Panasonic DMC-LX1 Announced

July 20, 2005 | Mark Goldstein | Digital Compact Cameras | 796 Comments |

Panasonic DMC-LX1Panasonic DMC-LX1 is announced today. The Panasonic DMC-LX1 is an 8.4 megapixel digital camera with a 4x Leica optical zoom lens equivalent to 28-112mm, optical image stabilizer and a 2.5 inch LCD screen. The DMC-LX1 is the world’s first digicam with a wide angle lens and 16:9 aspect CCD. The aspect ratio can be easily selected between 16:9 or 3:2 in addition to the conventional 4:3 by using a switch on the lens barrel. The Panasonic DMC-LX1 can also record moving images at 848 x 480 16:9@Wide VGA at 30 fps. The Panasonic DMC-LX1 will be available in the UK in August in silver priced £449.99.

Panasonic Europe Press Release

Panasonic is launching a new LUMIX 16:9 wide LX series with the introduction of the DMC-LX1, 8.4-Megapixel 4x optical zoom (equivalent to 28 mm to 112 mm on a 35mm film camera) full manual compact camera. This creative compact incorporates a 8.4-Megapixel CCD and a high resolution 2.5-inch LCD in its undersized body. The aspect ratio is easily selectable between 16:9 wide, 3:2 and conventional 4:3 with a switch located on the lens barrel to shoot in the framing aspect that best suits the subjectsf composition or imagefs purpose of use.

The lens unit is comprised of 4x optical zoom LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT Lens and renders superb picture quality. Like other LUMIX cameras, what distinguishes the DMC-LX1 from the rest is MEGA O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer), a key feature Panasonic considers should be standard in all digital still cameras. Unintentional handshake, the major cause of digital camera misshooting, is controlled by MEGA O.I.S. to allow every user to take clear, beautiful images even indoors or at nighttime. The newly incorporated Extra Optical Zoom extends the zoom ratio by using the center part of the high resolution CCD to achieve 5x for 5.5-Megapixel 16:9 image recording with minimal deterioration.

Extensive manual controls including manual focus and manual exposure can be smoothly operated with a joystick incorporated along with an omni directional cursor. Just pressing and holding the joystick shortcuts to a setting menu containing the frequently used white balance adjustment, ISO setting, image size setting and compression format.

Taking advantage of these outstanding features, the LX1 incorporates the high speed, high quality image processing LSI, the Venus Engine II. It boasts quick responsiveness that realizes the best-in-class level release time lag of 0.01 sec. For the AF, five AF modes are available; 9-point, 3-point high speed, 1-point high speed, 1-point normal speed and spot. The 1-point high speed AF boasts predominantly fast AF for stress-free focusing.

In addition, the DMC-LX1 is the first digital still camera that can record moving images at 848 x 480 16:9@Wide VGA, as smooth as 30 fps.
With a volley of features providing both enhanced image quality and responsiveness, the DMC-LX1 is an advanced compact offering elaborate manual controllability while being accommodating to entry-level users through a variety of scene modes and auto setting functions. Panasonic dares to introduce this artistic instrument suited to users at all levels who enjoy creative shooting.

1. 8.4-Megapixel 16:9 aspect CCD and 28mm wide 4x optical zoom LEICA DC Lens
The DMC-LX1 features the 8.4-Megapixel Industryfs first* 16:9 aspect CCD and 4x optical zoom 28mm wide angle** (equivalent to 28 mm to 112 mm on a 35 mm film camera) LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT lens. Incorporating three aspherical lenses provides high optical performance while preserving the compactness of the unit. The aspect ratio can be easily selected between 16:9 or 3:2 in addition to the conventional 4:3 with a switch on the lens barrel on a shot-by-shot-basis to best suit the composition of the image. Even after shooting, the 16:9 ratio can be converted to 3:2 or 4:3 with the camera according to your purpose of use.

The extra optical zoom, made possible by using the center part of 8.4-megapixel high resolution CCD, further extends the zoom ratio to 5x for 5.5-Megapixel image recording in 16:9 aspect with minimal deterioration.

* As a CCD of digital still camera, as of July 7, 2005.
** In 16:9 aspect ratio.

2. Image stabilizing technology MEGA O.I.S.(Optical Image Stabilizer) and high speed high quality image processing LSI Venus Engine II
MEGA O.I.S.(Optical Image Stabilizer), that Panasonic thinks it indispensable for all digital cameras, especially for compact models that lacks stability, is subsumed under LUMIX all line-up released in this year. Every slight hand-shake movement is detected accurately with the sampling frequency at 4,000 times per second and will be compensated to render clear, sharp images.

MEGA O.I.S. is equipped with 2 selectable modes. In gMode 1h, the O.I.S. lens continuously compensates for vibration and in gMode 2h, the O.I.S. lens suppresses hand-shake only at the moment the shutter button is pressed. In this mode, the lens can move in all directions at the moment to maximize its effect, and higher-resolution image can be taken by capturing the image as close as to the center of the lens. In consequence, since MEGA O.I.S. enables a beautiful picture shot without blurring at slower shutter speeds of more than three steps compared to the conventional models without O.I.S., you can enjoy shooting clear and beautiful pictures easily even in the situations using slow shutter speeds, like indoor shots for portraits and nighttime scenery for illuminated object, as well as in shootings using zoom or macro mode.
For the brain of the camera, high-speed high-quality image processing LSI Venus Engine II is incorporated to render clear images in detail, compensating for the color aberration at the edges subject to occur. It also compensates for vignetting and generates bright image in every detail. This engine boasts its high performance resulting in the industry leading level in class release time lag of 0.01 sec for achieving more stress-free operation.

*Not including the time for AF.

3. Joystick-operated intuitive manual control
The DMC-LX1 offers manual focus and manual exposure, and both are adjustable with a joystick independent of an omni directional cursor. A switch on the side of the lens barrel lets you quickly change the focus mode between MF, AF or Macro AF. When you focus in the Manual Focus mode, not only the focus distance but also the DOF (depth of field) according to the zoom range and aperture is displayed. An MF assist function enlarges the center of the image to make focusing easier. Both features contribute to easy and comfortable manual focus.

A joystick was incorporated to facilitate operational ease and thereby get the best technical advantage of the multitude of functions offered by the camera. You can quickly shortcut to frequently used variables containing white balance adjustment, ISO setting, image size setting and compression format just by pressing and holding down the joystick, even while monitoring a subject on the LCD.

Shutter speed extends up to 60 sec at slowest in Manual Exposure mode and adjustable from 1/2000 to 60 sec for wider ranging shooting opportunities. Noise reduction is available for images taken at slow shutter speed.

The AF/AE lock button supports free framing while keeping the focus locked or fixes the same exposure setting regardless of the color of a subject for taking multiple shots.

Panasonic DMC-LX14. Crystal-clear, large 2.5h LCD monitor
The 2.5h large LCD is excellent not only in size but also in the resolution, which is as high as 207 k pixels. The advantage is apparent when you check the focus during or after shooting, or when you display images even in tiny thumbnail size, across which you can move an omni-directional cursor to select. They can be played back in 9, 16 and 25 on multi-split screen in addition to the normal 1 frame playback thanks to the large high resolution LCD. This helps you to search for the image you want out of a number stored on the SD Memory Card, even if the images are in bulk. Furthermore, you can virtually checkmark your favorite images and keep them selected apart from the others to make a special slideshow with them only, or make concurrent deletion of the non-checkmarked ones if you do not need them anymore. Thanks to this feature, the LX1 can serve not just as a tool of shooting images but also as a digital album, to enjoy the seeing and showing of your favorite pictures.
To offer a clear view even in sunny outdoor conditions, the Power LCD function increases brightness by 140% just by pressing an independent button.

5. Excellent responsiveness, smart control and quick AF
The DMC-LX1 incorporates high performance image processing LSI the Venus Engine II in both speed and image quality. Thanks to the multi-task image processing, response has also been accelerated, resulting in the best-in-class level release time lag of 0.01 sec achieving more stress-free operation. For the burst shooting mode, it also boasts high consecutive shooting performance, providing shooting at 3 frames/second at 8.4-Megapixel full resolution. This function can be@instantly activated with the independent button*. Unlimited Consecutive Shooting function** allows limit-free consecutive shooting up to the capacity of the SD memory card.

An AF method can be selected according to the shooting situation: 9-point, 3-point high-speed, 1-point high-speed, 1-point normal-speed and Spot. The 1 point high-speed AF, initially incorporated in the high zoom line DMC-FZ5, dramatically reduces the AF time to realize stress-free operation. Although screen-freeze in high-speed AF is now minimized, if you take the picture of subject with fast movement, you can select 1 point normal-speed AF which does not have any screen-freeze while focusing.

* The button also performs as gDELETEh in playback mode.
** The speed of the unlimited consecutive shooting varies depending on the SD Memory Card.

6. Industryfs first 16:9 aspect Wide VGA moving image recording*
In addition to the conventional 4:3 VGA moving image recording, the LX1 can record moving images even in the 848 x 480 16:9 Wide VGA format at 30 fps, making the most of the industryfs first 16:9 CCD. Shooting is one thing but viewing is another, and you will be suitably impressed by the 16:9 moving image when it is displayed on a wide screen TV.

* As a digital still camera, as of July 7, 2005.

7. Easier and more comfortable operationality
Along with the joy stick and omni-directional cursor, a dial-operated mode shift also improves the camerafs controllability. The mode dial allows quick, direct switching between various shooting modes, moving picture mode and playback mode. In addition to the conventional ProgramAE, the LX1 is equipped with Auto mode, which caters for the entry level users. A total of 14 scene modes including Baby, Soft Skin, Food, Starry Sky and Candle helps you to take beautiful images easily in wide-ranging situations. Still it is easy to select the one out of them thanks to the Scene Mode Help Screen that shows the description of each mode and the knack for shooting of each scene and helps users to take beautiful image easily.

The LUMIX DMC-LX1 is like no other compact camera, enabling both high-end amateurs and entry-level users to explore the creativeness that surely enhances the joy of shooting.



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#1 GARY POGODA

I have to laugh when I see camera manufacturers putting image stabilization on 3x optical zoom digital cameras, and then touting this as the best thing since hideaway lenses (remember when you had to put a cap on your lens?). At best, I would say that image stabilization would be at the bottom of my wish list when considering the purchase of a point-and-shoot digital camera (for my wife).

