Panasonic has just re-released the latest software update for the Lumix DMC-LX3 as version 2.1 as promised. Go download it!
Towards the end of last month Panasonic released a firmware update to my beloved Panasonic LX3. Some highlight features provided in the update include a bump in autofocus speed, improved white balance (including a white balance bracket mode), highlight warning display in playback mode, lens focal length resume after a power cycle, a new 1:1 aspect ratio, and a really cool “high dynamic” scene mode.
Shortly after announcing the update, Panasonic suspended it due to bugs in the firmware that are causing issues including loss of custom settings under certain circumstances. I haven’t run into these issues yet myself, but one thing’s for sure, I’m glad I snuck in a download before they suspended it. I love these new features! According to Panasonic’s website, the revised v2.0 software should be ready any day now.
The high dynamic mode is one of my favorite features. I had a little time to put it to the test over the weekend. Available processing modes within High Dynamic are Normal, Art, and Black and White. The camera processes the images to really pull detail out of shadow areas and pump up the color, with really interesting results:
I took the image below in the LX3’s intelligent auto mode.
Ok, so not the most interesting shot in the world, but there’s a lot of dynamic range here, right? Harsh, mid-day light mixed with dark shadow areas.
I took the same scene using High Dynamic Art mode:
Here we have a much more balanced exposure, and a scene that looks much closer to what I was actually seeing here with my own eyes. Check out the details in the tires, the shadow on the lower right of the frame, and the trees and sky to the upper left. With some post processing in Lightroom, I probably could have achieved a similar effect, but I tend to use my Lumix as a fun, jpeg processing, take everywhere with me camera, so this added feature is a big plus. One thing to note is that ISO is fixed at 400 in High Dynamic mode.
I’m really happy that Panasonic is still seeking to make improvements to a camera that is now over a year old. I absolutely loved my Lx3 already, and now I love it even more!