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Panasonic LUMIX DMC-LX1 Digital Camera
Digital Cameras/Camcorders | First Looks
Fri 19 Aug 2005

Panasonic Panaromic Photography 




Side view of the slim Panasonic LUMIX DMC-LX1.

It features a 2.5-inch LCD viewer with 207K Pixels

The battery and SD card compartments are located at the bottom of the digital camera

The widescreen aspect ratio of 16:9 has gone mainstream with many modern display devices and very recently, even capture equipment have embraced this standard too. One such product is the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-LX1 digital camera, which has the ability to take photos at three different aspect ratios. This versatile camera is also one of the first 8.4-megapixel digital cameras with manual controls in an ultra-compact body. As such, we consider the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-LX1 as a fusion between an ultra-compact camera with the advanced functions of a prosumer camera that not only takes great pictures for most occasions, but will also fit neatly into small carry bags or even your trouser pocket.

Same Old Goodness And More

As with all Panasonic ultra-compact cameras, the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-LX1also has a finger ledge on the front flank of the camera for a comfortable and assuring right hand grip. For those who have shaky hands, this camera features MEGA O.I.S technology which helps compensate slight movements with anti-shake mechanism and the results are stable clear images (of course it won't save you from severe shaking though). If you are familiar with Panasonic digital cameras, you'll notice a new navigation joystick added to this camera that is used for manual focus, aperture and shuttle speed controls. For those who like to manipulate with a scene's depth of view, you can change the focus settings to manual mode instead of the two auto-focus modes which are for normal and macro photography.

For those who prefer not to use the manual adjustments, there are 14 preset scene modes that should suffice for basic photography in most occasions. Out of the 14 scene modes, five of them are new modes added to the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-LX1. The most interesting new modes are “Starry Sky”, which is recommended for very dark and night photography, and “Baby” mode which adds and records date on every shot.

Viewing  Photographs

The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-LX1 fits into the newer range of cameras that come with a 2.5-inch LCD screen capable of displaying up to 207K pixels. Photo preview is noticeably clearer and brighter even under the glare from bright light sources. In the preview mode, all portrait shots will automatically be rotated on the display screen in landscape mode for easy viewing. Previous models in the LUMIX series display up to nine thumbnails only but the LUMIX DMC-LX1 is capable of displaying up to 16 or 25 thumbnails for glancing through more photos in a snap.

Wider Is Better

Besides all these upgrades, the feature that distinguishes this hybrid camera from others is its ability to take photos in different aspect ratios. The reason why movies are filmed in widescreen format is to pack in more detail of the scene and get viewers drawn into the movie's world. In the case of the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-LX1, apart from the usual 4:3 photo aspect ratio, it has wide photo framing capability with 3:2 and 16:9 aspect ratio settings, which allows you to capture photos with far more detail in the scene. It's also of great help when you are trying to frame your shot. Further down, we have illustrations of its usage based on the same scene, but using different aspect ratios. 

Testing And Final Words

As seen from the test shots below, the 8.4-megapixel Panasonic LUMIX DMC-LX1 using Leica DC Vario-Elmarit lens captures clear details and colors that are definitely better than 5-megapixel ultra-compact cameras that are of similar size as this Panasonic. We are really impressed with the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-LX1 and would recommend this amazing camera for amateurs wanting to step up to professional photography, but needs the portability of an ultra-compact body and the convenience of having preset and manual controls. This is truly a hybrid camera with a unique flavor that should appeal to a wide target audience.

Macro Shot test based on a Singapore $2 bill.

Day test shot.

Night test shot.

A photo with aspect ratio of 4:3

A photo with aspect ratio of 3:2

A photo with aspect ratio of 16:9


Product Specifications

  • Features Leica DC Vario-Elmarit lens
  • 8.4-megapixel CCD sensor
  • Supports photo aspect ratios of 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9
  • Image stabilization:  MEGA OIS Mode 1 & 2
  • 2.5-inch TFT LCD displaying up to 207K pixels
  • Storage interface: SD/MMC card (32MB SD card bundled)
  • Connectivity: USB and Pictbridge
  • Dimensions (W x H x D) :  106mm x 56mm x 26mm
  • Weight: 185g