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Panasonic Lumix LX3 – Initial Review

April 29, 2009
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It’s been a while since I’ve written about cameras.  Maybe it was because our long winter and my lack of motivation for taking pictures in the cold.   Maybe it’s because the last time I travelled was back in December.  Maybe it’s because I’ve found out that digital photography is about computer work, work flow, RAW data storage and Photoshop.   Actually, I haven’t written about cameras due to all those things.   

I orginally bought my Olympus E420 to replace an aging and broken Canon DSLR.    Due to it’s size when coupled with the 25mm pancake lense, I ended up carrying it with me a lot and treating it much like a point and shoot.    I love my Olympus and I think the road that Olympus is going down is pretty cool considering every other camera manufacturer is talking about pixels and image size.     Well, as much as I love my Olympus camera, I came to the realization that carrying a small DSLR isn’t the same as carrying a point and shoot camera.    It became bulky.  When taking candids, people respond differently.  Most importantly though is that I found myself not taking it with me.      

So…I introduce you to my new Panasonic Lumix LX3.   While the LX3 camera isn’t new to the camera world, it is new to me.  Recently, I sent my old and broken Canon away to get repaired.  The repairs were worth more than the camera itself and for a small price, they upgraded me to a Canon G10.   I considered keeping that camera but it’s too bulky and similar in size to my Olympus DSLR.  I wanted something smaller with a similar feature set.   I immediatly sold it and purchased the LX3.

What is not to like about the LX3?   Recently, Serious Compacts rated it the number 1 compact.   Much like Olympus, Panasonic is bucking the trend and building cameras for people who want more than megapixels.  I could go on and on about why I chose the LX3 but I will sum it up in 3 things.

1)  Size – It’s small enough to carry with me all the time.   It’s still no super compact, but it’s not overwhelming.

2)  Image Quality – While online reviews state the Canon has better base ISO image quality, the LX3 far surpases the Canon’s ability to shoot good images in low light making the camera more useful….At least to me.   I respect Panasonic for not going tit for tat with Canon and going to 12 or 14 megapixel.  Instead they stuck with a 10 megapixel sensor and made the JPEG engine really good. 

3)  Overall feature set – The LX3 has such a unique feature set including external switches for aspect ratio and focus (including manual focus) packed into an 8 ounce alloy body.   On top of that, it also comes with an amazing 24mm f2 lens and full manual controls!  

One of my first shots with the 16:9 aspect ratio

One of my first shots with the 16:9 aspect ratio

As I rode out of the rain near Fisher towers on the Kokopelli, I turned around and saw the sun shining on this massive outcropping of rock.  The dark sky provided great contrast for the sun drenched rocks.   Sure I could spend some time in Lightroom or Photoshop and make this image better.  Instead, I trimmed and resized in camera and put it directly here.   Perfect…At least for me.  

I also love the black & white capabilities of this camera.  Here’s an untouched JPEG from yesterday’s ride.   

Lone tree over the Colorado River

Lone tree over the Colorado River

I love this little camera.   I can’t wait to experiment some more.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. April 29, 2009 5:35 am

    Captain Bob told me you were thinking pretty hard about that camera. I like mine really well, but you are going to plumb this cameras depths and capabilities much further than I ever will, that much I know.

    Congrats and I hope it works well for you for a long time.

  2. captain bob permalink
    April 29, 2009 6:01 am

    I am glad you are liking it. Now, don’t drop it!!

  3. April 30, 2009 9:14 am

    Nice… I love how much thought you put into your camera equipment, Jason. I don’t know how you fit all that thought in with your bike contemplation!! 😉

    Thanks for the awesome Moab memories, my friend.



  1. Panasonic Lumix LX-3 Review « Gnat Likes Pictures

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