Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX2 Review

 
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Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX2 Performance


Timing and Performance

Good to slightly slow speed for a consumer camera.

Startup/Shutdown
Power on
to first shot
1.7 seconds
Time it takes for LCD to turn on and lens to deploy
Shutdown
1.9 seconds
How long it takes to retract lens
Buffer clearing time
6 seconds
(2 seconds buffer clearing in LF JPEG)
Worst case buffer clearing time. -- This is the delay after a set of shots before you can remove the card. Some cameras won't retract their lenses and shut down until the buffer is cleared.
Mode switching
Play to Record,
first shot
0.7 seconds
Time until first shot is captured
Record to play
3.4 seconds
Time to display a large/fine file immediately after capture
Display
recorded image
2.0 second
Time to display a large/fine file already on the memory card.
Shutter response (Lag Time):
Full Autofocus Wide
0.60 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at wide angle position.
Full Autofocus Tele
0.70 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at telephoto position.
Prefocused
0.022 second
Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.
Continuous AF
0.64 second
This mode usually shows no speed increase with our static subject; we have no way to measure performance with moving subjects
Manual focus
0.32 second
For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "prefocused"
Cycle time (shot to shot)
Single Shot mode
Large Fine JPEG
2.10 seconds
Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots
Single Shot mode
640x480 JPEG
1.56 seconds
Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots
Single Shot mode
RAW
5.84 seconds
Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots
Early shutter
penalty?
YES
Some cameras refuse to snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer
Continuous High mode
Large Fine JPEG
0.43 second (2.32 frames per second);
3 frames total;
1 second to clear
Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first
Continuous High mode
640x480 JPEG
0.43 second (2.32 frames per second);
5 frames total;
1 second to clear
Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first
Continuous Low mode
Large Fine JPEG
0.80 second (1.25 frames per second);
3 frames total;
1 second to clear
Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first
Continuous Low mode
640x480 JPEG
0.80 second (1.25 frames per second);
5 frames total;
1 second to clear
Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first
Continuous Unlimited mode
Large Fine JPEG
0.57 second (1.76 frames per second);
1 second to clear
Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first
Continuous Unlimited mode
640x480 JPEG
0.57 second (1.76 frames per second);
1 second to clear
Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first
Flash recycling
5 seconds
Flash at maximum output
Download speed
Windows Computer, USB 2.0
746 KBytes/sec
Typical Values:
Less than 600=USB 1.1;
600-770=USB 2.0 Low;
Above 770=USB 2.0 High

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a Kingston Ultimate 133x SD memory card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX2's performance ranges from pretty good to slightly slow, depending upon the action. Start-up time is reasonable, but not fast. Shutter lag at wide angle and telephoto zoom settings is good, but "prefocus" times (half-pressing and holding down the shutter button before the final exposure) are quite speedy, with a shutter delay of only 0.022 second. Shot-to-shot cycle times are a little slow, at about 2.1 seconds for large/fine JPEGs, and the camera captures frames continuously at this rate. High Speed Continuous-mode speed is pretty good, at a little over two frames per second for large/fine JPEGs, and the camera captures three frames this fast. (The standard Continuous mode captures about 1.76 frames per second, though for a longer series.) The flash takes about five seconds to recycle after a full-power shot, about average. However, download speeds are on the slow side. Bottom line, the DMC-LX2 is responsive enough for most family photo opportunities, and its high speed continuous shooting mode is good for sports and kids. Despite slower download and cycle times, performance is fairly good on the whole.

Battery and Storage Capacity

Battery
Fairly good battery life with the custom LiIon battery.

Operating Mode Number of Shots
LiIon Rechargeable Battery
300

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX2 uses a custom rechargeable LiIon battery for power, and both a battery and charger come with the camera. Though runtime is pretty good, I always recommend having a spare battery on-hand and freshly charged for longer outings.

The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of (on a fully-charged rechargeable battery), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))

Storage
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX2 accepts SD/MMC cards, though no card is included; 16MB RAM is built into the camera.

Image Capacity with
16MB Internal Memory
Fine Normal RAW
3,168 x 2,376 Images 3 6 0
File Size 3.9 MB 2.0 MB 24.4 MB
2,816 x 2,112 Images 4 8 -
File Size 3.2 MB 1.6 MB -
2,304 x 1,728 Images 6 12 -
File Size 2.1 MB 1.1 MB -
2,048 x 1,536 Images 8 15 -
File Size 1.7 MB 850 KB -
1,600 x 1,200 Images 13 25 -
File Size 1.0 MB 533 KB -
1,280 x 960 Images 19 36 -
File Size 684 KB 366 KB -

We strongly recommend buying a large capacity SD/MMC memory card at least a 256 MB card, preferably a 512 MB one, to give yourself extra space for extended outings. (Check the shopping link above, cards are really cheap these days, so no reason to skimp.)

 

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Note: For details, test results, and analysis of the many tests done with this camera, please click on the tabs at the beginning of the review or below.

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