Panasonic LF1 vs LX5
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LF1 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in April 2013 and July 2010. Both the LF1 and the LX5 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with a 1/1.7-inch sensor. The LF1 has a resolution of 12 megapixels, whereas the LX5 provides 10 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LF1 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Panasonic LF1 and the Panasonic LX5 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The LX5 can be obtained in two different colors (black, white), while the LF1 is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic LX5 is notably larger (12 percent) than the Panasonic LF1. Moreover, the LX5 is substantially heavier (41 percent) than the LF1. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the LF1 nor the LX5 are weather-sealed.
The power pack in the LF1 can be charged via the USB port, so that it is not always necessary to take the battery charger along when travelling.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|1.||Panasonic LF1||103 mm||62 mm||28 mm||192 g||250||n||Apr 2013||499|
|2.||Panasonic LX5||110 mm||65 mm||43 mm||271 g||400||n||Jul 2010||499|
|3.||Canon G1 X Mark II||116 mm||74 mm||66 mm||553 g||240||n||Feb 2014||799|
|4.||Canon G16||109 mm||76 mm||40 mm||356 g||360||n||Aug 2013||549|
|5.||Canon S120||100 mm||59 mm||29 mm||217 g||230||n||Aug 2013||449|
|6.||Canon G15||107 mm||76 mm||40 mm||352 g||350||n||Sep 2012||499|
|7.||Canon SX50||123 mm||87 mm||106 mm||595 g||315||n||Sep 2012||429|
|8.||Fujifilm XQ1||100 mm||59 mm||33 mm||206 g||240||n||Oct 2013||499|
|9.||Fujifilm X10||117 mm||70 mm||57 mm||350 g||270||n||Sep 2011||599|
|10.||Nikon P7800||119 mm||78 mm||50 mm||399 g||350||n||Sep 2013||549|
|11.||Panasonic FZ200||125 mm||87 mm||110 mm||588 g||540||n||Jul 2012||599|
|12.||Panasonic GF5||108 mm||67 mm||37 mm||267 g||360||n||Apr 2012||499|
|13.||Panasonic LX7||111 mm||68 mm||46 mm||298 g||330||n||Jul 2012||499|
|14.||Panasonic FZ150||124 mm||82 mm||92 mm||528 g||410||n||Aug 2011||499|
|15.||Panasonic GF3||108 mm||67 mm||32 mm||264 g||300||n||Jun 2011||549|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The two cameras under review were launched at the same price and fall into the same market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature a 1/1.7-inch sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the LX5 is 7 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 4.5 (LF1) and 4.4. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3. The LX5 has the particularity of featuring a switch that allows to toggle between multiple aspect ratios, while maintaining the same field of view and full image resolution.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the Panasonic LF1 offers a higher resolution of 12 megapixels, compared with 10 MP of the Panasonic LX5. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.89μm versus 2.14μm for the LX5). However, it should be noted that the LF1 is much more recent (by 2 years and 9 months) than the LX5, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.
The resolution advantage of the Panasonic LF1 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the LF1 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 20 x 15 inches or 50.8 x 38.1 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 16 x 12 inches or 40.6 x 30.5 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 13.3 x 10 inches or 33.9 x 25.4 cm. The corresponding values for the Panasonic LX5 are 18.2 x 13.7 inches or 46.3 x 34.7 cm for good quality, 14.6 x 10.9 inches or 37.1 x 27.8 cm for very good quality, and 12.2 x 9.1 inches or 30.9 x 23.2 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LF1 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 80-12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 are ISO 80 to ISO 3200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-12800.
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). Of the two cameras under review, the LF1 provides substantially higher image quality than the LX5, with an overall score that is 11 points higher. This advantage is based on 1.2 bits higher color depth, 0.8 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.7 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
| DXO |
|3.||Canon G1 X Mark II||1.5-inch||13.0||4160||3120||1080/30p||21.5||10.8||581||58|
|12.||Panasonic GF5||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60i||21.4||11.6||618||61|
|15.||Panasonic GF3||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60i||20.6||10.0||458||49|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the LF1 provides a higher video resolution than the LX5. It can shoot video footage at 1080/60i, while the LX5 is limited to 720/60p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the LF1 has an electronic viewfinder (200k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the LX5 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the LX5 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the DMW-LVF1. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Panasonic LF1, the Panasonic LX5, and comparable cameras.
|3.||Canon G1 X Mark II||optional||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||5.2||Y||Y|
Both the LF1 and the LX5 have zoom lenses built in. The LF1 has a 28-200mm f/2.0-5.9 optic and the LX5 offers a 24-90mm f/2.0-3.3 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the LX5 provides a wider angle of view at the short end than the LF1, but less tele-photo reach at the long end. Both cameras offer the same maximum aperture.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the LF1 and the LX5 write their files to SDXC cards.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LF1 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|3.||Canon G1 X Mark II||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
It is notable that the LF1 offers wifi support, while the LX5 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.
