Point and shoot RAW

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Raos, Oct 31, 2009.

  1. Raos

    Raos TPF Noob!

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    I am not sure exactly where to post this so if it is in the wrong spot please feel free to move it.

    I have a Nikon D70S,but I often miss shots because I don't feel like lugging my whole camera bag around. I am looking to get a p&s that I can stick in my pocket and take with me most places. I want one that can shoot in RAW.

    I am looking at the Leica D-Lux 4 and the Lumix LX3. I have heard they are essentially the same camera. Is this true?

    I have a very good eye and do very well with composition, but I am a beginner when it comes to the technical aspects of photography, so Lens speed and thing like that sometimes go over my head when discussing them. I undersand enough to be dangerous, but not enough to make an informed decision as to what I need or don't need.

    I will be using this camera to take shots of my kids when we are out playing on the weekends or to take the random shot that I run across, but is not planned, like a nice sunset on the ride home from work for instance or to take candids at a party where I don't want an slr hanging from my neck. I will still use my D70S for planned photo trips, but i want this p&s for every day stuff.

    One thing I know I want is a camera that will shoot in RAW.

    With that in mind, what can you recommend for me? Would the D-Lux 4 or LX3 be a good choice? What would the benefits and drawbacks be? Would there be a different camera that might be a better choice for me?
     
  2. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I know the leica community wants to be set apart but yes... they are essentially the same. Minor tweaks on Leica's part for JPEG. One thing I noticed is that I recently got a firmware update from Panasonic with a lot of improvements... the DLUX 4 has yet to get a firmware update. IMO, the differences don't warrant the price difference.

    The LX3 is what I take when my Leica stays home. For a P&S it is a wonderful camera! It has so many features that make the experience shooting with it enjoyable. It has RAW, great fast optics, custom user modes, wide focal length, hot shoe, decent IQ (at lower ISOs), a whole range of advanced exposures and autofocus modes as well as full manual options. Build wise, it feels really solid. Nice bright and high resolution LCD display. No P&S I have had the pleasure of owning has measured up to this little wonder... (note I am not comparing to full DSLRs output).

    Now things that might be a concern...
    * Some of the buttons are a bit small. I have small hands... but I can definitely see a person with larger fingers having trouble.
    * Menus can be a bit confusing but I got used to it
    * As with any P&S, the sensor is small and sensor sights tightly packed. As such noise quickly becomes an issue. Pretty much anything past ISO400 is a problem. The fast wide f/2.0 optics paired with IS does help a lot.
    * NO VIEWFINDER. My biggest grip. You can get a optical viewfinder but I didn't like it. For the cost, I expect to have a set of brightlines for both the 24mm and 60mm equivF FOV. Whoever thought that a single 24mm brightline was good enought was just plain dumb. I do use a 21mm viewfinder (from my rangefinders) and it works... pretty naturally if you've used them before on rangefinders.
    * I miss the swing out and rotating LCD panel of my ol'G5 powershot.
    * For many others, the other big issue is that the equiv focal lengths is 24mm-60mm. Pretty short range by many people's standards. Wasn't a big issue for me.. but this is fairly dependent on your shooting style
    * It is fairly small... but I wouldn't say pocketable as you might expect
    * Built in flash (as with many P&S) is not really that great. I have it paired to this flash and it works well: http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/...s/176457-p-shooters-flash-metz-28-cs-2-a.html
    * I hate the freakin lens cap. I have modified an "auto opening lens cap" originally intended for the Ricoh to my camera. It works great. Google for more information.


    Some recent samples have been posted here.. just for fun

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/gaming-room/171338-1000-random-pictures-6.html

    Just remember... it is still a P&S albeit a high end one. Don't expect it to completely replace a real system camera.

    Other options that I would consider:

    * Canon G10 or G11. My second choice as I have always been a fan of the G-Series line. Viewfinder, nice digic processor, longer focal lengths. Lacks really wide angle and I wanted something smaller
    * Canon S90 - this is the new kid on the block. Looks awesome but I have no experience with it. Small.
    * Nikon P6000 - didn't seem to fit me well. I looked at it a while ago
    * Panasonic GF-1 --> not really a P&S but shares many of the qualities of a P&S merged into a DSLR like system. Not exactly as small as P&S but I was very impressed. I might still buy one... honestly.. I really want one. Comparing the GF-1 to a P&S isn't really a proper/fair comparison but I figure I would throw it in anyways. Biggest adv here is that it has a bigger micro-4/3rds sensor which translates to a better IQ than all P&S. Disadv, is the size and cost.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2009
  3. Raos

    Raos TPF Noob!

