Conclusion: Reviewing the LX2 - the successor to one of the only memorable compact cameras of 2005 - has been a slightly disappointing, yet totally unsurprising experience. Like the FZ50 reviewed last month, the LX2 is an 'upgrade' that fails to address in any convincing way the single glaring problem with its predecessor.
Pros: Good resolution, sharp results with lots of detail (particularly at ISO 100), Unique 'widescreen' 16:9 sensor, 28mm wideangle (16:9 mode only), Comprehensive photographic control, High quality construction, lovely design, Good edge-to-edge lens performance and excellent, natural color, Feels fast and responsive, Big, bright, high resolution screen screen, Generally reliable exposure, white balance and focus, Effective image stabilization, Excellent on-screen menu and ...
Cons: Noisy sensor and excessive noise reduction at all ISO settings. Low NR setting not low enough, Underpowered flash, Auto flash mode tends to choose 1/30th second shutter speed (and a high ISO in auto ISO mode), Occasional exposure / dynamic range problems in very contrasty scenes, New control layout (due to larger screen) difficult for anyone with big fingers, Menus stretched to fit new screen shape rather than redesigned, Slow macro focus
Excerpt: I have owned this camera for about 1500 images, and I am starting to get the hang of its features. It is highly capable of taking good photos all by its self on Auto, and the scene functions helped me get some really neat campfire photos. The only gripes I have are its lack of a viewfinder to aid in composition, and the lack of a filter shoe. Other than that I have been very pleased, and the quality of my photos on SummitPost has gone up considerably!
Excerpt: Panasonic could have impressed us just by fixing the faults we found in last year's compact Lumix DMC-LX1. But with its new Lumix DMC-LX2 ($500, street), it delivers a whole lot more. A pocketable alternative to a digital SLR, the 10.2MP LX2 packs a gorgeous 2.8-inch LCD screen with a full 16:9 aspect ratio, loads of controls, improved burst rate, true high-definition video recording, a new image processor, and 16MB of built-in memory.
Conclusion: The Panasonic Lumix LX2 is a great compact (not in your back pocket though) camera. It can produce 10 megapixels of widescreen photos, a 28 mm wide-angle lens and of course has a lovely widescreen LCD on the back to show off your photos. The camera has above average battery life, a fair amount of external control (without too much button clutter) and a function menu to quickly access several camera settings.
Pros: Widescreen CCD with wide-angle lens, Above average battery life, Widescreen high-resolution LCD, Fast performance, Unlimited continuous shooting at full resolution, Great movie mode
Cons: Above average noise with smearing and detail loss due to NR, Redeye, Sluggish frame rate at highest setting; no movie focus or optical zoom
Excerpt: DPNow reports from Barcelona where Panasonic Lumix introduced its new 2006 autumn range and provided a first hands-on opportunity for its DMC-L1 DSLR
Read the official model-specific press releases and technical specifications: DMC-FX3, FX07, FX50, FZ50, LX2.
Excerpt: Whether the extra 2 million pixels is an advantage is a moot point, partly because smaller pixels bring more noise (and more noise reduction) and partly because this 25% increase corresponds to only 2% more pixels in width and height.
Excerpt: Physical Views The DMC-LX2 compared in size to a standard CD disc. The DMC-LX2 and the 6-megapixel DMC-FX3 . Continue to Features & Controls Lumix DMC-LX2 Specifications Lens LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT 9 elements in 8 groups (3 Aspherical lenses / 3 Aspherical surfaces) Optical Image Stabilizer MEGA O.I.S.
Summary: The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX2 comes close
to being the ideal compact digital camera that
many advanced photographers have been waiting
for. In its feature set, it is almost identical
to the FZ50, and provides full photographic control. It has fast performance with 1 sec. startup and
no practical shutter lag. It has a 16:9 [HDTV]
aspect ratio image sensor and the 28mm wide-angle
lens is perfect for landscape and group shots.
The 112mm tele coverage is ideal for portraits.
Excerpt: There are quite a few compact/ultra-compact digital cameras that claim to be genuine photographic tools, but very few that really offer users anything near the level of creative control that most serious photographers demand. Despite one noteworthy omission, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX2 may be the exception to the rule.