More pictures: HX5 vs. LX3 vs. S90.

Started Mar 24, 2010 | Discussions
Tom Hoots
Tom Hoots Veteran Member • Posts: 6,072
More pictures: HX5 vs. LX3 vs. S90.

Pressing on regardless -- I've got the cameras, might as well take 'em out and see what they can do!

As I've mentioned elsewhere, I'm nearly out of allotment in my DPReview galleries this month, but I just filled it up with a few carefully-chosen images. So, let's go:

Yes, it's the brick church again, though we had some of the best weather of the year so far today:

The camera names are in my file names, though I see that the DPReview EXIF info shows the camera name -- except for the HX5. Perhaps that'll show up some day.

I actually have a little white balance adjustment dialed into the LX3, "since I've never really been totally happy with its color." It's "two notches toward yellow," which seems to bring it more in line with what I want to see.

One of the biggest things I've seen in these brick church shots has been "vignetting in the corners of the S90 images."

Next up: The House Chambers from the balcony again -- this time at base ISO for each camera:

Yeah, there's something "wrong" with the HX5 shot. It really threw me a curve: I was bracketing with all three cameras, getting shots at zero, -0.3, and -0.7 or equivalent. But, when I got home, I found that the HX5 gave me two shots at -0.3, and one at -0.7 -- and nothing at zero! So, I presume we're seeing "fast lens / slow lens" here -- the HX5 essentially not allowing that "zero" shot at ISO 125. Very interesting. But, hopefully you can glean a few things from these shots, at any rate -- indeed, click on the "Original" link to get the original image for any of these.

Otherwise, flipping between the LX3 and the S90 is revealing -- the S90 has a substantial amount of barrel distortion. Dang near round as a basketball!

Next up, I'll give you exactly one guess. Yes, it's the brick house, with a bit tighter shot than I usually manage:

This is always the shot I glean the most from, every time I take it. Overall, I prefer the HX5's color and contrast -- the S90 is just "overcooked" a bit. And the LX3 is pretty much "as usual" for me -- there's just something "not quite right" about the color. The sky just wasn't that kind of "pastel blue," for instance.

Otherwise, I'll let the pixel peepers peep to their heart's content -- let us know what you think!

Oh, and finally, a word about the LCD screens. I found the HX5's screen to be more useful in the bright sunlight today -- mainly because it was just brighter than the others, with it set for "bright." The others were a hair less reflective, but the S90 was positively dark, even though it was also turned up full blast. The LX3 was solidly in the middle.

All that said, though, the HX5's screen simply "lacks contrast." You tend to think that your images look really flat onscreen, but when you get home and see them on your computer screen, they look just fine. Whatever the case, though, the HX5's screen is that one bit more readable in bright light than the other two.

Tom Hoots
http://thoots.zenfolio.com

macymin Junior Member • Posts: 34
Re: More pictures: HX5 vs. LX3 vs. S90.

Tom, thanks for your comparison.

from those photos, we can see the low iso IQ for backlit cmos is not that bad as said before.

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roguetrader New Member • Posts: 4
Re: More pictures: HX5 vs. LX3 vs. S90.

Thanks Tom.
The HX5V stood up surprisingly well on the church photos, IMO.

Cesaregiancarlo Contributing Member • Posts: 781
Re: More pictures: HX5 vs. LX3 vs. S90.

Fantastic job Tom, thank you a lot ! Obviously we can't forget that it's difficult to compare one camera with a a range 25/250 vs a camera with shorter tele like the LX3 or with a wide lens of 28mm (the Canon) .

I wonder if you have in mind to test also the new Casio FH100 that seems a possible good competitor.
Best from Italy
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Cesaregiancarlo

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BertIverson Veteran Member • Posts: 3,609
Tom -- Thanks again for the full MP samples ...

Even when pixel peeping at 100%, I can not see enough difference in image quality to pick one of these cameras. For my particular personality and needs , other features of these cameras are the deciding factors. Listed in order of importance for me only : Size (particularly thickness), 25-250mm lens range, 10 FPS, HD video, "nifty modes", CSS sliders, LCD resolution, GPS, PASM modes, RAW, WA aperture, ...

Thanks again Tom, for all the samples and comments. I am through reading about HX5V and will order one to be my outdoor/tourist camera. (I will probably continue to lurk :-)) Cheers all.
Bert

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moysatos New Member • Posts: 4
Re: More pictures: HX5 vs. LX3 vs. S90.

