Canon PowerShot G10 vs Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 (LX-3)

I’ve been looking for a compact for a while, I was previously using the Fuji F31fd – pretty much the best compact camera ever made in terms of High ISO shooting and great pic quality straight from the camera (ISO1600 sample here).

It didn’t have the best flash and it was SLOW (both in AF and operation generally). Anyway unfortunately I either misplaced it/threw it away/or it got stolen.

Either way I didn’t have a compact any more, which become troublesome for more casual social events where I didn’t want to lug the dSLR around. Even as a photographer I need something light, and well it’s nice to have something that can take video too.

I’ve been looking for quite a while and was fairly well torn between the two best compacts on the market right now, both shoot RAW and deliver almost dSLR quality pictures especially in well lit situations. They both came out around the same time, both have strong followings and both have pros and cons.

Canon PowerShot G10

Canon PowerShot G10

Main Features

  • 14.7 Megapixel CCD sensor
  • 5x wide-angle (28mm) optical zoom lens with optical Image Stabilizer
  • RAW image recording
  • DIGIC 4
  • 3.0” PureColor LCD II and optical viewfinder
  • i-Contrast boosts brightness and retains detail in dark areas
  • 26 shooting modes with manual control and custom settings
  • Smooth, 30fps VGA movies

At the lowest ISO80 this is THE highest resolution compact ever made with staggering image quality, you wouldn’t be able to tell the pictures apart from those of a similar dSLR model.

After that however it goes downhill, that’s a major consideration for me as if I want to take awesome landscape pics..I won’t be using a compact.

Most likely I’ll be taking pictures in dark places.

As for me personally these are the Pros and Cons of the G10, in general terms and in comparison to the LX3.

Pros

Awesome image quality in bright light
Powerful built in flash
Optical viewfinder
A LOT of external controls for ease of use
5x zoom (LX3 is only 2.5x)
Shoots RAW

Cons

Bulky (Dimensions – 109 x 78 x 46 mm)
Struggles a little at high ISO
Lens not that fast (F2.8-4.5)

You can find the full DPReview here:

Canon PowerShot G10 Review

Sample pics on Flickr here:

Camera Finder / All / Canon / PowerShot G10

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3

Main Features

  • 10.1 Megapixels with Venus Engine IV
  • 24mm wide 2.5x optical LEICA DC lens
  • F2.0-2.8 maximum aperture range
  • MEGA O.I.S.(Optical Image Stabilizer)
  • Joystick-operated manual control
  • Large 3.0” 460k dot LCD monitor
  • Raw and JPEG recording modes
  • Up to ISO 3200 sensitivity
  • Up to 1280×720 (30 fps) pixel movie capture
  • Manual exposure and focus options
  • 1/2000th to 60 sec shutter speeds

The LX3 is just an all around good camera, yah it has some downs but it’s a camera photographers can get excited about. Especially photography enthusiasts like myself looking for a secondary camera or a backup to their dSLR.

The only thing that really bothers me is the power of the flash, I guess I can work with it though and it has a hotshoe so getting a small portable external flash is a good option too for awesome party pics.

As for me personally these are the Pros and Cons of the LX3, in general terms and in comparison to the G10.

Pros

Much more compact and pocket sized than the G10 (Dimensions – 108.7 x 59.5 x 27.1 mm)
Awesome wide, sharp and fast lens (F2.0-2.8)
Good at high ISO (very usable up to ISO800)
Good build quality
Great 720p video recording quality
Shoots RAW

Cons

Limited zoom 2.5x
Not as many external controls as the G10
No built-in optical viewfinder
Weak flash

You can find the full DPReview here:

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 Review

Sample pics on Flickr here:

Camera Finder / All / Panasonic / DMC-LX3

Conclusion

Honestly they are both really really good cameras, I just thought I’d put the info out there for anyone thinking of grabbing a compact.

Both are reasonably priced, the Lumix LX-3 is going for around RM1550 at the moment with a 4GB card and the Canon G10 is slightly more at around RM1750 with a 4GB card.

