This is our standard studio scene comparison shot taken from exactly the same tripod position. Lighting: daylight simulation, >98% CRI. Crops are 100%. Ambient temperature was approximately 22°C (~72°F).
Panasonic DMC-LX3: Zoom at 52mm equivalent position, Aperture Priority(@F4.0), ISO 80
JPEG Large/Fine, Manual WB, Default Parameters (Standard), Self-Timer
4.4 MB JPEG (4000 x 3000)
3.6 MB JPEG (3776 x 2520)
The LX3 is one of only a handful of compact cameras to offer a usable raw mode (i.e. one that doesn't slow the camera down to a snail's pace). And - just like the GF1 - taking Panasonic's less than stellar JPEG processing out of the equation reaps real rewards (albeit in a slightly less dramatic fashion), revealing hidden detail and texture and getting rid of the slightly messy-looking pixel level rendering (and the hint of moiré) seen in JPEGs. You can, however, see the first hints of noise in the shadows, even here at base ISO.
Ultimately, whilst the LX3 puts in an admirably strong performance here (it's remarkably good for a small sensor compact), the GF1 is in a different class altogether - particularly when paired with this Olympus prime lens.