The Good Good build quality; very portable; decent controls; smaller than competing premium compacts; bright, sharp lens and display.
The Bad Costs as much as a starter digital SLR with a standard lens.
The Bottom Line The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 is a compact and versatile camera that works well as a back-up for a dSLR, but it's too expensive.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5
For the best-quality photographs, a digital SLR is the number-one choice. They're not always practical to lug around, though. Hence the existence of high-end, premium-priced compacts, such as Canon's class-leading PowerShot G11 and Panasonic's Lumix DMC-LX5, an update to the Lumix DMC-LX3. The LX5 will set you back around £400.
The LX5 has a reassuringly solid, metal body. From the front and the top, it resembles the Lumix DMC-GF1, yet, from the back, it's more like a £200 point-and-shoot camera, with dinky buttons. Like the GF1, it includes an integrated pop-up flash, and a hotshoe for an external flash or viewfinder. But it's a more manageable size, measuring 110 by 66 by 43mm.
Compared to competing high-end compacts, the LX5 feels more elegant and streamlined. The fact that it will slip into a jeans pocket inevitably means it will also get taken out more than your dSLR.
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