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Hands-on with the Panasonic DMC-LX2

Hands-on with the Panasonic DMC-LX2
Cyrus Farivar
Cyrus Farivar|September 11, 2006 1:18 PM
It wasn't but several weeks ago that we first posted about the new Panasonic DMC-LX2 and we told you then that they'd be arriving in September. Well, here we are after Labor Day, so behold what the stork brought us today. As you probably know, this DMC-LX2, the upgrade to the LX1 sports 10.2 megapixels, ISO 3200 and a 4x optical zoom. Click ahead for more snaps.

Ah, the moment of glory awaits.

Yep, that's a Lumix all right. You can tell because it says so right there on the box in all caps.

There she is! We can't wait to take 'er for a spin!

We're real glad that it comes with a lens cap, because when your camera doesn't have one, it sucks.

We missed the aspect ratio settings on the lens at first glance, but there they are. The cam overall feels light and the lens and LCD take up a good portion of the whole body of the camera. For someone with big hands, it might be tough to grip. The LX2 of course sports 10.2 megapixel, ISO 3200 (not a full res, sadly) and has got 'dem intelligent smarts in the ISO control to adjust for sudden jerkiness. Also, there's the 4x zoom dial up top.

That's a swank 2.8-inch screen you're looking at, with our paltry Fuji Finepix S3100 staring back atcha. The rear panel has a mini-joystick button below the button labeled "AF/AE LOCK" up top, which serves as a manual selector, plus the standard five button flower arrangement below it.

The DMC-LX2 comes with a USB cable, A/V cables, proprietary battery charger and case, CD, and an instruction book. We can't figure out why they keep printing these manuals. Seriously, when was the last time anyone actually read one of these things? Couldn't they just leave a PDF of it online?

For size comparison to a Treo 650.

Colorful menus! We dig blue and green too. That said, it appears that they didn't reformat the menus for the 16:9 screen, which is sorta lame.

The LX2 ate our headphones.

The LX2 ate our headphones again, vertically this time.

We found the LX2 to be a solid little point-and-shoot camera trapped inside a understated retro-style casing -- we felt the urge to become a shutterbug once we unwrapped it. (Some of us here at Engadget, particularly this writer, would appreciate the return of the viewfinder, rather than being forced to use the LCD.) We'd like to see it come with redesigned menu screens, and ideally would like to have the lens fully retract into the body, but we understand that probably would compromise the lens quality and focal length, which gave it the 4x zoom. The images that we took were clean, crisp and quite fast. Furthermore, the 16:9 ratio made us feel like something of a filmmaker at times, with so much extra width. In short, if Panasonic wanted to trade us for that Fuji FinePix S3100 that you saw earlier, we'd gladly accept.
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