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-   -   Panasonic LZ5 or Canon A700? (

Chou Mar 11, 2006 11:04 AM

Both cameras are 6 megapixel, with a 6x optical zoom. Panasonic has their MEGA Optical Image Stabilization, but Canon's A series seems to have fared better than the Panasonics. I like the 6x zoom capabilities in both cameras without the bulky bodies larger zoom cameras have. Any comments?

mtclimber Mar 11, 2006 11:11 AM


It is indeed quite difficult to make any comments because neither camera has reached the market place and are not available for sale to consumer buyers yet. In addition, no professional reviews have been completed on these two cameras.


bjohn Mar 11, 2006 10:04 PM

One has been reviewed on at least two professional review sites. Both sites gave it good reviews but had a caution about noise levels. Here is Steve's-Panasonic LZ5

Here is the other-
Panasonic DMC-LZ5 review at PhotographyBLOG

I am leaning toward the Panasonic because of the optical image stabilization, but am awaiting the reviews on the Cannon before making a decision. I like the fact that both can take AA batteries, as proprietary batteries are expensive, could become difficult to obtain over time and inconvenient.

The Cannon has not yet been reviewed.

Chou Mar 11, 2006 10:13 PM

Thanks for the review pages. Any hints as to when these two will hit the market, and at what price?

bjohn Mar 11, 2006 10:26 PM

Your welcome.

Just scroll down the review page and some of the internet sites that sell the Panasonic are listed. It appears to be selling in the mid to high $200 range. Not bad for all it can do. It also takes movies with optical stabilization (a must with movies) at 640 X480 30 fps.

No idea on the price of the Cannon. If I find out, I will post.

mtclimber Mar 12, 2006 1:39 PM


Many thanks for the links. That is very helpful. Unfortunately, the LZ-5 does not utilize a Leica branded lens and it does show some softness at the edges.


bjohn Mar 12, 2006 7:29 PM

Your welcome, MT.Good point about the lens on the Panasonic, although both reviews stress that most consumers will not notice the problem with small prints. So I guess it depends on what you plan on using the camera for- or if you do not mind doing some sharpening with an editor.

mtclimber Mar 12, 2006 7:33 PM

In all honesty, when you are going to do a 8" X 10" print that edge unsharpness is REALLY going to show, even with post processing. Sorry but those are the facts.


mtclimber Mar 13, 2006 8:47 AM

At this point, I am going to wait to see the peformance and professional reviews on the Canon A-700. The Panasonic LZ-5 has too few (WB only) manual controls, too much noise (even at ISO 80), and the images are too soft at the edges, with corner darkening.

It won't bother me to wait.


bjohn Mar 13, 2006 4:14 PM

Here is another favorable review on the Panasonic-

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ5

Good point on the Panasonic, MT. But if one only plans on printing 5 X 7s, as I do, then the Panasonic appears to be a good choice. All the review sites agree that it does a fine job in terms of color, sharpness etc, and the noise problem and corner softness problem only comes into play on bigger prints. Regardless of how the reviews come out for the Cannon, it does not have image stabilization- and that is a must for me, as I plan on using the camera for movies. Also- with a 6X optical zoom, hand shakiness may come into play on still photos- and I GUARANTEE you that blurriness from shaking will show up on a 5X7 as well. So that optical stabilization feature is important.

So again, for what I want to use the camera for, this looks like a fine choice. But I will wait to see what the reviews say about the Cannon.

mtclimber Mar 13, 2006 7:06 PM


Please take a look at the review on Jeff Keller felt that noise was really an issue with the LZ-5.


bjohn Mar 13, 2006 7:51 PM


Jeff Keller's review is the one I just linked on my last posting. I read it carefully, and I quote from the review-

Although it has some annoying flaws, the 6X zoom lens and image stabilization make the DMC-LZ5 a camera that I can recommend. Those of you who want manual controls, or who make larger-sized prints may want to take a look at some other cameras, but for point-and-shoot users making small prints, the LZ5 is worth a look.

Another Quote from Jeff-

Photo quality was hit and miss. The hits include good exposure, sharpness, and color, while the misses include noise, vignetting, and occasional blurry corners. The biggest negative was the noise -- there's too much of it at ISO 80, and it goes downhill from there. The high sensitivity modes border on uselessness, as they look more like paintings than photographs. As I said earlier, the noise issue won't really matter if you're only making small prints, but if you like large prints or inspecting the photos on your computer, then you may be disappointed. Redeye was also a problem on the camera, though your results may differ from mine.

Look MT, with all due respect, I do not know why you continue to point out the noise problem. I have said that I am aware of it, but it will not come into play for my uses. If it comes into play for your uses, this is not the camera for you and I can respect that. But there are people like myself out there who only make small prints for their photo albums and the occasional movie. For those people, this might be the perfect camera!


mtclimber Mar 13, 2006 8:00 PM


You have read all the reviews, and have all the info necessary to make a good decision, with your photo style in mind. All I was saying was the LZ-5 is not for me. I have different priorities, and that is OK too.


slipe Mar 14, 2006 11:49 AM

I had a camera that was the current champion for corner softness and vignetting at wide angle and that was a Pentax S4. However I never took a picture with it that I felt vignetting and corner softness was a problem.

Old pros back in the film darkroom days would slightly soften and vignette the corners to improve the picture. Even most scenery shots look fine without the corners super sharp and bright.

There are about 15 thousand S4 photos here. The corner softness and vignetting is as least as bad as the LZ5. See how many photos you can find that corner softness and vignetting actually detract from. In fact it is hard to find because there isn't usually anything there worth looking at. I made 11 X 14s with my S4 and corner softness and vignetting weren't that noticeable.

There are a couple of situations where it isn't great. If you copy documents and want it to full the frame or maybe paintings, the corner softness is apparent. The most prevalent problem is with people who scrutinize their images 100 % looking for technicalities of the image that have nothing to actually do with the image. Those people wouldn't be happy at all with the LZ5. I think you can include camera reviewers generally in that group.

The A700 looks like it will be a nice camera. They have continued to buck the trend and leave the optical viewfinder on the camera. I find it hard to acquire and follow a moving target with the LCD even zoomed to 3X. It will be very difficult at 6X. A zoom like that needs an optical finder IMO.

Canon is advertising that they get good noise at higher ISO. Sony has been getting much better than average noise at ISO 400 with that same sensor, so Canon might not just be blowing smoke. It won't be up to F10 standards.

My guess is that the A700 will have a better lens and lower noise, but you lose some zoom range compared to the LZ5.

Edit: I somehow linked to the SD 700 - that looks nice for size and stabilization, as well as good noise. But it is only 4X.

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