Monday, 9 February 2015

Impressive Compacts

Some time back I tried the Canon G series compact cameras the G7 and G11, both quite impressive, but for various reasons I sold them and decided to stick to DSLR’s. Last year I saw a used Lumix TZ5 for sale for $40, I bought it on impulse, mainly to try it out, and I like the idea of having a pocket camera, its not always practical to carry your DSLR about with you all the time, also these compacts can reach places a larger camera cannot, I was so impressed with the TZ5, I bought a Lumix LX3, mainly for the extra control over exposure.  

It’s an impressive little camera, produces lovely images. Some people don’t like the detachable lens covers, it comes attached to the camera via a piece of string, but I don’t like it dangling about, so I took it off, I don’t bother using the lens cover, I take the camera out in a little pouch, which I can attach to my belt, its unobtrusive and easily accessible if I see anything I want to grab a shot of. When the lens is retracted, its has a lip around it, the actual lens is recessed a bit, enough to protect it in the carry pouch, so aslong as your careful I don’t think you need bother with the lens cap. I was impressed with the raw files on the LX3, with the Canon G cameras I just didn’t think it was worth while processing the raw files from a small sensor compact, compared to the jpegs the camera knocks out. However, the raw files from the LX3 in my opinion are well worth using.

Raw shot from the Lumix LX3, processed in Lightroom and tweaked in photoshop 

Another thing worth pointing out is the in camera bw option, especially the dynamic bw, is very usable, more so then in camera bw options on DSLR’s iv used, but normally I would use Nik Silver efex for bw. I was considering the LX7, but after some research I don’t think the additions are worth it, the sensor on the LX3 is actually larger then the one on the LX7, both are 10mp, I wouldn’t want a compact with any more then 10mp, cramming to many pixels into a tiny sensor is pointless in my opinion, not all pixels are born equal. The LX3 is a CCD sensor and the LX7 is a CMOS, I have no idea how this impacts, I know nothing about CCD v CMOS.  I’m sure the LX7 produces lovely images too, but I compared some real world images from both cameras and I honestly couldn’t see any difference, also peoples personal processing techniques/skills will play a big part in any results. I am now having serious thoughts about getting a Lumix LX100, it has a much larger sensor then both the LX3 and the LX7, its bigger all round, more substantial, it looks like an old 35mm rangefinder, very retro style with an aperture ring on the lens barrel and a shutter speed dial, and they all have excellent Leica optics. Perfect for street photography.

Another shot from the LX3, raw shot, processed in Lightroom tweaked in photoshop, bw using Nik Silver efex. (Click on images to see larger)