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Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 Gordon Laing, September 2008

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 gallery

The following images were taken with the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3. Unless otherwise stated, the LX3 was set to Program mode with Auto White Balance and its Standard Film mode. Optical Image Stabilisation was enabled for all these handheld images.

The individual exposure mode, file sizes, shutter speeds, aperture, ISO and lens focal length are listed for each image.

The crops are taken from the original files, reproduced at 100% and saved in Adobe Photoshop CS2 as JPEGs with the default Very High quality preset, while the resized images were made in Photoshop CS2 and saved with the default High quality preset.

The three crops are typically taken from far left, central and far right portions of each image.

Landscape: 3.85MB, Program, 1/1000, f5, ISO 80, 5.1-12.8mm at 5.1mm (equivalent to 24mm)

  This first shot was taken with the LX3 in bright light at its lowest 80 ISO sensitivity and therefore represents ideal conditions.

If you're familiar with our other Galleries, you'll see the LX3 zoomed-out to 24mm is capturing a much wider field of view here than compacts with 35mm or even 28mm coverage.

Pixel peepers will notice the crops aren't quite as clean as, say, the Canon G9 at 80 ISO, but there's not much to complain about.

Landscape: 4.68MB, Program, 1/800, f4.5, ISO 100, 5.1-12.8mm at 5.1mm (equivalent to 24mm)

  Another shot taken under bright light with the lens zoomed-out to 24mm, but now with the sensitivity increased to 100 ISO.

Like all the shots here, the LX3 has erred on underexposure, which successfully protects highlight areas from saturation, but can result in darker areas elsewhere.

The crops show lots of fine detail and well-corrected optics.

Landscape: 4.11MB, Program, 1/1300, f8, ISO 100, 5.1-12.8mm at 12.8mm (equivalent to 60mm)

    For this shot of an approaching boat we increased the LX3's sensitivity to 200 ISO and zoomed the lens into its maximum 60mm coverage.

There's some visible artefacts around fine detail on the crops, but some of that is JPEG compression and can be avoided by shooting in RAW.

Admittedly some of the background texture is down to noise, but it's not as bad as the LX2, and is in fact around one stop superior to the Canon G9 from this point on.

Portrait: 3.52MB, Aperture Priority, 1/2000, f2.8, ISO 200, 5.1-12.8mm at 12.8mm (equivalent to 60mm)

  For this portrait we kept the lens at 60mm and the sensitivity at 200 ISO, but set the LX3 to Aperture Priority mode to select the smallest f-number. Unlike many compacts, the LX3 allows you to use the maximum aperture and shutter at the same time, and here we also forced the flash as a fill-in.

The LX3's brighter than average aperture certainly helps in low light, but as you can see here, it's still not going to deliver very small depths of field.

The crops also reveal visible textures due to noise, but again it's better than many at this point.

Macro: 4.64MB, Program, 1/60, f2.2, ISO 400, 5.1-12.8mm at 7mm (equivalent to 33mm)

  The Lumix LX3 has impressive macro capabilities which allow it to focus as close as 1cm from the subject.

We're just a fraction further away here to avoid casting shadows, but you can still enjoy great close-ups.

We've increased the sensitivity to 400 ISO here without too much of a detrimental effect.


Indoor: 4.52MB, Program, 1/80, f2, ISO 400, 5.1-12.8mm at 5.1mm (equivalent to 24mm)

  Our first indoor shot was taken with the LX3 at 400 ISO and the lens set to wide angle.

The bright f2.0 aperture has allowed the LX3 to use a relatively quick shutter speed of 1/80 which has eliminated the chance of camera shake, although you have to be careful about the shallower depth of field.

The crops reveal a noticeable increase in noise over previous shots, but there's still lots of detail and little of the smearing we've seen on many other models due to over-zealous noise reduction.

Indoor: 4.36MB, Program, 1/50, f2, ISO 800, 5.1-12.8mm at 5.1mm (equivalent to 24mm)

  Our second indoor was was taken with the LX3 increased to 800 ISO. Despite the dark conditions, the f2.0 aperture when zoomed-out allowed a relatively quick exposure of 1/50, thereby avoiding camera shake - a big advantage over models with f2.8 or slower lenses.

Noise is now quite apparent on the crops, but again there's still plenty of detail and again little of the smearing we've seen on previous models.

Indeed we'd say 800 ISO is quite usable at smaller print sizes, and if you shoot in RAW and carefully adjust the NR, you can enjoy cleaner results.


Indoor: 3.58MB, Program, 1/125, f2.8, ISO 1600, 5.1-12.8mm at 5.1mm (equivalent to 24mm)

  Our final shot was taken with the LX3 at 1600 ISO. Here its tendency to underexpose may have protected some detail in the bright windows, but resulted in a shot that's too dark overall.

When using this composition in our High ISO Noise results, we applied +1EV compensation.

As you'd expect at 1600 ISO, the noise has now become obtrusive, but overall on this page it's refreshing to see Panasonic not applying heavy-handed noise reduction. We applaud its latest strategies.

All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2017 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.

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