I’ve owned an LX1 for a while now and a number of my friends were wondering why I admonished them not to purchase it.
How I got to this thinking
Basically, the LX1 is a year old. In the pocket camera world this is “long in tooth.” Earlier this year, Panasonic introduced a new image processing engine (Venus III) that boasted faster image processing and, more importantly, a significant improvement to in-camera noise reduction.
The two major improvements I’d want to the LX1 are faster RAW processing (and a RAW only mode) and more aggressive noise reduction (optically and through image processing). I figured that if the LX1 was a good seller then they’d introduce a sequel with at least the Venus III engine in the fall.
Well I guess it was a good seller.
What’s new in the DMC-LX2
Besides the obvious inclusion of the Venus III engine. The camera can now go up to ISO 1600 (the current camera only does up to ISO 400), but I wouldn’t want to go that far. This is no Fuji. Traditionally Panasonic has been a little generous with what they consider acceptably high ISO.
Here are some other changes:
A widescreen LCD. It’s sort of wierd that the sensor size is 16:9 but the monitor on the back was 3:2. It never really bothered me and it’s a welcome change.
A 10.2 megapixel CCD sensor. Personally I could care less, but I assume they’ve improved some of the noise reduction and low light sensor performance.
Intelligent ISO Control. Auto ISO is a feature in Fuji cameras (to account for the lack of image stabilization) as well as nice cameras like the LX1 and dSLRs. The innovation here is the ISO is adjusted based on subject movement. Great idea.
High definition video (1280×720) at 15 frames per second as an option. The current LX1 goes up to EDTV (848×480) video at 30fps. 15fps just a tad too slow, but it is an interesting option
Finally, the black version (my personal favorite) gets rid of the ugly silver barrel.
What is the burst RAW performance?
Does the camera support SDHC (high capacity SD) cards? Will there be a firmware upgrade for the DMC-LX1?
How fast is the USB 2.0?
Does the histogram do RGBL?
Did they get rid of that stupid proprietary USB connector?
Can I access the focusing mode from the joystick?
Credit: Thanks to this flickr thread for getting me cognoscenti.