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Old Dec 21, 2005, 4:02 PM   #1
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Hi! I've been using a 35mm SLR for many many years now (Olympus OM-1... my first camera ever), and would like to finally get a digital camera to complement it.

I love my manual SLR's simplicity, its lenses, its durability... and would like to continue using it to shoot landscapes, urban scenes, night skies, and other outdoor subjects.

But, I've been looking for a long time for a digital camera with the following traits/features:

1. Smaller and lighter than my old SLR. This means a compact or ultra-compact digicam.

2. Excelling performance in low-lighting conditions, for indoor/social settings. This is one thing my flash-less SLR could not do well. I am keen on taking candid shots of family and friends almost anywhere, without having to use a (distracting and colour-spoiling) flash.

3. Competent filled-frame macro photography. I do have a macro lens for my SLR, but I'd prefer a non-film camera for multiple retakes of close-ups of various knick-knacks I own.

4. Some/lots of manual control. It would be nice to be able to experiment a bit with digital, since there are no processing costs.

5. A digital that still feels like a "classic" SLR, instead of feeling like a small button-laden box that takes pictures.

It's unfortunate, but I can't seem to find THE digicam that fulfills all those needs, and I am sure everyone has felt that way when shopping around.

Here's my problem: I think I have found TWO cameras that yin-yang each other, as far as my requirements go.

The Fuji Finepix F10 gets endless praise for its high ISO settings, and low-noise yields. It sounds like it gives the photographer more opportunity to take hand-held, no-flash pics in low-light/indoor settings. It seems perfect for my first and second requirements.

Unforunately, I have heard the UI is a tad cumbersome, and... I just find the camera somewhat... meh, in terms of its design. I know that stance may turn off some people, but the next best thing to a beautiful photograph is a beautiful camera.

And this leads in to the other camera I've found: the Panasonic LX1. I love its style, and I am afraid if I put my hands on one at a shop, I won't be able to let go. It looks like a real quality camera, giving the opportunity for a lot of creativity and experimentation (16:9, full manual control, lots of SLR-level features in a compact size). The image stabilization is always a plus, and the best part is, based on my reading, many of the essential manual controls are exposed as moving parts instead of being buried in menus. Huge plus.

What do I do? I feel like the LX1's high ISO noise will get in the way when it comes to those low-lighting social shots I've wanted for so long, without careful watch over settings, or time investment in post-processing. But I feel that outside of low-light performance, the F10 doesn't compare to the wealth of photo-taking options presented in the LX1.

I am actually considering getting both. Not at the same time, but purchase one knowing full well that the other will be purchased in the near future. I could carry the LX1 with me during the day, and the F10 with me in the evening/night. My manual SLR would come out to play whenever I had a specific day-time task in mind.

Do you think I'm crazy?? I feel that this is a bit excessive, and am unsure if this is digicam gluttony. Perhaps I am overemphasizing each camera's respective strengths, and should be more willing to make a compromise. Or perhaps there is another solid middle-road choice that I have overlooked.

I'd appreciate any thoughts. Most people I know carry one digicam for all seasons... surely there are those out there who own more than one for specific tasks.
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Old Dec 23, 2005, 5:12 PM   #2
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I bought the F10 in May. Before then, I was a film SLR user (and still am), and was holding out for a compact digital camera to use as my carry-all-the-time camera. I, too, wanted something with manual control over focus, aperture and shutter speed, and was holding out for one that produced good images at higher ISO's. But the reviews of the F10 were so positive, and I wasso impressed by the sample images online, that I decided that it was the camera for me, and I'd live without the manual controls.

I've not regretted the decision. The F10 goes with me everywhere.It's image quality is superb, it's fast, and the battery life is great. It's so freeing to be able to switch to higher ISO's when the situation calls for it. I don't have to switch rolls of film or lug out the tripod.

It might not be the sexiest looking camera out there (although I like its looks just fine), but the pictures have always mattered more to me.

And yes, I do use more than one camera depending on the situation. I go to my film Nikon F80 SLR when I need more control,or a focal length that the F10 doesn't cover, or when I want to use a filter. Although I suppose you meant more than one digital camera.

I don't suppose you live outside of North America? Because you can get the Fuji F11, which does have aperture and shutter priority modes.


My Fujifilm FinePix F10 gallery
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