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Thread: Leica d-lux 3

  1. #1
    ellemand
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    Leica d-lux 3

    Hey everyone.

    I use (besides the Ricoh GRD as written in another thread) the Leica d-lux 3, witch I find is at very good compact - and it makes a great IQ.
    I mostly use Jpeg when shooting in the streets, with sharpness and noise reduction set to "low" - the rest settings in "normal".
    Anyone care to share experiences?



    Best wishes

    Ellemand
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/ellemand/

  2. #2
    wbrandsma
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    Re: Leica d-lux 3

    Excellent image Ellemand. This spring I thought about buying the d-lux 3, Pana LX2, Canon G7 or Ricoh GX100. I opted for the Ricoh just because of the 24 mm wide angle. I think the build quality of the d-lux 3 is very good.

  3. #3
    Mitch Alland
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    Re: Leica d-lux 3

    Very nice tonality, Ellemand. I like the D-Lux-3 but haven't used it after I got the GX100 because I left on a two-month trip to Paris and only took the latter camera with me. At ISO 100 the D-Lux-3 seems sharper than the GX100, but aggressive sharpening of the latter's RAW file seems to equalize the difference. I have a great preference, however, for the "stepped zoom" of the D-Lux-3, which makes it feel as if one is using a camera with five prime lenses.

    At higher ISOs (400 and 800) I like the GX100 much better: the D-Lux-3 I find a hit-or-miss proposition at ISO 800, but Maggie O has done well with this camera at this speed. At ISO 1600 I find the D-Lux-3 unusable because, even in RAW, there seems to be some in-camera smoothing that "smears" the image.



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    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

  4. #4
    wbrandsma
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    Re: Leica d-lux 3

    I thougt the 16:9 framing was a nice to have. But I mostly use the 3:2 format and I wanted to have a real wide angle lens. Like Mitch said the stepped zoom of the GX100 is a really nice thing. In snap mode with 24mm it works really fast.

  5. #5
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Leica d-lux 3

    I'm lurking on the sidelines amazed at the images you guys are getting with these little cameras! I now find myself in the embarassing position of having to admit I own a D-Lux 3 (I wanted a good P&S) but rarely to never use it; I've owned it about a year and have maybe taken 100 frames total...

    Any suggestions on how to best set it up for street?
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

  6. #6
    Mitch Alland
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    Re: Leica d-lux 3

    Jack, if you're going to use RAW files, it of course really doesn't matter how you set it up. Since I want mainly B&W I just set the JPG for B&W and get a B&W view on the LCD. As I haven't used JPGs, I can't advise you on the settings, if that is what you want to do.

    —Mitch/Bangkok
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

  7. #7
    wbrandsma
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    Re: Leica d-lux 3

    The thing that works for me on the GX100 is to underexpose slightly (between -0.3 and -0.7 EV) and set it up for aperture priority between f4 and f5. The autofocus is already pretty fast, but the snap mode of the Ricohs is a real bonus and makes the camera even faster.
    If only the writing times of raw could/would be faster (around 6 seconds)?

  8. #8
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    Re: Leica d-lux 3

    I adore my D-Lux 3. I've found it usable up to ISO 800, even in JPEG mode. My biggest gripe is the slooooooooooow RAW write times. (I just got a San Disk eXtreme III, hoping to speed that up a bit. Thoughts?) Here's some shots from it, taken in Southwark this autumn:













    I shot JPEG @ ISO 800 and OIS at setting #2. AWB. That seemed quick enough. If you prefocus, the shutter response is almost instant, though not as quick as the M8.

    Lots more here in my D-Lux 3 photoset.

  9. #9
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Leica d-lux 3

    Mitch and Maggie:

    Yes, the RAW write times are so slow I don't bother with them and have always shot jpeg. I haven't done a comparison, but I'd suspect for B&W that the in-cam jpeg may be close enough to the raw that it is doesn't matter? It's a scuzzy day here, so a good oppportunity to play around with it some...
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

  10. #10
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    Re: Leica d-lux 3

    Jack, I go back and forth on that. I get to thinking that the RAW stuff looks so much better, but then I look at my jpegs and start thinking that they look pretty damn good, too.

    I'm trying out some new settings on the camera- I got NR at low, sharpening at high and everything else at normal.

    Oh, and I love the macro setting on this little bugger!


