LX3's pocketability and ZS3's image quality?

Started Oct 24, 2009 | Discussions
OP ebird732 New Member • Posts: 24
Re: Great response

Thanks everybody. I ordered an ZS3, a Lowepro pouch and flex tripod today. Can't wait to have them.

OP ebird732 New Member • Posts: 24
Re: more choices

morey000 wrote:

making it worse:

  • Fuji F70. 27-270mm. really pretty small. Unbeatable dynamic range and excellent low light (high ISO) capability for a compact. No HD Video and some corner blurring and CA/PF at wide angle (only). Only about $235

  • Panny ZX1/ZR1. 25-200mm. Really small. HD video, power OIS. Not great at high ISO. Also about $235.

\
Thanks, but:

  • For good low light, I'd rather get an LX3 or S90.

  • The ZR1 has slower lens at telephoto end (f/5.9). And as long as my camera can fit into a small handbag, size is not a very important factor for me. Power OIS, AFAIK, is just okay.

So I went for the ZS3.

SoundsGood Contributing Member • Posts: 826
Re: more choices

Congrats! Good choice.

Which Lowepro did you order?

D Lynch Veteran Member • Posts: 5,338
Menus?

May I ask what the settings should be for optimum image quality?

I'm a little confused by the menus on my wife's camera and would like to know more before I buy my own.

The 25-300 lens is calling me...my g9's more limited range is not wide enough.

thanks!

DaveL
Toronto

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OP ebird732 New Member • Posts: 24
Re: more choices

Mine is Lowepro Rezo 30. Some said that the Rezo 30 is too snug and recommended Rezo 50, but I don't want a camera case that is too bulky either. Ridge 20/30 and D-Pods 30 are also good choices.

Trensamiro
Trensamiro Senior Member • Posts: 1,565
Re: Menus?

D Lynch wrote:

May I ask what the settings should be for optimum image quality?

I'm a little confused by the menus on my wife's camera and would like to know more before I buy my own.

You can confidently set your future TZ7 ( ZS3 ) at the iA ( Intelligent Auto ) setting and completely forget about menus and complications, it will deliver optimum quality pictures for most every kind of scene possible, including landscapes, portrait, macro, action, whatever.

Later, when some months have passed by and you've read the manual a number of times and feel confident with the camera, you may try to tweak some setting here and there for specific purposes (say taking a picture of the night sky), and you can always try the many specific-purpose Scenes available.

But to begin with, set it to iA and forget about anything, it'll take great pictures.

The 25-300 lens is calling me...my g9's more limited range is not wide enough.

Of course it isn't. Actually, nothing beats the TZ7 ( ZS3 ) zoom range for versatility, have a look at these two pictures I took with mine last summer, one is a 25 mm super wideangle shot, the other is a 300 mm super long telephoto shot, both taken within 5 seconds of one another. Try to do that with any DSLR, pro or not !

25 mm

.

300 mm

.

.

If you want to see many more pictures I've taken with the TZ7 ( ZS3 ) of all kind of subjects, at all focal lengths from 25 mm to 300 mm, and with all kinds of lighting conditions from midnight to blazing sun, I've uploaded them to Flickr , fully commented and documented (shutter, aperture, ISO, etc.).

It will surely be useful to you in order to check what can be done with this camera and what kind of image quality does it deliver.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mirepapa/

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Brooks Lester Senior Member • Posts: 1,865
LX3 vs. ZS3 - depends on your standards...

Personally, I feel that the LX3 possesses the highest amount of noise and noise reduction smearing that I find acceptable - in a camera that I would use. Here is an image made in mid-day overcast at base ISO. Pretty good pixel level detail and lack of noise for a pocketable digital camera:

Here is an image shot with and Nikon D700, indoors, at ISO 5000. Very little noise, in fact at ISO 5000 the D700 noise level is comparable to the LX3 at base ISO (amazing). I could have raised ISO and shot at a faster shutter speed to get a sharper image:

Any more noise than this, I would find unacceptable. Once you start editing in PS, building density into the images and adding selective sharpening, sensor noise will become readily obvious and reduce IQ and limit your ability to optimize an image. For me, coming from a high end DSLR perspective, the ZS3 will be noisier than I find tolerable. For a snap shooter who doesn't do much post-processing, and wants an all-in-one lens P&S that fits in a pocket, the ZS3 is a great choice. In fact, a ZS3 is on its way to my house today as a gift for my wife.

