Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ5

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' 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

    g n p Guest

    Ok, how much did you fetch??? ;-))
    Also, why do you think this is the best camera for you???
    g n p, Apr 8, 2005
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  3. 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
  4. Eric Babula

    irwell Guest

    Well, you did say 'OK, I'm sold', so how much
    did you go for?
    irwell, Apr 8, 2005
  5. Eric Babula

    Lin Chung Guest

    I was delighted that there was nothing seriously deficient in FZ5, according
    to this review. However, there are three points which may be of interest to
    those contemplating purchasing this model.

    1) In the DigitalCameraInfo review,,
    under Noise Auto ISO, "When the FZ5's automatic ISO settings were tested,
    the camera produced extremely noisy images", and under Noise Manual ISO,
    "The FZ5 received a 3.52 overall manual noise score, which far exceeds the
    camera's automatic performance, though this will not hold any weight in the
    eyes of prosumer users". The way this deficiency was described suggested
    that the reviewer wanted to say that this level of noise was *not
    acceptable* in this class or level of sophistication. Not just there but
    too much.

    2) This review was ready some two (or more) weeks ago but was withheld from
    publication after a communication with Panasonic HQ. Could it be that some
    deficiency discovered in the review was unacceptable to Panasonic who
    instructed/requested the writer to redo and/or alter certain wording? It is
    all very comfortable comparing the FZ5 lens performance with FZ20, but could
    it be that a direct comparison with another manufacturer's models would show
    up an unacceptable noise level (or indeed some other parameter)? We don't
    know unless and until some other reviewer takes up this challenge. Is that
    why a 4 Mpic (FZ4) is also offered along side with FZ5? The lesser Mpic
    with the same sensor size (1/2.5") naturally produces less noise.

    3) FZ4/5 does not have manual focus. This may become very awkward in
    certain situations, and, in my mind, is the one feature I miss most.

    Just a personal rant, you understand. :) I probably will end up buying this
    one anyway!
    Lin Chung, Apr 9, 2005
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. Eric Babula

    Eric Babula Guest

    You don't wanna know! Let's just say, it was a lot!

    Eric Babula, Apr 9, 2005
  9. Eric Babula

    Eric Babula Guest

    I don't know about the conspiracy theories. I'm not gonna even venture
    down that path at all.

    Please read the reviews at: again (as I said, I
    was down to the KM Z5 and the Panasonic FZ5, so I wanted to directly
    compare these two cameras). This website also picks the FZ5 over the Z5.
    Actually, look at their Digital Camera Ratings page - the FZ5 is ranked #
    6 overall, and the KM Z5 is ranked #18. There are only a couple dSLRs and
    a couple other cameras abouve it - the FZ5 is the highest ranked
    superzoom digicam. That should mean something, too, if you're interested
    in 10x zoom, min.

    Seems to me that every camera at this price range has some problems. They
    all seem to have too much noise, especially at higher ISO levels. Some
    have more redeye than others. Some have better/worse video than others.
    Some have worse distortion. None of these cameras is perfect. You have to
    pick what you're willing to live with and what you can't.

    Look at the review again. Look at the Comparison pages -
    comparing the FZ5 to other cameras. The FZ5 performs admirably, in
    comparison to other similar cameras. Look at the Sample pictures -
    they're beautiful. I don't notice any real problems that would bother me
    that much.

    From what I see, everyone is picking the FZ5 to be one of, if not the
    best $500 superzoom digicam available. I haven't seen one person pick the
    KM Z5 over the Panasonic FZ5. Seems to me that this is a good enough
    camera for me - but, then, I'm no professional, and I don't have the
    money (nor do I want) to buy a dSLR.

    Eric Babula, Apr 9, 2005
  10. Eric Babula

    Eric Babula Guest

    Oh, also read the review at All 9s and 10s for the FZ5.
    Eric Babula, Apr 9, 2005
  11. Then you haven't been following this thread. I not only picked the KM
    ZS5, I bought it and am thrilled with it.

