Panasonic releases notable firmware for Lumix LX5

New LX5 firmware from Panasonic is designed to improve the autofocus performance and image stabilization, among other things.

Lori Grunin Senior Editor / Advice
I've been reviewing hardware and software, devising testing methodology and handed out buying advice for what seems like forever; I'm currently absorbed by computers and gaming hardware, but previously spent many years concentrating on cameras. I've also volunteered with a cat rescue for over 15 years doing adoptions, designing marketing materials, managing volunteers and, of course, photographing cats.
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Lori Grunin
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Though the company doesn't plan to update its fixed-lens enthusiast compact champion this year, Panasonic will be making an attempt to enhance the Lumix DMC-LX5 and keep it current. On September 13, the company plans to issue a firmware update that should tweak the camera's performance and image quality, in addition to tossing in a few more features.

The LX5's performance is actually pretty good for its class, but the new firmware will add autofocus algorithms derived from the company's Light Speed autofocus system for improved AF speed. It will also augment the image stabilization with the Active Mode from its Power OIS, for better stabilization during video shooting. There will also be adjustments to the camera's automatic white balance in low light, though I had no complaints about it on that score.

Other changes include the addition of manually invokable noise reduction for ISO 1600 and ISO 3200 shots; a miniature effect; increase of maximum shutter to 250 seconds; improved continuous AF and shutter interaction; and the ability to manually adjust the brightness, saturation and warmth of the LCD and add-on EVF for more accurate color preview.

According to the company, you'll be able to download the firmware starting at 1 a.m. ET on Sept. 13, 2011, from http://panasonic.jp/support/global/cs/dsc/. Since I expect it to significantly change the experience of shooting with the camera, I'll try to update my review with new speed and image-quality test results.