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Andrew Mitchell Senior Member • Posts: 1,896
Re: LX3's pocketability and ZS3's image quality?

ebird732 wrote:

Hi,

I'm tempted to buy a new camera, perhaps an S90 or LX3. I've seen lots of samples and I like the LX3 a little better. At first I didn't care about size but when I saw the photos taken during some trips with my friends, most of the time I used my friend's Canon SD1000 instead of my S3 IS because of its pocketability. So I've come to realize that size is an important factor.

This has been asked before, a while back. Not everyone agrees with what I feel!

Looking at both cameras' specifications, the LX3 is not significantly bigger than the S90. But people keep saying that the S90 is pocketable and LX3 is not. So I wonder how pocketable the LX3 is. Can I put it in a purse or small bag?

The LX3 is perfectly pocketable; that is how I carry mine around, all the time. Anyone that tells you it isn't doesn't own one!

I'm also considering the ZS3. I love its HD video, wide angle and zoom ability, but I really worry about the quality of still images because Panasonic crammed 45MP per cm2 of the sensor, too much I think. Could you please tell me in what situations the ZS3 can perform well and what it can't do? Is there noticeable difference between the ZS3 and LX3 in taking daylight photos?

I own both the LX3 and the ZS3. The ZS3 is a great fun camera which I am glad I bought. However, the image quality of the LX3 is in a different league altogether, and it is very much better in low light. This should be of no surprise as it is unlikely that a 25 - 300 lens is ever going to be able to beat a 24 - 60 (even in the SLR world). The ergonomics of the LX3 are also much better.

Bottom line for me: if the ZS3 was the only camera I owned, I would be unhappy. Luckily, I have several (LX3, ZS3 & Sony A700 DSLR), so I'm not.

Many thanks.

-- hide signature --

Andrew (Brit expat in Taipei, Taiwan since 1985)

Trensamiro
Trensamiro Senior Member • Posts: 1,565
Re: LX3 vs. ZS3 - depends on your standards...

Brooks Lester wrote:

For me, coming from a high end DSLR perspective, the ZS3 will be noisier than I find tolerable .

Really ?

Well, I also come from a suitably high perspective and, frankly, find the ZS3 (TZ7)   much less noisier than supposedly knowledgeable people (in their own words, not mine) say it is, and certainly perfectly tolerable.

Just for instance, let's have a look at this utterly casual pic I took while waiting for the waiter (no pun intended), handheld, in sheer available light (no fill-in flash or any other than available light), followed by a large 100% crop , both absolutely unretouched and unprocessed, straight out of the camera :

ZS3 (TZ7) @ 25 mm, f/4, 1/160 sec., ISO 80:

.

... and the sizable 100% crop :

.

.

Do you really find that much noise in it ? To the level of " not finding it tolerable " ?

Good for you if you do. As for me, I've seen plenty of pictures taken with renowned DSLRs with far worse results than this as far as noise and detail is concerned.

Perhaps it all comes to good technique and knowing how to properly use the camera.

Else, it will be just a chauvinistic DSLR fanboy ineptly using a compact camera (ugh !) he actually despises, and then blaming said camera for the inept results he has produced with it.

.

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D Lynch Veteran Member • Posts: 5,338
Re: Menus?

Trensamira, thanks so very much!

I'm eager to see your work. I spend quite a lot of time on flickr and other sites. Find it inspiring.

We just returned from a trip to Newfoundland. When I get home I'll send a link to the photos I posted; d80 and g9. I had more fun with my g9 all in all...

Thanks!
Dave L
Toronto

 D Lynch's gear list:D Lynch's gear list
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Trensamiro
Trensamiro Senior Member • Posts: 1,565
Re: Menus?

D Lynch wrote:

Trensamira, thanks so very much!

I'm eager to see your work. I spend quite a lot of time on flickr and other sites. Find it inspiring.

We just returned from a trip to Newfoundland. When I get home I'll send a link to the photos I posted; d80 and g9. I had more fun with my g9 all in all...

Thanks!

You're welcome , and thanks to you for your appreciation, I've uploaded about 150 choice pics to Flickr , just search for Trensamiro or simply use this link:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mirepapa/

And please, do post a link to your D80 and G9 pictures, I'm always eager to see quality pictures made with any camera whatsoever, no fanboy or chauvinistic guy here ...

.

.

D Lynch Veteran Member • Posts: 5,338
Newfoundland and Nova Scotia

Here's a link to some of my photos taken recently. We drove to Newfoundland and back through Nova Scotia before returning home==Toronto Canada. 8500 km in 2 weeks; 2-7 hour ferry rides to Newfoundland (the Rock)

We never stopped. Had about 2 1/2 sunny days; always windy. Rain; a little snow.

Enjoyed every moment.

Signal Hill was the vantage point where the signaller watched for ships approaching St John's.

We stood on the most easterly point of North America. Cape Spear.

