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By using a pop-up flash rather than an inset design, Panasonic keeps the lens from casting a shadow in flash shots.
Updated: / Caption: / Photo: CNET Networks
In addition to a standard brightness setting, the LX2 has a boosted-brightness mode as well as a mode that boosts brightness and adjusts the gamma so that you can see it well when it's above your head.
Updated: / Caption: / Photo: CNET Networks
The joystick control smoothly handles shooting adjustments, such as aperture and shutter-speed settings. And though it's nice to have the AE/AF lock capabilities--a rarity in a compact camera--it's difficult to grip the camera and hold the button at the same time.
Updated: / Caption: / Photo: CNET Networks
With a complete set of exposure modes and optical image stabilization, the DMC-LX2 makes a nice second camera for enthusiasts.
Updated: / Caption: / Photo: CNET Networks
Although the LX2 lets you quickly switch between 4:3, 3:2, and 16:9 aspect ratios, the only reason to ever leave 16:9 is to shoot movies; in 16:9, the movie frame rate drops to 15fps.
Updated: / Caption: / Photo: CNET Networks
The LX2 can focus as close as 2 inches in macro mode when zoomed out completely.
Updated: / Caption: / Photo: CNET Networks
The LX2 uses an excellent Leica lens. There's no distortion in the middle of the zoom range (top), and though there's understandable barrel distortion at the 28mm-equivalent wide end, it's symmetrical and relatively modest. Nor does the lens's focus on the sides drop off severely, so there's no significant chromatic aberration (fringing).
Updated: / Caption: / Photo: Lori Grunin
Though the photos look a bit soft and noisy at ISO 100, they appear very good and quite sharp when printed at 240dpi (10x17.5).
Updated: / Caption: / Photo: Lori Grunin
Ironically, there's less visible noise in shots taken at ISO 400, such as this one, than those taken at ISO 100. The trade-off is a bit of softness.
Updated: / Caption: / Photo: Lori Grunin
The LX2 seems to be weakest at low ISO sensitivities with optical stabilization and maximum zoom. The shots of distant subjects are quite soft and noisy.
Updated: / Caption: / Photo: Lori Grunin
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