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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#201 nick

AA, your comments indicate that you are French, Liberal, Anti-American, and Profane. Life is too short for hateful attitudes, I find TOO much of that on CNN, ABC and NBC, all, with an agenda of hate towards our Government, especially President Bush. Sorry if my mentioning of FNN upset you, not my style, I should have forseen an reply like this.....I think progress has been made in reducing power drains on batterys, as I mentioned, I never got out of the "Full Battery " mode, with everything on , after 270 shots. I too, was leary of no viewfinder, but realized that I take Many, Many shots with all my Sonys, Just by aligning, and ensuring focus (Beep) via the LED. Old habits are hard to break, a 3 1/2 inch LED is coming, I'm sure.
Gary... I know you did, Thank you!! Does Panasonic have a "Question/Answer" e-mail section that could answer the pulse question? I use the FP-38s alot and LOVE them, both on the Sonys and Canon, a soft, studio lighting. Quite an interesting looking rig, the 2 flat panels in the shoe on the bottom of the LX...Gotta get them sync'd some how!!!!

9:24 am - Thursday, September 8, 2005

#202 nick

Response to #200.. I intentially directed the focus assist light right to the slaves, flashed it, moved it.. NO effect. There is a distinct , 2 quick flashes when the flash goes off, confirmed by Little Joe, and , I observe the FP-38s going off on the FIRST PULSE.

9:31 am - Thursday, September 8, 2005


I found this on the Internet for you. No thanks necessary. :)

For normal and macro photography, I have used remote wireless slave flashes instead of floodlights for back-and side-filling. Wireless slaves detect the light emitted by the camera's flash, which triggers them to fire in sync. I found out the hard way that if you're going to use these types of slave flashes with digital cameras, they must be specifically designed for use with digital cameras- you probably won't be able to use older non-digital types. Here's the reason: Most digital cameras emit a double flash when you press the shutter button. The first flash is used by the camera to set exposure time, white balance, etc. The second flash comes imperceptibly afterward and is the one that is actually used to take the photograph (I'm not speaking here of the blinking flash that is sometimes used to reduce red-eye. Those blinks occur well in advance of the double flash). Slave strobes that are designed for film cameras will trigger on the camera's first flash and will be long extinguished by the time the camera's shutter opens and the second flash is produced. Thus, a dark photo. Digital strobes will either count the flashes or will have a delay circuit that allows firing at the right time.

My Epson 600 camera emits the "setting" flash 70 milliseconds before the "exposure" flash (easily confirmed with a photocell and an oscilloscope). Even though I have difficulty seeing it, sometimes I can hear the double flash. If I shoot the night sky or a flat black surface such as velvet or conductive foam (the type that ICs are stored in) from a few inches away, the camera's computer forces a maximum-brightness flash. When the flash circuit dumps all of that current (twice), it produces an audible pop-pop sound.

If you want to build your own slave flash, there's a cheap way to do it. Go to your nearest Fast Photo or other film developing store. Ask if you can have a few of the husks of those cheap throw-away cameras. The employees usually cannibalize the cameras for the AA cells, and of course they have removed the film, but the rest of the camera is usually considered to be disposable and free for the asking. All you need to do is add a couple of batteries and you'll have a working electronic flash unit. Examination will tell you where to connect the output of your trigger circuit. The disposable camera's flash circuits can also be used for other experiments, like exploding wires and magnetic launchers. Tearing these things apart will uncover some clever design work, too. Be careful of electrical shock. That big capacitor stores a LOT of energy, even after the batteries are removed and Xenon tube has flashed.

9:55 am - Thursday, September 8, 2005


Nowhere in the LX1 manual does it mention TTL flash metering???

10:33 am - Thursday, September 8, 2005

#205 nick

Wow, I can't thank you enough for this research, we were right. I have the desire, but not the tools, nor testicles to open up the LX-1 and play with little wires. The LX-1 has all the features to do some real serious photography with a limitation of not being able to use remote strobes. Not many folks care , I,m sure. I would have loved to do some side lighting , and more, guess maybe someone will figure out a way to fix the problem, I really hope so, seems like a logical progression to getting the best pictures we can...Thanks again, Gary, I owe you! I can sleep tonight!

10:38 am - Thursday, September 8, 2005

#206 nick

# 204... TTL is not in most folks dialog that buy small cameras, or, at least that's what the camera makers probably think ! With these great little "Near Ultra Compacts" producing awesome images, more and more Pros will discover their usefulness, and, probably will be listed as the tool that got the job done! I wish I had had this LX-1 in Vietnam instead of that Yashica 635!!!

10:47 am - Thursday, September 8, 2005

#207 nick

Gary, Found it, "WEIN" makes some "smart slaves" I just sent them an e-mail, I'll update when they reply... Here is something from their article.......

WEIN DIGITAL SMART SLAVE TECHNOLOGY accurately computes the preflash delays automatically using sophisticated computer algorythms . The slaved strobe fires at extended ranges in perfect synchronization with digital built in flash producing professional results for indoor photographic lighting enhancement.

The WEIN DIGITAL SMART SLAVES are available in all the popular normal flash configurations.

1:06 pm - Thursday, September 8, 2005


Buying new sounds like a much better idea than tinkering inside the LX1.

Here are some additional "digital" slave flashes you might want to check out before ordering. The DSF-1s ($99.95) has a "manual" switch on the back for firing on first or second flash (click on name to see rear view of flash which shows manual switch). The top of the line DS-PRO ($249.95) is more powerful and versatile, and also has selectable firing, but does not say "manual" selection and does not show a rear view. They also have a bunch of slave "ring" flashes.

8:09 pm - Thursday, September 8, 2005

#209 Amazingly Amazed

How did you come up with me being French? If I were French, I'd be watching Antenne 2 or something, not BBC.....


I honestly think you guys are thinking about tinkering with this LX1 too much with the flash set up and all - it's a compact digicam, an all-in-one simplicity - it happens to have a 16x9 sensor........
Eventually, you can have your 16x9 sensor still camera with a large flash or hot-shoeable or TTL.....

I don't think that the LX1 is made for shooting great Portraits, it can certainly capture people as snap shots, but it's made more for wide landscape photography more than anything.

That's encouraging to hear about the battery capacity so far.

9:28 pm - Thursday, September 8, 2005

#210 Nick in Japan

Thanks for the flash info, I have all the flashes I need, it's the slave that is the object of my attention, I got good and bad reports sent to me concerning Wein, seems there original stuff did good, but, some problems have been encountered with some of the new, smart slaves. I will do more research. Thanks again for your research!!!

10:43 pm - Thursday, September 8, 2005


Now I'm confused. I thought all those flashes were "slave" flashes. That's what the 'S' stands for in DSF-1s and DS-PRO.

10:51 pm - Thursday, September 8, 2005

#212 nick

I don't understand your confusion.. There are Flashes, there are Slaves, there are Flashes that have internal slaves. I have 3 or 4 old Sunpak slaves which are not digital,I'm sure they dont work with digital. Yesterday's pre-flash lesson 101 !!!All photographers should have a flash in their bag with a little slave attached, for that time when they need a bit more light, for one reason or another. Cheap little tools that are fun to use! My old Sunpak flashes have never failed me, and have slaves attached via velcro / rubber bands ( Bike tube inovations )
The wonderful Sunpak FP-38 Flat Panels actually hook together to one common foot mount, activated by sync cord ,OR, internal slave, unfortunate there is no PC connection, nor , hotshoe as with the Sony F828 or Canon 10D, that both work well with the flat panels. I'm about to look at what "Morris" has in the line of Digital Slaves, I saw an ad in B&H ad, in Shutterbug. Pricey to buy some stuff here in Japan, I'll have my Son send whatever I decide on, from N.Y. , He started school there recently, State University @ Albany ( UA) International Business, taking his first test in Japanese today, he should do well, he is half Japanese, went to school here a while.

1:12 am - Friday, September 9, 2005

#213 nick

Gary.. Sent e-mail to Morris about their "Popular Shoe Slave" to see if it was Digital ready (Preflash problem) I may NOT be, but this is EXACTLY what I need for the Flat Panels . I wish you would e-mail me, so I could send you images....

