Friday, February 17, 2012

A Lucky Find

Taking Shape
Taking Shape -- Panasonic LX-2

Few weeks ago I picked up an LX-2 at the pawnshop.  It had no battery, no charger, and a pretty badly scratched LCD screen.  It was a risk because I had no idea if it works, but for $30, I decided to take it.  Ordered the battery and charger from eBay and they came today.  Put the battery in, and it worked!

This little gem is well made and feels quite nice in the hand.  The lens is not as nice as the one on the LX-3 or LX-5, but it has a decent range and reasonably fast maximum aperture of f2.8 on the wide end (28mm).  The sensor produces 10MP but only with the 16:9 aspect ratio, and 8.5MP for 3:2 and 7.5MP for 4:3 ratio.  To me, the only usable ISO is 100 and 200.  Anything over that is too noisy.  That's the reason I love the NEX-5N.  The bigger sensor has its advantages.  I like the size of the camera and it can easily go in a large pocket and easy to carry around.  I know it will stay in my backpack all the time, along with the NEX-5N.  A backup camera, if you will, for the NEX-5N.  Since it's so cheap, I don't worry about it being scratched or bumped.

Pomelos -- Panasonic LX-2

In terms of image quality, well, it has a tiny sensor, so even on base ISO, you will see noise but is completely OK if you don't view it at 100%.  I am sure it will print fine at 8x10 or even 13x19.  The best thing about this camera is that it can shoot RAW, but with one frame buffer (like the Sony R1 I briefly had until I couldn't stand it).  Of course you can't really buy a new LX-2, but if you encounter a used one at a low price, it will make a nice backup camera, or even your primary go anywhere camera.


  1. One of their earlier co-branded Leica compacts I think. Shoot RAW and you can go up to ISO 400 and, for b&w, even 800. Much of the noise is colour noise that is well cleaned in Lightroom. A bit too enthusiastic on reds and magentas and that amplifies the lens fringing. It's very sensitive to the speed of the SD card inside so stuff a small Sandisk Extreme or something. Lovely little camera. You can tell I have one :) I'm sure in your capable hands it will see some beautiful things through the lens.

  2. @uv: Thanks for sharing your experience with the LX-2. I am using a cheap class 4 SD card and it seems to be ok, though write time is very slow. I had a good feel for it as I used it yesterday for the first time. I am sure I will make good use of it.