Below are the top five features for which I am looking. In addition, it goes without saying that the camera must be capable of producing top quality images, be user friendly, have an abundance of scene modes, and look spectacular, all at a reasonable price. I sincerely apologize for this lengthy discussion, but I have given considerable thought to this matter in my quest to find the perfect digital camera (for my wife).

1. First and foremost, my wife needs an ultra-compact camera, one which she can carry around with her at all times; otherwise, she would rarely have the camera when she needed it. Her first camera was (speaking of lens caps) a Canon G3. It was an excellent camera, but it was too bulky for her pocketbook.
Consequently, she missed many a photo opportunity by not having her camera with her.

2. Speaking of the Canon G3, another reason she missed photo opportunities was because she was unable to leave the camera in her pocketbook with a charged battery while a second battery was charging. Her next camera, a Casio QV-R51, which uses double AA NiMH batteries, solved this problem. It is not absolutely necessary that a camera use AA batteries, only that it should have a cradle, or other means, to charge a second battery (set) externally to the camera.

3. I would never (with possibly one exception) buy another point-and-shoot camera (for my wife) that did not have in-camera red-eye fix. Due to the close proximity of the flash to the lens in these cameras, red-eye is a constant problem, even with the red-eye reduction flash mode selected. My wife's modus operandi is to take pictures and then print them directly from the camera. I cannot tell you the countless number of images, waiting for PC post-processing, that have yet to be printed because of the red-eye problem. Along these same lines, the in-camera adaptive lighting feature (automatic lightening of the dark areas of an image) would also be welcome. So far, I have only seen these features on HP, Kodak, and Nikon cameras. Another feature I have seen, mainly on DSLRs, which would help the red-eye problem if it could be adapted to ultra-compact models, is the pop-up flash, which serves to position the flash further away from the lens, thus reducing, and even eliminating, red-eye. This would be the exception to the rule of requiring in-camera red-eye fix, which can add several seconds to the image capture time if the fix is implemented while shooting, or which will require an additional step if implemented during playback.

4. By far, the LCD is one of the most important components of any point-and-shoot digital camera. Optical viewfinders are often of poor quality and little value on these cameras. The LCD is a far more accurate viewing choice, and its role is becoming increasingly important, considering the direct-from-camera printing trend popularity, not to mention its use for showing off your pictures to friends without having to carry around prints (shades of an Epson P-2000 Multimedia Storage Viewer, which Mark enthusiastically reviewed back in March). For LCDs, bigger (at least 2.0", preferably 2.5", and even up to 3.5") and higher resolution (at least 100K pixels for a 2.0" LCD, and proportionally more for a larger one) is usually better. Protective and antiglare coatings, as well as an automatic or easily accessible manual brightness control for direct sunlight situations are extremely important LCD features. Tilt-and-swivel LCDs are also nice, but as a rule, you do not find these on ultra-compact cameras.

5. There is no other single feature that stands out; rather, there are a number of desirable features, none of which would be a deal-breaker if it were absent. These are (a) more than 3x optical zoom, (b) 640 x 480 movie mode at 30 fps, with stereo sound, and with optical zoom and image stabilization while shooting, (c) other in-camera image processing features (besides the previously mentioned red-eye fix and adaptive lighting) such as multiple image stitching and color replacement, (d) an underwater housing option, along with the corresponding (and very cool) Underwater scene mode, (e) an excellent macro mode, and (f) optional manual control modes which, most likely, will never get used, but it would be nice to know they are there.

I am sure that I have neglected to mention other important features, but that should be enough for now, as I continue with my quest to find the perfect digital camera (for my wife).

9:40 pm - Wednesday, July 20, 2005

#2 phule

[[ At best, I would say that image stabilization would be at the bottom of my wish list when considering the purchase of a point-and-shoot digital camera (for my wife). ]]

I don't think you understand the power of the image stabalization system for low-light low-ISO photography with a small sensored camera. This is a feature many non-photographers I know would love to take advantage of.

9:54 pm - Wednesday, July 20, 2005

#3 GARY POGODA

It was not my intention to discount the benefits of image stabilization for the purpose you suggest, only to put in into perspective with my other wish list features.

10:33 pm - Wednesday, July 20, 2005

#4 rebaseonu

This camera is not for your wife, beacuse it is probably too good for her. This is one of the most interesting P&S cameras released lately and yet you have so much problems with it. Did you notice the "manual" thing with it? Did you notice it has separate buttons, not menu commands, for image aspect ratio, manual focus and anti-shake? Did you notice the AF/AE lock button? Did you notice 3:2 and 16:9 aspect ratios? Did you notice 28mm wide angle in 16:9 mode? Did you notice nice mode dial, not cluttered with scene modes?
Image stabilization is IMO a must for small P&S cameras with zoom lens -- you can't hold them steady because of small dimensions and bad grip.

11:36 am - Thursday, July 21, 2005

#5 Sam

Optical image stabilization is no laughing matter and I laud Panasonic for making it available even in cameras without 10x+ optical zooms. I takes lots of pictures when I travel or just plain doing stuff with my friends and family. I would say half of those shots are indoors and when you want a setting where both the background and foreground to be clear and bright enough, blur (i.e. from camera shake) is big irritating possiblity and reality. I don't want to lug a tripod and I don't need digital SLRs or near-SLRs. So yes, I would say OIS is important for people who takes lots of pictures and want to minimize their disappointment from blurry shots.

4:47 pm - Thursday, July 21, 2005

#6 GARY POGODA

I would agree with the statement that this camera is not for my wife, but not for the reason suggested. This camera is not for my wife mainly because it does not have in-camera red-eye fix. As for the other interesting camera features noted, these would certainly be plusses in my camera purchasing decision, if the camera were in the running. I would (IMO and FWIW) respectfully disagree with the statement that image stabilization is a necessity, although some camera manufacturers would have you believe that it is (which I guess was my original point in the first place :) ).

5:44 pm - Thursday, July 21, 2005

#7 rebaseonu

Where did you read it does not have red-eye fix? Nowadays most cameras have red-eye reduction and because it is so common, it is not advertized that much any more. According to Panasonic web site it has red-eye reduction (see " Built-in Flash Mode") and that can also be disabled.

8:59 pm - Thursday, July 21, 2005

#8 GARY POGODA

Red-eye "reduction" is a flash feature (two simultaneous flashes), which as you correctly point out, is found on most cameras. In-camera red-eye "fix" is a digital processing feature which is accomplished by the camera's firmware, either during record or playback mode. It scans an image for red-eye, and automatically replaces the red pixels with those of the normal eye color. It can sometimes be fooled by red pixels that are not part of an eye. For this reason, red-eye fix works best when used in conjunction with red-eye reduction flash.

9:24 pm - Thursday, July 21, 2005

#9 Rajiv Sharma

Hey Pagoda,
If you can find so many-a pageful and more -of problems with a small 'wonder'camera, wonder what your take on the state of the 'world' is......hellish..?
Rajiv

1:50 am - Friday, July 22, 2005

#10 GARY POGODA

You know, my original comment actually had nothing to do with this camera, per se, since this is a 4x optical zoom camera, not 3x. It was just that this article was the most recent article dealing with OIS at the time of my comment, and therefore the most convenient to append my gripe.

To put the necessity of OIS into perspective, consider this. Since the introduction of OIS into the digital camera market, I have read literally hundreds of digital camera reviews; however, I can honestly say that I have never seen a single review where a 3x optical zoom camera (and maybe even as high as 6x optical zoom) was panned for NOT having image stabilization. So what does that tell you about its necessity?

It tells me that, as the cost of OIS is coming down, and the point-and-shoot market is becoming ever more saturated, camera manufacturers are doing whatever they can to distinguish their product from the rest. OIS is just one way to do this, and despite it not being very high on my wish list for a 3x optical zoom camera, I would venture to say that, due to the fierce competition, and the fact that OIS can be useful in low-light situations regardless of zoom range, OIS will soon become a de facto standard on all digital cameras. My wife will be pleased. :)

2:01 am - Friday, July 22, 2005

#11 Bollocks Mate

16x9.

16x9.

16x9.

No one wants to mention this fact in any of the comments?

The 16x9 Sensor would be THE reason why I would like to have a go with this camera.
Recently, I had even contemplated going to Hasselblad X-Pan II/ Fuji TX-2 camera, just so I can do the same sort of thing with 35mm film.

But now, finally, the first 16x9 CCD is here, with this camera from Panasonic!

Now listen:

16x9 will also be in DSLRs in the very near future. That is going to be the way to go for the new standard in photography, since everyone will want to connect it to their HDTVs and play it back with the 16x9 framing.

I hope that 16x9 DSLRs are on their way sooner than later, but for now, this LX1 will do. I think I will buy it as soon as it comes out.

5:41 am - Friday, July 22, 2005

#12 GARY POGODA

I see what you mean about the 16 x 9. I never really gave much consideration to that feature before. It almost makes me want to go out and buy an HDTV. It also makes me realize that, as consumers, we all have vastly different intended uses for the same camera. We are a tough crowd to please, for sure. :)

4:50 pm - Friday, July 22, 2005

#13 Bollocks Mate

16x9.

Here's my ONLY pet-peeve with this new LX1, and I know that everyone will be wandering about it too -

Hey Panasonic - why isn't the LCD screen 16x9?

To keep the LCD screen at 4x3 makes absolutely no sense at all - since the camera will not have a optical viewfinder, right?

So when the lens is set to 16x9 framing, with the current design of the LCD screen, we're going to see it in Letterbox, with bars on the top and bottom, right?
So people are going to ask whether the shot has been squeezed down, whereas in fact, as the specifications explain that no, it is not squeezed down, but that we do get full 8 megapixels, and not something that's been squeezed down to fit the 4x3 frame!

Hey Panasonic - if you really want to step ahead of the competition, give us a 16x9 LCD as well!!!!!!!!

I mean if I bought an HD-Camcorder, the framing in the viewfinder and the LCD screens are not 4x3, but the proper 16x9, which is what is recorded!

So Panasonic, I hope you are listening - make sure that you can re-design the LCD on the LX1 with a 16x9 LCD before release date.......

or may be it's too late?

