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Author Topic: Pocket Camera Recommendations  (Read 42711 times)
61Dynamic
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« Reply #20 on: March 29, 2006, 07:35:36 PM »
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Mr. Rethmeier and Mark,

Obviously it won't be like a DSLR, but how responsive is the LX1/D-Lux 2 compared to other P&Ss?
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C4D
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« Reply #21 on: March 30, 2006, 10:03:08 AM »
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The LX-1 and the Leica are identical!
Same factory,you only pay another $400 for the Leica badge!
I've just received a black LX-1 and I love it.
Cheers,
Willem.
N.B I find it almost to small!
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=61318\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Well I spent the extra $400 because im a snob........... just j/k lol

Dan the shutter lag is actually minimal for a P&S camera, much better then our old G3's
I do agree a bit with rethmeier, the camera is a bit small for my big hands but still has a nice feel to it though
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Dinsmen
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« Reply #22 on: March 31, 2006, 04:18:42 PM »
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Not exactly a pocket camera buth have you considered SONY DSC-R1? I have no direct experience but have heard good things about it.
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Andrew Teakle
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« Reply #23 on: April 01, 2006, 12:58:13 AM »
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An interesting thread. I read with interest here (and on a few other sites) that the Fujifilm F30 is supposed to have very good hgh ISO performance: usable up to 800. Now this is a little off-topic...

I don't know the actual specs of the F30, but most of the earlier P&S cameras had sensors of 6.6 x 8.8mm. If this is the case for the F30 with 6.1MP, then the pixel density is such that for an APS-C sized sensor (~15mm x 24mm) of this density, there would be 37.8MP, and a FF sensor would have 90.7MP. Now if the same in-camera processing was used to give the same high-ISO performance, but with much larger cache, data transfer etc, you would have a mega super deluxe wonder-camera.  Please correct my assumptions if they are wildly out.

Now, I'm interested to hear why this is not possible/cost-effective, and of course we'd need  much better lenses, storage cards etc to make the most if this performance...but can this sensor technology be upscaled to APS-C or 35mm sensor size? Just a thought.  

Happy shooting,

Andrew
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61Dynamic
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« Reply #24 on: April 01, 2006, 12:59:40 PM »
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An interesting thread. I read with interest here (and on a few other sites) that the Fujifilm F30 is supposed to have very good hgh ISO performance: usable up to 800. Now this is a little off-topic...

I don't know the actual specs of the F30, but most of the earlier P&S cameras had sensors of 6.6 x 8.8mm. If this is the case for the F30 with 6.1MP, then the pixel density is such that for an APS-C sized sensor (~15mm x 24mm) of this density, there would be 37.8MP, and a FF sensor would have 90.7MP. Now if the same in-camera processing was used to give the same high-ISO performance, but with much larger cache, data transfer etc, you would have a mega super deluxe wonder-camera. :rolleyes: Please correct my assumptions if they are wildly out.

Now, I'm interested to hear why this is not possible/cost-effective, and of course we'd need much better lenses, storage cards etc to make the most if this performance...but can this sensor technology be upscaled to APS-C or 35mm sensor size? Just a thought. :)

Happy shooting,

Andrew
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=61484\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
The reason why a 37.8MP sensor on a APS-C camera is due to pixel quality. The smaller the photo-sites on the sensor, the less light they can gather and thusly, the lower the image's quality. This is why any 6MP DSLR will produce much better images (given everything else is equal) than any 8MP P&S.

While researching, I looked at sample images from the F10/F11 cameras shot at high ISO (1600) and the deficiencies of the small sensor show in spades. The cameras shoot at high-ISOs but executes extensive (and not that good IMHO) in-camera noise reduction. This results in a "choppy" - I guess would be an appropriate description - image significantly lacking in detail. If the camera could shoot Raw, then better NR could be applied but even then, there just wouldn't be much information in the image compared to what is possible with a DSLR.

Canon is stopping at 8MP for their APS-C cameras which I believe is the most appropriate balance between pixel quality and resolution. Nikon is at 10MP for the D200 and more than pushing the limit IMHO at 12MP for the D2X.

