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Panasonic LX10 versus Leica Digilux 3

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX10 (called Panasonic LX15 in some regions) and the Leica Digilux 3 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2016 and September 2006. The LX10 is a fixed lens compact, while the Digilux 3 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on an one-inch (LX10) and a Four Thirds (Digilux 3) sensor. The Panasonic has a resolution of 20 megapixel, whereas the Leica provides 7.4 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Panasonic LX10 vs Leica Digilux 3

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Panasonic LX10 and the Leica Digilux 3 is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. If you prefer, you can also use the toggle button to switch to a comparison in percentage terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the LX10 – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Panasonic LX10 vs Leica Digilux 3
Compare LX10 versus Digilux 3 top
Compare LX10 and Digilux 3 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Leica Digilux 3 is considerably larger (100 percent) than the Panasonic LX10. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the LX10 nor the Digilux 3 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the LX10 has a lens build in, whereas the Digilux 3 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can find an overview of optics for the Digilux 3 and their specifications in the Four Thirds Lens Catalog.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Panasonic LX10» 4.2 in 2.4 in 1.7 in 10.9 oz 260 n Sep 2016 699 i i
Leica Digilux 3« 5.7 in 3.4 in 3.0 in 21.4 oz 750 n Sep 2006 1,499- i
Canon G7 X Mark II« » 4.2 in 2.4 in 1.7 in 11.3 oz 265 n Feb 2016 699 i i
Canon M3« » 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.7 in 12.9 oz 250 n Feb 2015 679- i
Canon G5 X« » 4.4 in 3.0 in 1.7 in 12.5 oz 210 n Oct 2015 799 i i
Fujifilm X70« » 4.4 in 2.5 in 1.7 in 12.0 oz 330 n Jan 2016 799 i i
Olympus E-330« » 5.5 in 3.4 in 2.8 in 22.5 oz 750 n Jan 2006 999- i
Olympus E-500« » 5.1 in 3.7 in 2.6 in 16.9 oz 750 n Sep 2005 599- i
Olympus E-300« » 5.8 in 3.3 in 2.5 in 22.0 oz 750 n Sep 2004 799- i
Panasonic ZS200« » 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.8 in 12.0 oz 370 n Feb 2018 799 i i
Panasonic ZS70« » 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.6 in 11.4 oz 380 n Apr 2017 449 i i
Panasonic FZ2500« » 5.4 in 4.0 in 5.3 in 32.3 oz 350 n Sep 2016 1,199 i i
Panasonic ZS100« » 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.7 in 11.0 oz 300 n Jan 2016 699- i
Panasonic LX7« » 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.8 in 10.5 oz 330 n Jul 2012 499- i
Panasonic L10« » 5.3 in 3.8 in 3.1 in 19.6 oz 450 n Aug 2007 599- i
Panasonic L1« » 5.7 in 3.4 in 2.5 in 21.4 oz 750 n Feb 2006 999- i
Sony RX100 IV« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 280 n Jun 2015 999- i

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The LX10 was launched at a lower price than the Digilux 3, despite having a lens build in. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

 

Sensor comparison: Panasonic LX10 vs Leica Digilux 3

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Panasonic LX10 features an one-inch sensor and the Leica Digilux 3 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the Digilux 3 is 94 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.7 and 2.0. The sensor in the LX10 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the Digilux 3 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Panasonic LX10 and Leica Digilux 3 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Panasonic LX10 offers a higher resolution of 20 megapixel, compared with 7.4 MP of the Leica Digilux 3. This megapixel advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 2.41μm versus 5.51μm for the Digilux 3). However, it should be noted that the LX10 is much more recent (by 10 years) than the Digilux 3, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.

LX10 versus Digilux 3 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most cameras. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Panasonic LX10» 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----
Leica Digilux 3« Four Thirds 7.4 3136 2352-----
Canon G7 X Mark II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p----
Canon M3« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.811.8116972
Canon G5 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p----
Fujifilm X70« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p----
Olympus E-330« » Four Thirds 7.4 3136 2352-----
Olympus E-500« » Four Thirds 8.0 3264 2448-----
Olympus E-300« » Four Thirds 8.0 3264 2448-----
Panasonic ZS200« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----
Panasonic ZS70« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p19.110.610636
Panasonic FZ2500« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----
Panasonic ZS100« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.555970
Panasonic LX7« » 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p20.711.714750
Panasonic L10« » Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736-21.310.842955
Panasonic L1« » Four Thirds 7.4 3136 2352-----
Sony RX100 IV« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.659170

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The LX10 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the Digilux 3 does not. The highest resolution format that the LX10 can use is 4K/30p.

