Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 Review
Panasonic's LX series has always been home to the company's most ambitious compacts, offering a range of photographer-friendly features in a small, stylish and solid body festooned with external controls. It's been two years since the launch of the LX2 and the market has changed a lot in that time - the level of features offered even on inexpensive models has grown and the cost of all cameras, particularly DSLRs, has fallen drastically. Both of these trends risk reducing the potential market for premium compacts if their features are available on cheaper compacts, and much better photographic tools (in terms of flexibility of purpose and image quality) are available for only a little more money. So the LX3, more than its predecessors, has to play to its strengths - it needs to offer some of the best compact camera image quality, a good degree of user control and a body that is more convenient and pocketable than DSLRs can be.
And Panasonic seems fully aware of these challenges. When announcing the camera, the company pointed out that more pixels on the same sized sensor does not always result in better image quality and described its approach with the LX3 as: "boldly reversing the industry trend of pushing toward ever-higher pixel counts." It's an admirable position (though one that would be easier to acclaim if the company hadn't, on the same day, released one of the most pixel-dense cameras we've ever seen), and one that seems promising - the benefits of newer sensor and processing technology without those advances being strangled by the downsides of smaller pixels. (And we believe that if you offer more pixels with the hard drive clutter and slower camera operation they bring, then those pixels must be good at the pixel level, otherwise, what benefits do those additional pixels bring?)
- 24mm wide 2.5x optical LEICA DC lens
- F2.0-2.8 maximum aperture range
- MEGA O.I.S.(Optical Image Stabilizer)
- Venus Engine IV
- Joystick-operated manual control
- Large 3.0” 460k dot LCD monitor
- Raw and JPEG recording modes
- Up to ISO 3200 sensitivity
- Up to 1280x720 (30 fps) pixel movie capture
- Manual exposure and focus options
- 1/2000th to 60 sec shutter speeds
- Available in black or silver
LX3 vs LX2: main differences
Although the outward appearance hasn't changed that dramatically, the LX2 and LX3 are very different creatures. The the easiest thing to miss about the LX3 is its lens - a part of the specification sheet that is sometimes easy to overlook as a string of numbers. With the LX3 it's really worth spending a moment thinking about it: starting at 24mm equivalent is pretty unusual in a compact camera. Offering an aperture range of F2.0-2.8 is extraordinary. But to combine the two and include Image Stabilization is simply astonishing - this is not an everyday lens and it's something that defines how the camera behaves and what it can be used for.
To put that aperture range in perspective, this means it's one 'stop' faster (brighter) at the wide end and over 1.5 brighter at the long end than the F2.8-4.9 lens fitted to its predecessor. And this means that you can get the same exposure using the same shutter speed but using a lower ISO setting than with the older camera.
Beyond that, there the new, higher-resolution rear screen that conforms to the more traditional 3:2 aspect ratio, rather than its forebear's 16:9 unit.
The other differences are:
- Similar pixel count sensor (10.1 vs 10.0 MP)
- Venus Engine IV (vs Venus Engine III)
- 3:2 aspect ratio 3-inch screen (was 2.8-inch 16:9)
- Flash hot-shoe
- Threaded lens barrel for adding optional conversion lenses or filters
- USB 2.0 Hi Speed interface (at last!)
- More internal memory (50 MB)
- 720p HD movie mode now at 30fps
- Closer minimum focusing distance: 1cm, rather than 5cm
- Faster continuous shooting (2.5fps for 8 frames, cf. 2fps for 5 frames)
- Separate component video out (for HD playback)
- Improved battery life
- Minor control and interface changes
Roll your mouse over the tabs to see the way the difference aspect ratios are taken from the sensor or click on the diagram to download the overlaid versions.
The LX3 does away with its predecessor's unusual 16:9 aspect ratio sensor, instead using a more conventional 3:2 sensor but then using only a crop from it, depending on aspect ratio. The key thing is that the LX3 even uses a crop from the sensor at 4:3 ratio, rather than using the entire sensor. Although this may seem perverse, the result is that the lens offers the same diagonal angle of view regardless of selected aspect ratio, making it much easier to get a feel for the behaviour of the lens. It also means you make the most of the sensor's area, getting similar pixel counts in all modes.
