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Panasonic Lumix DMC LZ5 | Digital Camera Review | Camera
The Panasonic Lumix DMC LZ5 is a digital camera with a compact design and nicely rounded corners that have been neatly finished. The material used feel pleasantly rough, and the small yet clear handgrip ensures the camera lies comfortably in your hand. Apart from a handful of cosmetic adjustments, the design of the Panasonic LZ5 greatly resembles that of its predecessors. The size has stayed pretty much the same, and the weight of 234 grams (including memory and batteries) ensures the camera is compact enough to take along with you. It is slightly too thick to carry inside a trouser pocket, but this is quickly solved by a small bag.
Panasonic Lumix DMC LZ5 | Digital Camera Panasonic Lumix DMC LZ5 | Digital Camera
Panasonic DMC LZ5 - Lumix DC Vario zoom lens
The 6x optical Lumix DC Vario zoom lens takes a prominent position. The lens has a brightness of f/2.8 (W) - f/4.5 (T) and offers an attractive range of 6x, which translates to a 37 - 222mm range when compared to the traditional 35mm camera. Right of the DC Vario lens we see the built-in flash, with a bright orange shining LED serving as AF assistance illuminator or as indictor for the self-timer below it. The eye-catching silver ring that surrounds the optical zoom seamlessly flows into the silver coloured border we find around the handgrip.

Panasonic Lumix LZ5 - Mode dial
The top side of the Panasonic LZ5 is equipped with a mode dial, positioned in the centre. It is placed somewhat towards the back, so that the user can scroll against it with a thumb to set the desired main programme. The mode dial, which can be turned both to the left and right, signals each programme with a barely audible click. Above the dial, we find a miniscule opening that serves as a microphone. The zoom ring is attached around the shutter release button, and enables you to set the 6x optical zoom and digital zoom during recording. Furthermore, this ring allows you to zoom in when reviewing your images. The small on/off switch proves handy to work with, although it may sometimes cause the camera to be unintentionally activated when carrying it inside a bag. The small button with the "waving" hand indicates the MEGA O.I.S. - or in other words: the optical image stabiliser.

Panasonic LZ5 - USB interface & Memory compartment
When looking at the left side of the camera (seen from the back side), we see a small, attractively finished lid, behind which the USB and A/V out interface and the A/C power connection are hidden. The lid is of a very decent quality and closes securely. The opposite side of the camera shows a small gap, to which the wrist strap can be attached. Below, we find another small lid, which has to be slid backwards in order to be opened. Once opened, we see a card slot which supports the Secure Digital flash +memory card.
Panasonic Lumix DMC LZ5 - Universal tripod connection
The bottom side of the Panasonic Lumix DMC LZ5 is fairly smooth, and features a universal (plastic) tripod connection, positioned far off-centre and reasonably close to the corner. When placing the Panasonic LZ5 onto such a small bendable tripod, you do have to keep in mind that the camera will be slightly off-balance. However, you will still be able to change the batteries when the camera is connected to a tripod. The lid found on the camera's bottom side provides access to the compartment for the batteries. The camera gets its power from two AA format batteries.

Panasonic Lumix LZ5 - 2.5 inch LCD screen
When looking at the Panasonic Lumix LZ5 from behind, we find the so-called control centre. The first thing to catch your eye is the large format 2.5 inch LCD screen, which is surrounded by a black frame. Compared to the previous generation, the format has been enlarged from 2 to 2.5 inch. The resolution, however, has remained unaltered, and with approximately 85.000 pixels this admittedly comes across rather meagre compared to the current competition. The large format LCD screens have made the presence of optical viewfinders somewhat redundant, and as a result the Panasonic LZ5 is not equipped with this type of viewfinder. Beside the monitor, we see a grouped amount of buttons, in the form of a multi-controller. These buttons are positioned quite closely together, which means a certain amount of caution is needed when pressing one of them; this has to be done quite consciously with your fingertip in order to prevent several buttons from being pushed simultaneously. Below, we find two small buttons that serve to, among other things, set the display information and series of images. Above the group of buttons, we find a slightly rougher area with a raised edge, where the photographer rests his thumb. This small detail helps create additional stability.
Panasonic Lumix DMC LZ5 Panasonic Lumix DMC LZ5
   
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