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(FT3) Panasonic LX5 successor with larger sensor?


This is not a Micro Four Thirds related news but I think it’s worth the rumor to be posted here.

Techradar (Click here) interviewed Yoshiyuki Inoue (Panasonic Senior Engineering Planner): “he said that although the LX3 had been very successful, its replacement the LX5 had not sold as well as Panasonic had hoped.” And to appeal enthusiast photographers “one aspect that is being given serious consideration for the camera that replaces the LX5 is increasing the size of the sensor, Panasonic’s Mr Uematsu even joked that it could have a 1in sensor like the new Nikon V1.

The real question should be if there will be ever a sort of Fuji X100 camera with Micro Four Thirds sensor. That would be something interesting!

  • vromopodarix

    If they release such a cam it would be the end (probably) of Nikon 1 (if it has the price of the LX5)

    The problem though is that new m43 bodies GF3 and EPM1 are just as small. So a clever lens must be used.

    I would love a 2X zoom only 24-50 f1.8 or something. It would probably be the best selling compact ever.

    • DonTom


    • frank

      Agreed, a 2x 24-50/2.0 zoom would be great when paired with an m43 sensor. Maybe integrating it with the body will make this possible. If they will just keep the wide end! I’d hate it when they would go to 28mm as 24mm is where real wide angle starts.

      • I would rather have 70 on the long end myself. Let the lens extend a few mm further :p

      • Jim

        just hacksaw off the lens, glue on a mount and m43 gets what we want!

        Kinda makes more sense to make a fast small x lens (same 24-50mm F1.8) for m43 and then you dont have to make another camera?

  • Nick

    I thought we already goin to have GF3 with pancake lens?

    • DonTom

      Yep, and the 14-42X lens will be great: except that it isn’t wide, or fast. That said, I would buy one as a kit lens on a m43 camera, because its size is a great improvement on the alternative. But I would rather a have a faster & wider alternative, giving up some DOF.

    • frank

      The 14-42 isn’t wide enough and isn’t fast enough to be an LX5 replacement. Maybe body/lens integration can bring an m43 sensor with a 24-50/2 zoom in an LX5 sized package.

  • reverse stream swimmer

    – Well, if you cannot make the lens faster than the Olympus XZ-1 f/1.8 which doesn’t need the additional O.I.S. lens group for stabilization, what’s left to do?

    – Then you need to increase the sensor size, of course!

    – You can get along with a f/2 zoom lens with O.I.S. and a larger sensor, in order to recapture the king of the hill throne.

    – It’s not necessarey to go all the way up to the CX size, you can stop at the same level as the recent Fujifilm X10, with the 2/3″ ‘prosumer sensor’, which I presume is the target competitive area for a LX5 successor. (Does the X10 have image stabilization?)

    I’ve also been awaiting the CCD to be replaced with CMOS in the 1/1.7″ & 1/1.63″ cameras, where Canon just launched the S100. CMOS will give a boost in video performance, an area important to Panasonic.

    The reason the LX5 didn’t sell as expected as the LX3, must be because of the strong competition emerged in this crowd of Canon S90/95, Samsung TL500/EX1, not to mention Olympus XZ-1. To the lesser extent the bulkier G12/P7000/P7100 cameras.

    • DirkL

      “The reason the LX5 didn’t sell as expected as the LX3, must be because of the strong competition emerged in this crowd of Canon S90/95, Samsung TL500/EX1, not to mention Olympus XZ-1. To the lesser extent the bulkier G12/P7000/P7100 cameras.”

      Additional reasons could be m4/3, X100 and that many owing the LX3 feel not compelled enough to upgrade, The coming X10 and Pentax Q will not make things easier for the LX5.

    • reverse streak swimmer

      Re:(Does the X10 have image stabilization?)
      -Yes, it actually does! For the first time (to my knowledge), the Fujinon lens in the X10 contains O.I.S!

      It’s maybe a longshot, but I guess it’s licensed technology from someone else, most likely Panasonic which actually calls their technique for O.I.S., when Nikon calls it Vibration Reduction, Sigma for OS, and Canon for IS.

  • Sandak

    what’s that accessory mounted on the pictured LX5 lens?

    • Mr. Reeee

      The Panasonic EVF (obviously) and what looks like a Raynox close-up lens.