1:57 am - Friday, September 9, 2005


Ohhhhhh ... a slave "unit" to hook up to an existing flash.

6:01 am - Friday, September 9, 2005

#215 nick

Thanks again Gary!!!Very interesting reading!!!!!

6:22 am - Friday, September 9, 2005

#216 Nick in Japan

Gary, It finally hit me, the words I wanted to use to explain how I feel about the 16x9, 8.4mp image that the LX-1 has..
When I first started using the Mamiya 645, I remember the spectacular difference in viewing those images, I have that same feeling now when I view these Wide shots, not just the size, but the quality of the image...

10:01 am - Friday, September 9, 2005


That's great, Nick. It sounds like you found the ideal camera for yourself. Sure it has limitations, some of which you have been able to get around, and some of which you have not (yet), but there currently is nothing else on the market that compares.

For now, the LX1 is also my top choice of camera (for my wife). Whether it remains that way until her birthday in January depends on how well the Nikon Coolpix S4, the Ricoh Caplio R3, and the HP Photosmart R817 do in the reviews, and on what else comes to market by then. You have convinced me that the LX1's 16:9 aspect ratio is something to behold; however, I know from her past experience that the 28mm, 7.1x optical zoom of the R3 would be very useful to her, as would the 38mm, 10x optical zoom of the S4, as would the 36 mm, 5x optical zoom of the R817. Both the S4 and R817 have in-camera red-eye fix, and the R3 might eliminate it altogether. All three cameras are more pocketable than the LX1, although the "semi-ultra-compact" LX1 would still be easy enough for her to carry around in her pocketbook.

Thanks to you, I know that the LX1 is an excellent camera. Until I find out that these other cameras are anywhere near as good, the LX1 will remain the camera of choice (for my wife).

Catch you later.

11:12 am - Friday, September 9, 2005

#218 Darrick Christodaro

I've been paying attention to the dialogue on the LX1. I first read about the LX1 when I began looking for a consumer digital camera with OIS. I briefly owned a Nikon 5900 but discovered that the shooting range was significantly hampered by the absence of an IS. Otherwise, it was an excellent camera. I'm new to the world of cameras and have learned a great deal from reading everyone's comments. Would someone please answer this seemingly simple question: which is a larger ccd, a 1/1.8" or a 1/2.5"? Are these figures best evaluated as length to width ratios, or as fractions in which simple division would yield the desired answer? I'm more interested in light-gathering capacity than gross pixels. Also, would someone please indicate how to determine lens diameter from a spec sheet? For camcorders, filter diameter always gives me an idea but most ultracompacts digital cameras do not permit filters. I also desire a larger lens than what the nikon had. Thanks.

7:22 pm - Friday, September 9, 2005


The expressions 1/1.8" and 1/2.5" are fractions, mixed with decimal expressions, i.e., 1/1.8" > 1/2" > 1/2.5" > 1/3". A pixel's light gathering capability is determined by its size, so cramming more pixels onto a CCD, while increasing the camera's resolution, decreases its signal-to-noise ratio. The f-stop on a lens determines the diameter of light passing through to the CCD, with lower f-stop numbers allowing more light to pass through. I too am looking for an ultra-compact with a large optical zoom. The just announced Ricoh Caplio R3 has a lot of potential in that regard.

8:07 pm - Friday, September 9, 2005

#220 Carsten Ranke

Gary, the R3 puts 5 MP into a smaller sensor like my good old, 5 years old G1, with 1/1.8" sized sensor. I am afraid the noise will be too much for me, pocketable or not. If the Ricoh guys throw an APS sensor into the GR1, with a decent fast wide angle.... Just dreaming, wait for Sep 13

9:01 pm - Friday, September 9, 2005


Carsten, what you say is absolutely correct, but consider this.

Both the G1 and G2 had 4 megapixels in a 1/1.8" CCD. With the G3, Canon was supposed to up it to 5 megapixels, but had to cut back to 4 megapixels due to noise. However, when the G5 came out, Canon put the 5 megapixels on the CCD, and now with the G6, they are putting 7 megapixels on a 1/1.8" CCD, and their S80 crams 8 megapixels into that size.

So what does that tell you? It tells me that manufacturing techniques have improved a lot since the G1, and smaller pixels today can achieve a better S/N ratio than larger pixels back then.

I think that Ricoh was forced to use a 1/2.5" CCD in order to employ a smaller image circle lens, enabling them to fit the 7.1x zoom into an ultra-compact body. Given that size CCD, Ricoh elected to hold the megapixels down to 5, in order to keep the noise low. And I guarantee you, the pixel size in the 5 megapixel R3 is larger than that of the 7 megapixel G6 or the 8 megapixel S80.

9:36 pm - Friday, September 9, 2005

#222 Carsten Ranke

Gary, the G1 has 3 MP in 1/1.8", and the R2 5 MP in a smaller sensor, 1/2.5". Technology... But bigger is better, if you compare performance @ a certain point of technologic progress, for example now. I would definitively prefer a fast prime lens with a large sensor to a super duper telezoom with a tiny sensor. No toy camera, please...

9:55 pm - Friday, September 9, 2005


Okay, so the G1 has 3 megapixels in a 1/1.8" CCD, and the R3 has 5 megapixels in a 1/2.5 CCD, but the point is still the same. The R3 will probably have as good, if not better, noise specs compared to the G1. I too would like a fast prime lens, large sensor camera, but only if they can put it in an ultra-compact with a good zoom range.

11:18 pm - Friday, September 9, 2005

#224 Carsten Ranke

Oops, I´m afraid I dont get it. A prime lens is the opposite of a zoom lens (you probably know that). What is a prime lens with a zoom range ? You will be quite right with your forecast of better noise specs for R3 versus G1. But if we compare noise specs of larger versus smaller sensors under the same technologic development status, a today´s 1/1.8" sensor should be better than an actual 1/2.5" sensor. ok ? You can`t get an all-in-one-device that fits in your shirt pocket. But - why the hell dont the camera companies construct a compact camera around a good prime lens, a fast wide angle, with an 2/3" or APS sized sensor ?

5:00 pm - Saturday, September 10, 2005


I was literally running out the door, late for my doctor's appointment, and in my haste, forgot to put a :) at the end of that comment. The point I was trying to make is, I am willing to settle for whatever is currently the best they can do in an ultra-compact size with a good zoom lens.

I used to have an 8mm movie camera with three fixed lenses, wide, normal, and telephoto, which you could select by manual rotation. Maybe that would work. :) :)

8:10 pm - Saturday, September 10, 2005

#226 Nick in Japan

For # 224... Aint much difference in quality nowadays between the 2, asperical and exotic lens materials for one or more lenses in the stack are giving us faster and faster, better quality zooms. why restrict your abilities if that is true? Things have changed, we have to adjust our thinking.

11:03 pm - Saturday, September 10, 2005

#227 Nick in Japan

Gary.. Got up early this cloudy Sunday , and finished the Filter Project on the LX-1. A prototype, utilizing 52mm filter size failed due to the vignetting when in the 28mm position. Had to go to 62mm to have none. Luckily the Olympus Lens hood that I used to mount the base for the Ring Light was the right size to slip the threads of a 62mm filter ring, filed off a bit, minus glass, to extend out so the screw-in hood with the PL filter was just the right length so that full extention of the lens didn't touch the glass. I cant live without a PL filter!
Awaiting the Digital Slave to slip into the shoe foot receptical on the botton of the camera , for connection to an old flash of my choice, may try and find that old Sunpak 283 that I love so much...Oh, I used a circular PL, just in case the AF/ AE system is the type that has a problem with the Linear type. Also, there is a camera that I have been looking for , for a long time, if you ever run across one at a flea market, I'd love to send you $ if you could get it and send, it's the Minolta "Recorder", produced for a while from 1985. They came in colors, half frame, AF, 24mm lens, 35mm thick! A real beauty and, I would be very tempted to use it with a couple new films that have recently hit the market, something about 75 quality pictures on a roll of film that turns me on. Scanned, and run in a "Flipbook" program of my "Digital Image" program, that would be an awesome GIF file. I read the image quality was good, not as good as my favorites, Olympus "Pen-S" and "Pen EE-3"

2:36 am - Sunday, September 11, 2005


Good move going with the circular polarizer. Why take a chance?

