Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3
Advanced camera with 24mm wide-angle lens
- Good colour balance, low chromatic aberration, tonnes of features, wide-angle lens
- Some oversharpening, expensive
Panasonic's Lumix DMC-LX3 is an impressive high-end compact camera with a wide-angle 24mm lens and a host of manual features.
Price$ 829.00 (AUD)
Joining companies such as Canon and Ricoh in providing a compact camera for photography enthusiasts, Panasonic has come to market with its new advanced model — the Lumix DMC-LX3. It features a classy and slightly old-school design and a slew of features, including image stabilisation, manual shooting modes and multiple aspect ratios. This widescreen camera is sure to appeal to experienced users looking to upgrade or professionals after a portable unit as a backup.
Sporting a 10.1-megapixel sensor and a 24mm wide-angle lens, the LX3 is a fairly powerful little photography tool. The wide shots look excellent and should suit those looking to take panoramic landscape snaps. It doesn’t quite have the telephoto length of its predecessor, the Lumix DMC-LX2, but the width of the lens more than makes up for that. The camera also has the ability to shoot in 16:9 and 3:2 in addition to 4:3, making it perfect for owners of widescreen HD televisions.
We found the images captured by the L3 to be pretty impressive all up. They were crisp and sharp with excellent detail; however, Imatest did pick up a hefty amount of oversharpening. This was also evident in some of our outdoors shots, particularly in patches of dense foliage. Fortunately, chromatic aberration was pretty well controlled, with no corner softening and only minor haloing on high-contrast edges.
Colours were accurate and well balanced. Primary shades were almost spot-on, except for some slightly oversaturated reds. Exposure was also well handled, with detail well rendered in dark areas and only a little blowing out of bright areas.
Noise performance was about what we expected. Everything up to ISO 400 was usable and suffered only minor graininess. However, it took a sharp jump at ISO 800 and some detail loss became evident. By ISO 1600 pictures were a sea of noise and not really usable unless you’re happy making tiny fuzzy prints.
The speed of the LX3 was average. Its 0.09 second shutter lag is fine but nothing to write home about; the same is true of the 2.5 second start-up time. Shot-to-shot time was slightly better at 1.8 seconds, and the burst mode impressed us by capturing just over three frames per second.
What is really nifty about this unit is the huge array of features on offer. It has full manual shooting modes (program, aperture, shutter and manual) and the lens has an impressive aperture of f/2.0 at the wide end. It is supported by Panasonic’s Mega Optical Image Stabilisation; as usual it does an excellent job of minimising hand-shake.
For novice users, the Intelligent Auto mode makes a welcome return. It calculates the best combination of ISO, exposure, scene mode and picture settings and adjusts accordingly. While it may just be a glorified auto mode in some regards, it certainly produces good images.
As you’d expect, video recording is present — and it can be done in high definition. The LX3 can capture 1280x720 footage at 30 frames per second (unfortunately the QuickTime format is rather inefficient and footage takes up a large amount of space).
If you’re a fan of a slightly retro look then the LX3 should satisfy. It has a boxy black look with a tiny hand grip. It isn’t exactly petite but it’ll fit into a large pocket or small bag. We found it relatively comfortable to hold and quite sturdy, although depending on your grip the flash may get in the way. It has a lot of controls, which will be intimidating for some users. Once you get the hang of things it is relatively easy to use, however.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 2 LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- 3 Tag Heuer Connected Smartwatch and Android Wear 2 review
- 4 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 5 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Boom: SanDisk just dropped the world's largest SD card
- Camera app makers tap into RAW power with iOS, and look forward to dual lenses
- Google Camera 3.2 lets you snap pictures while recording video
- CES 2016: Top 10 trends
- Sony α7S II aimed film-makers and low light photographers
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- MSI GE72 7RE Apache Pro gaming laptop review
- LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - online gamblingNSW
- FTLevel 3 Service Desk Support Engineer / Project ManagerQLD
- FTSenior Infrastructure Engineer (Windows & Virtualization)VIC
- FTTest AnalystSA
- CCTechnical Support EngineerNSW
- TPBusiness Analyst / Test CoordinatorQLD
- CCSenior Systems EngineerQLD
- FTNetwork EngineerNSW
- CCIT Security Risk AnalystVIC
- FTDIRECTOR PROJECT DELIVERY, WELLINGTONNZ
- CCReporting System Specialist - Port MacquarieQLD
- CCInfrastructure Project ManagerNSW
- CCBusiness AnalystNSW
- CCSAP HCM Support & Configuration ConsultantQLD
- TPDigital ProducerVIC
- TPProject Test ManagerQLD
- FTTest CoordinatorACT
- FTSales Client Services Manager (Mid-market)QLD
- FTNV1 Cleared Software Configuration Engineer - Defence Projects - North Ryde areaNSW
- FTSenior UX/UI DesignerNSW
- FTService Desk Analyst Level 1 SupportQLD
- FTApplication AnalystSA
- TPSolution Architect - InfrastructureQLD
- FTSenior Unix/Linux EngineerNSW
- FTProject ManagerNSW