      A larger sensor in the LX6 would be welcome, but it would take a lot more than that to keep the competition at bay. That segment of the market is pretty crowded today!

  • Miroslav

    “LX5 had not sold as well as Panasonic had hoped.”

    One simple reason: m4/3 and NEX cameras took its place.

    Panasonic should just end the LX line. When GF3 + 14-42 X lens become a bit cheaper, why would anyone buy LX5? People who buy premium compacts are educated enough to know what are they giving 400 USD for.

    I don’t see the point of fixed lens camera with 4/3 sensor either. Current ones are small enough. Unless they want to make a superzoom :).

    • reverse stream swimmer

      Also Leica is depending on Panasonic’s move here, remember their equivalent is Leica D-LUX 5. The key feature of these cameras must be the ‘pocketability’. Neither Micro Four Thirds nor Nikon 1 System should be able to compete, if that parameter is well materialized in a LX5 successor…

      I doubt Panasonic would leave this market segment open for their competitors, especially since they created it with their LX series.

      • Seb

        And an m43 lx6 wouldn’t have Leica support, too close to a leica X1.

    • The problem with the LX5 is that it sits in an umcomfortable place between ultra compacts and m43 or NEX.

      When I was shopping for a high end pocketable (and I mean “jeans pocket” pocketable, not like m43 which is kinda like “jacket pocket” pocketable) I was basically torn between the LX5 and the S95. I REALLY wanted the LX5 with its wider angle lens, but in the end it made no sense, since it would not meet my main goal: ultimate portability. And that’s the problem with LX5: Its not small enough, and IQ wise you have some pretty good competition.

      So how does it differentiate and what does it bring to the table?

      • spam

        The main problem for LX5 is the Olympus XZ1 with a more conventional zoom range and slightly faster lens. The Olympus viewfinder is also much better than the Panasonic one, and S95 certainly take some LX5-customers who sacrify lens speed for size.

  • > its replacement the LX5 had not sold as well as Panasonic had hoped

    It’s pretty crowded in the $400 compact camera segment, including S95, P7100 and XZ-1.

    If they could lower the price, however, it might be a different story.

    Two things have mostly held me down from buying any of the cameras: slow AF and poor low-light IQ/slow lens. For social outings, in my experience, I need light gathering of ISO 800-1600 + f/1.4. Larger DOF of a small sensor actually is a plus in the situations.

  • hiplnsdrftr

    LX6 with 2/3″ or 1″ sensor is exactly what we need to shake things up a bit.

  • DonTom

    Upping the ante in one of 3 ways would get me to look at a serious compact:
    -Faster lens (as Dummy says, f1.4 would be great, would accept a smaller zoom range for that (keep wide end at 24mm eqiv.)
    -Wider lens. I’m not looking for DOF from a wide angle, but low light ability and small size is very important to me for travel. If I could buy a compact that covered 18-35mm equivalent for less than the price of the Olly 9-18mm, and was faster…..yep, I WOULD buy it!
    -Upping the sensor size, and staying at least at 24mm equiv…the X10 would be a great travel cam for me, except it needs to be wider.
    I think there are plenty of P&S and ILC users that are looking for a good fixed lens camera that is different from say, a GF3 with kit lens. Hope Panasonic shakes up the market in the way the LX3 did.

  • jeff

    “Larger DOF of a small sensor actually is a plus in the situations.”

    The small sensor doesn’t give you “larger” DoF. DoF doesn’t care about sensor size. You get more DoF with smaller sensor cameras for a number of reasons… the f number of the lens, the zoom length and framing/camera to subject distance… but not because of the actual sensor size as such. The sensor size just leads to other decisions which then affect the DoF.

    Sorry to be a pedant. :)

    I moved from LX3 to LX5 and I found that the IQ was if anything a little worse. Up the IQ and I’d be interested in the next in the LX line as they’re good cameras with a zoom and they’ll fit in a jacket pocket.

