Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 Review

August 12, 2008 | Mark Goldstein | PhotographyBLOG | 72 Comments |

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3Today we bring you the World’s first online review of the highly-anticipated Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 compact camera. The LX3 is primarily targeted at the serious photographer looking for a backup to their DSLR, or maybe even as their main camera. A full range of creative shooting modes, RAW mode, fast and wide f/2.0, 24mm lens, high-res 3 inch LCD screen and an ISO range of 80-3200 are all present and correct. Panasonic haven’t forgotten the novice user either, with the DMC-LX3 offering a wealth of scene modes and the highly effective Intelligent Auto mode if you just want to point-and-shoot. Retailing at £399 / $499, the Panasonic LX3 is a premium camera that comes with a premium price-tag - Mark Goldstein find out if it’s worth investing in.

Website: Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 Review



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#1 adrian

Your words:
...and the Sigma DP1 with its APS-C sized sensor still retains the crown of best image quality from a compact camera.

Yet, in your review of the DP1, image quality is rated only 1/2 point above the LX-3; is half a point a milestone difference???

To qualify that statement about the DP1, I think the point difference has to be greater. I would give the LX3 about a 3.0 for image quality. It's really not overwhelmingly impressive to deserve a 4.5 star rating.

3:09 pm - Tuesday, August 12, 2008

#2 oluv

not a fair comparison, but still. take a LX3 image and size it down to 4,6mp, sharpen slightly in photoshop and the image quality will be not far away from DP1.

but: LX3 has a 2 stop faster lens, a wider lens and zoom. and it is faster, and the screen is visible in bright light... and....

3:21 pm - Tuesday, August 12, 2008

#3 oluv

thanks for this great review. i especially look forward to trying out the raw-files, many thanks for providing us these. but the raw-files seem still to be offline, i hope this gets fixed soon.
i would only like to know how i can open them. is there any raw-converter that already supports LX3-raw files?
what about the silkypix version that comes with the LX3, is it also available somewhere else?

3:36 pm - Tuesday, August 12, 2008

#4 Mark Goldstein

The links to the RAW files have now been fixed.

3:45 pm - Tuesday, August 12, 2008

#5 prognathous

Thanks for the interesting review Mark.

Can you comment about how the LX3 compares with the GX200? I'm especially curious about the differences in image-quality, handling, macro and AF speed.

Prog.

4:54 pm - Tuesday, August 12, 2008

#6 rich d

hmmm..check out picture 32 of the nice old lady in the chair...in the window above here is a clear image of an older gentleman...really cool "ghost" photo..i.e. is that her deceased hubby she's thinking about, nice effect!...Great review too, thanks for the work!

5:26 pm - Tuesday, August 12, 2008

#7 Mark Millan

Thanks for the very in-depth review of the Lx3. I have this camera on "pre-order" via amazon.com, and i'm in New York City. But, in all honesty, after reading this review and the conclusion, I'm not that convinced to go forward with this camera whenever amazon will have it. My main reason for getting the camera was:
1. 24mm wide angle
2. keeping the average 10MP but have a better and larger senor
3. 3.0" screen with 460k resolution
4. 1280x720 at 24fps

And in the conclusion, you said that there is a marginal difference between other similar linux digital cameras, in terms of photo image quality.

So, my question to you is that you reviewed the FX500 and gave an excellent review on that one. How would you compare the Lx3 and fx500? With price not being an issue, should I still wait till after that photo show coming up, or go ahead and just get the fx500?

I have my honeymoon on October 13 this year and I want to have a digital camera that will kick some major butt over the old Canon Powershot sd500 that I still use.

Any helpful thoughts out there for me?

Thanks.

5:53 pm - Tuesday, August 12, 2008

#8 Mark Millan

Whoops i forgot to include my email address, sorry for the double post.

Thanks for the very in-depth review of the Lx3. I have this camera on "pre-order" via amazon.com, and i'm in New York City. But, in all honesty, after reading this review and the conclusion, I'm not that convinced to go forward with this camera whenever amazon will have it. My main reason for getting the camera was:
1. 24mm wide angle
2. keeping the average 10MP but have a better and larger senor
3. 3.0" screen with 460k resolution
4. 1280x720 at 24fps

And in the conclusion, you said that there is a marginal difference between other similar linux digital cameras, in terms of photo image quality.

