S90 vs. LX3

Started Aug 20, 2009 | Discussions
Tom Hoots
Tom Hoots Veteran Member • Posts: 6,073
S90 vs. LX3

OK, there are existing threads with some discussion, but I'd like to "cut to the chase" between the newly-announced Canon S90 and the LX3, as "still cameras." Obviously, there's a big difference in the video, so if that's important to you, fine. But let's skip it, and talk about still images.

Here are the significant differences I see:

1. S90 should be quite a bit smaller in the pocket. A bit smaller overall, but mainly quite a bit slimmer.

2. Big huge difference: From what I can tell, "integrated lens covering." No lens cap. "Not that big a deal," but, you know, the LX3's lens cap is a hassle, at the least.

3. Panasonic forces Canon's hand. I'm flatly surprised that the new Canons have 10 megapixels instead of something closer to 20. And the S90 is a clear competitor to the LX3, as a "pocketable high-end" camera. (And a bit off-topic, "good grief," they finally returned the swivel LCD to the G series. Finally some reason to haul around a honking camera that big.)

4. Canon faithful. "Canon color" has its draw. Panasonic has won plenty of new customers, even with those "teal Panasonic skies." Can the simple ability to produce a blue sky win Canon those customers back? It could happen....

5. No 3:2 aspect ratio for the S90. Many other folks have come around to offering all three aspect ratios like the Pannys have. I'd almost always rather use 3:2 or 16:9 over 4:3.

Everything else is plainly obvious -- like the video, and the S90's lack of hot shoe, adapters for filters, and so on. And the less wide, but longer lens.

So. "A more-pocketable Canon with image quality and control somewhat equivalent to the LX3?" Given how I'll probably be able to stop by Best Buy and pick one up in a month or so, "could I resist?" Hmmmmmm....

Tom Hoots
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SDF Senior Member • Posts: 2,131
Re: S90 vs. LX3

Not even close to LX3. The Canon S90 (also overpriced & plasticy) is to compete with Sony WX1.

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macymin Junior Member • Posts: 34
Re: S90 vs. LX3

Canon developer will cry when they heard this........haha

SDF wrote:

Not even close to LX3. The Canon S90 (also overpriced & plasticy) is to compete with Sony WX1.

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tarnumf Senior Member • Posts: 1,688
Shouldn't we hunt down the bear first?

I really like how much people have to say about new camera capabilities without seeing even some basic review and test shots

RoyGBiv Senior Member • Posts: 1,958
Most of the S90 draws a big fat yawn from me, but...

Tom Hoots wrote:

OK, there are existing threads with some discussion, but I'd like to "cut to the chase" between the newly-announced Canon S90 and the LX3, as "still cameras." Obviously, there's a big difference in the video, so if that's important to you, fine. But let's skip it, and talk about still images.

Here are the significant differences I see:

The lack of hotshoe is a deal killer for me, on the s90, so I'd never even consider it. The sensor I'm curious about till DPR et al. does their tests. But the big ring control kinda floats my boat.
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Tom Hoots
OP Tom Hoots Veteran Member • Posts: 6,073
Re: Most of the S90 draws a big fat yawn from me, but...

RoyGBiv wrote:

The lack of hotshoe is a deal killer for me, on the s90, so I'd never even consider it. The sensor I'm curious about till DPR et al. does their tests. But the big ring control kinda floats my boat.

"More pocketable" floats my boat. Plus perhaps some hope for a shade better color accuracy.

Tom Hoots
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Tom Hoots
OP Tom Hoots Veteran Member • Posts: 6,073
Re: Shouldn't we hunt down the bear first?

tarnumf wrote:

I really like how much people have to say about new camera capabilities without seeing even some basic review and test shots

Well, you've got to talk about what you've got to talk about.

Actually, there are three sample images on Canon's S90 web page, if you dig down into the Features list. Yeah, corporate sample images are corporate sample images, but these are some of the cleanest 100% pixel-peepers I've seen in a long time.

Tom Hoots
http://thoots.zenfolio.com

tarnumf Senior Member • Posts: 1,688
Re: Shouldn't we hunt down the bear first?

I've seen those corp images - nothing write to home about, imo, my old S50 performed with same noise at base iso... and isn't it quite strange that all sample images are at base ISO?

Tom Hoots wrote:

Actually, there are three sample images on Canon's S90 web page, if you dig down into the Features list. Yeah, corporate sample images are corporate sample images, but these are some of the cleanest 100% pixel-peepers I've seen in a long time.

graphikal Senior Member • Posts: 2,783
I think that's a mite silly

Seriously, mount a hot shoe flash and you might as well use a DSLR, already-- both bulk-wise and to get the better image quality under challenging conditions.

tarnumf Senior Member • Posts: 1,688
Re: I think that's a mite silly

could be not that silly if its only occasional but necessary flash use, esp. fill-in flash

graphikal wrote:

Seriously, mount a hot shoe flash and you might as well use a DSLR, already-- both bulk-wise and to get the better image quality under challenging conditions.

theranman Veteran Member • Posts: 4,228
Re: I think that's a mite silly

Reality check: A big hot shoe flash on a small pocketcam like the S90 = Dorkomatic. I wouldn't be surprised to hear of somebody smashing the combo just out of antidorkism.

graphikal Senior Member • Posts: 2,783
Re: I think that's a mite silly

Might as well use an onboard flash for fill. A shoe flash is close enough to a point light source, at most people-shooting distances, as not to matter. No, using a shoe flash is only really useful if you need a larger amount of power, can bounce, or want to use other on-flash diffusers.