The LF1 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Panasonic. In contrast, the LX5 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the LX5 was succeeded by the Panasonic LX7. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Panasonic website.
So what is the bottom line? Is the Panasonic LF1 better than the Panasonic LX5 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LF1:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (12 vs 10MP) with a 10% higher linear resolution.
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (11 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
- Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (1.2 bits more color depth).
- More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (0.8 EV of extra DR).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.7 stops ISO advantage).
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (1080/60i vs 720/60p).
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (920k vs 460k dots).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 2.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
- More compact: Is smaller (103x62mm vs 110x65mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 79g or 29 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- More modern: Reflects 2 years and 9 months of technical progress since the LX5 launch.
Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5:
- Flexible image proportions: Has a multi-aspect sensor that allows for alternative image shapes.
- Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (400 versus 250) out of a single battery charge.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in July 2010).
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the LF1 is the clear winner of the match-up (16 : 5 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Panasonic LF1 and the Panasonic LX5 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Prime Lens Compact Camera and Best Travel-Zoom Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the LF1 and the LX5 in practical situations. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.
This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|1.||Panasonic LF1||3/5||+||..||4/5||4.5/5||Apr 2013||499|
|2.||Panasonic LX5||4/5||+||73/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2010||499|
|3.||Canon G1 X Mark II||3/5||+||77/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||799|
|4.||Canon G16||4/5||+||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||549|
|5.||Canon S120||..||+ +||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||449|
|6.||Canon G15||4/5||+||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||499|
|7.||Canon SX50||3/5||+ +||72/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||429|
|8.||Fujifilm XQ1||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||499|
|9.||Fujifilm X10||..||..||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2011||599|
|10.||Nikon P7800||3/5||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2013||549|
|11.||Panasonic FZ200||3/5||+ +||80/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2012||599|
|12.||Panasonic GF5||3/5||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2012||499|
|13.||Panasonic LX7||3/5||+ +||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jul 2012||499|
|14.||Panasonic FZ150||3/5||+ +||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2011||499|
|15.||Panasonic GF3||3/5||82/100||71/100||4.5/5||4/5||Jun 2011||549|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
Specifications: Panasonic LF1 vs Panasonic LX5
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Panasonic LF1||Panasonic LX5|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||28-200mm f/2.0-5.9||24-90mm f/2.0-3.3|
|Launch Date||April 2013||July 2010|
|Launch Price||USD 499||USD 499|
|Sensor Specs||Panasonic LF1||Panasonic LX5|
|Sensor Format||1/1.7" Sensor||1/1.7" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||7.6 x 5.7 mm||7.85 x 5.89 mm|
|Sensor Area||43.32 mm2||46.2365 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||9.5 mm||9.8 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||12 Megapixels||10 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4000 x 3000 pixels||3648 x 2736 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.89 μm||2.14 μm|
|Pixel Density||27.70 MP/cm2||21.59 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60i Video||720/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||80 - 6,400 ISO||80 - 3,200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||80 - 12,800 ISO||80 - 12,800 ISO|
|Image Processor||Venus||Venus FHD|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||52||41|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||20.8||19.6|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.6||10.8|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||211||132|
|Screen Specs||Panasonic LF1||Panasonic LX5|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Viewfinder optional|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||200k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||920k dots||460k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Panasonic LF1||Panasonic LX5|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||10 shutter flaps/s||2.5 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Panasonic LF1||Panasonic LX5|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in||no NFC|
|Body Specs||Panasonic LF1||Panasonic LX5|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||250 shots per charge||400 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||no USB charging|
103 x 62 x 28 mm
(4.1 x 2.4 x 1.1 in)
110 x 65 x 43 mm
(4.3 x 2.6 x 1.7 in)
|Camera Weight||192 g (6.8 oz)||271 g (9.6 oz)|
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