So, my question to you is that you reviewed the FX500 and gave an excellent review on that one. How would you compare the Lx3 and fx500? With price not being an issue, should I still wait till after that photo show coming up, or go ahead and just get the fx500?

I have my honeymoon on October 13 this year and I want to have a digital camera that will kick some major butt over the old Canon Powershot sd500 that I still use.

Any helpful thoughts out there for me?

Thanks.

5:56 pm - Tuesday, August 12, 2008

#9 Paul Kaliafetis

Your words : "We found that the new 10 megapixel sensor does deliver better image quality than all other current Panasonic compacts (and much better than the LX2), but only marginally so, despite the physically bigger sensor and pixels. Once again noise is the main problem. "

Based on the samples I agree. How is the rating of 4.5 in image quality justified. DP1 has a really better image quality (in my opinion the image quality between these two cameras just cannot be compared). What should be then the rating of DP1 ?

6:03 pm - Tuesday, August 12, 2008

#10 AA

1 STEP FORWARD, 2 STEPS BACK.

Sorry, but this LX3 is not what I expected.

They put a smaller , non-16x9 screen to extend battery life and speed up refresh time. HUGE mistake. In this day and age, I think most people carry 2 or more batteries if they are a busy enough shooter.

And the price went up again! Yes they tacked on a faster lens and RAW and such, but really - I think they could've kept the price the same, which probably would've helped them move more units.

Really annoyed about the non-16x9 LCD.

6:08 pm - Tuesday, August 12, 2008

#11 xfcg

How do I open those raw files? Photoshop cs3 doesn't recognise those them.

8:33 pm - Tuesday, August 12, 2008

#12 JuHa

I don't think there were big surprises in the review (if you didn't fall for the Panasonic marketing speech), but not big disappointments either.

It remains to be seen whether micro 4/3 cameras or the rumoured Canon G10 will provide positive surprises.

9:18 pm - Tuesday, August 12, 2008

#13 xpanded

Thanks for yet another thorough review. Sad to see the (apparent) multiplication factor of the focal length when switching away from the 16:9 is no longer present (if I get it correctly).

One question taking it that you might get Panasonic to answer - does the external optical viewfinder zoom with focal length changes or has it different bright lines for common focal lengths [or does it only cover 24mm]?

Thanks.

10:35 pm - Tuesday, August 12, 2008

#14 ki

I think in the image quality section, you mean ISO 1600, not 16000.

12:32 am - Wednesday, August 13, 2008

#15 lucigrapher

On page 6 of the LX3 review, you state:


ISO 100-400 isn't a particularly versatile range, but the usual excellent optical image stabilisation system means that the DMC-LX3 is still an adaptable camera, as you can take a photo at a <u>faster</u> ISO speed and therefore a <u>slower</u> shutter speed, and still get sharp results, without adversely affecting the battery life too much. The fastest speeds of 1600 and 3200 are only worth using for very small prints.


Surely you mean that the Mega OIS is sufficient to produce good (non-blurred) results at the lower range of ISO settings (ISO 100 to ISO 400), even though the shutter speed will be slower (open for a longer duration) as a result.

12:37 pm - Wednesday, August 13, 2008

#16 adrian

A camera should first be judged by its image quality, secondly by its features.

Alas, most reviewers do it the other way around.

1:19 pm - Wednesday, August 13, 2008

#17 David Holloway

Interesting and comprehensive review, surprised that the chip design did not reflect that much of an advantage over the LX1 & LX2. I had the LX1 and had some remarkable results from it with prints up to A2 on my Epson 3800. Only disposed of my LX1 because I cannot get used to framing with an LCD viewfinder; found that subjects became washed out in bright sunlight and that it was impossible to frame exactly, plus have always been used to holding a camera up against the eyebrow and not away from the eye.

