Panasonic Lumix Cameras Fail

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Today we have to report on more Panasonic Lumix camera problems. I have two Panasonic Lumix cameras; a DMC-LX5 and a DMC-LX7.

Panasonic Lumix camera failures. LX5 has faulty control wheel, LX7 has OIS system failure

The cameras are well taken care of, never dropped, handled roughly or been exposed to rain or snow. Both have now failed with less than two years of use. Keep in mind, these are not cheap cameras. They cost about $350 USD each when purchased. The LX5 lasted a couple years before the rear control wheel that changes shutter speed and aperture stopped working. The camera is now limited to operation in “Intelligent Auto” mode, something any cell phone or $100 camera can do.

Panasonic Lumix LX5 failed control wheel

Since repair quotes from Panasonic cost 2/3 the price of the camera, and thinking I was just unlucky and Leica has always meant “quality” to me, I bought a Lumix LX7 to replace it. After about two years, about the same as with the LX5, the LX7 started showing “System Error OIS” messages and the camera can no longer be used.

Panasonic Lumix System Error OIS

Both the LX5 and LX7 Lumix cameras failed at about the same age; two years. Both problems, the LX5 control wheel and the LX7 OIS System Error(the OIS is image stabilization) are hardware issues; either low quality parts or poor craftsmanship. Panasonic Customer Service is not known for it’s excellent customer support and it certainly is not cheap, especially since they are replacing poor quality original parts with other poor quality parts, this time with no warranty, looks like these two Panasonic Lumix cameras will be headed to the landfill because of $10 worth of mass produced electronic parts.

Information about Panasonic factory repair. The repair estimate for each camera is $232. The cameras cost $350 new. The Panasonic Support online chat does not work, there is no email address and each telephone call regarding repairs is $9. That is piss poor customer support.

What about all the five star reviews for Panasonic cameras on the internet? If Panasonic gave me a free camera and wrote a review after using it for a few weeks, I’d give it five stars, too. How about a review of a Panasonic camera that cost $350 of your own money and only lasted two years? That would be about one star. Maybe a half a star. Needless to say, this will be the end of the Panasonic products for me.

Like all the product reviews here at watermanatwork.com, we pay for all this stuff with our own hard-earned money. I burned $700 on poor quality, big name cameras. Think about that if are planning to purchase a Panasonic camera.

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Ron Foss

    My panasonic DMC-LX7 shutter frequently fails. I’ve given up using the “Intelligent Auto” and am considering giving up the camera completely as the shutter fails in other modes as well. I keep hoping I’m at fault as the camera is just over a year old but I’m sure that isn’t the case, alas.

  2. Karol

    Rear control wheel is an impulse encoder an can be little bit repaired by simple opening (as much as possible) and cleaning with an alcohol (isopropanol or ethanol). The another problem with OIS happens also in LX 5, but the software is not so aggresive as in LX7 do. So, the camera LX5 with the same problem OIS is able working, but the image is not sharp at all. Especially middle part is sharp and edge is not sharp. As the result, automatic focus is not working until you will switch to macro. Image stabilizer looks like source of problems.

  3. WatermanAtWork

    You seem to know your cameras. Panasonic makes nice cameras but much too fragile and unreliable for the price. I solved the problem by giving the camera to my friend’s teenage photo student. She doesn’t know anything about “RAW”, although now she will probably learn.

    Thanks for your camera problem tips.

  4. Juliette Laird

    My Lumix LX5 also failed after 2 years. I had it repaired at nearly half the cost of it new, and now, after 5 years it has failed again – System(focus). Knowing it is not just me (and I too have been very careful with my camera) may help get some joy from the retailer as in NZ we have a Consumer Guarantee Act that overrides the limited warranties companies offer. Thanks.

  5. Marius

    Ethanol worked on my wheel! very nice, thanks for the hint. The wheel gets dirty to easily, lack of seal..

  6. Marius

    Finally didn’t work, after some hours the problem appeared again. I cleaned 2-3 times more, and once I tried to rinse and blast out the ethanol after a minute or so.
    Nothing worked. So I took out the main PCB in order to access the small PCB with the dial. I took apart the dial, cleaned it and put it together again with some 2k glue. The same problem persisted. So I finally ordered a new “aperture dial wheel assembly” on aliexpress for 11 dollars. I will report back in some weeks to say if it worked.

  7. Anthony

    I have an LX5 and the scroll wheel failed too. Perfect condition never dropped not a blemish on it. It keeps on adjusting the exposure compensation and my only option is to reset the settings but really a pain and can’t truly use the camera anymore.

  8. John Spencer

    Hi all Lumix scrap LX5 owners.
    Have both LX5 and LX7.
    So far LX7 is not a problem!
    Recently the adjustment wheel on the LX5 did not respond at all, been a bit ‘flakey’ for a while.
    Difficult to get any response, with both shutter speed and compensation adjustments.
    Replacement unit is available from AliExpress at GB£10.00.
    Had a look at ‘Teardown’ procedure and decided not to go that way!
    Can use the LX5 by going into Programme Mode.
    Select P on Mode dial
    Set ISO to Auto
    Set ISO limit to Auto
    Set Minimum shutter speed to 1/250th sec.
    Away you go!
    If you can still hold a camera still enough you can use a lower shutter speed.
    Happy Christmas.
    J

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