Compared to... Canon PowerShot G10 & Nikon Coolpix P6000

Below you will find a studio comparison between the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 and the other high-end compacts on the market at the moment. Canon's G10, with its barely believable 14.7 megapixel sensor and the Nikon Coolpix P6000 with its only slightly less improbable 13.4 megapixel chip. These comparisons should help show what benefit those additional pixels, crammed onto similarly-sized sensors, bring. As usual we compare at the 100% level because we believe that to produce the best possible images, cameras should be able to produce clean pixel-level output at their native output resolution, otherwise those extra pixels are just taking up hard-drive space and probably slowing the camera down.

Studio scene comparison (LX3 & Canon G10 @ ISO 80, Nikon P6000 @ ISO 64)

  • Panasonic DMC-LX3: Aperture Priority mode, ISO 80, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +0.66 EV compensation
  • Canon PowerShot G10 : Aperture Priority mode, ISO 80, Default Image Parameters, Manual white balance, +0.67 EV compensation
  • Nikon Coolpix P6000 : Manual mode, ISO 64, Default Image Parameters, Manual white balance.
  • Lighting: Daylight simulation, >98% CRI
Panasonic DMC-LX3
Canon PowerShot G10
Nikon Coolpix P6000
ISO 80, 1/125 sec, F3.2
ISO 80, 1/60 sec, F4
ISO 64, 1/60 sec, F4.1
4,176 KB JPEG
3,198 KB JPEG
5,383 KB JPEG

The Panasonic is the lowest resolution camera here and it clearly can't quite compete with the level of detail being produced by the other two cameras. Fine text that is legible in the Canon crops has to be guessed-at on the Panasonic (the G10's performance at this lowest ISO setting can be reasonably described as jaw-dropping). However, the advantage of the Nikon over the LX3 is far from profound, with the LX3 resolving the watch face ito a similar extent. The Panasonic's correction of chromatic aberration can be seen in the label of the Martini bottle, which the Canon doesn't do.

Clearly in absolute terms, the LX3 cannot quite keep up but it's worth bearing in mind that its 10 million pixels are more than enough to produce 12x9 inch (31x23cm) at very high resolution 300 dpi and over 18x13 inches (46x34cm) at a perfectly usable 200 dpi.