My new Panasonic DMC-LX3 digital camera – Pro-level features

As I’ve mentioned before, I do a LOT of photography (including aerial) and typically shoot a Nikon D300.  However, lugging around the D300 is sometimes not practical, so I like to have a nice compact camera to slip into my computer bag.  For the past few years, my favorite compact has been the Nikon P5000 followed by the Nikon P5100.  After accidentally leaving my P5100 in the seat back pocket of a Delta red-eye (I don’t want to talk about it!), I needed a replacement.  My first instinct was to get the new Nikon P6000 but then I started hearing about Panasonic’s new high-end compact camera, the DMC-LX3.

Here’s my informal review:  I love this camera because:

  • f2.0-2.8 lens (lets a LOT of light in which allows the shutterspeed to remain high at low ISOs)
  • 24mm equivalent wide angle lens, the best I’ve seen in a compact.
  • VERY good low-light capabilities compared to the others I’ve seen.
  • Shoots RAW with very good dynamic range.
  • Great construction, convenient controls and solid feel.
  • The optical image stabilization is the best I’ve ever used.
  • High-def video is very good.

Negatives:

  • Better zoom (only goes to 60mm equiv, 2.5x zoom) – but it’s tough to have a f2.0 lens with better zoom in a small package.
  • Lens cap!  Amazingly, it has a snap-on lens cap.  I’m amazed that I haven’t lost it yet!  UGH!
  • The battery life is a little lacking compared to my P5000 and P5100.  Not horrible though.
  • The high-def video is very good for a compact camera but the sound is a little disappointing.

Why not the Canon G10?

  • Panasonic lens does f2.0-f2.8.  Canon does f2.8-4.6.
  • Canon is too bulky for my computer bag.
  • The image comparisons at DPReview.com’s site favored the Panasonic, especially at high-ISOs.
  • No high-def movie.  Panasonic does 1280×720.  Canon does 640×480
  • Panasonic does 24mm.  Canon does slightly less wide at 28mm.  Canon does do 140mm on the zoom-side which would be cool to have.

Important links:

Summary:  This camera is not for everyone but it fit my needs very well and  I highly recommend it.  You’ll find tons of other photographers that feel the same way.

Below are a few pictures that I shot while in Tokyo a few weeks ago for Adobe MAX Japan.  The full gallery can be found here (the full gallery also contains shots from my D300).  If you click on any of the images below, you’ll be taken to a full gallery where you can see the EXIF data as
well as view the original high-res image.

Tokyo - Rainbow Bridge

Tokyo - Rainbow Bridge

Tokyo Subway Station

Tokyo Subway Station

Tokyo Subway

Tokyo Subway

Flowers in front of Tokyo hotel

Flowers in front of Tokyo hotel

Tokyo Night Shot

Tokyo Night Shot

Getting ready for MAX - indoor shot, no flash

Getting ready for MAX - indoor shot, no flash

Hotel lobby

Hotel lobby

Colorful Tokyo Taxis

Colorful Tokyo Taxis

Low-light shot, getting ready for MAX Japan

Low-light shot, getting ready for MAX Japan

~ by gregorywilson on February 23, 2009.

6 Responses to “My new Panasonic DMC-LX3 digital camera – Pro-level features”

  1. I was thinking about buying the LX3… the G10 is too bulky and the majority of my shots are done in low light without a flash… Problem solved.

    Thanks

  2. I’ve been looking at this camera too, but the deal breaker for me is the amount of noise which at 320 is similar or worse than my fuji f31 @ iso800. It is however a stop quicker, wider, and has great video though..

    • Hey Mike – I actually have the camera set to never exceed ISO800. However, with the f2.0 lens, I can do any night shots I need. The fast lens combined with the stabilization works very well so i never need to go past ISO800.

      Greg

  3. Thanks for the informative Flex info and nice pictures.

    I love my LX2 but LX3 looks better. You may want to check out the new Panasonic DMC-ZS3 too.
    From the spec:
    Focal Distance f = 4.1 – 49.2 mm (35 mm Equivalent: 25 – 300 mm)
    http://panasonic.net/avc/lumix/compact/zs3_tz7/specifications.html

  4. I will soon buy this one

  5. Thanks for the demo. I own a D200 and I’m looking for a good compact. I was going for the canon G10, but will be buying the Panosonic. Again, thanks for the review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: