I want a cool camera that is smallish and shoots good. I’ve narrowed things down to 2. The first is the gold standard for prosumer compacts, the Panasonic LX-3. The second is its latest challenger, the Canon S90. Bear in mind the former is over a year old. The latter came out in August this year.

Looks wise, the S90 wins for me. Clean, cute, simple, old schoolish and smaller. The LX-3 though, you can attach the Ricoh LC 1 lens cover and suddenly, it becomes super awesome. Check out the video!

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Performance wise, they’re both prosumer compacts. Both come with exceptionally bright and fast lenses that go down to f2.0. The LX-3 comes with a super wide angle, 24mm lens. Which makes it very unique. The S90 though, has greater range, 28-105mm compared to 24-60mm on the LX-3. The S90’s sensor is slightly smaller than the LX-3’s but I’ll assume the difference is negligible for my purposes. Apparently, the S90 reduces more noise but loses detail whilst the LX-3 is noisier but more detailed. Macro mode wise, which is the main reason why I would want a new camera, the LX-3 wins hands down with its 1cm macro focusing. That’s just insane. The S90 is 5cm in comparison. The S90 comes with 3.8x optical versus the LX-3’s 2.5x zoom. But I don’t think it really bothers me. I want to shoot up close, not from faraway and then zoom in.

The only reason why I think the Canon would be good is because it also comes with a control ring. In fact, it’s got 2 control rings, one customizable to whatever you want. Kinda like a DSLR, which you can set to make it change various functions, from aperture to focus to ISO etc. Pretty nifty, even if it smells like a gimmick.

I’m still leaning towards the LX-3. Price wise, at the moment, they’re pretty similar. I reckon the LX-3 would cost me a little bit less after I fix a Ricoh LC1 on it and ultimately, it seems more like the camera that I want for my purposes, even if I think the Canon looks much better. It’s also got a hot shoe and you can get a super wide macro lens for it. Which seems to have made my mind up I guess. God, am I actually sacrificing form for function? Well, I suppose I could get the Leica D-Lux 4, which is basically slightly improved over the LX-3, just in a much sleeker and sexier body. It also fits the Ricoh thingy! HAHAHA, best of both worlds! Pity, it’s about $400 more than the other 2!

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