Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX1 Review
Review Date: December 6th 2005
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX1 has a 8.61 megapixel, 1/1.65 inch CCD that delivers 8.4 effective megapixels. There are 3 different aspect ratios on offer (16:9, 3:2 and 4:3) each with a range of image sizes. In the 16:9 aspect ratio, there are 3840 x 2160 pixel, 3072 x 1728 pixel and 1930 x 1080 pixel sizes. In the 3:2 aspect ratio, there are 3248 x 2160 pixel, 2560 x 1712 pixel and 2048 x 1360 pixel sizes. In the 4:3 aspect ratio, there are 2880 x 2160 pixel, 2304 x 1728 pixel, 2048 x 1536 pixel, 1600 x 1200 pixel and 1280 x 960 pixel sizes. All of these different configurations can be recorded as either Fine or Standard quality JPEGs, or RAW or TIFF files. The camera's 4x Leica DC Vario-Elmarit optical zoom lens is equivalent to a 28-112mm lens on a 35mm format camera. There is also a 4x digital zoom should you feel the need to use it. MEGA O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) is available with 2 different modes. The camera is supplied with a 32MB SD Memory Card and also supports MultiMedia Cards.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX1 offers Auto and Program exposure modes plus 12 different scene modes (Portrait, Sports, Food, Scenery, Night Scenery, Night Portrait, Baby, Fireworks, Party, Snow, Self-portrait and Soft Skin). More advanced shutter priority, aperture priority and manual exposure modes are also available. The maximum aperture is f2.8 (wide) – f4.9 (tele), and the shutter speed range is 60 secs. – 1/4000 sec. There are 4 ISO speeds ranging from 80 to 400 and an Auto option. There are 3 different White Balance presets to choose from (Daylight, Cloudy, Halogen), plus an Auto setting and White Balance Adjustment (150K step, -1500K - +1500K). The camera offers exposure compensation in ± 2 in 1/3 EV steps and auto-bracketing is available. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX1 offers 3 different exposure metering options - Intelligent Multiple, Center Weighted and Spot.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX1 has a normal shooting mode, Self-timer (2 secs. or 10 secs.) and 2 different Continuous modes - High (3 fps) or Low (2 fps), with a maximum of 9 images in Standard JPEG Mode and 5 images in Fine JPEG Mode for both modes. Contrast, Saturation, Sharpness and Noise can all be adjusted in 3 levels (Low, Standard, High). There are also 4 different colour effects available (Cool, Warm, Black and White and Sepia). The Macro setting allows you to focus on subjects that are as close as 5cms. The camera offers 5 auto-focus metering systems - 1 point, 1 point high speed, 3 points high speed, 9 points and Spot - and you can choose from Normal/Macro, Continuous and Manual focus. An AF assist lamp helps to achieve focus in low-light situations. The built-in flash offers 4 different modes (Auto, Auto/Red-eye Reduction, Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction, Forced On/Off). The flash range is 60cm - 4.1m at the wide-angle lens setting and 0.3m - 2.3m at tele-photo. Flash compensation can be set in ± 2 in 1/3 EV steps.
To compose your images, you can use the LCD monitor - there is no optical or electronic viewfinder. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX1 has a 2.5 inch Polycrystalline TFT LCD Display which has 207,000 pixels and offers 100% scene coverage. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX1 can record movies with sound at 16:9 Aspect Ratio: 848 x 480 pixels, 4:3 Aspect Ratio 640 x 480 pixels or 320 x 240 pixels, all at 30 fps or 10 fps. Video is recorded in the Quicktime with audio format. The length of the video is only limited by the size of the memory card that you are using. You can also record a 5 second voice memo and attach it to a still image. A histogram is available in both shooting and playback modes. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX1 supports the DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) and PictBridge printing standards, and it connects to a computer via USB 2.0.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX1's dimensions are 105.7 (W) x 55.8 (H) x 25.6 (D) mm, and it weighs 185g without the battery and storage card fitted. The camera is powered by a Li-ion Battery Pack (7.2V, 730mAh), which has an approximate CIPA battery life of 240 shots. There is a metal tripod mount in the left of the bottom of the camera.
Finally, the standard box kit contains a Battery Pack, Battery Charger, Battery Carrying Case, SD Memory Card (32MB), AC Cable, AV Cable, USB Connection Cable, Strap and Software CD-ROM (containing LUMIX Simple Viewer, ArcSoft PhotoBase, ArcSoft PhotoImpression, ArcSoft Panorama Maker, USB Driver). Note that you can only store 7 images at the highest quality JPEG setting on the supplied 32Mb memory card. You will therefore need to invest in some more memory cards to store your images on.
PhotographyBLOG is a member of the DIWA organisation. Our test results for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX1 have been submitted to DIWA for comparison with test results for different samples of the same camera model supplied by other DIWA member sites.