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Thread: Comparison: Panasonic LX3, Canon S90 and Casio EX-FH100

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    Senior Member bradhusick's Avatar
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    Comparison: Panasonic LX3, Canon S90 and Casio EX-FH100

    I did a quick comparison of three compact cameras and I thought I'd share my results. The candidates were the Panasonic LX3 (now going on 2 years old), the new Canon S90 and the new Casio EH-FX100.

    Here are my concise reactions after spending a day with each camera. I set each camera to achieve maximum image quality in JPEG mode. I did not test flash modes. These are obviously not reviews, so I will ignore similarities and focus on differences where there are plusses and minuses.

    Panasonic LX3:
    + produces clear, sharp images with minimum compression artifacts
    + good dynamic range and preservation of detail
    + constant f/2.8 across the zoom range
    - zoom range is very limited, often wanted more reach
    - record/playback switch is clunky UI
    - no built-in lens cap

    Canon S90:
    + very small, pocketable size
    + customizable function ring around lens is a good idea
    + when zoom is chosen ring function, zooms in logical steps (28,35,50,85...)
    + simple UI with a minimum of buttons, uses scroll wheel
    - lens quickly slows from maximum aperture at wide angle setting, causing slow shutter speeds and motion blur when zoomed to telephoto
    - images were not as detailed as LX3, seem over-processed / compressed
    - lens function ring is a good idea but it's so close to the body and so thin it's almost impossible to get a grip on it

    Casio EX-FH100:
    + very clever high speed functions can be used to reduce motion blur, increase dynamic range, achieve subtle HDR in-camera, capture sports, etc.
    + 10x zoom range
    + large battery
    - small sensor produces overprocessed, plasticky looking photos
    - overly aggressive noise reduction built in smears details

    In summary if I was using this type of camera to capture fast-moving subjects or I was shooting building interiors with backlit windows all the time the Casio would win by a mile, but I'd have to live with the plastic images. The Canon is so close to being great, but suffers from the thin function ring and over-processed images. The LX3 could really benefit from a longer zoom, but for my type of shooting (street, people) it's a great match. I look forward to seeing what Panasonic and Leica do with a successor to the LX3 / D-Lux 4, but for now the LX3 stays and the others go.

    I know that there are many shooting styles and there will be many different opinions, but I hope that I can help some of you by sharing mine.

    -Brad
    Last edited by bradhusick; 17th July 2014 at 09:27.

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    Senior Member fordfanjpn's Avatar
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    Re: Comparison: Panasonic LX3, Canon S90 and Casio EX-FH100

    Thanks for the comparison. I don't have an S90, but I have the other two, and the LX3 is vastly superior to the FH100 IMHO. The Casio high speed recording makes it fun for some things, but the jpeg's are crappy and raw mode is too slow to be usable. So the LX3 stays in my pocket where it has been since it first came out.

    FWIW, I still think the DP2 kicks butt in terms of IQ, but in my shaky old hands, the LX3 is easier to work with. If the DP2 had IS, I'd probably throw everything else away.

    Bill

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    Senior Member m3photo's Avatar
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    Re: Canon S90

    Quote Originally Posted by bradhusick View Post
    The Canon is so close to being great, but suffers from the thin function ring and over-processed images.
    I am obviously biased towards the s90 as it's the only one I have of the three. The LX3's maximum 60mm equivalent would be just too frustrating.
    I only shoot RAW (for 16Bit PP) so my question would be how you've found the comparison to be with RAW against the "over-processed" jpegs. If this then can be left out of the equation then it's just the function ring as the only negative. That said, I use the function ring as an ISO command and as with all ergonomics its thinness is something easily overcome by finger placement; when you know where it is you don't have to hunt for it any more, it's just a case of frequently using the camera.

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    Re: Comparison: Panasonic LX3, Canon S90 and Casio EX-FH100

    Brad,
    Missed this when you posted it. I haven't used the Canon or the Panny. Nothing I can disagree with on the FH100. I'm keeping the camera for the best shot modes and high frame rate video capture. I don't really use the small sensor cameras anymore so I can't really tell how the Casio compares to other camera with a sensor of that size (canon/panny have bigger sensor). I actually like the size of the GF1 better than the little bodies which just seem too small right now. So, I will leave the FH100 in the bag simply for the things it does that other cameras don't.

