I’ll blame some of my students for this morning’s trip down to the beach at 0630am. In the cold and dark, I stood taking some snaps to compare my new Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX150 with last year’s Canon Ixus 950 IS
I had read the reviews on DP Review, and so was a bit concerned about the noise, but Play.com had knocked a lot of money off the price, taking it down to the price that I was looking for. It was too good to miss. I wasn’t bothered about the 14.7mp (just under twice that of the Ixus), as quality is measured in more than mega-pixels. I was finding the Canon Ixus a bit ‘flat’. I know that I won’t get a decent depth of field with a point-and-click, but speaking to some students and talking about our cameras had given me the impetus to go looking. The camera arrived yesterday, and had a fun time in the cold, wearing my Alpkit down jacket and liner gloves.
Things I noticed: in fully-auto mode the Lumix remembers flash settings (unlike the Ixus, which will switch the flash on even in ‘night snapshot’ mode). The ‘rule of thirds’ gridlines are thicker on the Lumix than on the Ixus (meaning some details disappear from the screen when composing a shot). I like the separate review setting on the Lumix, meaning that the mode dial is just for taking pictures. The ability to shoot in 16:9 widescreen is a boon on the Lumix, unavailable on the Ixus. The Lumix’s intelligent focus is better than the Ixus, and has more choice in the settings.
So, without further ado …
Focusing in on illuminated sign.
Wide-angle 16:9 shot for the Lumix, and comparative 4:3 for the Ixus.
Text quality. Legible on both, but neither camera has a built-in grammar checker. Shouldn’t that be “it’s” rather than “its”? The funniest I saw was just along from here where the council note “Do not surf” in this area, but designate it as a “surf board and water craft zone”.
The larger number of mega-pixels shows through in the Lumix, as I selected the car our before resizing both images down to the same size.
The warmth of the final Lumix shot sells the deal for me.
Conclusion: as the pro-reviews stated, noise can be problematic. I was pointed to Steves-Digicams by a workmate after I had ordered the camera, and I agree with his conclusion. It was a blast to use, and I’ll be locking out the ISO to reduce the noise. Not sure to what setting yet, possibly 400. I’ve some other photos to post, where I had been shooting in RAW and trying the dynamic tracking - features unavailable on the Ixus 950 IS. Shiny.