Here's the link.
http://picasaweb.google.ca/1dlynch/NewfoundlandNovaScotiaOctober2009#

I truly appreciate the chance to see your work! Thank you so much

Dave L
Toronto

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Brooks Lester Senior Member • Posts: 1,865
Trensamiro- well done, and almost comical!

I wrote that I was buying the camera for my wife, a casual photographer - so I won't be using the ZS3. The noise level will not make much of a difference to her.

Now, about technique - since the ZS3 doesn't have Manual, Aperture, or Shutter priority modes, so the most important technique with a camera like this is to keep ISO set to base - if you care about image quality.

Now, I will say this, after shooting a few test images with the ZS3, and ugh, I may actually be agreeing with you -

at base ISO, the ZS3 image looks a lot better than I expected. As ISO goes up, as I expected, images start to look like crap and I would not want to attempt to edit them into a finished product unless I was trying create digital pointillist art. But, the ZS3 makes an acceptable image at base ISO, at least to this "fanboy".

There, I said it. Am I still a fanboy? I am?! Oh no, my self-esteem is crushed. I'l have to transform myself into a vigilante forum cowboy.

BTW, from looking at your flickr account, the ZS3/TZ7 is the only camera you've posted with. What other cameras, both digital and film, have you used or do you own?

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trevmar Senior Member • Posts: 2,470
Re: Trensamiro- well done, and almost comical!

Brooks Lester wrote:

Am I still a fanboy? I am?!

No, no, fanboys never use their ZS3 in anything other than IA mode.

The next step up the non-fanboy ladder is to limit the max exposure to 400ASA, not base
.

cmvsm Veteran Member • Posts: 4,717
Re: LX3's pocketability and ZS3's image quality?

Andrew Mitchell wrote:

I own both the LX3 and the ZS3. The ZS3 is a great fun camera which I am glad I bought. However, the image quality of the LX3 is in a different league altogether, and it is very much better in low light. This should be of no surprise as it is unlikely that a 25 - 300 lens is ever going to be able to beat a 24 - 60 (even in the SLR world). The ergonomics of the LX3 are also much better.

Unless you are shooting low light, the IQ between the two is very subjective versus differentiating. There have been many samples on this forum proving just that. Low light, sure, I could go as far as saying a 'different league'. Shooting in bright light, this vast difference between the two is just not there.

This is the same principle as an article I just read not too long ago, that compared a $300 Nikon kit lens with an $1800 'Pro' lens in terms of sharpness and differentiating qualities in 'typical' shooting conditions for the common amateur. Again, the differences weren't there and you'd be very hard pressed to tell the images apart, despite the price point differences. However, in poor lighting, the more expensive lens easily won at the faster aperture. In fast action, the AF of the more expensive lens was superior. In terms of build quality, again the more expensive lens won. But in typical bright daylight shooting, the average user couldn't tell the difference.

Its the same principle here. You may want to see a 'different league' of a difference, because you think that it should be there, but in 'real world' comparisons, its just not there.

Bottom line for me: if the ZS3 was the only camera I owned, I would be unhappy. Luckily, I have several (LX3, ZS3 & Sony A700 DSLR), so I'm not.

Same here. I'd be very unhappy without my Nikons.

Brooks Lester Senior Member • Posts: 1,865
Through extensive therapy I may be able to overcome my DSLR fanboy syndrome

although I'm going to seek out a second opinion from a more qualified doctor. I don't know if I have much confidence in this first doctor's expertise. Can I sue if he's misdiagnosed me?

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Trensamiro
Trensamiro Senior Member • Posts: 1,565
Re: Trensamiro- well done, and almost comical!

Brooks Lester wrote:

I wrote that I was buying the camera for my wife, a casual photographer - so I won't be using the ZS3 .

Your loss.

Now, about technique - since the ZS3 doesn't have Manual, Aperture, or Shutter priority modes, so the most important technique with a camera like this is to keep ISO set to base - if you care about image quality.

I've already explained in a number of posts why those modes, say Aperture priority , make very little sense in typical P&S hardware, the ZS3/TZ7 included, and I'm not for repeating myself that much.

As for the most important technique, keeping ISO as low as possible is certainly important but that applies to every camera out there, not just P&S. That aside, there are many other important techniques, one of them being extremely knowledgeable about the hardware you're using, its limitations and its possibilities.

Just grabbing a P&S for a fleeting moment to ineptly take a few "test" shots and declare it unworthy after seeing the inept results just won't cut it.

