GF1 vs LX3

Started Oct 8, 2009 | Discussions thread
RoyGBiv Senior Member • Posts: 1,958
You can step away from the base ISO & be more flexible on your choice of f-stop

steven_k wrote:

I only shoot raw and at base ISO and I stay in the middle Fstop range ie on my LX3 i shoot usually at f5.6

Firstly, I dig the LX3. It's definitely got merit regardless of what the gf1 can do. If it were me, I'd keep it, just for the sheer compactness & functionality it packs.

A few things you noted reminds me of myself when I use my G7. I kept to the base ISOs to avoid noise. I went for f/4.6 or so when I knew I wanted something particularly sharp. If I had RAW...I woulda shot in RAW, but I was too cheap to go for the upgrade to the G9 :).

One thing you will notice with the mft cameras is that you won't need to stay at base ISO quite so much, bcs the performance at higher ISOs is a bit better. Less pixel density on the sensor means better sensitivity, and therefore, better results at ISO400. I'd say conservatively it buys you at least 3 stops of exposure flexibility that you might find useful. Less likely to need flash on those darker shots, or possibly go for shorter shutterspeeds, and do a better job at freezing motion blur. So, that's one bonus of the mft format.

Another thing is that, depending on the lenses you get, you might find the sharpness quite adequate, even wide open. The 20mm f/1.7 seems to be getting good accolades for its wide-open performance. Again, that buys you exposure flexibility.

You do have downsides to consider, compared to the LX3, like a larger footprint. To have the same breadth of focal lengths and the same brightness, you're talking about a full-on kit, instead of a compact little camera. And if you look at the true exposure capability of the zoom lens, what the extra few ISO stops give you, the zoom lens's f/3.5-5.6 eats away, by about 1.5 stops, right?

So, IMO, if you love the LX3 for it's bang for the buck (or in this case, big bang in a small footprint) you shouldn't think of the gf1 as a direct replacement. It'll still be a little more stuff to manage. But it does offer more shooting flexibility.

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