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|
|_ERN9064 by ernesto juarez|
from Shoot yourself ! (with your camera)
|walkersons fields by George Veltchev|
from -Waiting for Autumn- (in Full Colours Only)
There's no mistaking the Nikon Coolpix P1000 – with a 24-3000mm equivalent zoom, it really is in a class of its own. It's a conspicuous-looking superzoom with one main job: getting you really close to far away subjects. We've put together a gallery showing the kind of results you can expect from it.
A new report from The Verge claims Instagram is currently testing a feature that allows users to re-share posts to their own account feeds.
GoPro has announced its HERO7 camera lineup. The updated action cameras feature new HyperSmooth and TimeWarp modes, as well as improved video and photo specs.
The latest Samsung midrange smartphone offers a super-wide-angle lens in its triple-camera setup.
The Sony 24mm F1.4 is the latest lens to join the company's premium G Master lineup. We've been shooting with one for a couple of days - here's what you need to know.
Apple released iOS 12 a few days ago and some iPhone X users are less than happy with how the new operating system has made their phones look.
Camera bag manufacturer Lowepro has introduced mark II backpacks for its ProTactic AW range with models that are said to feature an improved handling experience as well as a collection of accessories that can be attached to the outside.
Canon has announced its latest superzoom camera, the PowerShot SX70 HS. Compared to the SX60 that came before it, the SX70 has the same lens but offers a higher resolution EVF, 4K video capture and support for Canon's new CR3 Raw format.
Cosina has announced its eighth lens designed specifically for Sony's E-mount system. The Voigtlander 21mm F3.5 lens is due out October 2018.
Sony has taken the wraps off of its new 24mm F1.4 GM full-frame lens, which the company claims is the lightest in its class. Despite its fast aperture, the 24mm F1.4 is remarkably light, weighing just 445 grams (15.7 ounces). The lens will set you back $1400 when it ships next month.
In this episode of DPReview TV we take a look at Sony's brand new 24mm F1.4 GM lens, a desirable focal length for many photographers. How does it perform? Chris and Jordan give us their first impressions.
We've had a little time to shoot with Sony's new wide/fast prime, both close to home and on the water in San Francisco. Check out our initial sample images.
Fujifilm released a firmware upgrade for its X-T3 mirrorless camera that addresses issues with distortion compensation and the mechanical lock on SD cards.
The app's algorithms have been trained using using 200 million cropping data points from real photographers.
Thanks to a software update, the Loupedeck+ editing console can now be used for video editing.
British photographic engineer MTF Services is claiming the world’s first third-party lens adapters for the new Nikon Z system with a collection of four units designed to allow cinema lenses to be mounted on the mirrorless full frame bodies.
Think Tank Photo has updated its line of heavy-duty rain covers and introduced a new, compact version for emergency situations.
The X-T3 is our first opportunity to analyze what's likely to be Fujifilm's next generation image sensor. Take a look at how it performs next to the competition in our studio test scene.
Canon's new normal is seriously sharp wide open. After shooting with it for a few days, we've prepared a gallery of real-world sample images.
Nikon will cease offering Brazil-based customer service and technical support, though the company stresses that it will still offer technical assistance and warranty repairs for valid warranties.
Two years ago, CatLABS of JP announced a plan to save Packfilm from the dead. Now, it's announced it's giving up its efforts to better focus its resources elsewhere.
The GoPro Fusion is designed to make it easy to capture 360-degree video and stills. We took it out recently on a typically hot Seattle summer day to see what it can do.
We've got our hands on a full-production Nikon Z7 camera and have updated our gallery with additional samples.
A new Kickstarter campaign seeks funding for Chroma Chrono, a programmable RGB camera flash that emits multiple colors during long exposures.
Think Tank Photo has launched a new lineup of six dual-access, water-resistant protective lens cases it calls Lens Case Duo.
Canon and Nikon finally entered the full-frame mirrorless market this summer with the brand-new RF and Z mounts. Now that we've had some time with the cameras, we wanted to revisit our earlier predictions and take stock.
The devices' camera specs look pretty much identical to last year's iPhone X but under the hood a number of important improvements have been made.
Blackmagic Design has announced the public beta of its new Blackmagic RAW video codec. The company says the new format combines the benefits of shooting Raw video with the ease of use and smaller file sizes usually associated with non-Raw video files.
Serif, the company behind the Affinity suite, has announced the latest update for its mobile Photoshop competitor Affinity Photo for iPad.
The Atomos Ninja V external video recorder and monitor will be ready to ship at the end of this month. The 5.2in Ninja V is designed to provide a smaller option, while still offering many of the features of the larger 7-inch models.