Save Big On Open-Box & Pre-owned: Buy "Panasonic DMC-LX3 10.1MP Digital Camera with 24mm ...” from Amazon Warehouse Deals and save 73% off the $499.95 list price. Product is eligible for Amazon's 30-day returns policy and Prime or FREE Shipping. See all Open-Box & Pre-owned offers from Amazon Warehouse Deals.
Panasonic DMC-LX3 10.1MP Digital Camera with 24mm Wide Angle MEGA Optical Image Stabilized Zoom (Black)
- Enter your model number to make sure this fits.
- Capture images to SD/SDHC memory cards (not included)
- Classic SLR-like manual operations include selectable AF spot/multi AF area, customization button, aperture, shutter, program and full manual modes
- 2.5x wide-angle MEGA Optical Image Stabilized zoom lens
- 10.1-megapixel CCD captures enough detail for photo-quality poster-size prints
- 3.0-inch high-resolution LCD screen; HD video capture
- 10.1-megapixel CCD captures enough detail for photo-quality poster-size prints
- 2.5x wide-angle MEGA Optical Image Stabilized zoom lens
There is a newer model of this item:
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Special Offers and Product Promotions
|Auto Focus Technology|
|Continuous Shooting Speed||2.5 fps|
|Display Resolution Maximum||460,000|
|Display Size||3 inches|
|Effective Still Resolution||10.1 MP|
|Expanded ISO Maximum||3,200|
|Expanded ISO Minimum||80|
|Exposure Control Type|
|External Memory Included||Yes|
|Flash Memory Type||SD/MMC/SDHC card, Internal|
|Flash Type||Built-in Flash, Hot-shoe|
|Focus Type||Autofocus & Manual|
|ISO Range||Auto, Hi Auto (1600-6400), 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200|
|Image Aspect Ratio||4:3, 3:2, 16:9|
|Included Components||Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3K Digital Camera - Battery|
|Item Dimensions||2.36 x 1.06 x 4.29 inches|
|Item Weight||0.58 pounds|
|Lithium Battery Energy Content||1,150 Milliamp Hours|
|Lithium Battery Weight||4 ounces|
|Macro Focus Range||1 cm|
|Maximum Aperture Range||F2.0 - F2.8|
|Maximum Focal Length||60 mm|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/2000 of a second|
|Maximum horizontal resolution||3,648|
|Memory Storage Capacity||50 MB|
|Minimum Focal Length||24 mm|
|Minimum Shutter Speed||60 seconds|
|Optical Sensor Resolution||10.1 MP|
|Optical Sensor Technology||CCD|
|Photo Sensor Technology||CCD|
|Removable Memory||Secure Digital card|
|Sensor Cleaning Method||No|
|Shipping Weight||1.75 pounds|
|Supported Battery Types||Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery & charger|
|Video Capture Resolution||1280 x 720 (HD 24 fps), 848 x 480 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps), 320 x 240 (30fps), 320 x 240 (10fps)|
From the Manufacturer
Designed for easy, creative shooting, and high-performance in low-light conditions, the Panasonic DMC-LX3 features a F2.0 24mm Leica DC Vario-Summicron lens, 10.1 megapixels and an ultra-sensitive 1/1.63-inch CCD developed specifically for this model. By combining a high-quality lens and sensor ready for a variety of shooting conditions with a wide-range of accessories and manual controls, the DMC-LX3 is ideal for professional photographers and serious amateurs looking for a compact digital camera that furthers their creative photography.
At the heart of the DMC-LX3, is its 1/1.63-inch CCD. Making the intentional choice to limit the number of megapixels to 10.1 on its CCD, Panasonic was able to give more space for each pixel and also redesigned the peripheral circuits and other components to further minimize noise generation. As a result, sensitivity is almost 40 percent higher and saturation is increased by 35 percent when compared to Panasonics 10 MP digital cameras, giving the DMC-LX3 outstanding image quality and a wide dynamic range, and meeting the demand for a camera that works optimally in low-light environments. The CCD is also capable of reproducing images in three aspect ratios -- 4:3, 3:2 or 16:9. The new Multi Aspect mode allows the camera to take an image in all three aspect ratios simultaneously, allowing users to choose the version that best suits their needs.