  11. #11
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    Re: Leica d-lux 3

    I have the d-lux3 as well. Unfortunately it has been sitting in Scottsdale since this summer and I need to get out to my house and rescue it. I held one next to my M8 the other day and it seems so tiny. Here are some of my shots from the camera:

    From the back yard











  12. #12
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Leica d-lux 3

    Maggie: Indeed, the Macro is impressive and I love that image you put up --- way cool!

    Terry: Those are stunners, I especially like number 3! #4 and #6 are locked up in a way I've never seen before. Do you have them digitally protected?
    Jack
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  13. #13
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    Re: Leica d-lux 3

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Maggie: Indeed, the Macro is impressive and I love that image you put up --- way cool!
    Thanks, Jack! It's also a testament to one of the best things about the D-Lux 3: it fits in a purse or a pocket, no problem. I made that shot while I was waiting for the eye doctor to come in and start my exam!

  14. #14
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    Re: Leica d-lux 3

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Maggie: Indeed, the Macro is impressive and I love that image you put up --- way cool!

    Terry: Those are stunners, I especially like number 3! #4 and #6 are locked up in a way I've never seen before. Do you have them digitally protected?
    User error. Interesting. I have my Zenfolio set up so that very large and full sized images can't be downloaded or linked to by others. Those shots were reduced in sized when I uploaded them to my Zenfolio gallery so my normal posting size for threads was actually full size. So, as far as Zenfolio is concerned I was linking the full sized image. I tested that I could see them fine on getDPI before posting. I failed to realize the only reason they could be seen was because I was still considered logged in to Zenfolio so it seems I can see my own links just fine but no one else can. The good news is that Zenfolio's security works. They allow unlimited storage so it is a decent place to back up some things offsite (however right now only jpegs).

    I'm going to edit above and change to a link with a smaller size. Going forward I will simply add them to the gallery here and link from the gallery.

    terry

  15. #15
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    Re: Leica d-lux 3

    Dang,
    I didn't realize there was an edit time limit. Here are the blocked shots.





    and just for fun:

  16. #16
    Sean_Reid
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    Re: Leica d-lux 3

    Quote Originally Posted by ellemand View Post
    Hey everyone.

    I use (besides the Ricoh GRD as written in another thread) the Leica d-lux 3, witch I find is at very good compact - and it makes a great IQ.
    I mostly use Jpeg when shooting in the streets, with sharpness and noise reduction set to "low" - the rest settings in "normal".
    Anyone care to share experiences?



    Best wishes

    Ellemand
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/ellemand/
    That's a good picture, IMO, and the arms moving across the center space really give it the last piece it needs to hold. It's also a nice JPEg "print". I think that the Leica D-Lux cameras (2 and 3), with their Panasonic counterparts, are the other really great compact small sensor cameras. I tested the D-Lux 3 earlier this year for review and it was, in many respects, an excellent little camera with a very good lens.

    Also, thank you for crossing brands on this forum because getting stuck in a brand loyalty thing is one of the ruts I hoped this forum would avoid.

    Cheers,

    Sean

  17. #17
    Sean_Reid
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    Re: Leica d-lux 3

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    I'm lurking on the sidelines amazed at the images you guys are getting with these little cameras! I now find myself in the embarassing position of having to admit I own a D-Lux 3 (I wanted a good P&S) but rarely to never use it; I've owned it about a year and have maybe taken 100 frames total...

    Any suggestions on how to best set it up for street?
    Hiya Jack,

    As you probably know, I don't think there really is such a thing as "street photography" and I've been trying for several years to get the world away from the term "point and shoot" (see that "On Small Sensor Cameras" article). That's why I came up with the term "Small Sensor Cameras" in my 2004 review of the D2 for LuLa. It moves the emphasis to what these cameras are as a format, rather than dismissing them as "snapshot" cameras, etc.

    But for working quickly, I think the most important thing about these cameras is to forget that they even have an auto-focus function. None of them, in AF, can keep up with a fast photographer and the deep DOF they yield works perfectly with pre-focusing. The Leica, of course, has that great DOF scale focus indicator and presetting the manual focus distance is really the ticket to making these cameras fast. And, of course, they're much more flexible capturing RAW files and I know you have a lot of expertise in RAW.

