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Old Dec 15, 2008, 6:43 PM   #11
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bonjen-

I hate to pour cold water on your enthusiasm, but to be brutally honest with you, unless the indoor lighting is extremely bright, the only kind of camera really up to that kind of photo environment is a consumer level DSLR camera equipped with a very fast lens.

For example, a Nikon D-50 with a Nikkor 50mm F 1.4 lens or a Pentax K2000 equipped with the Sigma 30mm F 1.4 lens could handle the photo environment that you have described.

The Panasonic LX-3 or FZ-28 can handle a brightly lighted stage production, but, in all honesty, they are just not up to handling the typical indoor lighting found in most households.

So, I am urging some real caution. Unless you will usethe camera's built-inflash unit, be it a Panasonic LX-3, a FZ-18, or a FZ-28, and stay within the useableeffective flash range of 10 to 12 feet, you will surely be disappointed with the photos that you obtain.P&S cameras do have some very REAL limitations. As long as you are very careful and observe the flash range limitations you can get excellent results as our attached phot shows.

Sarah Joyce


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Old Dec 16, 2008, 5:45 AM   #12
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Hi Sarah Joyce,

I do appreciate that P/S will not get you any where near the results from an SLR but surely the fast f2.8 lens on the LX3 or G10 will give you a better result than most P/S cameras?
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Old Dec 16, 2008, 11:25 AM   #13
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While we wait for Sarah to respond, you should be aware that the LX3 lens is f/2.0, while the G10 is f/2.8. This makes the LX3 "faster", but questions appear concerning image quality as both cameras increase their ISO numbers. You will most likely have to increase ISO to at least ISO200 for indoor family shots, as I experience it with my G9. There is some noise at this point, and it can be somewhat corrected with good noise software in post processing, but it's not the same quality as you will get with a DSLR.

You will most likely find the LX3 and G10 can take better images than the "average" point and shoot camera, because they have more manual options to control the image capture, as well as the ability to shoot in RAW (not everyone thinks RAW is wonderful, but I do use it often).

Here are two recent reviews for the LX3 and the G10, with direct comparisons to each other. I'm using the DPR site, since there are no reviews on Steve's for these cameras yet.

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canong10/

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/panasonicdmclx3/

Dennis
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Old Dec 16, 2008, 11:31 AM   #14
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bonjen-

Perhaps you can purchase this proposed camera with return priviledges. That way you can try the proposed camera in the lighting environment that you have described and check out the quality of the photos.

The Panasonic LX-3 has a F 2.0 lens and the Canon G-10 has a F 2.8 lens, as I recall.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Dec 17, 2008, 8:08 AM   #15
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Thanks for all your advise, it has been extremely helpful. Reading all the reviews, I am going to go for the LX3, and will look for an external flash that I could use indoors. Hopefully they will not be too expensive, I am assuming from your earlier post Sarah Joyce that I also would be able to use a slave flash and not necessarily a panasonic one
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Old Dec 17, 2008, 11:24 AM   #16
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bonjen-

I have nothing but good news for you this morning.

(1) Yes, any slave flash will work with the Panasonic LX-3

(2) After reading yesterday (16 December) that Consumer Report Magazine had chosen the Kodak Z-1012 camera as "The Best Low Light Level Camera of the Year" I began some experiments.

I was amazed, but the Z1012 by using ISO 1600 and it High ISO Mode, found on the camera's Mode Selector cn ideed take photos in normal room lighting. The photosare not super, but the camera can do it as you can see from the attached photo. It apparently has to do with how the noise reduction algorythm is applied by the processor.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Dec 17, 2008, 7:47 PM   #17
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Sarah,

I realize you have more personal experience with many more cameras than most of us, but I seriously doubt Consumer Reports testing was extensive enough to include cameras like the LX3 or G10. The available online testing results I've seen show the LX3 better at ISO 1600 than the Z1012. Compare them at these links;

http://www.digitalcamerareview.com/d...asyshare+z1012

http://www.digitalcamerareview.com/d...sp?newsID=3735 (LX3)

Also, compare the the ISO 1600 results for the LX3, G10, and P6000 here;

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/pana...lx3/page13.asp

The LX3 appears to outshine all three competitors at this level of high ISO testing.

Dennis
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Old Dec 17, 2008, 8:12 PM   #18
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Dennis-

You are exactly correct! I would of course expect the LX-3 at ISO 1600 to be a good deal better that what the Kodak Z-1012 camera could do!

After all the Z-1012 is not quite but almost half the price of the LX-3. Attached you will find the LX-3 at an ISO setting of 1600 along with a 100% crop. However, while I do own the Kodak Z-1012, I don't currently own the Panasonic LX-3. I do own the LX-2 but that is an entirely different camera. So, I quickly grabbedmy Z-1012 to produce an ISO 1600 photo sample in real time.

That sample from the Kodak Z-1012 actually surprized me. It was pretty good. So from our combined research (and I am very thankful, as always, Dennis for your help) we can tell the OP, bonjen, that the LX-3 will probably handle his needs adequately, but he should not expect IQ miracles.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Dec 18, 2008, 9:54 AM   #19
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bonjen3,

You may also be interested in the Metz 28 CS-2 slave flash. It may be a bit pricey, but reviewers really like it. Here's a link on B&H for it;

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc....html#features

It can be attached to the camera via the tripod socket, or used anywhere off camera. It is also small, so it can easily fit in a pocket. It is designed to be able to work with almost any camera.

Dennis
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Old Dec 18, 2008, 11:34 AM   #20
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Hi Dennis-

I own the Metz 28 CS2 Flash and I have been very pleased with its performance. It is about the size of a deck of playing cards and powered by two AAA batteries. One of the nicest features is that the light output of the flash can be increased or decrease, simply by pushing either the "+" or "-" buttons on the rear control panel of the flash. Here we see the Metz 28 CS2 mounted on a Panasonic FZ-28 camera.

Sarah Joyce
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