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Author Topic: Digital P&S cameras...the BEST so far...  (Read 20190 times)
DarkPenguin
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« Reply #20 on: May 22, 2008, 08:28:35 PM »
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(btw..is it me, or isnt it always the retractable lens cover the first  to get damaged,stuck,broke)
I've found that it is the zoom itself that dies first.  Inevitably the camera gets turned on in a pocket.  Zoom tries to open.  Dead.  Especially if the P&S has a crappy on/off switch.
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oldcsar
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« Reply #21 on: May 22, 2008, 08:39:15 PM »
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er..ok..You OBVIOUSLY haven't tried or held an LX2 as there is NO WAY it is built like a toy. It is solid metal...very good build quality. The fact it has a lenscap also means one less part to break (btw..is it me, or isnt it always the retractable lens cover the first  to get damaged,stuck,broke). I OWN and have used the LX2,G9,and GX100....and the image quality of the 3 is the same and/or negligable(using RAW..in jpeg the LX2 is lousy..but why shooit JPEG with these when the whole reason for this comparison is that they shoot RAW).

As i've said..the overall winner ,to me, is the LX2.It has its shortcomings over the others...but the others shortcomings are worse ..
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=197348\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Those references to Nintendo and Fisher Price were a joke, Mr.Leonard. I had a Canon S40 and S50 for several years, and neither of those cameras broke, let alone the retractable lenses. My girlfriend bought my S50 two years ago, and the retractable lens is fine. My point was that the G9 looks and feels solid, and I have no reason to believe that retractable lenses are inherently fragile. You're right, I haven't owned an LX2 let alone held one, but that doesn't change my opinion that it looks like a toy camera compared to the styling of the G9 (not to mention the ISO control dial on the top).

I don't shoot JPEG, which is why I only briefly mention their JPEG compression because it is another point of distinction between image quality- RAW is most important, no arguments there. I have seen RAW conversions from LX2 from Dpreview among other sites, and I think the quality is decent. But I'm not convinced at all that the image quality is the same... negligable? Possibly, but there must be small differences from two different sensors with different resolutions, produced by different manufacturers. If you could attach some 1:1 crops from the LX2 and G9 (possibly base ISO and ISO800), maybe you could demonstrate the claim that the differences are negligable in IQ, since you own both. Linear conversions with no sharpening and noise reduction might help.

I think you addressed some significant points on the pros and cons of these cameras, but for me, the LX2 has more shortcomings than the G9, given its 16:9 native sensor, ... it's unique, but the aspect ratio is problematic for my purposes. I also find the LX2 aesthetically less attractive; I've seen them before, I don't need to own one to make this claim.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2008, 08:54:22 PM by oldcsar » Logged

Samotano
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« Reply #22 on: May 22, 2008, 09:53:16 PM »
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Those references to Nintendo and Fisher Price were a joke, Mr.Leonard. I had a Canon S40 and S50 for several years, and neither of those cameras broke, let alone the retractable lenses. My girlfriend bought my S50 two years ago, and the retractable lens is fine. My point was that the G9 looks and feels solid, and I have no reason to believe that retractable lenses are inherently fragile. You're right, I haven't owned an LX2 let alone held one, but that doesn't change my opinion that it looks like a toy camera compared to the styling of the G9 (not to mention the ISO control dial on the top).
...
When the quality of the images produced are high enough and comparable, one has to evaluate other aspects that are important to him/her.  To me the "Other aspect" is portability and being able to slide the LX2 in my shirt's pocket is essential for the use I make of it.  

Let's not make this into another one of those "my camera is better than yours" topic that we saw recently.  Let's be open, unbiased and realize that other people may value some aspects over others.
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The View
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« Reply #23 on: May 22, 2008, 09:54:16 PM »
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I have also gone through my fair share of "serious" compacts, like the ones mentioned above. All have their strenghts and weaknesses, but I am at a point where I have given up.

(...)

Any one?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=197265\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


I decided I'd rather schlepp my DSLR and ONE walk around lens. It's not that much heavier. You just need a good bag.

I just avoid using any of those typical camera bags. Makes you stick out too much. I currently have a simple, black bag, where I store the camera in walking around. I know what I want when I see it, and only then the camera comes out.

The fun of a compact would be popping people pictures, so it has to come with a long enough lens, and has to be light sensitive enough. That's OK, but I just don't like photographing while staring at an LCD screen.
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« Reply #24 on: May 22, 2008, 09:58:29 PM »
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A friend of mine has the Leica D-Lux 3, the Leica branded version of the Panasonic lx-2.

