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Old Feb 25, 2010, 4:04 AM   #11
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Having read up a bit on the LX3 it does seem like quite a nice fit with what I'm after. But reading about the delay/hassle in messing about with lens caps I'm wondering if I need something with an inbuilt cover. I'm not sure I'm going to want to have fiddle with removable caps for family snapshots etc.... There are times you just need to get the camera out and shoot quickly, in case you miss the event.
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Old Feb 25, 2010, 4:30 AM   #12
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The LX3 ticks a lot of boxes... it's one on my list to review as a potential indoors, low-light, family snapper.

I did come across this though, that neatly solves the lens cap "issue" for a few extra pounds!
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Old Feb 25, 2010, 4:40 AM   #13
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I did come across this though, that neatly solves the lens cap "issue" for a few extra pounds!
Yes I found a link to that modification on another site this morning. Seems like a clever idea, but takes a bit of work to get the flaps to open far enough to avoid shadowing etc.

I'm also not sure I want to do something potentially destructive to my new camera

Part of me wonders if I'm asking the impossible
- compact size
- low light image quality
- HD movies
- auto lens cover
- optical zoom
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Old Feb 25, 2010, 5:22 AM   #14
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From my own current searching, I'd say you'll get close to most, but not all of your list of requirements in something like the LX3. Compromise is the name of the game - getting compact size and low light image quality seems to be the trickiest combination, certainly for family action shots (since most cameras can do a long exposure if the light level is low).

If you are looking for the impossible, so are many others.
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Old Feb 25, 2010, 5:38 AM   #15
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Do I need the zoom though? Will the 20mm pancake on the GF1 work great for indoor shots, round town, playground that sort of thing, and then will I just be able to crop longer range shots to get a decent zoom effect?

The kit zoom lens seems to offer more flexibility, but not sure I want that if lowlight capability goes out of the window, and it's much harder to carry around....

My father-in-law has a Canon G9 and that seems to take decent lowlight shots. Not sure if the GF1 is substantially better?

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Old Feb 25, 2010, 5:51 AM   #16
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Do I need the zoom though? Will the 20mm pancake on the GF1 work great for indoor shots, round town, playground that sort of thing, and then will I just be able to crop longer range shots to get a decent zoom effect?

The kit zoom lens seems to offer more flexibility, but not sure I want that if lowlight capability goes out of the window, and it's much harder to carry around....
If you're used to having zoom, it feels alien not having it at first. However, it's quite enlightening shooting with a fast 'prime' lens.... I recently sold my DSLR kit searching for a more convenient and compact solution, but the photos which I get most pleasure from now when looking through my library, are those which I took with my 50mm f/1.8 on my old Canon 40D. Such lenses offer a great way to learn about composition, shallow depth-of-field, and how to zoom with your feet!!! The 20mm (x2 = 40mm equivalent) on the GF1 is the perfect focal length for lots of things, including those situations you mention.

I'm sorely tempted to go for a GF1 with 20mm, and add a higher-quality, faster 'everyday zoom' when funds allow. Having said that, the 'kit' zoom is very good as they go, and whilst the outfit will be larger than a true 'compact', perhaps needing a holster style bag, it's far more convenient than a DSLR with multiple lenses in a backpack.
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Old Feb 25, 2010, 6:36 AM   #17
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You could be right. Annoyingly the kit zoom lens and 20mm lens are only 50 different here, but when bought with the camera the kit zoom combo is 100 cheaper!

So either it's an extra saving to get the zoom, or they're adding a premium for the 20mm. Either way it's annoying!

I think I'm struggling with price vs compromise....

For 300 I can have one of the new top end pocketable compacts about to appear in the shops, with the compromise on IQ and lowlight performance.
For 600 I can have the GF1 and have the IQ and lowlight, but not be able to pocket it.

I'm finding it hard to justify twice the money to still have compromises, even if that compromise is a portability one. Do I want to have to carry around my camera (or hang it round my neck) at parties and things like that?
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Old Feb 25, 2010, 7:45 AM   #18
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You could be right. Annoyingly the kit zoom lens and 20mm lens are only 50 different here, but when bought with the camera the kit zoom combo is 100 cheaper!

So either it's an extra saving to get the zoom, or they're adding a premium for the 20mm. Either way it's annoying!
There's always some benefit in buying a 'kit', unless of course, you've already got a raft of compatible lenses, in which case 'body-only' is a safe bet.

There's also a massive difference shopping around - best deal I could find was 769 for a bundle with both the 14-45 and 20mm (same outlet had zoom kit at 539 and 20mm kit at 629). You still need to take the 50 Panasonic cashback off these prices too - i.e. body, zoom and pancake = 719!!

I didn't snap one up there and then, as I'm trying to wait until the Panasonic announcements at Focus on Imaging in early March..... I don't personally expect a GF1 replacement, but there's speculation about a G1 replacement (with video) and something else, perhaps budget oriented.

Quote:
I think I'm struggling with price vs compromise....

For 300 I can have one of the new top end pocketable compacts about to appear in the shops, with the compromise on IQ and lowlight performance.
For 600 I can have the GF1 and have the IQ and lowlight, but not be able to pocket it.
..and for 900 you can have even better quality, but less portability (I'm thinking Canon 550D). There's always a compromise somewhere - what and where you are happy to live with, is a decision only you can make.

Quote:
I'm finding it hard to justify twice the money to still have compromises, even if that compromise is a portability one. Do I want to have to carry around my camera (or hang it round my neck) at parties and things like that?
Again, put your priorities in order.... is portability more important than image quality or low-light performance? How comfortable you feel using (and carrying) the camera is probably the most important consideration of all - how it feels, and how you feel using it, will ultimately decide whether you take it with you to the park/party or not.

Hope that helps!
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Old Feb 25, 2010, 9:05 AM   #19
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All very useful advice, thank you! I'm used to just basically buying a hi-end sony pocket p&s, but this time I'm trying to put some more thought into what I need and want.

With 2 children now I'd like to record them growing up as best I can hence the bigger focus on lowlight/indoor stuff.
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Old Feb 25, 2010, 11:55 AM   #20
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Spent some more time playing with the GF1 in the shop today. Also spent some time using the S90, and have to say I liked the 'feel' of the Pan much more.

The S90 did take nice shots, but having got them home the GF1 has more detail. Also the shutter position on the S90 feels totally wrong. I kept trying to push the mode dial down! And no HD video of course which is a shame.

Also loving the shallow depth of field of the GF1. I've never been able to take photos like it before, and without even having to go manual....

The pictures seem good enough that I can crop to zoom without much detail loss.

The only downside is the size. It wouldn't fit in my inside coat pocket. Might have to look into carrying some kind of 'manbag'. As for taking to parties, I think I'd be happy to, as the GF1 oozes quality so actually would be nice to hand to friends to try etc etc (not to mention getting damned good pictures).

I'm guess I'm getting more sold
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