Then someone else, such as Sony, who is now in bed with Konica Minolta, will come out with their version of the 16x9 CCD compact digicam with the proper 16x9 LCD, and you, Panasonic, will regret that you didn't spend the extra couple of bucks to release the world's first with the 16x9 LCD...... if you're going to do that with the CCD, why did you forgo the LCD?
I don't understand, Panasonic - explain that to me.

8:36 am - Saturday, July 23, 2005

#14 GARY POGODA

Your wish for a 16:9 aspect ratio LCD camera has been granted. The new Samsung Digimax L55W (the 'W' signifying "Wide") has a 2.8" wide LCD capable of viewing in 16:9 and 4:3. Like the Panasonic DMC-LX1, the L55W also has a 28 mm wide angle lens, but with a slightly higher 4.8x optical zoom, compared to 4x for the LX1. The L55W also has optical image stabilization; however, unlike the LX1, this feature can be used only for movie mode shooting. The L55W has some unique and interesting in-camera processing features, although sadly (for my wife), NO RED-EYE FIX ???

Here is the PhotographyBLOG link to the announcement of the L55W introduction:
http://www.photographyblog.com/index.php/weblog/comments/samsung_digimax_l55w_introduced/

6:11 pm - Saturday, July 23, 2005

#15 Bollocks Mate

The gadget companies really get on my tits sometimes - they love to give stuff to us piece-meal and never a great machine loaded to the gills at a good price. They just love to grind us through step by step in the ever-improving ladder of tech, and take every dollar we have as new little bits improve. Why won't someone just step it up a massive notch and put something together that'll make every other company scramble? They can afford it!

What good is image stabilization in movie mode on a still camera, if you can use image stablization for still images? DUH.

If I want to shoot video footage, I will buy myself a HD-Camcorder.

12:08 am - Sunday, July 24, 2005

#16 Bollocks Mate

Sorry I meant to say

"if you CANNOT use it for still images."

12:10 am - Sunday, July 24, 2005

#17 garrett-roe

Am a life-long Leicaphilw.... when and where may I purchase the LX-1 ????

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

1:38 am - Sunday, July 24, 2005

#18 GARY POGODA

I can sympathize with you when it comes to companies doling out product features. I had high hopes that the Kodak EasyShare V550 would provide the features I wanted, but as far as I can tell, it does not have in-camera red-eye fix, or the ability to charge a second battery externally to the camera. (I wish I could read the Steve's Digicam review of this camera, but I cannot get the review page links to work. Whenever I try to advance past the first page, I get a browser error indicating that it cannot find the requested page.) I still have hopes the soon-to-be-released HP Photosmart R817 will be the one, assuming it gets similarly excellent reviews as its R717 predecessor. It has all the features I want, and what it lacks with its 2.0" LCD, it more than makes up for with its 5x optical zoom. It could be the perfect camera (for my wife :) ).

4:08 am - Sunday, July 24, 2005

#19 GARY POGODA

Speaking of purchasing an LX1, I have not purchased a digital camera in almost two years, so I do not think I can be much help to you in that regard. However, when I do purchase my next camera, which may be very soon, I will do so in a way so as to support the PhotographyBLOG website, as it has been an invaluable learning tool for me. While I am not certain how that support can be accomplished, if you are interested, I am sure you could ask Mark Goldstein, the PhotographyBLOG editor (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)).

5:04 am - Sunday, July 24, 2005

#20 Mark Goldstein

The best way to support this site is just to keep visiting :-)

If you're feeling really generous, you could buy your next camera from Amazon - PhotographyBLOG receives a small commission on each purchase, just as long as you click through on one of the banners here on the site.

10:23 am - Sunday, July 24, 2005

#21 Bollocks Mate

Personally, I do not like Samsung products. They don't impress me. They always seem to lack that little something in their quality, which makes their products seem a notch below their better counterparts like Sony or Canon.

Your wife? Hmmmmm OK...... hahaha

In general, I personally think that 16x9 (or Wide) framing is great for landscape and architecrual photography, but not for portraits. Of course, in still photography, we can shoot it vertically and print a photo vertically and hang it on a wall that way and the human figure would work fine that way. But if it's supposed to go on a TV screen, we can't very well stand the TV on its side now, can we? So in that case, 4x3 is superior, as a human face fills up a 4x3 frame much better than 16x9 would.

It's going to be interesting to see people re-train their eyes to see things in a wider frame, also reminding themselves to not tilt the 16x9 still camera to its vertical in case they need to show the photo on their new Wide-TV. I mean John Q Public has enough problems understanding how to frame with the current 4x3, so I think the 16x9 will be problematic for a while as far as still photography is concerned.

Video is obviously another matter entirely.

As for me, I am purely interested in having a wide-sensor still camera because I like to shoot landscapes.

And it looks like I will have to wait at least until the end on next year to see the first 16x9 DSLR that will satisfy me.

But I think I will still buy the Panasonic, because it has the Mega OIS and 16x9, and purely because it's the first.

10:25 am - Sunday, July 24, 2005

#22 Bollocks Mate

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/specs/Samsung/samsung_a55w.asp

Sorry to break this to ya, but -

The Samsung is NOT a 16x9 Sensor. It's a 4x3 Sensor, but for some reason it has a 16x9 LCD, which is confusing, and there isn't any more details about it on Samsung's own website! This is why I don't like Samsung - they make wishy-washy, vague in-between products.
I don't understand the purpose of the camera at all.
Not only do it not understand why they would put together something that's sort of confusing like this, it's also only 5 Megapixels. So, if I were to shoot with this Samsung, the 5 Megapixels DO become squeezed down to something else if it was to be framed in 16x9. Crikey it's so confusing.
It's honestly a complete waste, not having stabilization for stills as well.

They announced it, sure - but whether they finally decided to release this confusing products is another matter, now that they have seen what Panasonic is going to release.

Phew!

Until we make the Global switch to 16x9 HDTV, we're going to keep seeing this confusing mess from everyone, I guess! And one day, a Camcorder will have excellent still capabilities of above 6 Megapixels to be able to show on a proper HDTV without loss of resolution and pixels. I believe the photo has to have been shot with over 6 Megapixels to be considered a "HD" still photo, right?

10:42 am - Sunday, July 24, 2005

#23 GARY POGODA

Speaking of confusing, I personally do not have any experience with Samsung, other than from what I read. And from what I have read, my take on Samsung is that they are not afraid to push the boundaries of digital camera innovation. Case in point, the Samsung Pro815. Check it out. It is an 8 megapixel, 15x (that is not a typo) optical zoom camera, with a 3.5" (that is also not a typo) LCD, AND a 1.44" auxiliary LCD, plus a 1900 mAh (the world's largest capacity) Li-Ion battery, all aimed at bringing unrivaled features and performance to the prosumer market.

However, conspicuously absent from the Pro815 is optical image stabilization. Talk about confusing. On the one hand, we have a manufacturer that is putting OIS into everything from 12x optical zoom, down to 3x (I won't go there again). On the other hand, we have a manufacturer that is not putting OIS on its flagship 15x optical zoom model, but it is putting it on its comparatively lower end, 4.8x optical zoom model, but only for movie mode. Hmmmm ... I wonder if there is any way to "mix and match"?

And speaking of the L55W, I had a sneaky suspicion about its 16:9 aspect ratio when I did not see "CCD" mentioned anywhere in connection with that feature. So again, we have one camera with a 16:9 CCD, but no wide-screen LCD, and another with a wide-screen LCD, but no 16:9 CCD. Hmmmm ...

Fortunately, my wife's birthday is not until the end of January. :)

2:34 pm - Sunday, July 24, 2005

#24 Bollocks Mate

"Fortunately, my wife?s birthday is not until the end of January. "

Yes, fortunate indeed! Or is it? Hahahaha I think you should buy her something nice to keep her happy in the meantime..... I mean you've got 5 months to go still..... hahahahaha...... and if you've got a spare camera lying around that you're not using, just give it to her! Or may be buy her one in the meantime? There are some nice 4 Megapixel camera for around $200 now...... which is not bad, if you think about it.......

In comparison to the Pro815, obviously the Panasonic FZ30 is a superior camera.
The Samsung Pro815 doesn't have a flip-down-&-twist LCD, nor does it have stabilization. Sure it has 28mm on the wide end - but what's the point of having it go so long without the stabilization?
Yes Samsung has put 4.8x on its lower-end camera, but it's also only 5 Megapixels, like it says.... whereas the same size camera on a Panasonic is at 8 Megapixels, which basically means that with cropping in the computer, the extra zoom is supposed to compensate for lack of pixels..... tell that to a newcomer to Digicams!

I mean I'm not so concerned about the wide end, personally - I'm currently stitching photos all the time anyways, and that is why I was crossing my fingers for a camera of LX1's type to come out. I really want the 16x9 Sensor, and I've been waiting at least 7 years for it, ever since 16x9 TVs started showing up.

Confusing is another way to say that we are in another transition period for the next thing in digicam technology and trend. 3 more years until HDTV and the end of 4x3 SDTV!

7:28 pm - Sunday, July 24, 2005

#25 GARY POGODA

Maybe Panasonic will hear your pleas and crank out an LX1-W(ide). As for my wife, she is happy, for now, with her Casio QV-R51. As for me, I am waiting for that all in one combination ultra-compact, 10x optical zoom, 3.5" LCD, 10.0 megapixel CCD, digital camera, cell phone, GPS navigation unit, 100 GB HD picture storage/viewer, music storage/player, and PC (Mac, of course :) ).

5:02 pm - Monday, July 25, 2005

#26 Bollocks Mate

Yeah I also hope that not only Panasonic, but all the companies who are developing Digicams to listen! I hope they stop being so greedy and take that one massive step forward.
This may seem somewhat of a stretch, but Sony have started a rumour about their PS3, saying that the new machine will be advanced enough to stay in the market for 10 years....... now that's the sort of progress we need!

