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Dark Cobra Dec 8, 2005 2:16 PM

An excellent review Steve! It's nice to finally have an honest and unbiased Professional review of this fine little camera. Some of the other "so-called" pro review sites jumped on the unfortunate bandwagon of slaming the camera for high noise levels. Professionals who understand optics and how tocapture and evaluate images honestly are very much appreciated. Job well done Steve.


henryd31 Dec 9, 2005 12:29 PM

Well, the job may be well done, but Ias a potential customer am still confused on whether this camera is better than any other ones. In Steve's review it would appear the camera gets high scores, but based on what I've seeen elsewhere as you point out there were quite few complains. I feel stuck as to what to get at this time. My options are still just options, I'm sure it's a lot because I just can't decide on the right one for me, but I'd rather already enjoy the new camera I get, whatever it turns out to be. For instance, both just reviewed cameras Fujii E900 and Pan LX1 seem to get good scores, but which one should I get out of these two ? Well, I like the wider than "normal" wide angle of both, here the Panny seem to have an advantage though. Then, I like to have a good indoor shots, here Fujii seems to be better with ISO 800, yet Panny is being suggested as having better flash and having very good autofocus with AF-assist lamp which Fujii seem to lack (apparently still autofocusing well, but which is better ???). Panny has the Image Stabilization, Fujii does not. Panny shooting with flash seems to be much quicker to recharge than Fujii, assuming here E900's ISO 800 is not that good if I have to use the flash??? (how does this compare to F10/11 that everyone seems to recommend but I don't care for its styling). Fujii seem to have an edge with supporting AA batteries, and currently the price seem to give E900 an advantage as well. These are all the options that are important to me, Panny is good in some and Fujii is good in others. From theprespective of picture quality, fromSteve's review it would seem for auto shooting Panny has an edge, but other reviews on the web seem to contradict ?

If you have or used both of them, if you were to pick based on similar requirements as mine, which one would it be ?

slipe Dec 9, 2005 3:38 PM

Henryd31If you accept the 3 f-stop handheld advantage many manufacturers are advertising for stabilization, you can take the same shot in limited light at ISO100 with stabilization as you can at ISO800 without it. Stabilization doesn't help for subject motion, so the high ISO does better for action.

The new 9Mp Fuji sensor hasn't anywhere near the low noise with high ISO capabilities as the 6Mp sensor in the F10. I haven't seen any comparison tests with the E900, but the S9000/9500 doesn't seem to be any better than many 7 & 8 Mp models. It still has the high settings, but you probably wouldn't want to use them. If you want high ISO capability for action in limited light go with the F10. The F10 with only 6Mp has slightly better total resolution than the LX1. It has a very good sensor and lens combo. If it had some manual controls and an optical viewfinder I would have bought one.

It is hard to compare noise on cameras with proprietary sensors. I think the one on the LX1 is currently unique and the 9Mp on the Fuji is only on a couple of cameras. Generally speaking, cameras with the same sensor generate exactly the same noise, but there are differences in processing. Anything that reduces the noise degrades the image slightly. I would have to own a LZ1 and play with it for a while to decide whether Panasonic is just being conservative with processing or the sensor is especially noisy.

This has some comparison noise tests between the Panasonic FZ30 and the Fuji S9500 with the 9Mp sensor. Keep in mind that the FZ30 was also bashed for noise, and has a smaller sensor than most large 8Mp cameras. Don't be put off by the language as the shots are labeled so you can read them:
This is a sample from the tests:

One of our members pointed out that the noise on the S9500 would be hard to filter with noise software because of the colors. I tried it with Grain Surgery and it wouldn't do much with it. I'm not a big fan of that sensor and/or the camera processing. Maybe the E900 processes it better, but the sensor is obviously not low noise like the 6Mp on the F10.

I personally prefer stabilization over high ISO. I think it is better for still subjects in limited light. But it isn't good for action in limited light like the F10.

henryd31 Dec 10, 2005 2:45 PM

Thanks !

Just by looking at the samples you provided I would much rather use the Pany vs Fujii, I wonder how different LX1 is vs the FZ30 as you mention the sensor on LX1 might be unique to that camera only ? Also, the link you provided to the other samples is for pictures taken in raw mode, I wonder how the comparison would look if the jpegs were used ? I know those higher end cameras ought to be used with raw, just pointing out that for a p&s the comparison does not seem to me to be very corresponding to the lx1/e900 comparison ? or am I missing something here and comparing fz30vss9500 in the context of lx1 and e900 is close enough ?

slipe Dec 10, 2005 9:42 PM

I was just pointing out that the 9Mp Fuji sensor doesn't seem to have the excellent noise characteristics of the 6Mp sensor. I thought the comparison was good because the FZ30 has been knocked so much for noise. Without good reviews available it is just a guess that the E900 will be similar to the S9000 since it has the same sensor.

The LX1 is noisier than the FZ30, and I don't know whether they will be able to do magic with the E900 compared to the S9000. You'll probably do well to wait for some good reviews of the E900. DCRP reviews are good for exploring noise.

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