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time for a new camera
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M G
(drown) - F - MLife

Locale: Shenandoah
time for a new camera on 04/13/2010 19:23:40 MDT Print View

Recently gave away my 2 year old Leica CLux 2 to my inlaws. Had never been happy with the picture quality in difficult ligting and low light situations and the lack of control but loved the weight (5.2 oz) and lens.

Now I'm in the market for a new camera for shooting landscapes primarily and I'm considering the Canon G11, Lumix LX3 and GF1. All these are much heavier than my leica and i'd be interested in any recommendations for some cameras with good wide lenses and manual controls that are lighter. The GF1 is very attractive in this regard but very pricey and heavier. The sigma DP1 and DP2 cameras seem to have nice lenses and are light but professional reviewers make them sound like a chore to use.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Thanks

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: time for a new camera on 04/13/2010 19:32:59 MDT Print View

Hi Martin,

You might add the Canon S90 and Ricoh GX200 to your shopping list, with a nod to the Ricoh for its EVF and hotshoe. All are considerably smaller than the G11, which itself makes little sense anymore compared to a big-chip E-PL1. FWIW the LX3 is also a good deal smaller than the G11.

There's a DP2s on the way and for a mere $2k, there's the X1--if you can find one.

Cheers,

Rick

Brian Camprini
(bcamprini) - MLife

Locale: Southern Appalachians
Re: Re: time for a new camera on 04/13/2010 20:09:08 MDT Print View

Martin,

+1 on Rick's suggestions. I especially like the manual adjustment ring on the S90.

I find this guy's website very helpful:
http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/recommended-cameras.htm

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: time for a new camera on 04/13/2010 22:31:09 MDT Print View

I bought a G11 recently, off the web. Good price.
Good low-level light performance - a feature of this one.
Fairly fast lens compared to my last camera (A95).
Can drive like an SLR if I want, or as a P&S.
Very happy.

Dawn at Norrth Ramshead 0155

Dawn at North Ramshead, Kosciusko NP, reduced to 25%.

Rakesh Malik
(Tamerlin)

Locale: Cascadia
Re: Re: time for a new camera on 04/14/2010 11:47:48 MDT Print View

The S90 is basically a G11 in a smaller package. It does get some nice pictures, for a point and shoot:
http://whitecranephotography.smugmug.com/Nature/Winter/Black-Canyon/IMG0308/757722237_kpyCa-M-1.jpg

The G11 has a wider zoom range, hence the larger size.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: Re: Re: time for a new camera on 04/14/2010 11:58:54 MDT Print View

I'm awaiting delivery of a Fujifilm F200EXR. Doesn't have complete manual control, but the results in the main auto modes look good, with clever use of pixel doubling in-camera software to get better dynamic range and less noise in low light. Seems to give the LX3 some competition at a keener pricepoint and with more optical zoom range.

Pretty light too.

Tony Pearson
(tactics) - MLife

Locale: Dallas, TX
I have a Lumix lx3 and love it... on 04/14/2010 12:09:29 MDT Print View

Great in low light conditions. Low noise.

Here is a full review which would do better justice than anything I could write out...
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/panasonicdmclx3/

Here are a few samples:

1
2
3
4

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: I have a Lumix lx3 and love it... on 04/14/2010 12:17:42 MDT Print View

There's certainly no doubt the LX3 has a fine lens and good processing. I do like a bit more zoom though.

Comparison between LX3 and F200EXR at low light levels (ISO 800)
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/FujifilmF200EXR/page18.asp

Joseph Reeves
(Umnak)

Locale: Southeast Alaska
Go with either the LX3 or the GF1 on 04/14/2010 12:28:08 MDT Print View

I’m an advocate for the Panasonic LX3 and the GF1. The LX3 is light(enough) and takes good images in low light. I’ve not found the narrow range of the zoom to be an issue, especially in landscapes and campscapes. Want a picture of that bear a half mile away? Buy a GF1 and use your old school lenses, or buy some cheap off of eBay. Loaded? Buy a GF1 with the 20mm lens and then purchase another micro 4/3 zoom.

A recent review of 2-year malfunction rates by Square Trade shows that Panasonic spanks Olympus and Cannon, and all the other manufacturers.


Andrew Skurka uses a LX3, and he tends to travel light.

Craig Mod has a great review of the GF1 with a 20mm lens on his trip from central Nepal up to Annapurna Base Camp

http://craigmod.com/journal/gf1-fieldtest/

These two photographs are from my LX3 and GF1 (using a Zuiko 1.4 50mm lens)

Looking toward Mab Island




Mt Juneau, Mt Roberts and Sheep Mt

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: Go with either the LX3 or the GF1 on 04/14/2010 12:35:09 MDT Print View

Joseph,
I really like the composition of the second shot. Do you have a link to a full res copy? I'd be interested to see the pixel level output of your GF1.

