Panasonic DMC-LX2K 10.2MP Digital Camera with 4x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom (Black)
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- 10.2-megapixel CCD captures enough detail for photo-quality 18 x 24-inch prints
- 4x image-stabilized optical zoom; 2.8-inch LCD display
- Intelligent ISO Control (I.I.C.) reduces image blur from subject movement and low light
- Can record movies in a high-definition (1280 x 720) format at 15 frames per second
- Stores images on SD memory cards; powered by li-ion battery pack (battery and charger included)
This product is available as Certified Refurbished.
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From the Manufacturer
The new Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX2 is successor to the DMC-LX1, which has received high acclaim worldwide for its unique 16:9 wide CCD, plentiful functions, and smart design. The DMC-LX2 inherits the f2.8 28mm wide angle Leica DC lens, 4x optical zoom (equivalent to 28-112mm on a 35mm film camera), and Mega O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) system in addition to an enhanced CCD capable of taking images at 10.2-megapixel resolution, as well a larger, 2.8-inch 16:9 wide LCD.
The DMC-LX2 is unique in that it incorporates three "wide" features: a 28mm wide-angle Leica DC lens, 16:9 wide CCD, and 16:9 wide LCD. Not only that, the LX2 is further distinguished from other cameras by its full manual controllability with a joystick allowing users to easily enjoy creative shooting. The DMC-LX2 also boasts a Venus Engine III high-performance image-processing LSI to dramatically reduce the noise that challenged the predecessor, realizing image recording at maximum ISO 1600 high sensitivity setting at full resolution.
To fight against the major cause of blurred images, Panasonic invented the Mega O.I.S. system, taking advantage of its superior lens technology to compensate for handshake. In addition, to also compensate for the other major cause of blurred images--movement of the subject--the LX2 is also equipped with the world's first Intelligent ISO Control (hereafter I.I.C.) and high-sensitivity recording capabilities, up to a maximum ISO of 1600, within the advanced image processing LSI Venus Engine III. When set to the I.I.C., the Venus Engine III detects the subject's movement and adjusts the ISO setting and shutter speed to best suit the subject movement and the light condition automatically. Panasonic's excellent image stabilizing system allows users to take clear, crisp images in any situation, leaving everything to the camera.
The Lumix LX series are distinct from other compact cameras in the way they feature extensive manual controls including manual focus and manual exposure which can be smoothly operated with a joystick. This joystick further provides operation shortcuts to the frequently used settings including white balance, ISO, image size, compression format, light metering, and AF mode by simply pressing and holding it. It also allows exposure compensation and selection of one out of nine focusing areas.
The aspect ratio is easily selectable between 16:9 wide, 3:2, and conventional 4:3 with a switch located on top of the lens barrel to shoot in the framing aspect that best suits the subjects' composition or image's purpose of use.
In addition, the DMC-LX2 is capable of recording wide 16:9 high definition (1280 x 720) motion image at 15 frames per second (fps).
Other features that elevate the DMC-LX2 are the incorporation of 13MB of built-in memory and the battery life that has been extended to up to 300 pictures on one charging (CIPA standard), so you won't miss those great spur-of-the-moment shots. A print mode has been added to the mode dial so that you can print the images quickly and bundled software allows users to edit and develop RAW files.
The unique 16:9 wide CCD and 28mm wide angle Leica DC lens provide a unique view of the world and which is refined by the Panasonic's excellent image stabilizing systems of Mega O.I.S., the high-sensitivity recording, and the I.I.C.
The Lumix DMC-LX2 is like no other compact camera, enabling both high-end amateurs and entry-level users to explore the creativeness that surely enhances the joy of shooting.
10.2-Megapixel 16:9-Aspect CCD and f2.8 28mm Wide-Angle 4x Optical Zoom Leica DC Lens
The DMC-LX2 features a 10.2-megapixel 16:9 aspect CCD and f2.8 4x optical zoom 28mm wide angle (equivalent to 28-112mm on a 35mm film camera) Leica DC Vario-Elmarit lens. Incorporating three aspherical lenses provides high optical performance while preserving the compactness of the unit. The aspect ratio can be easily selected between 16:9 or 3:2 in addition to the conventional 4:3 with a switch on the lens barrel on a shot-by-shot-basis to best suit the composition of the image. Even after shooting, the 16:9 ratio can be converted to 3:2 or 4:3 with the camera according to your purpose of use.
The Extended Optical Zoom, made possible by using the center part of 10.2-megapixel high resolution CCD, further extends the zoom ratio to 5.5x for 5-megapixel image recording in 16:9 aspect with minimal deterioration.