Nice job!
I think comparison in l a low light will be usefull as well.

realgeek Senior Member • Posts: 1,394
Re: More pictures: HX5 vs. LX3 vs. S90.

Tom Hoots wrote:

Next up: The House Chambers from the balcony again -- this time at base ISO for each camera:

Otherwise, flipping between the LX3 and the S90 is revealing -- the S90 has a substantial amount of barrel distortion. Dang near round as a basketball!

Okay, am I going crazy? I do not see any difference in barrel distortion among these three pictures; in fact, I don't see much distortion at all.

I have even downloaded them and flip among them quickly and all I see is a slight difference in framing. I.e., the Panasonic is ever-so-slightly closer.

Oh, and finally, a word about the LCD screens. I found the HX5's screen to be more useful in the bright sunlight today -- mainly because it was just brighter than the others, with it set for "bright." The others were a hair less reflective, but the S90 was positively dark, even though it was also turned up full blast. The LX3 was solidly in the middle.

All that said, though, the HX5's screen simply "lacks contrast." You tend to think that your images look really flat onscreen, but when you get home and see them on your computer screen, they look just fine. Whatever the case, though, the HX5's screen is that one bit more readable in bright light than the other two.

Hmm. I need to take a look at this. I have not noticed the S90's display as too dark. I have, however, noticed that the HX5V's display is inferior: pictures often look bad onscreen and fine at home. I have noticed both a lack of contrast as well as an apparent overexposure.

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DanK♂ FP6900 Regular Member • Posts: 462
Re: Agreed

LCD quality of HX5V is not great and pictures look a lot better at home.

cboy7 Regular Member • Posts: 119
Re: Agreed

DanK♂ FP6900 wrote:

LCD quality of HX5V is not great and pictures look a lot better at home.

Its always a nice surprise to come home and say " oh that DID turn out"

DanK♂ FP6900 Regular Member • Posts: 462
Re: Agreed

haha, so true! First time I used HX5V, I was kind of disappointed at pale looking pictures on LCD, until I opened them on my PC... My WX1 was pretty much the same way.

DanK♂ FP6900 Regular Member • Posts: 462
Re: Low ISO thoughts

Great comparison and it's obvious that HX5 is losing in terms of detail and noise at low ISO, it's more obvious in indoor shot. Color looks fine to me in all, but HX5 does seem yellowish.

realgeek Senior Member • Posts: 1,394
Re: Agreed

cboy7 wrote:

DanK♂ FP6900 wrote:

LCD quality of HX5V is not great and pictures look a lot better at home.

Its always a nice surprise to come home and say " oh that DID turn out"

The downside is that, if you adjust the settings to make the picture turn out right on the LCD, then it doesn't look good at home. This happened to me as I changed to EV -1. Turned out that EV 0 was correct, and my EV -1 pictures were bad.

The surprise you mention is nice, but it would have been nicer for the LCD to be better.

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GeorgeZ Senior Member • Posts: 1,773
Re: More pictures: HX5 vs. LX3 vs. S90.

IMHO the HX5v does a great job in good light and holds its own well against the S90- considering the latter's large sensor I'd say the Sony does incredibly well.

Once inside the Sony looks really bad, not sure how much is due to the iffy exposure.

But the LX3 shines again- what a great camera and it's 1,5 years old- and costs about as much as when it was introduced, what an oddity!

Shame there are again no social shots.

Tom Hoots
OP Tom Hoots Veteran Member • Posts: 6,072
Exactly.

cboy7 wrote:

Its always a nice surprise to come home and say " oh that DID turn out"

Well said.

Let me tell you, when I did my first shooting with the HX5, comparing it to the TX7, I was just disappointed beyond belief as I checked my progress on the HX5's screen. My eyes really bugged out when I got home and found that the HX5 shots were actually quite good!

Tom Hoots
http://thoots.zenfolio.com

Tom Hoots
OP Tom Hoots Veteran Member • Posts: 6,072
Re: More pictures: HX5 vs. LX3 vs. S90.

realgeek wrote:

Okay, am I going crazy? I do not see any difference in barrel distortion among these three pictures; in fact, I don't see much distortion at all.

I have even downloaded them and flip among them quickly and all I see is a slight difference in framing. I.e., the Panasonic is ever-so-slightly closer.

Well, perhaps "barrel" distortion isn't the proper term. Indeed, you don't really see "curved lines" as such.