Very beautiful camera.

He absolutely loves this camera, especially since I recommended him to shoot RAW.
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jeffok
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« Reply #25 on: May 22, 2008, 10:55:28 PM »
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Those references to Nintendo and Fisher Price were a joke, Mr.Leonard. I had a Canon S40 and S50 for several years, and neither of those cameras broke, let alone the retractable lenses. My girlfriend bought my S50 two years ago, and the retractable lens is fine. My point was that the G9 looks and feels solid, and I have no reason to believe that retractable lenses are inherently fragile. You're right, I haven't owned an LX2 let alone held one, but that doesn't change my opinion that it looks like a toy camera compared to the styling of the G9 (not to mention the ISO control dial on the top).

I don't shoot JPEG, which is why I only briefly mention their JPEG compression because it is another point of distinction between image quality- RAW is most important, no arguments there. I have seen RAW conversions from LX2 from Dpreview among other sites, and I think the quality is decent. But I'm not convinced at all that the image quality is the same... negligable? Possibly, but there must be small differences from two different sensors with different resolutions, produced by different manufacturers. If you could attach some 1:1 crops from the LX2 and G9 (possibly base ISO and ISO800), maybe you could demonstrate the claim that the differences are negligable in IQ, since you own both. Linear conversions with no sharpening and noise reduction might help.

I think you addressed some significant points on the pros and cons of these cameras, but for me, the LX2 has more shortcomings than the G9, given its 16:9 native sensor, ... it's unique, but the aspect ratio is problematic for my purposes. I also find the LX2 aesthetically less attractive; I've seen them before, I don't need to own one to make this claim.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=197352\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Here are a couple of examples of the LX-2's 16:9 "shortcomings".
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oldcsar
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« Reply #26 on: May 22, 2008, 11:38:46 PM »
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When the quality of the images produced are high enough and comparable, one has to evaluate other aspects that are important to him/her.  To me the "Other aspect" is portability and being able to slide the LX2 in my shirt's pocket is essential for the use I make of it. 

Let's not make this into another one of those "my camera is better than yours" topic that we saw recently.  Let's be open, unbiased and realize that other people may value some aspects over others.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=197361\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Should we assume that the quality of the images produced by either camera are "high enough"? I propose that we shouldn't make this assumption, especially when responding to a thread which discusses the "best" p&s so far. It would be detrimental to prospective buyers to assume that the image quality is essentially the same, if and only if there *are* perceptible differences in ISO performance. Which is why I'm inviting mrleonard to provide crops which demonstrate his claim that the differences are negligible: how close are they in terms of image quality? Is it reasonable to claim that it is "high enough" to forget about comparing them? Since mrleonard's argument is based on his ownership of both cameras, while I only possess one, demonstrating the negligible difference between the two would be useful to my own understanding of the subject (and possibly for others).

I'd like to tell you directly (since you quoted my previous response) that I'm not interested in claiming that my camera is better than yours. I'm interested in the differences between the G9 and the LX2 for the sake of clarification. While my joke about the LX2 resembling a toy camera may have come off as provocative, I believe the associated points are worthy to be said: the LX2 does not stand out from the rest of the P&S cameras as much as the G9 in terms of aesthetics and build quality. What  DOES make the LX2 stand out is the unique 16:9 sensor, but I question the assumption that the differences in ISO performance are negligible between the 16:9 sensor and the 4:3 sensor... or that the 16:9 aspect ratio gives a particular advantage when it comes down to making prints. In my mind, the 16:9 aspect lends itself very well to HDTV viewing, but I would like have an LX2 owner's critical perspective on these issues.
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JohnKoerner
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« Reply #27 on: May 23, 2008, 09:51:37 AM »
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Should we assume that the quality of the images produced by either camera are "high enough"? I propose that we shouldn't make this assumption, especially when responding to a thread which discusses the "best" p&s so far.


Even Mr. Leonard stutters a bit when he tries to compare the image quality of the two cameras: he says the difference in quality is "negligible" between the G9 and the LX2, but all this tells me is the LX2 isn't as good. If the image quality were the same, Mr. Leonard would simply say so. And of course we all know that if the LX2 were superior in image quality that Mr. Leonard would be singing this fact from the rooftops, and that he would have added this fact to his "bonuses" of the LX2. But that's not what the truth is.

