Panasonic LX3 vs Canon G10 vs Nikon P6000

Discussion in 'Mirrorless Digital Cameras' started by bill_tuthill, Nov 26, 2008.

  1. My two most trusted review sites, and, have reviewed the two serious contenders. Frankly I was surprised by dpreview's mere Recommended rating for the G10, after its quality was likened to medium format. Additionally two professional photographers, a Nikon partisan and a Canon partisan wrote interesting comparisons of these three cameras. The P6000 seems to be the P&S of choice only for somebody who wants GPS.
    For me the choice is clear: LX3. I'm sick of shooting 4:3 and missing the sides of every scene, and having images too tall for my widescreen monitor. On the LX3 I can set 3:2 and switch to 4:3 if need be, or (more likely) 16:9 for panoramas. Moreover the difference in performance is striking. Shot to shot times for RAW are 1.7 seconds for the LX3, 2.5 for the G10. In continuous mode the LX3 can shoot 3 frames of RAW at 1.89 fps, 2.4 times faster than the G10. Autofocus speed is a consistent full-press .7 second on the LX3, but varies from .5 to 1.2 second on the G10 (longer at telephoto, when it hunts). The LX3 can take HD movies, the G10 cannot. The principal downside is that power-on takes over 2 seconds on the LX3.
    DPreview's real world results are perhaps the most compelling argument, especially insofar as 10 Mp images won't fill my SD card or computer as rapidly as 14 Mp. The G10 is great in the lab, but apparently not so much on the street. So am I missing anything important?
  2. Bill: I know you like the LX3. A few thing decide the G10 for me

    E-TTL flash, I have a few Canon flash which I can use seamlessly with the G10 also wirelessly if I want
    to. I also have a Metz 28 C which is small, takes AAA and really looks good on the G10.

    140mm (equiv) on the long end vs 60mm on the LX3

    Canon DPP compatible. I don't have any difference processing EOS RAW vs G10 RAW.

    This is my preferences, others might not care about these.
  3. The LX3 has a 24mm f2 equiv lens while the G10 is only 28mm f2.8

    I have an LX2 (actually Leica D-Lux 3) but if I was buying today I'd get the LX3 because of the wider and faster lens.
  4. Yes, agreed 60mm is a limitation, and Panasonic does not have a tele converter,
    however 140mm really isn't that long (my daughter's FZ18 goes to ~450mm)
    and a DSLR at high ISO would give better telephoto results and AF faster, anyway.
    Thanks A.Novisto for reminding me, though.

    The LX3 takes accessory flash, but I haven't looked into it.
    I had one with my film SLR and hated it -- too much junk to carry around.
    As you can tell from my website, I'm a daylight photographer.
  5. bill, i'm with you on the lx3. it seems like the closest thing to the hi-end P&S everyone's been a-clamorin' about.apparently, the g10 is great at base ISO but not so great at 400 and over. that's great for landscapists, but for candid/street stuff, 24mm and 2.0 is a lot more appealing, and 60mm isnt so bad. now why can't nikon do something just as innovative? i think thom got it right when he said the p6000 would be better if it had a better lens. being able to use a nikon speedlite seems like the only reason to get that one.
  6. Here's a pic of G10 with the Metz flash
  7. I sold my G10 after two weeks to buy the LX-3. Not that the G10 is not good. It's a great camera. It's strong, its ergonomics and menus are
    superb, and it delivers good images. But it's a bit big, while the
    LX-3 is pocketabl (though the protruding lens and the removable cap are a bit bulky in this regard.) But mostly I couldn't
    resist f:2-2.8, 24 mm and «Leica glass». As fas as noise is concerned, I think the LX-3 is at least one stop better than the
    G10, ie 640 ISO is acceptable, while the G10 is acceptable at 400. And since you have f:2 at 24 mm)
    and 2.8 at 60 mm,
    you don't need high ISO quite as often. So, it's kind of a double bonus.
  8. Bill,

    You really are starting to sound like a Panasonic salesman. There is no over riding reason to get either, they are both similar IQ etc etc, it comes down to the finer points, size, gear integration, software, lens range etc. It all comes down to a personal choice lets leave it at that.

