Sunday 24 November 2013

Camera choice

The images and videos on this blog have been done with two Panasonic cameras. I think I've mentioned them in the past but doing yesterday's little DIY demo highlighted that they are by no means equal.
LX5 (Image stolen from Panasonic website)
I bought the LX5 a few years ago as an upgrade from a Nikon compact due to the excellent reviews it received. It was heading to being obsolete then but I went ahead and haven't regretted the decision. It's a great little camera and takes excellent photos even in low light conditions. The replacement LX7 builds on its success with an even faster lens, better burst rate, full HD movies and improved in-camera processing and even without holding on I'd recommend one of these to take really nice pictures. However the LX range aren't waterproof and the lens assembly protrudes all of the time and extends during use. These features make it less than ideal as a runner's camera.
FT25 (Image stolen from Panasonic website)
I bought the FT25 to have a shower-resistant 'flat' camera that would withstand a little abuse on the trail. The menus have a similar feel so there isn't a steep learning curve and the little package still has a quality feel to it. The lens system is wholly integrated into the casing ('folded optics') resulting in a rather poor F3.9 maximum aperture and that is the camera's Achille's heel. In dull conditions images are rather grainy, with image noise making a mockery of the 16.1 megapixel specification. The panorama mode is very convenient to use but can create artefacts during stitching and in general the results aren't as good as using the LX5 followed by Hugin. I wonder how the LX7 performs?

So it's the age old photographer's dilemma, quality versus convenience!

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