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    Re: Comparison: Panasonic LX3, Canon S90 and Casio EX-FH100

    The F2 of the S90 may also be interesting for some users.
    H3DII-31, 5DII, M8, NEX-3 and Camera collection
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    Senior Member bradhusick's Avatar
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    Re: Comparison: Panasonic LX3, Canon S90 and Casio EX-FH100

    I thought the f/2 would be great too, but you have to give that up very quickly when you zoom in from the widest focal length, so times are rare when you have access to it. The LX3 gives you f/2.8 at all lengths.

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    Member sonomichele's Avatar
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    Re: Comparison: Panasonic LX3, Canon S90 and Casio EX-FH100

    Actually the LX3 is f/2 when wide but goes to f/2.8 when you zoom out fully.
    michael

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    Re: Comparison: Panasonic LX3, Canon S90 and Casio EX-FH100

    I have shot both the LX3 and S90 and IQ is much the same at low ISO but better on the S90 at high ISO (if shot in RAW ... I don't bother with JPEG). You need to use Capture One or LR3 to really see the detail in the S90. BTW, DPReview have just posted their S90 review and their conclusion is pretty much the same.

    In terms of lens speed, they are both f2 at the wide end. At 60mm the LX3 is f2.8 vs the S90 at f3.5, only 1/2 stop difference. The S90 drops to f4.9 at the tele end but the focal length at this point is 100mm.

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    Senior Member bradhusick's Avatar
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    Re: Comparison: Panasonic LX3, Canon S90 and Casio EX-FH100

    For my purposes, if I need to shoot in RAW and use Capture One then I'll take my M9 and go to town with it. If I am taking a pocket point-and-shoot, JPEG quality from the camera means a lot.

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    Re: Comparison: Panasonic LX3, Canon S90 and Casio EX-FH100

    Fair enough. But nowadays whether you set your camera to JPEG or RAW is a moot issue with apps like Lightroom. Once your development preset is setup there's no extra overhead involved. And with the S90, RAW brings enormous improvements with the latest algorithms as used, for example, in Lightroom 3 (currently in beta & a free download).

  11. #11
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    Re: Comparison: Panasonic LX3, Canon S90 and Casio EX-FH100

    Thanks Brad. I don't own or use any of these (do rely on the D-LUX 4 - in the bag always), but I wouldn't doubt your assessment of the LX3. Panasonic seems to have "sticking" power with their cameras. Also, thanks for the turn-on to the GH-1. I've been enjoying it so much lately that my M9 is getting jealous. Peace.

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    Senior Member bradhusick's Avatar
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    Re: Comparison: Panasonic LX3, Canon S90 and Casio EX-FH100

    Ralph, you're quite welcome! And welcome to GetDPI. This is a great group of people. Everybody please welcome rwsphotography (Ralph) with open arms.

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    Re: Comparison: Panasonic LX3, Canon S90 and Casio EX-FH100

    Welcome Ralph.
    Lots of Bay Area forum members hanging around here as well!

  14. #14
    rwsphotography
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    Re: Comparison: Panasonic LX3, Canon S90 and Casio EX-FH100

    Thanks Terry, I was checking out your photo of the day gallery. Quite nice. It's a good practice to put up one photo each day. I may have to take on a similar regiment. Nice meeting you.

    Thanks for the welcome Brad. I have been perusing the site for a couple of days now and thought it might be time to do some work. Best, Ralph

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    rwsphotography
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    Re: Comparison: Panasonic LX3, Canon S90 and Casio EX-FH100

    Terry, I forgot. I've noticed some of your photos are made with your iPhone. I recently visited Powell's Books in Portland and for the first time saw an assortment of little add-on lens adapters for pda/iPhones. They have a leash so you can attach them to the phone and the assortment included star filters and macro lenses. Here's a link to softpedia's review of some of the attachments (but the ones I saw at Powell's were plastic and a lot cheaper). Sorry, different kind of thread, but possibly applicable to small sensor discussion.

    RW

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    rwsphotography
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    Re: Comparison: Panasonic LX3, Canon S90 and Casio EX-FH100


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