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01-31-2009, 10:26 AM   #1
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Does Pentax have a G10 or a LX3 competitor?

I've got a K10D with the 16-45, 55-300, 50 f1.4....great camera, love it, but I want something, in addition to the K10D that is small, I can carry in my shirt pocket on a daily basis.

The K10D is great for fine photography, but I'm getting older and also want a small carry about.

I've looked at the Canon G10, love the dials and ability to set it like a DSLR, but from what I've read and seen in comparisons the pix are that great over 200 ISO.

I've also checked out the Panasonic Lumix LX3 and while the pictures are a bit better than the G10 over 200....it also pales in comparison to the picture taking quality of a DSLR.

I know the G10 has a MP count over 14....but the sensor is so small it makes this high mp count almost meaningless.

Sigma apparently has a great little camera with a large MP count that borders on DSLR pix quality....but the price....egads !!!!

So does Pentax have any small-size of G10, with manual settings like the G10, but better picture quality than the G10 ?

Here's the deal, back in my film days I had/have Pentax SLR's, but I also carried an old film Leica Rangefinder....smaller than a SLR, but the picture quality was /is excellent. A great carry about.

I'm looking for the same deal, but digital and a price maximum of about $ 500.00.

Any suggestions ?

01-31-2009, 10:39 AM   #2
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Pentax doesn't have a P&S meeting your requirements. There are some rumors that Pentax will introduce a new camera in between P&S and DSLR's this spring.

I share your view that the G10 has too high a pixel density and that will have a negative impact on picture quality.

What about a K-m with a compact zoom from the old days, like perhaps an F 35-70 or F 35-105?

Or a Leica D-Lux 4 .
01-31-2009, 10:49 AM   #3
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I think you may be looking for something that simply does not exist in the market right now. AFAIK, the Panasonic LX3 produces the best images at higher ISO's in it's category. If you have a look at the dpreview comparison between the LX3, G10, and Nikon unit, from ISO200 up the LX3 IQ is significantly better.

That being said, obviously you have to leave it set at ISO100 if you want IQ similar to a SLR. But ISO400 is perfectly fine for smaller prints, and in B&W mode ISO800 is perfectly fine too (looks like Tri-X film grain).



Macro mode works really well, particularly for items like jewelry. I shot this handheld the other day just sitting in the car with natural sunlight.



I also love the ability to shoot fast and wide.




I carry my LX3 everywhere, it really is a great camera.

Last edited by edl; 01-31-2009 at 10:59 AM.
01-31-2009, 11:01 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ole Quote
Pentax doesn't have a P&S meeting your requirements. There are some rumors that Pentax will introduce a new camera in between P&S and DSLR's this spring.

I share your view that the G10 has too high a pixel density and that will have a negative impact on picture quality.

What about a K-m with a compact zoom from the old days, like perhaps an F 35-70 or F 35-105?

Or a Leica D-Lux 4 .


You know you must be reading my mind Just the other day, I checked out some reviews on the KM/ K2000. It comes with the 18-55 lens and the price is about the same as the G10 or the LX3...being a DSLR with a 10.2 sensor the picture quality is much. The only concern is that the KM , although I don't know may not be any smaller, or much lighter than my K10D, although my K10D is quite big and heavy as I have the battery grip attached all the time.
The other thing is that I actually have a Pentax 35-105 f3.5 Zoom that I purchased new in '84 ($ 375 -ouch) which is a fabulous lens, built like a Sherman tank, but heavy....still use it on my K10D.
I think I will check out the KM to see how much lighter, ot if it is any smaller than the K10D...compare it to the G10 in heft, physical size , etc.


01-31-2009, 11:06 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by edl Quote
I think you may be looking for something that simply does not exist in the market right now. AFAIK, the Panasonic LX3 produces the best images at higher ISO's in it's category. If you have a look at the dpreview comparison between the LX3, G10, and Nikon unit, from ISO200 up the LX3 IQ is significantly better.

That being said, obviously you have to leave it set at ISO100 if you want IQ similar to a SLR. But ISO400 is perfectly fine for smaller prints, and in B&W mode ISO800 is perfectly fine too (looks like Tri-X film grain).



Macro mode works really well, particularly for items like jewelry. I shot this handheld the other day just sitting in the car with natural sunlight.



I also love the ability to shoot fast and wide.




I carry my LX3 everywhere, it really is a great camera.
I had checked the LX3 vs the G10 pix in one of the webs that features pix taken same light/same conditions, same iso - back to back and as you say I noted that the LX3 seems to produce better pictures, especially at 200 and above iso. At 80 and 100...both are fairly equal. I don't know much about the Lx3 but can you make settings on the camera, similar to the G10 ?
01-31-2009, 11:15 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by lesmore49 Quote
I had checked the LX3 vs the G10 pix in one of the webs that features pix taken same light/same conditions, same iso - back to back and as you say I noted that the LX3 seems to produce better pictures, especially at 200 and above iso. At 80 and 100...both are fairly equal. I don't know much about the Lx3 but can you make settings on the camera, similar to the G10 ?
what do you mean, "setting on the camera"? I have the DLux4 (functionally the same as the LX3) and you can shoot full manual if you want. Or anywhere in between. IQ is stellar....for a small sensor. I have shot the DLux4 back to back with my K20d and while the DLux4 is amazing, it will not beat a decent dSLR with good glass wrt iq. It does beat it in portability though...there is no free lunch.

The DLux4 is great in low light - 24/2.0 is damn useful. In short I think it is the best p&s out there, with the Ricoh GRD2 and GX-200 in the same ballpark. I don't really care for the "serious" Canons...I prefer the smaller Canons though I don't use them any more.

