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First Take: Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS5

As a step down from the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7, the DMC-ZS5 loses a few of its linemate's extra features, but keeps the 12x zoom lens, manual shooting modes, and other key features.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS5 is a step down from the company's top-of-the-line compact megazoom, the ZS7. The 12x f3.3-4.9 25-300mm-equivalent lens and body size are the same, but the ZS5 sheds the ZS7's GPS receiver, stereo mic, and ability to record HD movies in AVCHD Lite format (it records in Motion JPEG at up to 720p, though). The ZS5 also has a lower-resolution, smaller 2.7-inch LCD.

However, all those cuts lead to a $100 worth of savings, so if you don't need or want those extra features, the ZS5 is worth checking out.

CNET plans to do a full review of the ZS5, but until then our review of the ZS7 should give you a good idea of just what the ZS5 can do.