Since the start of the new academic year, I've begun doing two "old" things again: walking to work, and carrying the Panasonic LX3. These are not unconnected, obviously -- even compared to a GF1, the LX3 is so light I can forget it's round my neck, but it's right there when the bright, low autumn light transforms the scene at around 8:00 am into a stage set.
The LX3 also has a way with colour and tone in contrasty scenes that is quite special and can sometimes seem a little supernatural. The camera does have a Leica lens, of course. It's certainly not my impeccable technical mastery that is capturing that full range of tones from deep shadow to bright highlight -- I'm simply underexposing a bit, and taking my reading from the brighter part of the scene. Simple stuff.
I also like the way three different image aspect ratios can be selected by a simple twist of a switch on the lens barrel. A curiosity of the LX3 is that all three ratios are crops of the "full" image sensor: you get your 10-ish megapixel image cut out of an 11-ish megapixel sensor ( 3968 x 2232 pixels at 16:9, 3648 x 2736 pixels at 4:3, and 3776 x 2520 pixels at 3:2). The idea is that the same angle of view is maintained, with each ratio getting a much more similar overall pixel count than you'd get from a crop of a "full sensor" image. Brilliantly eccentric. You just have to wonder how they got it past the marketing guys ("Um, explain that bit about the angle to me again?").