Panasonic's new Cameras & Camcorders Announced in Hokkaido, Japan - Part 2

Comparison Tests for LX3 and LX5

Video Interview with senior executives from Panasonic Corporation

As promised, here's our video interview with senior executives from Panasonic Corporation in relation to the announcements of the five new LUMIX cameras and four new camcorders we reported just a few days ago. 

Panasonic Shooting Tour with LUMIX DMC-FX5

After the announcements in a press seminar, Panasonic took us on a shooting tour to the town of Otaru, which is about an hour's bus ride from Sapporo. It's a quaint, harbor-front town, with touristy shops that sell everything from confections, soft serve ice cream, glassware to music boxes and trinkets. We had both an LX5 and the FZ100 hybrid camera with us. We also brought along the older LX3 so that we can take side-by-side shots.

Basically, while we used to shoot one camera one after another, conditions may change (light, distraction, positioning). We decided to take the cameras and shoot them side-by-side simultaneously using Intelligent Auto mode. If we shot them on manual, it would be mentioned. Here are the results.

We wanted to test the LX5 on its manual mode capabilities. Here's a shot of a lantern and greenery with the LX3. Settings were f2.2, 1/125, ISO 80 in manual mode. Here's the shot taken with an LX5 on manual mode. Settings were similar to the LX3's shot except that shutter speed was 1/160. With the new jog dial on the LX5, toggling aperture and shutter speed settings become much easier.

Since we were in Hokkaido and walking the streets of Otaru, we figured we should capture some of the local delights. Here's a comparison shot of Hokkaido crab with both the LX3 and LX5 set to the Food mode (accessible via the SCN indicator on the mode dial). We wanted to see if the cameras were intelligent enough to decipher what we're shooting and compensate for low-light, over saturation and so on.

Here's a shot of the famous Hokkaido crab. This is based on the Food shot mode. Settings were f2.8, 1/320, ISO 160. Here's the same shot with the LX5 using the Food mode setting. The camera adjusted settings to f3.3, 1/320, and ISO 250. Notice how the LX5 was able to adjust for over-saturation and contrast.

Here's a shot taken with the LX3 from normal range. Settings were f2.0, 1/160 and ISO 400.Here's the same simultaneous shot taken with the LX5. Settings were f2.0, 1/160 and ISO 320.Here's a shot of the LX3 zoomed all the way to its highest optical zoom range of 2.5x.The LX5 doesn't come with a 2.5x zoom so here's one where we zoomed the image to 2x.Of course, the LX5 is able to optically zoom up to 3.8x so here's the result of going all the way. To just wrap up our brief experience with the LX5, here's one shot we took of a group of dancers.

Here's a shot with Intelligent Auto (iA) mode while the dancers were in motion. Notice how we managed to focus on the central dancer's face without blurring while the rest were in motion? POWER O.I.S. at work.Here's a snapshot of a slide comparing the specifications between the LX5 and the previous LX3. Most important is the higher optical zoom, POWER O.I.S. and AVCHD Lite movie recording capability.

 

Quick Experiment with the LUMIX DMC-FZ100 Hybrid Camera

We were also given the hybrid camera -- LUMIX DMC-FZ100 -- to test. This camera allows you to shoot Full AVCHD HD videos, comes with a 60 frame per second high speed burst shooting function (3.5 megapixels) and 11 frame per second (for its full 14.1 megapixels) as well as the Intelligent Zoom function up to 32x. Here are some sample shots from the camera.

We wanted to try manual focusing with the FZ100. This shot was taken with settings f3.7, 1/320 and ISO 200.  Then we switched focus (it's a matter of switching to manual focus and pressing the Focus button next to the lens). Here, the settings remain unchanged at f3.7, 1/320 and ISO 200. This example should give you an idea of the depth of field the FZ100 brings.To really test the Intelligent Zoom function of the FZ100, here's a shot from a bus at normal range.Here's the shot at 24x. Notice how stable the shot is even at this zoom level.With Intelligent Zoom (32x), the FZ100 performed remarkably well. According to Panasonic, Intelligent Zoom isn't the same as digital zoom but an extension of optical zoom based on its Intelligent Resolution technology.

Well this concludes our event coverage of the Panasonic Digital Imaging Seminar 2010 in Hokkaido, Japan. We hope you've enjoyed highlights of our coverage. Do look forward to our full reviews of these products when they arrive on our shores soon.