Panasonic has unveiled its camera line-up for the end of 2010, and sitting proudly at the top of the table is the 10-megapixel Lumix DMC-LX5. We took some quick hands-on photos, which you can see below, or you can read our full review for more detail.
The LX5 is the successor to the LX3, Panasonic's top-end compact camera. The LX cameras are designed to be back-up compacts for the prosumer who wants a snapper when they don't fancy carting their dSLR about. They're packed with the sort of features prosumers are used to, such as aperture and shutter priority and manual control.
Up front, the LX5 packs a F2.0 Leica lens with 3.8x optical zoom. That's a wide-angle 24mm-90mm focal length, equivalent to a 35mm camera.
Inside is a 1/1.63-inch CCD sensor and new Venus FHD processor, a more powerful chip to handle high-definition video.
The mode wheel offers automatic mode, manual, scene and program modes, aperture and shutter priority and two customisable modes. You can tweak movie settings or start shooting with the big red movie button. 720p hi-def video is recorded in AVCHD Lite format. AVCHD is a space-saving but not widely supported type of video file, so you also have the option to easily switch to MP4.
The LX3 adds a thumb-operated jog wheel for tweaking settings and manually focusing.
We like the boxy, no-frills flash.
The quick menu gives access to useful shooting functions.
The hot shoe provides a space for an optional bolt-on optical or electronic viewfinder. The electronic viewfinder has the advantage of previewing your settings and displaying shooting information. The optical viewfinder has the advantage of not being electronic.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 will be available this year. Prices are yet to be confirmed, but in the meantime read our full review.