    • wonderer

      well you’re completely wrong, funnily enough you’re so sure in your oppinion.

      of course, the bigger the sensor, the more shallow depth of field is achieved (that’s why you need to be careful with full frame & fast lenses not to have too-shallow depth of field, that’s why APS-C (1.5crop) sensor cameras are a sweet spot and have advantage over m43 (2x crop) sensor cameras even with slower lenses, and that’s why m43 needs some really fast lens to compare to full frame (say f1.4 is the same dof as f3.2 on full frame).

      or do you think you will ever have F0.4 lenses on compacts?

      focal distance is achievable THE SAME on any sensor, considering you have proper lenses, as is the distance from the subject, I can’t understand what bullshit you have written.

      bigger sensor will usually bring you 2 advantages, first is shallower DOF, 2nd is better ISO performance. All other advantages can be “fixed” by good lenses, that’s why m43 rocks so hard.

      • TheEye

        Wanderer, you are misinformed and rude, which is funny. Presuming the same shooting distance, the same aperture size, the same image magnification (print or monitor display), and the same image viewing distance, DOF is identical, totally independent of sensor size. It’s not the sensor size per se that accounts for differences in DOF.

        • Seb

          You’re playing with words. If DOF stay the same, FOV will be totaly different. And for sure DOF is connected to sensor size, for the same FOV/aperture you will get different DOF depending on your sensor size.

        • jeff

          Format size by itself does not affect DoF. Think of it as basically cutting crops out of the centre of a larger image and that can never affect the actual DoF. This should be obvious as should what actually affects DoF and anyone with a couple of different format cameras with similar lenses should be able to sort this out with five minutes of testing.

          The format size leads you to use different lenses and to change your camera to subject distance and that’s what changes the DoF :)

          • spam

            Have to agree (mostly) with Jeff here even though what you say is technically correct. Standing at a certain distance from scene, using a camera with a small sensor and one with a large sensor, same field of view and same aperture then the camera with the small sensor have a larger DOF. If you want to say that the sensor size causes the difference in DOF or that the sensor size dictates a differnt focal length, and the focal length difference causes the difference i DOF doesn’t really matter. The user will clearly see the difference.

          • Seb

            Format size by itself DOES affect DoF, as lense focal lenght is always correlated to the sensor size that it is supposed to cover. A 5mm lenght would never be able to cover a 35mm sized sensor, when it’s something quite common in PS for example.

            • NativeFloridian

              Blah blah blah… Generally speaking a larger sensor, a larger aperture, and a longer focal length better allow for the creation of pictures with a shallow depth of field. In the end, all of you guys are SAYING THE SAME THING! I prefer this forum without petty arguments in semantics… that’s what is for!

              • Mr. Reeee

                Really! I file all that somewhere between gibberish and techo-mumbo-jumbo.

                You have a camera and a lens and controls that allow you to adjust for different conditions. All that blather doesn’t alter those basic facts.

          • DirkL

            “The format size leads you to use different lenses and to change your camera to subject distance and that’s what changes the DoF”

            Check this out:


            Canon 5D, 55 mm focal length, f16, 10 feet subject distance.
            DOF = 12.3 ft.
            Now just change camera to Lumix LX5 and press calculate.
            DOF = 1.92 ft


          • Lock

            ever heard of circle of confusion?

            what you do is enlarging the photos to compare them to a given format.


            • Lock

              Same picture” for both formats
              For the common “same picture” comparison, i.e., the same camera position and angle of view, DOF is, to a first approximation, inversely proportional to format size (Stroebel 1976, 139). More precisely, if photographs with the same final-image size are taken in two different camera formats at the same subject distance with the same angle of view and f-number, the DOF is, to a first approximation, inversely proportional to the format size. Though commonly used when comparing formats, the approximation is valid only when the subject distance is large in comparison with the focal length of the larger format and small in comparison with the hyperfocal distance of the smaller format.

              To maintain the same angle of view, the lens focal lengths must be in proportion to the format sizes. Assuming, for purposes of comparison, that the 4×5 format is four times the size of 35 mm format, if a 4×5 camera used a 300 mm lens, a 35 mm camera would need a 75 mm lens for the same field of view. For the same f-number, the image made with the 35 mm camera would have four times the DOF of the image made with the 4×5 camera.

              Same focal length for both formats
              Many small-format digital SLR camera systems allow using many of the same lenses on both full-frame and “cropped format” cameras. If the subject distance is adjusted to provide the same field of view at the subject, at the same f-number and final-image size, the smaller format has more DOF, as with the “same picture” comparison above. But the pictures from the two formats will differ because of the different angles of view and the different viewpoints.