Another major upgrade to the LX3 is the F2.0 24mm ultra wide-angle Leica DC Vario-Summicron lens. The F2.0 is about twice as bright as a F2.8 lens and can shoot at higher shutter speeds to capture clear, blur-free images in dimly lit environments. In addition, the 24mm lens captures approximately a 213-percent larger viewing angle than a normal 35mm camera and 136% larger compared to a 28mm wide-angle lens. The lens unit consists of eight elements in six groups with four aspherical lenses with four aspherical surfaces. As a result of the F2.0 lens, the LX3 produces high resolution and minimal distortion and artifacts -- such as chromatic aberrations, ghosting and flaring.
The LX3 also incorporates the Venus Engine IV, which provides more advanced signal processing technology for producing higher-quality images with reduced noise in both luminance signal and chromatic signal processing -- as compared to the Venus Engine III. The Venus Engine IV supports high sensitivity recording enabling the DMC-LX3 to record at up to ISO 3200 at full resolution and even up to ISO 6400 when using high sensitivity mode, enough to capture subjects in low lighting without using a flash. The Venus Engine IV also supports a faster response time, allowing the camera to shoot 2.5 shots per second at full resolution and six shots per second in High-Speed Burst mode.
The easy-to-use joystick operation which was featured in its predecessor continues with the LX3, as its intuitive design makes selecting different settings on the camera, including focus, aperture and shutter speed -- easy and quick. Other convenient design elements include a switch on the side of the lens barrel that allows the user to quickly change the focus modes between Manual Focus, Auto Focus and Macro Auto Focus. When choosing Manual Focus, the focus distance and the depth of field according to the zoom range and aperture is also displayed. For setting white balance, the LX3 provides a new color temperature display function, and still includes the Two-Axis white balance adjustment settings offered in previous models. Users can also customize and store their own personal settings of up to four unique functions and instantly recall them later using the mode dial.
Furthering its creative options, the LX3 also features a Film mode with six color types and three types of monochrome selections. Much like selecting from different film types, this function gives the user the flexibility and creative freedom to take more expressive digital photos. Also, when using the Multi-film mode, the LX3 produces a maximum of three images from a RAW file for the user to compare the different textures. Another new feature is the multiple-exposure feature, which lets the user create artistic photos by overlaying up to three consecutive images; while still viewing the last image on the 3.0-inch LCD screen. The LCD on the LX3 is new and improved with a 460,000-dot high resolution.
While the LX3 allows full manual control for more advanced photography, it also includes Panasonics Intelligent Auto mode (iA), including the new feature, AF (auto focus) Tracking. AF Tracking automatically tracks the image subject and locks it into focus, making it easier for anyone to capture sharp, well-focused photos. The AF Tracking technology also improves face detection accuracy, allowing for crisp, sharp-focused shots even if the subject moves or turns their face. Other iA technologies include Intelligent Exposure, Digital Red-eye Correction, MEGA O.I.S, Intelligent ISO, Intelligent Scene Selector, Face Detection (up to 15 faces) and Quick AF.
The DMC-LX3 has the ability to record High Definition (HD) video in 1280 x 720p at 24fps. With the newly added HD component output capability, still and moving pictures can be viewed by connecting the camera to a TV via an optional component cable (DMW-HDC2). In addition, the LX3 features Image Leveling, so when a captured image "leans" to the right or left because the camera was held at a slight angle when the photo was taken, this feature rotates the image to straighten it and crops the unnecessary edges.
