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PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2008 4:37 am 
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Hi everyone, just a quick note to let you know I've posted our full review of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3.

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Panas ... x_DMC_LX3/

Gordon


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 Post subject: LX3
PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2008 12:57 pm 
The review didn't qualify the noise issue as I expected. My pics of the building on the LL forum show a comparison between the LX3 and TZ5, with a major difference in noise in the shadows. OTOH, my pics of the garden in the same post show that the overall quality of the LX3 for landscapes is *not* any better than the TZ5, and in fact, there's just as much pixel smearing with either camera, which means the wide angle for landscapes is a marketing ploy, having no actual merit. Why compare TZ5? Because it's slightly smaller, and with a 280mm eff. zoom, captures a world of images that the LX3 can't touch.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2008 3:29 pm 
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Gordon, Thanks for the video tour. very informative!!!!

Also, looking at the actual review I am really surprised to see the Pana putting out cleaner high ISO images than the G9. The G9 looks grainy at 100, the Pana looks "clean" up to 400 ISO. Very impressive. Can't wait for the G10/G9/LX3/450D comparison shots.

All the best and thanks again for doing such a great job! :) S

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2008 9:42 pm 
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Gordon Laing wrote:
Hi everyone, just a quick note to let you know I've posted our full review of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3.

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Panas ... x_DMC_LX3/

Gordon


Gordon thanks for another excellent review. I have had the LX3 for about a week and am very pleased with it. Reading this review made me aware of some features I had not used yet.

I have an E-3 and wanted a fully manual pocket camera (that I could actually carry in my pocket, for when I did not have my E-3 with me.) with a wide angle and which had some flexability to get pictures in lower light situations without too much noise. I had recently been on a holiday and found that I was using 24mm on my E-3 very often. I was willing to sacrifice the telephoto end, as long as I could also get pictures at least equal to a normal lens (50mm - 35mm equivalent). With the LX3 I figured I could get decent noise performance, for a compact camera, plus an extra f/stop which would allow me to use a lower ISO (e.g. 200 vs. 400). The stabilization would also help when taking non-action pictures. My limited experience and your review have confirmed that the LX3 meets my needs. I have been very pleasantly surprised at how well it handles highlights and with its resoution. I love the fully manual mode. It is really nice to see the results - before you take the picture - when you half press the shutter. Also, I am trying manual focus mode to see the graphical representation of the depth of field - focusing automatically by pressing the focus button-. Thanks Gordon, as I had not yet figured out that that the depth of field scale was there.

My only reservation was not having a built in optical viewfinder, but the LCD is much better than any I have used before and I am not sure I will miss the optical viewfinder. I think at this point I will have no reason to purchase the accessory viewfinder. Finally, I love the option to switch aspect ratios and get a true 24mm whichever aspect ratio I might choose. The fact that I lose a little resolution (a necessary result) does not bother me in the least.

So thank you again for a superb and complete review.

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Last edited by fgbrault on Wed Sep 24, 2008 1:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2008 2:29 am 
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Thanks guys, and thanks also for your experiences with the LX3 Frank.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2008 5:33 am 
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A very interesting review, Gordon - I had the LX1 and have now got the Canon G9, so an upgrade is being considered. Some minor points: the LX3 has no viewfinder but I sometimes find one useful in the G9, particularly when shooting action (I change the mode to jpeg from RAW and shoot in continuous mode). The high burst rate at reduced resolution in the LX3 is welcome (5.8 fps). The lens cap on the LX3 is not welcome - the G9/G10 has a better arrangement. The G9 also has OIS when panning, which the LX3 seems to lack, although I seldom use it.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2008 5:55 am 
hi all,

A special thks to Gordon at first for his great review of LX3. I'm juz luv its look and features.

However, there's one thing that I really concern, I'm a big big fan of portrait with shallow depth of field (u can say that most of my photos are juz that). I saw in the spec of LX3, they said it can make shallow DoF well with that sensor but it turns out not to be like that in Gordon's review. I wonder if LX3 can create the shallow DoF (I think Gordon said that G9 can make it properly in G9's review).

Looking forward to your feedback.

Thks

NR


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2008 6:06 am 
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Thanks for your comments!

Hi Strabo, I guess it depends what you're looking for from an upgrade and how the G9 is holding you back. If it's just wide angle, then the G10 fixes that... then again the LX3's widescreen movies are nice to have, and that f2.0 lens is great in low light...

Swings and roundabouts!

Hi NR, check out the LX3 gallery page and you'll see a portrait photo taken with the LX3 zoomed-into 60mm and with its aperture wide open - the subject was close and the background effectively at infinity, so in terms of portraits, that's as small a DOF as you're going to get.