              If pictures are taken from the same distance using the same lens and f-number, and the final images are the same size, the original image (that recorded on the film or electronic sensor) from the smaller format requires greater enlargement for the same size final image, and the smaller format has less DOF. The pictures from the two formats will differ because of the different angles of view. If the larger format is cropped to the captured area of the smaller format, the final images will have the same angle of view, have been given the same enlargement, and have the same DOF.

              Cropping an image and enlarging to the same size final image as an uncropped image taken under the same conditions with a smaller format is equivalent to using the smaller format; the cropped image has less DOF than the original image from the larger format (Stroebel 1976, 134, 136–37).

    • 3434343434

      just google it you idiots…..

      “Sensor size inversely affects depth of field (the larger the sensor, the shallower the d.o.f.). In other words, larger sensors allow a more marked Bokeh , a much sought-after effect by professional photographers and photo-enthusiasts. As a consequence, though, cameras using large sensors need a particularly accurate focusing (which, in turn, may translate into further bulk, system costs and lens quality issues).”

  • I’d be highly interested in such a camera so long as they can manage to fit something like a 24-80mm f/2-2.8 lens inside of a body no larger than an XZ-1. I have to admit ever since getting my XZ-1 my larger cameras have been staying at home simply due to convenience.

  • chris

    I am an existing lx3 user.
    I would say to make lx6 a success would not be an easy task.

    Points proposed for LX 6:-
    1) aperture f0.95-2.8
    2) zoom range 24-135mm
    3) 1″ sensor or bigger
    4) Attractive skin tone for images and High ISO JPEG quality.
    5) Price must be half of price of 4/3 and NEX system. (since sensor is so much smaller).

    If not, that marks the end of LX series in the market.
    Since now EPM1, GF3, NEX, D3100 and 1000d is roughly around the price range as well. Actually D3100 is quite small now and I think is worth carrying around.

    In future I was hoping to see even smaller dslrs. A Full Frame with the size of a D3100 or NEX would be great! I mean how about an Entry Level Full Frame DSLR??? (with no fancy stuff. Just for the pro consumer).

    • I don’t think a 1″ sensor LX6 with a 24-100mm f/2.8 lens needs to be, or even can be 50% the cost of a m4/3’s camera. Even with a 1″ sensor with a lens like that it would compete directly with m4/3’s. So a $500-700 price is justifiable IMO.

  • Lager better sensor in a real pocketable body.
    2.5-3x bright zoom and we have a bestseller.

  • Daemonius

    Bigger? Huh.. but why not, would be nice to have 1″ compact camera (not N1, but compact all-in-one Panasonic).

  • There have been a few fixed focal length compacts solutions, but none near LX-serie price range.
    If Panasonic is going to increase sensor size while keeping the lens fast, that could be the compromize to look at.

  • not to forget , that the LX5 still did have a CCD Sensor instead of the MOS… I was very unhappy with the LX5 because the CCD Sensor does vertical light “strips” beams” if you take a picture with a light source (in the pictures) happens on exhibitions with lots of halogens in the booth,,….

    • Jim

      but no rolling shutter… and only on very blown bright lights!

  • aqasem

    NOTHING would beat the LX5 successor if it had,
    •Larger sensor, almost double area size with crop factor about 3.
    •Support the new AVCHD 2.0 1080p/60.
    •Rolling shutter correction
    •Lens distortion correction
    •High Dynamic Range (HDR)

    Wish it comes ture,

  • marilyn

    if this will be true XZ1 will also benefit with the sensor… nice one pana boo to the N fanboys

  • TheEye

    Oops, wrong spot. :-(

  • Steve Biro

    Too late. I just picked up an Olympus E-PM1. It’s within a tenth of an inch of my LX3 in every dimension and has a sensor four times the size. With a 14mm Lumix pancake on it, I can fit the E-PM1 into virtually any pocket I can get the LX3 into. The lack of external controls on the E-PM1 isn’t an issue. I can get to aperture priority in the menu very quickly. That and Intelligent Auto are all I need with this camera because I also have a Panasonic G3 and a Pentax K-5 for more serious work.

    The E-PM1 is my daily carry-along camera. For those who insist on more external controls, there’s the E-PL3, which is the same size as the E-PM1 in any practical sense, even with the tiltable LCD.