7:31 pm - Wednesday, August 13, 2008

#18 Mark Millan

About the DMC-LX3's senor, if you haven't already done so, read the second paragraph in the first link:

http://www.popphoto.com/cameras/5443/panasonic-lumix-dmc-lx3-new-trix-for-lumix.html

It says how the senor differs from the LX2. All in all, I think I'm getting more and more excited about the LX3 whenever it decides to come out.

7:35 pm - Wednesday, August 13, 2008

#19 CARL HAMILTON

thanks very much for the thorough performance review , Mark .
looks like your sentiments also generally reflected mine , a bit of a letdown even as the LX3 was sporting a fabled Leica lens . alas ! looks like we have to look forward to a Leica version and hope that the image quality could be better improved .

8:09 pm - Wednesday, August 13, 2008

#20 CARL HAMILTON

on the physical side of things , i wish that Panasonic would remove that vertical chrome strip running the length of the grip as it makes the camera appear too cluttered. you can compare the "clean" facade of the Leica D-Lux2 vis-a-vis the Panasonic LX2 and would know what I mean.

8:19 pm - Wednesday, August 13, 2008

#21 Jose Eduardo Mendonca Xavier

The review is ver clear. The camera looks nice, but I have two critics: 1) Look at the photo of the red flower macro; the process of in camera fringe removal seem to produce a blur around the flower; 2) as the camera is directed to the photographers or the people intended to be, think the absence of the optical viewfinder will not atract the intended public.
JEMX

8:25 pm - Wednesday, August 13, 2008

#22 Mark Millan

Thanks Carl. I can tell you this, I've been going to every review site known to man especially:

http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/cameraDetail.php?cam=1237

then clicking on the forum thing at the top:

http://www.dcresource.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=26

reading information there.

9:43 pm - Wednesday, August 13, 2008

#23 Mark Millan

Comparing the LX3 review on this site and then opening another tab (i have mozilla browser), and comparing the 'Image Quality' page to other Panasonic reviews (i.e DMC-TZ5) and to the Ricoh Caplio GX200:

http://www.photographyblog.com/reviews_ricoh_gx200.php

because everyone's raving about that camera ... and honestly ... the LX3 is winning the race in my research.

9:45 pm - Wednesday, August 13, 2008

#24 Mark Millan

the photos clearly show the image quality is much (not marginally) better than other top quality digital cameras (when especially looking at the noise levels, anti-shake, etc.

So, ever since I wrote comment #8 on this discussion group, I'm slowly thinking less of the LX3 as sub par camera and thinking much better about purchasing it.

9:48 pm - Wednesday, August 13, 2008

#25 Mark Millan

Either way, come October, I HAVE TO GET A NEW digital camera over the Canon Powershot SD500 that i'm totally tired of, even though it has lasted me a very long time.

But again, keep in mind, all of this is just my opinion. So don't shoot me. Ha.

Thoughts?

9:51 pm - Wednesday, August 13, 2008

#26 JuHa

I'm still using Canon Digital Ixus 400 (SD400?), which I'm also getting quite tired of, but so far there hasn't been a really good replacement available. LX3 doesn't look at all bad.

10:00 pm - Wednesday, August 13, 2008

#27 Mark Millan

Yeup JuHa, Ixus 400 = Sd400. There were times (many times) that I could've bought a digital camera to replace my sd500, but I was really waiting for the 1280 x 720p movie function, the higher sandisk gb cards to hold these monster movie files, a freakin' wide angle lens that canon really never had back then until the sd870is (but still not worth it), and most importantly: REALLY GOOD, NON-NOISEY, image quality. So, again, I'm feeling alot better about moving forward with the LX3 whenever it comes out.

10:10 pm - Wednesday, August 13, 2008

#28 AA

I'm telling ya, the non-16x9 LCD is a stupid mistake, especially considering the fact that Panny is also pushing this camera's "video" capabilities of shooting HD at 720p - DUH.
You wouldn't find camcorders with non-16x9 LCDs or viewfinders if the thing shoots HD, so why did Panny put this silly LCD on the LX3? Makes no sense except to save some battery life.

