Slightly off-topic, but a decent camera is a key part of an outdoor bloggers armoury. I purchased the Panasonic LX-5 last summer just before the trip to the Alps and it rewarded me with some great pictures.
One year on it’s common for camera models to have been superseded once, maybe even twice, so it’s a welcome change to see a manufacturer investing in supporting it’s products well into their life-cycle. Panansonic seem to have a more measured approach to their premium compact camera’s. The LX-5, the successor to the well-regarded LX-3, was launched last year and has just been updated with a new v2.0 firmware revision, which includes:-
- Improvement in Auto-Focus speed (though it was already fast!)
- Improved Noise Reduction at high ISO’s (1600/3200)
- Improvements to Auto-White Balance in low light situations
- New ‘Active’ stabilisation for when recording video
- New ‘Miniature’ Colour option, which mimics tilt-shift technique to simulate a miniaturised scened
- Max. shutter speed increased from 60 secs to 250 secs
- New brightness/contract/colour tint settings for the LCD screen
I haven’t tested the the improvements extensively, but have had a quick play with the new Miniature colour option (see above), which looks fun. For some great examples click here
My DLSR has largely sat in the cupboard since I got the LX-5, a subscriber to the oft-used saying “the best camera is the one you have with you” being a real truism. Image quality has not been a concern – I tend to get positive comments from friends – but I am sorely tempted by the versatility of the Panasonic G-series mico four-thirds camera’s. I considered the GF-1 but that was close to being replaced at the time and has since been replaced by the GF-2 and GF-3, though these have somewhat sacrificed features and handling characteristics lauded by enthusiasts, in favour of size and touch-screen convenience. There is talk of a spiritual successor to the GF-1 in the new year, so I may well hold on till then.
In the meantime, I’ll continue to enjoy my LX-5 and it’s new firmware. If you are looking for a decent compact camera, with a larger sensor than standard compacts and with quality Leica lens then I can highly recommend the Panasonic LX-5.