Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Adventures With Panasonic LX100

How has the holiday season been for everyone?

I had a quiet Christmas, which followed by my Birthday. Yes I was born on a Boxing Day. I did some light street shooting around town, spend almost entire Christmas and Boxing Day reading a book, the "Doctor Sleep" from Stephen King which was a direct sequel to "The Shining" and had some small gathering with friends. I could not have asked for a better way to spend the holidays. A bit of shutter therapy, some coffee, awesome friends, and finally, some time off to actually read a book!

My adventures with the Panasonic LX100 continues with my recent shutter therapy sessions. As I have mentioned in my previous blog entry, as long as I shot everything in RAW and spent some time post-processing the images, the LX100 can deliver beautiful images. While the camera operations (mainly dials, rings and manual controls) can get overwhelming, I have simplified my street shooting workflow and made the LX100 work for me. The focusing was quick enough for me to grab some spontaneous shots, which was crucial for my street shooting.

I did however find that the lens was an interesting aspect of the camera, not being clinically sharp at any focal length, but it offers a very pleasing overall rendering of an image. I particularly love how the wide angle 24mm shot wide open at F1.7 can still create decent amount of shallow depth of field for subject isolation (though you should really not look at 100% view, the mushiness of details is disturbing). Also, zooming in at 75mm F2.8, the lens is decent in sharpness.

LX100 vs The Antman


Portrait of a Stranger 1. Shot at 75mm, F2.8. 
I can still achieve a good degree of separation, isolating the subject from the background. This was the main reason I chose LX100 over any other cameras such as the Sony RX100. 

At 75mm, the lens on the LX100 shows reasonable sharpness, and respectable coming from a zoom lens. 

Run
Autofocus was quick and responsive, more than good enough to capture crucial shots. 

Fly


What are you looking at?

Flash

Portrait of a Stranger 2

Clouds

Joy
This is my favourite shot of the series. Simply love the facial expression on both the baby and the mother (I think she was). 

Swordsman

Paper Hat
This was taken at ISO1600, which was still very good.

Family
This was also shot at ISO1600

Petaling Street Entrance
ISO3200

Passing By 
ISO3200

Beef Noodles
ISO3200

A Little Drizzle
ISO3200

Sharing a Cover
ISO3200

Fan
ISO3200

The Christmas Tree
This was shot with 1/2 sec shutter speed. While the lens was optically stabilized, I found trouble steadying the lens at 24mm wide angle, even at half a second shutter speed. I guess I am too used to using the Olympus 5-Axis IS. 

Gold
There is just something in the rendering of the LX100 that is nice. 

It has been a while since I last did a panning shot. This was just for fun. 

Deals

KL Tower

I have a feeling that this could be my last blog entry for the year 2016. 

Wow, the year is almost over. And strangely, this year has been the year that I have blogged the least, despite my ambition of doing more blog updates. Work has been super super busy, more than I have originally anticipated. 

As for the Panasonic LX100, I think it is a camera that needs some time to get used to. Once I have warmed up to the camera, it is quite an enjoyable camera to use. It has it's shortcomings, but hey, there are no perfect cameras out there. Most importantly, I do quite like the images I have made with the LX100. 

How has the year 2016 been for you? 

23 comments :

  1. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Robin

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    1. Merry Chirstmas and Happy New Year to you too!

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  2. The LX100 may have a µ4/3 sensor, but the image circle of the lens doesn't cover all of it. This results in a 4,112 x 3,088, an approximately 12 mp image. Cameras with the latest 1" Sony sensors can capture finer details with comparable noise levels. I've had one of these cameras for over a year and found that by changing the jpg setting parameters, I can get pretty good jpgs. With its reasonably fast, decent range zoom lens, it's a very nice take everywhere camera.

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    1. hey Bruce,
      As far as fine details are concerned, I have my excellent E-M10 Mark II and E-P5. When I was getting the Panasonic LX100, it was not really for the overall sharpness. I wanted the 24mm F1.7 wide angle lens (I do not have a wide angle lens with bright aperture yet), and of course, the 4K video shooting. I perfectly understand the capabilities of the Sony RX100 series, however they are not cheap, and even in the local used market, I cannot justify getting one. However the LX100 I managed to find a great deal which I cannot pass. The JPEGs are terrible but I am doing everything RAW now so it was ok.