But, when I switch from the LX3 shot to the S90 shot, I see the middle of the image -- essentially in the vertical plane -- rather "push out" towards me in the S90 shot. You can see it in the "names banner" at the top of the room and the moldings on the ceiling above that, and it's as if the whole "podium" area moves forward towards me. That's what I was talking about, for what it's worth....

Hmm. I need to take a look at this. I have not noticed the S90's display as too dark. I have, however, noticed that the HX5V's display is inferior: pictures often look bad onscreen and fine at home. I have noticed both a lack of contrast as well as an apparent overexposure.

Well, the S90 screen is just darker as compared to the HX5's screen -- it just can't be "cranked up as bright" as the HX5's can. Otherwise, indeed, as you can see in your replies -- yep, the HX5 screen really lacks contrast! It's a useful tool to frame shots with, but it's pretty awful to view images on.

Tom Hoots
http://thoots.zenfolio.com

rss1983 Junior Member • Posts: 42
Re: More pictures: HX5 vs. LX3 vs. S90.

They all look simiar outseide in the bright dayliight but the LX3 kills the S90 & HX5 in doors, I also bet the LX3 would kill the others in night time shoits as well

Mk7 Senior Member • Posts: 1,284
Re: More pictures: HX5 vs. LX3.

Thanks again, Tom. This is very helpful, as I plan to buy one of these cameras next week. VGA video takes the S90 out of the running for me. Since the LX4 has yet to materialize, I was all set to get the LX3, until I took a look at your HX5 posts. The LX3 is very capable, but now I have to re-decide if I’m willing to live with its limitations (short zoom, high-ISO noise).

Have you had a chance to take any outdoor HDR shots with the HX5?(I should’ve asked this yesterday, while it was still sunny and warm, right?)

rss1983 Junior Member • Posts: 42
Re: More pictures: HX5 vs. LX3.

the HX5 has alot more noise then the LX3, type in Lx3 in http://www.flickr.com/ and be amazed!

Tom Hoots
OP Tom Hoots Veteran Member • Posts: 6,072
Re: More pictures: HX5 vs. LX3.

Mk7 wrote:

Thanks again, Tom. This is very helpful, as I plan to buy one of these cameras next week. VGA video takes the S90 out of the running for me. Since the LX4 has yet to materialize, I was all set to get the LX3, until I took a look at your HX5 posts. The LX3 is very capable, but now I have to re-decide if I’m willing to live with its limitations (short zoom, high-ISO noise).

Of course, the LX3 has a truly excellent lens, more control than anything, anywhere currently in this segment, and probably the best basic image quality in the segment, too. But, it has its limitations, too -- of course.

Have you had a chance to take any outdoor HDR shots with the HX5? (I should’ve asked this yesterday, while it was still sunny and warm, right?)

You bet. We're back to rain -- I think the forecast is for steady rain until sometime in mid-July.

I have taken some HDR shots outdoors, and it works very well. It would take me some time to find some example shots, but in the meantime, the basic concept is that, if you're shooting towards the sun, put it in HDR mode, and you won't blow out the background, while bringing the foreground out of the shadows. It's definitely an asset for the camera.

Tom Hoots
http://thoots.zenfolio.com

CSZ_Fan Junior Member • Posts: 38
Re: More pictures: HX5 vs. LX3 vs. S90.

Clearly LX3 is superior. But for me, and I'd suspect many others, the things that interest me in the HX5 and it's competitors (SX210, HZ35W, ZS7, CX3, F80EXR, 9010) are:

  • pocket sized.

  • big (enough) zoomed in, and wide (enough) zoomed out

  • near the top of the class in picture quality

  • good quality movies

But they ALL have "basically" the same features: high quality video, long and wide (enough) zoom lens, itsy-bitsy sensor, image stabilization, and all cost $300-$400.

The pics here confirm it. To look at the bricks, the HX5 looks textureless; is that a real brick wall or graffiti on concrete? The LX3 bricks look much more lifelike in color, range of color and the fact you can perceive the depth of the grout and the structure. I WISH there was any pocketable camera with an actual useful (8x+) zoom that took that kind of picture. Sadly, there are none that I know of.

HX5 is near the top of my list because it's pictures in daylight are arguably equivalent to the class leaders' quality, and it has several cool extra features such as 10 shot burst, 1080i video, HHT and panorama stitching in camera. I think I actually prefer the daylight images from the ZS7, and I do like having an even bigger zoom (could just be that my current 4x zoom is KILLING me).

I am enjoying all the analysis and pictures folks are putting up though.

Any thoughts on how to choose between what I listed as the competitors is greatly appreciated!

Thanks!

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