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    Thanks usayit. That is some excellent info. I really need something that is truly pocketable. Are the D-Lux 4 and the LX3 roughly the same size? If the D-Lux 4 is smaller then that would be worth the extra hundreds to me.

    I will check out the Canons you mentioned too. I looked at the Nikon P6000 online, but that looked too big too.

    Thanks for your advice!
     
  4. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    physically the only difference between the Dlux-4 and LX3 is that the LX3 has a built in grip. Identical in dimensions.

    I wouldn't call the LX3/Dlux4 "truely" pocketable...more like just barely. It looks like it in pictures but the lens protrudes out quite a bit even when retracted. Still smaller than most of its competitors.. the S90 I'd say is smaller but its so new there is little known about it and i have no experience with the S90.
     
  5. Raos

    Raos TPF Noob!

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    If I went with the Leica I would be buying it online without ever seeing it so I am glad to know the lens sticks out even when retracted.

    The S90 looks great and looks to have everything I am looking for. I have always wanted a Leica so I think I am looking for excuses to get it, but it sounds like it just might not be the right camera for me at this time unfortunately.

    Thanks for your help. You have really given me some very useful info and very possibly saved me a lot of money.

    Any other opinions from anyone else? I won't be buying this tomorrow so the more info I can get the better.
     
  6. chip

    chip TPF Noob!

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    I would buy a Canon G10 or G11. I have Lumix and Canon PnS cameras and I have taken millions of photos. All in all Canon is the champion in PnS cameras - bar none. I don't care if it is a Leica or Lumix or Nikon. Comparing a Lumix to a Canon PnS I can tell you Canon is far more solid. It will give you more consistent good shots. Canon simply makes the best PnS cameras. I believe this is why Canon is the numbes one selling and largest camera company in the world. It just doesn't happen by accident.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2009
  7. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Pretty bold statement... LX3 has better optics and is smaller than the G-series. This is coming from a person who has had G1, G5, G6 and almost got the G10. The OP's biggest concern is the size and Gseries is pretty large in comparison. I don't consider being the largest player equates to be the best fit.

    ..

    I just happen to be at Best Buy ( Don't go there for advise) and they had the S90 on display. I played with it for just a few minutes so I can't tell you much in terms of IQ and performance. What I can tell you is that it is definitely more compact than the LX3 (and G-series). It felt a bit too small in my hands but I can definitely fit in a pocket much easier than any competitor. It lacks any sort of hotshoe. What I did like was the small wheel on the back and rotating ring around the lens. The small wheel on the back makes it very easy to adjust TV and AV fairly quickly. The rotating ring is customizable and can be set to control zoom, WB, +/- EV etc.... I had the camera set to Av, rear wheel used to set Av, and the lens ring set to +/- EV and it was very fluid to control exposure accurately. Zoom still remained on the toggle switch integrated into the shutter. This is definitely much better than the buttons & joystick on my LX3 which did take a while to get used to. It seems to be a nice meld of consumer P&S with advanced features on high end P&S. One thing I did notice was that the wide angle end of the focal range for the S90 was just 28mm equiv. Not anything that would set it apart from the competition. One of the LX3's selling points is the 24mm wide angle. On the long end, the S90 does have a bit more useful range at around 100mm while the LX3 stops at 60mm.

    It was mentioned that compactness is definitely the most important feature.. then I would do a bit more reading and examining samples from the S90. If they are on par with the competition, I'd recommend the S90 for the size. I am sticking with my LX3 (of course)... S90 felt a bit too small, I like the hotshoe, I like the 24mm range. (yes.. I admit... I like the Leica branded glass too lol)
     
  8. sam_rowlands

    sam_rowlands TPF Noob!

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    Hi All,
    I think what Chip might be referring to is "Canon Color", I've heard the same Canon talk over and over again, and it simply turned out to be that a lot of people prefer the color from Canon cameras.

    Before we get too deep in comparing the LX3 to the S90, I'll admit I own the LX3. I did spend a lot of time comparing the S90 with the LX3, as I do LOVE that smaller size and the rotational ring on the front!

