Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 Review
Conclusion - Pros
- Good image quality at low ISO settings
- Exceptionally bright F2.0-2.8 lens
- 24mm wide angle
- Decent high ISO performance (up to ISO 1600)
- Unique choice of aspect ratios at a consistent angle-of-view
- Comprehensive photographic control
- High quality construction with attractive design
- Automatic correction of chromatic aberration
- Feels fast and responsive
- High resolution screen
- Generally reliable exposure and focus
- Effective image stabilization
- Generally good user interface
- Raw mode & fully-featured RAW conversion software included
- Plenty of in-camera control over image parameters
- Good battery life
- Well priced (compared to its peers)
- Easy to use
Conclusion - Cons
- 60mm telephoto will be restricting for some
- Noise reduction can impact on low-contrast detail
- Underpowered flash
- Auto flash keen on using 1/30th second shutter speed (but keeps ISO down)
- Dissappointing white balance performance (though has a fine-tune option)
- Occasional dynamic range problems in very contrasty scenes
- Controls awkward for those with large fingers
The LX3 is an example of a species so endangered that we were beginning to worry it had become extinct - a compact camera that photographers can get excited about. Panasonic has included a large degree of direct control, classy styling and, more importantly, a specification that goes beyond the unthinking 'larger screen and more megapixels' trend.
It's hard to tell what we're more impressed by - the ambitious lens or the decision to sit back and spectate during this round of the megapixel race. If pixels aren't just to become clutter on your hard drive, they must contain useful information and we've seen too many compact cameras that produce images that need to be down-sized to bring them up to standard. The LX3 may not have the eye-popping resolution of some of its peers but instead it's one of the best high-ISO compact cameras we've seen.
And then there's that lens. Image stabilized, 24mm at the wide end of things and offering an F2.0-2.8 maximum aperture range that gives you the choice of shooting at lower ISOs than its competitors. It's a feature that really sets the LX3 apart, even amongst cameras aimed at keen photographers and, as DSLRs become less expensive, that's exactly what this camera needed. The only concern must be that the lens only extends as far as 60mm equivalent. This is pretty short by most measures and may limit the cameras appeal, depending on your shooting needs (it's great as a walkaround landscape camera for instance).
Beyond all the good intentions of the specifications, it's a camera that appears to directly address many of its predecessor's shortcomings. Noise performance is greatly improved and the level of noise reduction is much less destructive (and you can shoot in RAW if you're the kind of person who has a prefered noise-reduction method in post-processing).
The joystick is a nice idea that should make for an excellent user-interface but it's a bit fiddly. The user experience just isn't quite as slick as it could be if you want to regularly change settings. Panasonic's own G1 shows that it's possible to give a superior level of manual control using a similar number of external controls (perhaps we should start asking for a control dial like the G1 if there's ever an LX4). That said, you do get used to the LX3 and it isn't completely fair to compare it to a camera aimed at a different set of users - it's still arguably more pleasant to use than any of its obvious competitors.
White balance isn't the LX3's strongest point but there's a good degree of control if you're consistently finding that it's not giving the results you want (Or, again, you can shoot in RAW and process in the software that is supplied with the camera). And in most other respects the images are very good - automatic correction of chromatic aberration and sensible (if rather saturated) image processing mean a lot of time spent with the LX3 is time spent thinking - 'Oh, I'm quite pleased with that.' And that's the bottom line - it's a camera that encourages you to play, to experiment, to take photographs and one that rewards you for doing so.
|Detail||Rating (out of 10)|
|Ergonomics & handling||8.0|
Instagram is currently testing a major change to the app's profile layout: replacing the 3-photo across grid with a 4-photo grid... and some users are NOT taking the news well.
A report by USSRPhoto is shedding some light on the return of the famed Zenit camera brand. It seems the full-frame mirrorless camera they're working on will be made in part by Leica using components from the Leica SL.
According to a reliable Korean report, Samsung is developing a smartphone sensor that's capable of super slow motion. Translation: Samsung's next batch of Galaxy smartphones may be able to shoot 1,000fps.
This simple photograph of a seahorse and Q-tip has taken the internet by storm. We spoke to photographer Justin Hofman about how it was captured, and what it means to him.