8:31 am - Wednesday, July 27, 2005

#27 Gordy Whittaker

Hello Gary,
You mentioned that your wife had a Canon G3 at one time. My wife currently has a G6 and loves it. It seems to fit reasonably OK in her pocket book and is extremely user friendly. I know that Phil over at dPreview was very impressed by it. Onother possibility is the Canon S2 IS. :coolsmile:

1:17 pm - Wednesday, July 27, 2005

#28 Geof

After a cursory review of some fatuous, sexist comments I decided to write a little note to the techies who talk about cameras but forget to understand that these are merely devices for making images. My 'wife' Gina Glover, is a very well known professional photographer who uses cameras from the pinhole type - without a lens - to ultra expensive professional digitals. She is only interested in what they can achieve creatively. Talk endlessly about camera specs of cameras - that is fun too - but please do so without being offensive to women.

Geof Rayner, Photofusion Photography Centre, London (photofusion.org)

1:49 pm - Wednesday, July 27, 2005

#29 DougB

Image stabilization: in the good old days, your camera had a 3 point stabilization, left and right hand, and your forehead. Now that the viewfinder is missing, you have only 2 points of stabilization, so all axis are not covered stabilized, therefore; even on a 3:1 zoom (16x9, yea!!!) needs image stabilization! :coolmad:

3:05 pm - Wednesday, July 27, 2005

#30 GARY POGODA

The Canon G3 was an excellent camera. We gave it to my Dad, and he loves it, so I can imagine that the G6 is even better. The main thing my wife did not like about the G3, besides it being a little too bulky, was the fact that she had to leave it charging on her desk, and therefore missed many unexpected photo opportunities because she did not have the camera with her. Then there was the fact that the lens cap kept falling off during transport, leaving the lens exposed and susceptible to scratching.

Her Casio QV-R51 eliminated all these problems. It is much more compact, its lens is fully retracting, so no lens cap to bother with, and it uses AA batteries, so she can leave the camera in her pocketbook at all times, while having a set of NiMH batteries charging externally to the camera, and a spare set of Alkalines in her camera case for emergencies.

BTW, it was Phil's excellent review of the G3 that convinced me to buy that camera for my wife's birthday in the first place. However, since this was my wife's first digital, I really not did have a good idea at that time of how she would be using it. By the time her next birthday came around, I had a very good idea, and hence the purchase of the QV-R51. To date, the only thing she does not like about the QV-R51 is the fact that it does not have in-camera red-eye removal. At the time of our purchase, that feature was not yet available on digital cameras.

Good point about the good old days of 3-point camera stabilization. Even so, I can honestly say that blurred images have not been a problem with the QV-R51, or for that matter, with the G3, which if I remember correctly, had a 4x optical zoom.

I just noticed that DPReview has sample images for the LX-1. In some of the photos, Simon makes very interesting use of the 16 x 9 imaging in combination with portrait orientation. It is almost like he is photographing two separate scenes. Check it out (http://www.dpreview.com/gallery/?gallery=panasoniclx1_preview/).

6:40 pm - Wednesday, July 27, 2005

#31 GARY POGODA

I wanted to separately make this comment about respecting women, just so it would not get lost amid all the technical banter.

I wholeheartedly agree that these comments should be respectful of women. To my knowledge, that has been the case entirely throughout this thread. I assume that the readers of this thread understand the intentionally overused reference to "my wife," but just in case not, I will make it perfectly clear.

The reference is meant to be reminiscent of the situation where a patient goes into a psychiatrist's office and continually explains to the doctor about this "friend" with a problem, where the doctor knows full well that it is really the patient with the problem, i.e., "Methinks thou dost protest too much.:)" (That was a quote from Shakespeare. I added the smiley face, although I am sure if they had existed back then, he would have used one, as well.)

8:53 pm - Wednesday, July 27, 2005

#32 Bollocks Mate

DougB - excellent point about the lack of an optical viewfinder and thus the need for stabilization.... I sometimes wish that these smaller cameras had viewfinders. But I think the LX1 is a nice step in the right direction. I have expressed my wishes for a DSLR with the anti-shake or stabilization technology and the 16x9 sensor, first one of which we should see in about a year.

I'm wearing my wife-beater right now sitting here typing in the heat with my shorts exposing my left nut to the warm draft coming from the deserts of California....... ;-P

Yes patient with a problem indeed....... so I've got this friend, see, he's got two left hands and can't seem to stabilize his digicam when he shoots, and complains about shakey photos.......
I've already had a problem with shakey hands, I'm restless, and i definitely need it with these dinky little digicams they're so damned small I need a little weight and size to help me steady the shot a little more.... I'm watching my thyroid, it's on the verge of becoming a big problem, I'm at the final threshold of it flaring up and the need for an operation and it gives me the shakes sometimes.......

Anyway that's why I am so interested in this Panasonic camera here, and subsequent cameras that will have the same sort of features.....

I only wish I knew how to be disrespectful to women - that's a problem for me, you see, they always label me as the nice guy and I never get any action...... so please find me a nice gal for a wife, pretty please? :lol:

6:19 am - Thursday, July 28, 2005

#33 GARY POGODA

It is interesting to note, today's Fujifilm announcements all tout the benefits of higher ISO settings vs. OIS to eliminate image blur caused, not only by camera shake, but also by subject movement. This seems to be the same route that Samsung is taking with the Pro815. Whether they will manage to avoid the higher noise factor, remains to be seen; however, if they can manage it, I think this makes more sense, even for 3x optical zoom, since lower noise, higher ISO is a welcome feature on any camera.

4:35 pm - Thursday, July 28, 2005

#34 Bollocks Mate

Interesting? May be........

If people want to BLOW UP their photos to a large size to see the detail, I would understand. 8 or 9 Megapixels and thereabouts on a Small Sensor only matches large sensors at 6 Megapixels or thereabouts -

So unless you're the kind of person who needs to print photos at 20x30 inch poster sizes, I don't see what all the fuss is about. I mean there really cannot be too many people in the general consumer public who are printing such large photos. Are people really thinking far ahead as they take the photos with such high megapixels cameras, thinking that they could zoom in to a section of the photo to get more detail and blow it up a couple of sizes to print that detail? I doubt it. It ends up costing a lot of money to print a lot of large photos. I'm sure you've experienced it yourself, but it costs a lot of money even to print photos! All the ink! And all that time it takes to make the damned photos look nice! And then once you've printed a photo so large, you notice MORE annoying little mistakes and things........

But I still think that a combination of higher ISO sensitivity AND stablization is a key (especially for cameras with very long zooms) if one is to shoot such "moving objects" as you say, or to shoot in darker environments without much use of tripods and such stabilizing contraptions.

So you see where I am going with the "massive step forward" thing, hoping that some company would put together a nice all-in-one package in a compact digicam that would simply blow us all away?

So unless you're a semi-professional photographer, besides the blur and shake, noise is not such a HUGE factor. I think most people cop to it in the end that they need a tripod to be able to shoot reasonably nice looking photos, photos that are one step above a generic snapshot. Which seems to be what this Samsung Pro815 camera says to people - to use a tripod. I mean people can now buy the Nikon D50 at a lesser price, a camera which has "subject tracking" in its programming, with an option to use a variety of other lenses! Like I was saying, Samsung is wishy-washy.
But if you think so highly of the Samsung, go ahead.

9:11 am - Friday, July 29, 2005

#35 Bollocks Mate

And I still think you're forgetting all about the 16x9 sensor on the LX1. There are no other cameras out there with one!

Have you ever stitched photos? I do it all the time, and let me tell you, it can be a right old pain in the butt sometimes. All the time making the edges of the photos match one after the other!

A 28mm on a 16x9 framing is wide enough to be able to shoot from wall to wall in a normal sized room without dropping one side of the room or the other! It emcompasses the whole room from edge to edge.
A 28mm on a 4x3 (which is what we're used to seeing on TV) is pretty darned tight. Not much room from side to side. You would have to frame out one side and favour the other.
A 28 mm on a 3x2 photo (35mm cameras) is pretty tight as well, it's basically the 4x3 with either the floor or the ceiling lamp cut off a little bit.

Think about it.

Now you know why I can't wait for the 16x9 sensor in everything.


;-)

9:19 am - Friday, July 29, 2005

#36 GARY POGODA

What I like about the trend to higher and higher megapixels is this. For the reasons previously stated above, I would not purchase anything but an ultra-compact. So far, the highest optical zoom I have seen for an ultra-compact is 5x, and due to physical constraints, it probably will not get much higher. But a 10x optical zoom would be far more useful. So what if, instead of buying a 5 megapixel ultra-compact, I purchased a 10 megapixel ultra-compact. It would make sense that I could then couple the 5x optical zoom with a 2x digital zoom to achieve a 10x total zoom, while still retaining a 5 megapixel image, which as you point out, is plenty for most applications.

As the resolution of CCDs increases, I expect digital zoom to become a more usable feature of digital cameras.

7:30 pm - Friday, July 29, 2005

#37 Bollocks Mate

IMHO, Digital Zoom is a waste of time and machinery. It's an excuse for the camera companies to charge just that little bit extra to get more dollars out of our pockets. They pitch the technology to the consumer who doesn't know anything about pixelization. But once the user understands how to print, the user knows that digital zoom on a camera is really unnecessary. You can do it in the computer!

Optical, optical, optical.

Digital zoom is only useful in video. Since you wouldn't PRINT video frames, you can use digital zoom to get closer to subjects at the video frame-rates. But when you want to PRINT a digitally pixelated picture..... UGH!

I would buy only little cameras as well, if I could help it - but we're still a couple of years away from tiny cameras to have high resolution. Once the small cameras have got to 8 Megapixels across the board, with 16x9 sensors and stabilization in all of them, then we have reached the next level.
But we're not there yet.

The LX1 is the first step.

5:19 am - Sunday, July 31, 2005

#38 GARY POGODA

My prediction about the usefulness of "digital" zoom was based on two assumptions:

1. The "direct-print" feature of digital cameras (i.e., no computer post processing) will be used more and more.

2. The pixel count of digital cameras will become high enough (i.e., 10+ megapixels) so moderate amounts of digital zoom (i.e., 2x - 3x) could be used, while still retaining enough image data to avoid pixelation during normal printing (i.e., 8" x10" or less).

It will be up to the manufacturers to develop digital zoom algorithms which smoothly integrate the optical and digital zooming so as to maximize the benefits of the optical zoom range and limit the digital zoom range to a preset value.

6:46 pm - Sunday, July 31, 2005

#39 Bollocks Mate

No offense to you, I assure you - but you're worrying me as to your understanding of what "digital zoom" means.

