Gadget Finder

Sunday, November 30, 2008

LX3 vs DLux4 Part 2

Ok here comes part 2 of LX3 vs DLux4. I've actually had these photos for about a week. I've been pretty busy as my dad was in hospital n I've been busy attending to his needs.

Anyway, I woke up to a nice sunny day with bright blue skies n puffy white clouds on the 21st of November. It's been pouring down cats n dogs everyday in Malaysia ever since I got back from the trip to Shanghai. It was a brilliant day n I seized the opportunity for a nice day out with my cameras. So I headed out to Kuala Lumpur City Center where the World's Tallest buildings(Petronas Twin Towers) are located. I don't know how many of you guys have seen it so here goes.

Greetings from the Petronas Twin Towers, the World's Tallest Buildings.




The following pics were all taken with the same exact shutter speed, aperture n ISO. Also, no tweaks were done to the JPEGs. Only thing I set was Standard film mode with +1 sharpening for both cameras. Part 1 of LX3 vs Dlux4 was done in a gloomy shopping mall so I made sure Part 2 will be done outdoors with lotsa bright reds, blues n greens. I'll just leave it up to you guys to look at the pictures n see if you can tell the differences or make your decision on which to buy. So buckle up........... here we goooooooooooo.

DLux4, 1/125, f2.5, ISO80


LX3, 1/125, f2.5, ISO80







DLux4, 1/200, f2.8, ISO80


LX3, 1/200, f2.8, ISO80







DLux4, 1/640, f2, ISO200


LX3, 1/640, f2, ISO200









DLux4, 1/160, f2.8, ISO80


LX3, 1/160, f2.8, ISO80




DLux4, 1/400, f2.8, ISO125


LX3, 1/400, f2.8, ISO125




DLux4, 1/250, f2, ISO80


LX3, 1/250, f2, ISO80




DLux4, 1/320, f2.8, ISO80


LX3, 1/320, f2.8, ISO80


That's it for Part 2.

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64 comments:

Nick said...

Isn't Taipei 101 the (current) tallest building in the world?

ianho said...

Notice that I said "Tallest Buildings" n not Tallest Building. The Petronas Twin Towers r still the tallest buildings in the world. :)

bigs said...

Hmm, nice comparison pics there. To my eyes, it seems the D-LUX4 seems to have a bit more of the pop factor, wherby subjects in focus seems to stand out rom the page, like 3D.

These images are all taken in JPG right?

Would be really interesting if one could compare the RAW output using a totally independant program such as UFRAW for the conversion to see if there really is much difference between the two units.

bigs

ianho said...

bigs, I dont think we'll see any diff in RAW coz it's been said that Leica made the tweaks to JPEGs only.

Brian said...

Bigs, no offense, but it sounds like you've been drinking the Leica Kool-aid. Please point out a specific difference. The only one I see is in the full shot of the playground where it looks like the light/exposure changed between photos very slightly.

Just my 2 cents.

Brian

Michael said...

So basically buying a LX3 you get Leica quality at a very good price. I just ordered mine today and can't wait to get it. It looks like so much fun. The real question is how does the LX3 compare to the M8? ;)

ianho said...

Michael, D-Lux4 is the "Son of M8" so the LX3 should be the "Nephew of M8" I guess. ROFL!

bigs said...

Haha Brian, mabe, though I do own the LX3 myself, and not the D-LUX4. I have also read in other forums, that the reason for this more "pop out" look from the D-LUX4 may be due to the default extra sharpness setting being a tad higher than the LX3.

Mazor

Anonymous said...

Leica consistently demonstrates a richness not shared by the LX3, without being flashy or overbearing.

Great job, Leica.

Tony said...

It would be nice to see comparisons in low light pics. I would imagine that Leica handles noise differently from Panasonic.

Anonymous said...

Have been following with interest. You've not commented on the camera software/menu controls. Is the menuing for the DL4 and the LX3 essentially the same or does it vary?

If it is much the same, LX3 users should go to the Leica site and download the Leica manual--it's free, and a useful way to preview the camera's functions before purchasing. /ml

Brian said...

The LX3 manual is available as well, but just read the DLUX-4 may be written better.

http://dlc.panasonic-europe-service.com/EUDocs/GetDoc.aspx?did=161703&fmt=PDF&lang=en&src=3&uilang=en-GB

Anonymous said...

identical

Tony said...

I think the only difference can be seen in how the Lumix and the Leica process jpegs at high ISOs. I think the Leica on-board software goes for graininess, whereas the Lumix tries for smoothness.

I think that if someone could take high ISO pics in dark settings with available light, one would see the difference. I think the difference is simply subjective.

I have the Leica and am quite happy with it. In fact, I rather enjoy taking B&W pics at ISO 800, just to get the flavor of the noise. I know that isn't everyone's cup of tea, though.

floriana said...