The truth is, the LX2's image quality is not on a par with the G9, nor are many other features, so here is what I see are the real differences between the two:




[span style=\'font-size:14pt;line-height:100%\']PowerShot G9[/span]:
Superior Build Quality
Superior Image Quality
Superior Telephoto & Reach (35mm - 210mm)
Superior Macro Capability
More Convenient User Interface
More Available Features/Uses
All for just $100 more





[span style=\'font-size:14pt;line-height:100%\']LX2[/span]:
16:9 Ratio
More Convenient Size
"Not Quite As Good" Build Quality
"Not Quite As Good" Image Quality
"Vastly Inferior" Reach (28mm - 112mm)
"Inferior" Macro Capability
"Less" Convenient Interface
"Less" Available Features/Uses
Costs $100 less, and gives you a lot less.




That would be a more accurate comparison IMO. The truth is, the LX2 gives only 3 advantages (16:9, convenient size, price), which aren't even advantages to some people, while it suffers from 6 disadvantes under the shadow of the G9.

If the 16:9 ratio is your personal hot button, or 28mm shooting is what you do, or if you just can't part with that extra Ben Franklin, then by all means take a little hit in all those other features to get the 2 specialties that the LX2 offers and save yourself a hundred bucks. But if you really don't use your camera for 28 mm, and especially if you have no use for 16:9 ratio, and if you're not so broke that $100 extra will kill you ... then not only do you "not need" the LX2 at all ... but every other important camera feature is bested by the PowerShot G9, which is why I voted for it with my money and consider it well spent.

Jack
« Last Edit: May 23, 2008, 10:41:10 AM by JohnKoerner » Logged
DarkPenguin
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« Reply #28 on: May 23, 2008, 11:17:27 AM »
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The truth is, the LX2 gives only 3 advantages (16:9, convenient size, price), which aren't even advantages to some people, while it suffers from 6 disadvantes under the shadow of the G9.

Size alone can trump everything else.  My G9 hasn't left the house since winter finally ended.  Fujifilm F100d here I come.
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sojournerphoto
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« Reply #29 on: May 23, 2008, 12:51:48 PM »
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Michael

I suspect it's about time to close this thread - sorry
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mrleonard
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« Reply #30 on: May 23, 2008, 02:52:01 PM »
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Michael

I suspect it's about time to close this thread - sorry
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=197551\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Lol..as I said the LX2 inspires outrage from jackjohn for some reason...

When I said the difference is neglegible...I meant just that. NOT that the G9 is better...because I dont see it frankly. And I DO own all 3,as I have mentioned. I LOVE the framing of 16:9...very dramatic and lends itself well to 28mm interiors and Landscape photos. I have produced some large works..32" by 18" coated in epoxy resin,mounted on wooden boards,full bleed.They look great. Like a still from a movie.

I think the G9 IS aesthetically better looking..but it is just too large..period.The LX2 switches and dials give you quick access to the controls you need.

The GX100 I have to be "precious" with..I think if I dropped it..that would be it. And as RICOH isnt in canada, it would be a pain to replace/fix.

If I find the time,ill post some comparisons....For the sake of argument, let's just say the G9 IS marginally better when it comes to noise. They are all STILL all awful above 200 ISO anyway.If the G9 was smaller, it still wouldn't (for me) trump the LX2, as it only goes down to 35mm. I think if you took a poll, more would want P&S cameras more on the wide end of things.

I am interested in checking out the FUJI...but it is only jpeg..no?

Attchd is a snap I took with LX2...shows how the 28mm is great for interiors,where 35mm would be too long.
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mrleonard
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« Reply #31 on: May 23, 2008, 03:00:46 PM »
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oops...try again
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #32 on: May 23, 2008, 03:01:15 PM »
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I am interested in checking out the FUJI...but it is only jpeg..no?

Yep.  Still going to buy it.
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Moynihan
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« Reply #33 on: May 23, 2008, 05:50:55 PM »
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My current digital carry-everywhere camera is a little Fuji f20. It is a "super-ccd" 6.3 mb with very few controls. Have a Delikin pop-out hood on the LCD, and kind of use the LCD like a big viewfinder, (it has no viewfinder, which i do not like). I think it is about a year or two outof production, (replaced by f30/31, which are also now out-of-production). It is ok, imagewise, through iso 200, with a tolerable 400. 800 if-absolutely-necessary and printing in B&W (i.e. get rid of apparent chroma noise).

Have been keeping eyes open for a "better" digital carry-everywhere camera.

Attracted to G9, nice in hand, but for my purposes, would really like to have at least high IQ at iso 400. Have a A720 IS, which does a good job at ISO 80-100, and like its menu system. And at least it has a viewfinder, of sorts. The ISO above low reservations and apparent (from tests) CA has for me ruled out the Panasonic model, though I like the 28mm aspect.

