Monday, July 18, 2011

200,000 photographs taken with the Panasonic LX3 in 1034 days

I have now taken over 200,000 photographs with the Panasonic LX3, which I got in my hands in September, 2008. The photograph shown above is number 200,026, and was taken on July 16th. (See here how the file numbering works on the LX3.)

The camera is still working great, despite a lot of signs of wear on the body. But the lens is in excellent condition.

What has been surprising is the wear and tear on the memory cards and batteries.

Several SD cards broke down physically. This was because I used a usb card reader for transferring the photographs, and the cards couldn't take the stress. Nowadays I'm using the usb cable for transferring the phtotographs - I hope the connector holds on.

Originally I had two batteries, the Panasonic one and a third-party spare, which I used in equal measure. When the juice started to run out of these, I got another third-party battery.

Now the first two batteries are done in, although there is still a bit of juice in them. But the problem is that they are bulging from the middle. And because the pattery compartment is quite tight, it is difficult to get them out from the camera. Of course, you can hit the bottom of the camera against something, and g forces do the trick, but I don't think this is good for the camera optics.

So, I have ordered another third-party battery.

I have looked at the LX3 prices, on there are some shops who still sell it, but they haven't gone down much here in Finland - 336 euros is the cheapest is have recently seen. Maybe there would be a shop abroad shipping it to Finland? Any ideas?

Of couse, the LX5 is a better camera, and not terribly costly either. Well, this isn't such critical right now as the LX3 is still working well.

Yesterday I had a look at the photo book I did in 2008, in which some of the photographs were taken with the Canon Digital Ixus 400, and some with the LX3. The Ixus 400 was taking excellent photographs, the difference in quality wasn't that big.

But overall, the LX3 has been a great tool for photography, allowing good handling, the way a photographer wants to have it. With the Ixus 400, I didn't take many photographs during the darker months; with the LX3 there is no problem with the dark.


Andreas said...

Cool! With my current rate of taking pictures, I may get to 30000 in the same time :)

As to SD cards, I've three, two cheap Kingston class 4 (8 GB and 4 GB), and an expensive class 10 from SanDisk. Well, guess what, no speed difference. Obviously the LX5 is processing bound.

So, I think the sane thing to do is to buy cheap cards in a size that fits your picture taking habits (relevant only for RAW shooters, otherwise 2 GB should suffice for most), two of them, and to use them with a card reader. Cheap SD cards cost nothing compared to a camera, and I suppose the card slot of the camera is less susceptible to wear than the USB port. At least that's what I think :)

Juha Haataja said...

@Andreas: Good to know! I have suspected that the speed ratings don't much matter in practice.

I'm counting on the usb port on holding a few hundred connections at least - and if it breaks down, well, I can use the memory card reader. And I don't expect there will be critical software updates appearing for the LX3 any more...

The Tinman said...

Wow! What a landmark achievement. Congrats!

In terms of the memory card issue, I know that when I got a new desktop computer about three years ago, it came with card-reading slots on deck. Though obviously I don't transfer pictures over at the rate that you do, I think this is the least obtrusive way to transfer files because all you do is plug the card into a slot. Perhaps if and when you upgrade your computer or laptop, you will have this feature.


Juha Haataja said...

@Tinman: Thanks!

In the beginning of using the LX3, I used up two SD cards (the plastic broke up physically). I think this was because each time I transferred the files the cards got punished twice: when plugging into the card reader and when plugging back into the camera.

The first broken card I had replaced in the warranty, but then I didn't bother any more and just used another card.

In the end, I switched to using the usb cable.

Arthur said...

Please, can we have a picture of the camera!

Juha Haataja said...

@Arthur: Well, see here. Thanks for the suggestion!