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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:17 am 
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I currently own a d90 and love using it with the 35mm 1.8 lens. I want similar ability to shoot indoor low light photos in a compact camera.

On paper the lx7 looks like it would deliver but I am wondering if I would get a lot more performance with the dx1 + 20mm 1.7 lens. Effectively this is a 40 mm which is close to the effective 52mm of my current setup.

The lx7 is obviously cheaper and gives me a great focal range. With the dx1 if I would want the same focal range and size I would need to also buy the 14-42mm pancake lens for an additional $350

So the dx1 would be 3 times as expensive as the lx7 with the two lenses. Can anyone tell me what I would gain in performance for the additional $700 ?

Thank you in advance. I'm really hoping someone can chime in.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:10 pm 
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dx1? Can you provide a link to this camera? I'm not familiar with it. Is it a european or asian only model?

On the chance you meant GX1, you can probably judge for yourself by comparing the high ISO tests in Gordon's reviews of the LX7 and GX1.

Having said that, for good wide-angle low-light performance in a small package on a relatively modest budget, I'd recommend a Sony RX100. (Note: RX100 high ISO shots are on the previously linked LX7 review page.) (Full disclosure: I own an RX100.)

Having said that, for really good low-light performance at a significantly higher price, I'd recommend a GX1 and Voigtlander 25mm f0.95 lens. (Note: this lens will be full manual only--no auto-focus, no electronic aperture control, no electronic image stabilization, etc.) Or for slightly less money and slightly less performance--although you would regain auto-focus capability and electronic aperture control--substitute a Panasonic 25mm f1.4 lens. (Full disclosure: I own a Pany 25mm f1.4 and Voigtlander 17mm f0.95)

Mark


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 2:40 pm 
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Yes I did mean GX1. I apologize for the confusion. Thank you for making suggestions this is exactly what I came here to get. Unfortunnetly the suggestions you made don't meet my criteria of being small. I am really looking for a small form factor which I can only get with the pancake lenses on the micro 4/3 system or a true compact with a fixed lense.

The RX100 is another consideration but from most of the reviews which I have read it seems that in low light conditions the LX7 is the one to beat. Without actually trying both side by side it really would be tough to tell if the LX7 is that much better.

I have already read many reviews of both the GX1 and the LX7, but I still don't know if the GX1 will produce significantly better results than the LX7.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:44 am 
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Yes, unfortunately, physics dictates that faster/brighter/larger aperture lenses will tend to be bigger. And the Panasonic 20mm f1.7 is really the best compromise between small size and large aperture. (Full disclosure: I own a 20mm f1.7.)

>"The RX100 is another consideration but from most of the reviews which I have read it seems that in low light conditions the LX7 is the one to beat."

Not according to Gordon's review (linked to previously):

Quote:
The LX7 holds its own up to around 400 ISO but beyond that quickly falls behind the ... 20.2 Megapixel RX100. Looking at the 800 and 1600 ISO crops the LX7 displays a higher level of noise and less image detail.


Plus, the RX100 is even a little smaller than the LX7.

Having said that, my personal experience with my Olympus E-PL5 + Pany 20mm f1.7 lens vs my Sony RX100 (zoomed out and wide open) indicate that the Oly/Pany combo offers better image quality in a package that's not a whole lot bigger than the Sony (and slightly smaller than the GX1 would be). And if you don't need the E-PL5's tiltable LCD (which would seem to be the case since neither the LX7's or GX1's LCD can tilt), you can get the same sensor for less money in the slightly smaller yet E-PM2.

In short, I think you would be best served by either an RX100 or E-PM2 + 20mm f1.7 - Mark


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 5:54 pm 
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Thanks for the advice. I see that the E-PM2 is about $130 more than the GX1. Do you feel that the E-PM2 has advantages over the GX1? I don't really know much about the olympus. I can see it is a little shorter and a little thicker... So it may have a size advantage over the GX1. Hard to tell really. As far as performance do you think it would serve me better than the GX1 and if so then why?

As far as the Sony over the LX7. It is almost $300 more than the Panasonic and I was under the impression that even though the LX7 is not as good at high ISO it would more than make up for it by the large aperture. Am I incorrect in my assumption?


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 1:51 am 
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>"Do you feel that the E-PM2 has advantages over the GX1?"

Extrapolating from my experience with my Panasonic GH2 (standing in for the GX1) and my Olympus E-PL5 (standing in for the E-PM2), yes, I think the E-PM2 will have better image quality overall, better high ISO performance, and has IBIS (in-body image stabilization). (Personally, if I'm not going to shoot any video, I'll take the E-PL5 and leave the GH2 at home.)

