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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.
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
- iA mode
- 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
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.
|Shutter Response||0.175 secs|
|Wide - Focus / Shutter Response||0.3 secs|
|Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response||0.6 secs|
|Switch on Time to Taking a Photo||2.0 secs|
|Shot to Shot without Flash||2.2 secs|
|Shot to Shot with Flash||2.9 secs|
|Burst mode||1.0 fps|
Burst mode records at full 16.1 megapixel resolution.
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Panasonic Lumix DMC-S5 Sample Photos
Low Light | 1 sec | f/6.5 | 20.0 mm | ISO 500
Landscape | 1/60 sec | f/9.0 | 5.0 mm | ISO 100
Sport | 1/320 sec | f/3.7 | 7.3 mm | ISO 400
Pet Portrait | 1/30 sec | f/6.5 | 20.0 mm | ISO 800
Portrait Scene - Flash | 1/60 sec | f/5.0 | 12.5 mm | ISO 1000
Portrait Scene - Soft Skin, Flash | 1/60 sec | f/5.0 | 12.5 mm | ISO 1000
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
Wide Angle | 1/160 sec | f/3.1 | 5.0 mm | ISO 100
Full Optical Zoom | 1/125 sec | f/6.5 | 20.0 mm | ISO 100
Intelligent Zoom | 1/125 sec | f/6.5 | 20.0 mm | ISO 100
Macro | 1/10 sec | f/3.1 | 5.0 mm | ISO 100
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
ISO100 | 1/13 sec | f/5.0 | 12.5 mm
ISO200 | 1/25 sec | f/5.0 | 12.5 mm
ISO400 | 1/50 sec | f/5.0 | 12.5 mm
ISO800 | 1/100 sec | f/5.0 | 12.5 mm
ISO1600 | 1/200 sec | f/5.0 | 12.5 mm
High Sensitivity Mode | 1/200 sec | f/5.0 | 12.5 mm
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
AWB preset - fluorescent lighting | 1/25 sec | f/3.7 | 7.3 mm | ISO 100
Incandescent preset - incandescent lighting | 1/25 sec | f/3.7 | 7.3 mm | ISO 100
AWB preset - fluorescent lighting | 0.3 sec | f/3.7 | 7.3 mm | ISO 100
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
Colour Mode Standard | 1/8 sec | f/5.8 | 15.5 mm | ISO 400
Colour Mode Vivid | 1/8 sec | f/5.8 | 15.5 mm | ISO 400
Colour Mode Black And White | 1/8 sec | f/5.8 | 15.5 mm | ISO 400
Colour Mode Sepia | 1/8 sec | f/5.8 | 15.5 mm | ISO 400
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 MoneyThe 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.
|Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS45||Nikon Coolpix S3300||Canon Powershot A3200 IS||Olympus VG-170||Pentax Optio LS465|
You'll also need to buy a memory card and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-S5 ProsDecent image quality for a budget camera
Has Optical Image Stabilisation
Good value for money
Takes good panoramas
Panasonic Lumix DMC-S5 ConsTripod socket is poorly placed
Limited zoom range
Intelligent zoom doesn't seem particularly intelligent
|VALUE FOR MONEY|
Panasonic Lumix DMC-S5 Specifications
|Max Aperture||f/3.1 - f/6.5|
|35mm equivalent||28mm - 112mm|
|CCD pixels||16.1Mp (Megapixels)|
|Sensor Size||1/2.33 inch|
|Sensor Size (width)||6.08mm|
|Sensor Size (height)||4.56mm|
|Screen resolution||230,000 dots|
|Shutter speeds shortest||1/1600sec|
|Shutter speeds longest||8sec|
|ISO sensitivity||100 - 6400|
|Optical Zoom with Video||No|
|Battery Type||Li-ion Battery Pack (3.6V, Minimum: 680mAh)|
|Box Contents||Battery Pack, AC Cable, Battery Charger, USB Cable, Hand Strap, CD-ROM (with PHOTOfunSTUDIO 8.0 Lite Edition / Quick Time / Adobe Reader)|