That's the trouble with compacts - it's hard to get that small DOF effect simply because their sensors and actual lens focal lengths are much smaller than DSLRs. I managed a better effect in the G9 review than the LX3 because I could zoom its lens into a much longer focal length.

If you're hooked on a small DOF effect though, you really need a DSLR with a nice bright lens, like a 50mm f1.8 or 1.4.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2008 6:16 am 
Hi Gordon,

Thks 4 ur quick reply.

But I wonder the photo in the gallery is in the case that the background (the sea and mountain) is far far behind the subject (at infinity), how about the nearer background (some trees or wall behind for example), will LX3 or G9 (or G10) be able to create the shallow DoF?

In term of shallow DoF, which one (LX3 or G9 (or even G10)) is better?

I'm not a professional photographers, juz take images for fun, and afraid that one DSLR maybe so bulky.

Hope to hear ur ideas

Thks
NR


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2008 6:21 am 
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Well you can maximise the small DOF effect by:

1: Getting the subject closer to the camera
2: Getting the background further away
3: Opening the aperture as wide as it'll go (smallest f-number)
4: Zooming the lens to a longer focal length.

The G9's focal ratio (smallest f-number) may not be as bright as the LX3, but its longer focal length more than made up for this when trying to achieve a small DOF as you can see in the portrait shots in both galleries.

By the way, we have a workshop about this effect here:

Portrait tutorial at DSLR Tips.


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 Post subject: portraits
PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2008 6:22 pm 
The 24-60mm focal length is not good for portraits. You can use the Aperture priority at F2, but you will get significant facial distortion there. The plain fact is, the camera was designed for large scenes, which, due to the tiny camera size and sensor, it does rather poorly.


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 Post subject: Fantastic!
PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2008 7:46 pm 
Gordon, congratulations on your review! It really is an excellent job. The video tour covers many things about the camera functions and is really well presented. Also, I really like the comparison with the G9 and the 450D, as I had the 450D (for a very short time), and the G9 is the main rival I was considering for this camera. Thanks again for your time and effort on doing this.


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 Post subject: Re: portraits
PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2008 10:33 pm 
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dalethorn wrote:
The 24-60mm focal length is not good for portraits. You can use the Aperture priority at F2, but you will get significant facial distortion there. The plain fact is, the camera was designed for large scenes, which, due to the tiny camera size and sensor, it does rather poorly.


Why would you get facial distortion? At 60 mm the LX3 is beyond a "normal lens" (i.e. 45mmto 50mm or so) and slightly telephoto. So there would be no wide angle distortion.

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 Post subject: Re: portraits
PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2008 11:11 pm 
Frank B wrote:
Why would you get facial distortion? At 60 mm the LX3 is beyond a "normal lens" (i.e. 45mmto 50mm or so) and slightly telephoto. So there would be no wide angle distortion.

No wide angle distortion? That's a new one on me. Tell you what - take a portrait of someone face-on at 12 feet or more with a 90mm or better lens, then use the 60mm of the LX3, sitting close enough to fill the same area of the total image. You'll see. Big distortion.


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 Post subject: Re: portraits
PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 1:51 am 
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dalethorn wrote:
Frank B wrote:
Why would you get facial distortion? At 60 mm the LX3 is beyond a "normal lens" (i.e. 45mmto 50mm or so) and slightly telephoto. So there would be no wide angle distortion.

No wide angle distortion? That's a new one on me. Tell you what - take a portrait of someone face-on at 12 feet or more with a 90mm or better lens, then use the 60mm of the LX3, sitting close enough to fill the same area of the total image. You'll see. Big distortion.


A 45mm to 50mm lens is not a wide angle lens. Its field of view is normal and it is considered a normal lens - not a wide angle and not a telephoto. We may be talking about different types of perspective distortion. As you get up close to a subject there is perspective distortion which you can see without a lens. I believe a 45mm to 50mm lens (35mm full frame equivalent) is essentially neutral and does not exaggerate this distortion, as using a wide angle will because it will bring you closer to the subject for the same field of view. Lenses with focal lengths greater than 50mm will allow you to stand further back and thus reduce this natural perspective distortion. The point I was trying to make is that a 45mm to 50mm lens is neutral, as it shows essentially the same perspective as seen by the photographer through his/her eyes. So you are correct that if you fill the frame with the face with a 50mm you will get perspective distortion (a little less at 60mm), but it will be the same as you would see with the naked eye. The 50mm will not have added or subtracted from it.

I agree that 90mm to 125mm is most popular for portraits, however, excellent portrait work has been done using a 50mm lens e.g. Henri Cartier-Bresson . Also, by sacrificing some of your resolution you can use the digital zoom to increase the focal length or simply crop yourself.

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