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Author Topic: Thom looking at high end compacts: G10, LX3, P6000  (Read 10596 times)

BernardLanguillier

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DarkPenguin

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Thom looking at high end compacts: G10, LX3, P6000
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2008, 06:42:38 pm »

Just finished reading that.  The g10 get's more and more interesting.
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Plekto

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Thom looking at high end compacts: G10, LX3, P6000
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2008, 08:32:53 pm »

It does look interesting, but it's approaching the smallest DSLRs in size and weight, and those are much better in almost every way.  Especially sensor size, where IMO, it really counts.
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ejmartin

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Thom looking at high end compacts: G10, LX3, P6000
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2008, 08:33:20 pm »

For those interested in technical details:

http://www.naturescapes.net/phpBB3/viewtop...21&start=22
http://www.naturescapes.net/phpBB3/viewtop...21&start=32

These are analyses of sensor capabilities using raw data from the G10 and LX3.  I did not determine aspects of the cameras covered in Thom's review or the DPReview of the LX3 such as lens distortion, or resolution.

One thing to remember also with these photon-challenged small sensor cameras, the extra stop in speed of the LX3 lens is nothing to be sneezed at.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2008, 08:35:00 pm by ejmartin »
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emil

GregW

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Thom looking at high end compacts: G10, LX3, P6000
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2008, 02:34:35 pm »

Quote from: Plekto
It does look interesting, but it's approaching the smallest DSLRs in size and weight, and those are much better in almost every way.  Especially sensor size, where IMO, it really counts.

I've got a G7 but instead of upgrading to the G9 I picked up a Nikon D40x. I use it climbing so pick up a suitable Nikon prime or occasionally the relatively compact Nikon 12-24 f/4 DX. The size is actually quite similar to a Canon Gx and the wideangle lens attachment.
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Ray

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Thom looking at high end compacts: G10, LX3, P6000
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2008, 08:14:59 pm »

Quote from: ejmartin
One thing to remember also with these photon-challenged small sensor cameras, the extra stop in speed of the LX3 lens is nothing to be sneezed at.

Indeed! The ability of the small P&S to take usable shots in low light without flash, yet still retain a good DoF, is one of its main advantages.

As one who spends much time fussing over noise and resolution factors, I find I'm psychologically unprepared to show much interest in a camera which, in the final analysis, is almost always going to produce technically inferior results to even a slightly heavier and bulkier system.

Whislt recognising that the main purpose of the P&S as a second camera is its portability, I'd feel a lot more comfortable about buying one if I were convinced that under certain conditions it could actually take better images than the DSLR. I wonder if the LX-3 makes it into this category.

Dpreview's comparison of the LX-3 with the G10 seems to demonstrate that at ISO 800 the LX-3 is clearly better by a fairly wide margin. Most P&S cameras, and perhaps all until now, are not really usable above ISO 400, except for very small prints. Is the LX-3 the first exception?

I get the impression, for images that are exposed to retain highlight detail, the LX-3's base ISO, like that of the G10, is closer to ISO 125 than ISO 80. Could we say that ISO 800 on the LX-3 is actually around ISO 1250? I'm thinking of the usefulness of a camera that, at F2 and ISO 1250, has the same DoF as a FF DSLR at F9, and the same shutter speed of that DSLR at F9, set at ISO 30,000 equivalent, approximately. I'd like to see a comparison   .

Edit; Oops! I see that Dpreview omitted the ISO 800 comparison of the LX3 with the G10. What they show are comparisons at ISO 400 and 1600. The ISO 800 comparison was between the LX2 and LX3, with the LX3 being clearly better. Nevertheless, Dpreview seem to think the LX3 is noticeably better than the G10 at ISO 400 and at ISO 1600, and therefore by implication also better at ISO 800. These results seem to differ from Thom's conclusions, so maybe it's not a big deal one way or the other. However, that faster lens of the LX3 would allow one to use ISO 400 in circumstance where one would need to use ISO 800 with the G10 to get a sufficiently fast shutter speed.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2008, 09:11:06 pm by Ray »
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dalethorn

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Thom looking at high end compacts: G10, LX3, P6000
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2008, 03:09:15 pm »

Quote from: Ray
.....I'd feel a lot more comfortable about buying one if I were convinced that under certain conditions it could actually take better images than the DSLR. I wonder if the LX-3 makes it into this category.....
There are no conditions under which an LX3 can match a DSLR in low light. Lens-wise, yes, but the pixel smear becomes embarrassing very quickly.
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Plekto

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Thom looking at high end compacts: G10, LX3, P6000
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2008, 04:53:03 pm »

Quote
Dpreview's comparison of the LX-3 with the G10 seems to demonstrate that at ISO 800 the LX-3 is clearly better by a fairly wide margin. Most P&S cameras, and perhaps all until now, are not really usable above ISO 400, except for very small prints. Is the LX-3 the first exception?