    Size wise; the S90 is the clear winner, smaller and lighter, which means more pocketable. My LX3 lives in the side pockets of my shorts, however it doesn't fit in any formal clothing (thankfully don't have too much of that!). Bonus, the S90 doesn't have that annoying Lens Cap!

    Image Quality; Forget it... I've tried and tried and it's like 6 of one, half a dozen of the other... They seem very very similar with no clear winner.

    Price; S90 is $70 cheaper and is available everywhere, I suspect this alone will help it shift more units.

    Features; This is where the S90 loses out. There is a list is long on features where the LX3 trounces the S90 (wide angle, lens ring, wider AEB, wider shutter speed, faster continuous drive, better quality movies, better battery life), but then the LX3 is bigger, heavier and more expensive.

    For the kind of photography I like to do, I felt that the extra bulk is worth it. However I'm glad that this arena is heating up and look forward to seeing the next generation of HIQ Compacts.

    If anyone is interested I wrote about this for my work's blog From the makers of Funtastic Photos » Blog Archive » HIQ Compact Cameras or rise of the Super Compacts.
     
  9. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Just to note to the OP that this doesn't matter in the lightest with RAW since you don't get Canon colour or Leica colour, but instead end up with Adobe colour :)
     
  10. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I don't think this will matter much to the OP as he is interested in shooting RAW. In my case, a lot of my photos end up printed as B&W.

    Mine lives on a pouch hanging off my belt. I had a hard time finding a case that fit the dimensions of the LX3. The LX3's high and length are common enough but the added thickness because of the lens (excellent glass it is) made it difficult. I either found a case with the proper height and length but wouldn't clear the lens or a pouch that would clear the lens but was way too big (Lowpro Rezo 50 was one). After months, I found a cheapie at target that fits the camera made by an unknown company called Denali. Works so far and was only $9.

    As for the lens cap, I highly recommend adapting the Ricoh auto cap to the camera. Do a search on google... the mod made such a difference in the handling of the camera. Life is Good!: Ricoh LC1 auto lens cap on Leica D-Lux 4 and Panasonic LX3

    Nice input. That's nice to know.

    I suspect that once more competition in this segment shows up the prices will come down. the LX3 has been out for a long time now and was priced at the same as the Gseries. Lets hope this continues. Is there a link to the complete features comparing the two?

    Me thinks its time for Panasonic to announce the LX4....
     
  11. sam_rowlands

    sam_rowlands TPF Noob!

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    Garbz & usayit, okay I may have missed understood the question. Sorry.

    lol... I think I got the same exact case! I too searched everywhere I could think of. I loved those wrap around cases, but the LX3 is too fat! Supposedly Panasonic made a small snug fit case, however the store said they're sold out and don't know when more are coming in.

    The S90, on the otherhand, I can buy it with a neat little case. The camera is so small and so uncluttered... I really have a hard time to say no, especially when I know the IQ (IMHO) is as good as the Pany...

    I saw that and it's really quite neat! I'll add it to my comparison as a side note.

    That'll be great to get fantastic quality cameras into everyday people's lives. I simply love the quality that the LX3 produces! Superb for a camera this small, and now we know it can be smaller... Awesome :)

    In regards to links on the information, I got some from DPReview and Canon's own site. I didn't look at the actual manual, too amazed by the diminutive size and sleekness of the camera (the girls were amazingly hot too). I keep trying to justify it, but alas I cannot :(

    PowerShot S90 Digital Camera
    Canon PowerShot S90 digital camera specifications: Digital Photography Review
    Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 digital camera specifications: Digital Photography Review
    Digital Cameras Side-by-Side, 7 cameras: Digital Photography Review

    I wrapped up what I thought was important in the blog article From the makers of Funtastic Photos » Blog Archive » HIQ Compact Cameras or rise of the Super Compacts.

    Indeed, my ideal HIQ Compact:
    Image quality and FPS of the Leica X1.
    Size, weight and zoom of the S90.
    More precise manual focus ring (just like a DSLR).
    The shutter speed, Lens, Wide Angle, Lens Ring (for attachments and filters), battery life, Aspect Ratio options & Movie capability of the LX3.
     
  12. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Now that would be some magic trick... considering the X1's sensor is about 1/4th the physical size of the S90.
     

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