Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 First Look: Review. (Updated 22/7/...
16 May 2009
Summary: There’s too much to go into in any detail here particularly as Panasonic were so nervy about the camera being a pre-production model and so they feared, perhaps, it would not be quite up to scratch. However, the camera is great to use and handle, it looks nice and it seems to do exactly what it says on the tin.
Conclusion: Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 digital compact camera The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 was introduced with grandeur during an international press meeting. The decision to not go for a higher resolution amount, but instead for improvements, was received positively. The expectations were high up, while the camera still had to prove itself in practice. The paper specifications Panasonic revealed looked excellent.
Conclusion: The Panasonic Lumix LX3 is a capable prosumer camera that’s got very good image quality traits in almost all respects (Except for some noise and detail issues); thumbs up to Panasonic for tackling the issue of image quality which used to exist a few years back. The LX3 looks a whole lot like a Leica rangefinder camera and features a nice, bright zoom lens that starts at 24 mm.
Pros: Very good image quality; automatic color fringing and redeye removal, Very fast and very wide-angle stabilized 24 mm zoom lens, Nice 3 inch LCD and rangefinder-like camera design, Expandable: super wide conversion lens, external flash, external viewfinder and filters, Customizability: 2 custom mode dial positions and 1 function button, Great battery life (above average), Quick performance, Full manual mode, with advanced white balance controls and RAW image mode, Abun...
Cons: Some detail loss from noise reduction (use RAW mode or turn NR down), No red-eye removal or image brighten features in playback mode, Lack of white balance bracketing and color tone control, Not enough telephoto reach; no telephoto conversion lenses, Can’t operate zoom while recording a movie
Summary: There’s little doubt that the Panasonic LX3 is a serious alternative to any other enthusiast compact. While its retro styling appeals to the traditionalist, on the inside we see a whole heap of features to keep the discerning user happy. Panasonic has struck a fine balance between what the camera offers and what it achieves – and what it achieves are quality results.
Pros: Solid build, Impressive image quality, Design, Great LCD screen, Impressive AF performance
Cons: Ineffective grip, Limited zoom range (though potentially this is beneficial to image quality)
Excerpt: The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 ($499) is not your typical compact camera. Other cameras offer more pixels, more zoom, and bigger LCDs. So what makes the LX3 so interesting? It has a fast, 24 - 60 mm Leica lens with optical image stabilization. Three available aspect ratios, all of which maintain the camera's 24 mm wide end. Manual controls, "film modes", and support for the RAW format. A high definition movie mode. Heck, there's even an optional viewfinder.
Summary: We’ve seen something of a renaissance in advanced compact digital cameras over the last year. These cameras are reasonably compact and are much easier to carry than a DSLR with interchangeable lenses. However, as the prices for DSLRs continued to drop, the “prosumer” compact category started to vanish. Thankfully, serious photographers who demand a full-featured compact have more options today.
Pros: Consistent auto focus across the lens range, Nice bright lens with f/2.0 aperture, Amazing wide angle performance, Retro-compact design, Excellent range of automatic and manual controls
Cons: Nostalgic mode seems to be the only neutral color mode, Limited optical zoom, High ISO noise reduction smears fine detail, The hard plastic grip should be replaced with soft rubber, A little expensive compared to entry-level DSLRs
Summary: The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 is an ideal compact for enthusiasts who demand full manual control and specialist features in a small and light package. Crucially, the LX3 also addresses some of the issues concerning image quality which faced its predecessor.
We’ll kick-off with the sensor.
Pros: 24mm coverage, OIS and f2.0., Full manual, RAW and hotshoe., HD movie recording., Screen with 460k pixels.
Cons: Maximum coverage only 60mm., Lens cap can be inconvenient., 3:2 screen but max resolution at 4:3., Better IQ than LX2, but still some noise.
Excerpt: And the lens is a beauty too. As with all the higher-end Lumix models, it has the Leica seal of approval, but it’s the focal range and speed that make it really appealing as it’s the equivalent of a 24-60mm with maximum apertures of f2.0-2.8. Now imagine that as a standard zoom for your D-SLR.
Excerpt: There are some compelling reasons to own a Lumix LX3. The first would be the divine Leica wide-angle zoom lens. This DC Vario-Summicron may only cover the equivalent of 24-60mm (2.5x) and be built under license by Panasonic, but it has all the hallmarks of a lens fresh out of Germany. The picture quality is magnificent largely due to the limited zoom range of the lens. The 16:9 aspect ratio is perfect for expressing just how wide 24mm actually is.
Pros: Wide 24mm zoom lens, Fantastic build quality, RAW file + JPEG + HD movie, 16:9 aspect ratio