They must be planning LX4 for next year, an much more upgraded version that is going to be close to having a small HD Camcorder in your pocket that can also shoot very nice RAW still images at full resolution.

Once we all make the switch to HDTV next year, the LX3 will be forgotten in a flash.

10:54 pm - Wednesday, August 13, 2008

#29 Alex

Need RAW.

10:01 am - Thursday, August 14, 2008

#30 JuHa

If Canon obeys the same schedule as last year, they should announce a bunch of compact cameras within 1-2 weeks. Last year the Canon announcement was August 20th. So far Canon has only announced printers and camcorders, so we'll have to see what is coming.

Perhaps thre will be a G10, perhaps something completely new.

Nikon activities in the high-end don't really push Canon in the advanced compacts category, and LX3 is a bit marginal from this perspective also.

10:41 am - Thursday, August 14, 2008

#31 hiley

Well done! A really well written review!

You're right about the pending competition (Canon G10, etc) but I think this will become a cult camera. Especially when Leica rebrand it!

If Canon's G10 finally gets a decent wide-angle lens, it'll be a killer. And an NP2 from Sigma has all the potential to grab the crown again!

There's always something newer and better on the horizon. But I think Panasonic has a serious hit on their hands with the LX3.

1:58 pm - Thursday, August 14, 2008

#32 Mark Millan

I totally agree with you Hiley.

2:59 pm - Thursday, August 14, 2008

#33 Mark Millan

Check out this link! Jumpin' Jesus, this link explains EVERYTHING about the DMC-LX3. Probably the best website out there. It's like having a virtual manual. It's AWESOME:

http://panasonic.net/pavc/lumix/lx3/high_image.html

What do you people think?

3:30 pm - Friday, August 15, 2008

#34 AA

It's just an average camera, Mark Millan.

6:19 pm - Friday, August 15, 2008

#35 Mark Millan

AA: I know you are really PO'd about the LCD mistake in the back, but looking at this camera from an "image quality" perspective, this camera really does an excellent job over similar cameras due to everything explained on that link that I just posted when you hit the "high quality image" tab. If you haven't read that part, you should. I appreciate your comment. Out of curiosity, what digital camera do you own?

6:24 pm - Friday, August 15, 2008

#36 JuHa

I wouldn't care about 16x9 LCD in a digital camera - I want to shoot photos, not video, and 4:3 aspect ratio is best for most photos. In fact, I often wonder why 3:2 is popular at all, as there are few subjects that are good for this aspect ratio.

8:22 pm - Friday, August 15, 2008

#37 David

You say : "Movies are saved in the Quicktime .MOV format, which is fine for the smaller sizes, ..... Panasonic would have been better advised to employ a more efficient video codec."

QuickTime .MOV is a file wrapper not a codec. The codec is motion JPEG. If I want HD video I would use a camcorder not a still camera.

9:00 pm - Saturday, August 16, 2008

#38 AA

Mark Millan:
I've owned the previous 2 LXs. I still shoot with both. I've been a fan of the wide-angle 16x9 shots since the beginning, and have trained my eye to it now. Granted, it also helps with the camcorders, but I would have preferred that this series would've stuck to the still capabilities rather than boast its fake HD capability.

It's a fine line, really.

JuHa:
Can I say this: dear oh dear. If you don't want 16x9 stills, then why are you here even talking about this camera?

David:
Thanks for saying the correct thing about the video. Eventually, I guess, the Camera-Of-The-Future will have High HD-video with perfect RAW formart for stills and immediate upload via Wi-Fi or even G3 or above connection straight to a remote harddrive somewhere in cyberspace or at your house.

3:41 am - Monday, August 18, 2008

#39 JuHa

To AA: Well, the promised low-light capabilities are interesting (f 2.0 + high-ISO). But it seems that the 13.6 megapixel Sony DSC-W300 with its 1/1.7 inch sensor is doing good at ISO 400-800 and even at ISO 1600, so the sensor in LX3 may not be the best small sensor available at all.

7:33 am - Monday, August 18, 2008

#40 Michael

Wow there's a lot going on here!