Don't go to flea markets much. For some reason, I never liked using someone else's old equipment. I always liked buying new. Cameras, furniture, cars, etc.

It sounds like you have the filter suspended in front of the lens, rather than attached to the end of the lens. I think S'lammer, and others, were hoping for the latter as a solution. Any suggestions?

1:51 pm - Sunday, September 11, 2005

#229 nick

Yes! Go to flea markets, not many 1985 cameras available in stores now-a-days!!!Sometimes you can even find un-used stuff there, at flea markets, I have!

2:04 pm - Sunday, September 11, 2005

#230 zymonk

Nick, I'm glad to read about your experiments with attaching filters to this camera. This seems like such an oversight on Panasonic's part. If not a deal breaker for me it sure comes close. I also find it odd that they are not making some available as accessories. Of course a threaded lens barrel would have been better but....

6:14 pm - Monday, September 12, 2005

#231 nick

but... I'm sure that would have required a complete redesign to a stonger lens mechanism and a lens thread diameter that was , at least, around 52mm, to make filter use easy. The trick to mount ANYTHING, is the narrow space around the collapsing lens that is part of the mount. It is sturdy and wide enough to use a clamping lens hood that uses a screw to push a metal band in contact with that space. That lens hood became the basis for mounting my PL filter, Glad to send a picture if you send an address. The "Higanbana" flowers always pop open on my bithday, here in Japan, guess what! It's my birthday!, and I'm just about ready to head out the door to go the Tambos (Tambo is a rice paddy where the beautiful red, and if you are lucky, yellow, Higanbana usually grow)AND Test the filter contraption on the LX-1.

10:39 pm - Monday, September 12, 2005


I'd believe it more if you said you were born yesterday. :)

If it's a "Konica" Recorder you want (a.k.a. Konica AA-35), why not let your fingers do the walking? Go to this German website and put the camera "in den Warenkorb" for just 35,61 EUR.

This website shows several angles of the camera in Red.

This website shows me holding the camera in Black, and also shows the camera in Yellow. There is also a picture of my family taken with the Konica Recorder.

Here is the camera in Gold (very rare), and a picture of me with my band, also taken with a Konica Recorder. I hope the accompanying sound file is compatible with your browser (I use Internet Explorer). That is me on vocals.

Have a great day. Catch you later. No thanks necessary.


11:11 pm - Monday, September 12, 2005

#233 Nick Pecukonis

UNBELIEVABLE!!! I cant stop laughing, I cant believe you, I am honored to have met you ! You are very handsome, a bit on the sissy side! Family is lookin good. This is really something, for years and years I thought that Minolta made that "Recorder", had conversations upon conversations and I guess everyone I talked with either thought I was Nuts or Stupid... I have never seen one in person and just over-looked the name on the FRONT !!!, 64 year-young fellas dont see as much as you youngsters! Thanks again for the sites, dont know about Euros, guess I'll break out the calculator and figure how much that is in Real money. Please, tell me where you are in the world, I have a friend that was transferred to Germany somewhere, I mail him alot, he is into Canons... Anyway, gotta stop laughing and tweak these pictures, wish you had an e-mail, I had my daughter pose with the LX-1 while out taking pictures of the Higanbana, I used the 10D also this a.m... Model shoot tomorrow, 2 Ukrainian Gals....

3:17 am - Tuesday, September 13, 2005


Glad you enjoyed the links. Hope you are enjoying your birthday.

It is now Tuesday here, so I can officially wish you a "Happy Birthday!" It must be difficult for your family to buy you presents, especially anything photography related, since you seem like the type that goes out and gets what you want as soon as it is available. I have it easy in that respect. Buying my wife a new camera has become a tradition, one which I am hoping will end fairly soon, once I get it right. Maybe the LX1 will be the one.

8:52 am - Tuesday, September 13, 2005

#235 nick

There is a difference between Want and Need, I'm lucky that my better half enjoys what I do. I still cant figure out where you are located!? I got a pretty good shot of Miho holding the LX-1 and RingLight/Filter Contraption (RLFC), wish you would call me and give me a E-mail address, so I could send you some pix for your opinions/comments! My friend in Canada just got started on a rifle stock he has adapted to the Panasonic FZ-20 with the ,awesome, 1.5X lens adapter, he sent a pix I'd like to share with you, maybe he could make one for your wife's B'Day camera, she may love it!!

9:12 am - Tuesday, September 13, 2005


How do you like the Ricoh GR announced on your birthday? They are really touting its image quality, leaving themselves open for a lot of scrutiny. Sounds like they put their money into the lens to achieve that image quality, since an 8 megapixel, 1/1.8" CCD, will not have "great" noise specs, not nearly as good as the LX1, which at 4:3, only crams 6 megapixels into that size CCD.

10:34 am - Tuesday, September 13, 2005

#237 nick

I have not found a good list of specs yet. From what I read it will be a wonderful camera, without a 16X9 sensor, I'm, initially, not interested... well, maybe, a little!

11:34 am - Tuesday, September 13, 2005


It'll have to be extraordinarily "wonderful" to overcome its limited usefulness.

The last page of this Norwegian review has an English graph rating the LX1 in 14 different categories. It did well in everything except Viewfinder/LCD, Flash, Supplied Accessories, and Other Features. The poor Viewfinder/LCD rating is understandable since the LX1 has no viewfinder. The poor Flash rating is understandable based on your documented experiences with the flash. The poor Supplied Accessories rating is understandable, I suppose, based solely on the lack of lens attachments. A poor Other Features rating is totally confusing. I think the LX1 is loaded with features that would be considered non-standard for a semi-ultra-compact, i.e., 16 x 9, 3 x 2, OIS, TIFF, RAW, TIFF/RAW+JPEG, 28mm (W), 4x optical zoom, manual focus, aperture priority, shutter priority, etc.;_to=&p=2

Catch you later.

12:10 pm - Tuesday, September 13, 2005

#239 nick

The GR's 24 -120 looks good, but the F stop falling off to almost 5 at max zoom isn't appealing to me, especially when a PL filter will add another stop, or so, to that. I forgot to mention that I did another LX-1 test today with an intentional 1 and 2 stop under exposed shot. I have been VERY disappointed with the increased grain/noise with the Sony F828 and wanted to see how the LX performed, I noticed an increase, but not as much as the Sony, I'm satisfied. I noticed that Sony did, indeed drop the experimental 4 color sensor of the 828, and returned to the RGB standard in the R-1, they should have named the F-828 the "Beta 4" !!! Not a good feeling about being a test pilot for Sony! They made all the sensors for the other 8mp camera makers, and kept the experimental one for themselves, BOO! They skimmped on the LED too, not good, Come-on Panasonic, give us that FZ-40 with a 16x9 10mp, superduper zoom and this "IS" that works so nicely!

12:39 pm - Tuesday, September 13, 2005

#240 zymonk

I wonder if Panasonic is going to make a Leica branded version of this camera as they have done in the past with some other models. If it had WiFi and a threaded lens barrel it would be hard to beat and possibly worth the extra cash it would undoubtedly cost. But then maybe I'll have to wait for next years DMC-LX2 for my perfect camera.

4:17 pm - Tuesday, September 13, 2005


Nick, the Ricoh GR has a 28mm fixed lens. I think you were talking about the Sony R1's 24mm - 120mm zoom. Too much champagne?

Carsten, I saw in your GR comment that you were not thrilled with the GR. I thought the attachable optical viewfinder was a very creative solution. It keeps the GR size down to a minimum, and allows attaching what I am assuming would be a more hefty optical viewfinder than what is normally found in an ultra-compact, as needed.

Zymonk, I think Panasonic passed up the perfect opportunity to thread the LX1 lens, and use that as their justification for NOT having a fully retracting lens system. The way digital camera technology is progressing, I think from now on, whenever we use the phrase "perfect camera", we must also append an asterisks specifying as of what month and year.

