Compared to... Panasonic DMC-LX1

Below you will find a studio comparison between the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX2 and its predecessor, the 8MP Lumix DMC-LX1. We have included samples at each camera's lowest ISO setting (LX2: ISO 100, LX1: ISO 80) and ISO 400. For the LX2's higher ISO options please see later in the review. All samples have been taken in the 4:3 mode (i.e. using the full image height).

Studio scene comparison (LX2 @ ISO 100, LX1 @ ISO 80)

  • Panasonic DMC-LX2: Aperture Priority mode, ISO 100, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +0.66 EV compensation
  • Panasonic DMC-LX1: Aperture Priority mode, ISO 80, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +1.0 EV compensation
  • Lighting: Daylight simulation, >98% CRI
Panasonic DMC-LX2
Panasonic DMC-LX1
ISO 100, 1/80 sec, F4.9
ISO 80, 1/80 sec, F4.9
3,489 KB JPEG
2,684 KB JPEG

Definitely an improvement; albeit a fairly subtle one. By far the biggest change is that the visible noise that plagued the LX1 at its lowest ISO setting is significantly reduced without any sacrifice in detail. Color is also better, particularly the way reds are handled; the LX1 had a tendency to 'overcook' saturated reds slightly using the default parameters, something Panasonic appears to have toned down slightly this time round. Otherwise the differences are small; the few hundred extra pixels in each direction have resulted in slightly better retention of very fine detail, but I suspect most of this is actually down to the Venus III noise reduction doing a better job at the lowest ISO setting than the LX1's Venus II. You can get 'crisper' results by turning the noise reduction to 'low' (these are on 'standard') but at ISO 100 the difference is minimal.

Overall there's little to complain about here; the out of camera result is bright and cheerful without being overblown and the output is fairly clean (though if you look at the first crop I think you can see the slight softening effect of the noise reduction even at ISO 100).