1. The LCD's size IS bigger (3.0" vs 2.8"). Not only that but the overall area of the screen is much bigger. So with the 3:2 ratio display the 16:9 view will be about the same.

2. Choice of preferred aspect ratio: This is the wonderful part about the LX3! You have the easy choice of which aspect to shoot in )or all 3 even). Everyone has their own preference and even if it's not 16:9 there are many reasons to like this camera. If prefer 3:2 as it's the same as film and for most prints. The LX3 gives me a 9.5MP image with a 24mm wide view. I also like 16:9 but it's harder to print.

3. Price: The price is well in line ($500 US) with the market. The LX1 was $500 when it came out and so was the LX2. Though the LX2 was cheaper because much of it was the same from the LX1 and after 2 years the price of course has decreased. In 2yrs the LX3 will be $300. The Canon G series, Nikon P6000, Ricoh Gx100 and GX200 (without a viewfinder) are all in the same price range. The DP1 (w/o accessories) is 160% more.

4. this is maybe just me, but: I am very happy to fin that the battery in the LX series has stayed the same from the beginning. Not only is it good for upgrades, but it's environmentally safe. (Look at just how many different types of batteries Canon has and how many are incompatible with each other). Less batteries will be wasted.

Now to clear up the sensor confusion:

The LX3's bigger sensor is really different. It's not anyone aspect. It's 'multi aspect' as Panasonic calls it. The overall 1/1.63 sensor has 11.3MP, but Panasonic is only using a smaller inside portion of the sensor. In each of the 3 aspects NO cropping is being done meaning the sensor can actually be 3 different aspects with the same field of view. Probably the easiest way to understand everything is to look at this great diagram:
http//www.pbase.com/viztyger/image/100570650
The 16:9 mode has an effective 8.9MP because the total area used is less. However not that the pixels are still bigger than the LX2 and every other compact camera except for the DP1.

Many compact cams are advised not to go above ISO 400 (the G9) but PROs love and use them. Also consider this when comparing to the DP1: The DP1's max ISO is 800 (say for the LX3 you stop at 400). The LX3's lens at 24mm lets in FOUR TIMES the light of the DP1's lens. At 60mm it lets in 2x the light. That's one or 2 whole ISO settings. At the same time the DP1 and LX3 are hardly even related. Panasonic's goal was not to take on the DP1, and not even really the G9, but that's a lot closer than the Dp1.

Of course in the end there will NEVER be a shot that is technically prefect in every way. The DP1 'may be the king of compact image quality' but if I get the shot with whatever cam I have; isn't that what matters?: If I have the shot. We all (myself included) worry too much about things like ISO instead of composition and leading lines or varying angles, etc. etc. People used to shoot 1600 film BECAUSE of it's grain. (TIP B&W;from these cams at high ISO's is nice!) Maybe I shouldn't be here now and be taking pictures.
Now, I know that's a bit contradictory compared to the first part of my comment, so take it like you will. But I just wanted to provide some technical insight as well as my own...

Then again I'm probably the only teenager who wants my own darkroom in addition to a stash of digi cams I'd like to use.

11:46 pm - Monday, August 18, 2008

#41 AA

Michael::

I hate the LX3 even more. How can Panny let the 16x9 be smaller!!!! They basically got lazy and went the same way as in their TZ5 series.

Totally disappointed in this "floating" frame aspect ratio. So stupid. So silly. The LX2 was the proper way to do it, and now they went and mickey-moused it again. I would end up getting a smaller image for a bigger aspect ratio? Ridiculous.

2:57 am - Tuesday, August 19, 2008

#42 Michael

I don't know that it matters how much smaller it is. The file size difference is only 1MP. It wouldn't make a difference in normal use.

I love the multi-aspect sensor because it's much more versatile for many people.

What do you mean by 'a smaller image for a bigger aspect ratio'? The image area used by a 16:9 is smaller than that of a 3:2 or 4:3 or 5:4 or 1:1 image.

With the direction Panny went they easily could have created 2 cams, but they're for profit and that would make sense. Of course I'm waiting for the G10 to make my decision.

