Apr 13, 2010 at 6:23 pm #1257694
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.
ThanksApr 13, 2010 at 6:32 pm #1597682
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.
RickApr 13, 2010 at 7:09 pm #1597691
@bcampriniLocale: Southern Appalachians
+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.htmApr 13, 2010 at 9:31 pm #1597756
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
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.
Dawn at North Ramshead, Kosciusko NP, reduced to 25%.Apr 14, 2010 at 10:47 am #1597903
The S90 is basically a G11 in a smaller package. It does get some nice pictures, for a point and shoot:
The G11 has a wider zoom range, hence the larger size.Apr 14, 2010 at 10:58 am #1597907
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.Apr 14, 2010 at 11:09 am #1597911
Great in low light conditions. Low noise.
Here is a full review which would do better justice than anything I could write out…
Here are a few samples:
Apr 14, 2010 at 11:17 am #1597915
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.aspApr 14, 2010 at 11:28 am #1597917
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
These two photographs are from my LX3 and GF1 (using a Zuiko 1.4 50mm lens)Apr 14, 2010 at 11:35 am #1597920
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.Apr 14, 2010 at 11:36 am #1597921
Click on the image, it goes to his Flickr, which has the original upload available.Apr 14, 2010 at 11:44 am #1597924
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.aspApr 14, 2010 at 11:46 am #1597925
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!Apr 14, 2010 at 11:50 am #1597927
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.Apr 14, 2010 at 11:53 am #1597929
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.Apr 14, 2010 at 11:55 am #1597931
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!Apr 14, 2010 at 12:29 pm #1597948
@jamespatsalides-comLocale: New England
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.Apr 14, 2010 at 3:37 pm #1598037
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.Apr 14, 2010 at 3:59 pm #1598054
We're very close.
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.
RickApr 14, 2010 at 4:37 pm #1598069
Rick (or anyone), how do you focus a legacy non-AF lens with no TTL viewfinder on one of these cameras?Apr 14, 2010 at 5:37 pm #1598097
With Oly, it calls for the accessory EVF (VF-2), which is very high resolution (something like 1.5M dots) and very crisp and clear in decent light. (Resolution drops in dim light as display gain is applied.) The Panny G1, GH1 and forthcoming G2 have built-in high-resolution EVFs, but the bodies are pretty large to accommodate them. The Panny GF1 EVF is just so-so.
I can testify a typical dslr optical finder is actually harder to precisely focus manually with a fast lens than a good evf. It takes a pretty high-end body with bright pentaprism and the right sort of focus screen to do it well.
RickApr 14, 2010 at 8:33 pm #1598184
Focusing isn't that hard once you get used it. For the GF1, the image magnifies the center of the field of view and one then simply focuses the lens. It is sometimes easier to see the image using the LCD, but I've become accustomed to the viewfinder as well. There is more tolerance( more of the image is in focus) at higher f stops which work out well when we occasionally have sun.Apr 14, 2010 at 9:18 pm #1598197
price and weight are dictating an LX3 for now. But I'm intrigued by the 4/3 format and will likely investigate the next generation of Lumix (GF2??) when I have more money to spend on some good lenses for it. That 20mm pancacke lens looks very awesome…Apr 14, 2010 at 11:42 pm #1598227
"With Oly, it calls for the accessory EVF"
Thanks Rick, that's one impressive EVF, which of course it should be at that price! I wonder what it weighs… must be a couple of ounces. That means the difference between the E-PL1 and the smallest Oly DSLR will only be about 3oz. You get the latest gizmos and image stabilisation though.
The 14 times mag 'live view' on the LCD screen is very impressive, though being long sighted, I really like EVF with diopter adjustment.
Both options are going to struggle in low light, but hey, what camera doesn't? The EVF on my canon S2IS gains up surprisingly well.Apr 15, 2010 at 6:45 am #1598274
@jamespatsalides-comLocale: New England
Yeah, the 20mm pancake is incredible. Here's an example of a shot here in Connecticut. First a little close-up with shallow depth of field… I photoshopped it to make it a smaller file size (reduced pixels from 13M RAW to a high qual .jpg).
I LOVE THIS LENS!
I've been fighting with the EVF on my GF1. It works fine, I just can't get used to it – I guess being brought up with point & shoots it is hard to learn to use a view finder. The LCD on the GF1 is huge, and really nice quality, so I am finding that I can see the image really well in the LCD.
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