You've never had to print poster-sized photos, eh? or even panorama photos that are 3 feet long and 1 foot high, eh? Well let me tell you how nit-picky some people are when they see that the printed photos are not "perfect" and that the photos look "digitized." In other words, "pixelated" and not perfectly clear and in focus without any sort of digital blur. You just notice it so much more with larger prints, if the pixels weren't there in the first place!

If "normal" image printing is under 8x10 (as you suggested), then we are talking about the General Public, and even so, IMHO, there is absolutely no need for a digital zoom in Still photography.

You can crop photos digitally in the computer, so why do we need to digitally zoom in with the camera? You can't avoid pixelation in digital zoom - that's what digital zoom is, it's pixelated in its very nature - once you go beyond the optical zoom, all you're doing is pixelating the image! There is no algorithm that will change the "nature" of the optical zoom. All we will keep seeing is larger and larger Sensors when in the end we can go without digital zooms because the file sizes are so huge and we get the ability to print a whole wall sized image to go with it. So why bother with digital zoom in the first place? It confounds me, except for the fact that I mentioned earlier, which is to take up extra technology space and charge the consumer extra for something they do not actually need. I mean you never used to digitally zoom in to a 35mm film, did you? You have the optical lens, and that is the limit.

In fact, digital zoom in Video is also not that great either. You can tell when the image has been pushed beyond the captured pixels and it looks awful.

Basically, you should forget all about digital zooms altogether. Like I said, the manufacturers throw that little feature into their compact cameras to make them seem more than they are. And since the General Public who are just coming round to shooting with digicams have no clue as to what all this technology means to them, they'll buy the darned things anyways. But they're wasting time. I mean you don't hear about DSLR with digital zooms, do you? No, you use larger optical interchangeable lenses to bring the subject closer.

But, going back to the subject here: with the new LX1's type of camera with 16x9 sensors, you are capturing a larger image, and if you choose to crop the images later in the computer to resize the image to its limits before pixelation, you do have a larger image to play with. But you can't go beyond the optically captured pixels with any sort of digital zoom, in camera or in computer, without the image becoming digitaly blurred.

3:50 am - Monday, August 1, 2005

#40 GARY POGODA

Let me try this another way. If you snapped an image with a 5 megapixel camera at 10x optical zoom, and then snapped the same image with a 10 megapixel camera at 5x optical zoom plus 2x digital zoom (for a 10x total zoom), both images would have identical cropping, and the identical number of megapixels (i.e., 5). Thus, if all other things are equal, with a 10 megapixel, 5x optical zoom camera, you can achieve the same quality and zoom range as a 5 megapixel, 10x optical zoom camera, simply by applying 2x digital zoom.

Based on current trends, it may be a while before a 5 megapixel, 10x optical zoom, ultra-compact hits the market, but it certainly will not be long before a 10 megapixel, 5x optical zoom, ultra-compact becomes available. That is all I am saying.

6:51 am - Monday, August 1, 2005

#41 Bollocks Mate

You mean this:

5 Megapixel & 10x Zoom

10 Megapixel & 5x Zoom

right?

You still don't need Digital zoom, because you can choose to blow up (or zoom in) once you have the photo in the computer to make the same sized photos.

But -
if you can create a 10x Zoom in a compact -
you would simply couple the 10 Megapixel with a 10x Zoom, and that would be the end of that. Wouldn't you go for the max if you can do it already?
Which means that you don't need a 2x Digital zoom at all!

Doling it out. Just more money and waste for the consumer.

11:07 pm - Monday, August 1, 2005

#42 GARY POGODA

Now you got it. And I agree, if a 10x optical zoom were on the horizon for an ultra-compact, that would be my preferred choice. But since it is not, if I can get a 10 megapixel, 5x optical zoom, I would use 2x digital zoom, because my wife (you remember my wife) wants to print directly from the camera, without the use of a computer. She's a tough nut (of the hardware variety) to crack. :)

2:54 am - Tuesday, August 2, 2005

#43 Dave

Can anyone tell me if the VGA recording quality will be up to par when compared to mpeg3/mpeg4 recording quality? I love the 16:9 recording capability, but if VGA suffers in quality, I probably won't buy this camera.

5:16 pm - Tuesday, August 2, 2005

#44 John F. Cantrell

Something I rarely see mentioned in these forums is the benefit of small sensors: huge depth of field. It suits my needs perfectly to set my Canon G2 on its widest setting, put the camera down near my feet, and get incredible shots in focus from very near the lens to infinity.

I've looked at 6x9 (cm) film cameras (even have a couple) but the lenses for them get no wider than 35mm... with the resulting limited depth of field.

Small sensors enable depth of field not possible from any other camera apparatus except pinhole.

The LX1 will also have great depth of field, and imagine the kind of vertical image you can get at the 28mm 16x9 setting. Wonderful for desert plants, snowy topped mountains, and the moon, all in one frame, all sharp.

Very interesting camera.

5:38 pm - Tuesday, August 2, 2005

#45 GARY POGODA

Last time I recorded video was with a Sony Hi8 camcorder, so take this FWIW. :)

The LX-1 has about the best video recording specs of any "still" image camera. The 848 x 480 resolution @ 30 fps is the highest I have seen. The press release does not say what type of video compression it uses (probably MPEG-4), what type of audio recording it has (probably stereo), whether you can zoom during recording (probably you can), whether it uses image stabilization during recording (probably it does), and whether you can capture single images from the video file (probably you can).

You might want to check further into all those probablies. Maybe others can offer more definitive information.

6:36 pm - Tuesday, August 2, 2005

#46 Dave

^^awesome, your answer actually clears up a lot for me. I can't wait until I can read a full review on this. Thx again :)

7:06 pm - Tuesday, August 2, 2005

#47 GARY POGODA

On the benefit of small sensors providing huge DOF, the tradeoff, of course, is higher noise.

7:36 pm - Tuesday, August 2, 2005

#48 Bollocks Mate

OK I can see where people are, finally - I think I've been shooting DSLR and printing large photos consistently (bigger than 10x13) a long time, and it was difficult to bring myself around to understanding the needs of the general consumer who may never have a need to print larger than 8x10.

Obviously a lot of people are looking for an All-In-One camera that has good still and video capabilities, whereas I don't want anything to do with video.

http://www.dpreview.com/gallery/?gallery=panasoniclx1_preview/

the samples pics here are not the best examples - but they do give us an idea as to what the 16x9 framing show as far as the extra width and height we would get with the sensor - which is exactly what I want - but the funny thing about it is that if you were interested more in showing things on your nice, new, shiny HDTV, you wouldn't shoot thing Vertically! Know what I mean?

10:45 pm - Tuesday, August 2, 2005

#49 GARY POGODA

You could always turn your head sideways. :)

2:45 pm - Wednesday, August 3, 2005

#50 GARY POGODA

Has anyone noticed Panasonic's new marketing ploy of Extra Optical Zoom featured on its LX1 and FZ30 cameras? It does not add any extra zoom of the "optical" variety. What it actually adds is a small amount of "digital" zoom to enhance the optical zoom, but does so in a clever way. It allows the user to first select one of the camera's image sizes less than the maximum image size, and then it applies digital zoom as needed, but only up to the point where the selected image size can be maintained.

I praise Panasonic for providing this feature, but not for its misleading name. I would have named the feature "Optical Zoom Plus+", which definitely would have been more accurate (and possibly even more appealing).

7:12 pm - Wednesday, August 3, 2005

#51 Bollocks Mate

Yeah I noticed - the feature is a load of bollocks, if you ask me, but you knew that hehehe

It's not a PLUS, it's actually MINUS, if you think about it - the Zoom applies a CROPPING of the image to 5 Megapixels of the total 8 Megapixels using a box to get to that smaller size - so in essense, you're getting less pixels, which, if you had shot the larger version at full resolution, you could CROP (or zoom) into once you have it in your computer!

How these companies are fooling people!

1:46 am - Thursday, August 4, 2005

#52 GARY POGODA

Turning OFF your camera's "digital zoom" was always a slam dunk, for the reasons you suggest, all having to do with cropping. But that is changing, and here is why.

The Optical Zoom Plus+ (as I affectionately like to call it) is only activated AFTER you have, for whatever reason, selected one of the camera's lower resolution settings. If you have selected the maximum resolution, the OZP will NOT kick in, so there will be NO cropping of the image. If you have selected a lower resolution setting, you have already told the camera to CROP the image accordingly, so all the OZP does is take advantage of the selected cropping and give you the added "digital" zoom associated with that amount of cropping. OZP digital zoom, combined with the camera's optical zoom, gives a higher total zoom, while maintaining the cropping you initially selected.

For example, let's say you are interested in posting pictures on eBay, so you would select the 640 x 480 image resolution setting. A typical maximum image resolution setting for a 5 megapixel, 3x optical zoom camera, would be 2560 x 1920. If you do the math, OZP could do a 4x "digital" zoom, and still give you a 640 x 480 image. So you would get a 12x total zoom with NO additional cropping beyond what you already selected with the 640 x 480 image resolution setting.

I think we will be seeing a lot more of OZP, particularly as image sensors continue to grow in terms of the number of pixels. Consider this, a Phase One P45 Digital Back has a 45 megapixel CCD (only 39 mp effective, but let's not quibble). If you were to pop that 45 megapixel CCD into a "fixed" lens camera, you could use 3x digital zoom and still end up with a 5 megapixel image, which by today's standards, is considered plenty for high quality 8" x 10" prints. All from a camera with NO MOVING PARTS !!!

5:39 pm - Thursday, August 4, 2005

#53 Bollocks Mate

I don't think you understand what DIGITAL ZOOM means.

But it's OK, I understand how you need that extra bit of technology for your wife..... hahaha

But you do understand that there is a HUGE difference if you were to frame the exact same shot, once in 8 Mega and once in 5 Mega right?

Say you shoot your Car, as an example.
You shoot it from the same exact distance with the same exact framing and the same exact focal length and the same exact stop and speed - once at 8 Mega and once at 5 Mega.
You tell me, in this instance - which has the higher quality?

I KNOW we will never be rid of digital zoom. But it is an unnecessary tech that does not need to actually be inserted in to the digicams. They could save us a buck or two if they decided to be rid of that part of the Menu, button features and microprocessor power in the camera.
But no - they might as well charge us more than it's really worth.

