As the Panasonic LX3 approached the two-year mark since it became available in August 2008, Panasonic aficionados had ample cause to wonder when the replacement, assumed to be the LX4, would see the light of day. Two years might not be an unusual wait for a DSLR follow-up, but compacts generally turn over more quickly. Panasonic announced the LX3 successor in July for a late August availability, but the new camera enters the arena not as the LX4, but rather the LX5. What happened to the LX4? Don't know.
Panasonic reports the LX5 is "fully re-designed in the lens, the CCD and the image processing engine together with other improvements and upgrades." The camera retains a fast f/2 Leica zoom that starts out at 24mm like the LX3, but the zoom ratio is now 3.8x and covers the 24 to 90mm focal range. Resolution remains at 10.1 megapixels on a 1/1.63 inch sensor, but with a new Venus Engine FHD processor with triple CPUs that reportedly speed up processing while producing "exceptional noise reduction performance."
HD video is now available in AVCHD Lite or Motion JPEG formats. There is a strong resemblance between the two cameras, with a slightly different control layout on the back of the LX5. ISO sensitivity goes up to 12800 (from 6400 in the LX3).
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