Fight Club - High-end Compacts
Two high-end compact contenders. Whilst the LX3 has been on the circuit for some time, it holds its own when it comes to new challengers like the Canon G11 and the latter's excellent low-light performance.
Canon Powershot G11
Panasonic Lumix LX3
It's a hefty brute of a camera, but feels sturdy and houses some impressive optics and technology. The new sensor is optimised for low-light too.
By far smaller and more elegant. It may appear unassuming, but the LX3 is a powerhouse of a high-end compact with some special features.
In the ring:
With a 28-140mm lens and full manual control, the G11 pretty much has it all. Its multi-angle screen can be rotated through all angles too.
A different approach, the LX3 has a mightly fine 24mm f/2.0 lens that's ultra-sharp. It doesn't have the telephoto or multi-angle screen of the G11, but more than matches in other areas.
Shot at the title:
The onus here is definitely on improved low-light performance, and that's exactly where the G11 excels - particularly when compared to its predecessor, the G10, which had a much higher megapixel count that hindered performance.
Shots straight from camera are sharper and punchier, but the low light ISO performance isn't on a par with the Canon's offering. It's hard to separate them overall, with different strengths for different reasons.
For £500 you could buy an entry-level DSLR instead - so this isn't cheap by any means, but it's a compact that covers all the angles and will do you proud in all situations.
Whilst £350 isn't cheap, it's a lot less than the Canon and an entirely different, more pocketable and transportable camera. It can be whipped out at any opportune moment to grab the killer shot.
Vari-angle rotational screen. For all those unusual angles, set ups and resulting shots, the G11's screen makes a welcome return (it was last seen on the G6 in 2004) and is again a key feature of this latest model.
An f/2.0 aperture. The Leica lens is a fantastic optic, the likes of which you'll be hard pressed to find on many other compacts. This wide aperture can produce some sublime images and is great in low light too.
10MP 1/1.7" CCD
10.1MP 1/1.63" CCD
80-3200 (6400 high sensitivity mode)
Vari-angle 2.8in, 461K- dot PureColor II VA (TFT)
3in, 460K-dot 3:2 Polycrystalline TFT
Yes, optical (fixed focal length)
N/A, optional external optical viewfinder (fixed focal length) available
AiAF 9-point AF
Contrast detection, 9-point
Yes, MEGA OIS
640 x 480, 30fps
720p at 24fps