While both the GIO and the LX3 offer similarly impressive, high-end specifications that dwarf most other compact cameras on the market, there is enough differentiation within the pair's specification to view them in isolation. To begin with, it's clear that Canon and Panasonic have taken very different approaches to how best specify an advanced compact's sensor. Canon clearly has no real concerns about cramming a relatively large number of megapixels onto a relatively small sensor, as the G10 boasts a 1/1 Jin CCD sensor with an effective 14.7MP count. Maybe wary of the perils that a combination of high megapixels and small sensors can present, or merely happy to take a step back from the megapixel race, Panasonic has adopted an entirely different approach - not only does the sensor boast fractionally more real estate, measuring 1/1,63in, but said sensor has an effective megapixel count of 10.1 MP, more than 4MP fewer than the Canon.

The models also vary fairly dramatically with regards to lens implementation as well. Canon opts for a 5x optical zoom with the G10, offering a 28-140mm equivalent focal range and a maximum aperture of f/2.8-5. Alternatively, Panasonic utilises its ongoing partnership with Leica to incorporate a Leica 3x optical zoom, one which offers a 24mm wideangle and equivalent focal range of 24-60mm. What's unique about the lens on the LX3 is that it offers a maximum aperture of f/2-2.8 - one that is exceptional among its class and affords lots of creative options including quicker shutter speeds at lower ISO settings, and a shallower depth of field.

So, with the major differences between the pair established, it's worth considering the similarities. Both models offer 3in LCD screens with an impressive 460k-dot resolution, albeit with the G10 also offering a small viewfinder as an accompaniment, and both of the aforementioned lenses are bolstered by optical

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