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Panasonic FX500 or LX3
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Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Panasonic FX500 or LX3 on 11/02/2008 17:46:34 MST Print View

Most of my photography is landscapes, some macro, occasionally people. It usually doesn't go much farther than a hard drive or the net, but every once-in-a-while I get a keeper that I like to have printed, usually not larger than 8x10.

I like the aperature control, spot focus, and wide angle offered in these models.

I'm stuck between the longer telephoto on the FX500 (125 vs 60) and the supposedly better image quality on the LX3 ("less noise"). The RAW option on the LX3 may be of benefit, but I currently don't do much Photoshop. The minor weight difference doesn't matter to me.

Any insights?

Greg

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: Panasonic FX500 or LX3 on 11/02/2008 18:28:47 MST Print View

Hey Greg,

I'd definitely go for the LX3. It has a faster lens (f2.0 vs f2.8... which means you can get hand-held shots in half as much light!) and a larger sensor, and RAW. I haven't used either camera but the shots from the LX3 I've seen look great.

One of the most frustrating things about compact cameras is trying to shoot in low-light (because I don't like shooting above ISO 200 or even 100 with compacts). So the ability to shoot at f2.0 is a big deal... good for late afternoon or early morning when the light isn't so good. Makes a significant difference to shooting indoors too.

You probably won't really miss the extra telephoto length on the FX500 if you are mainly shooting landscapes.

Cheers, A

ps. RAW is awesome (at least on dSLRs)

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Panasonic FX500 or LX3 on 11/02/2008 19:23:29 MST Print View

Ashley,
I have found a 100 or 135 useful in "pulling in" just a part of what's out there. My understanding is that digicam resolution, even at 10 MB, isn't all that great, so 2x on a lens is better than cropping and then enlarging by 2x.

Or,is the equivalent of a 16x20 from a 10MB camera OK these days?

I do appreciate your comment about f2.0 vs f2.8. I think I missed or forgot that, as mornings and evenings are some of the best times to shoot.

Thanks.

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: Re: Panasonic FX500 or LX3 on 11/02/2008 20:02:38 MST Print View

Hmmm, if you like to shoot telephoto on a regular basis I would be looking for a camera that covers that zoom range. Cropping heavily to achieve "zooming" will be fine sometimes, depending on the subject matter, whether you've used 100 ISO and whether there's much camera shake. But even if you can get acceptable quality, it takes all the fun out of shooting those kind of images.

The FX500 should give you good enough image quality I think. Especially since most of your shots are going to be viewed on a computer screen.

The f2.0 of the LX3 is very handy, but would be most useful when shooting indoors and taking people shots (or anything moving in less-than-ideal lighting). For landscapes you can always use your trekking pole as a monopod, and ideally you would want to avoid shooting wide open at f2.0 if possible.

In the end I'm sure either will be fine. If you mostly shoot in the range 24-60mm then I would definitely go for the LX3. If you enjoy shooting at the longer end too then I'd go for the FX500 and rig up a little system to attach the camera to my trekking pole (eg. use an ultrapod II and you can just strap it on directly).

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: Panasonic FX500 or LX3 on 11/02/2008 20:50:08 MST Print View

Hi Greg,

The LX3 is a more "serious" camera by a significant margin, due to having a much larger imaging chip that will deliver much better image quality.

To that, add the rare and very desirable 24mm equivalent wide angle lens and it becomes one of a scant few compact digicam options for lightweight landscape photographers.

The most serious flaw is the lack of any sort of viewfinder, although they'll eventually be selling an accessory optical viewfinder that will fit to the hotshoe.

It's the LX3 by a mile.

Edited by halfturbo on 11/02/2008 20:50:27 MST.

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: Re: Panasonic FX500 or LX3 on 11/02/2008 22:40:22 MST Print View

The lens on the LX3 really does eat the FX500 for breakfast. Not only is it f2.0 at the wide end, but it only falls back to f2.8 at the long end. The FX500 blows out to f5.9 at the long end... ugh. You will need good light to hand hold at 120mm with f5.9 as a max aperture.

You just need to decide whether you really really want to have the telephoto end. If you can get by without it then you just can't wrong with the LX3.

Edited by ashleyb on 11/02/2008 22:44:09 MST.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Panasonic FX500 or LX3 on 11/03/2008 12:12:36 MST Print View

Thanks guys.

LX3!