Sunday, February 05, 2017

The Panasonic LX100 Is Not A Bad Street Shooting Machine

So I have had the Panasonic LX100 for a while now, despite some shortcomings and my complains of a few key missing features, it is starting to grow on me and I am getting more and more shots that I really like shooting with LX100. It is surely not the love at first sight, this camera takes time to learn and understand, surely takes much longer time to love.

Yesterday, I did a quick catch up session with dear friend and fellow Micro Four Thirds shooter from Melbourne, Australia, Ananda who was home for Chinese New Year holidays. We decided to go to Pudu Wet Market, and it has been a while since my last visit there. Initially I wanted to shoot Pudu with just the new Huawei Mate 9 Pro that I have loaned from Huawei Malaysia (you know, do as much as you can with it before return) but I realized one of the favourite things I want to do in Pudu is portraits of strangers. Therefore, having a versatile zoom lens is crucial to deal with the messy background of a wet market.

I guess I still do have to complain about a few things. While I can now live with the poor JPEG rendering of LX100, and perfectly comfortable post-processing the RAW files, I still cannot let go the issues of the poor image stabilization and not having tilt-screen on the camera. There were a few moments I was shooting at dangerously slow shutter speed, without realizing, because you know, shooting at wide angle with any Olympus cameras at about 1/5 to 1/10 second shutter speed is almost 100% guaranteed to be free of hand/camera shake. That is not the case with the LX100, even at 1/15 seconds, shooting at wide angle, there is about 50% of a chance of camera shake! It is not a huge shake, it is bad enough for the image to look soft, annoyingly soft. The only solution is to increase the ISO sensitivity, which is not an issue since LX100 can handle up to ISO1600 with no serious issues.

I miss the tilt screen so much, I find myself having difficulty doing compositions at low and high angles, and these are IMPORTANT compositions to get the perspective that I want. I seriously also wonder why Fuji did not add tilt screen for their latest X100F camera. I believe tilt screen, or swivel screen is a MUST have feature in all modern cameras.

Morning Karaoke


In the zone

Yellow Flowers

Portrait of a Stranger

Waiting

Loneliness

Red Tortoise Cake (literal translation from Hokkien, Ang Ku Kueh)

Roasted

Raw

Morning Conversations

Unusual helmet

Empty Sleeve

The reason why I wear shorts for my market visits. 

Reflections

Ananda giving the M.Zuiko 25mm F1.2 PRO a go. How was it? Hope you liked the lens. 

Oh I would want a successor to the LX100 (with Micro Four Thirds sensor of course), and please put in improved image stabilization and tilt-screen with TOUCH control/operations. Also, that JPEG engine surely needs some work. Then I can happily shoot with just this one camera for my shutter therapy sessions!

I honestly feel so crippled without a reliable IS and tilt screen now when I am shooting on the streets. Come on Panasonic, you are so, so close.

19 comments :

  1. Very nice pictures! l like how the mood of the people is captured, it has positiv energy.

    I also don't get why Fuji didn't implement a tilt screen, can it be that hard? Do you think the higher possible ISO values of Fuji's APS-C sensors can compensate some of the disadvantage if not having IBIS?

    Sebastian

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    1. Hey Sebastian,

      Image Stabiliation and ISO are two different things altogether. Benefits of image stabilization is not only for reducing the use of high ISO, but also ability to employ creative slow shutter speed to capture motion, such as panning shots, or motion blur to emphasize energy of movement in shots. Also, IS helps with confidence of nailing the shot without worrying too much about camera shake, as it would reliably compensates for slower shutter speed used in situations when we did not realize the shutter speed went lower than our own tolerance.

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  2. Was that meat really purple?

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    1. John, I don't have a good one viewing device, I am on hols. These are not Olympus colours. Whether Olympus colours or not, they are a rendition of capture and display devices. On my phone screen, these are more like an Agfa kind of colour. The meat is not red, it is a desaturated red in real life. This rendition on the screen is not unbelievable since I started from a film background

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    2. Hey John,
      Panasonic colors are somewhat different from Olympus, it does appear a little cooler, hence shifting the balance of color to a little bluish tint, resulting in the purple meat. Can be easily corrected I suppose but I was just too lazy to care (did this series of photos in a rush).

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    3. Not seeing purple meat. It may not be exactly a perfectly fresh color but it certainly is within reason. Is your monitor calibrated?

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    4. Looks like freshly butchered meat on my Dell laptop display as well.....definitely not purple here....

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    5. I think, if I have shifted the white balance a little warmer, the meat would look more natural. However, my priority was the skin tone, and I was too lazy to edit the meat colors separately.

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    6. The Panasonic Standard color scheme always seemed a bit too blue, so I switched to Natural but even then, it could use some adjustment. My Panasonic files are usually fine when I'm doing PP, mixed with Olympus files.

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  3. Ah thanks Robin, I enjoyed that lens but scaled back expectations of myself compared to previous years - it is the human element that is weak, the gear in 2017 is most general use is ample. I remember the Nikon Coolpix 775 - that had severe limitations. I have yet to write my blog and will do so. Walking with you is often a high point of my visits

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    1. No worries Ananda, always great seeing you and listening to your stories! Let's hope I can save up enough money for a holiday to Melbourne, I think street shooting there would be super awesome!

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  4. I agree Robin, an updated LX100 with better stabilisation and a touch/tiltable screen would be great....I still use mine a lot for when I want something "compact" (sure, it's not pocketable!) as the combination of size, F1.7 and a larger sensor means it's a great all rounder.

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    1. I would love to have a compact camera with all that as well!

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  5. Hi Robin,
    You will still did a good job with the pictures. It seems the dynamic range is too small and the pictures have too much contrast/clipping on the shadow and highlight ends.
    I certainly use Image Stabilization all the time. I'm not sure what I would do w/o it either! Thanks for the review.

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    1. I think it is not fair to use these samples to judge the dynamic range, as I was shooting directly against backlight in many situations.

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  6. The JPEGs from the 109 are very good though.

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    1. 109? what is that? The LX100 Jpegs are rubbish.

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    2. The Leica 109 is the lx100

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  7. I really like you post good blog,Thanks for your sharing.

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