OK, some initial LX3 vs. GX200 comments (after two days of use).
LX3 is a nice little camera, that is trying to catch the attention of casual shooters as well as more experienced photographers. Some people think that LX3 is a direct answer on GX100/200. I, on the other hand, think it's not that simple
In my opinion, the only similarity between both cameras lies in their lens, starting at 24mm and rich feature set. However, the feature set and user targeting seems to be slightly different.
LX3 contains a lot of scene modes. Some of them are useful, some of them are less than useful (mainly because of reduced resolution to just 3MP). GX200, on the other hand, provides more manual controls and some more workflow savers.
Both LX3 and GX200 are very well build cameras with some advantages as well as disadvantages in workflow design and build quality. For example, LX3 got much more sturdy and better made flash than GX200. GX200 flash seems to be somewhat flimsy. But on the other hand, the LX3 battery/SD compartment door is simply horrible. It's thin like a paper and I would worry about breaking it soon.
Holding of both cameras is very good with slight edge for GX200, because of more space for thumb and larger grip. People with larger hands may have problems holding the camera and pressing tiny LX3 buttons.
LX3 got large 3:2 screen. But in 4:3 mode (native LX3 resolution), the size of used screen space is exactly (+-1mm) the same as GX200 LCD size! It's just the screen border and built-in LCD cover, which makes the LX3 screen to appear larger than it actually is. Yes, in 3:2 (9.5MP) and 16:9(9MP) modes, it uses a bit larger area of LCD. Too bad the LX3 fonts and symbols are so large that they waste a lot of given extra space. In my opinion, there is not a real advantage of slightly larger LX3 screen against GX200. Not with displayed status information and in menu.
Both LCDs have great viewing angles (slightly beter on GX200) and colors. However, the refresh rate of LX3 screen drops significantly down under the artificial light or under dim light. There is no such problem seen on GX200 screen.
BTW, both LX3 and GX200 uses exactly the same batery. I already tried to power each camera with concurent battery and it works without any problem. The battery specs are exactly the same. Even the GX200 charger works with LX3 battery
So if you have both cameras, you can swap the batteries.
As for cameras connectivity, there is a slight disadvantage on the LX3 side. LX3 uses it's own proprietary USB connector. It means that you cannot use very common mini-USB/USB cable packed with so many cameras and electronic devices. You just have to use the LX3 own cable. Why another proprietary solution Panasonic?
LX3 button layout is good, no problem with it. There is only one FN button that can be configured. GX200 got two FN buttons plus user configurable quick menu. LX3 quick menu, on the other hand, contains 9 items (which cannot be configured). In GX200 you can use only 4 functions (but can be configured). The question is, what's beter? More hardcoded features without the option to change their positions in menu or smaller set of configurable features. Less is sometimes more
My only gripe with LX3 HW controls lies in its joystick, which I found very uncomfortable to use. Even after two days of use, I still need to think about joystick direction I need to go. GX200 rocker is far from ideal state (full scroll would be better), but there is always a second scroll. But I'm sure, some people may find the joystick OK to use. I just preffer scrolls.
OK one more disappointment with LX3 HW controls. The mode dial is too easy to rotate! GX200 mode dial turns much harder, which prevents from acidental mode switch. However, the best "mode dial lock" solution I ever seen in compacts is implemented in GRD/GRDII.
LX3 finally got an external flash hotshoe and more, it's the "smart" TTL one. GX range have an external flash hotshoe since a pretty old GX camera. However, it's still only the "dumb" (non-TTL) hot shoe! And there is one more LX3 advantage over the GX200 and in some aspect also GRD hot shoe. LX3 hot shoe uses Olympus flash protocol. Ricoh uses Sigma protocol. There is nothing wrong with Sigma TTL flash support, except the fact, that there is still no small (powered by 2AA batteries) TTL flash with tiltable head! And this is, in my opinion, a huge disadvantage of Ricoh cameras.
Nobody want's to carry and use large external flash, which is actualy larger and heavier than camera! LX3 users have an option to use Olympus FL-36, which is not particularly small flash. But it's not larger than LX3, it's still reasonable poverfull and with full TTL support! For many people, no TTL support and inavailability of small TTL flash is a serious deal breaker.
Some more comments (and of course photos) will come soon