No.  The Fuji models are far better technology for higher ISO sensitivity. but it's exactly like film.  Remember those crummy little 110 pocket cameras?  Right.  That's a typical compact/travel digital camera's sensor.  It's just not good for anything other than maybe 5*7 prints.  There's just not enough actual area to capture information on compared to a bigger sensor.

http://www.dpreview.com/learn/?/key=sensor+sizes

That something like the E420 or even the Rebel XS is only 8-10 ounces(with the lens!) more than these pocket cameras is amazing, given the vast improvement in sensor size.

1/2 a pound difference for 2-3x better quality in less than optimal light is moot, IMO.  Shoot, compared to the big film SLRs of a decade ago, these new DSLRs feel almost like kid's toys when it comes to size and weight.  1.5 pounds with lens is amazing, really.  I remember when the average camera  body weighed at least 2 lbs.  
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Er1kksen

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Thom looking at high end compacts: G10, LX3, P6000
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2008, 08:58:31 pm »

Quote from: Plekto
No.  The Fuji models are far better technology for higher ISO sensitivity. but it's exactly like film.  Remember those crummy little 110 pocket cameras?  Right.  That's a typical compact/travel digital camera's sensor.  It's just not good for anything other than maybe 5*7 prints.  There's just not enough actual area to capture information on compared to a bigger sensor.

http://www.dpreview.com/learn/?/key=sensor+sizes

That something like the E420 or even the Rebel XS is only 8-10 ounces(with the lens!) more than these pocket cameras is amazing, given the vast improvement in sensor size.

1/2 a pound difference for 2-3x better quality in less than optimal light is moot, IMO.  Shoot, compared to the big film SLRs of a decade ago, these new DSLRs feel almost like kid's toys when it comes to size and weight.  1.5 pounds with lens is amazing, really.  I remember when the average camera  body weighed at least 2 lbs.  

Hopefully we can forget about this once the truly compact micro4/3 and microAPS cameras start hitting the market, the ones sized like that mock-up Olympus showed.
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JohnKoerner

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Thom looking at high end compacts: G10, LX3, P6000
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2008, 10:45:30 pm »

A much better performance than the Nikon ...

Meanwhile, the Nikon has the huge drawback of excessive chromatic aberration ...

To put it bluntly: the G10 is visibly and significantly better ...

Nikon: missed it by thaaat much ...

Conclusion: hands down, the Canon



Looks like Canon wins again, and all this from a Nikon guy.

Jack




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GregW

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Thom looking at high end compacts: G10, LX3, P6000
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2008, 07:56:23 am »

Thom Hogan has always had a reputation for speaking his mind irrespective of brand.
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BernardLanguillier

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Thom looking at high end compacts: G10, LX3, P6000
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2008, 08:04:31 am »

Quote from: JohnKoerner
Looks like Canon wins again, and all this from a Nikon guy.

Jack,

How is the brand of a compact camera relevant?

I can somehow understand that a DSLR owner is happy that the manufacturer of the lenses he owns releases bodies helping him tapping into the potential of the lenses, but I just cannot understand the relevance as far as compact cameras go.

How does that affect you?

Cheers,
Bernard

imagico

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Thom looking at high end compacts: G10, LX3, P6000
« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2008, 01:31:12 pm »

Quote from: ejmartin
For those interested in technical details:

http://www.naturescapes.net/phpBB3/viewtop...21&start=22
http://www.naturescapes.net/phpBB3/viewtop...21&start=32

These are analyses of sensor capabilities using raw data from the G10 and LX3.  I did not determine aspects of the cameras covered in Thom's review or the DPReview of the LX3 such as lens distortion, or resolution.

One thing to remember also with these photon-challenged small sensor cameras, the extra stop in speed of the LX3 lens is nothing to be sneezed at.

That's pretty amazing - also keeping in mind that ISO 80 is most likely not the same as on a DSLR due to different meter calibration (at least that used to be the case for most digital compacts).  

Thom seems to consider the lens of the LX3 quite good as well (smallest zoom range among those tested of course so one should not be too harsh against the others).   The macro capabilities don't seem to be so great though - not sure about the image quality but having to choose between poking the lens right into your subject at the wide end and having very limited magnification at the long end appears unsatisfactory - anyone who knows how the G10 compares in this aspect?
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Christoph Hormann
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mirrorimage

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Thom looking at high end compacts: G10, LX3, P6000
« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2008, 03:21:27 pm »

Quote from: Ray
Indeed! The ability of the small P&S to take usable shots in low light without flash, yet still retain a good DoF, is one of its main advantages.