Both taken in the dark, no flash, available light.



01-31-2009, 12:02 PM   #7
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[QUOTE=nostatic;472375]what do you mean, "setting on the camera"? I have the DLux4 (functionally the same as the LX3) and you can shoot full manual if you want. Or anywhere in between. IQ is stellar....for a small sensor. I have shot the DLux4 back to back with my K20d and while the DLux4 is amazing, it will not beat a decent dSLR with good glass wrt iq. It does beat it in portability though...there is no free lunch.

The DLux4 is great in low light - 24/2.0 is damn useful. In short I think it is the best p&s out there, with the Ricoh GRD2 and GX-200 in the same ballpark. I don't really care for the "serious" Canons...I prefer the smaller Canons though I don't use them any more.

What I mean by being by settings on the camera is to be able to set them through knobs and switches similar to my K10D. I have a 2004 Lumix DMC8 with the Leitz lens (5 MP) and although it's a nice little camera....there's not a whole lot I can set on it....like shutter or aperature priority...it's a point and shoot-good for it's day...but the few adjustments I can make on it, I have to scroll through the menu....I'd rather set by using external controls, etc. The other thing I forgot to mention...is that on my DMC8 the shutter lag is excruciatingly long....ie; point the camera at a bird, zoom in....hit the shutter......long wait...seems forever (isn't)...bird flown the coop...picture of an empty branch. Drives me nuts....realize that the DMC8 is 5 years old now and newer cameras can do much better, I'm sure. Thank you for your info on your Lumix and the stuff you posted on the other small cameras....I wasn't aware of them, will have to check them out.
02-02-2009, 12:16 PM   #8
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I think Ned B's choice of compact P&S pretty much establishes Pentax's lack of competition in this market (most likely by choice, choosing to focus on SLRs and low-end P&S).

Did any of you LX3 users use the LX1? I was extremely unhappy with my LX1's noise performance, in fact it was my reason for purchasing an SLR.

02-02-2009, 01:31 PM   #9
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For what it's worth, I can garauntee you that any of the Pentax Optio WP models will handily outperform a Canon G10 or LX-3 while being soaked through in a rainstorm or after being dropped in a creek.
02-02-2009, 04:53 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by lesmore49 Quote
What I mean by being by settings on the camera is to be able to set them through knobs and switches similar to my K10D. I have a 2004 Lumix DMC8 with the Leitz lens (5 MP) and although it's a nice little camera....there's not a whole lot I can set on it....like shutter or aperature priority...it's a point and shoot-good for it's day...but the few adjustments I can make on it, I have to scroll through the menu....I'd rather set by using external controls, etc. The other thing I forgot to mention...is that on my DMC8 the shutter lag is excruciatingly long....ie; point the camera at a bird, zoom in....hit the shutter......long wait...seems forever (isn't)...bird flown the coop...picture of an empty branch. Drives me nuts....realize that the DMC8 is 5 years old now and newer cameras can do much better, I'm sure. Thank you for your info on your Lumix and the stuff you posted on the other small cameras....I wasn't aware of them, will have to check them out.
For me, the LX3 is what I always wanted my Olympus X1 rangefinder to be: a pocketable camera that I can carry everywhere I go, and have the manual control and IQ reminiscent of an SLR. (And frankly, I find it a bit liberating not to have to stick to the same brand as my DSLR gear for my choice of P&S--love Pentax but also love complete freedom of choice).

As mentioned, there's full manual controls. MF is easily selected by a switch on the side of the lens barrel. A dial provides exposure choices for M, Av, Tv, and P (and various auto options). To actually set the manual settings once selected, there's a "joystick" (small nob that slides up, down, left and right) that lets you shift L-R through whatever manual options you have turned on and set them one at a time through up & down. Choosing Av and speed is quick & easy. Manual focus provides a magnification assist on LCD display, and scrolls very slowly through the focus range for painstaking but very precise focusing. For snaps or moving subjects, you need AF or prefocus. No substitute for DSLR, but much nicer than browsing through menus, and I find the compromise quite liveable for a P&S.

And as for IQ? On the whole, no, it's no DSLR, BUT between the decent mid-ISO (it drops off terribly by 1600, but 200-400 ain't bad and 800 can have its uses) + F2.0 at wide end + very good image stabilization (I'm amazed how slow I can go) means that I can get satisfying shots in dark situations where I really struggle with my DSLR. Plus I swear to God the LX3 at ISO 100 gives faster F/stops for identical lighting than the K20D with same aperture. And when light is available, or flash is an option, I'm consistently happy with the results.

Oh, and that 24mm equiv. was the other huge selling point: very rare to have that wide FoV on a P&S.

I considered K-m and am still tempted, but it just ain't pocketable and I know I wouldn't take it everywhere like I do the LX3. As for Sigma DP1 & 2: have a careful look over the specs. The many limitations turned me off it, as well as the price. And as for Lumix G1? Might as well go K-m. If there's a pocketable LX3 alternative out there, it's the impending Oly micro 4/3rds: Olympus develops Micro Four Thirds camera: Digital Photography Review

I still have all my Oly MF lenses, and when this comes out, then and only then might the LX3 lose its lustre for me. Hopefully I can shoot my money's worth out of it between now and then, and not feel too bad that I didn't wait.


QuoteOriginally posted by Entropy Quote
Did any of you LX3 users use the LX1? I was extremely unhappy with my LX1's noise performance, in fact it was my reason for purchasing an SLR.
I haven't used one but I gather that LX3 represents a seachange for Panasonic from aweful low-light performance to best-in-class. I believe LX2 also suffered in low light. LX3 is the one to get.

Last edited by David Whiteley; 02-02-2009 at 05:05 PM.
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