The Panasonic Lumix DMC LX2 is the successor to the Lumix LX1, which was the first digital still camera with a genuine 16:9 widescreen sensor. The new LX2 remains a native widescreen model, and features several enhancements including the obligatory increase in resolution from 8.4 to 10.2 Megapixels.
To combat noise and allow recording up to 1600 ISO at full resolution, the LX2 employs Panasonic’s latest Venus Engine III image processor. The new Venus Engine also equips the LX2 with Panasonic’s Intelligent ISO Control which can automatically adjust the ISO and shutter speed based on any subject motion.
The 2.5in 4:3 aspect ratio screen of its predecessor has been swapped for a new 2.8in widescreen display which matches the shape of native images from its sensor. As before there’s the possibility of capturing genuine widescreen movies in 848×480 pixels at 30fps, along with a new HD mode capturing 1280×720 video at 15fps.
The lens is the same as before: a 4x optical zoom from Leica with Optical Image Stabilisation, which when recording in the 16:9 aspect ratio offers an equivalent range of 28-112mm. The body design and controls are also essentially the same, with plenty of manual control including aperture and shutter priority, along with manual focus options.
It’s another impressive-sounding compact from Panasonic with some genuinely unique features, but when its predecessor already suffered from high noise levels, what will the hike to 10.2 Megapixels do for quality? And while the genuine 16:9 sensor and screen are a unique combination on a still camera, what are their benefits in practice? To find out, read our full review of the Lumix LX2. For an overview of this camera and its headline features, check out our Lumix DMC LX2 video tour.
Following our convention of using default factory and best quality JPEG settings to test cameras unless otherwise stated, the Lumix LX2 was set to 10M Fine JPEG mode, Auto White Balance, and Multiple Metering, with all four Picture Adjustment options including Noise Reduction set to Standard; in our Noise pages we have additionally included results with the LX2’s Noise Reduction set to both High and Low.