Then there is the issue of lenses. Trying to make lenses that could resolve enough detail to justify a 37MP sensor is just beyond the realm of feasibility. Even if it could be done, the cost of the lens would be astronomical.

Anyway, I ordered up the Panasonic LX1. It should arrive by Tuesday. The Fuji F30 intrigued me but after seeing the high-ISO images from the F10/11 I figured the functionality was just not that useful for my tastes. While it would be nice to merely have access to high-ISOs the image stabilization in the LX1 should prove itself to be much more useful for me. If I need high-ISO performance, I'l use the right tool for the job: my DLSR.

I was also contemplating the Sony F7 despite my distaste for Sony as a company. Ultimately, I decided against it due to those confounded proprietary memory sticks. The camera required the newest version of MS, which means I'd pay out the wazzo for memory I would never be able to use elsewhere. If only Sony would give up their anal-retentive obsession to lock customers into their crap...

I'm sure once Photokina comes around, Panasonic will release the LX2 and it'll be 1/3" thick and everything else I want now. :)
« Last Edit: April 01, 2006, 12:59:53 PM by 61Dynamic » Logged
61Dynamic
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« Reply #25 on: April 05, 2006, 04:29:52 PM »
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I just got the LX1 (black) yesterday. It is remarkable how small this is considering what you get. Just for kicks. I dusted off my G3 after fiddling with the LX1 a bit and the G3 looked huge in comparison. It's funny.

The responsiveness is very nice for a P&S and the width and hight of it are about as small as I could ever want in a camera. Seriously, if it was any smaller I wouldn't be able to hold the buggard. I would like to see thinner however, particularly in the lens department. I won't be carrying it around in the pocket as the lens with hood makes the thickness 1 2/3" thick for a sizable bulge. This'll due for now however until the market catches up as the image quality/responsiveness/ease-of-use makes up for that. Maybe by Photokina there will be a completely flat Lumix or something else of this caliber at which point I'll trade up.

Being a consumer camera it comes with some goofy features such as "Baby Mode" and "Self Portrait" (for all the budding camera-whores out there). Ha! What fun.

It is a well designed camera in terms of appearance and function. I particularly like how it uses the joystick to set WB, ISO and image quality.

The image quality is very good for a P&S. Very sharp. It does have some issues I've noticed with CR at the wide but it's not bad and as Michael mentioned in his review, it s noisy but it's chroma noise. No issue there. When shooting Raw, it actually shoots RAW+Jpeg which let me compare ACR's rendering to the camera's. I was pleased to see, ACR rendered colors quite closely to the cameras Jpegs so ACR calibration won't be needed.

And for anyone thinking of buying this camera, fast SD cards make a huge difference in performance.
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cgf
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« Reply #26 on: April 10, 2006, 06:48:44 AM »
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I'm sure once Photokina comes around, Panasonic will release the LX2 and it'll be 1/3" thick and everything else I want now.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=61512\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Argh!     And I only just got my LX1...

The only thing I wish it did was auto-bracket when shooting raw.

And you're right re fast SD cards... Extreme-III's (or similar) are the way to go.

Chris.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2006, 06:49:33 AM by cgf » Logged
Chris_T
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« Reply #27 on: April 10, 2006, 07:39:51 AM »
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I'm also looking for something similar, and have been researching these: Canon S2 IS (and S3 IS soon), Panansonic Lumix DMC FZ5, Sony H1, Kodak DX740Z, and Minolta Z5, etc. Based on the number of manufacturers and models in this range, there must be a high demand for them. Would like to know how these compare to the models already mentioned.

BTW, I have yet to come across a model in this range that does not lag 8+ sec. when shooting RAW. My take is that this will improve over time when the in camera buffer size is increased.
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cgf
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« Reply #28 on: April 10, 2006, 07:45:55 AM »
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BTW, I have yet to come across a model in this range that does not lag 8+ sec. when shooting RAW. My take is that this will improve over time when the in camera buffer size is increased.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=62273\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Can't comment on those cameras, but could it be the card?

With Sandisk Extreme III SD cards, my LX-1 takes between 2 and 3 seconds to save a raw file.

