Panasonic has in its latest incarnation of the LX series decided to replace the venerable Leica DC Vario-Elmarit lens with the newly designed and much superior DC Vario-Summicron. Mating it with the totally redesigned, very low noise, 10.0 MP sensor produces images that must be seen to be appreciated. Plus, if point-n-shoots never quite had a lens wide enough for you, this one does. For if 24mm (equivalent) isn’t wide enough, there’s an accessory lens that will give you up to 18mm. From totally auto to fully manual, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 is suitable for a tyro to a serious amateur shooter, and makes it my “Best in Class” pick.
My Best In Class Pick
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3
The just announced (July 2008) Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 has made a quantum leap in the LX series by upgrading and improving every system in the camera with only a modest increase in price. Of course, it’s crowning glory is the new 24-60mm (equivalent) f2.0-2.8 Leica DC Vario-Summicron lens. Even though the lens doesn’t get into the telephoto range–more a long “normal”–which some may consider a drawback, it makes up for this by delivering exceptionally smooth, very low noise images that are sharp corner to corner with optical distortions so insignificant that only testing in a lab under controlled conditions reveals it.
Panasonic has completely redesigned the sensor, abandoning the 16:9 ratio from the LX1 and LX2 cameras, which had the drawback that only the 16:9 format showed the full width of the image. Now, any format whether 4:3, 3:2 or 16:9 will properly show the full widths of the various focal lengths. Additionally, Panasonic took the bold move of instead of increasing the sensor resolution as most manufacturers do with new models, which would also increase image noise, to keep it at 10.0 megapixels, and totally overhaul the imaging processing systems to make the images as noise free as possible. They succeeded.
Learning from the flaws and failings of the previous two LX models, Panasonic has finally succeeded with the Lumix DMC-LX3 of producing a point-n-shoot that is truly unique, reasonably priced, and suitable for a beginner or an advanced user.
Whether the LX3 ultimately replaces the LX2 (both are still listed on Panasonic’s web site) as the LX2 did to the LX1 or merely is an addition to the LX series remains to be seen.
NOTE: The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 is the same camera as the newly announced (September 2008) Leica D-Lux 4 with only some cosmetic differences and a much lower price. The D-Lux 4 is suppose to be available late 2008. No price, yet.
- +Leica DC Vario-Summicron lens
- +Optical Image Stabilization
- +RAW mode
- +Hot Shoe
- +Build quality
- +Pocket size
- -Max 60mm (35mm equivalent) focal length
Where to buy
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3
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