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  3. Hi Robin,
    As Always another great post from you.
    You mentioned that you like the rendering of this camera so I compared it to the photos from the post: Shutter Therapy In Kuching With Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II.
    To my eyes the photos taken with the E-M1 Mark II were great but clearly the rendering is flatter compared to the LX100. I would like to know your thoughts about it as everybody sees different.
    Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year full of great photographic opportunities!

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    1. Hey Billy,
      Thanks for the kind words!
      I do not think it is fair comparing the Kuching photographs to the KL photos taken by LX100. In Kuching, the sky was bright and sunny, taken near afternoon with much flatter lighting. The KL shots were taken mostly in the evening with street lights coming in from multiple directions, hence enhancing the 3D rendering. I'd say it was all about lighting here. Also another note worth pointing out, I processed all images rather heavily from the Panasonic LX100 from RAW, boosting contrast mostly. For the Olympus, it was almost straight out of camera JPEG with minor touch up.

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  4. Hvala Robin za sve što nam godinama prikazuješ, vrijedno je izrazite pažnje, samo nastavi. Hvala i sretna Nova godina.

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  5. Whatever your reservations about the LX100,it definitely seems to inspire you! I particularly like the colours. Thank you Robin and a Happy New Year to you! Vincent

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    1. The colors were mostly from the Capture One software! I dislike the original colors of the JPEG though, too much green cast and everything felt wrong.

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  6. Hi, Robin. I just wanted to thank you for your periodic posts, especially on Olympus equipment. It was your 5 second shot on the MkII with the 12-100 that really sold me on that pairing. Happy New Year, and I'm looking forward to hearing more from you in 2017.

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    1. Hey Frank! Thanks for the kind words. Also, I hope you are able to hand-hold the 12-100mm much longer than I originally could!

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  7. Merry Christmas n happy birthday Robin.god bless u.

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  8. The last image (KL Tower) gives me goosebump. Well done!

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    1. Thanks! Oh dear never realize my images can give people goosebumps! This is surely the first.

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  9. Hi Robin. I was excited and bought an LX100 early on (had an LX3 and LX5). My first copy had a focus issue and the replacement somehow left me unimpressed IQ wise - just not yielding what I’d come to expect from my other 4/3 and m4/3 cameras. So I returned it and bought an E-M10 II as my compact, travel kit (which I love, of course - even with the ‘lowly’ 14-42EZ). By chance, I processed some of my LX100 RAW files in Capture One and was pleasantly surprised - seems Capture One was treating those files more aggressively than Lightroom. Recently picked up a used LX100 (like new, mint condition copy from a coworker) and used it exclusively over the Xmas weekend. I have a different set of LX100 expectations now so just enjoyed shooting with it (rather than obsessing over any perceived lack of IQ). And I do like shooting with it - I like the ‘rangefinder’ form factor and having had previous LXs it feels very familiar. Even played around with the Monochrome jpeg filters - still shooting JPEG + RAW, mind you! ;-)
    Keep up the great work, Robin - you are an inspiration. Here’s to a Healthy, Happy 2017!

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    1. I am so glad I am not the only one who thinks that the Capture One does create very nice output from the LX100 Raw Files! I am glad that you have found yourself back to LX100 and give it another chance. Seriously, not sure what Panasonic was thinking with the horrible JPEG images. Happy New Year 2017 to you too!

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  11. Happy Birthday, Merry Christmas, and hope you have a Happy New Year!

    It looks as though the LX100 is working well. I'm sure you'll find something interesting every day you use it. I'm looking to manual lenses for a bit of experimentation on micro Four-Thirds. It should keep my mind busy. Remembering how I did those things as a teen, when everything was manual, should be challenging.

    Enjoy 2017!

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    1. Hey Sakamoto! Hope you are well. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you too.
      Manual lenses are so fun! Sure they need a lot of work but hey if you are not in a rush and if you are shooting non moving subjects, slowing down sometimes can create better art!

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