As one who spends much time fussing over noise and resolution factors, I find I'm psychologically unprepared to show much interest in a camera which, in the final analysis, is almost always going to produce technically inferior results to even a slightly heavier and bulkier system.

Whislt recognising that the main purpose of the P&S as a second camera is its portability, I'd feel a lot more comfortable about buying one if I were convinced that under certain conditions it could actually take better images than the DSLR. I wonder if the LX-3 makes it into this category.

Dpreview's comparison of the LX-3 with the G10 seems to demonstrate that at ISO 800 the LX-3 is clearly better by a fairly wide margin. Most P&S cameras, and perhaps all until now, are not really usable above ISO 400, except for very small prints. Is the LX-3 the first exception?

I get the impression, for images that are exposed to retain highlight detail, the LX-3's base ISO, like that of the G10, is closer to ISO 125 than ISO 80. Could we say that ISO 800 on the LX-3 is actually around ISO 1250? I'm thinking of the usefulness of a camera that, at F2 and ISO 1250, has the same DoF as a FF DSLR at F9, and the same shutter speed of that DSLR at F9, set at ISO 30,000 equivalent, approximately. I'd like to see a comparison   .

Edit; Oops! I see that Dpreview omitted the ISO 800 comparison of the LX3 with the G10. What they show are comparisons at ISO 400 and 1600. The ISO 800 comparison was between the LX2 and LX3, with the LX3 being clearly better. Nevertheless, Dpreview seem to think the LX3 is noticeably better than the G10 at ISO 400 and at ISO 1600, and therefore by implication also better at ISO 800. These results seem to differ from Thom's conclusions, so maybe it's not a big deal one way or the other. However, that faster lens of the LX3 would allow one to use ISO 400 in circumstance where one would need to use ISO 800 with the G10 to get a sufficiently fast shutter speed.

To be honest, I think comparing these cameras on the basis of  IQ doesn't make a whole lot of sense. If you're used to DSLR noise levels at 400 and above, all of them are pathetic. It's simple (well, not so simple) physics. Luminance noise you can live with (maybe) but chroma noise is plain ugly. If IQ is essential to you in low light, then forget a G10, LX-3 or whatever, because you'll only be disappointed.
Most photogs want a small camera they can carry around without needing a mule in tow. It's gotta be small; it gotta be discrete; it has to perform well within the limitations imposed by a $~500 price tag, and maybe most of all, it has to have a UI designed by a photographer, not by an electronics engineer. For street photography - which is why you opt for a small packable camera, right? - , you have to be able to prime it so that you can get the shot.. Who the hell cares about minor IQ diffs at 400 or 800 (when they're both lousy?)if you fumble for the shot with one camera and get the shot with another? They're tools to make good pictures, realizing that they aren't full-blown DLSRs with big price tags. In fact, I'd like to see a street test burnout between the Nikon, Canon and Panasonic by someone who knows how to use them on the street. If only Winogrand were still alive...  The test is this: the photog carries each camera around for a day, He (or she) has to come back with five decent shots of people on the street. That would differentiate the cameras, for sure.
     
   
   
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Tony Beach

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Thom looking at high end compacts: G10, LX3, P6000
« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2008, 03:46:36 pm »

Quote from: mirrorimage
It's gotta be small; it gotta be discrete; it has to perform well within the limitations imposed by a $~500 price tag, and maybe most of all, it has to have a UI designed by a photographer...

Well, designed for a photographer.  What you are describing is exactly what I'm looking for too.  I just don't think these current small sensor cameras accomplish that; in addition to the sensor, lens and UI limitations, their bodies are still not small enough for what I would want to use it for.
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Ray

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Thom looking at high end compacts: G10, LX3, P6000
« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2008, 07:39:48 pm »

Quote from: dalethorn
There are no conditions under which an LX3 can match a DSLR in low light. Lens-wise, yes, but the pixel smear becomes embarrassing very quickly.

I think you might have overlooked the DoF factor. Typically, in low light without flash, and where long exposures on a tripod are not suitable due to subject movement, one has to sacrifice DoF and use the widest aperture. If a shallow DoF is what's desired in any case, then that's fine. There'd be no contest between the DSLR and the P&S. But supposing you want to retain a reasonable DoF, say F5.6 on the cropped format, or F9 on FF 35mm? How does the DSLR then compare, bearing in mind that F2 on the LX3 is equivalent to F9 on FF 35mm?
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dalethorn

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Thom looking at high end compacts: G10, LX3, P6000
« Reply #16 on: November 09, 2008, 08:27:58 pm »

