Updated (August, 2010): Compare the Canon PowerShot S95 vs Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3

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Reasons to buy the Canon PowerShot S90

Size
Really small
Compact 100x58x30 mm
HDR
In-camera HDR
Combines multiple exposures
Weight
Light-weight
198 g
 

Reasons to buy the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3

Size
Really small
Compact 109x60x27 mm
Supports 24p
24p movies
For that film look
Battery life
Great battery life
380 shots
Macro focus
Great macro
1 cm
 
Differences | Recommendations | Cast your vote | Similarities | Competitors | Appearance | Discussion

differences

Advantages of the Canon S90

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Shutter lag Much less shutter lag 430 ms vs 770 ms
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More than 40% less delay when taking photos
Overall image quality Better image quality 46.0 vs 39.0
Help
Around 20% better image quality
Low light performance Lower noise at high ISO 185 ISO vs 94 ISO
Help
The S90 has a slight edge (1 f-stop) in low noise, high ISO performance
HDR Has in-camera HDR Yes vs No
Help
Combines multiple exposures to capture high dynamic range
Dynamic range More dynamic range 11 EV vs 10.8 EV
Help
0.2 f-stops more dynamic range
Weight Significantly lighter 198 g vs 265 g
Help
Around 30% lighter
Color depth Better color depth 20.2 bits vs 19.6 bits
Help
Distinguishes 0.6 more bits of color
Light sensitivity (boost) Better boost ISO 12,800 ISO vs 6,400 ISO
Help
The S90's boost ISO is 1 f-stop better
Startup delay Slightly less startup delay 2100 ms vs 2300 ms
Help
Around 10% less delay when turning on
Canon PowerShot S90 Learn more about
the Canon S90

Advantages of the Panasonic DMC-LX3

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Supports 24p Supports 24p Yes vs No
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Get that real film feel
Wide angle Better wide angle 24 mm vs 28 mm
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More than 10% better wide angle
Battery life Much longer battery life 380 shots vs 220 shots
Help
More than 70% more shots per battery charge
Sensor size Larger sensor 1/1.6" 8.3x6.2mm vs 1/1.7" 7.6x5.7mm
Help
Around 20% larger sensor
Movie format Higher resolution movies 720p @ 24fps vs 480p @ 30fps
Help
Shoots high resolution HD (720p) video but at a lower frame rate
External flash Supports an external flash Yes vs No
Help
An external flash often produces better looking flash images
Longest exposure Much longer exposures 60s vs 15s
Help
4x longer exposures
Thickness Thinner 1.1" vs 1.2"
Help
More than 10% thinner
Continuous shooting Shoots slightly faster 2.5 fps vs 0.9 fps
Help
Around 3x faster continuous shooting
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 Learn more about
the Panasonic DMC-LX3
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recommendations

Which camera do we recommend? Relative to the best recent pro digicams, and ignoring price

Canon PowerShot S90 Canon PowerShot S90 50
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        48 Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3

        similarities

        Compared to recent compacts

        Common Strengths Common Weaknesses
        Aperture Very wide aperture Help
        f/2.0
        Supports RAW RAW support Help
        Better editing
        Image stabilization Good image stabilization Help
        Lens
        Dynamic range Poor dynamic range Help
        S90:11 EV
        DMC-LX3:10.8 EV
        Shutter lag Significant shutter lag Help
        S90:430 ms
        DMC-LX3:770 ms
        Panorama Neither camera stitches together panoramas Help
        You could stitch photos in post
        Sensor type Lower-end sensor types Help
        CCD
        Color depth Poor color depth Help
        S90:20.2 bits
        DMC-LX3:19.6 bits
        Low light performance Above average noise at high ISO Help
        S90:185 ISO
        DMC-LX3:94 ISO
        Continuous shooting Slow continuous shooting Help
        S90:0.9 fps
        DMC-LX3:2.5 fps
        Startup delay Significant startup delay Help
        S90:2100 ms
        DMC-LX3:2300 ms
        Overall image quality Low image quality Help
        S90:46.0
        DMC-LX3:39.0
        Movie format Poor movies Help
        S90:480p @ 30fps
        DMC-LX3:720p @ 24fps
        Zoom Poor zoom Help
        S90:3.8x
        DMC-LX3:2.5x