    Oh if you want to convert your RAW Panasonic files in Adobes DNG Converter the files will be three times their original size, so you will fill up your computer much quicker with the Panasonic but not your SD card.

    Take care, Scott.
  9. Oh forgot the reason I went to post a reply, it doesn't matter what aspect ratio you want to reproduce from the LX3, it is just a cropped image, the Panasonic sensor is a 4 x 3 aspect ratio sensor, so is the Canons.
  10. Scott, thanks for the info on DNG. I've decided not to use it yet
    because neither SilkyPix nor GIMP can saveAs DNG.

    Nobody rebutted that in DPreview's real world results,
    the wires in the blue-sky crop show jaggies in the LX3 but not in the G10 image.
    Canon has better anti-aliasing in the Digic than in the Venus 4.

    Actually the LX3 has a new system where all three form-factors are crops;
    see the review. Do any DSLR models have this yet?
  11. Hi Bill,

    Adobe do say they hope to overcome the file problem that is confined to the Panasonic/Leica RAW files. You and I
    talked about the DPreview's results before, I thought.

    I read the words regarding the aspect ratio captures but it has to boil down to a 4x3 picture taken in full, then
    cropped to either/and 3x2, or/and 16x9. I would argue that all DSLR's work like this, indeed all cameras, they
    capture the whole then you crop, all Panasonic are doing is giving you two additional masks of the same picture
    in camera. APS cameras did that with film too.

    Take care, Scott.
  12. Maybe somebody can explain the "shooting format" thing a little better. Here is a quote from Luminous Landscape


    The Panasonic LX3 uniquely offers three shooting formats 16:9, 3:2, and 4:3. These are quickly and easily set via
    a switch on the lens barrel. This alone sets the LX3 apart from its competitors, and may be considered a real
    plus by many photographers. And, unlike its predecessor the LX1, the change in aspect ratios is not achieved by
    simply masking the sensor, but indeed focal length coverage is maintained. This differentiates the LX3 from other
    cameras which simply do format masking, something that one can always emulate when cropping during post processing.

    The advantage of this approach is shown in the image resolution resulting from each format's selection –
    3968X2232 pixels with 16:9, 3648X2736 with 4:3, and 3776X2520 with 3:2. Choice of format therefore becomes an
    esthetic decision, with 16:9 being suitable for landscape work, 3:2 for those that are comfortable with 35mm
    aspect ratio. and 4:3 for folks who like something a bit less extreme, such as the popular 645 medium format format.


    Cheers! Jay
  13. The LX3 looks pretty impressive, 1 question. When it comes to DOF F2.0 on the LX3 will not give you that 3D effect you
    get with a DSLR?
  14. Well,

    That means the LX3 has a 10.8 MP sensor, a 16:9 image gives an 8.8 MP image, a 3:4 gives 9.9 MP image and the 3:2 gives a 9.5 MP image, doesn't seem to me to be a "feature" it just seems like an in camera limitation, I would rather the 10.8 MP each time and crop it.

    I am slow to accept "new" ideas unless I can see clear advantages, for all the wording the end result is the same, the LX3 has a 4:3 sensor, anything but a 4:3 image is a crop, however you do it, the LX3 seems to take the unusual route of cropping all three formats to never give you the resolution it could. That seems like a strange kind of progress.

    Take care, Scott.
  15. Pretty serious size difference
  16. Scott, the LX3 lens diagonal isn't large enough to cover the corners of the sensor.

    Tommy, at 60mm (equivalent) f/2.8 gives you pretty good back-of-subject blur
    for portraits. I saw an example on a forum but can't locate it now.
    The gallery has a picture of a tropical drink with pool background
    in Hawaii -- very nice bokeh. I did the DOF math but threw away the answer.

    DRW writer and ACR 5.2 just released with G10 and LX3 support!
  17. I think my next point and click will be the LX3. I don't mind a short zoom range and its small size is a big plus when I want
    to go light.
  18. To me, the choice between the LX3 and the G10 was very simple to do: I held both at a camera store, and the G10 just feels and handles better in my hands. I need a P&S that is able to deliver good images up to ISO 400 (both the LX3 and the G10 do that), but I also need a camera that is robust and handles well.