If you're going to tote a shoe flash for occasional use, it increases further the size of the camera. Might as well tote a small DSLR and get better image quality if you're going to do that. Pocket cameras should be pocketable.

I had a G9 and never once used the shoe flash. The only way I could imagine using it is as an absolute last resort, if I didn't own a better camera.

tarnumf wrote:

could be not that silly if its only occasional but necessary flash use, esp. fill-in flash

graphikal Senior Member • Posts: 2,783
I totally agree

IMO even the hulking G series looks foolish with a smallish shoe flash like the 430EX mounted. It still looks a mite weird even with a small RD2000 mounted. I've never seen someone use an LX3 with a shoe-mount flash, but would expect that to look even more strange. And yes, it would be smashably silly on an S90.

theranman wrote:

Reality check: A big hot shoe flash on a small pocketcam like the S90 = Dorkomatic. I wouldn't be surprised to hear of somebody smashing the combo just out of antidorkism.

Photo-Wiz Senior Member • Posts: 1,615
Re: S90 vs. LX3

Tom,

One advantage is the S90 is likely to be more available than the LX3.

But will the S90 have highlight clipping like the S60?
Will it cure the S series propensity for purple fringing (chromatic aberration)?
Will the lens quality be as high as on the LX3?

I'm sure it will be a good camera. But in the league with the LX3...likely not. But we'll have to wait for the reviews to be sure.

Andre

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kristian2000
kristian2000 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,566
Re: S90 vs. LX3

24mm LX3 vs. 28mm on the S30 - that extra wide is still the most important feature for me.

Great to see Canon getting out of the megapixel race
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tarnumf Senior Member • Posts: 1,688
Re: I think that's a mite silly

graphikal wrote:

Might as well use an onboard flash for fill. A shoe flash is close enough to a point light source, at most people-shooting distances, as not to matter. No, using a shoe flash is only really useful if you need a larger amount of power, can bounce, or want to use other on-flash diffusers.

If you're going to tote a shoe flash for occasional use, it increases further the size of the camera. Might as well tote a small DSLR and get better image quality if you're going to do that. Pocket cameras should be pocketable.

Good flash (as you described above) will cost $100-$200 - still much less than any entry-level DSLR and I still keep on small bulk (read: do not haul flash with me) when flash is not needed or onboard one is just OK too. Think of e.g. family dinner and backpacking hike.

I had a G9 and never once used the shoe flash. The only way I could imagine using it is as an absolute last resort, if I didn't own a better camera.

I own only LX3, but I don't need better camera as far as I have good hot shoe flash (see above)

So, do you suggest to remove hot shoe from G series? Remember all outcry for tilt LCD? Think again?

Barry Carter Veteran Member • Posts: 4,370
Re: S90 vs. LX3

Why would I want to buy a camera at Best Buy? They generally have higher prices and I'd have to pay a 6 percent sales tax on top of that. I purchase camera's mostly from Adorama. I got my black LX3 from them back in December for $399. LX3, basically a Leica camera, with lense expandability. Besides, I got enough stuff in my pocket; a cell phone in one, and a Sig P238 gun in the other. I'm good!

Ciao...Barry

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John Bean (UK) Forum Pro • Posts: 18,035
Re: I think that's a mite silly

theranman wrote:

Reality check: A big hot shoe flash on a small pocketcam like the S90 = Dorkomatic. I wouldn't be surprised to hear of somebody smashing the combo just out of antidorkism.

I'm just glad I don't live in your neighbourhood.

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YiannisPP Senior Member • Posts: 1,641
Re: Most of the S90 draws a big fat yawn from me, but...

Completely agree on that. I love my TZ7 for being pocketable (and packing an incredible range and very good IQ), but I still do prefer Canon colors somehow. Seems like Canon are still ahead in their image processing.

The only possible negative is that the S90's lens might not be as good as the G11's or the LX3's, have to wait and see. But one has to compromise.

Anyway, Tom gave an objective account of the important differences between the cameras, but most people here are quick to dismiss the S90 (before even seeing what it can do) as a toy compared to the LX3 because this is the Panasonic forum and people are just a bit biased in favor of Panasonic:)

Tom Hoots wrote:

"More pocketable" floats my boat. Plus perhaps some hope for a shade better color accuracy.

Tom Hoots
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Tom Hoots
OP Tom Hoots Veteran Member • Posts: 6,073
Re: S90 vs. LX3

Andre wrote:

One advantage is the S90 is likely to be more available than the LX3.

A definite advantage for Canon. How many times will I be able to walk past an S90 sitting there on the display stand, beckoning me?

But will the S90 have highlight clipping like the S60?

I expect that any comparison to previous S-models would be out the window -- the S90 is something beyond "just the next generation." Quite a change for Canon, actually!

Will it cure the S series propensity for purple fringing (chromatic aberration)?

Actually, that's the really big item I forgot to mention. To date, Canon has seemingly done absolutely nothing to control purple fringing. I see a teensy bit in two of the three Canon manufacturer images on their S90 web page, but very notably not a bunch of purplish tree branches in the one outdoor shot. So perhaps they've been working on it. Something that definitely remains to be seen.

Will the lens quality be as high as on the LX3?

Another "remains to be seen" thing, but I just generally don't expect anyone to make a "poor-quality fast lens." I expect it'll be a quality lens.

Tom Hoots
http://thoots.zenfolio.com

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