I had high hopes for the DP1, with the optional viewfinder, but its slow performance times makes it not a good choice for this niche, at least for me.

Perhaps a small dslr body?

I am waiting to see more test results for the Olympus 25mm f/2.8 (mated to a e-420). That may be a good choice for me.

My DSLR is a Nikon D200, and I have about 15 older nikkors. I wish the D40-60 were not lense choice crippled, and/or that their was a small prime w/ AF and full metering functions in the normal range for it. The sigma 30mm has not tested well, at photozone.de for instance.

So, I still have the F20 in my pocket.  
« Last Edit: May 23, 2008, 05:51:45 PM by Moynihan » Logged
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« Reply #34 on: May 23, 2008, 06:40:35 PM »
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Should we assume that the quality of the images produced by either camera are "high enough"? I propose that we shouldn't make this assumption, especially when responding to a thread which discusses the "best" p&s so far. It would be detrimental to prospective buyers to assume that the image quality is essentially the same, if and only if there *are* perceptible differences in ISO performance. Which is why I'm inviting mrleonard to provide crops which demonstrate his claim that the differences are negligible: how close are they in terms of image quality? Is it reasonable to claim that it is "high enough" to forget about comparing them? Since mrleonard's argument is based on his ownership of both cameras, while I only possess one, demonstrating the negligible difference between the two would be useful to my own understanding of the subject (and possibly for others).
...
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=197377\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
The Canon G9 and Panasonic LX2 (as well as other P&S) belong to the "High End" of P&S, I think this is a safe assumption.  Both of these camera's overall image quality is fairly high when compared to other P&S, I think this too is safe to assume.  I am not suggesting that the LX2 and the G9 have the same image quality.

"best" p&s & image quality are too vague (one can have low noise at high ISO but high aberrations and so on). This is why I always suggest to look at all other aspects of a camera. Intuitiveness, size of LCD, flash power, exposure ability, AF, size, power consumption, speed, and you mention aesthetics are some of the other aspects one should look into before buying a camera besides, of course, image qualities.

The closest thing to a sound analysis of the two cameras you can find it Dpreview.com, if you read the two reviews, which are fairly well done, you will have a better understanding of where the two cameras differ.

And yes, to my eyes the G9 does look more professional :-)
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Plekto
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« Reply #35 on: May 23, 2008, 07:10:03 PM »
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The new Fujis are much better.  

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_CCD

What you want is one with the Super CCD SR or SR Pro(SR II) - not the original Super CCD HR.  The SR gives you the fantastic contrast capability.  The HR, which the F20 has/had makes for slightly less moires and jaggies, much like how Mitsubishi's Diamondtron technology tweaked the pixel kayout on old CRTs to get cleaner images(diamond shaped vs triangular)  Sony's Trinitron was a similar "tweak" but neither is equal to the new OLED technology.    Comparing monitors, the SR is worlds better than a typical CCD - at least in the size that you get in these cameras.

The SR is the new technology.  IMO, it produces results that have the look and feel of a MF digital back - just scaled-down at 6MP/35mm size.

It's nice to see a couple of attempts at better quality by tweaking the layout and design since the pixel-race can't possibly be "won" - 16mp is sufficient to replace the best 35mm film.(raw, mathematically/technically as good as - most people won't see any difference between 12 and 16, though, just like how they can't see the difference between ISO 50 film and ISO 100 short of huge prints and close examination.

I mention this as a pocket camera at 12MP is getting dangerously close to making 35mm film useless, even for the entry-level/consumer models.

The SR2 gives you high resolution AND high dynamic range together.  But the F5 is the only model with it currently.  The original SR (F30) is a blended only approach but it's fine, really, since the results are much cleaner, IMO.  I'd take 4 or 6 MP and clean over 20mp and dirty at least for trips and casual photos, any day.

Plus, Fuji obliterates the Sigma P&S in terms of ease of use.  Fuji is a bit like Fujitsu in laptops.  Not *quite* as standard as Sony and Toshiba, but close enough to easily adapt.

