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Thursday, December 16. 2010
I'm not sure I need one, but it seems like a nice thing. I think I could take lousy snaps with any camera, though.
On second thought, maybe I'd rather have the Leica. Heck, I don't know. I'll take the Lumix, Santa.
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Whatever differences there are they are VERY minor and mere details. From a performance factor, the Lumix LX is exactly the same camera as the Leica D-Lux-5. And the author of the D-Lux-5 review cheats a little in terms of cost. You don't really need Lightroom 3 and you can get a image processor for a hell of a lot less than $279. Heck, Adobe Photoshop Elements is only $70 and it's a lot better program than Lightroom. Lightroom isn't for amateurs.
The only difference is the name - you are paying more for the name.
If I may suggest an alternative - high quality, versatile, capable of HD video I would suggest the Olympus EP-2 which you can find at Amazon for under $600 - I've seen it for less than $500 on sale. This is the backup camera I use for my Olympus system cameras - it's is a great camera, easy to use, small, compact, light and high quality Zuiko interchangable lenses. If you are considering a Leica, consider this one also. Image for image, it does as good a job as my E-3 and I can use my large Zuiko lenses on it.
not just that, he also doesn't include tax in the price of the Leica, but does include it in the price of the Panasonic.
Same with the warranty extension (but that could be because Leica offers a longer warranty by default).
That said, Leica does make superior products to Panasonic.
Even if the sensor is the same (and with it part of the electronics), that doesn't mean the camera is the same.
Mechanical and optical construction are important, the ergonomics (control layout, shape and size of the body) are different, etc.
My father gave me his 30yo old Leica F when I went to college, and it banged around on my belt for four years, taking about 300 rolls of film. The focus went out slightly, I guess owing to some bend that had developed, and I took it to the Leica apartment in NYC to see if I could get it fixed.
They took it in the back and fixed it on the spot for free.
I don't know if that's the culture these days though.
I use a Sony DSC-T900, which is small enough to always have with you and makes decent pics. Not as good as the really serious cameras, I guess.
I have the EP2 and it's nice (and you can mount old Leica M lenses on it w an adapter) but it's bigger, and fussier. Also, the Olympus autofocus is rather slow, and it isn't the greatest in low light. It does have a cool electrical viewfinder and you can magnify the area of focus when manual focussing which is great. (the autofocus is faster on the regular four thirds mount cameras) The better Olympus lenses are awesome (the 12 60, and the 150 particularly, and can be used with an adapter on the EP2. But none of them are point and shoot pocketable and stealth, the way the LX 5/DLUX 5 are.
I've had the earlier Leica DLux 4 for two years and it produces absolutely gorgeous photos, almost as good as from my D300. Leica has its own in camera software that corrects for the distortions of the lens (I believe) and the menus are easier to use than Panasonic's. Plus they have a better warranty. The one drawback is a truly stupid design flaw: a lens cap that comes off (and gets lost).
A friend got the Leica Vlux 20 which is a clone of the Panasonic Zs7, but it isn't quite such a good camera--plastic, and not such good image quality, tho it's nice to have the 10x zoom. Slightly less expensive, and the Panasonic a lot less so, because it has got much less favorable reviews.
The great thing about the DLux5 or LX5 is you can take pictures stealth without looking like a rich tourist. They are so small, and not a hassle. A great travel camera.
The DLux 5 is the one I'd like Santa to bring me. Not that I need any more tech toys...
Yeah - I have to admit that you're right on the auto focus - it is a bit slow, but then again, comparitively speaking it is fast enough for casual use or travel images.
And to tell the truth, I'm an Oly user from way back - and I do mean WAY back so I'm a little biased. :>)
The low light problem is a peculiar feature of the 4/3rds system, but I've found that compensation isn't that difficult - then again, how often do you shoot in low light sans some kind of flash - in particular with smaller cameras.
I just purchased the 12mm lens - I gotta tell you, this thing is the bomb. I'm extremely impressed - that is one hell of a lens. I'm thinking about the 60 - I've been using a manual lens adaptor on my E-1, occasionally on the E-3, with a 60mm OM lens made by Vivitar - its a Series One lens. That is a great lens. :>)
With respect to the Panasonic/Leica comparison, I'll have to find the review (can't right now), but somebody did a blind side-by-side images from both cameras and gave them to some pros to decide which was which. Couldn't tell and that is the real test of a camera.
