Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Dark and blurry

Wet leaves, originally uploaded by jiihaa.

Streetside, originally uploaded by jiihaa.

Lamp, originally uploaded by jiihaa.

It is getting dark here in Finland, earlier and earlier, especially on days like today when there is a thick cloud cover and lots of rain. I tried taking photographs handheld, but it was difficult, as the exposures were at about 0.5 seconds at ISO 200. And I'm not willing to raise sensitivity to ISO 400, as there starts to be too much noise in the LX3. And this brings up two topics.

Andreas "disturbed my peace" by pointing out that the LX5 samples at ISO 1600 are really good - but you need to use RAW and a good deal of post-processing to achieve this. And I don't even like to think about changing my simple jpeg workflow into another which deals with RAW files.

And unfortunately, when using jpeg, the LX5 doesn't seem to be much better than LX3.

When writing about this last point, it seems that I wrote a bit harshly, as there was a comment: "For me it seems like you love your LX3 so much that you're afraid it won't be "the best compact in the world" anymore. Stop looking at the LX5 as a menace, please."

Well, I guess what Andreas wrote about "disturbing my peace" does apply. On the other hand, I'm happy with the LX3. On the other hand, I do follow the news to see whether there will be better cameras available for my purposes. For now, the Canon S95 and the Panasonic LX5 seem to be competent alternatives to the LX3.

However, when the LX3 came out, it was a kind of game-changer - a small camera with a big soul (or at least a wide lens). Later (and in fact it took a suprising amount of time) Canon came out with the S90 and there was also the Samsung EX1/TL500. Nowadays it starts to get crowded in the "f/2.0 or better" advanced compact camera category.

And things are getting even better. Fujifilm announced the FinePix X100, which seems to promise a nostalgic experience with up-to-date specs. And also Olympus joins this trend of compact cameras with bigger sensors.

So, cameras are improving, or at least coming back to what was good about cameras in the 1970s or so. In fact, the X100 reminds me strongly of the Canonet QL 17 GIII, which was the first camera I was allowed to use. If I would buy a camera on the basis of how it looks, the X100 would probably be my choice number 1. However, Fujifilm has often erred in the details - such as the overall usability of a camera. I hope this is not the case here.


Ana C. K. Miguez said...

Juha, I'm so glad you reflected a little about it.. I love your blog, I visit it everyday for months now :)
Btw, my LX5 arrived today! Batteries are charging, can't wait to take some pictures with my new baby!

Anonymous said...

I took a look at the crystal ball and you will get the LX5 :)



Andreas said...

One thing is for sure, the Fuji X100 is not what you want: it's beautiful and all, but this camera is about the size of a Leica M, and that's definitely not compact :)

Juha Haataja said...

@Ana: Congratulations!

@Art: Have to see how it goes, I'm not yet giving up and going to get the LX5.

@Andreas: Indeed - I have too little pockets for the X100.