>"I was under the impression that even though the LX7 is not as good at high ISO it would more than make up for it by the large aperture."

When zoomed out, which is how I suspect you'd be using it indoors, the RX100 has a maximum aperture of f1.8, which is just 2/3s of a stop slower than the LX7. And the RX100's much larger and higher resolution sensor will more than make up for that difference. But yes, if you zoom in all the way, the RX100 slows way down to f4.9 compared to the LX7's f2.3.

Mark


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:36 am 
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Thanks for your help Mark. Can you tell me a little bit more about the difference between using a compact like the rx100 vs the Olympus? You mentioned the image quality is better. Are there also other differences you can tell me about? Is shutter lag much better on the micro system than the Sony? How about the speed of the auto focus? Since you have both I am wondering why you feel the need to have both since both are fairly compact. What is the purpose of keeping both? Is one better than the other in some ways?


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:51 am 
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In a lab test, I'm sure you could determine a difference in shutter lag and/or AF speed (and my WAG would be that the Oly would be faster on both fronts), but I haven't noticed any appreciable difference in actual real-world use.

Personally, I have both because:

1) Since the RX100's lens retracts into the camera body when not in use, it's a much smaller package to have with me at all times. (I also always have my wallet, cell phone, keys, etc. so even compared to the E-PL5 + 20mm f1.7 lens, the RX100 slips into a pocket much more easily.)

2) As we previously discussed, the RX100 is only fast/bright zoomed all the way out. So if I know I'm going to need a longer lens, I'll take the E-PL5 + Olympus 75mm f1.8 lens* (or 45mm f1.8 lens, even, which isn't a whole lot bigger than the Pany 20mm f1.7 lens).

3) Or, if I know I'm going to need something even faster than f1.8, I'll take the E-PL5 + Voigtlander 17mm f0.95 lens* which is obviously two stops faster, not 2/3s of a stop faster as is the case with the LX7. Also note that, while the RX100 has a significant sensor size advantage and double the resolution of the LX7 (20 MP (RX100) vs 10MP (LX7)), the RX100's sensor is smaller than the 4/3 sensor in the E-PL5, and the RX100's resolution advantage drops to 20% (20MP (RX100) vs 16 MP (E-PL5)).

4) I find the E-PL5's tiltable LCD very handy (because I do a lot of rock band/concert photography, I often have to shoot over the heads, arms, hands of the cheering fans in front of me).

Mark

*To be fair, as you pointed out previously, with either of these lenses, the total package is no longer pocketable, which feeds back into why I have both: so I can have the choice--pocketability vs lens speed--and not be forced to use something that's less than optimal for the situation.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 5:51 pm 
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Thanks again for your help. I typically shoot at about 50mm so the lx7 would be more than 2/3 stop faster, but your advice made me reevaluate the rx100 which i had previously written off due to a few reviews I read. I have since read a few more reviews of the rx100 and I am beginning to lean in that direction. As you stated due to its better high ISO performance it would be the better of the two in low light conditions even at the 50mm focal length. I looked at the olympus you suggested but I don't like that some of the controls are not manual but you have to go through menus to get to them. This is where the gx1 shines, but it is obviously no where near as pocket-able as the rx100.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 1:43 am 
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I just did a quick check (bonus of always having the RX100 with me) and with a Field of View comparable to 50mm on a full frame, the max aperture of the RX100 is f3.2 so I'm guessing maybe a stop and a half slower than the LX7 (which might be around f2.0-ish at an equivalent focal length)?


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 3:28 pm 
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Yes just about 2

http://www.dpreview.com/previews/panaso ... -dmc-lx7/4


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:12 pm 
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Well the LX7 just went on sale for $348. While i wanted the RX100 slightly more I've decided to pull the trigger on the LX7 instead based on price. I figure in a couple years maybe we'll have more compacts with 1" sensort at a lower price so I can upgrade then.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:30 pm 
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So I have been playing around with the LX7. I ap impressed with it as far as compacts go. Can someone shed some light on this for me? The LX7 at the same exact aperture and shutter speed as the D90 has to shoot at ISO of about 3200 while the D90 is able to shoot at 640.

I did not expect this. Is this a function of the sensor size? If that is the case then this is something i did not really take into consideration and maybe would have been better off with a micro four thirds system. I would really appreciate if someone could explain this to me. I may send the LX7 back.

Thanks.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:14 pm 
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I jsut figured out that I had the ND filter turned on which lowered light by 3 EV stops.


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