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 Post subject: LX3, TZ5, or G9
PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2008 5:42 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 5:03 am
Posts: 7
Location: Manitoba, Canada
New to camera labs. So far I've appreciated the site very much. I appreciate the objectivity.

I'm trying to decide which camera to buy. My old digital camera recently fell in a river on a hiking trip, needless to say it didn't survive. It was alright though, that exilim needed to die.

Hopefully I'm a much smarter shopper now. I've been doing a lot of research but it seems the more I do, the further I get from picking a camera. I've narrowed it down to an LX3, TZ5, or a G9. I know I don't want something as bulky as a DSLR, I'm not that serious a photographer. I tried the TZ5 and I really like it apart from its lack of manual control, like I say I'm not a very serious photographer so I'm not sure if I really need manual control or not. Also, after my last digital camera I'm very interested in finding something with as little noise at higher ISO's as possible. I know this is a lot to ask for in a compact but from the reviews its seems like the Lumix LX3 has less noise than normal for a compact. Can anyone confirm this?

I think if the TZ5 had a manual focus the choice would be easy. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.


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 Post subject: Which camera
PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2008 3:24 pm 
I have and use the TZ5 and LX3, and some friends of mine who have the G9 share photos as well. For the very best quality, you should consider the Canon G10. Next to that, the LX3 will have much less quality, and slightly less noise than the TZ5, but about the same image quality as the TZ5. But where the LX3 has manual controls, it has essentially no zoom. Since the LX3 and TZ5 are so completely different, it would be extremely difficult to choose without a hands-on look and feel. So I bought both.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2008 3:36 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 5:03 am
Posts: 7
Location: Manitoba, Canada
Haha, I wish buying both was within my means, that certainly sounds like a good solution. Is there any way to add zoom range to the LX3? I've seen some images of the camera with different lenses added on, not sure if they were wide angle or telephoto.


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 Post subject: LX3
PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2008 6:25 pm 
For the LX3, there are some really nice accessories, but they cost more than the camera in some cases. None are cheap. The only lens add-on I've heard of is the 18mm (eff.) wide angle. I ordered a Leica D-Lux-4 carrycase since it's the same as the LX3 basically, but has a better format for carrying. That wasn't cheap either. Well, I'll be paying this off at about the same rate the U.S. is paying off the stock market stuff, so no big deal (unless I need another accessory).


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 Post subject: Re: Which camera
PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 3:26 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2008 10:19 pm
Posts: 135
Location: Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA
dalethorn wrote:
I have and use the TZ5 and LX3, and some friends of mine who have the G9 share photos as well. For the very best quality, you should consider the Canon G10. Next to that, the LX3 will have much less quality, and slightly less noise than the TZ5, but about the same image quality as the TZ5. But where the LX3 has manual controls, it has essentially no zoom. Since the LX3 and TZ5 are so completely different, it would be extremely difficult to choose without a hands-on look and feel. So I bought both.

I just wanted to say that I completely agree with what Dale posted here. I think Dale did a really good job of pointing out the major differences in the performance and features of these three cameras. (My opinion is based on various discussions I've been following and reviews I've read -- I don't have personal experience with these three cameras.)

I, too, have agonized over choosing a camera. The only advice I can offer is that you need to decide what's important to you and then use your own criteria to decide which camera comes closest to meeting your needs. You may have to make some trade-offs, but if you can prioritize your needs, it becomes a little easier to make a decision.

Best of luck to you,

Fred

_________________
Frederick W. Chapman: Consultant & Scientist @ F.W. Chapman Solutions / Expertise in Web Design, Digital Imaging, E-Learning, Math & Comp Sci / www.fwchapman.com

Cameras: Oly E-P1; Pan G1, FZ28, LZ10 | FT Lenses: Oly 50mm f/2.0; Sig 18-50mm f/2.8, 70-200mm f/2.8 | MFT Lenses: Pan 20mm f/1.7, 14-45mm f/3.5-5.6, 45-200mm f/4-5.6


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 3:29 am 
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Location: Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA
urbansloth, you may be interested in this discussion on the LX3 vs. the G10:

http://www.cameralabs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=8999

Fred

_________________
Frederick W. Chapman: Consultant & Scientist @ F.W. Chapman Solutions / Expertise in Web Design, Digital Imaging, E-Learning, Math & Comp Sci / www.fwchapman.com

Cameras: Oly E-P1; Pan G1, FZ28, LZ10 | FT Lenses: Oly 50mm f/2.0; Sig 18-50mm f/2.8, 70-200mm f/2.8 | MFT Lenses: Pan 20mm f/1.7, 14-45mm f/3.5-5.6, 45-200mm f/4-5.6


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 4:26 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 5:03 am
Posts: 7
Location: Manitoba, Canada
Thank you, I had actually found that thread before, but there were so many conflicting opinions it was hard to decide.

I picked up a G9 last week, and an LX3 this week. I haven't done as much comparative testing as I would like to do yet but I have had the chance to do quite a bit of low light testing. In all my tests the LX3 seemed to perform much better in low light with the flash off. It wasn't extreme low light I found I never had to go over ISO400 but I would never expect to take a good photo with a compact camera above ISO 400 anyway. Images from the LX3 on average seemed quite a bit brighter with better color than the G9. Noise levels seemed somewhat similar although I had to decrease the shutter speed on the G9 dramatically to get results similar to the LX3. The Auto mode seemed quite a bit better on the LX3 as well, on auto the LX3 images seemed bright and vivid as if the room was very well lit, the G9 images seemed... well kind of dark and drab.

