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Old Feb 27, 2011, 1:22 AM   #1
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Default DMC-LX5 and DMC-ZS10

Hey guys. I've haven't posted in years. I'm hoping to get some help for my next camera.

I just started looking but I think I like the looks of these two cameras: DMC-LX5 and DMC-ZS10.

This camera will be for my wife. She will only use it as a point and shoot. So it will be on iAuto all the time. Since, thats the case I figure the DMC-LX5 might be overkill. However, I'm mostly looking for low light performance since most of the time our photos are taken indoors in poor lighting situations. Therefore, the DMC-LX5 has the better lense and I suppose should perform better in under these conditions. On the other hand, the (soon to be released) DMC-ZS10 sounds like it might have all sorts of newer processing "magic" that might help it perform very well in poor lighting conditions as well.

Since I'm currently using an 8 year old camera and I haven't kept up with the current technology in digital cameras in recent years, I was hoping to get some suggestions from you kind folks. Also, the price difference and video performance between these cameras are negligible. I'm simply looking for the best "on-the-go" camera with low light performance.

Thanks!
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Old Feb 27, 2011, 1:24 AM   #2
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for low light without a flash or with a flash the lx5 is far superior then the zs10. The much larger sensor really allow it to be clean at 800iso and usable to 1600iso. You just have to give up on a long zoom.
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Old Feb 27, 2011, 1:30 AM   #3
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for low light without a flash or with a flash the lx5 is far superior then the zs10. The much larger sensor really allow it to be clean at 800iso and usable to 1600iso. You just have to give up on a long zoom.
Thanks for the quick reply. From the looks of your sig, I'd say you have broad experience with other manufactures as well. Should I be looking at any offerings from Canon (such as the S95), Olympus, or Sony? Or you think this is about as good as it gets in a point and shoot camera that is somewhat pocketable?
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Old Feb 27, 2011, 1:39 AM   #4
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the olympus xz1 is pretty darn impressive, when you zoom out to 4x it is still a pretty wide aperture at 2.5 and at 1x it is the class leader at f1.8. Making it a very impressive low light point and shoot that you can zoom out. With the s95 and lx5 you stop down allot, f4.9 at 3.5x with the s95 will not make a good low light camera when zoomed out.

The s95 is the most compact, so it will make for a good pocket camera.
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Old Feb 27, 2011, 9:55 AM   #5
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The Panasonic LX5 or Olympus XZ1 will easily out perform the ZS10 by a measurably wide margin, but to achieve that performance you have to give up some zoom. Low light shooting and image quality is all about imager size and the lens performance.

The ZS10, while a nice camera, is saddled with a slow lens and a small imager.

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Old Feb 27, 2011, 3:08 PM   #6
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Thanks for the replies.

Ok guys... the ZS10 is scratched off the short list. Easy enough.

Unfortunately, I'm now about to pull out my hair deciding between the LX5, S95, and XZ1. I hope to buy for my wife's birthday on March 12. This is a camera that will be used for those times when our kids are doing something cute and you just want to pull out the camera really fast to try to capture the moment. No time to manually adjust WB or change any settings. So, I'm going to try to get her the "best" low light performer in FULL AUTO mode. Whichever camera I get, I will set it to take RAW+jpeg. I figure she can use the jpeg 99% of the time, but if that occasional great shot with poor white balance turns up I can use the RAW file to bale her out (hopefully that is a rare occasion).

Perhaps if I type out the pros and cons it will help me sort this out. Please chime in and help me make a decision.

Panny LX5

Pros:
-Widest Angle of all three cameras at 24mm
-Quite Fast at f/2.0-3.3
-Faster processing/Shot-to-shot times than S95
-Most robust O.I.S. in camera (not video) mode according to reviews; may also help with low-light performance.

Cons:
-Not quite as pocketable as the S95. Also, uses a lens cover that I will probably lose.
-User reports of poor auto WB
-Reports of somewhat cold color production (not sure if this can be overcome by increasing in-camera color saturation).

Canon S95

Pros:
-Most pocketable; No lens cap to lose. Could probably be secured in a side pocket of my wife's purse without a case or a microfiber eyeglass case.
-Lens is slowest of the pack at f/2.0-4.9 but it is still faster than lesser point and shoot cameras.

Cons:
-Real users report this camera being very sluggish. Slow processing/shot-to-shot/shutter lag. I'll be using an Sandisk SDHC Extreme Pro (probably fastest card currently on the market) but I'm not sure if that will improve shot-to-shot times.
-Wide angle lesser than the Panny at 28mm.

Olympus XZ1

Pros:
-Fastest Lens at f/1.8-2.5. On paper, it should blow away the Panny and Canon (but does internal processing and full auto mode get the most out of this lens?)

Cons:
-Largest/Less pocketable of the whole batch; has a lens cover to lose.
-Wide angle lesser than Panny at 28mm.
-Price $600, ouch! However, I won't let this price stand in the way as long as it is indeed better than the Panny and Canon.
-Lacks an external battery charger. (Certainly not a deal breaker, but it is an inconvenience. I would need to buy an external charger if there is even one available. I like the ability to charge one battery while using another.)

Expert reviews are somewhat conflicting. Real user reviews are also conflicting. I have read user reviews that claim to have owned both the S95 and the LX5. One review will say the LX5 beats the S95 in low light performance. The next review says the opposite. There are not nearly as many reviews on the XZ-1 to completely win me over. However, I have said to myself "yep, this is the one" for all three models at some point.
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Old Feb 27, 2011, 3:24 PM   #7
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The olympus also process the best jpeg engine on the market. So out of camera photos are excellent. Also it has receive a ton of awards for what that little camera can do. Including dpreviews gold award.

One of the reason the lx5 out preform the s95 in low light is at the long end of the zoom it is only 3.3 vs 4.9.
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Old Feb 27, 2011, 3:48 PM   #8
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The olympus also process the best jpeg engine on the market. So out of camera photos are excellent. Also it has receive a ton of awards for what that little camera can do. Including dpreviews gold award.
Good to know! Thanks!!!

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One of the reason the lx5 out preform the s95 in low light is at the long end of the zoom it is only 3.3 vs 4.9.
Yes, true. For indoor shooting, I will probably instruct my wife to shoot as wide angle as possible and move closer to the subject. However, for outdoor shooting, I suppose the zoom on the LX5 would be nicer than the S95 on a cloudy day.

What I like most about the S95 is the lack of lens cover and pocketability. I have to choose performance over pocketability. So, I'm just about ready to cross off the S95.

What do you think about color reproduction on the LX5? Do you think its cold as I have heard in some reviews? I just read Steve's review again and he did not mention cold colors. He stated the color is slightly oversaturated which is fine by me.
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Old Feb 27, 2011, 4:19 PM   #9
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Panasonic is a little cold imho, I would rate them in this order by brands base on jpeg, olympus, canon then panasonic.
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Old Feb 27, 2011, 4:48 PM   #10
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I agree with Shoturtle on color-

It is Olympus first, followed by Canon, with Panasonic trailing in behind.

Yes, the Olympus XZ1 is expensive, ut it it clearly worth the price. Just read the reviews.

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