m impressed with what you can achieve with it here. How did you learn how to use it and can you recommend a guide? The manual that came with is more than useless for a novice like me :)

    • thedessertprince

      Hi Ceri! Nice to have you here. I will share more about this petite camera on my blog again. Totally agree with you that the manual is completely useless. Keep a lookout on for the post yah?

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