My old Canon S2IS has been all round Europe in all weathers and has been ultra reliable. I think Canon's bigger heavier cameras are pretty solid on the whole.

Edited by tallbloke on 04/14/2010 12:38:13 MDT.

Tony Pearson
(tactics) - MLife

Locale: Dallas, TX
Re: Re: Go with either the LX3 or the GF1 on 04/14/2010 12:36:23 MDT Print View

Click on the image, it goes to his Flickr, which has the original upload available.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: Re: Re: Go with either the LX3 or the GF1 on 04/14/2010 12:44:34 MDT Print View

The 'download the large size' link is to a 1024 wide 284k image. I understand if Joseph wants to keep his original though, it's a lovely shot.

Good comparison of high iso performance of GF1, G11, LX3 and G10 here:
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canong11/page17.asp

Edited by tallbloke on 04/14/2010 12:49:18 MDT.

Joseph Reeves
(Umnak)

Locale: Southeast Alaska
GF1 Pixle peeping on 04/14/2010 12:46:14 MDT Print View

Rog,

You asked.. "Do you have a link to a full res copy? I'd be interested to see the pixel level output of your GF1"

The original image was captured at 4mb and then posted at 1.2ish mb. Even then, if you go to the page on flickr and select original from the optional sizes listed on the "All Sizes" button above the image you will see some pretty decent detail of the mountains, which are from 5 to 10 miles from the location they were captured. And that with a 33 year old lens!

Joseph Reeves
(Umnak)

Locale: Southeast Alaska
Original Image on 04/14/2010 12:50:22 MDT Print View

Rog

I'm traveling out of Juneau and don't have access to the original image on this computer. I can send it to you later this week if yo send me contact information.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: GF1 Pixle peeping on 04/14/2010 12:53:20 MDT Print View

Thanks Joseph, I missed the last step selecting the 'original'

I remember you posted a lot of great shots from Alaska here a few months ago. Wonderful photography, and wonderful subject matter!

Edit: I'll PM you my email addy - thanks again.

Edited by tallbloke on 04/14/2010 12:54:34 MDT.

Tony Pearson
(tactics) - MLife

Locale: Dallas, TX
Re: Original Image on 04/14/2010 12:55:43 MDT Print View

On another note. I did almost buy a GF1 as well before I decided on the LX3, so I can totally go all in and agree with Josephs "Get a LX3 or GF1" recommendation.

+2 Panasonic!

James Patsalides
(james@patsalides.com) - MLife

Locale: New England
time for a new camera on 04/14/2010 13:29:42 MDT Print View

Rog,
I got the GF1 with the 20mm pancake (prime) lens. I cannot speeak highly enough of the quality of the lens and the sensor in this camera. Yes, it was $900, and it is a little (!) heavier than the LX3, and it doesn't have a kit zoom (you can convert your existing legacy zooms with a converter adaptor), and the micro 4/3 zooms are outrageous for an amateur photographer... but I just can't get over the quality to weight ratio.

The sensor is just bigger (and therefore better), and the 20mm lens is incredible, than all the point and shoot cameras out there - not as big as a DSLR, but for the reduced size & weight, I think it is really worth it.

Trail weight for mine is 15oz, plus a 3oz converted climbing chalk bag as camera bag (much lighter and more convenient in/out than anything else I could find.

Cheers, James.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: time for a new camera on 04/14/2010 16:37:43 MDT Print View

James, I love my photography, and I dream of being able to spend that kind of money. I have a second hand (more like 5th hand)Canon Rebel DSLR with a Prime 50mm equivalent lens (The cheaper canon prime with the plastic body).With this, I can get results nearly as good as the GF1, but oh! the weight penalty!

I may go for one of the little Olympus DSLR's when one turns up at the right price.

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: time for a new camera on 04/14/2010 16:59:41 MDT Print View

We're very close.

http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2010/04/07/the-olympus-e-pl1-review-the-best-jpeg-camera-ever/

FWIW this is the cheapest µ4/3 body released thus far, but it has perhaps the "best" jpeg output. My main reservation is the 1/2000 top shutter speed, which sounds silly except when shooting a fast "legacy" lens wide open in daylight it will be quite overexposed without an ND filter.

Cheers,

Rick

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: Re: time for a new camera on 04/14/2010 17:37:07 MDT Print View

Rick (or anyone), how do you focus a legacy non-AF lens with no TTL viewfinder on one of these cameras?