Lumix's Image Stabilizing System Evolves
Taking advantage of its superior lens technology, Panasonic invented the Mega O.I.S.(Optical Image Stabilizer) to fight against the major cause of blurred images. It compensates for handshake and is now featured on the entire Lumix range, and having been highly evaluated and appreciated by the users across the world. Every slight hand-shake movement is detected accurately with the sampling frequency at 4,000 times per second and will be compensated to render clear, sharp images. In addition, movement of the subject, the other major cause of blurred images, is suppressed by the advanced image processing LSI Venus Engine III with Intelligent ISO Control (hereafter I.I.C.) and maximum ISO of 1600. The world's first incorporation of this I.I.C. allows the automatic adjustment of the suitable ISO setting and shutter speed that best suits the situation by analyzing the speed of subject movement. If the subject is moving, the ISO setting would automatically rise to allow high shutter speed. On the other hand, if the subject is still and no movement is detected, you can take beautiful natural images with a low ISO setting.
Accordingly the new Lumix automatically takes the best countermeasures against any causes of blurred images with Mega O.I.S. compensating for hand-shake and the I.I.C. compensating for movement of the subject. Image stabilizing system is further evolving with Lumix.
Dramatically Reduced Noise with Venus Engine III
The DMC-LX2 adopts the Venus Engine III to realize high sensitivity recording at maximum ISO 1600 at full resolution. The noise reduction system is greatly improved by removing noise at the processing stages in series. First, critical noise is roughly undraped and the chromatic noise and the luminance noise are separated to respectively go through the supplemental noise reduction process so that the remaining noise is appropriately minimized.
Despite the significantly increased performance of the camera, the Venus Engine III consumes only 80% of the power utilized by the Venus Engine II and is able to achieve a longer battery life of 300 pictures (CIPA) on a single charge. With its multi-task image processing capability, the Venus Engine III also boasts outstanding response time with a shutter release time lag of as short as 0.009 seconds. minimum and the shutter interval of 0.6 seconds. The DMC-LX2 enables easy capture of those spur-of-the-moment shots. The DMC-LX2 also allows unlimited consecutive shooting up to the capacity of the SD/SDHC memory card.
Joystick-Operated, Intuitive Full Manual Control
The easy-to-use joystick operation and good design, which were part of the highly acclaimed trademarks of the predecessor, are inherited by the DMC-LX2. The joystick was incorporated to facilitate operational ease and thereby get the best technical advantage of the multitude of functions offered by the camera. With the joystick it is possible to set focus and exposure manually, and also quickly shortcut to frequently used variables by just pressing and holding the joystick even while monitoring a subject on the LCD. The predecessor LX1 contained white balance adjustment, ISO setting, image size setting and compression format in its shortcut menu, and the light metering and AF mode settings are now added for the new LX2. It also allows the exposure compensation and selection of one out of nine focusing areas.
A switch on the side of the lens barrel lets you quickly change the focus mode between MF, AF or Macro AF. When you focus in the Manual Focus mode, not only the focus distance but also the DOF (depth of field) according to the zoom range and aperture is displayed. An MF assist function enlarges the center of the image to make focusing easier. The focusing area can be enlarged up to 4x and is movable, which also contributes to easy and comfortable manual focusing.
Crystal-Clear, Large 16:9 2.8-Inch LCD
To express the best of the extensive 16:9 wide image recording, a 2.8-inch wide and large 207 k high resolution LCD is newly equipped. The pixel mixed readout method performed at the CCD achieves high sensitivity to offer sufficient brightness for easy shooting even in low-lit situations. The Power LCD function boosts the brightness level by 40% to secure clear view even in sunny outdoors. The High Angle mode makes the display extremely easy to view from low angles, for example, when holding the camera up high to take pictures over a crowd and can be accessed easily and quickly by using the dedicated button.
High-Definition 16:9 Wide Motion Image Recording
The DMC-LX2 is capable of recording the 4:3 VGA (640 x 480) and 16:9 wide VGA (848 x 480) motion image recording at 30 fps. Shooting is one thing but viewing is another, and you will be suitably impressed by the 16:9 moving image when it is displayed on a wide screen TV. In addition, the LX2 can record motion images even in high definition (1280 x 720) format at 15 fps. The pixel mixed readout method assists the bright motion image recording even in low lit situation.
The AF mode can be selected according to the shooting situation: 9-point, 3-point high speed, 1-point high speed, 1-point normal speed and Spot. In the 1-point and 1-point high speed AF mode, the AF area is selectable from the nine focusing areas with the joystick to best fit the composition of the subjects. Also, the AF assist lamp helps quick, accurate focusing in situations where focusing is difficult due to the lack of light. The AF/AE lock button is also succeeded from the predecessor.
A Variety of Scene Modes and Other Features to Enrich Your Photography
An even larger variety of scene modes are contained--a total of 17 scene modes (not including Macro mode) to assist you in a wide range of photographic situations. The newly incorporated Beach mode is perfect for shooting in strong sunlight and the Aerial mode assists with shooting through the windows of an airplane. High Sensitivity mode is made possible by the pixel-mixed readout method by the CCD, is ideal for shooting moving subjects clearly without blurring at a maximum sensitivity setting of ISO 3200.
For additional improvement, the Print mode is also added to the mode dial of the LX2 so that you can make prints by just connecting the camera to Pictbridge-compatible printers via the included USB cable.
The DMC-LX2 includes 13MB of built-in memory to serve not just as a tool of shooting images but also as a digital album, to enjoy seeing and showing your favorite pictures.
