How bad is Panasonic's Lumix DMC-LX1?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by lubecki@hotmail.com, Jun 28, 2006.

  1. Guest

    The Lumix DMC-LX1 looks like an awesome camera on paper, primarily
    because of the Leica lens. But all the reviews I've seen complain that
    it produces very noisy images, especially at higher ISO numbers. Even
    at ISO 80 the samples I've seen have a lot more noise than the
    competition. Still, that lens is so nice...

    For anyone who has experience with this camera (or the Leica version of
    it) - how bad is the noise in real-life use? I don't really care if ISO
    400 has a ton of noise, because I'd never shoot there anyway. But ISO
    80, 100, and 200 should be usable.

    My current camera is a Fuji F700 that takes great shots, but I need to
    replace it because it's an unreliable pile of crap (first camera fried
    the CCD, and the replacement overexposes everything because apparently
    the shutter speed control is screwed up).

    -Gniewko
     
    , Jun 28, 2006
    #1
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  2. Dmac Guest

    wrote:
    > The Lumix DMC-LX1 looks like an awesome camera on paper, primarily
    > because of the Leica lens. But all the reviews I've seen complain that
    > it produces very noisy images, especially at higher ISO numbers. Even
    > at ISO 80 the samples I've seen have a lot more noise than the
    > competition. Still, that lens is so nice...
    >
    > For anyone who has experience with this camera (or the Leica version of
    > it) - how bad is the noise in real-life use? I don't really care if ISO
    > 400 has a ton of noise, because I'd never shoot there anyway. But ISO
    > 80, 100, and 200 should be usable.
    >
    > My current camera is a Fuji F700 that takes great shots, but I need to
    > replace it because it's an unreliable pile of crap (first camera fried
    > the CCD, and the replacement overexposes everything because apparently
    > the shutter speed control is screwed up).
    >
    > -Gniewko
    >

    I'm not talking here about your particular model but the one I had.

    I recently sold a FZ20 (5 Mp) model of Panasonic's digicam. The noise
    certainly is pretty bad at high ISO, no getting away from that but...
    You can shoot sharply focused, clearly coloured and well defined images
    at shutter speeds as low as 1/15th, taking advantage of the image
    stabilizer. So with such low shutter speed, wide aperture, great depth
    of field and an image stabilizer, these cameras don't actually need to
    use high ISO speeds to take fantastic photos.

    You need about 1/125th on a DSLR to be assured of avoiding soft pictures
    from mirror slap. With a camera like I had, you gain a 4 stop advantage
    over a DSLR. When you use that to shoot at lower ISO, the noise issue is
    a non-event. Check the specs of the one you are considering and see if
    it has a stabilizer in it. If it has, don't be concerned about noise
    unless you need to shoot action at high ISO. Even then, programs like
    "Neat image" will clean up the noise.

    --
    From Douglas...
    My photographic site: http://www.douglasjames.com.au
    Canvas Archival and Metallic Prints: http://www.canvasphotos.com.au
     
    Dmac, Jun 28, 2006
    #2
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  3. Guest

    wrote:
    > The Lumix DMC-LX1 looks like an awesome camera on paper, primarily
    > because of the Leica lens. But all the reviews I've seen complain that
    > it produces very noisy images, especially at higher ISO numbers. Even
    > at ISO 80 the samples I've seen have a lot more noise than the
    > competition. Still, that lens is so nice...
    > For anyone who has experience with this camera (or the Leica version of
    > it) - how bad is the noise in real-life use? I don't really care if ISO
    > 400 has a ton of noise, because I'd never shoot there anyway. But ISO
    > 80, 100, and 200 should be usable.


    The noise at high ISO is definitely worse than a lot of other cameras I
    have seen. But at ISO 80, the noise is present but bareable and
    comparable with other P&S digital cameras. Though it still doesn't beat
    my DSLR cameras. At ISO 80, even at low light, the noise is very good,
    better than many P&S digital cameras that I have seen.

    This is am amazing camera and could do a lot of things that my DSLR
    cameras could do. None other digital cameras in the same size could
    even come close.

    Chieh
    --
    Camera Hacker - http://www.CameraHacker.com/
     
    , Jun 28, 2006
    #3
  4. Hebee Jeebes Guest

    Most importantly the noise doesn't show in prints. At least none that I have
    done. I do mostly 11x14. I have the 30 and will upgrade to whatever the
    replace it with. I am also getting the TZ1 as a pocket camera.