    Cheers,

    Sean

  18. #18
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    Re: Leica d-lux 3

    Interesting stuff
    I've had more 'small sensor cameras' than I've had hot dinners - the Dlux 3 being one of the few exceptions. I was enjoying my GX-100 when Wilson Laidlaw nabbed it in part exchange for his Noctilux (no regrets).

    I'm now wondering whether to have another go at the D-lux (and if I don't like it I'll blame Terry).

    Finally, Terry - do you really have a Marks and Spencers in your back yard!!!!

    Just this guy you know

  19. #19
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    Re: Leica d-lux 3

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Interesting stuff
    I've had more 'small sensor cameras' than I've had hot dinners - the Dlux 3 being one of the few exceptions. I was enjoying my GX-100 when Wilson Laidlaw nabbed it in part exchange for his Noctilux (no regrets).

    I'm now wondering whether to have another go at the D-lux (and if I don't like it I'll blame Terry).

    Finally, Terry - do you really have a Marks and Spencers in your back yard!!!!
    You know late last night when I was posting the images I knew someone was going to ask how both the cactus and Marks and Spencer could both be in my back yard! I still own a bit of real estate in London so I could actually claim all the shots from AZ, NY and London are all part of my back yard .

    But seriously,
    I would not get a new d-lux3/lx2 just yet. I would wait and see what Panny announces for PMA in January. I also have the TZ3 which is a great little P&S with a great lens and zoom range (28-280 and no distortion) but lacking manual control. The dream is the marriage of the TZ3 and the LX series. TZ was announced last January so we should see a follow-up soon.

    terry

  20. #20
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    Re: Leica d-lux 3

    Here's something to kill the pain of waiting:





    A" D-Lux 4" would be worth waiting for, I would think, but the GRD II is here now...

  21. #21
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Leica d-lux 3

    The more images i see and it has been a lot the last 4 days of the GRDII makes me starting getting a itch and that is bad news. Nice shots Maggie and Terry . My wife or should I say my daughter has the D-lux 2 . Maybe need to steal that back
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  22. #22
    ellemand
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    Re: Leica d-lux 3

    Guy - you have to get it back - or buy af d-lux 3







    It's such af lovely cam.

    Regards

    Ellemand.

  23. #23
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    Re: Leica d-lux 3

    Well i bought my daughter a Canon SD 870 for Christmas so i am stealing My D lux 2 back from her. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  24. #24
    ellemand
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    Re: Leica d-lux 3

    Maggie O wrote:

    I'm trying out some new settings on the camera- I got NR at low, sharpening at high and everything else at normal.
    Do you care to tell about your experiences trying out your new settings? I shoot mostly in Jpeg when shooting in the streets - and would love som new input about others settings.
    I've been using this settings: NR and sharpness in low - the rest in normal - and it have worked fine and given great images after PP.

    Have a nice day.

    Ellemand.

  25. #25
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    Re: Leica d-lux 3

    Here's a couple of shots with those settings:





    A bit of sharpening in iPhoto along with highlight and color tweaking in the M8 photo.

    BTW, I just put an eXtreme III 4GB card in the D-Lux 3 and it has dramatically improved RAW write times, down to around three seconds or so, making RAW a usable proposition.

  26. #26
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    Re: Leica d-lux 3

    I timed my shots, per Sean's suggestion, with an online stopwatch and after four or five tries (sorry, it was after dinner and there was wine involved) I got it down to this:



    Stone sober and with a bit more practice, I reckon I could shave off another second.

  27. #27
    lucridders
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    Re: Leica d-lux 3

    To the D-lux 3 owners. Do you also have to do such lot of PP after shooting with the cam. On the GRDII forum it seems that PP is more important than the cam. I have an other opinion and for me the cam should be as perfect as possible without PP. When later I like to do PP, I always can, but I start already from a quite good image in all situations.
    It seems when I all read this that even the brand of PP software becomes more important each time a cam is coming out.
    Does anyone can tell me about Dlux3 IQ when everything at 0 and seen under all circumstances, what is the percentage of good shots you have without doing PP?

  28. #28
    Sean_Reid
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    Re: Leica d-lux 3

    Luc,

    Without a definition of what "good shots" look like, its impossible to answer. People have very different ideas about what their final output should look like and no camera is ever going to automatically produce output that matches what all photographers have in mind.

    I test cameras professionally and I don't see any particular relationship between new models and specific software at all. If a camera provides a versatile RAW file then there's a lot one can do with that. If the RAW file itself is problematic then one is more limited.

