Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX2 Review

October 13, 2006 | Mark Goldstein | PhotographyBLOG | 19 Comments | |

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX2The Panasonic LX2 is a 10 megapixel digital camera with a unique twist - it offers a true 16:9 wide-screen sensor and a 2.8 inch widescreen LCD to match. Panasonic originally conceived the LX series of wide-screen cameras to be used in tandem with their 16:9 televisions. More recently they have been promoting the printing side of things, with a joint announcement with Epson last month. The Panasonic LX2 is also a camera for the discerning photographer, with a 4x zoom lens starting at 28mm wide, support for the RAW file format and full manual, aperture-priority and shutter-priority exposure modes. Add an improved ISO range of 100-1600, a High Sensitivity mode, pop-up flash and optical image stabilisation, and you have the makings of a great pocket camera. But can the Panasonic LX2 deliver on those promises, and more importantly does it improve on the noisy images of the original DMC-LX1? Read our extensive review now to find out.

Website: Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX2 Review

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#1 Pat ZIegler

Interesting, I have the Leica version of this camera Leica D-LUX II. It was advertised as an 8MP camera, not 10. Does this version have a new sensor?

Another discrepancy is that the Leica’s ISO ranges start at 80 not 100 as with the Panasonic version.

A couple things I found I do not like about the camera, Images recorded at ISO80, (100) a very good but bump up the ISO and the digi noise becomes unbearable. The camera is capable of recording RAW and TIFF files but for some reason you get a jpg recorded too. Perhaps this is useful to someone but I find it to be a waste of memory space and there is no was to shut off the jpg recording.

The flash is a bit wimpy but it will do in a pinch.

The smallest aperture is f/8

It does have a tripod mount. This can be useful if your into panoramics; the 16:9 aspect ratio can yield some interesting 2-shot panos.

1:06 pm - Wednesday, October 11, 2006

#2 Mark Goldstein

Hi Pat,

Yes, the LX2 has a new 10mp sensor.

It also automatically records a JPEG with a RAW, and there is still no way to turn it off (TIFF has been dropped altogether).

Leica have already re-branded the LX2 as the D-Lux 3:

1:41 pm - Wednesday, October 11, 2006

#3 pat ziegler

I see Leica has it's version as well, D-Lux III

3:29 pm - Wednesday, October 11, 2006

#4 Pat Ziegler

It would be interesting to know if the noise problem at ISO's above 100 are better than with the D-LUX II.

In my opinion the noise with the D-Lux II abovce ISO80 is unexceptible.

3:31 pm - Wednesday, October 11, 2006


Great review, Mark. A lot of readers were counting on it, so the fact
that you provided an 'unbiased' analysis of both the plusses and the
minuses of the LX2 was important. I think you summed it up best in
your conclusion, namely, wait for the 'LX3'. Not that anyone will, but
nonetheless, good advice.

P.S. You might want to see a doctor about that purple-eye. :)

4:13 pm - Wednesday, October 11, 2006

#6 nick in japan

Mark! GREAT review! You called it exactly right! I'm impressed that you even went to the camera's thickness too!
Outstanding! Gonna put you in for meritorious promotion!

11:02 pm - Wednesday, October 11, 2006

#7 AA

Hopefully the bad reviews equals bad sales and they step up for the next version, or quickly recall this one and issue a repaired version.

But then again, it almost feels as though Panasonic are saying, "Just shoot RAW, it's very good, and only use JPEG for the less important daily, throw-away web-ready stuff."
Which is not a bad thing, because hopefully that would mean that a lot more people are introduced to processing RAW, they don't need Photoshop necessarily, as I hear that the free software does a decent job of processing, which in turn could mean that there'll be more people with a lot more prettier photos to show the world overall.

(and hopefully get people like Nick in Japan out of the dark ages......)

6:29 am - Thursday, October 12, 2006

#8 nick in japan

AA, I agree with you! Thanks for the kind words!

9:20 am - Thursday, October 12, 2006

#9 MrFlibble

Can someone please reacommend a way of attaching an ND filter to this camera, and also what filters would be appropriate.

