Thank you, I had actually found that thread before, but there were so many conflicting opinions it was hard to decide.
I picked up a G9 last week, and an LX3 this week. I haven't done as much comparative testing as I would like to do yet but I have had the chance to do quite a bit of low light testing. In all my tests the LX3 seemed to perform much better in low light with the flash off. It wasn't extreme low light I found I never had to go over ISO400 but I would never expect to take a good photo with a compact camera above ISO 400 anyway. Images from the LX3 on average seemed quite a bit brighter with better color than the G9. Noise levels seemed somewhat similar although I had to decrease the shutter speed on the G9 dramatically to get results similar to the LX3. The Auto mode seemed quite a bit better on the LX3 as well, on auto the LX3 images seemed bright and vivid as if the room was very well lit, the G9 images seemed... well kind of dark and drab.
At first I was very impressed with the way manual controls were set up on the G9, the adjustment wheel for shutter speed, aperture, and focus makes adjustments quite a bit quicker than the LX3. And of course the ISO wheel on the G9 is very convenient. However once I set the customizable function key on the LX3 to ISO adjust it became quite a bit faster to make adjustments. I really appreciated the auto focus button beside the capture button, allowing the user to use auto focus quickly and easily while remaining in manual focus mode.
Apart from manual controls I liked the shutter countdown on the LX3 which appears on the screen during long exposures.
Also, the extra zoom on the G9 was rendered completely useless in the low light shots. The increased aperture coupled with high ISO completely ruined the shots. I didn't actually try but I imagine the digital zoom equivalent on the LX3 would take better shots.
I haven't had a chance to compare the cameras in situations with better ambient light. But after the low light tests I'm not even sure if I care. Even if the G9 photos are a better quality then the LX3 (with lots of light), which they very well may be, I'm fairly certain I'll still prefer the LX3.
- I've now tested the LX3 and TZ5 (TZ5 only in daylight) and I now understand what you meant when you said they are completely different cameras. Although the TZ5 was fun to use and had an incredible zoom, I think I'm going to side with manual function on the LX3. As far as a final decision goes, its hard to do without testing the G10 but I'm already just so fond of the LX3