The Panasonic LX3 is very popular as a compact camera for people who normally use a Digital SLR but want something smaller that they can carry everywhere. It has a wide-angle, fast lens, manual controls and can shoot in RAW format, which most enthusiasts and professionals want to do. The LX3 is also sold, with a couple of small alterations, by Leica as the D-Lux 4. One of the differences is the price: The LX3 goes for about £330 in the UK while the D-Lux 4 costs around £500.
Another difference is the software that comes with the camera. The Panasonic comes with Silkypix Studio, which is fine but not very fancy. The Leica comes with Capture One, professional software which many photographers already use with their DSLRs.
So if you’ve already got a copy of Capture One you might think that you could use it with your LX3 since the Raw files that come from the LX3 are functionally identical to the ones produced by the D-Lux4. Unfortunately you can’t. Capture One refuses to import LX3 raw images because of two slight differences in the files. Luckily you can very easily make an LX3 Raw file look like it came from a D-Lux 4. Here are two ways.
Option 1 – Use the command line
If you’re using a Mac, or Linux, you can use Perl on the command line to make the changes needed. Make your way to the directory where the Lx3 Raw files are and then type:
perl -p -i.bak -e 's/Panaso/LEICA\x00/g;' -e 's/DMC-LX3/D-LUX 4/g' *.RW2
You’ll end up with all your original files called something.RW2.bak and a whole load of new files called something.RW2. You then need to change the suffix on the .RW2 files to .RWL by typing:
for f in *.RW2; do mv $f `basename $f .RW2`.RWL; done;
Then give all the original files their old, correct, suffix.
for f in *.RW2.bak; do mv $f `basename $f .RW2.bak`.RW2; done;
Option 2 – Use Like A Leica
An easier way is to use this little programme that I’ve written. It copies your images before it changes them so your original files should be safe, but back-up before you try it, just to be careful.
This is version 1.1.1. Updated May 2012. It remembers the folder that you used last time, there’s a progress bar, it won’t attempt to convert files it’s already done and it’s a bit faster now. It also has an icon 🙂