Sunday, 18 October 2009

FMA Aberdeen Beach

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 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 …

Ixus-Boulevard Lumix-Boulevard

Beach Boulevard.

Ixus-TC-Fish Lumix-TC-Fish

Focusing in on illuminated sign.

Ixus-0705 Lumix-0705

Wide-angle 16:9 shot for the Lumix, and comparative 4:3 for the Ixus.

Ixus-Nae-Dogs Lumix-Nae-Dogs

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”.

Ixus-Eye Lumix-Eye

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.

Ixus-Sunrise Lumix-Sunrise

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.


Martin Rye said...

Good choice. I use the DCM LX 3 which is a fantastic camera and worth the extra cost. Panasonic make great compacts.

AktoMan said...

Love the retro look to your DMC-LX3, Martin. And a wider wide-angle lens too, I see. Nice.
DP review

I've posted some more photos from this morning, all from the Lumix.

AktoMan said...

Just noticed that both cameras were released on the same day last year. Panasonic were busy.

And a year later I benefit from the price drop to shift stock for the new ranges. Maybe.

Cathy said...

both mine and my eldest lads canon compacts lock out whatever setting we have them at...As in if flash is switched off then it remains switched off, if iso setting is at say 400 then it stays that way even when switched off and then back on again a few days or even weeks later...Dunno why ixus didn't do that

Story Quine said...

Sounds like that's on my Xmas list for me!! Also helps the fact that you are an excellent photographer! Lovely shots.