After a massive leak last week, Profoto has officially debuted the Profoto A1: the company's first on-camera flash system that they're calling "the world's smallest studio flash."
"When the first hyperfocal distance charts were designed, someone decided that an acceptably sharp background contained some blur — enough to notice in a medium-sized print [...] After that point, nearly every other hyperfocal chart followed suit."
The Canon EOS Rebel SL2 (also known as the EOS 200D) is the company's impressively compact entry-level DSLR. Packing a 24MP APS-C sensor, DIGIC 7 processor and Dual Pixel AF, it promises a lot of bang for the buck. And while not mind-blowing, it handles most tasks very well.
Correct these four common composition mistakes and your photos will be more balanced, tell a better story, and lead your viewer's eye where you want it to go.
The rugged, compact 360° action camera Kodak unveiled at Photokina in 2016, the Kodak PixPro Orbit 360, is finally available in the United States.
iOS 11 launches tomorrow, and it'll save all of your pictures in a new high efficiency image format called HEIC. Fortunately, there's now a converter that will let you turn those photos back into JPEGs.
Photo protection company ImageRights recently released a new service that lets non-subscribers take advantage of their streamlined copyright registration system that checks for errors and fills out all the required forms for you.
What's the difference between a $200 circular polarizing filter and a $100 circular polarizing filter? Roger Cicala at Lens Rentals put six different filters through a few tests to find out.
A flurry of leaks reveal that GoPro's upcoming Hero6 will shoot 4K at 60fps, 1080p at 240fps, will cost $500, and is scheduled for announcement/release on September 28th.
Before he became the iconic director whose name we've all heard, a teenage Stanley Kubrick struck up a business relationship with New York’s Look magazine. No surprise: he was an incredibly talented photographer.
WD's new G-Technology G-Drive mobile SSD R-Series is a portable solid state option for photographers who want the reliability of an SSD in a rugged water and dust-resistant package.
Fast, stabilized and affordable is an appealing combination when it comes to lenses. With its latest 24-70mm F2.8, Tamron aims to upgrade autofocus speed and stabilization. We've got a full gallery from this updated full-frame zoom.
Photographer Clay Cook tells the story of his most ambitious photographic dream and career goal coming true: photographing A-list actress Jennifer Lawrence.
In an interview with a Chinese website, Nikon Japan's Director of Development dropped a bombshell, saying that a Nikon mirrorless camera "must be full-frame."
Here's a side-by-side spec comparison of two flagship devices with particular attention to the things that really matter – at least to people who prioritize photography features.
A month and a half after revealing the finalists of the 2017 EyeEm Awards, the photo sharing community and licensing marketplace has finally revealed the winners.
Photographer Josselin Cornou tells the breathtaking story behind two beautiful photos captured while snorkeling with humpback whales in Tonga.
The Sony RX10 IV is a fixed lens camera with a 1"-type sensor and 24-600mm equivalent lens that can shoot 4K video or stills at 24 fps, but that's not what we think is interesting about it. The addition of phase detection autofocus is pivotal to all those features.
The announcement date is set! Google will reveal their next generation Pixel phones—their response to Apple's shiny new iPhone X—on October 4th. Let the smartphone camera wars begin.
Sony just debuted three palm-style 4K camcorders that steal a bit of speedy phase detect autofocus technology from the company's RX10 IV. In fact, they kind of improve on it.
Earlier today, NASA's Cassini spacecraft plunged into Saturn's atmosphere, ending a 20 year long mission. Here are 21 of our favorite photographs captured by this incredible machine and its makers.
Fans of film photography should keep an eye out for the widespread theatrical release of Kodachrome, a movie staring Jason Sudeikis about the final days of the iconic film stock.
Photographer Manny Ortiz breaks down the pros and cons of shooting natural light vs off-camera flash, and explains why he chooses to shoot one, the other, or both in any given situation.
A leaked product page and a bunch of leaked photos shows Profoto is preparing to release its first ever speedlight: the Profoto A1 Air TTL
The Yashica camera brand disappeared in 2003, but a new teaser video and website hint at a comeback. Excited?
Western Digital just debuted a new, higher capacity WD Gold internal hard drive. The new drive offers 12TB of storage and class-leading reliability to the tune of a 550TB/year workload rating.