Honestly I wouldn’t recommend any other compacts unless you need something specialised (superzoom, waterproof etc).

If you want pure ergonomics, solid build quality and fantastic image quality just buy one of these two.

For me I’m leaning towards the LX3 for it’s smaller size, I already have a dSLR so I want something truly compact and light.

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22 Responses to Canon PowerShot G10 vs Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 (LX-3)

  1. Myhorng August 6, 2009 at 5:16 pm #

    i’m leaning towards G10 obviously. LOL. but i like the low light quality for LX3 F2.0 FTW.

  2. Michael Yip August 6, 2009 at 5:17 pm #

    The Lumix looks good. Photos coming out of a Lumix camera had always looked good (IMHO la).

    Its size I think will be it’s best selling point here as at the end of the day, since already own a bulky dSLR, you’d just want something to slip into the pocket and go rather than carry around an additional pouch just for a compact.

  3. julian August 6, 2009 at 5:28 pm #

    Thanks for the review – I got my PowerShot S80 stolen about a month ago (broken car window… remind you of something?) and have also found out that these two are the best compact models out there.

    (there’s another DPReview here comparing compacts that I don’t think you mention: http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/Q408enthusiastgroup/)

    Since I don’t have an dSLR, and I like to have quite a lot of manual control sometimes, I’m thinking the Canon might suit me better. Does that make sense in your opinion?

  4. ShaolinTiger August 6, 2009 at 5:34 pm #

    Myhorng: Haha yah obviously. The f/2.0 is wicked tho!

    Michael Yip: I think menu/ergonomics wise the Lumix cameras are way ahead of the pack too. But yah at the end of the day size is the main concern for a compact.

    julian: It really depends what kind of pictures you’ll take most of the time. If it’s in bright light, the G10 is the winner. If you want more external controls (ISO/Aperture control etc.) the G10 is definitely better. If you see the group test the LX3 is the overall winner, the G10 is best in some categories too. You should go to some shops and handle both cameras, see which one you prefer.

  5. Hsu Jen August 6, 2009 at 5:49 pm #

    read through a ton of reviews and got my G10. its definitely not something you can stuff in your pocket, but the external controls are a dream. loving it so far! but still learning how to work everything properly 🙂

    maybe i’ll go have a shootout with joshua, who has an LX3, and see. haha

  6. Justin Koh August 6, 2009 at 5:50 pm #

    I’ve never used the G10. I have the LX3 and it’s been good to me. Battery life is not as good as the other compacts.

    The 2.5x zoom is bad. REALLY bad. However, it takes AWESOME wide angle shots, especially with its 16:9 ratio.

    I’m using an Olympus FL-50 flash gun with my LX3 and everything works.

    You didn’t mention one Pro in the list. Macro shots.
    Take a look at this picture – http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3120/3794139179_405aecbd47_b.jpg

    It’s a normal dining table cloth.

    It is smaller than the G10 but it is still a little big for my jeans pocket.

    Which one did you buy?

  7. greg August 6, 2009 at 6:25 pm #

    nice write-up. thanks for sharing. definitely options to consider, as once you switch to slr, we’ll feel incomplete when working with a compact.
    one question though… what do you think of the IS system on both cameras?

  8. Paul Tan August 7, 2009 at 9:06 am #

    I love my LX3!

  9. julian August 7, 2009 at 3:29 pm #

    thanks I will 🙂

  10. ShaolinTiger August 7, 2009 at 5:35 pm #

    Hsu Jen: Haha yah, add me as another LX-3 user too! G10 external controls are really good.

    Justin Koh: Yah the macro is ridiculous, will have to see about an external flash – maybe the GN22 nice and compact.

    greg: Definitely a must have for SLR users. Hmm it seems good on both, it’s less needed on the LX3 because of the wider lens (less prone to camera shake). I’d say they both have very effective IS systems.

    Paul Tan: Haha you too!

    julian: Good luck!