    The LX3 is well built and the interface is good, but with the G10, Canon went the extra bit to deliver a truly finished product.
  19. Bill I am staggered, Leica can't make a lens that covers a 10mm diagonal sensor? The Canon does, so it gives you all it's resolution on every shot for you to be able to crop as you wish.

    I truly am amazed, Scott.
  20. Jay - The description shown on Luminous Landscape is correct. The LX3 provide 3 distinct shooting formats: 4:3, 3:2, and 16:9. The 35mm and HDTV formats are not merely crops of the 4:3 format as Scott suggested.<br>
    &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Shown below are shots in the 3 formats taken from the same position. Clearly you cannot get the 3:2 and 16:9 images by merely cropping the 4:3 image.<p>
    <img src="">
  21. Berg don't pick on me again, you know you will lose, again.

    The LX3 has a 4:3 sensor, all pictures other than a 4:3 format picture have to be a crop, it should be a simple
    as that, Panasonic decided to make it more complicated by not using a lens that could ever cover the entire
    sensor so they have to crop the 4:3 image as well. All three formats the LX3 offers are crops of a 4:3.

    "That means the LX3 has a 10.8 MP sensor, a 16:9 image gives an 8.8 MP image, a 3:4 gives 9.9 MP image and the
    3:2 gives a 9.5 MP image"

    The Hasselblad XPan did offer truly different panorama image options by making the negative bigger, digital
    cameras can't, they are always limited to the size and dimensions of the sensor, I hadn't come across a
    manufacturer who puts a 10.8 MP sensor in a camera and doesn't give you the ability to use it all in any
    configuration though.

    Take care, Scott.
  22. Thanks Berg:

    That is what I needed to see. You did a nice job framing these shots to illustrate the point.

    I don't know how Panasonic does it, but, I can see from your examples that the 3:2 and 16:9 formats are not crops
    of the 4:3.

    When I look at picture widths, there is information in the 3:2 and 16:9 formats that is not present in the 4:3
    format (I counted the flower pots on the right and noted that the fence board (back left) was in relatively same
    position in each photo).

    Same goes for picture heights, there is info in the 4:3 and 3:2 that is not present in the 16:9 (so the 4:3 and
    3:2 images are not crops of the 16:9).

    Cheers! Jay
  23. Jay

    They do it by cropping a 4:3 sensor, even the 4:3 image is a crop of that sensor though.

    Very strange way to go about it.
  24. Sorry I was going by another review not the dpreview figures. According to DPReview the sensor is a 3:2 configuration of 11.3 mp. even so all three images are crops, again even the native 3:2. The highest pixel figure you can get from the 11.3 mp sensor is a 10 mp image, a crop of over 10%.

    Like I said earlier, seems a strange kind of progress.

    Sorry for getting the earlier figures wrong.
  25. Scott - I'm not picking on you, trust me, I just want to share information. What is there to win or lose? I'd challenge you to a bike race or a tennis game if winning was my motive. In any case, Panasonic's approach is correct and the only solution, from a technical point, to ensure that the proper field of view is achieved at a particular lens focal length.
  26. Berg,

    You know as well as I in our last joust you picked on me unmercifully, much of the information you imparted then was plain wrong, but I am not one to hold grudges. You would beat me easily at tennis or bike riding, but, diving, parachuting, skiing or sailing I hope I could give you a run for your money :)

    With respect I just don't get the Panasonic approach, whilst I understand the same angle of view idea, I really find it amazing that the best image you can get from an 11.3mp sensor is a 9.9mp image, that is over 10% lost pixels; the worst is 8.8mp, that is a 29% crop!

    I am in the market for either the G10 or the LX-3, I really would like to like the LX-3. I won't make up my mind until I can hold them both, I have looked at the on paper specs enough. But I would rather have the option to use the whole sensor and crop as I would like and am slightly disappointed that I can't.

    Anyway, take care, Scott.
  27. Scott - I'll have to admit that you'd easily beat me in your favorite sports! I like my LX3 a lot, but I think that the G10 is also a fine camera. They are best suited for different requirements though.
  28. Scott and Berg, what was the thread where you guys disagreed?
    I would like to see Scott proven right for a change.