7:49 pm - Tuesday, September 13, 2005

#242 Carsten Ranke

Gary, the GR has less noise as the LX1 in the lowest ISO, as far as the available test shots show. And it is slim (not as slim as the film GR, but thinner as the LX1). After all the hype before the GR announcement, most people are somewhat disappointed not to see an APS-C or 2/3" sensor, but... the laws of optics, I suppose. One inch long, decent lenses can`t be mounted on an APS-C sensor, so we should wait for better small sensors (or buy one of these little gems for the next 2 years, until really better technology is available)

9:32 pm - Tuesday, September 13, 2005

#243 Nick in Japan

No alcohol, thinkin Sony, typin Sony, GOMEN.. I should work for Ricoh, maybe someone would buy this camera other than a cult member, or, well, actually, if I was a Pro, and was going on an expensive shoot , and I wanted a camera with very little need to set stuff, a real point and shoot, then the boasted image quality would be an attraction, other than that, I cant justify a fixed, prime lens, without any other real attractive things. We all know that the pixels are getting up there, and the wide screen will push out the 3x4, in TV, in Video cameras and picture cameras, trending towards what is more appealing. Going retro is fun if you can afford it.

10:21 pm - Tuesday, September 13, 2005

#244 zymonk

Gary it seems like the lack of a retracting lens bothers you about as much as the lack of threads on the lens do me. But of all the best cameras I've owned, none have had a retractable lens. I have been able to attach filters to them without resorting to fabricating something too. I'm basicly a Leica M man. I have two of them. When I say "perfect" I mean perfect for me today with what is possible with todays technology. I have no doubt that I could make a wish list for some dream camera that is just not possible to make at this point in time.

10:24 pm - Tuesday, September 13, 2005


It's not the lack of a fully-retracting lens that bothers me, as much as it is the fact that Panasonic claimed an LX1 depth dimension of 1 inch, yet its capped and stowed lens protrudes another full inch past that. Add to this the fact that a lens which does not fully retract is an ideal candidate for an attached filter, and Panasonic makes no such provision.

I can understand the complaints about the GR's small CCD, but I do not understand the complaints about its attachable viewfinder. If the GR demonstrates better noise specs than the LX1, it is no doubt due to its superior lens.

I agree with Nick, the GR has a very limited potential market where the quality would be appreciated in spite of its lack of features. At least they included a high resolution 2.5" LCD. I wish they had used that LCD on their R3. I am a little surprised they did not include their Vibration Correction Function. :)

11:44 pm - Tuesday, September 13, 2005

#246 Amazingly Amazed

You'll get vignetting from the 28mm end of the zoom lens, even with a very thinly mounted filter.
I can almost guarantee that if you tried to stick a filter on a 16x9 sensor with a lens that can go from 28mm to 120mm but which requires it to "protrude" to be able to "pack" that much zoom power, that vignetting will happen on the wide end.

By the time the camera is ON, the lens has stuck out so far from the sensor, putting a filter with a thread edge is going to make it vignette on the picture.
IF, and only IF, you can create an "outside" thread that wraps around the outside of the lens barrel without encroaching any sort of filter-holder edge, then you might have a chance - in another words, a clear filter without having to be threaded - you would have to stick the glass directly on to the end of the lens, I should imagine.

But I won't really know myself until I get the camera in my hands at the end of the month. If it is released by then?

4:35 am - Wednesday, September 14, 2005

#247 Nick Pecukonis

Gary, are you gonna give me an address, either e-mail or snail mail? I'm dying to show you this Ring Light Filter holder Contraption I built... You can, more eloquently, evaluate it's potential for folks, than I. No vignetting!

5:06 am - Wednesday, September 14, 2005

#248 Nick in Japan

The common way to eliminate vignetting with wide lenses is with a "Step Ring" Cosina made a great one that illustrates the effectiveness of said ring, with the 12mm lens they made for my Vogtlander L, it allows a 77mm Pl to work with NO vignetting at it's 122 degree view. I would also like to add that the 12mm lens has a SUPERIOR resolving power of about 120 lines/mm, The new GR's write-up mentions 150 lines.. UNHEARD OF!!! AWESOME!!! This lens quality should rank it tops in the world... Where did I go wrong, Gary????

5:14 am - Wednesday, September 14, 2005

#249 Amazingly Amazed

A 12mm lens? Prime?
So we're talking about a very flat lens, as it were? And I'm also guessing that the PL filter is the low-profile kind
(like the one I have, a Heliopan 62mm thread for the 18-125mm lens..... and I have to take off the UV filter to put the PL on it. I get it dusty every time. What a bother!
Damned APS-C sensor! I wish Nikon would just forget what they said about not making a full-frame sensor and just do it, otherwise be the first to make a 16x9 DSLR - that should create enough of a conundrum to get the lens set-up straightened out for that!)......

But this is a moot point, isn't it? Since the LX1 does not have a thread for a filter (inside or outside), and its lens protrudes quite a bit.... I guess we're going to be cleaning this lens quite a bit, eh?

I'm going to be happy to just shoot away with the 16x9....... it really is supposed to come out at the end of the month in the U.S., right? Please? Anyone have any sort of confirmation? Has anyone made any early reservation in the U.S.?

6:19 am - Wednesday, September 14, 2005


Here's my secret to buying the perfect camera. Follow these steps carefully and you cannot go wrong.
(1) Survey the technology thoroughly.
(2) Decide which features are a must.
(3) Decide which other features you want.
(4) Decide which features you can afford.
(5) Find the camera which gives you the best coverage of (2), (3), and (4).
(6) Wait 30 days.
(7) Go back to step (1).

Nick, with AA and others being so knowledgeable on wide-angle, it would certainly be a shame to exclude them from seeing your photos. I know you have said that you do not want to post your photos on this website, but maybe you could post them on your own website, and direct us there.

AA, I now understand why Panasonic did not put threads on the inside of the LX1's lens. Thanks. BTW, I have to agree with you. Just go out and shoot.

7:22 am - Wednesday, September 14, 2005

#251 Amazingly Amazed

As soon as someone said something about filters, I'd already given up on that option on the LX1.

See, the thing with the LX1's lens - the way the glass of the lens is rather deep off the "cup" of the edges of the barrel, and seeing how "thick" that barrel is in its depth, to put the thread in there would be moot; for at the wide end, the filter "casing" that holds the glass would end up encroaching on the inside of that barrel and cause the photo to have vignetted edges on its 4 corners.
Seeing that the sensor is at 16x9 with a 28mm, the vignetting would be severe, I imagine.
So the filter would have to a flat glass type that sticks flatly to the end of the lens barrel and the holder would have to be a mickey-mouse contraption for it to work on this camera, something like a Cokin type so that I can at least spin the filter.
I would dearly love to use a Pola on this thing, since I use the Pola permanently on my DSLR set-up with all lenses, even at night (I push it a little and then do the old long exposure - I rate the Pola at around 1.5 stops)........
the daytime sky and trees type stuff would look superb, and the nighttime would have that slightly faded look I like.

Just shoot. Right. If I can get my hands on one!

7:54 am - Wednesday, September 14, 2005

#252 Amazingly Amazed

OK found it at Amazon.

I guess it is coming out at the end of the month!

8:09 am - Wednesday, September 14, 2005


Which one will you be ordering, the Silver or the Black?

8:47 am - Wednesday, September 14, 2005

#254 Nick in Japan

Nothing personal, I will send pix to anyone that e-mails me directly, can't understand what is WRONG with that?! Posting pictures seems a bit vain to me!

9:07 am - Wednesday, September 14, 2005


Nothing wrong. You were very kind to have made that offer.

9:49 am - Wednesday, September 14, 2005

#256 Nick in Japan

Just a comment on "Silver or Black".... Studies showed that when a person has a silver camera pointed at them, they were more intimidated than with a black camera.. that is one of the explanations I have heard along the way, also, manufacturers labeled their black models as "Pro". Sure, black absorbs more heat, it also gives up more heat! and also doesnt reflect back in a model's eyes as an noticable image. I dont think any Pro would be caught dead with a silver camera here in Japan, but then again, Japanese photographers dont like to use PL filters either, at least the ones in the Contax Club I belong to. And.. I paid exactly 100$ less for my LX-1 here in Iwakuni Japan, the first unit here, I would have paid the advertised price at Amazon, knowing what I know about the camera now, I , personally think it is that much of a camera!