Now, I will say this, after shooting a few test images with the ZS3, and ugh, I may actually be agreeing with you -

That was to be expected. It is what usually happens when you present sound evidence and arguments to intelligent, rational people

at base ISO, the ZS3 image looks a lot better than I expected. As ISO goes up, as I expected, images start to look like crap and I would not want to attempt to edit them into a finished product unless I was trying create digital pointillist art.

That second part of your statement is, again, a pitiful attempt at sarcasm based on unfounded assumptions and expectations and with no evidence to substantiate it. And I sincerely hope you refrain from providing such "evidence" as you did with those horridly noisy and worthless LX3 pictures presented as evidence by you a few posts ago.

But, the ZS3 makes an acceptable image at base ISO, at least to this "fanboy".

There, I said it. Am I still a fanboy? I am?! Oh no, my self-esteem is crushed . I'l have to transform myself into a vigilante forum cowboy.

Well, well, well, it seems I've ruffled a few feathers here. Or perhaps I touched some nerve.

Listen, Brooks Lester , I don't intend for you to take my comments as personally addressed to precisely you and no other than you. My "fanboy" rant was more general in nature, as I'm more than fed up of always reading posts denigrating the image quality produced by the ZS3/TZ7 as being almost unworthy and certainly much less than that produced by the LX3, S90, whatever, let alone DSLRs.

The facts are, those claims are completely unjustified and unsubstantiated as most people have either never seen or used one, or used one ineptly to take a few inept snapshots with it, then go on to blame the results on the camera instead of on themselves and their ineptitude and lack of interest in the hardware.

Many posters do that, you did it as well.

BTW, from looking at your flickr account, the ZS3/TZ7 is the only camera you've posted with . What other cameras, both digital and film, have you used or do you own?

My Flickr account is non-pro so I have strict limits as to the number of pics I can upload and their sizes so I must be quite picky about what I upload, which normally is one out of a hundred pictures or so, not necessarily the best ones but the ones I don't care to make freely available on Internet for people to grab them and use them as they please, which is what they'll do, "All Rights Reserved" or not.

Anyway, I've been uploading pictures for a just few weeks now, they aren't even properly tagged, the descriptions are incomplete, not sents to groups, not properly organized, etc, etc.

And that said, you're utterly wrong , of course. Among the 150 pictures in my Flickr account, there are pictures taken by at least four different camera models, they aren't all ZS3/TZ7 pictures as you say.

Finally, to answer your probably loaded question, I've been into photography for the last 25 years and have used lots of different cameras and lots of different lenses. The latest ones I'm using right now are the TZ7 in the P&S cathegory and a Sony DSLR-A850 in the DSLR full-frame cathegory, but I find it too bulky and inconvenient, even for sporadic use, and will probably acquire a Sony A550 within the next months.

As for lenses, I very sporadically use the following original (1986+) Minolta ones, all of them full-frame: 50 mm f/1.7, 70-210 mm f/4 ( "beercan" , exquisite bokeh ), 24 mm f/2.8, 100 mm f/2.8 macro 1:1, and several other less outstanding ones.

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ChrisHA Regular Member • Posts: 210
Re: LX3's pocketability and ZS3's image quality?

I have the LX3 and ZS3 that I use for grab shots.

The ZS3 fits nicely in a neoprene Pedco camera wrap - nice protection and fast shooting - and easily fits in a cargo pocket or vest.

The LX3 is crammed in a neoprene CaseLogic case but is still too big for my cargo pocket - and heavier in my lightweight vest.

I brought the LX3 on this trip, but almost wished I had the ZS3 instead for it's smaller size - and because I only brought a 500 and 300mm lens.

Chris
http://www.wildliferhythms.com

Mick Bruff New Member • Posts: 17
Re: LX3's pocketability and ZS3's image quality?

Unless you're being very picky indeed, I don't imagine you'll see too much difference in image quality between the ZS and LX shooting at ISO 80-200—check out the sample galleries in the reviews. If you do a lot of low-light work, then the LX's faster lens and superior high ISO performance is well worth the extra outlay and the marginally greater bulk—if you can live with the short zoom range. If you're shooting landscape or architecture it's great—but not a whole lot of use if you want to capture that butterfly 10 feet away before trying to get in close for a macro shot.

The LX isn't the dinkiest camera around, but it's hardly an FZ. If you haven't got large pockets, a belt-mounted pouch seems the best solution.

OP ebird732 New Member • Posts: 24
Re: LX3's pocketability and ZS3's image quality?

My ZS3 and Lowepro case arrived at the same time. Haven't tried the camera yet (I'm still charging the battery) but I like its red color :). The camera also fits into the case perfectly, not too tight, not too loose. I'm going to try the ZS3 tomorrow.

Uhm... but I forgot to buy an LCD protector. Is it necessary for this cam?

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