At first I was very impressed with the way manual controls were set up on the G9, the adjustment wheel for shutter speed, aperture, and focus makes adjustments quite a bit quicker than the LX3. And of course the ISO wheel on the G9 is very convenient. However once I set the customizable function key on the LX3 to ISO adjust it became quite a bit faster to make adjustments. I really appreciated the auto focus button beside the capture button, allowing the user to use auto focus quickly and easily while remaining in manual focus mode.

Apart from manual controls I liked the shutter countdown on the LX3 which appears on the screen during long exposures.

Also, the extra zoom on the G9 was rendered completely useless in the low light shots. The increased aperture coupled with high ISO completely ruined the shots. I didn't actually try but I imagine the digital zoom equivalent on the LX3 would take better shots.

I haven't had a chance to compare the cameras in situations with better ambient light. But after the low light tests I'm not even sure if I care. Even if the G9 photos are a better quality then the LX3 (with lots of light), which they very well may be, I'm fairly certain I'll still prefer the LX3.

Dalethorn - I've now tested the LX3 and TZ5 (TZ5 only in daylight) and I now understand what you meant when you said they are completely different cameras. Although the TZ5 was fun to use and had an incredible zoom, I think I'm going to side with manual function on the LX3. As far as a final decision goes, its hard to do without testing the G10 but I'm already just so fond of the LX3 ;).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 5:24 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 29, 2008 6:04 am
Posts: 8
Location: Bexhill on Sea, East Sussex
I purchased a TZ5 a while ago, was drawn to it due to it's great focal range and the looks of the camera.
And when I held it in my hand it felt really good. Nice weight, very well screwed together and really looked superb.
But very quickly I realised I had made a mistake.
My initial impressions of pictures that I took with it were that the vast majority were "soft" and slightly out of focus, with colours all over the place. I experimented with different settings, scence modes etc. but still the same. I sent it back, thinking it was a faulty and received another one as a replacement. But same thing...I just couldn't get on with it.
Visted RAF Duxford museum with it. Ideal place for some good pictures I thought. But despite firing off 80 or so pics, I guess I got 5 or 6 that I would consider good enough to call "keepers"...maybe it was pilot error, I don't know. My wife was with me, shooting on her trusty Canon A570 powershot which I bought last year, used for six months and handed down to her when I "upgraded".
She took about 30 snaps and I guess only 4 or 5 of those were "iffy" the rest were superb. And that camera cost half the price of the TZ5.
By that time I had lost confidence with it and sent the second one back as well.
It's a shame because I really wanted to like the Panasonic. As I say, it is well put together and is great to hold. But it didn't match up to my expectations.

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Sony A200, Sigma 17-70mm f2.8/4.5 DC Macro, Minolta 50mm f1.7, Minolta 70-210 f4 "Beercan"


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 Post subject: Cameras
PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 1:13 pm 
I sure hope these experiences aren't due to quality control differences within a given model. My photos with the LX3 are getting worse as we head toward winter, with less light. Those of you who shoot buildings and people, etc. will be happy with the LX3, but those who shoot scenery that includes trees etc. will be disappointed, esp. in low light, since the foliage tends to turn to mush as the light lessens. I added examples today on the LL User Critiques forum "Autumn with the LX3" topic.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 2:38 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 5:03 am
Posts: 7
Location: Manitoba, Canada
I definitely need to do more testing...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 2:58 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2008 1:40 am
Posts: 7
In my humble opinion, the LX3 is a superior camera, its main advantage, the very fast lens and the tons of manual control & color processing. If you dig creative & street photography and dont fear experimenting with the LX3, go ahead and buy it, its an artists tool.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 5:26 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 5:03 am
Posts: 7
Location: Manitoba, Canada
Thanks Grimpr, I've been "test driving" the LX3 for a while now, its been a ton of fun to play with, I really like the manual control. Although the zoom is a bit of a hang up for me I think I'm going to stick with the LX3. If I really need a zoom down the road I can always buy an FZ28 or something, they're not that expensive.


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 Post subject: lx3
PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 5:46 pm 
grimpr wrote:
.....the LX3 is a superior camera, its main advantage, the very fast lens and the tons of manual control & color processing.....

If you carry only one camera, the LX3 will be severely limiting due to lack of magnification (1.2x max.) This weekend I shot fall colors, but I had to use the TZ5 90 pct. of the time, since the LX3 didn't have the reach.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:22 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 5:03 am
Posts: 7
Location: Manitoba, Canada
Finally... after a lot of research and testing I've decided to get the LX3. Its been a lot of fun to use, and seems very flexible (apart from zoom). I just watched Gordons review of the G10, and although it seems clear that it is a superior camera I still feel that the LX3's size and flexibility still make it the right choice for me. Someday I'll probably invest in an even more flexible camera with a greater zoom. Maybe panasonics TZ6 will come out with full manual control. Or perhaps I'll get some other super zoom or DSLR. Thanks to everyone who commented on this thread. Your advice is appreciated.


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