10:22 am - Wednesday, September 14, 2005

#257 zymonk

I'll be ordering a black one. I've already picked up a couple of 1GB SD cards in anticipation. One was a 120X Panasonic speed demon. Should come in handy for film/burst mode.

Today Panasonic announcer a SD card copier. If they added a decent size hard drive to it I'd buy one.

I will be interested to read about some other attempts to attach filters to this camera when a few more of us get our hands on it. I can't help thinking though that if a threaded lens barrel was a priority for the designers they could have made it work.

6:14 pm - Wednesday, September 14, 2005


Neat little gadget. Glad to hear you will be using a 120x speed card. I will be eager to hear how the TIFF/RAW performance is with that card. Performance issues aside, I think I would have to order the Silver one (for my wife).

Speaking of attaching a filter, I wonder if there is any way to attach the camera's lens cap to a filter by cutting out the cap's face plate. Nick?

7:34 pm - Wednesday, September 14, 2005

#259 Nick in Japan

A couple thoughts come to mind, to keep the camera "Semi-Ultra-Compact" a larger lens would be, probably, impractical, so they came up with this beauty. Because it is so small, real small filters could have been imployed, such as the drop-in filters in the Sigma 600 mirror (Love that lens!!) , but they didnt go there, for one reason or another. Because of the modern-day coatings, and lens quality, the thinking was that very few of us would lose sleep over filters, how wrong they are! This is the LX-1, more room as someone mentioned for the next best thing. The Filter holder attachment I made fits on that lens ridgid , narrow lip, without any wasted space, I suspect that an attachment for filters/ tele/wide lenses would in all probability be attached there with a screw/ friction mount similar to telescope 3 screw adapters (Kenko) . The lens cap is another mounting method, that maybe the real answer because the cap is attached to the same lip, BUT, has small hooking tabs that fit into a very narrow grove at the rear of sid lip, that prvent the cap from being pulled off without pushing down on the cap release buttons. I think Gary is an engineer that really works for Panasonic, getting folks smarter about cameras and motivating them at the same time!!! Altho the lens cap as a base is the perfect answer, the testing showed me that the size of the filter attached in this manner must be 62mm, or larger, to prevent vignetting, the cap's diameter is really too small to work with, and plastic too, where as the all metal olympus lens shade is rigid enough to easily mount, what-ever. I think your wife would like the black!!!

9:47 pm - Wednesday, September 14, 2005


I was hoping the LX1's lens cap would be plastic to make it easier to cut, but a rigid plastic, not the soft stuff. Which is it?

My wife's first two cameras (point-and-shoot film cameras) were black, and both of them became lost. Her Casio QV-R51 is silver, and she loves it. Of course, now we clip the camera case to the inside of her pocketbook (same with her cell phone), so there is no chance of losing it. Maybe black. Black is definitely more distinguished.

10:15 pm - Wednesday, September 14, 2005

#261 Nick Pecukonis

I guess you would call it rigid, a nice cap with 2 locking clips activated by squeezing. I just got back from the tombos, got some neat higanbana shots with the PL, one area is shooting south, with the morning sun low in the east, the natural polorizing effect is there, combined with the PL filter turns the sky an almost Royal Blue. I realized today that a feature that I will miss on my next camera is the awesome Infrared feature that Sony has. I take a few IR shots from time-to-time and because Sony made some major errors with this new R1, it's not on my list. Panasonic would do good to take Sony and Canon's lead with some sort of "Hot Filter" adjustment, Sony flips it out of the way, Canon provides it's actual removal on some models, and actually sells a model with it removed. I love IR shooting, have tried different filters with the Sonys ended up using a Kenko ND400 with the PL, lottsa fun in the "Solar" mode and IR together... Maybe Panasonic will think about that, I'm getting more and more in love with Panasonic!

1:17 am - Thursday, September 15, 2005

#262 Nick in Japan

Slave update, or should I say "Flash Triggers" I corresponded with the nice folks at morris and they recommended some stuff, while doing that, I ordered a trigger from a Japanese company and it is mounted to the tripod screw on the bottom of the LX-1. A little bubble on the front catches the LX-1's flash and via it's hot-shoe, fires a flash on the 2nd flash, it is a cheap model, 4000 yen, about $36 US, no tilt, no select for first or second flash. It is black, looks with on the dark grey LX-1 body, probably stay on there as a permanent fixture. Similar to the morris model 11101. Gotta get back to my back-log of pix to tweak, models yesterday and flowers this morning......Moris sent me this on their tiltable and selectable model...B & H is an authorized Morris retailer. The part # is 11101
and costs $39.00

4:13 am - Thursday, September 15, 2005


Besides the hot-shoe, does the trigger body provide another tripod mount?

5:54 am - Thursday, September 15, 2005

#264 nick

Yes, 1/4 20 screw hole in bottom for Tripod attaching...

6:45 am - Thursday, September 15, 2005

#265 Eric John

Hello Nick,

Glad to find somebody with an LX1. Ihad a small doubt from the time i saw the specs. Can you tell me if the Lx1 can use the optical zoom when shooting video?

1:07 pm - Thursday, September 15, 2005


I'm surprised you didn't read all 254 comments before posting yours. Just kidding. :)

Buried back in comment #69 is a link to the LX1 manual. I was curious as to your question, so I looked up the answer (pages 59 - 60). Sorry to inform you, during video recording, the AF, zoom, and aperture settings remain fixed to their value when recording started.

Maybe Nick has had some positive experiences with the LX1's video mode which he wishes to share.

7:35 pm - Thursday, September 15, 2005

#267 Eric John

Thanks for that info, Jeez, do you read the entire comments everyday?? :bug: .Thats a disappointment, I was interested in a good camera which could do movie also decently.Dont fancy carrying a camcorder in my pocket. Guess I will have to look back to xacti c5 or hp R 817 , which you said(for your wife).They allow zoom,in video, but i agree there will be noise, who cares. Xacti is the better i think, whats your opinion?

8:01 pm - Thursday, September 15, 2005

#268 zymonk

I hope these guys make filter adapters for the LX1 too.
Something like the one for the FZ-20 looks like it might be a solution. I wonder if vignetting would be a problem?

8:38 pm - Thursday, September 15, 2005


I must read the comments daily, so I don't contradict myself. :)

The one advantage of the LX1 for video is its 16:9 aspect ratio. If 16:9 is important to you, the LX1 is your only choice (so far). Besides that, I think it is as good, if not better, than most other still image cameras for video.

The Xacti line impress me as one that pays more attention to video mode than to still image mode, so if video is more important, maybe it would be a better choice. Other than that, I have no experience with Xacti.

The HP R817 looks like it will prove to be an excellent camera for stills and video, but according to the review at Steve's Digicams, it too does NOT allow optical zoom in its video mode, and it certainly does not have the LX1's 16:9 aspect ratio, or its 28mm wide lens, or its TIFF and RAW modes, or its OIS. It does, however, have a longer zoom than the LX1, a very cool underwater mode with optional underwater housing, excellent in-camera processing features, like red-eye removal and adaptive lighting, and a truly ultra-compact size.

So it all comes down to what features are most important to you.

8:51 pm - Thursday, September 15, 2005


Zymonk, I think Nick will be going into business making adapters. :)

8:56 pm - Thursday, September 15, 2005

#271 Eric John

I would like to point out that the R 817 does allow zoom during video. Check out the review at DCRP. Its a good one.

9:19 pm - Thursday, September 15, 2005


Eric, I see what you mean. Now we need a tie-breaker.

10:02 pm - Thursday, September 15, 2005

#273 Amazingly Amazed

If VIDEO is more important than the still capacity, why not buy the new Sony:

It honestly bothers me when people are weighing the video capabilities of a STILL camera when making decision on which one to buy.
I think Panasonic did us all a service when they put in 30fps video capability.

Someday, the still capabilities and the video capabilities of a digicam-corder will be top notch in an all-in-one package. But not yet. We've got may be 6 to 7 years to go before that happens, perhaps?