Hi, for me they are so different that I've bought a D-LUX4. It's your fault, Ianho !!!!!

floriana

ianho said...

The Leica manual is so much better. The LX3 manual is so basic, they dont even explain many of the available features. I've actually recommended the LX3 users to go download the D-Lux 4 manual.

@ Tony, ya I love the way the D-Lux4 does Dynamic B&W at high ISO too. Gives it a very nostalgic feel n look to the pics. Almost as if we're using an antique film camera. Hehe.

@ floriana, I'm glad to be the culprit. LOL.

Chris said...

Hi, is there a difference in time from "off" to first shot, or shot to shot times between the two? Thanks, Chris.

bigs said...

Hmm, I shoot my LX3 in RAW plus a large JPG. If the JPG is good enough for a small print, but if I want more of a detailed grainy look, I just process RAW in UFRAW which Raw Developer uses as a base engine. Results are simply astonishing. Guess since RAW on both LX3 and D-LUx4 are the same, there won't be too much differences except for mabe a different lens coatings on the lens

Anonymous said...

the difference is noise. look at the playground pics. look at yellow slide. Colors are more defined and muted in a sophisticated way with the Leica.

Brian said...

"in a sophisticated way" now that's funny.

Anonymous said...

What's funny is these two cameras are almost the same price online......with about a 60 dollar difference

Anonymous said...

My opinion to these tests are as follows.
Number one, thanks for the great article and photos you have taken. I think some folks are not getting the whole idea of what you have done for them with these test subjects. I see shaper images from the Leica, and I love the way the green pops out over the LX3 photos.
I'm just one of those poor folks that is still using a dated Fuji FD31 and want to update to a newer camera with a fast wide angle lens.
I think you have done a very good job with your blog and photos. But I beleive the end result will be the Leica. A little bit sharper and better warrenty. Thanks again for your great article.
Bob

Brian said...

Whichever photo is labeled 'Leica' will look superior to some. It's a phenomenon that exists in every line of products. If the same picture is posted with different labels, people will pic their favorite brand. No surprise.

w said...

thanks ian for giving us the samples to compare lx3 vs dlux4 - but for yr Part3 do u think u could name the photos as taken by camera A and camera B so we wont be influenced by the branding as pointed out in an earlier comment? that would be a good 'blind' test ;p

Anonymous said...

I too am dealing with the dilemma of the dl4 versus dlux 3 as a companion to my D200. I guess I'm looking at it from a smart financial decision. The differences between the 2 are negligible and very close whatever the differences. Resale is not s concern as in Canada the Panasonic sells for $600 compared to the Leica's $1100 tag! The G10 is $500 so I could buy a G10 and an LX3 for the price of the DLUX 4!
As for resale and warranty. Well in my mind the Panasonic wins here as well with the prices I've quoted here. Even if the Leica will have better resale value as I believe to be true, I will still end up loosing less overall at eh LX3 price point and warranty? I could buy a second LX3 and still be out of pocket only $100 versus on DLX 4. I will buy the LX3 over the Leica based on what I've said here and I know I'll be very happy. If the difference was just a couple of hundred dollars I would go for the Leica but if I want that pro perfect shot, I will use my D200.

bigs said...

Agreed anonymous. but if I may say so off topic of the D-lux vs LX3, that I have used the D200, and have never really been impressed with the results compared to the likes of Canon 40d, or the 5D. Infact the Nikon lower speced D80 was better than the D200 in terms of IQ. Now with D700, the D200 is left in the dust.

Back to the LX3 and D-lux4,if you hav eone please ensure you do update your firmware off 1.0 for the LX3 as the AF at night does indeed improve. Where in the past, night focusing was hit and miss, now if pretty accuate.

Anonymous said...

Well, some changes have occured in my purchase.
The best deal I could get on the LX3 remained at $600 but I found the D-LUX4 for $849 at the Leica Boutique in Montreal. Buying the Panasonic locally meant 13% tax but buying D-LUX4 out of province was only 5% plus $20 shipping. So, with 3 years warranty instead of 1 with the LX3, $250 worth of editing software and better user manual, the extra $230 in my hands for the Leica became a no brainer! I bought it and will have it in a couple of days. I'm very happy about that as I knew the LX3 would do what I needed and was unwilling to spend $500 plus tax extra but at the price I found for the Leica, it was a big bonus! As for the D200, I will say that this is my first digital SLR and have not tried others. I'm an amateur photographer and as such the D200 blows me away. I'm sure what you say about it has merit but I have nothing to compare it to. There's always better isn't there? If you don't see it you remain happy with what you have. I can't imagine trying to keep up with the technology! LOL

Anonymous said...