3:22 am - Tuesday, August 19, 2008

#43 AA

You showed me the PBase analysis of the sensor difference - what part of that don't you get?

The LX2's way of going down in size from the 16x9 to 3x2, to 4x3 respectively by cutting down the sides to fit the aspect is the right way. Not this new way of the floating frame that goes backwards in size/pixel count.
Just look at it - see what I mean?
It may not matter to you, but it means a lot to me.

5:38 am - Tuesday, August 19, 2008

#44 AA

What they did is to give you the "same angle of view" in the LX3 - which, in essense, at the widest angles, the image gets distorted more than before, rather than the way it was in LX2, which is a flat cut, from the widest to the narrowest, but at least you know where the cut was going to be and it was easy to work out the cut.

Now in the LX3, the image is always the same, no matter what aspect you use. Which means, from the widest to the narrowest, the image will get "squeezed" by the curvature of the lens, which equals distortion - and reverse in pixel count!

Just so silly to do this, after getting us used to the LX2's way of looking at things.

They should've renamed this with a whole new series of names, like TZX or LXZ or something, cos it's a cross between, obviously.

Shame.

5:43 am - Tuesday, August 19, 2008

#45 AA

And don't worry, I won't cry over spilled milk. I will stick by what I said - 1 step forward, 2 steps back. Who wants a distorted image?

5:51 am - Tuesday, August 19, 2008

#46 JuHa

AA: I really don't understan the comments about a distorted image? It seems that the lens is doing well in all aspect ratios. And the way Panasonic is doing it in LX3 is the intelligent and right way of doing it - any other way is silly waste of the lens imaging area in other aspect ratios than 16:9, which is of marginal use to photographers.

7:57 am - Tuesday, August 19, 2008

#47 oluv

here you can find some of my own LX3 tests, i compared it mainly to the LX1 and Fuji F20 in both raw and jpeg:

http://www.pbase.com/oluv/lx3test

there are also lots of other sample-images all taken in raw with no noise-processing, except where stated.

unfortunately my model seems to have a misaligned lens, as many pictures show a softness to the left.
i brought my lx3 back and am waiting for a replacement now.

apart from the broken lens i think that this camera is really a big step forward from the predecessors, as well in image quality as in handling. the images are finally quite usable until iso400 and even iso800. at iso1600 they are starting to fall apart though.

8:39 am - Tuesday, August 19, 2008

#48 Michael

I understand that diagram perfectly. There is no distortion different than what you might see on any camera.

How will the image be squeezed any more than the LX2? The 24mm wide Field of View is a diagonal and thus nothing is beings squished or changed from each picture there is simply a different set of pixels being used. The lens uses the full sensor for each aspect and allows RAW in each way. The main pixel count for the 16:9 is about 1MP less like I said. For almost everything the majority of used would do this is a negligible difference. Plenty big enough for prints. You gain resolution in the other areas. Photogs have been asking for less pixels for a long time and this is a step towards that. It's better for printing too. 16:9 is hard to print, but a 24mm 3:2 is as beautiful and much easier.

I'll take a slightly smaller imaging circle with less MP (keeping the pixels large like here ) any day for versatility.

2:16 pm - Tuesday, August 19, 2008

#49 Charles Koelsch

Great review format. Just the facts and no long winded personal opinions, wishlists, or comparisions. It is the type of review I can use to form my own opinion and not get bogged down in someone elses.

thanks

6:27 pm - Tuesday, August 19, 2008

#50 AA

Stretch from 4x3 to 16x9, or in reverse, squeeze 16x9 to 4x3 - you try it yourself.

When you're seeing the SAME IMAGE in either aspect from edge to edge, and you either stretch or squeeze - that is warping, or in other words, distortion, because you're making the same image fit into different aspects.

If it doesn't make sense to you, you will, once you start to take photos with it.

I also use the TZ5. That camera does the same "floating frame" and either squeezes or stretches whichever way you want to look at it - the image is warped. It is not flat cut edge-to-edge.