    The LX3 sensor is effectively about 1.45:1, which would be 29:20.
    Its 16:9 format loses the most pixels due to restricted lens diameter,
    and 4:3 gets the most because it is closest to square.
    A 4:3 sensor is 1.33:1 and a 3:2 sensor is 1.5:1.
  29. That isn't very generous Bill :)

    Give me an example where I have been wrong and not corrected it.

    The sensor, according to DPReview, is 4116 x 2744, multiply 2744 by 1.5 and you get 4116, if the pixels are square then you get a 3 x 2 or 1.5 x 1 format, don't you? But I appreciate there is a huge difference between 1.5 and 1.45!

    And that is what amazes me, even on the 16 x 9 you don't get very close to the full 4116. I'm sorry I just don't see a 29% in camera crop as being clever, or a "feature". I'll leave that to you.......
  30. I've never had a PS digital (mostly do film), but I was thinking about getting either the G10 or the LX3. On paper, the LX3 had me convinced. I just happen to have two collegues with a G10 and an LX3 (crazy). Neither are really pocketable except maybe in the winter with a heavy coat. The G10 simply felt better in the hands and the controls were much easier to access. I just wish it had a usable viewfinder ):

    My big question, being mostly a BW film shooter, is which has better dynamic range. That seems like something rarely covered in the digital camera reviews.
  31. Mark-

    According to the LX3 has better DR than the G10.
  32. If I am not mistaken, the LX-2 had an actual 16:9 format sensor, which seemed really cool, it must not have been feasible to
    do the same thing in the LX-3. I never bought one, as i wasn't in need of a point and shoot when it was new, but I borrowed a
    friends and it was a blast to use. The long format opened up a lot of creative composing. I saw it as being similar to using a
    square medium format camera, your brain just naturally thinks of new ways to compose in camera, giving you a fresh
    perspecive on things you would pass over on the standard slr format. And to respond to Scott's calculations above, the 16:9
    ratio gives 8.8 mp, I am still tenaciously clinging on to a 4 mp Sony I can't part with, I have had it for a good 4 years or so.
    When I need great quality, I bust out the 30d. 8.8 seems like plenty.
  33. Dpreview says the 4116 x 2744 numbers are estimated.
    The numbers I cited are actual resolution,
    with 4:3 having the greatest vertical resolution,
    and 16:9 the greatest horizontal resolution.
    The LX3 arrangement allows the lens to go wider
    than it otherwise would with cropped 4:3.

    Personally I think this is the best thing since sliced bread
    and want it on any DSLR I might buy.
    Perhaps the 16:9 doesn't go all the way to the edge
    because the lens wasn't good enough out there,
    or perhaps dpreview mis-estimated.
    I wonder if this Leica lens is anamorphic?
  34. The numbers I gave were from your most trusted site Bill, they are all within a hairs breadth so it really doesn't make that much difference.

    BUT, if it was an anamorphic lens that changed to allow for the different aspect ratios, now that would be a true feature and a very worthy one. I can't think it is though, I would have thought Leica and Panasonic would have been shouting it from the rooftops if they had come up with a variable anamorphic lens, also, wouldn't the pixel count be the same in all formats, all the sensor could be used for each aspect ratio, so the total number should be the same for each format. I think you will find it is just a fairly brutal crop to go from 4:3 to 16:9 even if you are uncovering a few more pixels to the sides, you still end up with a far lower pixel count.

    Take care, Scott.
  35. Roger,

    Good point with the 8.8 MP and what is enough, I still use a 4.2 MP camera for a lot of my work so I am not a pixel junkie but it seems you get the worst of both worlds, the questionable IQ effects of the 11.3 or so MP density but only actually get to use 8.8 of them.

    Other than Bill's brilliant idea to use a variable anamorphic lens there really doesn't seem to be a way to not crop, either you start out with a 16:9 as in the LX2 and crop to get the 3:2 and 4:3 or you start off with a 3:2 sensor as in the LX3 and crop all three formats, but doing the later still makes no sense to me.

    Take care, Scott.
  36. No, I meant fixed anamorphic, squeezed down, so it covered more width than height.
    (Sorry I don't know terminology here; the movie industry surely has buzzwords.)