***Fuji is about to introduce new models - the S5 has been discontinued this last week or so***

I'd wait a bit if you're looking for a DSLR.  Note - the S5s are selling for stupidly cheap this week, so get one asap if you're on a tight budget. (under $1000)  For a P&S, any of the newest models with image stabilization will be fine.

http://www.ephotozine.com/article/Fuji-Sup...CD-SR--HR-FAQ-1
A nice simple faq.  

http://www.dpreview.com/articles/compactcamerahighiso/
(good read/primer, actually)

That dpreview link has an interesting chart of sensor sizes.  The tiny two ones are pocket size sensors.  If that reminds you of that crummy Kodak "disc" film, you're not alone...  that's VERY small.  Big, fat sensors usually win unless you do tricks like Fuji has.  It effectively makes a tiny fingernail sized sensor as good as a typical full frame sensor, or close to it.  Note - it still won't crush a $3000 Canon by any stretch of the imagination, but for a small pocket sized camera... nice.

Page three of that review is the most telling.  The Canon 30D and the Fuji look nearly identical at ISO800.  The rest look like rubbish.  That the Fuji's tiny sensor comes even *close* to a 30D... Kind of a no-brainer.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2008, 07:19:42 PM by Plekto » Logged
JohnKoerner
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« Reply #36 on: May 24, 2008, 12:56:40 PM »
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The Canon G9 and Panasonic LX2 (as well as other P&S) belong to the "High End" of P&S, I think this is a safe assumption.


Actually, that isn't exactly true. Most sellers do not even classify the LX2 as a "high-end" P&S at all, including B&H Photo:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/shop/8613/Di...al_Cameras.html

No LX2 to be found on their "advanced" offerings. But of course the G9 heads the list ... if only alphabetically

Jack
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mrleonard
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« Reply #37 on: May 24, 2008, 10:18:18 PM »
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Actually, that isn't exactly true. Most sellers do not even classify the LX2 as a "high-end" P&S at all, including B&H Photo:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/shop/8613/Di...al_Cameras.html

No LX2 to be found on their "advanced" offerings. But of course the G9 heads the list ... if only alphabetically

Jack
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

There it is...I was waiting for the nonsense...lol.

Of course it's a high end P&S..it shoots RAW...'nuff said.

It was actually with MR's review that clinched me getting the LX1 before I went on a long trip to India. Was the perfect camera as a lot of the times I was on a motorbike or on a rickety boat and could only take a shirt pocket camera.

[a href=\"http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/cameras/lx1.shtml]http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/cameras/lx1.shtml[/url]

People seem to have some brand loyalty or a bit of the "my camera is better than can your camera" syndrome. Well....I own  the 3 I mentioned...and don't really care what brand it is. To me it boils down to quality in a small size....the WHOLE point of a P&S..no?

Funny...on that B&H listing it has some of those ,almost DSLR size, super zoom digicams like the FZ50 etc....Ive never seen the point of those, or the Sony R1 etc. At that size point why wouldn't you just use an SLR?

With film P&S cameras I use to own and use the Olympus XA and sRollie 35s for quality images in a small package. This is the form factor I will always rate and compare all the newer digital P&S cameras against.

The G9 is just too large...I love the short distance MACRO.I think they fear of undermining their PowerShot series.Canon has time and again concerned themselves with these type of 'marketing strategies' that have undermined the full potential of what they could create.
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dalethorn
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« Reply #38 on: May 24, 2008, 10:30:21 PM »
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I'll tell you why, with the Pana FZ50 I prefer it and won't use a DSLR.  Because the DSLR has a crappy viewfinder, and a flip-up mirror, and three times the weight (not to mention the cost) with a 420mm (equivalent) lens.  I had an SLR once, a Leica R3 Safari.  Nice colour, green.  Horrible camera, and the new ones are no better.  I also had two Leica M cameras.  Nice cameras, but no point replacing those with M8's, since you can't get the zoom, and if you did, the bulk would be ridiculous.  I carry the Pana FZ50, TZ5, and a $1700 u.s. binocular, the Leica 10x42 Ultravid.  I'm not cheap, just very particular about the kit I associate myself with.
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« Reply #39 on: May 25, 2008, 02:29:13 AM »
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With film P&S cameras I use to own and use the Olympus XA and sRollie 35s for quality images in a small package. This is the form factor I will always rate and compare all the newer digital P&S cameras against.

I have the GX100 and theres no doubt is a nice camera, and I'm sure comparable to other P&S cameras.

When I went to University, my Mum and Dad gave me an Olympus trip.  I used it mainly with B&W film. I had some great photos with that camera. Thirty years later, I have negatives from it that I would happily enlarge to 20x24 and put on the wall.

Funny, I can't see that ever happening with the output from the GX100.  

If I needed something to stuff in a shirt pocket in the way suggested, I'd rather it was shot on something like the Rollei 35s, or even perhaps an Olympus trip!
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