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Panasonic DMC Lumix LX3 - noise issues

Sassie 10 201 United Kingdom
30 Sep 2008 10:30AM
Has anyone else invested in this camera as a back up to a DSLR?

Took it for it's first walk and took some fungi shots mostly. Also other shots, most in low light conditions, but even those that weren't - big shock when I got them uploaded. They are unnacceptably noisy. I had set the ISO to max 400. Perhaps I should have used flash.

Would be interested to hear from others' experiences - good or otherwise.


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User_Removed 12 4.9k England
30 Sep 2008 10:36AM
They are noisier than DSLRs..... Use the RAW setting if it has it.

Process with noise reduction software like
Neat Image or
Noise Ninja etc
aftertherain 13 4.2k 2 United Kingdom
30 Sep 2008 10:41AM
I've just looked at the reviews here on EPZ and noise wasn't mentioned.
Maybe it's early days, if it was the camera's first outing, there maybe something the camera is over riding because it was a low light situation.
I admit here that I did own a Panasonic a year or so ago but got rid of it because I couldn't stand the noise, but reviews of recent models do say that problem has been resolved.
KatieR 14 6.2k 6
30 Sep 2008 10:44AM
As Col says, it's inevitable that you'll get a noisier result that with your SLR - at the moment compacts just can't match the image quality.

If the light was low and you had not deliberately set the camera to a constant (and low) ISO, it will try and push it up - hence you were getting ISO 400.

If you're shooting static subjects, there's no need to move from the lowest ISO, whatever that may be. Get a tripod or beanbag, and just let the camera set whatever shutter speed is necessary for the aperture you choose (I am assuming that there is some control over this on the LX3).

Keep the ISO as low as possible if you want the cleanest smoothest results.
KatieR 14 6.2k 6
30 Sep 2008 10:45AM
Oh, and my DSLR is noisy enough at ISO 400... I try to avoid going above 200 unless I'm desperate.
Pete Plus
16 18.8k 97 England
30 Sep 2008 10:51AM
Matt does mention noise in our review of the LX3 and you can view the full size test pics of four competitive cameras here: Prosumer compact camera Group test

When using film I rarely went above ISO400, unless I was after a grainy result. Now with digital I keep to the same standards. I rarely shoot on ISO800 keeping the camera at ISO100 or ISO200 in most occasions.

If you want no noise at ISO1600 just check out Barrie Harwood's latest exhibition in our ePHOTOzine exhibitions area for what we should be able to expect from our sensors. Ok, it's the pro spec Nikon D3, but I'm sure it won't be long before this filters through into budget SLRs and prosumer compacts.
aftertherain 13 4.2k 2 United Kingdom
30 Sep 2008 11:49AM

Quote:just check out Barrie Harwood's latest exhibition

It's excellent - could you add a link to exhibitions from the photo's tab rather than the members tab?
Sassie 10 201 United Kingdom
30 Sep 2008 1:41PM
I was shooting RAW and had chosen the setting that doesn't allow the ISO to go above 400 because the reviews said it was still okay at that, and also because I was mostly in woodland photographying fungi. However, there were landscape shots I took out in the open in much brighter conditions and those images seem noisy too. But the level to which they are noisy renders them unusuable - to give you an idea, it resembles what a 100% crop resembles at ISO 1600 or beyond on a DSLR - and that's without the crop. So you see what I mean.

It may be I just haven't chosen the correct settings and haven't read the manual properly (which I haven't), but I was part using Program mode - more or less automatic, and also AV mode. I just wasn't expecting the images to be this bad. I'll have another read at the manual. I am having to use Silkypix to open the RAW files because they aren't recognised by PSE5 or my photo viewer which I use as an additional back up and to show others.

aftertherain 13 4.2k 2 United Kingdom
30 Sep 2008 2:25PM
I had a big row with the Panasonic help desk over this noise issue.
They of course blamed user error despite all the duff reviews of their photographic products regarding noise.
What can you expect from a company best known for televisions?
Sassie 10 201 United Kingdom
30 Sep 2008 3:09PM
aftertherain, can I ask if the row was over the Lumix LX3 - the one that's supposed to be amongst the best high end compacts? Honestly, my old 4mp Ixus from years ago performs far better.
steve_p 12 1.2k England
30 Sep 2008 4:33PM
Thats why my my TZ5 went back and exchanged for a G9, noise isnt much of an issue at all up to Iso 400 then is noticable but not very bad until you use 1600 !!
aftertherain 13 4.2k 2 United Kingdom
30 Sep 2008 8:03PM

Quote:Aftertherain, can I ask if the row was over the Lumix LX3

No, this was some time ago it was something like FZ30.
Sassie 10 201 United Kingdom
1 Oct 2008 6:45AM
Hmm, well I'll do some more tests on it, but frankly it's makes me so grateful for my 40D.
RFCat 13 19 Australia
9 Jul 2009 10:52AM
Like you, I bought it as a backup and for around table shots.

After the last software upgrade because there had been some big improvements in the camera, I tried the IA mode. All I can say is I am in the dog house, each photo has had to be hand adjusted and the onboard converter doesn't do a very good job of noise reduction. I should have stuck to using raw, AV with the ISO limited to 400. The noise at 400 is quite acceptable.
Try downloading the dll from Panasonic that works with the viewers on MS OSes.
More flash is required. I was also told off for not using my DSLR.

Ian M
Glyno 12 88 England
9 Jul 2009 5:09PM
I'm convinced much ado has been made (by anti-Canons) about the excessive noise with the Canon G10 in an attempt to cover up the same issue with it's rival - the LX3.
I've seen test results where there's very little or no difference between both the above models at the same ISO settings.

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