s90 vs. LX3 At virtually the same price, what camera would be a better value? I feel like s90 would be a better fit for my needs for a compact walk-around camera that still takes great low-light pics. But, man, LX3 in stock, for less than 400, sounds like a bargain.
I've had the LX3 for about a year and I'm anxious to get rid of it. It's not very pocket friendly for one thing. And I still dislike the complex menu system. It obviously takes fantastic photos, but I don't know how to say this... It's just not "usable". I like to carry my camera around and take quick and spontaneous photos. And with the LX3, this is just not possible.. bulky size, manual lens cap, slow start-up, slow focusing, clunky menus, etc.
Don't get me wrong. The LX3 is a fantastic camera. And it has more creative controls than the S90, but it just doesn't suit my shooting style. I'm planning to get the S90 as an everyday camera, and a Canon DSLR for more composed and serious photos. The LX3 will be going on Craigslist soon.
The low light performance of the s90 is astonishing. The s90 has a more versatile tele lens than the LX3. You can get a canon s90 for $380 or so now. I paid $440 in October 2009 just so I could get my hands on one. I love it so much. If the house were burning down, I'd grab it first. It is by far the most fun and versatile camera I've had.
I had the same question and chose the S90 for two main reasons: (1) much more compact, (2) 3.5x zoom instead of ~2x. It also has the minor advantage that the lens is protected when the camera is turned off (minor, because you'd probably keep the LX3 in a case).
In favor of the LX3: (1) the lens is an excellent Leica Summicron (this is possibly visible on some shots), (2) the image sensor is ever so slightly larger (.45cm2 vs .43cm2), (3) the insane control dial on the back of the S90 can result in accidental change to exposure setting when not in auto mode.
I don't have experience with the image quality of the LX3, but I suspect that it's capable of better photos (though some reviews I've seen suggest it doesn't do this consistently).
There is a stick-on grip available now for the S90 and I'm going to get one. It detracts slightly from the camera's good looks, but it's not ugly. Some reviewers have written that it keeps their fingers from accidentally moving the loose rear dial by providing a better grip and finger placement. It's around $30 and will be my birthday present to myself. I will also order a more functional wrist strap, a custom LCD protector, and a filter holder/circular polarizer. None of these accessories costs very much so I plan to give my beloved S90 some bells and whistles. I think Lensmate is the source for these goodies. It would have been nice if Canon had provided these things, but at least they are now available for this great camera. I know from past experience I will not carry a DSLR around, but I ALWAYS carry the S90, so I guess it's time to trick it out!