Samsung Samsung TL500 vs Panasonic LX-5


New Member
Hi everyone,

I am new here. I am sure this question has been asked numerous times but I hope you will not mind me asking this again.

Me and wifey are both DSLR users but we do not want to carry our DSLRs when we are on a long trip - personal preferences. We are thinking to get 2 compacts for this purpose. Ideally we would like to get the same brand/model so we can share accessories and the like (such as additional batteries).

The TL500 and the LX-5 both fit our needs pretty well and I like the TL500's swivel screen (I like to shoot low angle without hurting my back) but the TL500 has less than ideal video shooting (only VGA and no AF).

The LX-5 has really cool HD video shooting (HD and full AF) but it has no swivel screen.

Both are wide angle 24mm and both can accept third party modifications to fit ND filters etc. Both has hot shoes although I will prolly be the only one using it. Wifey shoots available light.

I am really undecided which one to go for and would appreciate some opinions please.


Ray Sachs

Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
First off, welcome!

I have an LX5 and have never used a TL500. But I asked the same types of questions about both before I bought. And the tradeoffs seems to be:

Lens speed - the TL500 maintains a larger aperture throughout the zoom range (the Olympus XZ1 is even better in this regard) where the LX5 stops down more as the zoom gets longer.

Output - Many slightly preferred the output of the TL-500, but the sensors are similar and the output isn't radically different, particularly if shooting raw.

Rear display - The TL500 wins this hands down with the OLED screen and the articulating screen. The LX5 doesn't have a bad rear screen but it can be tough to see in bright light - it has an EVF available and it helps in bright light, but its not a very good EVF by modern standards.

Menus/Interface - Consensus seemed to be that the TL500 had (not sure if firmware has been improved since I was asking) a lot of very rough edges in this regard - some stuff that wasn't designed well and some other stuff that just didn't work well. Panasonic interace is pretty well developed and designed - I think the combination of external and menu-driven controls is pretty incredibly good for such a small camera. The only downside is the size of some of the buttons, but that's kind of inevitable with so little real-estate.

Quckness of operation - Here the LX5 was clearly superior. The TL500 was said to be pretty slow in operation. I don't recall the specifics but AF, shutter lag, write speeds (I think), shot to shot time, etc, were said to be much better on the LX5. I can't confirm how slow the TL500 is or isn't, but I can confirm how fast the LX5 is. I did a lot of street shooting with mine and set to manual focus and set up for hyperfocal shooting, there's zero shutter lag - VERY responsive camera. Quite good in AF too, but MF can be the way to go for street shooting and action shooting - the depth of field on these cameras is just so vast.

That's all I recall. And, again, the information on the TL500 is based on what I've heard from others - the information on the LX5 mixes in plenty of personal experience.

Both are fine cameras but it sort of depends on your priorities and how you want to use the camera.



New Member
Thanks for your comments.

I probably will not consider the Olympus XZ-1 (as well as the canon S95) as although they are capable cameras, their lens is not as wide as the LX-5 and TL500. As for the EVF of the LX-5, I don't believe I can justify the extra expense. So I reckon the things that I should consider will be (as stated above):

1. Rear display
2. Menus/interface
3. Quickness of operation.

Could any other TL500 users please comment if the TL500 is deemed slow to AF, etc?


Hall of Famer
Like bizmale said, AF is fast enough to not be a bother, although focusing on low-contrast subjects sometimes needs a couple of tries (or better: focus at the most contrasty part of your subject and recompose if you want to), especially because I have the AF light turned off.

Regarding the write times, I also heard stories of the very slow write times. Therefore I got a Sandisk Extreme class 10 card (30 mb/s). I did a test the other day to see how fast it is; Using raw + superfine jpeg, the time from (prefocused) shot to writing to refocussing to the 2nd shot, is just under 2 seconds.

I have no experience with other serious cameras, so I don't know what's reasonable, but it's sure fast enough for me (I only use raw+jpeg if I want a shot to be absolutely perfect, in other cases I use burst mode which only allows jpeg, so when I'm using raw I'll usually be taking my time to make a good shot anyway). Do note that I didn't try refocussing on something at a completely different distance, that might take a few tenths of a second longer.

Like you, I also only considered the LX5 and the TL500, because both have a 24mm wide angle. What I like most about wide angle is the stronger 3d-effect you can create by getting up close to your subject. For this purpose, I think the tiltable screen of the EX1 is invaluable, because it allows you to shoot from all kinds of odd angles, making the maximum use of the 24mm's compositional strengths. Also great for slightly less standard family/friends snapshots and selfportraits with friends.

I figured, regardless how good a camera is, composition is still the most important part of a good photo and the EX1 would help me develop my composition more than the LX5 would, so I got the EX1 despite its reported operational quirks (which don't really bother me so far).

My dad has an LX3, which is also really nice (I especially like the 16:9 mode with its extra-wide horizontal field of view), and maybe a bit quicker to operate. However, the larger number of dials on the EX1 does add to its usability, and in my experience I'm not significantly slower using the EX1 than I am using the LX3.

So far I'm happy with my choice, although I must say the EX1 is right at the limit of what I'd consider an everyday-with-you camera, in terms of size. I carry it in my jacket's inside pocket and it kinda looks like I have a single manboob :) LX3/5 may not look much smaller, but I think if you hold them next to each other the difference is noticeable (although you might disagree, coming from a DSLR).


New Member
Thank you all for your comments and after showing my wife this thread, we have both come to the conclusion that we should get the TL500. Now we are off to shop for the best deals. Thanks again.