  11. Mellissa August 9, 2009 at 9:23 am #

    Hmm this is all so tempting considering I paid almost the same price for my normal point-and-shoot camera just a few months ago -_-” Didn’t realize they were so affordably priced (traumatized by the Olympic Pen’s pricing).

  12. Peggy August 9, 2009 at 11:38 pm #

    Hi guys, anyone can tell me where to get that price of RM1550 for LX3? I saw it at selling for RM1699 at most places. Much appreciated!

  13. ShaolinTiger August 12, 2009 at 5:07 pm #

    Mellissa: They are both great value no doubt, the PEN price is staggering.

    Peggy: I bought mine from Aver Awards in Digital Mall. There are plenty of places selling at that price.

  14. Peggy August 12, 2009 at 6:07 pm #

    Thanks Heaps!!! deeply appreciated ^_____^

  15. lelik August 15, 2009 at 5:48 am #

    I really like cannon cams – i’ve been using them for ages!

  16. dazzle August 17, 2009 at 12:13 pm #

    I trade all my Nikon stuff….
    Look forward to rangefinder & Olympus E-P1.
    I’m now collecting the Olympus OM lens from ebay.
    success buy 2 lens, 50mm F1.8 & 75-150mm F4.
    Beside that, I just bought a LX3. compare optical performance & high ISO.
    LX3is good enough to bypass the G10…….
    No more DSLR for me. I like the like weight but performance big…..Like my new Olympus E-P1

    all my D700, D90 with 3 pros lens are all traded already….
    Leica M8.2………I coming to your way

  17. Kee Hui August 20, 2009 at 5:44 pm #

    Why don’t you wait for Sony compact with Exmor-R CMOS before you make the commitment…. Main strong point of this new CMOS is the high ISO level it can go without destroying the picture. Suitable for parties with dim lighting… Think Nikon D3 but compact size.

    Sony WX-1 seems to be more of your kind camera you are looking for with the G lens… anything smaller will be Sony TX-1 with CZ lens. If you don’t mind, try wait for it to come out first. Don’t jump into it so soon though, wait for the review, then only decide which one you want to buy.

    My sister is using LX3. Nice camera. Good for tight spaces due to wide angle, but bad zoom.. only 3x

  18. KY August 21, 2009 at 9:32 am #

    I’m waiting for LX-4 or a Panasonic implementation of E-P1, slurpss

  19. Pak Man August 28, 2009 at 8:20 am #

    In my opinion, LX3 tops:

    1. 24mm wide angle lens. Best giler tahap gabanz ..
    2. Macro .. Best giler gak.
    3. External flash

    Going to get one but holding on due to the hot gossips on LX5/4/EP1 equivalent

  20. ShaolinTiger September 3, 2009 at 6:21 pm #

    Peggy: No probs 🙂

    dazzle: Hold your horses, Leica M9 coming soon!

    Kee Hui: Waited too long already since not having my Fuji F31fd, need to get something now!

    KY: LX-4 might be a while I think.

    Pak Man: Heh Panasonic already came out with EP1 equiv, still LX-3 rocks for what it is.

  21. TROVER July 9, 2010 at 6:49 am #

    RECEIVED THE LX3 AS A GIFT/HAVE MY OLD REBEL 35MM/AN XTI AND A 40D W/ SIX LENSES/ NICE GROUP OF EQUIPMENT.
    THE LX3 IS JUST A GREAT LITTLE CAMERA. I RECEIVED THE LOOK ALIKE LEICA CASE AS WELL, AND I SWEAR, THE WIDE ANGLE SHOTS RIVAL THOSE TAKEN W/ MY W/A LENSE USED ON EITHER OF MY DSLR CAMERAS. AS A CANON LOVER, I AM SURE THAT THE G10 IS GREAT, TOO. BUT, THE LUMIX IS JUST A VERY SPECIAL CAMERA. BE ADVISED HOWEVER/ZOOM IS LIMITED. THE LX3 IS GREAT FOR ME AS I HAVE ARTHRITIS IN MY HANDS AND SOMETIMES CANNOT USE THE BIGGER CAMERAS.