My new Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 arrived yesterday. I haven’t had a chance to really put it through its paces, but so far I’m impressed with the few photos I have taken. The LX5 won out over a whole slew of contenders, and the decision to get it means a new strategy for my day-to-day photography.
The contenders included the following:
- An exact replacement of my S70 in the form of a refurbished S70
- An updated Coolpix, such as the S100
- A different small camera, such as the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS10
- The Canon S100
- and the one I bought, the Panasonic LX5
Two things shifted me toward the larger, more feature-filled options on the list. First, I had tried the Nikon S cameras, and really was ready for something else. Secondly, the other camera on my list, the Panasonic ZS10, really got marked down for image quality in reviews.
But, more importantly, I had already shifted away from using a pocket camera. I got my first little camera, the Nikon S1 (image above on left), before camera phones were decent. I kept it in my pocket all the time until the screws started to fall out, and the camera wouldn’t turn on anymore.
The camera in the middle, a Nikon Coolpix S50, suffered a similar fate. It started to fall apart in my pocket like the S1. Even more so, in fact. The sides started to fall off, and the battery cover wouldn’t stay latched unless I wrapped a rubber band around the camera.
When Laura gave me the next one in the series, the S70, for Christmas one year, I decided to take better care if it, and not let it get banged up against the keys, knives, and other paraphernalia in my pockets. I always had the S70 nearby, but I was no longer using it as a pocket camera.
So, if I wasn’t going to keep the camera in my pocket, I could look at something a bit larger. The Canon S100 and the LX5 were those candidates. The S100 is newer and has more bells and whistles, including a GPS, but the LX5, which came out in 2010, won out hands down on speed and image quality. Plus, my brother Houston and friend Dwight own one, and highly recommended it.
The LX5 is almost exactly the same camera as the Leica D-Lux 5. They both have fast f/2.0 lenses,a nd pretty much the same specs across the board. The only difference is the name badge, and that Leica badge will cost you about twice as much as the Panasonic. It’s kind of like Honda and Acura, or Toyota and Lexus. In the image below the Leica is on the left and the Panasonic is on the right.
And here’s the LX5 as compared to my old S70…
I’ve only had a chance to take a few shots with the camera so far, but the ones I’ve taken are very sharp and noise-free. I’ll have to put it through its paces when I get a chance. I’ll write more about it one I get a chance to do that.