Getting Acquainted

In my last Post I reported that my faithful (and familiar) Camera G10 had died and I was seeking a replacement. Now I have one: Panasonic Lumix LX100. I read a number of reviews, all of which were very favourable. Thanks to readers who offered advice on a choice of replacement. Click the link to read a comprehensive review in DPReview.

Replacing a camera that has been a part of one’s life for a good few years is never easy. The G10 had been my go-anywhere camera. Good on the streets of London, but just as good skiing in the Alps. It felt solid, never once let me down, but it was getting old and at ISO 400 and above there was obtrusive noise. Sometimes you need a kick to be forced to face up to the facts that something needs replacing.

I wanted a camera that was pocketable, with a viewfinder, and one that at the very least had a layout of dials that shared some features with the G10. Ergonomics were important. That narrowed the field down.

I knew there would be a steep learning curve whatever I bought, but some carry-over of the main features would provide some continuity. I’m not going to go into great detail about my choice but those were the important ones.

The dials on the top plate of the LX100 are similar to the G10, the viewfinder is bright and has a dioptre dial. I need that. It’s pocketable – just. The viewfinder projects a bit out from the back of the main body which adds to the overall depth and that concerns me a little but it feels solid. It fits in the chest pocket of my Goretex jacket – very important for skiing and walking. One significant benefit is the option to shoot in a variety of formats from square to 16:9.

On the downside the lens does not retract when the camera is shut down, but a lens cap and a tether for it are supplied – not ideal. Thankfully an auto lens cap is available separately and I will be getting one of those asap.

The menu is more complicated – there are a lot more features (good) and a lot to learn, and I don’t find the small written manual very helpful. There’s a more detailed version on CD which I will print out. I’ve lost the longer reach of the G10 (out to 140mm), but I’ve gained a wider lens on the Panasonic: it stretches from 24-72mm. I’ve always been a lover of wide-angle images, and I think I can cope with the loss at the telephoto end.

So far it has worked well on three brief occasions. The last shot above was taken in our back garden shot directly into the sun – always a good test of a camera’s competence.

Earlier this week Melinda Green Harvey dropped in to see us – many of you will know her for her excellent B&W work in decaying environments; if you don’t yet, click on the link. Melinda had with her a Leica  D-lux (Typ 109). I took a quick look at it and thought: that looks familiar. In fact, comparing the two cameras side by side they appeared to be identical, and in fact they are identical except for one or two marginal differences and a price hike for the Leica badged one. What a small world we live in!

I will keep you posted with how I get on with this new toy. Below is a gallery of just six images from the through-put so far. Click on any image to see an enlargement.

 

 

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About LensScaper

Hi - I'm a UK-based photographer who started out 45+ years ago as a lover of landscapes, inspired by my love of outdoor pursuits: skiing, walking and climbing. Now retired, I seldom leave home without a camera and I find images in unexpected places and from different genres. I work on the premise that Photography is Art and that creativity is dependent on the cultivation of 'A Seeing Eye'. I'm not averse to manipulating images to produce derivatives that may sometimes be far removed from the original.
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27 Responses to Getting Acquainted

  1. shoreacres says:

    I’m glad you’ve made the decision, and are on to the learning curve. Another blogger I know chose this camera after much research, and she’s perfectly happy with it. I hope you’ll be as happy. The selection of photos here seems to indicate it’s going to work just fine — and that auto lens cap will be great.

    • LensScaper says:

      I think it’s a popular camera from all accounts that I read. Currently I’m tending it use it in Aperture priority mode. It’s a good place to start. I think I need to lock myself away for a few days and read the two hundred plus pages of the PDF manual. Will need a new print cartridge to print that. Whoever thought that digital photography was going to be cheap?! Wrong!

  2. Chillbrook says:

    I happy to learn that you are happy with your new camera Andy and how lovely that you got to meet Melinda. I’m desperately in catch up mode so do forgive me for my absence. You can guess what I’ve been working on and would like to send you some photographs next week hopefully. Your advice would once again be very much appreciated.

  3. Hi Andy,

    Sounds like you’ve made a good choice with the LX100. I’ve handled the camera and read lots about it. It feels very solid and has a decent grip for a compact camera. I shoot Panasonic and I really like the ergonomics of their cameras. I’m sure you will soon familiarise yourself with the menu system and all it’s functions.
    MY TOP TIP…. Save some money on your print cartridges and buy whole manual from ebay for £4.75! I spotted one on the following link and it has a choice of A4 or A5 in full colour. The price seems too good to be true. I got one from ebay for a camera a few years ago (not sure if it was the same seller). It was brilliant and so much easier to use than an on screen PDF. Mine arrived nicely bound with a plastic front cover and a card back cover and in full colour as described. Here is the link I spotted for you: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/PRINTED-Panasonic-LX100-User-guide-Instruction-manual-A4-or-A5-COLOUR-/172677868903?var=&hash=item2834672d67:m:mHOPg1L1pqtCEIXYgKG9Q6w
    Of course you may want to do some searches yourself but this one with a choice of page size seemed a good option.
    If you know others who might be buying a new camera do pass on that often manuals for many models of camera are readily available on ebay. So many people wouldn’t even think to look!
    With regard to the Leica / Panasonic similarities. You are right they are essentially the same camera. I had a conversation about the very same thing with a chap in my local camera shop who at the time sold Panasonic and Leica cameras (they now they only sell Leica). Over the years there have been a few cameras where it appears only the badges are different. He said that they are the same only the default settings are different from new so if you shot them side by side the results would appear slightly different but as you know most parameters and setting can be changed and modified. I think Pansonic work closely with Leica and they of course provide wonderful optics for the Panasonic camera. While Panasonic provide the hardwear for the Leica compact cameras. Having had the conversation with a man that sold both I tended to believe what he said to be true.
    I hope the link for the manual is of use.
    Have a great weekend with your new camera
    Best wishes
    Mr C 🙂

  4. oneowner says:

    I think you made an excellent choice, Andy. You’ll have years of great shots with the Panasonic.

  5. Sue says:

    Looks like you made a good choice, Andy! How great to meet Melinda, I enjoy many of her posts

  6. Thanks for the mention and the link to my blog. It was a real treat to meet you, and I hope our paths will cross again some day!

  7. paula graham says:

    looks like a good choice…but ..with your eye..a brownie box would be fine too! but will not go into pocket!!

  8. bluebrightly says:

    I think you’re going to be happy! Looks like it’s already pretty comfortable by the variety of images here. And isn’t it fun to meet a blogger you’ve been following? I’ve had that pleasure twice and hope to again. (I echo your comment directly above, and I think I can still feel the gray, grooved shutter button….). Have a good week!

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Lynn. The camera does feel comfortable but it’s going to take time to remember how I access and change some of the features of the camera. And, yes, it was good to meet someone who I had exchanged comments with so often over the last few years and whose photography I greatly enjoyed.

  9. stadtauge says:

    wow! cool pictures! wonderful combination! I love it!

  10. Lynne Ayers says:

    Looks like you and your camera are getting along quite well. 🙂

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