Pros Georgous Leica Lens
Cons A bit pricey but worth it overall
Summary The "full review" by CNET of this camera was very accurate. The short video clip review of the woman supposedly critiquing the camera is a shameful joke (as usual). Those knowledgeable about photography will appreciate the ergonomic placement and operation of the features just as they are. Leica & Panasonic collaborated on this camera and Leica has a 50 year history in the proper placement of controls. People knowledgeable about photography will appreciate what they did and why.
I obtained the "grey market" version of this camera and it renders outstanding images. The feature set on this camera is excellent. It has a large 2.5" LCD with over 200,000 pixels for very bright clarity in all conditions. Image Stabilization buys you several more critical F-Stops of hand holding ability. Full manual controls as well as automatic. A 60 second long exposure ability for night shots. I really like the 28mm ability and coupling this with the 16:9 (first in the industry) aspect ratio option really allows for encompassing landscape and interior shooting! The movie mode is excellent as well the first to approach 480P film. An incredible 848 X 480 instead of the now much aclaimed 640 X 480.
On a side note (dpreview.com) also had a very comprehensive review but unfortunately their over-emphasis on the fact that noise begins on this camera at the 100 ISO position instead of the ususal 200 ISO mark, only served to turn off some people. However, even that reviewer clearly noted that the clarity/sharpness/resolution of the Leica lens "more" than offsets the issue of noise-creep at the 100 ISO level. He went on to recommend this camera. Sadly, too many novices hear the word noise and panic! At ISO's of 80 and 100 this camera renders incredibly sharp images folks. However, it is not for shooting at ISO's above 200 unless you want the artistic effects (grain structure) that noise introduces. Even at those levels there are many programs that will remove the noise very effectively with just a bit of post processing (very simple to do). Most people knowledgeable about such matters will not be scared off at all. Take at look at the incredibly good sample images found at the (dpreview.com) site.
All this in a very pocketable package. A camera at home in a bulky bag that sits in a closet is a waste of money. Having a one inch thick gem like this in a pocket or small belt clip will bring back the joy of everyday image making! You'll love this camera folks!
Pros Lens, wide-angle, image stabilization, ergonomics
Cons High ISO speed photos require post-processing, but not much
Summary In short, this camera takes fantastic high-contrast pictures in a variety of light levels, even mixed light. I almost cried tears of joy at the wide-angle/wide aspect ratio capabilities after being chronically frustrated with a lack of wide anglein most digital cameras. I don't think you can beat this lens/wide-angle combination anywhere else for under $1000.
The reviews which mention noise at high ISO speeds are true, but let me say:
1. The image stabilization is so good you'll rarely need those speeds (I have taken clear handheld shots at 1/6th second shutter speed!) and
2. The noise is so low at low ISO speeds that the issue is clearly that Panasonic did not include much internal noise reduction in the camera. This is actually good because it increases the shooting speed, and the post-production software way is better than anything they can cram into a camera. All you need to do is use something like 'noise ninja' to deal with it and you'll get spectacular results.
In fact, I'm actually getting better post-processed results with this camera at 400 ISO than I am with my Canon Rebel SLR w/ the standard lens. Most of the noise is simple chroma which is easy to correct. Like I said, you won't need those speeds often unless you shoot moving targets.
So, it's a little extra work but worth definitely worth it. If you're a serious enthusiast who wants an extremly versatile point-and-shoot for light duty, this is a best buy.
Hope that helps,
Pros small, fast, cute, image stabilized, widescreen, manual features
Cons On the steep side, extremely high (but fixable) noise levels
Summary I've owned this camera for about a week now, and I love it to pieces. It was somewhat expensive at $600 for a compact, but you do get what you pay for: image stabilization and leica lens, 8mp widescreen, lots of manual features. This thing takes fantastic shots especially in good light.
Now, the CNET review hasn't said very much about the noise, so here's the deal: Unless I'm shooting in clear, bright, daylight, this camera produces the worse noise I've ever seen in a digicam. The noise is most noticable in blues, especially dark blues.
But it can be fixed.
Yup, I didn't think noise this bad could be fixed, but there's a program called Neat Image, for $30, which makes a HUGE improvement. It completely removes chromatic noise, and it puts such a big dent in luminance noise that I was absolutely astounded how well my photos looked afterwords. And with NO loss in detail.
But that is an extra expense and post-production hassle, however slight, and on a camera this nice, Panasonic shouldn't make me jump through hoops. I removed the noise successfully resulting in fantastic pix, but that should be THEIR job, not mine, and it should happen in the camera when I take the picture.
That and the price are the only downsides to this camera.
"Compact & powerful"on by jbroady
Pros Great size, fully adjustable controls
Cons A little slow to start up. LCD is a little sluggish. Only 5 megapixels when you take pictures in the standard aspect ratio
Summary If you're a believer, like I am, that the aspect ratio of the future is 16:9, then here is the camera that will finally let you take advantage of that. The wide angle lens lets you fill that space, which is great for those indoor shots. Also, totally adjustable flash & exposure controls are available. Picture quality & response time are outstanding.
My gripes? Minor ones include the lens cap that is not attached to the body of the camera; you can only take 5 megapixel shots in the standard 4:3 aspect ratio; you can't turn the red eye flash off in automatic mode; start up time is a little slow.
But those are minor. This is an awesome camera that I'm very happy with.
Pros 28mm lens, 16:9 CCD, CCD switch on lens barrel, auto focus on lens barrel, sharp auto focus, many manual settings, leica lens, easy to use, quality build, small body, very versetile camera
Cons Some image noise when shooting in poor light NOT AS BAD AS ANYONE SAYS, MANY WAYS TO AVOID THIS BEFORE TAKING THE PICTURE
Summary Ok so here it is. I'm going to state a peice of false information I have seen and correct the statement.
1. Image noise is unforgivably bad. (an issue I was suprised to see cnet's senior editor glaze over)
Image noise can be found in pictures taken by the LX-1 but only in pictures taken in situations where the lighting is not adaquite and the camera is not on a tripod and the flash is not on. There are several ways to avoid this noise all together. You can move to a better light place, use the flash (it works well), or use a tripod. All of these will deliver crisp detail pictures.
2. The joyce stick on the back is only used in manual focus mode.
The joyce stick when held down for one second produces a mini menu that allows you to quickly and convieniently adjust the ISO, the image size, the light setting mode, and the image quality.
3. The build quality of this product is not good.
I have had this product for between 2 and 3 weeks and have seen no build quality issues. The product is very sturdy and well finished.
This is a great product for a person looking for a very versetile portable camera that takes great pictures. The lens offers a 28mm base and goes into the telephoto range at max zoom. This camera performs very well and is in my oppinion the best camera currently avalible in its catagory.
WHY I BOUGHT THIS OVER EVERYTHING ELSE AFTER SPENDING 2 MONTHS LOOKING AT EVERYTHING ELSE.
I wasn't really sure about what I wanted to use my camera for. I really just wanted a camera to have a camera and this offers the most versetility in combination with the best picture quality and a wonderfully large feature set.
I am happy to answer any and all questions you may have so if you have one leave it as a coment on this review and i will respond to it by leaving another coment or writing another review.
it is a truely fantastic camera