Panasonic LX3 Lens Distortion

Here’s what Panasonic has to say about the LX3 lens:

As a result of the F 2.0 lens, the DMC-LX3 produces high resolution and minimal distortion. ….

[test images]

It takes about a +15 distortion adjustment in the Photoshop lens correction tool to eliminate the barrel, and then one has to crop to ~88% in each dimension to get rid of the empty space. In 16:9 aspect, that cropping decreases the image from 8.9MP to roughly 7MP.

Panasonic has been open about the fact that they have been correcting lens distortion in camera for years now. Reviewers were impressed by the low distortion wide angle 18x zoom in the Panasonic FZ18. By leaving a bit of barrel distortion uncorrected and shipping both the LX3 and D-LUX 4 with a RAW converter that automatically applies the same correction as the in-camera processing, Panasonic has made it so that only a minority of reviewers and customers will take notice.

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I’m uncomfortable with Panasonic…