Features Handling Performance Verdict Specification
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-S5 was announced back in January 2012 and is a budget compact camera for those with limited experience of digital photography or are looking to purchase their first digital camera, it would also make a good gift. It is available in black or red for around £80.00.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-S5 Features
The S5 has a 16.1 megapixel CCD sensor and 4x optical zoom, which is a 35mm equivalent of 28-112mm. To keep your images as sharp as possible there is Mega Optical Image Stabilisation as well as Sonic Speed AF.
iA mode makes picture taking as easy as possible, with the camera automatically adjusting the settings appropriately for the detected scene. This includes Intelligent ISO Control, Face Detection AF/AE, Intelligent Scene Selector and Intelligent Exposure. There are a range of scene modes as well as Panorama Shot and Auto Retouch.
Videos are recorded in 720p HD. There are colour modes which can be used when shooting videos as well as taking pictures.
16 megapixel CCD sensor
4x optical zoom (35mm equiv: 28-112mm)
Mega Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS)
2.7 inch TFT 230k dot LCD screen
720p HD video recording
ISO 100 - 1600 (High sensitivity mode ISO 1600 - 6400)
5cm minimum focusing distance
Panorama shot mode
1.4 fps continuous shooting
Available in black or red
Panasonic Lumix DMC-S5 Handling
The S5 is extremely light and small enough to carry comfortably in your pocket. There are a number of buttons on the rear which includes a d-pad with menu in the centre, playback, delete, mode and the zoom rocker. The d-pad gives you access to exposure compensation, timer, display and flash as well as being used to cycle through the menus. On the top is the on / off button and shutter release.
The menu system is easy to navigate, with a line of text to explain what each setting does. The screen is a little small, with a low resolution, but it's good for a budget camera - it's bright and clear to view. Battery life is rated at 260 shots according to CIPA test results, which we were able to manage during testing.
We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo
Shot to Shot without Flash
Shot to Shot with Flash
Burst mode records at full 16.1 megapixel resolution.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-S5 Performance
Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-S5 Sample Photos
Sample Photos - Images are well exposed with good colour reproduction. Landscape mode takes scenes with excellent blues and greens. Portraits have decent skin tones and are free of red-eye when using the flash.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-S5 Lens test images
Lens Performance - Images have a decent amount of detail at both ends of the lens with a good control over purple fringing. Detail within the images taken using intelligent zoom isn't great and you'd be better cropping your images yourself. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of 5cm with allows you to get close enough for a decent macro shot.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-S5 ISO test images
ISO Noise Performance - Noise is low at ISO 100, 200 and 400, with images become soft at ISO 800. Images at ISO1600 have lots of noise and look grainy. If you're shooting in dark conditions you can switch to high-sensitivity, found amongst the scene modes, which shoots up to ISO 6400 with image size limited to 3 megapixels.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-S5 White-balance test images
White Balance Performance - Under the incandescent studio lights the AWB preset takes an image with a slight colour cast, with the incandescent preset taking a much better picture. Under the fluorescent lights the AWB performs well, which is good news as there isn't a fluorescent preset.
Panorama | 1/400 sec | f/9.0 | 5.0 mm | ISO 800
Panorama mode - Panoramic images have a good amount of detail and are generally stitched together well, with slight ghosting occasionally.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-S5 Digital filters
Digital Filters - During shooting you can choose from 4 colour modes to make your images unique, choices are standard, vivid, black & white and sepia.
Video - The video below has been recorded in 720p HD. Quality is good but you can't use optical zoom during recording.
Value For Money
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-S5 is available for around £80.00. There are a number of alternatives below that we have reviewed, or you can also read our best budget compact cameras article.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-S5 is a budget camera that has Optical Image Stabilisation and auto panorama stitching, two features you don't often see on cameras in this price range. It is easy to use and image quality is good. With pictures having good colour reproduction, they are going to look great when sharing on Facebook. There isn't a whole lot to say against the S5, you can get cameras with more zoom for around the same money and care needs to be taken when attaching it to a tripod as the socket makes it a little unstable. The S5 makes an ideal Christmas gift for someone looking for their first digital camera.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-S5 Pros
Decent image quality for a budget camera
Has Optical Image Stabilisation
Good value for money
Takes good panoramas
Panasonic Lumix DMC-S5 Cons
Tripod socket is poorly placed
Limited zoom range
Intelligent zoom doesn't seem particularly intelligent