Read about our customers' top-rated cameras on our review page: Point-and-Shoot Cameras
Top Customer Reviews
When this camera was announced it really looked like a dream compact for me. Fast, wide and optically stabilized lens is ideal for low-light indoor shots. The design is stylish and beautiful, the camera is quite compact and it has all the controls an advanced amateur would need.
Further the sensor is essentially as big as they get in compact cameras and with almost reasonable 10mp (still about 5mp too many but not as bad as 12-15mp you would get in any other compact with a comparable sensor).
I've had the camera for a couple of weeks now (and shame on Amazon for not having it in stock a month after it appeared in some other big stores). I like it a lot and the camera delivers on most of Panny's promises. Here are some of the experiences.
1. The image quality is certainly and noticeably better than the ulracompact cameras (like Panny's own FX series). It is however still a compact camera ... meaning there is visible noise even at ISO 80 and lots of noise at ISO 400. However noise reduction algorithms seem to be doing quite a good job and ISO 80 pics look very nice ... sometimes almost like a DSLR. And even at ISO 400 most shots are good enough to keep. In general the output from this camera is comparable to my 40D at 8 times the ISO (that is 80 on LX3 is about 640 on 40D and 400 LX3 is a bit better than 3200 on 40D). Fortunately, with fast lens and image stabilization I almost never need to use ISO above 400.
2. The camera is very responsive and the autofocus is fast and seems accurate.
3. Changing ISO through the menus is a bit of a pain but a variety of useful ISO regimes are provided. In general controlling all the options is not very easy ... but I guess that's the compromise you get with such a small camera with a large LCD.
Update: it is possible to simplify ISO changing by reassigning a button for this purpose. The drawback of this is that now reviewing pictures becomes more cumbersome.
4. Aspect ratio switch on the lens is more useful than I thought ... saves quite a lot of cropping.
5. Shooting in RAW+jpeg is fast enough to be usable.
6. The camera is quite a bit bulkier than it might seem (and the given dimensions are misleading since they do not include the lens and other protrusions from the main part of the body). It is not shirt-pocketable both because of its size and weight ... but fits fine in a jacket pocket or purse.
7. The macro capability of the camera is really excellent.
8. Having user customizable preset regimes on the dial is very useful and quite a luxury not present even on Canon XSi DSLR (shame on Canon!)
Overall it's a great compact camera: in my opinion certainly the best on the market by a margin (I've studied the market very thoroughly). It is in the same league as Canon G-series (which I owned back when they were the best and liked a lot) but fits my current needs much more than a Canon Gx. I also think it's a real bargain at around $400.
But it is still a compact camera with a sensor 1/8 area of most DSLRs and 1/20 of full frame (mostly pro) DSLR. So those expecting miracles like close-to-DSLR quality or usable ISO 800+ might be disappointed.
A quick update in response to a comment:
1. At widest setting of the zoom there is quite significant distortion especially noticeable in 16:9 regime. There is also noticeable loss of sharpness in the corners. This might not look good in some shots (like if a straight like or someones face is close to the border) but nothing too bad for most of the shots.
2. HD video is very good for a compact. There is no zooming, no auto focus and sometimes exposure adjustments are not very smooth. So I'd not recommend to treat it as a camcorder. But overall it gives detailed and reasonably smooth video (well not quite 30fps smooth). I've just made a quick comparison with Canon HF10 dedicated compact camcorder (which is as good as they get these days). In bright light LX3 cannot quite match the 1080p detail of Canon. But in relatively dim light it is about as good. Also LX3 has a huge advantage in wide angle. All dedicated consumer camcorders have widest angle around 40mm which is much worse than 24mm of LX3.
Another impression which I have with LX3 and certainly did not have with other compacts is that it is a tool worth learning and investing some time and experimentation. My pics with this camera keep improving even the first ones were already decent.
For anyone interested in sharpness and noise level comparisons with some cameras you can check out
Update Dec 17: Finally Photoshop and Lightroom started to recognize LX3 raws. The quality of my pictures is now even higher: colors much more pleasing and noise reduction less "blotchy". Overall this camera gives results well beyond what I thought to be possible for a compact camera. So it still has my highest recommendation.