 

Feature comparison: Panasonic LX10 vs Leica Digilux 3

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the Digilux 3 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the LX10 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Panasonic LX10 and Leica Digilux 3 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras. If you need more detail on the specs, you can find comprehensive listings, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

Core Features
  Camera Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Panasonic LX10»- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 10.0 Y Y
Leica Digilux 3«optical n 2.5 207 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n
Canon G7 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 2000 8.0 Y Y
Canon M3« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 4.2 Y n
Canon G5 X« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 2000 5.9 Y Y
Fujifilm X70« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 8.0 Y n
Olympus E-330« »optical n 2.5 215 tilting n 4000 3.0 Y n
Olympus E-500« »optical n 2.5 215 fixed n 4000 2.5 Y n
Olympus E-300« »optical n 1.8 134 fixed n 4000 2.5 Y n
Panasonic ZS200« »2330 n 3.0 1240 fixed Y 2000 10.0 Y Y
Panasonic ZS70« »1166 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 2000 10.0 Y Y
Panasonic FZ2500« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 12.0 Y Y
Panasonic ZS100« »1166 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 10.0 Y Y
Panasonic LX7« »- n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 11.0 Y Y
Panasonic L10« »optical n 2.5 207 swivel n 4000 3.0 Y n
Panasonic L1« »optical n 2.5 207 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n
Sony RX100 IV« »2359 n 3.0 1228 tilting n 2000 16.0 Y Y

The LX10 is a current model that online retailers, such as amazon, will have in stock. In contrast, the Digilux 3 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). There has not been a direct replacement model for the Digilux 3 from Leica.

Review summary: Panasonic LX10 vs Leica Digilux 3

So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Panasonic LX10 or the Leica Digilux 3 – has the upper hand? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Reasons to prefer the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX10:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (20 vs 7.4MP) with a 68% higher linear resolution.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 4K/30p movies.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 207k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with a build-in lens, while the Digilux 3 requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (106x60mm vs 146x87mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a build-in lens (unlike the Digilux 3).
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization build-in.
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a build-in lens.
  • More modern: Reflects 10 years of technical progress since the Digilux 3 launch.

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Advantages of the Leica Digilux 3:

  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
  • More flexible: Makes it possible to change lenses and thus to use specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (750 versus 260) out of a single battery charge.
  • More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale value.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in September 2006).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the LX10 is the clear winner of the match-up (13 : 5 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera.

LX10 13:05 Digilux 3

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the LX10 and the Digilux 3 in practical situations. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate. This is where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The detailed reviews can be accessed by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review scores
  Camera cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Panasonic LX10»HiRec81/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2016 699 i i
Leica Digilux 3«----- Sep 2006 1,499- i
Canon G7 X Mark II« »HiRec81/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Feb 2016 699 i i
Canon M3« »rev75/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2015 679- i
Canon G5 X« »HiRec78/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 799 i i
Fujifilm X70« »-76/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2016 799 i i
Olympus E-330« »-Recrev3.5/5- Jan 2006 999- i
Olympus E-500« »76/100HiRec--- Sep 2005 599- i
Olympus E-300« »-Recrevrev4.5/5 Sep 2004 799- i
Panasonic ZS200« »HiRec81/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Feb 2018 799 i i
Panasonic ZS70« »HiRec-4/5-4/5 Apr 2017 449 i i
Panasonic FZ2500« »Rec82/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Sep 2016 1,199 i i
Panasonic ZS100« »HiRec82/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2016 699- i
Panasonic LX7« »HiRec75/1004/55/54.5/5 Jul 2012 499- i
Panasonic L10« »85/100Rec3.5/5rev4/5 Aug 2007 599- i
Panasonic L1« »85/100Rec-rev3.5/5 Feb 2006 999- i
Sony RX100 IV« »HiRec85/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 999- i

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

 

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool. If you do not see the camera that you are looking for, please send me an email, and I will try to locate and add the respective data to the application.

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