OK, I think both cameras deliver great images. The Leica delivers Leica images however, and the Panasonic doesn't. Only people used to seeing Leica images will know what I mean. The subtle difference is in the creaminess of the Leica files against those of the Panasonic. I think the LX3 needs to be underexposed by 1/3 stop to achieve similar saturation. I would love to see a comparison with the LX3 underexposed by this amount.

Tor Bach said...

I've paid approximately 550£ (appr. 850 dollars) for the leica incl. the brown leather case. Around 150 dollars more than I would have paid for the pana. For that price i get better software, correct exposure, and better resale value... That seems to be a fair deal :-)

That said, the difference is not big. In a few situations leica colors are a bit more natural, but not as vivid as the LX3. And there's obviously a few shots with incorrect exposure from the pana. Is this test done with the newest firmware? There should be quite an improvement in white balance performance for both cameras.

Ian Ho said...

The comparison shots were done with both cameras on original firmware. There was no firmware updates available at the time.

Anonymous said...

The shots are identical. Anyone trying to claim that 'Leica' images are more 'creamy' (/rolleyes) is just deluding themselves. A camera with a Leica tag on it will retain better resale value, though, because there are plenty of these fools around, so if you get a chance to pick one up cheap then go for it.

Leica can still make resonable lenses, but they stopped making decent cameras years ago and are relying on Panasonic to do the job for them.

Anonymous said...

The differenses in JPEG picture quality (if any) doesn't make up for the huge extra money for the Leica. Besides, LX3 have an integrated support at the front for à better grip. Leica is offering an ugly piece of plastic to give you the same grip. Not a very nice solution.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the article. Very well put together. I own a DLUX3 and was thinking of upgrading, but seems there isn't too much to get upgrade too at this point.

Great work!

erth said...

It looks to me like the LX3 is simply metering about 1 stop brighter than the Leica in pretty much all the shots, especially indoors. I don't see any better image quality in the Leica at at all.. looks like a scam to me!

Ian Ho said...

Actually........... the grip on the LX3 doesn't do much either. It's so small n the plastic is so hard n slippery. It's not the grippy kinda rubber on the grip. I reckon the LX3 would have looked a lot better if they didn't put that silly chrome trim around the rubber grip.

NotYourAvgJoe said...

You did a gteat job comparing the photos of the two camera. Any chance you could post the differences in the internal camera software. Like how the menus appear and settings etc...

Ian Ho said...

The Menus n settings are exactly the same. They only differ in the color. Leica's menu is in black n red.

Dan Larson said...

Thanks for the info. I just ordered an LX3 from Dell for $429 US.

Philippe said...

Petronas Twin Tower is the Tallest Twin Tower in the world. :p

Bibby's Rocket said...

I was leaning toward the lumix (which is barely available in the US by now), but as a 'color person' (I'm a painter) -- I can plainly see that teh Leica 'fills in' the reds and yellows more brilliantly than the Lumix... Whether or not the colors are true is another question. For example, in part 1, the pix of the food counter, if you look at the area jus below the ceiling, there's a marked difference. Same goes for the playground (yellow seat is more yellow) and the shopping mall -- look at the green lights at the ground level, next to the doorway... It may cost me 100 or 200 but I'm leaning toward the Leica. Once you know there's something better out there, it's hard not to just go with that!

Anonymous said...

Please repost these pics and switch the tags for each one. We'll still get people posting how much better the 'Leica' looks. Creaminess? Give me a break.

Ian Ho said...

Switch the tags? What on earth for? U don't know that a simple right click will show u the properties of the picture?

Anonymous said...

All the comments favoring the Leica sound suspiciously like: "the Leica image is just better. If you don't see it, it's because you're not worthy." Give me a friggin' break. In a blind test, you would not be able to pick out the "Leica" image" more than half the time, I guarantee it.

Anonymous said...

Suffice to say, whatever difference there is, it is NOT worth 2x the price. Let the idiots in the world bask in the glory of the red badge and pay double the price... There are always companies like Leica and there are always suckers who thinks that by buying a badge, you get special power and take better photos.

Ian Ho said...

There's no need for name calling is there? There is no need to say ppl are idiots for buying Leica if they like it and can afford it. Let's all be adults here.

Jim said...

A couple of the comments have noted, I think correctly, that the LX3 photos are slightly overexposed compared to the DL4. Since both cameras have software upgrades now, that observation is outdated. Other than the color and tone differences stemming from exposure, my golden eye sees no other difference.

It is true that a better test would be from RAW files processed identically. I suspect those images would be much closer than these (which are pretty close!).

So, we are left with brand cachet, looks, and warranty. All three are in the DL4's favor, I think. Which one to buy depends on their respective prices and how much you value those differences. For me, I'd pay a $150 premium for the DL4, but no more.

Anonymous said...