Hey, it's always fun to talk cameras. :>)
I meant the 12-60 zoom, which takes truly gorgeous pictures. I think the problem on the EP2 is using the micro to regular four thirds adapter??? Perhaps it can jiggle loose and slow the AF? The reason why AF is imp to me is that the viewfinder on the EP2 is always dropping off and getting lost so I am often just shooting vaguely in the direction of dog stealing cake and the like.
I actually do shoot in low light a lot because I am always trying to get candid family shots in our dimly lit den (and those horrible energy efficient bulbs make everything green or the auto WB compensates and makes them beefy).
The Oly lenses are fantastic, tho.
Have had my eye on the Panasonic Leica 45mm micro 4/3 macro and the 20 mm f1.7 thinking of trying them on the EP2, but don't know anyone except shilling photobloggers who have actually tried them yet.
Tom Francis is right about the close partnership between Leica and Panasonic. which is now a decade old. The cooperation extends from the initial design of the optics and electronics by Panasonic and Leica engineers working jointly together to the actual manufacturing of the camera lens and body in Japan by Panasonic, which is done to Leica standards. Leica rebadges the Panasonic product for its own portfolio of cameras, with perhaps a slight change in the body design, but that seems to be the extent of the change. This is well known for some older cameras in the LX/DLUX product lines, but was also confirmed for the LX 5/DLUX 5 by Stefan Daniel of Leica in a video review that was posted on YouTube at
As for the resale value of Panasonic cameras, a ways back I bought the 18X superzoom DMC-FZ 28 (which also has a Leica lens) for $250. Since the time I bought mine, new copies of the same camera have consistently sold for upwards of $450 or more. Today the FZ28 is being advertised at prices of $450-$700 NEW and around $225 USED.
Sorry for slight change of topic, but look at Canon EOS 5D Mk II with a 24-105mm lens. What. a. camera. It's an SLR, not a compact, but it's a great camera. I just can't say enough about it. ISOs of 50 up to 25600. You read that last figure correctly. No flash, but who needs one? Check out the 5D MK II. I have yet to find a single drawback with mine. And I previously had all Nikon bodies and glass.
I own the 24-105mm lens, too. Optically it's quite good and it makes a good walk-about lens, but the Canon AF system is long in the tooth and in my experience not accurate enough to get the full performance out of a good L series lens like the 24-105mm. So I've just switched over to Nikon (!!!!) with the purchase of a D7000 while I'm waiting for the successor to the D700 to appear in 2011. For birding, I've been using the FZ28 with its long reach to f=486mm and excellent Leica lens, but recently I bought a Canon SX30, which zooms all the way out to a 35mm equivalent focal length of f=860mm.
I have the LX3.
It is a nice camera for what it is, ie a point and shoot.
I tend to have it banging around in my bird vest more than any other place and as such I would probably look to one of the waterproof/shock proof cameras if I were to do it again, but probably would not be as pleased with the photo quality.
My only negative is that the scene or photo selector on the LX3 is not tight enough or needs more significant detents, so that if you leave it on "P" and pull it out of your pocket for a quick shot, its almost guaranteed to be on something like video or manual.
The only other draw back is that it has a lens cap, but I have adjusted to that.
I have a Lumix DMC F512 point and shoot, it survived being strapped to my body armor during a year in Iraq, as well as on hikes in the Shenandoah Mtn's in the snow, ithas long battery life and takes great pix.
I could have bought a Leica, and then if I broke it falling out of a helicopter at 0-Dark-30, I'd be unhappy at breaking something so expensive by being dumb enough to bring it to Iraq.
I have the LX5 as my pocket camera and the manual controls are great to have though the IA works well. The biggest difference I see between IA and manual are the results in Macro. I also like the fact that the flash doesn't automatically pop up. Additionally, the price is now down to $399 at B&H. http://tinyurl.com/2cufuod
That said, if all you want is a point and shoot, you don't need to spend that much as my daughter's FH20 at only $139.99 takes very good pictures. http://tinyurl.com/2vfgjkx
Check out this FH20 Full Screen shot.
There can be a lot of invisible details in camera construction that affect the price. I would expect the Leica to have better dust seals, more metal, and perhaps more software features - but I don't know. There can also be selection - parts with tighter specs go to the higher priced camera.
Still, I'm holding out until Spring for the Fujifilm X100. It is the spitting image of the old film Leica M3 rangefinder with metal construction and a fixed F2, 35mm equivalent lens. It uses the APS-C detector which is my big break point for acceptability. But then, I used to shot 11x14 and 6x7 except for a little 35mm rangefinder.
I used to be hot for the Canon G12 but the sensor/detector is too small and no longer competitive.