    Cheers,

  29. #29
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Leica d-lux 3

    I agree whatever the quality of the raw files is that is what counts after that it's up to the user to decide what look there after. Just like any other camera you have to judge it by the RAW that is really the only default state you have to deal with. The best RAW files will come from good sensors, great lenses and algorithms set by the manufacture to optimize the best possible RAW file. Jpegs on the other hand are subject to what the manufacture thinks is best and that is not always the best either. This comes down to why most folks don't like shooting jpegs there not always correct and harder to manipulate to get to the state your after and being limited by the jpeg file. Much better to shoot Raw and work from there in really any direction you want. Raw is what i like to call more stretchable so you can do almost anything to it without killing the file. Jpegs just are not very stretchable and will fall apart very quickly in post. I personally never shoot jpegs but these little sensor camera really don't lend themselves very well in speed to shooting Raw either.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  30. #30
    Sean_Reid
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    Re: Leica d-lux 3

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    I personally never shoot jpegs but these little sensor camera really don't lend themselves very well in speed to shooting Raw either.
    Hi Guy,

    That's changing. The GR II is much faster in RAW than most small sensor cameras I've tested. Its one of the improvements this medium has really needed.

    Cheers,

    Sean

  31. #31
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Leica d-lux 3

    That is excellent news Sean. That is one area that need a major improvement with all of these cams.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  32. #32
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    Re: Leica d-lux 3

    My Berlin series was shot in JPEG and minimally processed and I'm happy with the results I got. YMMV.

  33. #33
    Sean_Reid
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    Re: Leica d-lux 3

    Hi Maggie,

    Which camera and which ISO levels? How do the prints look to you?

    Cheers,

    Sean

  34. #34
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    Re: Leica d-lux 3

    Why the D-Lux 3, of course! The ISO levels are mostly ISO 400, with some ISO 800 and ISO 100 scattered about. It was cold and grey most of the time I was in town.

    I haven't printed any of those shots myself (damn worthless Epson 2200 died) but the few I ordered from Kodak (via iPhoto) looked pretty good and I think could print up quite nicely on Illford Gallerie inkjet paper, as long as you stayed under 11x14. What the work prints told me is that there will need to be a boost of contrast and sharpening before they're printable, but that seems to be true for most digital cameras, save the M8 or the big DSLRs (and even then, there's a bit of tweaking).

  35. #35
    Sean_Reid
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    Re: Leica d-lux 3

    Hi Maggie,

    I'll go look at those later today but what bothers me about prints from that camera is that the smoothing is still very aggressive above ISO 100.

    Cheers,

    Sean

  36. #36
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    Re: Leica d-lux 3

    Quote Originally Posted by Sean_Reid View Post
    Hi Maggie,

    I'll go look at those later today but what bothers me about prints from that camera is that the smoothing is still very aggressive above ISO 100.

    Cheers,

    Sean
    Yeah, it definitely has a look about it, but I've actually come to appreciate it and the "painterly" pictures it makes. YMMV.

    That said, I'm really leaning towards getting rid of it and picking up a GRD II.
    Last edited by Maggie O; 11th December 2007 at 11:56.

  37. #37
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    Re: Leica d-lux 3

    OK, looking again at some small work prints, you're right Sean; they do look like crap and all smeary. Man, this is really bugging me now. I'm definitely going to have to switch my purse-cam to a GRD II. Grrrrrr.

  38. #38
    Sean_Reid
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    Re: Leica d-lux 3

    Quote Originally Posted by Maggie O View Post
    OK, looking again at some small work prints, you're right Sean; they do look like crap and all smeary. Man, this is really bugging me now. I'm definitely going to have to switch my purse-cam to a GRD II. Grrrrrr.
    But...the RAW files from the D-Lux 3 can look much better than the JPEGs. Maybe try the GR II side by side with the D-Lux before selling the latter.

    Cheers,

    Sean

  39. #39
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    Re: Leica d-lux 3

    True, the RAW files are much, much better, especially above ISO 100.

    I'll wait for your review of the GR II before I do anything. But I'm putting the Ricoh on my wishlist for Xmas anyways!

  40. #40
    Sean_Reid
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    Re: Leica d-lux 3

    Hi Maggie,

    I should have it ready by mid-January.