Zooming in digitally in-camera means you are isolating a portion of the total picture, so unless you already have high optical zoom power, basically you are pixelating it to a point where you have gone past its actual limits of the resolution, which you can do in the computer later.

Like I said, we would never be rid of digital zoom, since we are making digital still cameras come closer and closer to video cameras.........

Why are you trying to justify something which is PHYSICALLY not possible? Digital zoom means loss of quality, It means pixelation. Simple as that. Why do we need in the camera? Why would you pixelate your photo in-camera, when you can have the choice to do that later in the computer?

You will NEVER justify your point - because I am talking about QUALITY of the photo. Digital zoom in camera means you can't bring it back in the computer once you have it digitally cropped.

6:58 pm - Thursday, August 4, 2005

#54 GARY POGODA

For an excellent explanation of "digital zoom," check out Vincent Bockaert's discussion in DPReview.com's Glossary.

http://www.dpreview.com/learn/?/Glossary/Digital_Imaging/Digital_zoom_01.htm

In the paragraph "To Use Or Not To Use Digital Zoom," item #2 deals specifically with the case of using digital zoom in combination with the camera's LOWER than maximum image resolution setting. He essentially draws the same conclusion as I made above using OZP for that purpose.

His item #3 in that paragraph deals with the disadvantage of using digital zoom at the camera's MAXIMUM resolution setting, which is where you are coming from.

He also makes an excellent point about digital zoom being superior to cropping on a computer when JPEG compression is used, a point neither of us had considered.

7:50 pm - Thursday, August 4, 2005

#55 Bollocks Mate

OK. The explanation is bass-ackwards, but it is the same thing as I am saying - the DIFFERENCE IS IN THE PIXELS.

Of course the 2 Mega pic is going to be different than the 5 Mega! DUH. The 2 Megapixel photo is going to be worse!

Unsampling? He's going backwards with the explanation. What he's trying to say is that when you have DISCARDING of image areas, you will have degradation due to the LACK of pixels - which is kind of obvious!

THAT is exactly my point -

Let's use the Optical focal lengths given there as an example;
Take the RED area ONLY of photo A.
#1: You shoot one photo at 2 Megapixels with Optical zoom of 50mm.
#2: You shoot another photo at 2 Megapixels with 31mm, and apply optical zoom to match and achieve the same general framing and focal length as the 50mm.

- Which photo would you use?
#1. Because it has been shot at the full resolution capable by that 2 Megapixel camera before it has been pixelated. In the case of #2, you have gone and pixelated your photo to TRY and achieve the same framing, which means you can't UPSAMPLE or UNSAMPLE without a REDUCTION in the size and quality of the photo to get any clarity at all, which you do not and cannot get from an already pixelated photo.

So why wouldn't want MORE pixels in your camera with more optical zoom, and be rid of digital zoom altogether? Which is sort of what we're getting closer to, I think.

2:19 am - Friday, August 5, 2005

#56 GARY POGODA

We are there, except for one thing. There are situations where you would NOT want to use the maximum resolution of the camera. Posting pictures on eBay is one such situation. Trying to conserve your camera's memory is another. IF (and that is the key word), IF (still the key word), IF (you guessed it, still the key word) you are in a situation where, for WHATEVER reason, you have selected an image resolution less than the camera's maximum, it would be advantageous, in THAT situation ONLY, to use a digital zoom amount which crops the image exactly to your selected resolution ... which was my original point. Q.E.D.

4:16 am - Friday, August 5, 2005

#57 Bollocks Mate

EH?

You what?

Every camera has the option to shoot at a LOWER resolution that the maximum, IF one wants to, like you said.

Lower resolution IS a shrunken photo, AND shrunken file size.

So why do we need Digital zoom? The lower resolution IS another way of saying we DISCARDED pixels and quality. In effect, that is the same as cropping or zooming in DIGITALLY, since the photo is a portion of what it could possibly be, not being at the maximum resolution.

Now we're getting somewhere.

The digital zoom technology is wasted on people who cannot case far ahead enough as to what they will do to the photos. The un-initiated - as I have mentioned - or, to put it another way, those who are unfamiliar and new to the technology of digital cameras won't be able to think ahead enough about what to do with the photos in the computer.
So, they take photos with the digital zoom applied, thinking they got REALLY CLOSE and then they go to print the photos - but the photos come out like crap, all pixelated and blurry. The only way to make them remotely clear and passable is by SHRINKING the photos, which makes them look much smaller than advertized - they scratch their heads, run back to the store and say that there's something WRONG with their camera! (man have I heard many a story like that). Since Average Joe or Jane do not bother reading the manuals on how digital photography actually works and what pixels really mean! They think they can just "point and shoot" - literally. Then they are informed about how the whole digital zoom thing is actually better left unused, that if they owned a computer they can do the same effect with software.

We are talking about COMPACT digicams for the wife and kids type of people, right? Compact digicams that are made for the general consumer, right? Not Prosumer, not Professional.

In fact, I own 3 Digicams. I own a DSLR, a mid-level, and a compact (I went large and then acquired the small ones to use when I wasn't on the job). With all of them I can SHRINK the files in camera to a LOWER resolution to save disk space, knowing that LATER, if I wanted to make them BIGGER for prints, I can't. But I shoot at the highest settings on all of them with the largest flash memory cards I can find anyways.


Your original points were not about "image resolution less than the camera's maximum," actually - if you go back to read your first post 5 points about what you want in a Digicam, you never mention pixels or zooms or file sizes at all.
In fact, if you go back to read your points in the first 10 posts of this post, you do mention the optical zoom very briefly but only a couple of times.
There is not a mention of what the file size would be when the LX1 shoots at its full 16x9 framing and high quality. Someone else got their first, but I wanted to emphasize the 16x9 sensor -

You seemed to have resigned to the fact that your ideas on how you think digital zoom is wonderful and all that and that's unfortunate!

And I mean no offense, I assure you! I just would like you realize that even Stabilization will not help when pixels just are being pushed beyond their limits.

I have NEVER used digital zoom, as you may have guessed.

You may want to read post #9 again.

You have to realize again - the LX1 is the FIRST EVER STILL (not Video) Digicam with a 16x9 sensor. And it's not even a DSLR. Coupled with a 28mm lens and stabilization, for a realtively compact digicam it's going to set new standards. I am looking forward to shooting with this new camera.

5:39 am - Friday, August 5, 2005

#58 GARY POGODA

The difference between selecting a lower image resolution, and digital zoom, is this: selecting a lower image resolution does not CROP an image, whereas digital zoom does.

For example, if you select a lower image resolution, say 640 x 480, on a 5 megapixel camera having a maximum image resolution of 2560 x 1920, your camera will discard 3 out of every 4 pixels across the board, both horizontally and vertically, to achieve the selected 640 x 480 resolution. If you are already at full telephoto extension for your, say 3x, optical zoom lens, then using OZP to achieve an ADDITIONAL 4x zoom, will PUT BACK every discarded pixel, and simply crop the image to achieve the selected 640 x 480 resolution (i.e., it will discard all of the outermost CCD pixels and keep all of the innermost 640 x 480 CCD pixels), with NO FURTHER IMAGE DEGRADATION !!!

So, in this case, or any case where you need or want, however unwittingly, to shoot with a lower image resolution setting, using the additional zoom offered by OZP can ONLY be to your advantage. That is all I am saying (with regard to OZP).

6:29 pm - Friday, August 5, 2005

#59 Bollocks Mate

You obviously do not understand how the technology of pixels work.

You keep saying DISCARD pixels. What do you think digital zoom does? You keep saying it yourself.

Nevermind. Honestly, if you want to keep telling yourself that there is a genuine use for digital zoom, that's up to you.

Not a problem.

You're right.

7:29 am - Saturday, August 6, 2005

#60 GARY POGODA

Has anyone noticed Mark's uncharacteristic absence of the past 3 days? He has not posted new articles, or any comments that I know of, since August 3. That is not like him at all. I hope he is just busy, and not ill. Mark, if you are feeling ill, get well soon !!!

If you are just busy, I hope you are working on a review of the HP Photosmart R817. I have a really good feeling about that camera. It has all the features I would want in an ultra-compact camera (for my wife).

BTW, have you read the new review of the Olympus Stylus 800 at Steve's Digicams? It is an 8 megapixel ultra-compact with many of the same features I like on the R817, but with only 3x optical zoom, compared to the R817's class leading 5x optical zoom, which is still preferred over digital zoom, even with the (contested :)) benefits of OZP.

5:37 pm - Saturday, August 6, 2005

#61 Ure A. Kuntz

Hey Gary,

What are you babbling on about?
I thought this was a comments page for the Panasonic LX1 with the 16x9 Sensor?

I feel sorry for your wife, for you make her into a scapegoat to hide your shortcomings.

You should take your comments about other cameras to the appropriate places.
The most important thing here is that the Panasonic DMC-LX1 will have a 16x9 Sensor for any type of digicam, compact or otherwise.

3:43 am - Sunday, August 7, 2005

#62 GARY POGODA

A few additional points on using still image cameras for video. If a camera allows audio recording during video shooting, then it will most likely limit the video to digital zooming, since optical zooming would create unwanted noise, which would be picked up by the camera's microphone. You will also want to make sure that a camera has unlimited video shooting capability (i.e., limited only by the capacities of the camera's memory and battery).

BTW, I read the LX1 uses the QuickTime Motion JPEG compression format for its video. While I know this is an Apple format, I do not know how it compares with MPEG-3 or MPEG-4. Maybe someone else could offer more information.

5:43 am - Sunday, August 7, 2005

#63 Bollocks Mate

Here are some better sample pics of the 16x9 Sensor, to give us an idea of what the extra WIDTH difference would be:

http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/panasonic/dmc_lx1-review/gallery.shtml

The idea is to shoot LANDSCAPE (or horizontal) rather than PORTRAIT (or vertical) - because when you lug it in to your nice, new,m shiny HDTV, you wouldn't want to tilt your head sideways to look at a vertically-shot photos now, would ya? And you wouldn't tilt your TV sideays to stand it up on its side, eh?