    Konica Minolta DiMage Z5
     + has CCD anti-shake which uses less power
     + best macro mode to 1 cm.
     + fastest zoom
     + fastest focus
     + fastest save
     + available for $421
     + widest wide angle
     + external flash support with hot shoe
     + supports S-video
     + uses 4 rechargeable NiMH AA cells
     + supports manual focus
     + has widest ISO range
     - No focus assist lamp

    Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ5
     + at 290 gm is the lightest & smallest
     + focus assist lamp
     - just became available
     - no external flash support
     - uses Panasonic camcorder battery
     - doesn't support S-video movies
     - doesn't support manual focus

    I got the Z5 and it is exactly what I wanted. I take a lot of nature
    pictures and needed the anti-shake, zoom and macro features. The reviews
    are correct to use the sharp mode for sharp results. The down side of
    the Z5 is its inability to focus in the dark. I don't take pictures in
    the dark so that is no problem for me.

    A very happy KM Z5 owner.
    Stephen Henning, Apr 9, 2005
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. Eric Babula

    Bill Tuthill Guest

    I have two Pelican boxes that I've been using for 35mm film equipment,
    but it looks like the Panasonic FZ5 won't fit in the smaller Pelican box
    anyway. The lens sticks out a long ways, doesn't it? I can't see how
    you can call it a pocket-sized camera.

    Not that it doesn't look wonderful, depending on eventual selling price.
    The FZ20 fits easily into my larger SLR-based Pelican box.

    Do you think the higher chrominance noise in the K-M Z5 is due to
    the Sony CCD, versus the Panasonic CCD in the FZ5? The red and blue
    channels are extremely bad in the K-M Z5; green isn't bad at all, but
    maybe that's because Bayer-pattern uses twice as many green sensors.
    Bill Tuthill, Apr 9, 2005
  15. Eric Babula

    Eric Babula Guest

    Yes, Stephen - I remember your earlier posts to the same effect. That was
    one of the reasons I was fairly convinced that I was going to buy the KM
    Z5, and that I didn't see the reason to spend $70 - $120 to buy the
    Panasonic FZ5 or FZ20.

    But, after reading the 'professional' reviews, it seems that most
    everyone is saying the Panasonic FZ5 is a better camera, for various

    There are good and bad things of both of these cameras. I'm sure I'd be
    happy with either the KM Z5 or the Panasonic FZ5. There both good
    cameras! I'm just choosing the Panasonic, now.


    Watch, I'm gonna be just about ready to lay the money down, and Olympus
    (or Nikon or someone) will come out with a new camera that is just a
    little better than both of these! Ha!
    Eric Babula, Apr 10, 2005
  16. Eric Babula

    Eric Babula Guest

    I just misunderstood him - no biggie.

    Congratulations on your new camera! I think I'm going with the FZ5 for
    its smaller body. The wife in particular wants a small camera.
    Eric Babula, Apr 10, 2005
  17. Eric Babula

    measekite Guest

    Eventually I will like to get a DSLR. Now I am looking to get a camera
    that will be a supplement to that and maybe even a small shirt pocket
    one as well.

    For the supplemental Point and Shoot I ruled out the Canon S1 IS because
    of 3MP. I was considering the FZ20 but it did seem more bulky and
    heavier than I like but have not ruled that out. I intend to look at
    the FZ5 and FZ4. In some ways the FZ4, while producing fewer MP on the
    same sensor might have less noise and therefore achieve better results.
    I just do not know.

    What does bother me is that the difference between the FZ20 and FZ5 is
    about $50.00 to $75.00 with the FZ20 having more features, ED glass in
    the lens, a hot shoe, more powerful flash, and a constant aperture. It
    just seems more worth it but again it is heavier and bulkier. It is a
    difficult decision. I guess I think that the FZ5 is somewhat overpriced.

    What are some of the other alternatives under $500 that compare to the FZ5?
    measekite, Apr 10, 2005
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. 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
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