Expert Recommendation

Best Compact Point and Shoot Digital Camera Overall Under $700
By Fotoguy
Expert (27 Recommendations and 7 Compliments)
Send a ComplimentComplimented (Change)
May 6, 2009

Although a little pricey, The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 offers a lot in a pocket-sized package. From its excellent Leica zoom lens with built-in image stabilization, Intelligent Multi-metering that really works, Auto scene recognition, and 720p HD video, you’ll get sharp, low noise, well-exposed pictures with minimal effort.

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My Best In Class Pick
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3, the latest incarnation of the LX series, has been greatly improved over previous models. The venerable Leica DC Vario-Elmarit lens of the earlier LXs has been replaced with the newly designed and much superior DC Vario-Summicron 5.1-12.8mm (24-60mm equiv) f2.0-2.8 Aspherical 2.5X zoom. And with a totally redesigned 10.1 megapixel image sensor, the LX3 produces exceptional, low noise images that are virtually distortion free and sharp corner to corner at all focal lengths. Quite an accomplishment for a small sensor point-n-shoot.

With a host of features like twenty-three scene modes, eight focusing modes, five white balance settings, plus 2 manuals; ISOs from 80 to 6400, shutter speeds from 60 seconds to 1/2000th, Intelligent Multiple auto-exposure, aperture/shutter priority as well as full manual, and five video modes, including 720p HD, there will be few situations that the LX3 can’t capture usable images. And if point-n-shoots never quite had a lens quite wide enough for you, this one does. For if the equivalent 24mm isn’t enough, there’s an accessory 18mm lens attachment.

Learning from the previous two LX models, Panasonic has succeeded with the Lumix DMC-LX3 in producing a durable, quality built, full-featured, point-n-shoot that is suitable for either beginner or advanced user.

As an aside: The more expensive Leica D-Lux 4 is exactly the same camera, but with the Leica logo and added Face Recognition and Follow autofocus. It, however, produces the same high quality, low noise images as the LX3.

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    Leica DC Vario-Summicron lens
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    In-the-lens image stabilization
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    RAW mode
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    720p HD video
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    Full Manual operation
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    Extreme wide angle accessory lens
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    3" Hi-res 460,000 pixel LCD
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    Hot Shoe
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    Build quality
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    Max 60mm (35mm equivalent) focal length
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 is the Best Compact Point and Shoot Digital Camera Overall Under $700
Where to buy
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3
  • Best Price: $402
    Amazon See It »
  • Zoom: 2.5x
  • Wide-Angle Lens: 24mm (46% wider)
  • Resolution: 10.1MP
  • Easy to Use: Yes
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Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3
Customer Rating
Price $402.09
Effective Sensor Resolution
10.1 megapixels
Min Focal Length (35 mm equivalent)
24 mm
Max Focal Length (35 mm equivalent)
60 mm
Max Aperture (wide-angle)
Max Aperture (tele-photo)
Image Stabilization Type Optical (lens shift)
Manual Focus Available Yes
Min ISO Setting 80
Max ISO Setting 6400
Aperture Priority Mode Available Yes
Shutter Priority Mode Available Yes
Full Manual Exposure Mode Available Yes
Face Detection Available
Viewfinder Type Optical (external, optional)
LCD Screen Size
3.0 in.
LCD Screen Resolution 460,000 pixels
Max Video Resolution 1280 x 720 pixels
Size (W x H x D) 4.3 x 2.3 x 1.1 in.
Weight (with batteries) 9.3 oz
Battery Life 380 shots

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