    R
     
    Hebee Jeebes, Jun 28, 2006
    #4
  5. On 27 Jun 2006 16:26:52 -0700, <> wrote:
    > The Lumix DMC-LX1 looks like an awesome camera on paper, primarily
    > because of the Leica lens. But all the reviews I've seen complain that
    > it produces very noisy images, especially at higher ISO numbers. Even
    > at ISO 80 the samples I've seen have a lot more noise than the
    > competition. Still, that lens is so nice...
    >
    > For anyone who has experience with this camera (or the Leica version of
    > it) - how bad is the noise in real-life use? I don't really care if ISO
    > 400 has a ton of noise, because I'd never shoot there anyway. But ISO
    > 80, 100, and 200 should be usable.


    I don't have one, so can't offer a first-hand opinion. You might want to
    look at the field report published on Luminous Landscape, which talks
    about the noise in a real-world context:
    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/cameras/lx1.shtml

    -dms
     
    Daniel Silevitch, Jun 28, 2006
    #5
  6. Frank ess Guest

    Daniel Silevitch wrote:
    > On 27 Jun 2006 16:26:52 -0700,
    > <> wrote:
    >> The Lumix DMC-LX1 looks like an awesome camera on paper, primarily
    >> because of the Leica lens. But all the reviews I've seen complain
    >> that it produces very noisy images, especially at higher ISO
    >> numbers. Even at ISO 80 the samples I've seen have a lot more noise
    >> than the competition. Still, that lens is so nice...
    >>
    >> For anyone who has experience with this camera (or the Leica
    >> version
    >> of it) - how bad is the noise in real-life use? I don't really care
    >> if ISO 400 has a ton of noise, because I'd never shoot there
    >> anyway.
    >> But ISO 80, 100, and 200 should be usable.

    >
    > I don't have one, so can't offer a first-hand opinion. You might
    > want
    > to
    > look at the field report published on Luminous Landscape, which
    > talks
    > about the noise in a real-world context:
    > http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/cameras/lx1.shtml
    >
    > -dms


    Mine works good. I'm not a no-noise fetishist, and when it is above my
    tolerance threshold, I use Noise Ninja for the little adjustment
    required.

    Said before and again: it's like a little dSLR with a permanently
    attached 28-112 zoom.

    Go to flickr dot com and use tag "LX1" to see thousands of examples of
    what it can do:
    http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=lx1&w=all&s=int including some black
    and white:
    http://www.flickr.com/search/?s=int&w=all&q=lx1 black white&m=text
     
    Frank ess, Jun 28, 2006
    #6
  7. Andy Hewitt Guest

    <> wrote:

    > The Lumix DMC-LX1 looks like an awesome camera on paper, primarily
    > because of the Leica lens. But all the reviews I've seen complain that
    > it produces very noisy images, especially at higher ISO numbers. Even
    > at ISO 80 the samples I've seen have a lot more noise than the
    > competition. Still, that lens is so nice...
    >
    > For anyone who has experience with this camera (or the Leica version of
    > it) - how bad is the noise in real-life use? I don't really care if ISO
    > 400 has a ton of noise, because I'd never shoot there anyway. But ISO
    > 80, 100, and 200 should be usable.
    >
    > My current camera is a Fuji F700 that takes great shots, but I need to
    > replace it because it's an unreliable pile of crap (first camera fried
    > the CCD, and the replacement overexposes everything because apparently
    > the shutter speed control is screwed up).
    >
    > -Gniewko


    I just bought a FZ7, which also had reports of bad noise at high ISO
    settings (I presume they use the same CCD and image system). I checked
    out loads of reviews about this, and also many test images. However,
    most of it didn't get to the real point - definition. The Lumix cameras
    seem to err on the side of better definition, and as such it shows as
    noise - other cameras have a tendency to hide the noise, but with the
    result that you lose some definition.

    I have put some images up onto a web page, a couple of these test the
    noise issue, and show what can be done with a quick software fix:

    <http://www.thehewitts.eclipse.co.uk/newcamera/index.html>

    You may also want to have a look here, probably the best online source
    of information on digital imagery:

    <http://www.steves-digicams.com/2006_reviews/fz7.html>

    Also note that this camera is shown in the 'Best Cameras' section.

    I have also checked back and compared the photos against my previous
    cameras, and really, there is also noise in those shots too, I just
    never took any notice until I read these reviews.

    If you have to take pictures at high ISO, and they are important images,
    or ones that are likely to be heavily edited, then using the TIFF format
    does help a lot too. Otherwise, any images that do suffer with excess
    noise can be fixed with Noiseware (I preferred that myself) or Noise
    Ninja.