Finally, to edit and develop RAW files, Silkypix Developer Studio 2.0SE software application is included with the DMC-LX2. With that, you can freely adjust various setting such as exposure, white balance, and so on in post-image processing of the RAW files.
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I originally bought this as a backup to my SLRs but I already see this will be my primary camera unless I am a situation that calls for a special lens, flash power, or super high resolution (like 25 or 60 ASA)
My only suggestion to Panasonic would be to allow you to charge the battery while in the camera, like with a car charger, and make some sort of accomodation for external flash. The flash on this camera is the weak spot - it's really not that bad for the size but if it could sync with an external flash that would be good.
Pros: "Wide" implementation in almost every way; flexible use of sensor and aspect ratios to maximize zoom, resolution, and framing options; well-organized UI; classic camera styling; widescreen (16x9) display; Leica lens is too manly to be confined to a pocket.
Cons: Leica lens is too manly to be confined to a pocket; manual is almost laughably bad; very little room to actually grip the camera without hitting some controls; less-common Micro-USB connector; controls are too tiny for the large-fingered.
I needed a replacement for my dying Canon PowerShot S230 Digital Elph. Priorities were an excellent lens, 28mm or better wide angle, small enough to fit in a pocket, respectable resolution (8mp or better), and some at least some degree of manual control. I didn't need another SLR, but the flexibility of my wife's Canon EOS 5D meant a basic point-and-shoot simply wouldn't do.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX2 nailed my requirements on everything but size. The body is actually more compact than it tends to look in most pictures, but that lens housing makes it awkward in anything but the most bulky pocket... and even then, people are likely to ask, "Is that an LX2 in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?"
I can't even ding it on size that much, because for the quality of the Leica lens it's an acceptable compromise. It's not bad industrial design; on the contrary, it's probably the smallest it could be with a lens like that.
I'd read up and was aware of the noise (and noise-reduction) problems at higher ISOs, but the way I plan to use it I don't anticipate that will be a problem. At the same time, the flash almost seems like a "why bother" afterthought. It's miniscule, dwarfed even by the small pop-up housing that springs it into place.
The worst part of the entire package is the manual. It reads like a web site that has all the useful, detailed information on a remote link -- except that here, that means it's on a page further back. The rest of the content is rife with vague disclaimers on all the ways your pictures might look lousy or things you might think are a malfunction but aren't. It's almost comical. More than half of page 46, for example, is indirect, oh-by-the-way commentary that could easily and more clearly be integrated into the main instructions for each feature. It's as if Panasonic Tech Support got a shot at the manual and just threw every issue that has ever generated a call or e-mail into it.
But that's okay. This isn't a camera for beginners or casual point-and-shooters, and photo enthusiasts may find the manual entertainingly bad.
I do find that the noise reduction is a bit too aggressive, leading to the notorious watercolor effect, so I'll generally keep this at its lowest setting and shoot at the highest ISO possible.
The only downside to the widescreen display is that it takes up so much of the back of the camera that there's very little room to actually hold the camera. Further, the control buttons are very small. I'm just comfortable with them, but am glad my fingertips aren't a millimeter larger.
after using the camera for some time, i think i probably made the right decision, although perhaps it would have been worth spending more for a wider lens. certainly the lx2 was stronger than i expected: the image quality was fine, the build was good, and i have found it very easy to use.
image quality (noise) seems to be a big issue with the lx2. the following comments are probably specific to the way i use the camera (you may want to look on flickr - just search for my name). in particular, i don't make large prints and i tend to use wide angles (on the other hand, i use available light).
in practice, then, i always use iso 100 and see no noise problems. this may sound crazy, but three camera features make it quite reasonable. first, the lens is fairly fast (at wide angles), second the image stabilisation is excellent, and third the camera has automatic image bracketing. so with +/- 1/3 stop bracketing you get three reasonable exposures, which means one should be ok even at "extreme" exposure times (like 1/4s).
one other issue i was apprehensive about was the lack of a viewfinder. again this has turned out to be fine in practice - the screen is very good, with a bright mode that is sufficient for chilean sunshine and also an "angled" mode (which is bright too) that is surprisingly useful when holding the camera at odd angles.
other small points: the 16:9 format sounds like a gimmick but works well in practice (i seem to be saying that a lot!); the lens cap is not as annoying as expected; build is good and, while a bit "shiny" (i would have preferred the plainer leica styling) it looks ok and seems to be wearing well.
if you understand a manual slr then working the camera is no problem - i hardly ever need to go through menus since all the common controls are available more-or-less directly. the four buttons on the back arranged in a circle are, when you are using the camera normally, mapped to specific functions, while the most critical parameters, like shutter speed or focus, are controlled via the joystick (left/right to select a function and up/down to adjust - the screen helps you along and it comes to feel quite natural and quick).
my main criticisms (apart from wanting 24mm) are common to all in this class: they are a bit bulky to pocket (the lens+cap on the lx2 doubles its thickness) and the fastest aperture is nothing like wide enough for shallow depth of field (especially since min aperture increases with focal length).