        Compared to recent pro digicams

        Common Strengths Common Weaknesses
        Size Very small Help
        S90:100x58x30 mm
        DMC-LX3:109x60x27 mm
        Thickness Thin Help
        S90:1.2"
        DMC-LX3:1.1"
        Weight Light weight Help
        S90:198 g
        DMC-LX3:265 g
        Viewfinder No viewfinders Help
        Can only preview photos on the screen
        Longest exposure Short max exposure time Help
        S90:15s
        DMC-LX3:60s
        Light sensitivity (boost) Poor boost ISO Help
        S90:12,800 ISO
        DMC-LX3:6,400 ISO
        Light sensitivity Poor maximum light sensitivity Help
        3,200 ISO
        True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
        10 MP
        Screen flips out No flip-out screens Help
        Less flexible
        High-speed framerate No high speed movie support Help
        Not supported
        External mic jack Neither has an external mic jack Help
        Limited to the in-camera mic
        Touch screen No touchscreens Help
        More buttons
        Screen resolution Low resolution screens Help
        S90:461k dots
        DMC-LX3:460k dots

        dxomark

        DXOMark

        competitors

        Shared Competitors

        Advantages

        Disadvantages

        Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5

        Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5

        Pro digicam

        $599

        Shutter lag Has significantly less shutter lag
        Thickness Is thicker
        Weight Is significantly heavier
        Canon PowerShot S95

        Canon PowerShot S95

        Pro digicam

        $309 - $344

        Dynamic range Has slightly wider dynamic range
        Lowest price Is significantly less expensive
        Shutter lag Has significantly more shutter lag
        Macro focus Significantly worse macro focusing
        Canon PowerShot S110

        Canon PowerShot S110

        Pro digicam

        $230 - $249

        Movie format Records higher quality movies
        Dynamic range Has slightly wider dynamic range
        Shutter lag Has slightly more shutter lag
        Macro focus Slightly worse macro focusing
        Sony Cybershot DSC-RX100

        Sony Cybershot DSC-RX100

        Pro digicam

        $498

        Sensor size Has a much larger sensor
        Low light performance Is significantly less noisy at high ISO
        Thickness Is thicker
        Macro focus Significantly worse macro focusing
        Olympus XZ-1

        Olympus XZ-1

        Pro digicam

        $500

        Light sensitivity Slightly higher maximum light sensitivity
        Continuous shooting Shoots faster continuously
        Light sensitivity (boost) Lacks boost light sensitivity
        Thickness Is thicker
        Canon PowerShot G9

        Canon PowerShot G9

        Pro digicam

        $870

        True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
        Startup delay Has slightly less startup delay
        Lowest price Is significantly more expensive
        Light sensitivity (boost) Lacks boost light sensitivity

        Canon PowerShot S90 Competitors

        Advantages

        Disadvantages

        Canon PowerShot S120

        Canon PowerShot S120

        Pro digicam

        $447 - $449

        Dynamic range More dynamic range
        Overall image quality Significantly better image quality
        Weight Heavier
        Canon Powershot S100

        Canon Powershot S100

        Pro digicam

        $294 - $429

        Dynamic range More dynamic range
        Movie format Higher resolution movies
        Low light performance Slightly more noise at high ISO
        Startup delay More startup delay
        Sony NEX-5T

        Sony NEX-5T

        Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

        $348 body only

        $498 - $998 with 16-50mm lens

        Sensor size Much larger sensor
        Low light performance Much lower noise at high ISO
        Built-in flash No built-in flash
        Image stabilization No image stabilization

        Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 Competitors

        Advantages

        Disadvantages

        Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7

        Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7

        Pro digicam

        $362 - $398

        Dynamic range More dynamic range
        Shutter lag Much less shutter lag
        Size Much larger
        Supports 24p No 24p support
        Leica D-LUX 4

        Leica D-LUX 4

        Pro digicam

        $799

        Size Slightly smaller
        Weight Lighter
        Sensor size Slightly smaller sensor
        Light sensitivity (boost) No boost ISO
        Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX2

        Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX2

        Pro digicam

        Shutter lag Significantly less shutter lag
        Size Smaller
        Aperture Significantly narrower aperture
        Supports 24p No 24p support
        Leica D-LUX 3

        Leica D-Lux 3

        Pro digicam

        Size Smaller
        Weight Lighter
        Aperture Significantly narrower aperture
        Supports 24p No 24p support

        appearance

        Canon PowerShot S90 Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3
        Canon PowerShot S90 Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3
        Canon PowerShot S90 Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3

        discussion

        Canon PowerShot S90
        PowerShot S90
        Canon

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        Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3
        Lumix DMC-LX3
        Panasonic

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