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.