The one to start it all ….. the Panasonic LX3

Back in January 2008 I bought what I considered to be my first serious digital camera. I had owned small compact cameras with tiny screens and hardly any megapixels at all but tempted by photography as a hobby, I wanted something which might just stretch me a little further. Something which had manual controls, a decent lens, and had the potential to shoot RAW. I might set it to full auto and jpeg to begin with and then experiment as time went on. I also wanted a camera that was small and that I could take anywhere. The idea of any sort of DSLR at that stage just didn’t appeal. I remember researching what was available and I finally settled for the Panasonic Lumix LX3. I considered it to be expensive compared to what I had used before but it ticked all the boxes. It even had a 10 mega pixel sensor which at the time was large for what was really just a top of the range compact camera.

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The Panasonic LX3 – the one that started it all

With a Leica lens the LX3 had a 2.5x zoom with a wide angle full frame equivalent of 24mm to 60mm, at f2 to f2.8. A switch on the lens gave the option to very quickly change the aspect ratio from 4:3, to 3:2 and finally 16:9. The ‘Q’ menu also worked very well to change the in camera settings without having to go into the main menu. I was delighted with the performance and one of the very first shots I took was the image below of Bognor Regis Pier. I have only just rediscovered this photo so that I could write this blog entry. To my surprise it was shot in black and white and not converted at a later stage. Perhaps my desire to shoot in mono and my love of black and white goes right back to my very first outing with the LX3!

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‘Bognor Regis Pier’
One of the very first images I took with the LX3

To demonstrate the camera’s capability I took the shot below in the confectionary department of the famous London store, Fortnum and Mason, in April 2009. Shot as a jpeg with a few minor corrections in Lightroom, it was hand held at f2.0, 1/30th of a second at ISO 200. I was able to print this image onto A3 paper and then using a 50cm x 40cm mount, which is the standard size required by most camera clubs, it was entered into a ‘Set Subject’ competition called ‘Temptation’ and awarded 10 out 10. One of my very early club successes.

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‘All sorts Sir?
Taken in Fortnum and Mason, April 2009 with the Panasonic LX3

I still have the LX3 and I doubt if I will ever sell it. It’s a great little camera capable of really excellent results. I should take it out with me more often…..it’s very discreet and produces good sharp images. It has been superceded by the LX5 and now the LX7, but for me the LX3 is the camera which started my love of this totally absorbing hobby called photography.

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