10:24 pm - Thursday, September 15, 2005

#274 Nick in Japan

My turn..I NEVER use Digital zoom after ruining several neat shots, the reduction of pixels in that mode sneaks up on you while you are telling yourself how great a picture it will be, forgetting that you are degrading the picture by 1/2 for every X you select, sorry to burst the ballon, truth in advertising gets another hit! Gary, where am I wrong?.. AA is 100% right, camcorders are approaching what we all hope will happen, stills and video. Video with a still camera is fun at times but not the quality I need, I use an old Sony Digital 8 video that has a great zoom, IR, IS and a few fun modes, while using 8 or Hi8, cheaper , tapes.. love it, but the moving image has not the attraction of still images, I would love to have the video space they used in my cameras, used for something else, like IR, or some more creative modes, and leave the video to a video camcorder. One more thing, While shooting the past 2 days, I realized how accustomed I have gotten to the Sony's tilting feature to get those low angle shots, I would love to see a tilting screen of some sort on the LX-2, even if it added thickness a bit.......and, 24-240mm, and 12mp,and IR, and bigger lens to fit filters.....That's all!!!!

10:53 pm - Thursday, September 15, 2005


Nick, did I miss something. I thought we were talking about "optical" zoom for video. AA, did you mean to say "disservice" rather than service?

I do not think Eric was trying to choose a still camera based on its video capabilities. He was trying to decide between two excellent cameras, the LX1 and the R817. If he predominantly shoots short range, the LX1 is his clear choice because of its 28mm wide end lens. For long range shooting, the R817 is the better choice because of its 180mm telephoto end. If he does not favor either, it would be a difficult decision. In that case, the camera's video capabilities might be the tie-breaker.

Even so, for me, the LX1's 16x9 video outweighs the R817's video zoom.

2:11 am - Friday, September 16, 2005

#276 nick

I missed the distinction along the way, I just wanted to point out the horrors that digital zoom can create if you are not careful. Just finished hot wiring the 2nd FP38 Flat Panel so it fires along with it's mate, mounted on the Digital Flash Trigger, mounted on the LX-1, lottsa firepower now. Gary, do you do Yahoo Instant Messaging, I use it sometimes when taking to my Son in Memphis, seeing my Grandson, and chatting with Eric's Gaming friend in Norway, You dont want pictures, maybe "Live" would work, just a thought! Gotta figure out, next, how to mount the battery pack for the Sony Ring Light along with the Flat Panels so that I'm ready for all lighting needs...

3:27 am - Friday, September 16, 2005

#277 AA

No, I meant service. I meant to say that Panasonic did not have to give us 30fps capability, it could've easily have been 15fps and that would have been fine.
I completely disagree that the HP camera is an "excellent" camera - it's good, it's OK and expected, a standard camera of its type and class now that everybody else is putting out 8MP cameras. The R817 has a slightly larger zoom, but it doesn't have stabilization to go with it.

And yeah, if someone is weighing their still camera purchase on whether that still camera is going to "decently" shoot video as well, yeah, that person is making a decision based on its video capabilties.
Because personally, I NEVER shoot video, I don't do anything with it, I do not own video cameras, I don't edit movies on my computer, and so yeah, video has nothing to do with how I choose a still camera.
You did tell the man to look at what the 16x9 can do for him as far as the little powerhouse LX1 can do for him - and that's why I mentioned the Sony HDR-HC1, because that sucker can do HiDef Video, and shoot stills at just about 2 Megapix.

Once again, I think PRINTING has a lot to do with how cameras should be picked. Because a lot of people here do not seem to put much mind to how the photos look when they are printed at their maximum sizes! I spend half my time tweaking everything to get the best results for printing the photos. Some I do at home, some I put on a CD and take to a Professional shop that can print 20x30 inch posters and beyond at super quality, and I spend that much money to get the prints correct.
Most people, and I mean MOST people, do not print anything above the 8x11 of their home printer. If they use a camera that shoots anything above 3 MPs, they are happy to see the results of a smartly printed photo at home.
So, I get frustrated when I hear people talk about the still camera's video capability, because in the end, they are too lazy to carry 2 separate cameras around - one for stills, and one for video. They mostly can't make up their mind, and are always splitting decisions on what to shoot with in any given situation, whether capturing their families or getting some nice holiday footage and snapshots. I see it all the time.

I could just as easily shoot with DSLR and with the 16x9 framing in my mind, shoot everything with the intention of cropping the 3x2 frame later in the computer to achieve the 16x9 framing. I do that sometimes - but now that I can carry a 16x9 still camera with 8MP in the LX1, I will be carrying my DSLR and the LX1 wherever I go, and shoot the same shots with both, and plan on printing them professionally.
I'm not a great photographer, I'm fairly good, I just wish I had more time on my hands to tweak things like good old Nick here!

But, the people who ask about the video capabilities of a still camera to steer them from one great camera to another good camera, will always get on my tits!

4:25 am - Friday, September 16, 2005

#278 Nick in Japan

AMEN!! Actually, it is very easy to crop to the 16X9 aspect, when I first starting those pictures back, I found it very pleasant to view this new, to me, size!! So, after supper, I started selecting random shots and cropping, just from my e-mail sized files, tweaked them in CS2, and, WOW, just like a brand-new picture!

5:28 am - Friday, September 16, 2005

#279 AA

But, Nick, sometimes you just cannot crop, because you'll be lopping off a portion of the 3x2 (or 4x3, for that matter) photo that you need to keep the picture balanced and composed.
I tend to find that a lot of my old photos shot in 3x2 or 4x3 have compostion that are balanced to those frame sizes, and simply cannot be cropped to make do. Only a few work, if they happen to have a lot of sky, or headroom, grass, or foreground, for examples.
Now I shoot with the 16x9 TV in mind, and even though it's still a best guess-timate, I do try to compose with 16x9 in mind a lot more, if I know I would like it appear in 16x9 later.
Lucky for me I do not photograph people!

But with the LX1!!!!! I could shoot away by filling the whole 16x9 frame properly without having to make adjustments.
The sceneries are going to look nice, I know. They are going to look just like all the photos I stitched together, except that they won't have any signs of stitching, and I won't have to spend hours trying to get rid of any stitch-artefacts!

I've also shot many times with the Hasselblad X-Pan II/ Fuji TX-II, and I used that camera to switch frame sizes in 35mm.
I imagine the LX1 is going to be just the perfect companion to the DSLR. For now. Until they come out with a DSLR with the same 16x9 and switchable framing capability. In fact, they don't need to come out with a DSLR with 16x9. All they need to do is make a medium-compact Digicam with around 20 Megapixels with a faster lens setup and OIS in the same style and manner as the LX1, and that'll be the only camera I would ever need to carry.

I can dream, can't I? Hey all you digicam manufacturers - do you hear me? Hahahaha......

6:50 am - Friday, September 16, 2005


While you and Nick go "out" to shoot, other people want their camera
with them at all times. For those people, combining "everything" into
an ultra-compact size is of the utmost importance. And it doesn't end
with still image and video. Add to that a cell phone, iPod, and/or PDA.

We are not yet at the point where this combination makes sense. For
now, we must choose which one is most important, go for the highest
quality on that one, and then settle for fair quality on the others.

Speaking of digital zoom, Nick, have your tried the Extra Optical Zoom
feature on the LX1 yet?

BTW, until Mark fixes the page width on this thread, could you please
use hard carriage returns in your comments. It should not be for long.
I sent him an email.

8:14 am - Friday, September 16, 2005


I just went back and read more of the previous comments. They are
difficult to read because my mouse is dirty and it's hard to scroll back
and forth.

Ya know what bothers me? Lossy compression schemes. If I found
an ultra-compact that could handle TIFF/RAW without bogging down,
I would buy it. It should also have simultaneous JPEG, since I would
use that for printing, and save the TIFF/RAW for posterity. If Ricoh's
R3 were capable of handling TIFF reasonably well, it might sway me
from the LX1.