Quote from: Ray
.....Dpreview's comparison of the LX-3 with the G10 seems to demonstrate that at ISO 800 the LX-3 is clearly better by a fairly wide margin. Most P&S cameras, and perhaps all until now, are not really usable above ISO 400, except for very small prints. Is the LX-3 the first exception?.....
The Dpreview tests do make sense, however in the real world the actual results are hard to predict. I posted several photos a while back showing superior noise suppression with the LX3 in shadow areas, where the remainder of the image was in good daylight. OTOH, comparing images in good daylight without shadows showed the same pixel smearing as occurred with an inferior camera (1/2.33 sensor). In low light where the subject is evenly lighted, the LX3 seems to descend into mud, i.e. large-scale smearing. If at least some decent percentage of the image has adequate lighting (as far as the LX3 is concerned), then the image may at least be usable. There may be a way around some of that with extra RAW processing - all I did was default conversions to JPEG. Here's an example - the darker areas look pretty ugly - just before sunset.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2008, 08:32:09 pm by dalethorn »
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Eric Myrvaagnes

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Thom looking at high end compacts: G10, LX3, P6000
« Reply #17 on: November 09, 2008, 08:38:45 pm »

Almost all of my photography is done in good natural light, so noise at ISO 400 and above doesn't mean a thing to me. I never print bigger than 13x19" either. I never shoot sports (these days -- I did several millenia ago), so shutter lag is no problem (for me).

I got a G10 a couple of weeks ago and for me it's absolutely great. I like carrying it around and making decent images while photographers with "serious" cameras ignore me, because I'm "obviously" just a tourist.

I'm not going to sell my 5D or L glass any time soon, but for me the G10 fills a very important niche. I will have it with me lots of times when I won't have the 5D along. And it's a great update to my 5MP Powershot S60. Obviously it's not the right camera for everybody, but it suits me just fine.

And yes, I did take several comparison landscapes with the G10 and the 5D and printed each pair to 13x19", and it is very difficult to tell which is which. The main visible differences seem to result from the fact that I'm much more familiar with DxO than with DPP. I'll have to go back and process the 5D raws in DPP also to make the comparisons fairer.

Having gotten exhibit quality prints from the S60, I find the G10 a substantial improvement.

Just my 2 Ýres worth.

Eric M.
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dalethorn

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Thom looking at high end compacts: G10, LX3, P6000
« Reply #18 on: November 09, 2008, 08:47:10 pm »

Quote from: Ray
I think you might have overlooked the DoF factor. Typically, in low light without flash, and where long exposures on a tripod are not suitable due to subject movement, one has to sacrifice DoF and use the widest aperture. If a shallow DoF is what's desired in any case, then that's fine. There'd be no contest between the DSLR and the P&S. But supposing you want to retain a reasonable DoF, say F5.6 on the cropped format, or F9 on FF 35mm? How does the DSLR then compare, bearing in mind that F2 on the LX3 is equivalent to F9 on FF 35mm?
That's the trouble with these reviews. The more professional they are, the more like CNN and FOX they are, that's to say that when they get out to the edges of the topic, like minimum and maximum aperture, min and max (useful) ISO, they cloud the dissertation with professional euphemisms, as though (nudge nudge wink wink) we know what they mean. With a $2,000 lens they may cover the distortions at either end very well, but they don't say much about small digicams, even when they cost $500. And noise is complicated by the in-camera software, which may do a good job in one scene and not in another - just because the image info did or didn't cross some interpretation threshold that trips a particular software action.
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JohnKoerner

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Thom looking at high end compacts: G10, LX3, P6000
« Reply #19 on: November 15, 2008, 12:44:45 pm »

Quote from: BernardLanguillier
Jack,
How is the brand of a compact camera relevant?
I can somehow understand that a DSLR owner is happy that the manufacturer of the lenses he owns releases bodies helping him tapping into the potential of the lenses, but I just cannot understand the relevance as far as compact cameras go.
How does that affect you?
Cheers,
Bernard


???

I am not sure I follow. The brand of camera is relevant for identification. Same as the model #.

I suppose I could ask you the same question about your thread topic: how are the models G10, LX3, and P6000 relevant?

Are you suggesting that when we discuss P&S cameras, rather than identify the make/model, we all speak in the generic? Should we say "the camera" did this?, or I found "the camera" to perform well within x limitations? It would seem to me that, unless we identified the make and the model we are talking about, that our discussions about cameras might become confusing after awhile  

In short, I actually put up the quotes that I did, because of the decisive language. It simply appears to me that the Canon G10 is getting an enormous positive reaction from the people who use it, time and again. There doesn't seem to be the usual wishy-washy response. It is this enormous reaction that I thought was worthy of quoting, but unless the brand and model are first identified, as that particular kind which is receiving said reaction (as you yourself identified in your own thread topic), I am afraid to say that discussing cameras would become meaningless.

I honestly don't see any other way to discuss the merits of cameras, than by first identifying which make/model we are talking about, do you?

Jack




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