Hey Pogoda - you're beginning to sound like Meryl Burbank/ Hanna Gill (Laura Linney) in "The Truman Show."

10:12 pm - Monday, August 8, 2005

#64 GARY POGODA

Thanks for the compliment. What's your professional opinion on OIS vs. Anti-Blur (a.k.a, Anti-Shake), two divergent image stabilization trends?

It amazes me that high ISO settings can now implement Anti-Blur, when previously, high ISO settings were always associated with higher image sensor noise. But there must be something to it, as many cameras are doing just that. Initially there was the Samsung Pro815, then the Fujifilm FinePix S5600 and S9500, and now, yesterday's 4 newly announced Casio's, the EX-Z10, EX-Z110, EX-Z120, and EX-Z500.

Just so we are on the same page, the ISO settings on digital cameras were designed to emulate the ISO settings on film, which indicate the films sensitivity to light, where higher ISO numbers indicate greater light sensitivity. Higher ISO settings enable you to shoot without flash in low light situations where a flash would normally be required. You can also use higher ISO settings in normal light situations to allow selection of a faster shutter speed, for shooting at higher zoom ranges where you would otherwise need a tripod to steady the camera.

All other things being equal, higher ISO settings mean greater noise for the simple reason that each pixel of the camera's CCD receives less light, and thus produces a lower level output signal. The lower level output signal requires higher amplification, which in turn further amplifies the pixel's noise, and thus reduces its S/N ratio.

One way to compensate for higher noise is to use a larger CCD with larger pixels (as found in higher end dSLRs). Larger pixels receive proportionally more light, and thus output proportionally higher level signals, which require less amplification, and yield higher S/N ratios. Another way is to use the same sized CCD with less pixels, since a lower pixel count also means larger pixels. A third way to compensate for noise is to use better noise reduction algorithms.

While OIS has none of the negative side effects of Anti-Blur with respect to noise, it also has none of the beneficial effects of Anti-Blur for combating image blur caused by fast moving subjects. For image blur caused by camera shake, I suppose a noisy image is preferable to a blurred image, but the optimal solution would be to have a choice of using OIS and/or Anti-Blur.

7:10 pm - Tuesday, August 9, 2005

#65 zymonk

I'm eagerly awaiting this camera. I think the 16x9 is a big part of my interest. I hope Panasonic made some strides in reducing the noise that was something of a problem at high ISO in previous models. The one thing I don't get is why don't they put some threads in front of that nice Leica glass. It makes no sense. Funny that no one else has mentioned it. It's a big detraction for me. So if I buy this camera I have to hunt down a lame snap-on adapter. Urrrr.

3:41 pm - Wednesday, August 17, 2005

#66 GARY POGODA

My guess is that people in the market for a pocketable camera are not so interested in carrying around attachments.

5:48 pm - Wednesday, August 17, 2005

#67 zymonk

My guess is that anyone who spends $600 on a camera with a nice Leica lens would like to protect it with a UV or skylight filter and do away with the hassel of a lens cap.

7:21 pm - Wednesday, August 17, 2005

#68 GARY POGODA

My apologies. I did not even realize that the LX1 required a lens cap ??? In that case, I agree with you completely about using a filter for protection. Someone at Panasonic must have had a loose screw. What a shame they did not have a few loose screw threads to go with it. :)

5:45 pm - Thursday, August 18, 2005

#69 Carsten Ranke

:) Have a look into te manual. The LX1 comes with a cap.

http://service.us.panasonic.com/OPERMANPDF/DMCLX1.PDF

7:23 pm - Tuesday, August 23, 2005

#70 GARY POGODA

So I see, and it appears to be spring loaded, unlike my wife's Canon G3, where the cap was nothing more than fitted plastic, and would always fall off in her pocketbook, leaving the lens unprotected.

Did you happen to notice that the LX1 also has a "pop-up" flash? I do not recall ever seeing this feature on an ultra-compact. I take back what I had previously said about the LX1 not being the right camera for my wife because it has no in-camera, red-eye fix. With a pop-up flash, red-eye fix may be totally unnecessary, which is even better since red-eye fix does not always work correctly or ideally. I will be very interested to see how this camera does in a (Mark's :)) review.

8:54 pm - Tuesday, August 23, 2005

#71 Carsten Ranke

Hmmm... Dont nag about Canon´s lens caps. My good old G1 (not my wife`s) has a fitted plastic cap, that fitted quite well and did not fall off. IMHO, the Powershot S70 is a serious alternative, I will wait for tests of the LX1 until I make my choice. It is not only the Leica brand lens, that makes a good camera. Canon is a good manufacturer with long history in photography. Panasonic, hu ? Who is panasonic. But... After a deep look into the LX1 manual I am impressed. A SERIOUS alternative to the S70. However, it is said that the Panasonic RAW is bad, so lets wait for the tests...

9:40 pm - Tuesday, August 23, 2005

#72 GARY POGODA

You probably did not carry your G1 around in a pocketbook. :)

Seriously though, the S70 is an excellent camera; however, my guess is that you are not thrilled with Canon for having dropped RAW format from their S80.

10:37 pm - Tuesday, August 23, 2005

#73 Evan Zamir

My Canon PS200 Elph is getting old, so I've been on the lookout for a new P&S digicam. Although Panny's not usually on my radar screen (I'm a Nikon SLR film guy mostly), my brother said they've been getting good reviews. Also, the Leica lenses can't hurt. Here's what intrigues me about the LX1, and may cause me to go out and spend some cash:

1) Ability to set focus and exposure manually (excellent!)

2) 28 mm is wider than most zooms. I wish it was 24 mm, but that's why I have my SLR, I guess.

3) 854x480 30 fps resolution video. This is the "killer app". Now I will be able to capture DVD-resolution movies on my P&S and view them in all their amateur glory on my InFocus DLP projector.

4) Throw in the OIS, and I'm pretty much sold.

5:22 am - Wednesday, August 24, 2005

#74 Carsten Ranke

Gary, I was shocked by Canons silly decision, with both my good old G1 and my 300D I shoot almost exclusively RAW. So I will marry the S80´s older sister, or the LX1 ;-)

8:01 pm - Wednesday, August 24, 2005

#75 Carsten Ranke

Evan, if you are a Nikon SLR guy, and adapted to Canons nice clean blue sky, I would say take care - there is more noise in the (preproduction) LX1 sample images, @ 28 mm, 80 ISO

(warning, large jpeg, 100% size)

http://img2.dpreview.com/gallery/panasoniclx1_preview/originals/p1010114.jpg

as compared to a similar shot @ 28 mm, low ISO (Auto, should be 50 or 100).

http://img2.dpreview.com/gallery/canons70_samples/originals/img_0170.jpg

For landscapes, in my case, too noisy the LX1. It is not the Leica lens alone... Have to wait a production sample test.

8:34 pm - Wednesday, August 24, 2005

#76 GARY POGODA

While the LX1 is impressive, HP's Photosmart R817 was my preferred choice, mainly for its 5x optical zoom lens and in-camera red-eye fix.

However, with the recent revelation of the LX1's "pop-up" flash, I now regard the LX1 as my top choice. In particular, I like its 28 mm wide, 4x optical zoom lens. I also like its OIS for low light situations, and its 16:9 aspect ratio, a feature which did make my top 10 list until I saw it demonstrated by Simon at DPReview with his sample images.

I especially like its uncompressed RAW, as well as TIFF, formats, its 2.5", 207K pixel LCD with dedicated brightness button, and its Extra Optical Zoom for those situations where a reduced image size is desired. Should they be required, its video specs are top-notch, and its manual controls are more than adequate, as are its scene modes (although, regrettably, no Underwater scene or optional underwater casing).

I am not crazy about its lack of a fully retracting lens, and thus its need for a snap-on lens cap or non-threaded filter for protection, but that is certainly not a deal breaker. On the other hand, I expect any (preproduction) noise problems to be resolved, and a relatively high red-eye immunity to be exhibited; otherwise, all bets are off.

Did I forget anything? :)

11:07 pm - Wednesday, August 24, 2005

#77 GARY POGODA

Forgot something, its steep price. I don't know about you, but when buying quality, I expect to pay for it; otherwise, it makes me suspicious about where they cut costs.

9:10 pm - Friday, August 26, 2005

#78 Nick Pecukonis

I bought a black LX1 2 days ago, shot 100 pictures yesterday, I am VERY happy with the results, especially the close-ups!!!
I dont like the fact that Panasonic lies about it's size, it is 4.25 X 2.25 X 1.875 inches. The grid overlay and 16x9 mode will be my standard. Viewscreen is awesome, a well made, precision instrument.

8:47 am - Saturday, August 27, 2005

#79 Carsten Ranke

Nick, great to hear first real life impressions ! I am quite sure I would shoot in overlay grid mode, a very useful feature for landscapers.
What is your opinion about noise, from your first pictures ?
And the shutter lag, noticeable or not for candids ?
The viewscreen, is the viewing angle wide enough ?

10:35 am - Saturday, August 27, 2005

#80 Nick in Japan

I replied to this inquiry via reply to your e-mail, sorry about ramblings off subject. Noise compares to Sony F828, shutter lag not a problem, focus/ ae lock seems a bit slow, may just be in the scenic mode I was in. Viewscreen masks black top and bottom for full 16x9 view, awesome viewfinder! I love the grid overlay option in combo with the 16x9 mode, farewell 4x3, 3x2!

1:08 pm - Saturday, August 27, 2005

#81 GARY POGODA

Any indication of low susceptibility to red-eye with the pop-up flash?

3:16 pm - Saturday, August 27, 2005

#82 Nick in Japan

Redeye is the direct result of the proximity of the flash to the lens, the closer the flash, the more the red-eye UNLESS there is a preflash that the camera emits thus causing the iris of the subject's eye to close somewhat, thus reducing the redeye effect. I use "Forced Flash" on most pictures as , kinda, an assurance for shadow filling, and dont worry about redeye, easily removed in Photoshop.This camera has redeyereduction, auto and forced flash options after you push the little button to pop the flash up. My initial impression for this flash is that it "isnt much of a flash" , "Weenie" may be the best word. I will be leaving for a flea market soon, gonna do some more testing, I need to have my Japanese wife translate some of this Panasonic way of doing things, the camera I got here in Japan doesnt have an English instruction book, kinda slow process sometimes.... I love this little camera, Gary, I have Sony and Canon Stuff, this LX-1 fills the back-up nitch very well, as well as being a "fun to use " camera. Panasonic has been making Leica stuff for years, obvious quality in this model !