9:07 am - Friday, September 16, 2005

#282 Nick in Japan

I carry, in my ready bag, at ALL times, the F-828, LX-1 and sometimes the Sony U20, sometimes the 10D with 22-55...Haven't gotten to the Extra Optical Zoom yet, "EZ" is applicible to zooming in a reduced pixel count, and, because I dont shoot in anything except the highest setting, I just, wasnt interested. If I want to zoom after I have taken the pictures , I rely on Photoshop for that, and, also for resizing and interpolation.

12:54 pm - Friday, September 16, 2005


My wife carries in her "ready" bag at all times her QV-R51, cell phone,
keys, wallet, credit card book, sunglasses, makeup case, tissues, AA
batteries, chopsticks, bottle opener, and a ton of other things I do not
even know about. Different lifestyles and different camera usage, yet
her demands for a quality camera like the LX1 and R3, and yes, even
the R817 (which I agree with AA, is not quite in the same league) are
just as valid as yours and/or AA's.

If you should need/want to shoot in reduced resolution, the advantage
of Extra Optical Zoom is that any cropping is performed prior to JPEG
compression, without further degradation of another JPEG generation.
I also believe that EOZ does NOT use any interpolation.

7:32 pm - Friday, September 16, 2005


Eric, check out the Samsung SC-D6040 Duocam review at Steve's
Digicams. It is actually two separate cameras in one, and might be
compact enough for your needs. An even better SC-D6550 model
was just released.

7:45 pm - Friday, September 16, 2005

#285 Nick Pecukonis

JPEG degradation compared to reduced pixel count may not be worse, actual pixel loss comparisons seems like maybe you have charts on, Gary. I'd love for you to expound on this interesting area. I dont print bigger than 8X12, and that , rarely, at these working pixels there isn't a problem. I run everything thru CS2 anyway, increasing size, conversion to TIFF is right there, for storage. Where am I going wrong ?

12:22 am - Saturday, September 17, 2005

#286 AA

Whoa there, Gary man...... though I find that shit hilarious, you're patronizing us a bit much by lowering our needs to your wife's needs.

I want my camera with me at all times as well! And I do have it!

I honestly think that her needs are completely different to mine.

I mean I can't see her carrying the tripod with her at all times like I do, slung over my shoulder.
If I didn't have my car with me wherever I went, I'd be in serious trouble, as I would have to be carrying 3 bags with me at all times. Camera kit bag (with 3 lenses, filters, cleaner kit, cables, battery charger, a backup compact digicam, and my SmartDisk backup HD with their own sets of cables), a book bag with pads, all my business notes), and an overnight bag with a couple of changes of clothing in case I get stranded out some distance away because I have to get stuff done there ending up staying the night in some motel because of it. It'd be a real hassle to have to carry that stuff everywhere with me all day long! I couldn't imagine doing my job without my car - which also has a detachable stereo, power pack under my seat, and my full set golf bag and shoes in the trunk... Let me tell ya, I'm glad I don't have to carry my computer with me all the time like I had to, a couple of years ago, uploading photos and sending notes from the field......
I was always so nervous and paranoid about my car being broken in to, everywhere I went, it wasn't good for my health. It still isn't great, considering I am carrying over $5000 worth of stuff with me besides the actual car! But let me tell you how I pay premium extra in insurance for all my gear.

So let's leave our wives and girlfriends out of it unless they're somewhat professionally involved in this business too....... hahahaha.....! Just give her a good all-in-one compact digicam that she can throw in her bag without thinking and leave it at that, shall we? Hunh? Whatddaya say?

Look, I have to wait another 10 days for the LX1 to be released here in the States, and I am salivating beyond belief at the thought of being able to shoot with it, so let's leave our women out of it, eh?

12:49 am - Saturday, September 17, 2005

#287 Nick in Japan

Wives, girlfriends and models can sure be a help in lugging stuff, I , also, pack stuff that is useful, including 2 sets of Chopsticks, one pair, red, one pair gold..Perfect for the model's hair bun, gotta wear something!! Gary, get your wife a small desk-top style tripod, lottsa different models out there, useful in the field too. AA, by any chance are you in the Fresno area?

2:34 am - Saturday, September 17, 2005


This reminds me of the joke about a salesman who is trying to sell
a credit card size stereo system that puts out 100W per channel of
super-high-fidelity and can store ones entire collection of "albums"
internally. After the sale is completed, the customer puts the stereo
in his pocket, whereupon the salesman brings out a large suitcase
and hands it to the customer. When the customer asks what this is
for, the salesman replies, "That's the battery."

AA, I was not trying to compare my wife's situation to yours; rather,
I was trying to distinguish it from yours. Yes, she is a photographer,
not professionally, but still a photographer, and quite interested in all
the features that the LX1 has to offer.

Nick, you are correct. A single generation loss at high quality JPEG
will not be noticeable for 8" X 10" printing, and if you never save the
image back to JPEG, you are averting the problem altogether.

9:49 pm - Saturday, September 17, 2005

#289 Nick in Japan

LX-1 Printing update... The 16X9 aspect ratio can be printed on any sized paper the camera shop has with trimming of margins on all printing EXCEPT the APS printing format that they call "HIGH VISION" here in Japan, in one size only... It comes out at exactly 3 1/2" X 6 3/16ths. which means it is cropped slightly in the processing. I looked closely and noticed it was cropped in the length, not height. Of course, some of us always tell them to "Print at 100%" , so for us there is always some "white" to cut off, due to the print sizes are not exact. A 4X6 print here is actually 4X5 15/16ths.

3:45 am - Sunday, September 18, 2005


Why not purchase Sony's Cyber-shot DCS-R1, and be done with it?

Considering all the accessory equipment you guys carry around with
you (much of which Nick has managed to attach to the LX1), it would
seem that the LX1's advantage of being semi-ultra-compact in size is
of little consequence.

The only other LX1 advantage would be its 16:9 CCD; however, the
R1's CCD is MUCH larger than the LX1's, and at 3:2 (~ 16:11), one
could easily crop a little off the top and/or bottom, and end up with a
16:9 image at 3888 x 2187 resolution, which is even higher than the
3840 x 2160 maximum resolution of the LX1, and with far less noise.

Add to that the MANY advantages of the R1 over the LX1, i.e., its 5x
optical zoom, 24mm - 120mm, threaded lens, and host of attachable
filters and converter lenses, its 3200 ISO, its flip-up-and-twist LCD, its
mechanically linked zoom control, its electronic viewfinder, its hotshoe,
etc., and all for only a few hundred bucks more than the LX1.

The only thing "missing" from the R1 is OIS, which until recently, was
never a problem for 5x optical zoom. And if it's low-light shooting you
want, don't forget about the R1's low noise, high ISOs.

Nick and AA, I'm surprised you're not interested in buying this camera.
If pocketability were not an issue, I would buy one myself (for my wife).

8:16 pm - Sunday, September 18, 2005


Nick, I calculated you're cropping 1/64" from each side. Not bad.

8:41 pm - Sunday, September 18, 2005

#292 nick

Gary, Gary, Gary, you have missed the point. The beautiful LX-1 can, indeed be outfitted with all these accessories, Ring Light, Filter holder, Flash Trigger, and any kind of Flash, but in it's naked form (I leave the flash trigger attached, not much difference in the pocket) it is a little Marvel. ! If I wanted pixels, I'd get the Mamiya Digital Back, The F828 does a great job, the 10D with Sigma does the job up to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) (35mm compared), the LX-1 performs wonderfully, "as-is" with IS and the wonderful 16X9 ratio. I'm suprised the New FZ-30 didn't employ this sized sensor, must be something coming down the road, huh? I love shootin the LX-1 naked ( the camera, silly!) "the only thing missing with the R1 is OIS" is incorrect, it is another species of camera, won't breed with "Nearly Ultra-Compacts" . It's another Blog section at this site!

10:42 pm - Sunday, September 18, 2005

#293 AA

Nick - I am not in Fresno. But I am in Southern Cali.

Gary - IF, and only IF, the larger cameras such as the new Sony R1, or any of the other DSLR types, could have a "framing crop" system within the viewfinder: in other words, like the "grid" pattern that can be had within the viewfinders of some of the DSLRs, IF these larger cameras can have a switch to bring up the 16x9 frame grid within the 3x2 frame, then I would say that those cameras MAY be useful in shooting 16x9 photos.
I hope I made myself clear.