    Probably I could live without 16:9 if the switch allowed 1:1 square format,
    which is ultra cool and previously the province of medium and large format.
  37. But Bill you have come up with the next big thing, which invariably means some genius made one seventy years ago!

    Imagine any shaped sensor, it wouldn't matter what, and any selection of aspect ratio, in a similar way to the way we use a zoom lens now but for aspect ratio. I have never heard of a variable anamorphic lens but I'll bet Leica have. With that kind of control you would be able to use the full resolution of your sensor whatever aspect ratio you chose, brilliant.

    The biggest pushers of anamorphic lenses at the moment seem to be for digital 4:3 projectors, they can use the full resolution and don't waste any luminosity that way when projecting 16:9 images, a very clever work around that the film industry came up with to shoot widescreen on 35mm film stock. If it was practicle I would have thought Hasselblad would have used it on the XPan, but then to undo the distortion a special enlarger lens would be needed, in the digital realm a software program could remap the distorted image easily.

    Bill patent it tomorrow :)

    Take care, Scott.
  38. Scott is right. a 4x3 sensor matrix is a 4x3 and CANNOT BE anything else.

    However, the other poster is also right in that no information was lost (which there should be had it been a crop). i.e. info above and/or below if cropped from 4x3 to something wider or info from the sides if cropped from something wider to 4x3.

    How is that? I'll call that "optical crop". it is different from digital crop where info is lost much like optical zoom is from digital zoom. Both optical crop and zoom manipulates the light striking the sensors while both digital crop and zoom manipulates the sensor info after being lit up.

    In this scenario, a real 16:9 image is projected on part of the 4x3 matrix. Since it is a real 16:9 image, all the info in a 16:9 image is there but is projected to fewer sensors. The result is you don't loose any info but the pixel count of your image is lesser than the full megapixel capability of the whole matrix. The difference with a digital crop is that all of the sensors in the 4x3 matrix are lit up but some info in the top and/or bottom are masked or deleted to get a 16:9 aspect ratio.

    Hope it helps.
  39. I had a Panny LX-1 and liked it IQ/image wise but the LCD was impossible to see in the sun. The LX-3 may be better in that regard. I did NOT like the controls on the Panny or the lens cap. *I* like the G10 controls and a marginal OVF is better, IMHO, than no OVF. Any of these are fine little cameras. It is just a decision based on personal preference.
  40. I wanted a point and shoot I could bring on outings that my D3 or D700 might be a liability on. If I don't have to shoot digital, I prefer a Leica M6 and a couple of lenses. The fact that the G10 can shoot raw and has a ton of control made it worth looking into for me. So far, I am pretty happy with the results. The wide end suffers a bit, but the rest of the range is very good. Here is the full frame:
  41. Worked up from a raw file in ACR 5.2
  42. I think I can actually use this camera in my work, it really works well for $430 bucks!
  43. Once you get the timing down, the lag is not bad. Here is one from about two hours ago..
  44. I got the Canon, been quite happy so far and agree that the shutter lag is a non issue.
    Take care, Scott.
  45. Is this edit of the sailboat picture too contrasty?
  46. much too much contrast. IMO, i am very anal about contrast and tend to prefer low contrast (except for b/w).
    your original image was perfectly fine in terms of contrast, just lacking vibrance. great composition btw.
  47. Geoffrey,
    I agree, Bill's high contrast edit of my image is way too much, for my taste, but these things are so much a matter of taste and how your screen is, or is not, calibrated. It was just out of the camera RAW converted to jpeg in PS or iPhoto with base settings, no adjustments, I only uploaded it to show shutter lag, not a great example unless you were in the dingy I was in and you realise how fast these 12m yachts go :)
    Thanks for the compostion comment, take care, Scott.
  48. It's great to see we have a choice of two good compacts. I'm looking for something to use when I don't want to carry heavy glass and I just played with the G10 and LX3. I prefer the G10 for sure.
  49. Hi ya... I found a site comparing the G10 against the Lx3. I will be posting the link in other forums...
    It's by far the best comparison link I have located. Looks like the G10 is performing much better than previously thought!
    I have a G10 and bought a S90 to replace it,..... but I couldn't,.. the G10 is simply superior to 12MP in outdoor details and macro shooting.
    Enjoy.. ^^

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