    --
    Andy Hewitt
    <http://www.thehewitts.eclipse.co.uk/Home.html>
     
    Andy Hewitt, Jun 28, 2006
    #7
  8. minnesotti Guest

    minnesotti, Jun 28, 2006
    #8
  9. Guest

    Andy Hewitt wrote:
    > <> wrote:
    >
    > > The Lumix DMC-LX1 looks like an awesome camera on paper, primarily
    > > because of the Leica lens. But all the reviews I've seen complain that
    > > it produces very noisy images, especially at higher ISO numbers. Even
    > > at ISO 80 the samples I've seen have a lot more noise than the
    > > competition. Still, that lens is so nice...
    > >
    > > For anyone who has experience with this camera (or the Leica version of
    > > it) - how bad is the noise in real-life use? I don't really care if ISO
    > > 400 has a ton of noise, because I'd never shoot there anyway. But ISO
    > > 80, 100, and 200 should be usable.
    > >
    > > My current camera is a Fuji F700 that takes great shots, but I need to
    > > replace it because it's an unreliable pile of crap (first camera fried
    > > the CCD, and the replacement overexposes everything because apparently
    > > the shutter speed control is screwed up).
    > >
    > > -Gniewko

    >
    > I just bought a FZ7, which also had reports of bad noise at high ISO
    > settings (I presume they use the same CCD and image system). I checked
    > out loads of reviews about this, and also many test images. However,
    > most of it didn't get to the real point - definition. The Lumix cameras
    > seem to err on the side of better definition, and as such it shows as
    > noise - other cameras have a tendency to hide the noise, but with the
    > result that you lose some definition.
    >
    > I have put some images up onto a web page, a couple of these test the
    > noise issue, and show what can be done with a quick software fix:
    >
    > <http://www.thehewitts.eclipse.co.uk/newcamera/index.html>
    >
    > You may also want to have a look here, probably the best online source
    > of information on digital imagery:
    >
    > <http://www.steves-digicams.com/2006_reviews/fz7.html>
    >
    > Also note that this camera is shown in the 'Best Cameras' section.
    >
    > I have also checked back and compared the photos against my previous
    > cameras, and really, there is also noise in those shots too, I just
    > never took any notice until I read these reviews.
    >
    > If you have to take pictures at high ISO, and they are important images,
    > or ones that are likely to be heavily edited, then using the TIFF format
    > does help a lot too. Otherwise, any images that do suffer with excess
    > noise can be fixed with Noiseware (I preferred that myself) or Noise
    > Ninja.


    Thanks, that image gallery is really helpful. Those are some nice
    shots.

    -Gniewko
     
    , Jun 28, 2006
    #9
  10. Andy Hewitt Guest

    <> wrote:

    [Snipped Text]

    > > If you have to take pictures at high ISO, and they are important images,
    > > or ones that are likely to be heavily edited, then using the TIFF format
    > > does help a lot too. Otherwise, any images that do suffer with excess
    > > noise can be fixed with Noiseware (I preferred that myself) or Noise
    > > Ninja.

    >
    > Thanks, that image gallery is really helpful. Those are some nice
    > shots.


    Cheers, they were just the first few I took when I got the camera.

    --
    Andy Hewitt
    <http://www.thehewitts.eclipse.co.uk/Home.html>
     
    Andy Hewitt, Jun 28, 2006
    #10
  11. Guest

    Frank ess wrote:
    > Mine works good. I'm not a no-noise fetishist, and when it is above my
    > tolerance threshold, I use Noise Ninja for the little adjustment
    > required.
    >
    > Said before and again: it's like a little dSLR with a permanently
    > attached 28-112 zoom.
    >
    > Go to flickr dot com and use tag "LX1" to see thousands of examples of
    > what it can do:
    > http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=lx1&w=all&s=int including some black
    > and white:
    > http://www.flickr.com/search/?s=int&w=all&q=lx1 black white&m=text


    OK, I decided to go with the LX1. I just went out at lunch and bought
    it. I can't wait to go home and start playing with it. Looking at some
    of those Flickr pictures it's clear that the Leica lens is
    significantly better than what's available on any other small camera,
    so I'll just deal with the noise. I took a closer look at some of the
    pictures from my current camera (Fuji F700), and they have quite a bit
    of noise, too. Since that never really bothered me, I think I'll be
    fine with the LX1.

    -Gniewko
     
    , Jun 29, 2006
    #11
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