16x9 is fine for printing - you get any size paper and cut it to that size one you're done printing.

9:19 pm - Tuesday, August 19, 2008

#51 JuHa

AA: I'm not completely sure what you are saying, but if you mean that the same pixel data is used in all aspect ratios, you are mistaken. See here for a nice illustration:

http://www.seriouscompacts.com/2008/07/lx3-vs-lx2-relative-sensor-sizes-and.html

The LX3 image sensor is a really nice design in terms of aspect ratios. (And although I haven't used 16:9 it doesn't mean I wouldn't find some uses for it.)

10:00 pm - Tuesday, August 19, 2008

#52 AA

It's OK JuHa:

it's just wonky.

3:54 am - Wednesday, August 20, 2008

#53 AA

Mr. Goldstein:

Looking at your Aspect Ratio comparison - here, once again, you do not do the camera's actual aspect capture justice.
You must show the actual size differences according to the pixels and how the sensor's space is used by this "multi-aspect" switcheroo, which in this case, the height difference from 4x3 up to 16x9, is "fitted" into this sensor image circle.

4:02 am - Wednesday, August 20, 2008

#54 Michael

AA: that is my whole point! The images between 3:2 and 16:9 and 4:3 are NOT the same images. They used different areas or the sensor. you gain more vertical view in a 3:2 over a 16:9. You cannot gain that when converting/ cropping an images.

The previous link to Panny's site has a photo overlaying the 3 different aspects.

4:15 am - Wednesday, August 20, 2008

#55 AA

You're talking about this image?:
http://panasonic.net/pavc/lumix/lx3/img/high_image/lens02_image11.jpg

Yeah?

This is the same technique as how you would "cut" the image to fit the screen image in Motion Picture framing for the various ratios. That's why, back in the day, sometimes you saw the microphone drop into the scene for a 4x3 TV frame from a movie that was shot on 1:1.85 framing because they did not adjust the frame during transfer - annoying as hell.

And what's even more annoying is why Panny decided to do it this way considering the fact that we're about to make the full tranistion to HDTV 16x9 next year. Absolutely confounds me why they did this, especially seeing as how they are also promoting the video capabilities of being able to shoot 720p HDTV with this little thing.

1:51 am - Thursday, August 21, 2008

#56 JuHa

AA: Ok, I get it, in your world there only is the 16:9 aspect ratio and nothing else exists or should exist outside of it. Well, I think there are other ways of looking at the world, at least as far as I'm concerned.

7:07 am - Thursday, August 21, 2008

#57 AA

We're only talking about THIS camera and what it touts.

Geez will you calm down? I think my grievance with this camera is pretty valid, insofar as justifying how Panny is touting it with its particular functions by which Panny is trying to sell this machine.

"there are other ways of looking at the world"

Obviously, to you, there isn't, because you don't understand what I am saying. But that's OK. I don't work in the marketing department either. But I do know I would have a hard time talking about the video capabilities (=plugging it into a HDTV) when this is a still camera with variable aspect ratios.

10:50 pm - Thursday, August 21, 2008

#58 JuHa

AA: This has been an interesting discussion about formats. Now I sort of understand the 16:9 + HDTV viewpoint, but on the other hand I feel good that the sensor does more than just crops pixels from within the 16:9 frame.

In fact, it would be nice to have a square aspect ratio as well, but that would mean adding quite a lot of extra silicon to the sensor.

7:23 am - Friday, August 22, 2008

#59 AA

You want square? That's what you want?

Then you should go to the Medium Formats like the Hasselblads or those digi-backs. Go to the Professional level of sizes and control.

This is an ultra-compact with a small sensor that you can pocket, not some sort of amazing professional camera.

I've been shooting wide formats for a long time, I've owned the Hasselblad/ Fuji iterations of their XPans as well as Linhofs.

If you've never tinkered with such PANORAMA cameas, you wouldn't understand

http://www.ephotozine.com/article/Panoramic-camera-advice

6:31 pm - Friday, August 22, 2008

#60 Benny Wyman

This may be the best review for LX3 I've seen if all the info. detials were added below sample photos.