    I appreciate Panasonic’s consideration of a larger sensor for the LX series. But I suspect the smallest micro four-thirds cameras and lenses have already rendered the premium compact class somewhat obsolete.

    • Mr. Reeee

      The EPL3 is really the sweet spot in terms of features and price of the Oly Pen line.

      I tried my Nokton 25mm on one last week and was very impressed with the TiltyScreen™ and it’s manual controls. Manual focus worked very well. I was carrying my GH2 so could do a real side-by-side comparison.

      I could definitely seen buying one for the tilty screen alone. A shame it lacks a touch screen. Say what you may, but it’s as convenient a feature as AF.

      • spam

        Did you try the E-P3? I did and the touch screen is one feature I wont miss on the E-PL3. Screen quality and 3:2-format makes for a big difference though.

        • Mr. Reeee

          Yes I tried it, but I dislike fixed, P&S style LCDs. The LCD image quality is very nice, but if it doesn’t move, I have no interest. I mean, really, what would it have taken Olympus to put a tilt-screen on the EP3?

          Besides, Olympus’ touch-screen implementation isn’t as good as Panasonic’s. Touch is a convenient feature for moving the focus point or changing some settings, especially on a camera that lacks an EVF and a full range of external controls.

          The LCD size was a dumb move, but one learns to adjust. Given it’s limitations and high price, it makes the NEX-5n look very compelling. I’d just adapt my manual lenses and ignore the oversized native lenses.

          • spam

            The Olympus not too userfriendly touch screen implementation was the point I tried to make. Panasonic’s is much better, but it’s also their second try. Maybe Olympus could get some help from Apple for their next generation of cameras.

            • Mr. Reeee

              EVERY camera manufacturer would benefit from studying Apple’s Human Interface Guidelines and putting them to use. Basically they’d all have to start out by by chucking the VCR Programmer’s Guide written by Microsoft and apply some logic.

              It’s LONG overdue!

    • Damn right u r ^^
      the epm1 is god , i really love this camara , so small so nice, awesome features, IBIS for my old lenses, and olympus keep all the features in this little camara , so i have the same control system like in my ep2 , or a E620 , and the digital duplicator is an awesome feature^^
      So , the epm1 is an icon of portability and quality camara for all kind of people ^^

  • Renato M.

    let’s not forget about the Fujifilm X10, it seems to be a pretty good camera.

  • Steve Biro

    The Fujifilm X10 does seem very nice. I was initially interested, but it’s still got a 1/1.7 sensor. Given the predicted $699 pricetag for the Fuji, I just can’t see picking it up over a less-expensive micro four-thirds camera. But I’ll keep an open mind. If, for some reason, should image quality and high-ISO performance from the X10 miraculously exceed micro four-thirds, I’ll reconsider.

    • MK

      1/1.5″ = 58.1 mm^2
      1/1.7″ = 43.3 mm^2

      lx5&3 have a larger sensor. a small difference(~25%?), but it could mean the difference between being able to use ISO400 or ISO800. when i had it lx3 iso800 was barely usable. this may have changed with lx5 so someone correct me. price has been speculated at 599-699.

      i would consider at 599. m43 is still missing a fast, quality zoom that is portable. 14-42 X is interesting but in the end only the size is different and we have yet to see whether image quality (sharpness) was degraded by the miniaturization.

      the 14-42X samples we have seen were doo doo, and i bet we haven’t seen any other ones yet because optically speaking it is limited. once distortion becomes so large there is only so much the processor can do before artifacts appear.

        • Steve Biro

          Yes, you’re right, the Fuji X10 has a 2/3 sensor. My bad. But I stand by my point about it versus a less-expensive micro four-thirds camera. Nonetheless, I’ll be watching the reviews when they come out.

      • Mr. Reeee

        “m43 is still missing a fast, quality zoom that is portable.”

        You can have a fast zoom, a portable zoom or a quality zoom. Portable and fast simply can’t go together. Blame physics for that. Check out the Olympus specials listed here and take a look at the photo of the Oly 4/3 35-100mm zoom mounted on the PEN body. That’s what you’ll get if you ask for a fast, quality zoom.

        The Panasonic 12-35mm and 35-100mm may be as close as we get. This is why many M4/3 users buy fast prime manual lenses instead of zooms. They’re small, light, fast, can be quite inexpensive and they are available to use now!

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