Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH5 review: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH5

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CNET Editors' Rating

3 stars Good
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Compact form factor. Decent battery life.

The Bad Very poor video performance. Blown-out highlights and lacklustre image quality. Few features compared to other cameras in this price bracket.

The Bottom Line Unless you need a slimline, bare-bones camera, steer clear of the FH5 and get one of the many more pleasing options in the Lumix compact range.

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Design and features

Editor's note: this camera is the same as the Lumix DMC-FH2, with the differences being a higher resolution sensor (16-megapixels on the FH5 vs. 14-megapixels on the FH2) and a shorter battery life (260 shots on the FH5 vs. 270 shots on the FH2).

This bare-bones slimline camera isn't going to turn too many heads with its design, given that it's encased in a brushed metal finish with precious few buttons and dials to get stuck into. Along the top sit a shutter button, zoom rocker and the power switch, while at the back things are even more simple with a 2.7-inch, 230,000-dot screen flanked by menu and control buttons.

Taking up a tiny footprint thanks to its 1.8cm depth, photographers with larger hands might find the controls just a tad too dainty. Take, for example, the switch that changes between playback and camera modes — so tiny you need to get a fingernail into it. Elsewhere on the spec sheet, top-line numbers are pretty consistent with a camera in this price-range, with a 28mm wide-angle lens, optical image stabilisation and 4x optical zoom. Inside is a 16-megapixel CCD sensor, in front of which sits a Leica-branded DC lens with a slow maximum aperture range of f/3.1-6.5.

Within the camera, options are kept very simple, with just intelligent automatic, normal picture, scene modes and movie mode to choose from. Colour modes available include the now-Panasonic regulars of "happy" (saturates colours), black-and-white, sepia and standard colour. Connectivity is via a single AV/proprietary mini-USB out, and the FH5 uses a rechargeable lithium-ion battery with SD/SDHC/SDXC cards.

Performance

General shooting metrics (in seconds)

  • Time to first shot
  • JPEG shot-to-shot time
  • Shutter lag

Continuous shooting speed (longer bars indicate better performance)

  • Panasonic Lumix FH50.9
  • Sony Cyber-shot W5700.5

Panasonic rates the battery of the FH5 at 260 shots.

Image quality

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Where to Buy

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH5

Part Number: DMC-FH5P-K

Typical Price: $249.00

See manufacturer website for availability.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Digital camera type Compact
  • Optical Zoom 4x
  • Optical Sensor Type CCD
  • Sensor Resolution 16.1 Megapixel