Gordon, do you still have the Fuji F30/31 in your possession? If so, how would you compare the high ISO between the two? I have an F30 but it died on me a couple weeks ago and just ordered an LX3 to replace it as my low light camera since the F3X cams are so pricey and the F100 is junk comparatively (pink banding, slow lens, lack of features compared to Panny, useless Image Stabilization). Most importantly I was wondering if you would be able to do a comparison article between the two cams at 36mm (widest angle of F30) and 60mm (longest of LX3) at ISO 100-3200.
I'd do this myself if my F30 was working, but the key to this is starting with the F30 in Aperture Priority and choosing the largest aperture at both focal lengths. Then take the same shots with the LX3, again at the largest aperture in A Priority. If the faster lens of the LX3 allows for a lower ISO at a similar shutter speed of the F3x, then that should be where the head to head starts to be fair. I suspect that in general the LX3 will give about a stop advantage of the F3x which should negate it's roughly (my guess after looking at many reviews) one stop advantage of ISO performance. If this is the case then we have a new king of low light/high ISO compacts in the LX3. Plus we obviously have wider angle and Panny's great Image Stabilization which the F3x completely lacks.
If this is true then the only advantage of the Fuji is the longer lens. Problem is, the telephoto of the Fuji has a very slow max aperture so ISO needs to be bumped up quite a bit for a good shot at longer focal lengths. Gordon, you and DPReview are the only two sites I'd trust to run a comparison like this and I think it would make for an excellent article. You are much more responsive (and friendly) to your readers though so I think you'd be more likely to do this. Again, this is what I'd love to see you do.
F31 vs. LX3 (with LX3 images resized to match 6MP output of Fuji)
1. Shoot ISO 100-3200 on F3x at largest aperture at 36mm and 60mm
2. Shoot ISO 100-3200 on LX3 at largest aperture at 36mm and 60mm
-If larger Aperture available on LX3 at given focal length, that should be used provided the shutter speed is identical or similar. If lower ISO is possible with similar shutter speed then that should be used for side by side.
Last year DPReview ran a great article on low light, high ISO comparing DSLRs to the Fuji F31 and other compact cameras claiming high ISO. The results were stunning for many non Fuji people, seeing the huge difference between the F31 and other small sensor compacts. The F31 as you know is legendary and you doing a comparison like this will be a major statement on your site. I just hope you still have the F31 in possession and are willing to write the comparison article. It will give you huge traffic on your site IMO. Price is also very similar now since the F30 and F31 are not in production any more and cost in the $400-500 range to buy new or good condition used online. This would be very helpful for us SLR users looking for the best pocket companion which was pretty much the F3x for the last couple of years, or the Canon G series if high ISO wasn't as important. Please run this comparison for us, we'll be indebted to you forever