Update Jan 27, 2009.
The single most annoying thing about this camera is its lens cap. Having to remove it slows you down. Attaching via a string leaves it dangling ... which detracts from the aesthetics of the camera and can add a bit of extra shake. Without the string it's likely to get lost ... and I have not seen any replacements on sale. Anyway, fortunately, creative peoples found out that Ricoh LC-1 lens adapter can be easily modified to be used on this camera. I've did this and it works much better than the original cap. I've uploaded some pictures of the result to the product images. Use google to find the modification instructions.
With that out of the way, let me simply say, "the Panasonic LX3 is the BEST compact digital camera I have ever owned and, in my opinion, there is nothing else currently in its class that even comes close." I feel so strongly about the merits of the LX3, I am purchasing another one to put up for future use. It's THAT good!
Yes, its a bit pricey ..... no, it will not replace a DSLR for some things ..... no, it is not for everyone. Because of the limited zoom range (35mm equivalent of 24mm to 60mm), I would not recommend the camera to those who might need more zoom for outdoor sports, etc. But, if you can live within the zoom limitations, you will find the 24mm wide angle, amazing low-light capability and VERY effective stabilization system to be priceless.
The "iA" setting (puts the camera on "fully automatic") is the best I have ever seen, allowing anyone to routinely make outstanding images. For experienced photographers, the LX3 opens up a whole new world for compact cameras, used when it is not possible or convenient to carry a DSLR or used as a back-up or companion camera for your DSLR.
I purchased my LX3 in September 2008. Since then, my D300 and other cameras have likely felt very neglected! I have posted some sample images on this page.
It's not a world-shaking camera, but it's a good one. I give it 4 stars.
I've been taking pictures for pleasure since the 70s. I've owned a Nikon rangefinder, a Yashicamat 124G, a Pentax 67, and a variety of Nikon SLRs since back in the ancient days of film. Most of my cameras have been fully manual: set the focus by hand, set the zoom by hand (if there is a zoom), set the aperture and shutter speed by hand. All those cameras have separate lens caps, too.
I've also owned several all-automatic point & shoots, and I now own a Nikon D-70, which is my main camera these days. I got my LX3 a couple of weeks ago, and I've devoted a good bit of time to reading the manual and putting the instructions to use on the LX3.
My understanding of most items is that they're all the product of compromises. Some of the compromises work for me, some I can live with, and some are deal breakers. The LX3 has its compromises: the zoom is 2.5X; when you take a video, the camera locks the zoom and focus when the recording begins. I'm more aggravated by this latter compromise - I'd prefer to be able to zoom in and out while making a video, but it's not a deal breaker for me.
The small things I like are the slides and dial for some controls instead of buttons or menus. A sliding switch to turn it on means I don't accidentally hit the power button when I meant to press the shutter release. The slide for the flash means I really have to mean to raise the flash -- it doesn't pop up accidentally because my fingers were in the wrong place. A slide fastener for the battery/SD access means (I hope) a more secure fastening of that door. There's a slide switch to select picture mode or view mode. I also like the rotating dial for modes. I can turn the camera on with it set to video, even though I last used it for still photos. No drilling down through menus as the event passes me by. I use the dial to determine exposure mode (P, A, S, manual, and custom) before I turn the camera on or while it's coming on. In the dark and without my reading glasses, I can see my mode in the LCD; if I change it, it shows me an animation of the dial selecting the modes. I like this, since I can't always read the icons on the dial.
