Let me begin by saying I'm a huge fan of Canon cameras and always will be. From the SLR to the point and shoot, I've owned or had the opportunity to work with most of the Canon range. The cameras are marvels of technology, so this review is something of a wonder - I'm singing the praises of the Panasonic Lumix LX3 point and shoot camera.
It all started one day at a Leica demo day at a local camera store, where among the Rangefinders, was a point and shoot Leica DLUX 4. It was heaven to use and I went home to research reviews of this camera. It was Ken Rockwell that pointed out the Panasonic Lumix is the twin of the Leica DLUX. That review started the gears in motion to purchase this gem of a camera.
I've listed the specs for this camera in the Wiki section for your perusal, but I do want to point out the most remarkable feature - a Leica f2.0 24 mm equivalent wide angle lens. I've posted a variety of photos taken with the Lumix on Flickr
This is a small camera, but not as small as some pocket point and shoots. This may be an issue for those who want to pack as light as possible. The camera is loaded with features more experienced photographers will appreciate. You can change the aspect ratio (4:3, 3:2, 16:9) of your photos with a flick of a switch. It comes with a live view function in the manual focus setting that allows for pinpoint focusing accuracy. There is a hot shoe for a flash and large view screen. The Intelligent auto function is quite good, if you must use it.
The camera does have a movie function that films in HD at 720p in a 16:9 wide screen aspect ratio. I've included a short video from Longwood Gardens to give you a feel for the video quality.
The lens cap has a quirky retro feel and I've not been bothered by having to remove the lens cap before shooting.
This camera is a capable backup to your main dSLR. This is not a camera for beginners in photography, or those unfamiliar with using wide angle lenses. If you have a basic grasp of photography, I would highly recommend this camera as your point and shoot model. Your gonna love the pictures you take with this camera.
Gordon Lane has this to say about the Lumix:
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Tania Gail (taniagail)
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Source: Full listing of specification can be found at Panasonic
Lens LEICA DC VARIO-SUMMICRON 8 elements in 6 groups (4 Aspherical lenses / 4 Aspherical surfaces) Optical Image Stabilizer MEGA O.I.S. (Auto / Mode1 / Mode2) Zoom Optical: 2.5x
Extra Optical: 4:3 Aspect: 3.0x for 7 Mega, 3.6x for 5 Mega, 4.5x for 3.0 / 2.0 / 0.3 Mega 3:2 Aspect: 3.0x for 6.5 Mega, 3.6x for 4.5 Mega, 4.5x for 3.0 / 2.5 Mega 16:9 Aspect: 3.0x for 6 Mega, 3.6x for 4.5 Mega, 4.5x for 2.5 / 2.0 Mega 1:1 Aspect: 3.0x for 5.5 Mega, 3.6x for 3.5 Mega, 4.5x for 2.5 Mega
Focal Distance f = 5.1 - 12.8 mm (35 mm Equivalent: 24 - 60 mm) Focusing Area Normal: Wide 50 cm (1.64 feet) / Tele 50 cm (1.64 feet) - infinity Intelligent AUTO / Macro: Wide 1cm (0.03 feet) / Tele 30 cm (0.98 feet) – infinity AF Metering Face / AF tracking / Multi-area / 1-area / 1-area high speed / Spot AF Assist Lamp Yes Conversion Lens Compatibility Yes Camera Effective Pixels 10.1 Megapixels Image Sensor 1/1.63", 11.3 Mega Total Pixels CCD, Primary Color Filter Focus Normal / Macro, Quick AF On/Off (On in Intelligent Auto), Continuous AF On/Off, AF/MF Switchable, Manual Focus (joystick), One Shot AF, AF Area Select, AF Tracking ISO Sensitivity (Standard Output Sensitivity) Auto / 80 / 100 / 200 / 400 / 800 / 1600 / 3200 (High Sensitivity Mode: Auto (1600 - 6400) ) ISO Limit Set Yes White Balance Auto / Daylight / Cloudy / Shade / Halogen / Color Temperature / Flash / White Set 1 / ...