Chris.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #29 on: April 10, 2006, 09:12:29 AM »
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I bought a LUMIX LX-1 a week ago here in Toronto, looking for roughly the same specs Jonathan stated at the outset of this thread. I think it is a very good camera. It is shirt-pocket despite the lens-bulge - in fact if you store it with the LCD against your body, the lens bulge helps to prevent the camera from falling out of your shirt pocket when you lean forward.

Getting to the substance: the three aspect ratios are nice. The 16:9 at full wide-angle really comes close to panoramic photography with 8.3 MP - not bad. The sharpness and colour rendering (I only judge this from RAW files) are remarkable. At low ISO (80~100) I can get away with a fine A3 (16:9 aspect ratio) not using any noise reduction software. In the 100~200 ISO range, Noise Ninja applied selectively or globally works fine. I haven't tried higher ISO. There is some barrel distortion noticeable on straight lines close-up with wide-angle settings, but this is easily correctable in PSCS2.The little flash it includes has remarkable reach and coverage considering how small it is. The camera packs a large number of the most desirable features for capture and playback that are easy to access, easy to use and they perform well. Battery life is OK at about 250 shots, recharging is compact and convenient. The camera tethers to the computer by USB facilitating easy download of images. The LCD is OK in most situations but quite useless in bright sunlight with highly reflective ambient conditions.

It's not cheap but it's good. Who knows, by the time Photokina rolls around they may announce an improved version with better noise performance at higher ISO and an improved LCD screen, but who knows. In this business one buys now what one needs now and looks at up-grading based on the costs and benefits as and when they appear.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2006, 09:15:23 AM by MarkDS » Logged

Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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61Dynamic
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« Reply #30 on: April 10, 2006, 12:46:19 PM »
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In case some might want to know, while looking for a decent cell-phone case (a heckuva chore in itself) I noticed Covertec is selling cases for some P&S cameras that can hang off the belt. Particularly cameras that store flat. I have a Covertec case for my Palm so I can vouch for the quality of materials.

I haven't done any testing on battery life (as in, I haven't paid much attention) but have been doing fine thus far. When I've use it it was in complement to my DSLR (sporadic shooting) filling up almost a gig each time and leaving me with about 2/3 to 1/2 battery life left (IS turned on). I don't look at battery life as an issue though as the batteries are very small and MWave.com is selling third party batteries for the camera at $10 each.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2006, 12:46:33 PM by 61Dynamic » Logged
BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #31 on: April 12, 2006, 01:20:50 AM »
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FIY, I have just bought a Coolpix P4 and am pretty happy so far.

Some quick images taken these past few days in Tokyo:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/28128708@N00/...57594103107613/

First impressions:

++++
-----

- VR works great,
- image quality at ISO 50 and 100 is great, good at 200 and poor at ISO 400,
- the AF works fine, even in pretty dark areas, but I only used the central sensor (didn't even try the other modes),
- DR is of course not 5D class, but it is completely usable,
- exposure is overall very accurate, with a slight tendency to underexpose in dark scenes with brights areas (neons for instance). A simple +0.7 exposure compensation could correct that. Day light were overall spot on, the over-exposed images were mostly my own fault... :-)

MINUS
------

- the auto WB works OK in mixed lighting, but had a hard time compensating for the green cast found in predominently neon lightning situations,
- the interface is OK, but could have been made faster to operate rather easily.
->The shutter button is so so, when half pushing for AF lock, I find that I often accidentaly release it.
-> why is there a need to push to the right of the selector to access the aperture control capability when in A mode???
-> why is there only an horizontal panorama assistant when everybody knows that panoramas are short in portrait mode???
- I really miss a wider angle capability (but knew I would),
- the battery life appears to be a potential problem, but the batteries are still on their first charge, it could improve later on,
- distorsion on the wide end is pretty strong, but what can you expect?...

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: April 12, 2006, 01:22:10 AM by BernardLanguillier » Logged

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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #32 on: April 12, 2006, 08:32:43 AM »
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Bernard, I was really looking forward to seeing your pictures of Tokyo but when I clicked on the link a notice came up from "Flickr" saying "Page not Found".

Cheers,

Mark
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Lisa Nikodym
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« Reply #33 on: April 12, 2006, 12:44:07 PM »
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Bernard, I was really looking forward to seeing your pictures of Tokyo but when I clicked on the link a notice came up from "Flickr" saying "Page not Found".

