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Photos and image samples: Leica D-Lux 3

Comments on the design and image quality of this full-featured, 10-megapixel camera

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LoriGruninNewHeadshot.jpg

Lori Grunin

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1 of 9 CNET Networks
If you're used to looking for the macro focus on the navigation pad or in the menu system, you may overlook it here on the lens.
2 of 9 CNET Networks
All of the D-Lux 3's controls are easy to feel and operate, and, as ever, I like the joystick as a navigation tool. I wish the camera used it a bit more, though.
3 of 9 CNET Networks
As is typical of its class, the D-Lux 3 provides several semimanual exposure modes, as well as a fully automatic mode and myriad presets. As it's the same model as the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX2, it also incorporates Panasonic's two-mode optical image stabilization. This model also happens to provide a self-portrait of our photographer, Sarah.
4 of 9 CNET Networks
Since the D-Lux 3 has a 16:9 aspect sensor, it captures the full 10-megapixel image in widescreen rather than 4:3, which is essentially a crop of the full-resolution image.
5 of 9 CNET Networks
The Leica D-Lux 3 isn't exactly identical to the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX2, shown here in silver: It lacks the tiny grip. Personally, I didn't miss it while shooting, and I think the design looks better without it.
32106926-2-440-SIC1.jpg
6 of 9 Lori Grunin
Maybe it's the combination of the lens and the wide-aspect sensor, but the Leica D-Lux 3, like its Panasonic twin, has very little distortion at 28mm.
32106926-2-440-SIC2.jpg
7 of 9 Lori Grunin
Scaled down, the D-Lux 3's photos look quite sharp, but viewed at 100 percent you can see the slight softening from the noise-suppression algorithm.
32106926-2-440-SIC3.jpg
8 of 9 Lori Grunin
The D-Lux 3's photos tend to be quite saturated, if not terribly color-accurate. In the cloudy fall weather during my testing, the camera's automatic white balance tended to produce a blue cast.
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9 of 9 Lori Grunin
Though the D-Lux 3 offers several different continuous-shooting modes, I found the best trade-off between speed and focus was at about two frames per second.

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