I suggest a blind test. Post one photo/set and don't identify the camera. Let's see if the Leica fans, of which I am one, can identify the Leica photo:)

Shinny said...

hi there :)

thanks for the enlightening article! i've been wanting to get the LX3 for almost half a year now.. but wanted to wait for more reviews and such. your article has pretty much convinced me that the LX3 will be a good buy! from what i gathered, the LX3 is not easily available everywhere now. could you recommend any shop in PJ/KL that sells the LX3 & provides good service ? i'm actually a newbie and would really need a helpful salesperson. thank you so much! :)

Ian Ho said...

I don't understand y the LYN guys keep saying it's hard to find the LX3 in KL/PJ. I see it all the time whenever I go shopping. While shopping for my EOS 5D mkII the past few days, I saw the LX3 at 1Utama, Ikano, LYP, Sg Wang areas.

紫 朝 said...

我今天刚买了LX3了,没办法,Leica太贵了,更何况我只是新手,配不上Leica的德系贵族气息啊,对了其实两部机子都是Panasonic生产的,生产线一样,就是那个红色的L,令Lx3那么难堪了。。

Serge said...

Ian, thanks for the article and pics. Great work!
IMHO Leica pics looks a little better in darkened enviro, Pana looks better in bright light.

Anonymous said...

ENY MEANY MINY MOE

NorthBankAnt said...

Hi, Just purchased the dl4, I see there is "hardly" any difference in picture quality but 3 years warranty, bundled software and a better resale value made it a no brainer for me. Plus it does look a lot better than the LX3. I would also expect firmware tweeks to come from Leica for many more years where as LX3 will soon be forgotten by Panasonic.

Ian CHEONG said...

Wow, great to find another IAN in KL who's a Panny user too! Love the pedantics over "building vs buildings"
I for one, believe that the German vs Japan battle is a mere CBU vs CKD issue. Those in Malaysia would be familiar with this. Has anyone compared a local CKD BMW 5 series vs a German CBU sourced from Singapore?
End of the day, Leica is a LENS manufacturer with ZERO experience in DIGITAL cameras. That's where the symbiosis came into the picture whereby Leica allowed Panny to use their lens in return for a journey from the "dark" ages into the digital age. Much like the Carl Zeiss / Sony alliance.
Still happy with my Leica in my FZ28!

Gabriel said...

Look at the D-Lux 4 picture of the dinosaur. On the inside of the blue handle, in the air in front of the tree in the background - there be artifacts! Sort of turquoise in color. They appear subtler on the LX3. Look also at the read line marking the jaw bone. The Leica seems to have more green stuff leaking there.

Also note the poor noise handling for both of them in the reflections in the shady bottom side of the the handle.

Mike.UK said...

ianho, Thanks a million for the comparison pics, the best I have seen on the subject. There is undoubtedly a very slight coloration difference in the pics from the two cameras but it's a very close call. My brain says buy the Panasonic but my heart says buy the Leica. So what am I going to do? Buy the Leica of course. Best wishes from the UK.

Ian Ho said...

Mike.UK, following your heart is the secret to being happy isn't it? Listening to the brain all the time makes for a boring existence. Hehe

My Journey on Empty said...

so I have been doin research for a few days on digital cameras and I have come to the conclusion that the lx3 is the best route to go, but do you guys have any other camera that I should atleast consider?

PS. I am not looking for a DSLR because:
1. I don't have the money to buy all the accessories and what not.
2. I need something that I'll atleast fit into my pocket.

Ian Ho said...

Take a look at the Canon S90. It has an f2 lens as well. There's also a new Ricoh camera with an f1.9 lens. Try them out n see which u prefer.

ryan said...

ianho - thanks for the great comparison pics! quick question - what would be the difference between the images shot from the D-Lux4 and the LX3, and those shot from the Leica V-LUX 20 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7?

Ian Ho said...

ryan, they're very subtle differences in color. Leica colors r more subdued.

Anonymous said...

I'm unfamiliar with cameras of any type so I'm offering both an uneducated and unbiased opinion. the leica interior photos appear less color saturated, which seems more realistic. The most obvious difference is the ceiling lights, I find the leica to be more pleasant, whereas the panasonic is harsh. The first exterior photos seem softer on the leica with duller (truer?) coloring, as to the later exterior photos I'm unable to notice any difference.

James Lee said...

Thanks Ian
I just found this comparo and am grateful for your effort and objective presentation.
I was intrigued particularly by the lens coating difference. No one seems to have gone there. why the diff. if the tow cameras are supposedly just a software and labelling difference.
Can you shed some light on this?

Oh dear! Now there's a D-Lux 5!!!
Back to the drawing board.
:c(
James Lee

Ian Ho said...

Well I have no idea if the difference in coatings are intentional on Leica's part but there are many disbelievers even after seeing the difference in my pictures comparing the 2 lenses.

If you're getting 1 now, get the LX5 or D-Lux5 as they are the current models. The D-Lux5 is not available in KL yet so I haven't gotten my hands on it yet.