It worked fine for me.  Your photos are causing flashbacks to my recent trip there!  

Lisa
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« Reply #34 on: April 12, 2006, 01:21:37 PM »
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OK, I tried again and it worked - must have been an internet glitch between Toronto and Tokyo - fun photographs Bernard and really decent image quality - pure Tokyo; I do enjoy the night photography and do alot of that as well.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #35 on: April 12, 2006, 04:34:41 PM »
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Lisa and Mark,

Thank you for your kind comments.

It's probably just me who didn't have a realistic image of the level compact digital cameras had reached, but I have to say that I am impressed with the results in pretty difficult shooting conditions.

Cheers,
Bernard
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« Reply #36 on: April 12, 2006, 05:36:29 PM »
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It's probably just me who didn't have a realistic image of the level compact digital cameras had reached, but I have to say that I am impressed with the results in pretty difficult shooting conditions.

I'm planning to get a digicam myself soon, and am trying to decide between a Panasonic LX1 and a Fujifilm F30.  It's good to see that one can take decent images with a digicam!

Lisa
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« Reply #37 on: April 12, 2006, 06:07:04 PM »
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Lisa, for me that choice is easy. The Panasonic makes RAW captures and the Fuji doesn't. To me that means a whole lot before looking any further. Panasonic has 8.1 MP at 16:9 aspect ratio, 2 more aspect ratios and a Leica lens. Panasonic is 6.3 MP, two aspect ratios and not a Leica lens. I haven't seen any comparison between the two re image quality (esp noise), but the LX-1 based on my use of it over the past couple of weeks really produces nice images.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2006, 06:07:45 PM by MarkDS » Logged

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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #38 on: April 12, 2006, 06:18:28 PM »
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Mark and Lisa,

Yep, those 2 were also on my short list but:

- I found Panasonic sensors to be even noisier than Sony ones. What is your experience Mark? Besides, I end up cropping many images to a more square format, 8 MP in panorama means 6 in 4/3...
- For my predominently landscape usage, VR and low ISO is probably more interesting than high ISO quality without VR, this helped me decide against the F30. The results I am getting for night shots confirm this initial intuition.

I actually used to own a F10 (for only 2 months), but it died from water exposure. I didn't really like the way Fuji handled these matters.

Nonetheless, I had the chance to play with a F30 during the PIE show in Tokyo a month ago, and the image quality at ISO 1600 is probably better than that of the Coolpix P4 at 400 ISO.

I might get one for party usage after all. Those are very small investements compared to pro lenses/bodies. Having a back up of the back up of the back up might be wise.

Cheers,
Bernard
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #39 on: April 12, 2006, 06:36:30 PM »
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Bernard, I can't speak for Sony or Fuji sensors because I have no direct experience using them, but I can talk about the LX-1. As I'm sure you know well, noise is a very slippery business. Now you see it, now you don't.

With the Panasonic, even at 100 ISO, on the monitor I can see traces of noise when the image is pumped up to 100% and I look at low light areas. At 200 it becomes a bit more pronounced. I haven't tried higher ISOs yet.

Printed on an A3 the noise at 100 is truly hard to see, but if you really look you'll find it in the usual places where it would occur. So I did a test - I took one image that showed traces of noise on the computer monitor, duplicated the background layer, treated that layer with Noise Ninja, checked on the monitor that Noise Ninja actually ninja-ed the noise, then ran a print with the Noise Ninja layer on and another one with it off. A few people on whom I tested these prints couldn't tell the difference between them, until I pointed out that one was a bit sharper than the other - and of course I could have repaired that too with a bit of sharpening on the ninja-ed version.

So yes, this camera has a reputation of being a bit noisy, and I probably won't like what I get at higher ISOs, but the reasons I haven't been fussed about the higher ISOs or the noise is that I seldom need to shoot at high ISO, and we have a battery of techniques for dealing with noise globally or selectively when we need to.

I read all the reviews about LX-1 noise and decided for me having a RAW image format more than compensates for dealing with a bit of noise. Anyhow, as you say about back-ups, this is not my primary camera. The 1Ds is still there for the real serious stuff.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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