Thursday, August 30, 2012

An F:1.4 compact camera

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7, review.
Panasonic has also thrown in (up? forth? down?) the gauntlet to the now dead-serious competition of high-quality compact cameras. One stand-out feature is a fastest aperture of F:1.4 in the 3.8 zoom lens, a speed I don't think we have ever seen before. (Sony RX100's F:1.8 is half a stop slower, though it has a bigger sensor (and twice the pixels).)

(View from the top when the camera is off and the zoom thus closed. Note the aperture ring, I think that's also a first on a pocketcamera.)

5 comments:

Alex said...

See, aperture control where it should be. Now get the focus there, and in real time, not servo controlled.

Bruce said...

"... the now dead-serious competition of high-quality compact cameras."

Sony's RX100 is physically smaller than the new Panasonic, which is surprising. As you mentioned, Sony's bigger sensor should easily compensate for the slightly slower lens on the Panasonic.

How much better can the new Panasonic's images be than Canon's S-100/S-95? They both have roughly the same size sensor.

Don'y you have a little Canon? How much of a gap in image quality would you say there is between the small Canon and the Sony RX100?

The one thing the Panasonic has going for it is price, around $150 cheaper than the Sony at B&H.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

I'd call it noticable.
I haven't done direct comparisons pictures, but these guys have:

http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/sony-rx100/sony-rx100A.HTM

Many good samples down the page.

... Indeed, Panasonic has done a superp job in minitorization of the RX100. It's a lot smaller than Fuji X10 and yet has a rather bigger sensor, pretty amazing.

Bruce said...

Thanks for that Eolake. I see that dpreview has the RX100 in their compare-o-meter now.
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sony-cybershot-dsc-rx100/14
I compared RX100 with LX5, S100, and the J1 which I own. In the ISO 800-1600 range, I'd say the Sony image quality is 1 stop better than the Panasonic or Canon. I'd say the Nikon is about 1/2 stop better than the Sony, but that could be offset by the smaller image size.
That's just a quick estimate. All of them would easily be "good enough" for me for daylight use. Currently the J1 is just barely good enough for my night use.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Yes, for maybe half a dozen years even good compacts (like Canons) have been excellent in good light. The further revolution has been happening in poor light.

I just edited a series (Alisana) for my site. I found the pics were a bit grainy. After a bit of Noise Ninja, they were creamy. (Nudes of course are sensitive there, especially if they're a bit dark.) So I got curious, and found out they were shot with the Canon 5D mark 1 on 800 ISO! The 5D was the full-frame low-light king when it came out 5-6 years ago, and today any cruddy camera is expected to do 800 nicely.