LX3 for LX1 owners - A first look

Started Sep 20, 2008 | Discussions thread
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Timcorc
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LX3 for LX1 owners - A first look
Sep 20, 2008

One point of view I haven't heard expressed on the forum is that of LX1 users who like me sat out the LX2 because of smearing and other issues with Venus 3. The LX3 specs and early reviews like the excellent one by Lawrence Ripsher convinced me that the J&R/Microsoft Live deal back in August was worth the risk.

So, for those who might be interested, here are some first impressions (my LX3 arrived today). Let me say that I LOVE my LX1, foibles and all it accompanied me more often than either my E-1 or E-510 DSLR's. Of course this was for portability/convenience issues not IQ which wasn't anywhere close.

Cosmetics

I'll start here, since that's the "first impression" you get, before pressing an on switch. There's no other way to say this, the LX3 feels like a cost-reduced LX1.

The mode-selector dial on top is plastic and truly feels like it might come off, not so the metal one on the LX1. The battery door is an inferior style, featuring a slider button to unlock rather than having the whole door slide as on the LX1. Controls are mashed together on the rear panel, the joystick is so close to the raised edge of the LCD screen that it is awkward to push to the left. If your fingers felt cramped on the LX1, the LX3 controls will feel like braille markings.

On the plus side, the front LX3 finger grip though plastic, is much better than the strangely stubby metal one on the LX1. The lens cap is a better, cleaner fit and the LX3 feels more secure in my hand. Camera or Playback mode is selected by dedicated switch on the rear (not the mode-selector on top like the LX1). I expected not to like this but the switch is well positioned and is easier to use. PLUS it's less stress on that cheap-ass plastic mode-selector. It really feels like it belongs on a kids toy camera.

Pack-ins are almost identical between the cameras, similar batteries/holders/cables etc.

Images

I've only take a couple dozen pics so it's too early to claim any expertise with the LX3 but so far I feel confident to describe my first impression.... WOW!!! Noise is hugely reduced, the 2.0 lens is awesome and the menus are better. My Oly's are still perfectly safe in the IQ department, this is NOT a DSLR replacement but I'm delighted with what I have seen so far. If you, like me, sometimes relied on the LX1 Auto mode when handing the camera to a family member you'll know why my wife hates the camera, results were 50:50 at best. Well, let me tell you the iA (intelligent automation) mode combined with that gorgeous fast lens is quite impressive... I'm not sure whether to show it to her since I may not see my camera again.

OK, that's enough for now, I hope someone finds this useful. Maybe I'm the only one interested in this particular comparison but if you would like me to follow up with some more specific examples, identical shot comparisons etc, let me know.

Tim

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