    Cheers,

    Sean

  41. #41
    ellemand
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    Re: Leica d-lux 3

    Sean:

    But...the RAW files from the D-Lux 3 can look much better than the JPEGs. Maybe try the GR II side by side with the D-Lux before selling the latter.
    I've allways used Jpegs in the d-lux 3.
    Trying all day to shoot in RAW, but can't get it better than my Jpegs;-(
    I have Photoshop CS2 and have used the RAW-converter in this program. If I shoot at 400 ISO I cannot make better results than I make in Jpeg with this settings:

    contrast: std.
    sharpness: low
    saturation: std.
    noise reduction: low

    Can you help my out? I'm very happy with the d-lux 3 and - IMO - it makes much better results, than I get with my GR-D.
    I therefor are very interested in making it even better;-))

    Thank in advange.

    Ellemand.

  42. #42
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    Re: Leica d-lux 3

    So...I was using Adobe Camera Raw to process my RAW files, but I just started using the newest version of iPhoto with my D-Lux 3 RAW files, and I'm really, really impressed! iPhoto uses Aperture's logarithms to process files (they're basically the same program, with iPhoto being the "LE" version) and I've been getting fantastic results, even with ISO 800 files. Take a look at the first four photos at my Flickr photostream to see what I mean. The first one is ISO 400 RAW and the next three are ISO 800! Oh heck, here they are:








  43. #43
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    Re: Leica d-lux 3

    Hey no Leica cats allowed here
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  44. #44
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    Re: Leica d-lux 3

    Hey, just like Garry Winogrand, I too, am an "Animal Photographer."

    And there's nothing like a cat's fur and whisker to show off a camera and lens.

  45. #45
    Mitch Alland
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    Re: Leica d-lux 3

    Maggie, you've got to lend that cat to Sean for his GRD2 tests — or does the cat only do Leica?

    —Mitch/Bangkok
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  46. #46
    Sean_Reid
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    Re: Leica d-lux 3

    Quote Originally Posted by ellemand View Post
    Sean:



    I've allways used Jpegs in the d-lux 3.
    Trying all day to shoot in RAW, but can't get it better than my Jpegs;-(
    I have Photoshop CS2 and have used the RAW-converter in this program. If I shoot at 400 ISO I cannot make better results than I make in Jpeg with this settings:

    contrast: std.
    sharpness: low
    saturation: std.
    noise reduction: low

    Can you help my out? I'm very happy with the d-lux 3 and - IMO - it makes much better results, than I get with my GR-D.
    I therefor are very interested in making it even better;-))

    Thank in advange.

    Ellemand.
    Hi,

    Tell me about the resources you've used for learning about RAW processing so far and maybe I can suggest some others. Just like working in the darkroom, there's a lot to learn.

    Cheers,

    Sean

  47. #47
    Super Duper
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    Re: Leica d-lux 3

    Quote Originally Posted by Mitch Alland View Post
    Maggie, you've got to lend that cat to Sean for his GRD2 tests — or does the cat only do Leica?

    —Mitch/Bangkok
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
    You'll have to open the box to find out.

  48. #48
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    Re: Leica d-lux 3

    Anyways, my point was even at ISO 800, there's no smearing, images show good and sharp detail, and noise, even in color, is even and grain-like.

  49. #49
    ellemand
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    Re: Leica d-lux 3

    Sean:
    Hi,

    Tell me about the resources you've used for learning about RAW processing so far and maybe I can suggest some others. Just like working in the darkroom, there's a lot to learn.

    Cheers,

    Sean
    Hi again.

    I've been using Capture One Pro for pictures taken with my Canon DSLR and found here a "standard-setting" for my pictures.
    Now I try to find simular settengs in CS2's RAW-program. Witchs settings are the one's I shall concentrate on - f.x. if I want to convert ISO 400 and 800 with the less possible noise?
    Thanks for your answers - really like this forum and all the wonderfull photographers in here

    Cheers

    Ellemand.

  50. #50
    Flavio
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    Re: Leica d-lux 3

    Quote Originally Posted by Sean_Reid View Post
    Hi,

    Tell me about the resources you've used for learning about RAW processing so far and maybe I can suggest some others. Just like working in the darkroom, there's a lot to learn.

    Cheers,

    Sean
    this is a very important point, especially for people (like me) not really inside the digital field, yet.
    anyone may want to introduce this field on this forum?
    thanks.

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