The LX2

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.

Here is why.

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.

DMC-LX2 Black version

Those of you who remember my recent rants, can appreciate this.

Some questions

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.

3 thoughts on “The LX2

  1. I bought a Lumix camera at Costco and, fortunately, it was when they still had a generous “electronics” return policy. They boasted that the camera was “incredible” and one of their best sellers. I found that it paled in comparison to the quality that a Canon could produce. My guess is because I’ve heard Canon’s lenses are of premium quality. We returned it and bought a Canon instead (for a little more $). How do you think this camera compares to its equivelent Canon counterpart? Thanks.

  2. @LX2 Skeptic:

    Total B.S. (on the optics part). Nearly all the companies have access to all the same glass, especially at the pocket camera level. For the same size, I do feel the Canon SD series are the better optically than their competitors, but they do cost more also.

    The LX-series is basically all glass and has a larger sensor than all the Canon’s up to and including the G-series, so it will take a better picture.

    However, Canon has slightly better postprocessing and de-noising algorithms, and of course newer cameras are better than older ones. Also the Canon G series is in a more normal zoom range than the LX series.

    Both the latest LX (LX3) and the Canon G10 received awards as best of the class cameras. They’re both priced the same, but the LX is more a specialty camera (with a wider and brighter lens), while the G10 is more a generalist so which you buy depends on what you’re looking for. Also the G10 is bulkier but the LX3 has a lens that sticks out.

    Please see this article as the one above is three years old.

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