10:31 pm - Saturday, August 27, 2005

#83 GARY POGODA

Nick, as I said previously (somewhere back there among the volumes), my wife prints directly from her camera (no Photoshop), and with her previous cameras, red-eye was a huge problem towards this end, even with the red-eye reduction pre-flash ON. For this reason, I had intended that her next camera have in-camera red-eye fix (such as the Nikon Coolpix 7900 or HP Photosmart R817), that is, until I noticed that the LX1 has a pop-up flash, which as you pointed out, gets right to the cause of the red-eye problem, rather than fixing it once it has occurred. What I was hoping to find out from you is just how good a job the pop-up flash (with the red-eye reduction pre-flash ON) does at eliminating the red-eye occurrence. Any insight you could provide would be greatly appreciated. Arigatou gozaimashita. :)

12:32 am - Sunday, August 28, 2005

#84 Nick

Back from flea mkt, will check pictures, will go swimming tomorrow with Kids, will do some pix with red-eye reduction for you...Can I attach pix to this site???

2:54 am - Sunday, August 28, 2005

#85 Mark Goldstein

The best way would be to post your pictures in the Gallery, then link directly to them from this Comments section.

http://www.photographyblog.com/gallery/index.php

Note that you need to register first before you can upload photos.

8:55 am - Sunday, August 28, 2005

#86 Mark Goldstein

Further comments posted on behalf of Nick...

Thank you for your inquiry, I use the Sony F828 and Canon 10D also, I can honestly say that the grain is comparible to that of the 828 at the best ASA, I have only shot about 100 pictures and I will be going to a big flea market tomorrow and hope to shoot lottsa different variations. I always wanted a grid overlay and because horizontals gotta be kept horizontal, this is a great help and reminder, not at all obtrusive, in all types of pictures. Noise is about the same as the 828, the only comparison I have in 8mp ( seems like the CMOS in the 10D is , relly , alot less, if that's possible . Shutter lag wasnt noticeable, BUT, seemed like it took a bit of time to focus/lock. I took some pictures of Little Joe jumping into the mountain pool and the capture seemed to be exactly as I had hoped for, I caught him where I expected! The viewscreen is framed, top and bottom, when using the 16x9 mode, and the 28mm is great for everything, horizontal and near verticals! I'm 65 and my eyesight isnt what it used to be, I dont wear glasses except to read, or do this laptop, I had no trouble using the viewscreen! Alot of stuff I have to figure out yet, the manual is in Japanese and my Japanese wife has to translate alot of stuff I haven't figured out yet, there is a resizing mode, ala Sony, with the zoom/cropping feature, real nice too....Gotta get to bed, I'm here in Iwakuni Japan, retired Marine, Mr. Mom, collect cameras and take a picture a day of my children. I have over 800 cameras in my collection and transitioned a few years ago to all digital, use Sony F505K, 707, 717,V1 and 828, and the Canon 10D with a wonderful Sigma lens, the 170-500 ( Popular Photography rated that lens , in Canon Mount, as a 168-550, F5.0-5.6 ! I believe it! I use the 12mm lens spacer for close-ups and shooting out about 60 ft. Love that lens!!) Anyway, I really love to ramble about cameras and my experiances, please ask anything, happy to reply.....I do scenics and nudes, no porn. I'm 13 hrs. ahead of Eastern Time.

10:06 am - Sunday, August 28, 2005

#87 Carsten Ranke

Question about RAW: The LX1 offers RAW, but the LC1 is said to have a poor RAW mode. You definitively need a fine conversion software to get really the most out of te RAW information, and I ended up with CaptureOne for my 300D. I dont know if you shoot a lot of RAW with your 10D, and it is probably an overrated feature the RAW format, if you follow the discussions about RAW versus jpeg. Most professoinals shoot jpeg exclusively, I know. It is time consuming and tedious to get a decent result from RAW, a result that in-camera algorithms create immediately for you. I kow that. BUT... For landscape photography, an amateur like me has definitively more flexibility and control of color balance and highlights with RAW, if he is willing to invest some time fiddling with RAW converters like CaptureOne. The combination Canon CRW RAW plus CaptureOne converter has definitively an edge for tricky landscape shots. BreezeBrowser for my good old G1 RAW shots was also fine. The Panasonic people seem to be unfamiliar with RAW, at least if you hear user opinions about the RAW converter for Panasonic RAW format. It would not be a show-stopper for me, but I would like to know how the Panasonic LX1 RAW works, what conversion software comes with the camera, I would like to know the options to chose from this converter (like under/ overexposure compensation, color temperature setting, sharpness, contrast, levels and curves).

4:24 pm - Sunday, August 28, 2005

#88 GARY POGODA

Sounds like you need simultaneous RAW+JPEG. Shame the LX1 only offers it with Standard JPEG quality. At least you would have the RAW file if you are not satisfied with the camera's JPEG decisions, which you have to admit, are getting better all the time.

7:43 pm - Sunday, August 28, 2005

#89 Nick in Japan

TIFF and RAW are just the ticket for folks that do huge prints and have lottsa time on their hands, personally Photoshop CS2 and JPEG work for me. Free trial for CS2 should be tried at least, FILTER>NOISE>REDUCE NOISE, and the HIGHLIGHT selection in ADJUSTMENTS will change your life. Call me if you want more opinions, I'm 13 hrs AHEAD of Eastern time here in Japan, I usually shoot 20+ pictures in the mornings, start Photoshop tweaking around noon till the Kids come home and I start my Mr. Mom duties....Dial the Japan code, then 827 32 6412. " Life is just a memory"

10:15 pm - Sunday, August 28, 2005

#90 GARY POGODA

Carsten, could you get by with JPEG using the LX1's auto-bracketing?

10:58 pm - Sunday, August 28, 2005

#91 Carsten Ranke

Actually, I wonder if my fiddling with Canon`s RAW the last five years was always worth the time. But for some landscapes with tricky workup I would prefer still RAW (I love to stitch landscapes vertically, with CaptureOne very handy, because you can match color settings and levels / curves of different RAWs nicely, for seamless stitching). Even with RAW, I have to use exposure bracketing. But... it depends. Sounds attractive what some people say about the advantages of jpeg over RAW (jpeg compression logarithmic in the shadows, versus linear in RAW, for example). Maybe I could live without the RAW option, at least in my digicam. RAW tweaking is probably more useful with DSLRs (?).

11:16 pm - Sunday, August 28, 2005

#92 GARY POGODA

Sounds complicated. Do you also use identical focus and whitebalance settings for each vertical frame in the composite?

12:14 am - Monday, August 29, 2005

#93 Nick in Japan

Just reurned from swimming, Red-Eye Report... Close-ups in 16x9 @ about 1 meter in verical and horizontal position yields absolutely NO red eye,but, a pleasant white dot, at 3 meters there is a slight redeye in predominantly if eyes are in the lower quadrants, horizontal checked only. The focus assist lamp is really bright and probably acts as sort of an added red-eye reducer, an added benny! I dont know who the white balance/ focus question was directed to... I, have had real good luck with the auto white balance setting, we all have our own preferences in the way a picture is composed, personnaly I am using all the options of contrast, saturation etc. in the "High " settings (LX-1) Because I like saturated pictures, Photography is so ambiguous, that what works for you may not for me, but always remember that there is no such thing as a "bad" picture, just, some are better than others. Photoshop does alot of stuff to save an , otherwise, so-so picture, especially if you go back to it later, and re-eval it. I think we tend to be overly critical when we First view a shot, later, we find that it wasn't that bad! Anyway , got alot of tweaking to do.. Good shooting!

3:47 am - Monday, August 29, 2005

#94 GARY POGODA

It makes sense the pop-up flash would reduce red-eye more effectively at a 1 meter vs. 3 meter camera-to-subject distance, since any additional separation put between flash and lens by the pop-up mechanism, becomes increasingly significant at shorter distances.

The question for me still remains, whether the slight amount of red-eye you observed is preferable to a sometimes finicky in-camera red-eye fix. I will reserve judgment on that until I see some actual samples.

Thank you again, Nick, for your time. I am at least glad to hear that you are "semi" retired. :)

6:17 am - Monday, August 29, 2005

#95 Nick in Japan

Thank you for the reply, I can only guess about the level of displeasure from this camera's redeye, I suspect it to be average in this catagory, that means you probably wont find a camera of this style that will be much better. SLR style cameras have continually been moving the flashes higher and higher. Give me a call and give me your e-mail address and I will be happy to send you some of my shots. I retired in '89 after 30+ years in the Corps, I miss it!

6:36 am - Monday, August 29, 2005

#96 stupidlammer

Hey Nick, how much did u pay for the LX1 there in Japan? Care to send me some sample pictures?

8:51 am - Monday, August 29, 2005

#97 stupidlammer

Also, are the pictures from your piece much less noisy then those taken in pre-production models?

8:56 am - Monday, August 29, 2005

#98 nick

I do alot of business with a specific shop, he gives me a discount ... I paid , right at $500, at the current rate of exchange, plus another $150 for 2 ea. 512 SDs, an an extra battery. No problem sending pix, need an address! I cannot really compare my pix with pre-production models because both mine and published shots are resized to various compressions. I would like to say that I am Very pleased with this little beauty and my F-828 and 10D are a bit lonesome. I have a model shoot lined up in about 2 weeks, I plan on using the LX-1 alot, not just as a good back-up....

9:16 am - Monday, August 29, 2005

#99 GARY POGODA

Why not take Mark's suggestion and post them for everyone?

BTW, after rereading your comment #78, I have to say I am very disappointed. My initial interest in the LX1 was, first and foremost, as an "ultra-compact".

9:18 am - Monday, August 29, 2005

#100 nick

Irks me that the LX-1's size is not published accurately, I, too was expecting a slimmer camera, but, shame on me, a close look at the picture indicates that it must , indeed be bigger than 1" in width...Truth in advertising again obviously ignored! I share my pictures with people I know, thin skinned, couldnt handle the critisim! Thanks for the invite tho!

9:30 am - Monday, August 29, 2005