Right now, trying to compose a 16x9 shot within a 3x2 frame and doing some guesswork on where to crop later in the computer is a real bitch hassle. I do it all the time with my Nikon, and rarely does it give me exact composition. That's why I was trying to explain the little bit about having enough headroom on the shot with the sky, as an example - the photos come close, but I am still fudging the frame lines later, and that's fine to a degree as a computer is there for that reason as well. But I'd hate to end up cutting off a piece of a cloud or a bottom of a tree trunk because my guesswork on where the 16x9 should have fitted didn't quite work out within the 3x2 frame when I tried to guess!
But, with the LX1, I can frame it exactly to the 16x9 and compose the shots to the fullest extent of that framing, and push the composition to the edges without worrying about cutting something off later.

Am I making sense?

Add to that the fact that someone like me would never leave his SLR at home anyways - the LX1 will be a great, perfect, companion shooter to have with me, it'll give me a lovely second choice on what I can shoot at the time. And as Nick said, I will shoot it AS IS 99% of the time, I MAY end up simple using a Pola and hold it in front of the lens by hand, manually, and see how that will work on some shots. I just need to be able to push it a little bit sometimes and I need the ND effect from the Pola to help me get that feel on to the photos.

The only snag to this whole thing for me is that I will end up carrying a second tripod with me at all times......

1:08 am - Monday, September 19, 2005

#294 Nick in Japan

AA, I know you are talking to our expert on all this, but, please let me add a couple things... IF you are using Photoshop, you can make yourself a "New Image" of the 16X9 size, for a guide/ pattern, to fit your picture on and dissolve it together ( A copy ) OR , resize it to 4.5 X 8, and use "Transform" to pull it into shape. I'm sure there are many other different ways to do it, I use this last method , as well as "Cropping Tool" , just by guess, then resize to 4.5 x 8, and "Transform" a bit for tweaking. I am not an expert on PS7, nor CS2, but every day I learn something new. You need an acessory bar for your Tripod to mount the LX-1 alonh side your primary camera, or attach a shoe foot to the botton of the LX-1 and slip it into a female mount that you have attached to the tripod somewhere. I use an old ball head screwed into a leg, that gives me articulation to horizontal/ vertical, or whatever. Also, the R-1 has the Grid, overlay option, not a ruled grid, but at least lines to work with. I saw a guy once, actually taped a pattern on his focus screen for his OWN overlay guide .
On a personal note, I have a friend that lives in Hanford, trying to break into a business of some sort, he is an official Indianapolis Photographer, but hasn't transitioned it Digital yet, he has tons of Nikon stuff, trying to sell his F-5s and get a D2Hs. Thought you may need some help, or give some advice... Thanks!

3:19 am - Monday, September 19, 2005

#295 Nick in Japan

Wait a minute AA! How about a shoe mount , like the bottom of a flash, screwed into the LX-1's Tripod screw hole, then slip the LX-1 into the flash mount on your primary camera! Presto-Chango, same basic perspective you are shooting, ready to capture in 16X9! OOPS! This is my NEXT project for mating the Panasonic with my Canon/ F828, Geeze, if I leave them alone for a day, they may reproduce! Naw!

3:37 am - Monday, September 19, 2005

#296 Absolutely, Amazingly Amazed

Nick, you maniac! Hehehehe

I know how to use Photoshop, and do all the tweaks and so on in there - but a lot of the times, all that tweaking and transforming really makes the photos look twisted and out of shape, throwing a lot of the objects in the photos out of whack and off-balance.
Planning ahead is one thing, but being able to fully compose to a specific frame size and ratio is tough without some sort of grid guide.

Why would your friend want to sell his F5? Just tell him to keep it and buy a digital. If he has not made the transition yet, at first he's going to be pissed off and frustrated at the 1.5x multiplication factor of the lenses, and he'll want to jump back to 35mm some times, to do some comparison tests on his own so he can learn...... I know, cos I was mad for about a year that I couldn't use my beloved 50mm as is, reverting to a 35mm to "act" like a 52mm but the curvature of the lens was annoying with the 1.5x factor........
I recommend him buying D2X, instead of D2Hs:
Bigger sensor - in case he needs to print large photos. Of course, when it comes to speed performance, the D2Hs is faster, but that's only because it's shooting at 4MP whereas the D2X is 12MP...... and the D2X still shoots 5fps on continuous mode!!!! Sure it's a lot more expensive too, but I would buy it if I could afford it.......
And going digital is not just about the camera, as you know very well - it's all about the WORKFLOW in the computer. Right now, if he's shooting 35mm, he's got his film processing labs standing by, and he delivers the film to be developed and printed and checks them off. Once he goes digital, he'll need to do all that in the computer, and learn all about the different colors and figure out what the best way would be for him to deliver those photos in a timely manner, with the same level of quality. He's going to have an awful lot of computer software and lingo to learn....... and the color schemes are going to mess him up at first.......

Going back to our lovely little LX1 -
I thought about some contraption to rig the LX1 on to the DSLR or the tripod....... your idea of the flash mount sounds like a brilliant idea, but it would make the whole thing darned heavy..... and, it would block my access to the buttons on the top of the DSLR....
Ahhhhh it's alright, I'll just carry both around my neck on straps and switch them out on the tripod as needed. Luckily, I generally do not shoot moving objects, so I have some time to set things up.

4:44 am - Monday, September 19, 2005

#297 Nick in Japan

Mike is dead- set on the D2Hs because of speed for use at Indy, I tried my best to plant all the seeds, so he keeps researching and finally makes a decision he wont regret, he needs to talk with you, I think!! Project completed!! The LX-1 was mated to the F-828/10D this afternoon via the flash shoe. Insertion prevents 10D flash from activating, got to do some more inventing, Not much weight added AA,.. and all controls are accessable!!!! I'm going to leave the LX-1 and Sony hooked up together tonight, hoping they will mate, if I'm lucky I'll have at least one, maybe more, little Panasonies running around by Christmas ( Gestation is 3 months I think )
I took some pictures, if you want to see them please mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) be happy to send.

7:10 am - Monday, September 19, 2005

#298 nick

# 297... the "me.." isn't part of my e-mail ! Anyway, been fooling around with contraptions this afternoon, and discovered that the LX-1 mounted on th F-828, in the flash hot shoe, makes a real nice set-up!! The operation of the 828's flash popping up, clears the LX-1 with the Lx_1's lens cap removed, and will probably clear it if the Lx-1 is moved back a tad in the hot-shoe before tightening it down. The nicest thing I found is that when a low angle shot is performed with the LX-1 mounted, simply turn on 828, and it's LCD, and rotate the screen up to view the low angle shot. The horizontals are the same, the center of the 828's screen is a tad bit lower and to the right of the LX screen, not much! a little stick -on dot on the 828 screen for alignment purposes would work for me, if it isn't raining again tomorrow, Ill go to the tombos and try it out.

10:50 am - Monday, September 19, 2005


AAA, you definitely made yourself clear about the 16:9 framing issue
when using a 3:2 camera. It's a shame the R1 does not have a 16:9
framing mode. Even so, if you both frequently use the LX1 as is, the
point is "mute".

Nick, an R1 would be a much better companion to your LX1 than the
F828. You can check out the comparisons in the review of the R1 at

6:29 pm - Monday, September 19, 2005

#300 Nick in Japan

Thanks Gary, it is tempting in certain ways, but at, almost f5 at 120mm, that is awful! and the report indicates that noise is so bad that the high ASAs are useless! No Image stab ( That didnt work for them in the H-1???) And, I'm sure, REAL pricy lens attachments... I just cant justify it's use!! I really believe Panasonic has spoiled me, I am anxious to see the next generations of not only "Almost Ultra Compacts", but the SLR types. Ultimately they will have what we ALL want, IS, 16X9, 24-240mm, f2-4.0, with a minimum aperture of f16-22, 10-12mp and good speed and minimum noise... Soon, real soon!

9:48 pm - Monday, September 19, 2005