Behold, the Panasonic Lumix LX3
It was a tough choice between this camera and the Casio Exilim FC100, which could shoot up to 1000fps video for slow motion playback. In the end, the F2.0-2.8, 24mm focal length (35mm equiv.), intuitive user interface and cool retro looks won me over. I tried to get Alan Photo’s limited time offer of $680 with 8gb memory card, card reader, case, mini tripod, battery and lcd protector but both Sim Lim and Funan branches ran out of the black model. In the end I had to proceed to Cathay Photo and bargained their price down from $720 to $685 with just 8gb memory card and a case. It was a good thing, actually, because I really think that Alan Photo should send their staff to Cathay Photo to learn a thing or two about how to not be rude to their customers. Why didn’t I purchase the camera at the IT show? Because they’re selling the LX3s at the recommended retail price of $799, albeit with an additional 8gb memory card on top of Alan Photo’s freebies. Also there was the mob.
This camera performs like a dream. I remembered the Lumix days when i first started out with photography with the FZ5. I had an excellent run with it, then I upgraded to a D50 DSLR. I remembered the days of not complaining about the shoulder ache I got from lugging the camera around everywhere I went. Then I had to bring my laptop everyday to school, and there was no way I was going to carry both my laptop and DSLR everywhere. I had gotten a compact camera, the Kodak V570 when I sold my FZ5 to a friend, and it performed sufficiently (it had 2 lenses, one ultra wide 23mm and one normal zoom). But it performed as good as compact cameras go (at that time), and I still had to lug around my DSLR along, especially on overseas trips. I’ve stopped keeping my DSLR by my side at all times for about a year now.
I’m guessing now things will change. I am getting sufficiently good low light performance from the LX3, considering it’s physical size. It performs almost as good as my D50 with the Tamron 17-50mm 2.8 lens. The HD movie mode is addictive. Every video I shoot now looks epic because of how wide I can go. Due to its light weight, I will be bringing this around more often.