Thanks :)

4:51 pm - Wednesday, October 18, 2006

#10 nick in japan

#9.. There is no easy way to attach a filter without building a contraption that extends out far enough to clear the lens throw, and wide enough to eliminate vignetting. I did it, and it works, but you will need a few odd parts, e-mail me if you are up to it, I'll send you some pictures if you like, esentially it is an old Olympus lens shade that clamps on the stationary part of the lens assembly, with a 62mm filter screwed in the end, I adapted a Sony ring light too it also.
Prior to making this contraption, I just held up the filter in front of the lens, worked great, even rotated the PL to get it to work, easy, looks a bit funky doing it, but, easy! keep your filters protected in a pocket, whip them out and hold it in your hand.. Good luck..
Also, I use a PL filter alot, but, the coatings are superior on this camera lens, special effects may be your interest, but, for general work the LX has, IMHO, a great lens assembly, in all respects, no filters needed!( Remember that ALL filters degrade the image quality to different degrees!)

11:04 pm - Wednesday, October 18, 2006

#11 Prashant Agarwal

Nick, would you please provide the details of how to adapt a filter on the Lumix DMC LX2? Mostly I am interested in protecting the lens but would also be interested in trying out a few different filters. Thanks!

9:22 pm - Tuesday, March 13, 2007

#12 nick in japan

I made an adapter from an old Olympus lens hood that attached with a compression type screw arrangement, It had to be long enough to let the full extension of the lens, and wide enough to enable the 28mm view. I used it a couple times, but really dont recommend its use because of its obvious distracting look. I recommend holding a filter in front of the lens, with your hand. This sounds strange, I'm sure, to you, but it works well, even with a PL.
The use of filters alot of the time can be a real challenge, I've seen filter holders that are supported by a brace that attaches to the tripod screw mount, but either way, the filter has to be big enough to cover the extention and angle of view of the lens, I think I ended up with a 67mm that covered the wide angle view.
I would recommend holding a filter in front of the lens after you have composed the shot.

11:00 am - Wednesday, March 14, 2007

#13 Eliot Crowley

Is there any way to sync with other flash units?

11:34 am - Tuesday, March 20, 2007

#14 pzig98

Optical Slaves

1:11 am - Wednesday, March 21, 2007

#15 Jim Sawyer

Hi, I was considering the LX2 for when i go walking its 16 to 9 aspect ratio being ideal for landscapes, but disapointed that there is no means of attaching filters or lens hood a simple lens adapter tube could have solved this, another feature of this camera with its 3 format ratio,s that no one seems to have commended on is the fact that you are only getting a 28mm lens in its 16-9 format 3-2 being around 38mm and 4-3 around 50mm on eqievalent 35mm film the sensor is just being cropped as can be seen from the test photo,s showing the viriose aspect ratio,s bit of a disapointing review wont be buying one. jim.

12:02 am - Tuesday, December 11, 2007

#16 Re: LX2

I bought a Panasonic Lumix camera (it might have been the LX2) a couple years ago. The quality of images was very poor. Fortunately, Costco had a great return policy. I bought a Canon and have never looked back. Does it have a low quality lens, or did I just get a lemon? I do understand that just because my camera was poor, doesn't mean the whole batch is bad. Thanks!

6:15 pm - Tuesday, August 11, 2009

#17 GARYs Parries

Sounds like you've been busy. Unless you have a faulty camera, you should be able
to achieve shots better than your FZ18 every time. How are you viewing your images
to determine their softness? It is a known fact that 'noisy' images (such as those from
an FZ18) will be interpreted by your brain to have greater sharpness than equivalent
images with less noise (such as those from your D700).

To close down your lens, you will want to use the 'Aperture-Priority Auto' mode, which
automatically calculates the correct shutter speed based on your lens opening, which
you will want to close down as much as possible to achieve the largest depth-of-field,
which will yield the crispest photo. Remember, the higher the f-stop number, the more
closed down the lens. the crisper the photo.

The only times you would need to use VR would be if you are shooting at high zoom,
which is not the case with a 50mm prime, or if you are shooing at low shutter speeds
(below 1/60 of a second) which may be the case if you are closing down your lens. If
the camera is selecting a shutter speed below 1/60, then either: (1) put more light on
the subject; (2) open up your lens a bit by choosing a slightly lower f-stop number; or
(3) choose a slightly higher ISO setting.

One more thing, if your chewing gum is moving around on the stand, then even VR
won't help. :-)

Let's see if the 'Aperture-Priority Auto' mode solves the problem.

8:49 pm - Friday, August 14, 2009

#18 GARYs Parries

Sorry, Mark. The above comment should have been posted at:

It is there now.


9:54 pm - Friday, August 14, 2009

#19 fp

Great Camera with Intresting Sensor,I'm using for underwater now with DICAPAC,but is still good in any circumstances..

1:40 pm - Saturday, January 18, 2014