The major selling point for me, though, is the ability to think about what I'm going to do and to do that. This is a camera that rewards thoughtful photography. Do I want to show the slide on a regular TV, a computer, or on Hi-Def TV? I can choose the aspect ratio accordingly by using a slide switch right on the lens. Is the background a distraction so that I want to blur it out? I can choose my aperture and let the camera set the shutter speed. Do I want to take a snapshot of someone? I can choose to have the camera find the face and set focus and exposure on that. Is someone in bright light? I can set the flash to -1 or -2 EV and soften the shadows without overpowering the sun. Is someone backlit? I can choose spot metering and use the focus function and joystick to put the spot to be metered right on the subjects eyes and get a good exposure.
I have set up a couple of specific setting combinations and saved them as custom modes. I can select them using the mode dial (one is selected without further ado; the others require a quick selection from a menu that pops up - slows me down, but not too much).
With my Nikon FM2, all settings are totally manual, and the camera is set up to make it easy: aperture is a ring on the lens and shutter speed is a dial on the body. Twist another ring to focus on the screen through the eyepiece. On the LX3, things are different, so it takes some getting used to. Shutter speed and aperture are manually set using the joystick, so it's not an immediate result. Focus is also done using the joystick and looking at the LCD, and I'm not happy with that yet. Maybe I will be. So far, though, I'm happier setting the focus using the focus button and the joystick to put the focus dot on what I where I want the focus to be and letting the camera handle it. It's slower than my FM2 but faster than using the joystick to manually focus. (And more accurate so far.)
User interfaces are personal. If you don't like the interface on the LX3, you won't like the camera. I like it fine. I'd prefer to have the menu drop me back in to the last-used selection, but it starts at the top every time. I'd prefer to be able to press the menu/set button and have it scroll to the next menu item, but I have to use the select buttons instead. Overall, I give the user interface high marks; there's a quick menu accessible from the joystick which gives you quick access to often-used items.
Some observations: it's a light camera, but it's not small. The dimensions are for the body of the camera, but the lens, even when the camera is shut off, extends from the body almost another inch. My wife has a Canon G9, and the volume of the two cameras is identical if you take the LX3's lens into account. It won't fit in your shirt pocket. I've used lens caps for so long, it's a non-issue for me. I have no problems with the removable lens cap. The Hi-Def videos are excellent. I shoot in RAW all the time; conversion to JPEGs is not much more burdensome than shooting in JPEG, and having all the photo information available to play around with rewards any extra time it takes. Your mileage will vary, but all the options I have available on the LX3 makes using RAW a good decision for me.
Another observation is the barrel distortion at 5.1mm. I've photographed quadrille paper at 5.1mm and 12.8mm at all three aspect ratios. At 5.1mm, barrel distortion in the graph paper is quite obvious. However, in the real world I never notice the distortion in my wide-angle photos or videos. I'm sure other people will notice and be put off by it. The distortion can be corrected by some photo editing applications if it bothers you.
Further, the LX3 has a distinctive lens flare pattern: if you shoot into some specular lights, you get a vertical line up and down the entire photo for each light.
If you use your point and shoot for snapshots, I'm not sure the LX3 is worth the big bucks. Leaving it on automatic and JPEGs doesn't seem to me to be worth $500. If you want to make photographs instead of taking snaps, I think this camera is worth comparing with others of its ilk (the Canon G9, for example [or better, the G11 when it comes out]). The LX3 does not make photos equal in quality to DSLRs, but it's much more carriable - and having it on hand when you want to make a photograph means you actually get the photo. For me, the value in the camera lies in having all the choices I get to make in 35mm photography (and DSLR) without having to lug the big iron around all day. It won't replace my D-70 anymore than my other P&S cameras did, but it's a very worthy adjunct. I would have preferred a much smaller camera, but I'm willing to compromise on the size to get the capabilities of the LX3.
JUNE 2011 - I broke the battery door off. I called Panasonic to get an estimate, and I learned that there is a flat-rate cost for all repairs of $275, regardless of the problem. $275 to replace the battery door, and as far as Panasonic is concerned there's no way around it. My local professional camera store says they're prohibited by their vendor contract with Panasonic from doing repairs. I have to send the camera to the authorized repair center for the flat-rate cost.