Minggu, 25 November 2012

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 Review

There is an interesting misconception in some parts of the digital photo world and it simply is that if you want to provide the sharpest images possible, you have to go to 18 or 20 or more megapixels, if you want the sharpest picture, however, if you go back to Photography 101 you'll find that it is the optical device and its support that provide the sharpest pictures.

That's why one finds it interesting that the Panasonic's Lumix DMC-LX5 10.1 MP entry could be one of the sleepers on the mid-ranged market. Note that it isn't a 16.1 or 18.2 or 20 MP digital camera and note that it isn't a Digital Single Lens Reflex, either, yet it is still capable of delivering shots that rival cameras with double its resolution.
So, how did they accomplish it? They went back to basics and looked at the optics they were using for the DMC-LX5 and they decided to offer users an ultra-bright F 2.0 ultra-wide-angle 24mm lens. The lens is made by an old name in the camera business Leica (not incidentally the first manufacturer of a handheld 35 mm film camera more than half-a-century ago with a range-finder focus for spot on photos). The actual lens name is the Leica DC Vario-Summicron and it really is a 24mm ultra-wide.
Panasonic went back to its basics again when it decided to use a 3.8X optical zoom that would effectively give the DMC-LX5 a 24-90mm zoom lens. Believe it or not, tests show that the F2.0 lens is twice as bright as an F2.8 lens which makes it easy to shoot great closeups with a soft background.
Panasonic also went back to its roots when it took a look at the old DMC-LX3 processor that powered the predecessor to this model and what they did was essentially rebuild their already sensitive DMC-LX3 into a tri-processor. In other words, it has triple the processing power that the old DMC-LX3 offered. They called the new engine the Venus.
Essentially, they took the LX3 engine, which already had a great reputation as the provider of at least a 31 percent increase in light sensitivity and they arranged three of them (on one chip, of course) in series so that each step would build on the next. The resulting LX5 engine delivers photos in low-light situations that would have other cameras needing external strobes or lighting as the DMC-LX5 extends low-light to 3 lux in shooting videos.
While we never tried it at that low light level because there's no place interesting enough around our place with that low level of lights (things like intersections, traffic lights, oncoming car headlights and other things always seemed to spoil really low-level shots), still we were surprised with just how far we could push low-level lighting.
For the most part, though, we stayed with our usual types of landscape photography, wildlife and event photography and we were pleased with the results. It's funny that, having been in the computer business for some time, it never really occurred to use to just go back to the basics and look at not only the original engine, but also its software to capture the incredible range the Panasonic captures.
Panasonic went back to the basics and they came up with a surprising mid-range point-and-shoot camera that features a three-inch LCD framing field in the rear and, believe it or not, good, old-fashioned photographic hotshoe technology if you want to use a larger compatible strobe.
The Lumix uses up to 32 GB of SD or SDHC memory so you actually have the ability to shoot up to about 400 shots before you have to recharge the battery or drop in a spare. For short videos, you can use Dolby Digital Creator for sound. Videos, though are AVCHD-compatible, or roughly double standard JPEG imagery.
Finally, Panasonic has done some nice work on the feel (ergonomics) of the Lumix so that it has a nicer feel in your hand and when you are shooting whether stills or short videos.
Roberto Sedycias works as an IT consultant for ecommUS
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