Thank You !

5:27 am - Thursday, August 28, 2008

#61 Chris de Rham

thank you for your extensive review of Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3. I hope you will review one day the up-coming canon G10 for comparaison.

4:48 am - Thursday, September 11, 2008

#62 JH

Based on the reviews, looking at the manual etc., I decided to go for it and ordered yesterday a LX3. I'll get it next week, have to see how it works in practise.

7:06 am - Thursday, September 11, 2008

#63 Metball

Look DIWA's measuring at http://www.diwa-labs.com/wip4/compare_camera.epl?product=7069
and compare with 10 other advanced cameras.
iGINoNY

9:24 am - Thursday, September 11, 2008

#64 Mark Millan

Hey y'all,

Sorry it has taken me a long while to respond to this little discussion, but just yesterday 9/10/08, I FINALLY bought the LX3 in black here in NYC at a family run Jewish store called 17thstreetphoto in the Photography district in NYC. I spoke with a super friendly man named Doug who told me that they got the silver and black ones 2 days ago from yesterday. they have 50 each. So, I went down there and immediately bought one. They have a 7 days no questions asked return policy so I'm trying it out like a crazy man. I attached the website. Keep in mind that if you mention the fact that on EBAY they have the price listed at $475, they will honor it in the store even though they have it priced at $499. Any questions ask me. But the purchasing experience with them was excellent.

3:04 pm - Thursday, September 11, 2008

#66 richard handwerk

3 points:

dynamic range
noise
and processing software.

all lacking in this camera.

software very important.

manufacturers will not i think improve much with the dynamic range as it would then interfere with
slr sales.

i would purchase this camera if i could process with photoshop.

2:36 pm - Friday, September 19, 2008

#67 Brad Herman

I wanted to thank you for hosting RAW files from the LX3 in your review. I am on the fence about getting one and now that Lightroom support's the LX3 raw files I wanted to see how they performed. I am quite impressed.

You can see my developed versions of your images along with a straight raw conversion from Lightroom 2.2 here:
http://gallery.me.com/bradherman#100073

8:06 pm - Tuesday, December 16, 2008

#68 Gustavo Pocobelli

An excellent review. Just two points:
1. I would have liked to see more night scenes. The one shown is all yellow, so color cannot be judged.
2. On another website, somebody commented that images taken in Raw are strongly barrel-distorted, but the camera compensates digitally in other modes. He also wrote that Photoshop does not work for this. That worries me.
Thank you for your work.

7:29 pm - Thursday, January 8, 2009

#69 Steve McGonigle

Thanks for your review it was most helpful & as a result I purchased one of these cameras. I'm very pleased with it's performance so far. I've been looking for a digital replacement for my old 35mm rangefinder cameras that I love, and this is the closest thing I think. Short zoom is more than enough. Wide angle is superb. Only one drawback, the cost of the accessories is incredible. I'd love the viewfinder but @ £180 odd it's far too expensive.

12:14 am - Tuesday, February 24, 2009

#70 Matthew Hobart

Is there any way to open the Raw files from the LX3 is CS3? I seem many people have posted this question and but I can't seem to find an answer anywhere! I've tried converting them to DNG files and then into CS3 but still no luck. I'm stumped and disappointed in my new camera. Any suggestions?

5:25 am - Friday, July 31, 2009

#71 Laura

I have been for 3 days seated on the same chair just looking for a camera to buy. After I read all the comments now I am even more confuse I really love the pictures at http.//panasonic.net/pavc/lumix/lx3/high image.html but I womder if I would be able to get my pictures with same quality cos I am not a profesional but I am an artist and I love photography. I was thinking about TZ6 because of the optical zoom but I'll like to improve my pictures as much as I can and Lx3 looks very profesional for a small camera. Would someone out there to give me some advice if you have experience with Lx3.
Thank you so much.
Laura

11:51 pm - Saturday, January 16, 2010

#72 Mag

Mark,

Hi! It's a very detailed and great review I really appreciated it. Good work! Just one question is Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 water proof?

2:26 pm - Sunday, March 14, 2010