|The image on the left shows the result of shooting the same scene at the same zoom setting using the LX3's different aspect ratios. Unlike any other camera we can think of, all three shots end up with the same angle of view.|
|List price (EU)|| UK £399.99
|Sensor|| 1/1.63" sensor
11.3 million total pixels CCD
10.1 million effective pixels
Primary Color Filter
|Image stabilization|| Lens-shift
MEGA O.I.S. (Auto/Mode1/ Mode2)
4:3 Aspect Ratio:
|Movie mode|| QuickTime Motion JPEG
4:3 Aspect Ratio: 640 x 480 pixels 30 fps or
320 x 240 pixels 30 fps/10 fps
16:9 Aspect Ratio: 848 x 480 pixels 30 fps
HD（16:9 Aspect Ratio）: 1280x720 pixels 24fps"
|Output formats|| JPEG ( Exif 2.21 standard)
|Image processor||Venus Engine IV|
|Lens|| 2.5x zoom
f=5.1-12.8mm (35mm Equiv.: 24-60mm)
F2.0 - F2.8
LEICA DC VARIO-SUMMICRON
8 elements in 6 groups
4 Aspherical Lenses / 4 Aspherical surfaces)
Manual Focus (Joystick)
One Shot AF
AF Area Select
|AF assist lamp||Yes|
|Shooting modes|| Intelligent AUTO
S(Shutter Priority) mode
|Scene modes|| Portrait
|Metering|| Intelligent Multiple
|AE Bracketing|| +/- 0.3/0.5 EV
P: 1-1/2000sec (Selectable minimum shutter speed)
|Aperture values|| Wide: F2.0 - F8.0 Tele: F2.8 - F8|
White Set 1
White Set 2
White Balance Adjustment
|Burst speed|| 2.5 frames/sec Max. 8 images (Standard), Max 4 images (Fine), Max 3images (RAW)
High-speed Burst Mode: approx. 6 frames/sec (recorded in 3M for 4:3, 2.5M for 3:2, 2M for 16:9)
|Self-timer||10 sec. / 2 sec.|
3.0", 3:2 Polycrystalline TFT LCD Display
Field of View : approx. 100%
AUTO Power LCD mode
Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction
Flash Synchro 1st / 2nd
Flash output Adjustment (1/3EV step, -2 - +2 EV)
|FLash coverage||0.8 - 8.3m (Wide/Macro/ISO Auto), 0.3 - 5.9m (Tele/ISO Auto)|
SD Memory Card
SDHC Memory Card
MultiMediaCard (Still image only)
Internal Memory (approx. 50 MB)
Li-ion Battery Pack (3.7V, 1150mAh)
Battery life: 380 pictures (CIPA standard)
AC Adaptor (Input: 110-240V AC) (Optional)
|Dimensions||108.7 x 59.5 x 27.1 mm|
|Weight (with battery)||Approx. 265 g|
|Dubai by Nilesh Trivedi|
|Hummingbird Tight by Dennis Bayer|
from -Vivid Purple- (in Full Colours Only)
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has signed House Bill 1346 into effect, which imposes a fine upwards of $300 to drone operators who invade the privacy or harm the physical wellbeing of citizens.
Sigma is a company in flux, but CEO Kazuto Yamaki is undaunted by the upcoming prospect of developing lenses for eight lens mounts. The challenge will be keeping the company's identity along the way.
If you've been meaning to convert all of your old photos, video, and audio to digital formats, but simply lack the time or willpower to get through it all, a new service from Kodak will help you get the job done.
Almost all new cameras include impressive video features, but for the best results you'll often need an off-camera recorder. Chris and Jordan take a look at the brand new Ninja V from Atomos, and explain why it might just be one of the most useful tools you can add to your camera.
Collect allows you to transform 360-degree into a more easily digestible format by transforming it into directed traditional videos.
Sick of using your plain ol' keyboard to edit your photos in Lightroom and Photoshop? TourBox is hoping to expedite your post-production workflow using a clever combination of dials, buttons, and knobs.
Bag and accessory manufacturer Hex has launched two bags as part of its latest collection: the Clamshell Backpack and DSLR Sling.
Crank out instant photos with Holga Digital's new analog printer, currently being funded on Kickstarter.
We got some hands-on time with Leica's new S3 medium format camera, which boasts a new higher-res sensor as well as other improvements.
Luna Display started its life as a crowdfunding project on Kickstarter. Now, it's available to purchase directly online.
We sat down with the Google Pixel camera team to learn about key new camera features on the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, and an explanation of the sophisticated software advancements that power them.
A lawsuit filed on Tuesday claims the cameras in Apple's iPhone 7 Plus and newer dual-camera models infringe on a patent that was granted in 2003.
Nikon's Coolpix P1000 has moved the zoom needle from 'absurd' to 'ludicrous,' with an equivalent focal length of 24-3000mm. So far, it's a fun camera to shoot with – if a bit over the top.
Like the LG V40 ThinQ the A9 combines a super-wide-angle, regular wide-angle and tele camera, but adds a depth-sensor to the mix as well.
The FAA has issued a warning to drone pilots in anticipation of disaster response following Hurricane Michael, noting that fines for interfering with emergency operations can exceed $20,000.
According to a report from Fortune, Apple acquired Danish masking technology startup Spektral in December 2017 for "more than $30 million."
Insta360's latest model comes with a range of features that allow for the creation of unique action cam footage.
The Photogrip can be used as a camera grip, mini tripod or phone stand and comes with a detachable remote.
At a time when manufacturers are adding triple and even quad-cameras to their flagship smartphones, Google is sticking with one main camera. But given the sophistication of the company's computational efforts, we think it's the right approach for now.
DPReview is hiring! We're seeking three Software Development Engineers at a range of experience levels to join our Seattle-based team.
The University of Dayton Research Institute created a video detailing what damage is caused when a drone strikes the wing of an airplane.
Lenovo's upcoming high-end smartphone will be the first model to feature four cameras on the back.
The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL offer a second front-facing camera and a host of improved computational features such as digital zoom based on super-resolution capture, better depth mapping and a fill-light effect for low light portraits.
Canon has ported a large chunk of its Digital Photo Professional (DPP) Raw processing software's feature set to iOS and launched the DPP Express app.
The Panasonic LX100 II offers a higher-resolution sensor over its predecessor, but it's the addition of a touchscreen that makes the Mark II so gosh-darn enjoyable to shoot with. We've got some fresh samples from Panasonic's new premium compact camera.
Sony has announced a new "Alpha Female" program, a creator-in-residence opportunity that will award six-month grants to five female filmmakers and photographers.
The new 490, 492 and 492LCD are targeted at amateur photographers and come with a 4kg/8.82lbs payload.
The Fujifilm X-T3 exhibits very good image quality overall, with excellent detail and color at low ISOs. Further analysis of the high ISO performance confirms it falls behind its predecessor, though.
A new Smart HDR feature promises lower noise levels and better detail on the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR.
An annual study from KeyPoint Intelligence — InfoTrends reveals 72 percent of consumers looking to purchase a digital interchangeable lens camera in the next year currently don't own one.