Is LX3 good for baby shot at low light?


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vino7272

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Nov 1, 2009
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#1
Hi fellow forumers...
I'm a newbie here and really need your help and advise. I'm in urgent need to buy a camera (preferably not DSLR) for some tricky shots.
I'm currently using a canon compact and 'lost' many good shots of my nine months old daughter.

I believed my problems are...
1a. slow shutter speed (baby moves alot hence blur image)
1b. slow shutter speed (camera seems to take a while to capture certain shots hence lost the moment)
2. low light condition (takes pic at night in my yellow light condition but prefer no flash)


Lately happened to know that Panasonic LX3 is a gem for many so would like to know if this camera is good for following...

1. fast start up
2. fast shutter speed (any noticeable lag in shots and between shots)
3. low light condition with no flash


My main objective is to take pictures of my 9 months old baby so would really appreciate any LX3 users out there to comment on the above.

Thanks heaps and hope to hear all your valuable advise..:)
 

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relac28

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Dec 5, 2008
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#2
I got a lx3 for taking baby photos
it's low light performance is great but i was still not satisfied
i ended up getting a flash attachment
I bought a Metz c20 (if I rem correctly) nothing fancy but believe me all ur indoor night shots will turn out like u never believe
indoor night shots of moving object without flash will be really tricky for even the best pns
 

Ouverture

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Jan 19, 2009
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#3
Few things come into play for taking fast action subjects, esp kids (non-flash photos).

1) AF speed and accuracy
2) high ISO performance
3) Shutter lag
4) Big aperture for higher shutter speed

For normal PNS (even high end ones like G11), it does not have all of those.

For LX3, although it has F2.0 lens, it does not have 1) to 3).

I know your frustrations as I have used several PNS (Canon/Fuji/Sony/Lumix (FX01/LX3) when my son was borned and end up losing all the opportunity to snap good usable photos. I would say almost 80% of the photos are either blurred or with too much noise. Frankly speaking, time waits for no man and I really regretted not getting DSLR sooner.

I have sinced went to DSLR route when my son was 2 years old and never looked back. I would say now 80% of the photos are sharp and well-exposed and good high ISO performance.

If size is consideration, GF1 is another good choice.
 

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Lawlezz

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Jul 26, 2009
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#5
Frankly speaking, time waits for no man and I really regretted not getting DSLR sooner.

I have sinced went to DSLR route when my son was 2 years old and never looked back. I would say now 80% of the photos are sharp and well-exposed and good high ISO performance.

If size is consideration, GF1 is another good choice.
Conclusion: Buy DSLR.
 

vino7272

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Nov 1, 2009
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#6
Thanks all for your reply.

Ouverture, which DSLR has good high ISO performance in your opinion?
 

munwei

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Nov 29, 2002
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#7
I have the LX3 + Canon 5D.

The LX3 is pretty decent for a compact, but of course can't compare w a DSLR.

Images for the LX3 can be quite noisy from ISO800 upwards, and are definitely not as smooth & detailed as the 5D at any ISO. Then again, both cameras are in different classes (LX3 with a small CCD and the 5D has a full-frame sensor), so cannot make a direct comparison.

Suggestion: Buy both. :)
 

Nov 2, 2008
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#8
The LX3 is a tad too noisy to be used for capturing life's priceless moments. It may have fast lens but I feel focusing is not fast enough for baby shot.

I would suggest an entry DSLR instead. I am familiar with Nikon so will highly recommend the D5000 in that respect. I am sure Canon will have a similar competing model.
 

Dec 23, 2007
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#9
Do note also about the weight different. Do you want to carry a DSLR and start to flicker the setting before shooting that "perfect moment" or you can carry a smaller PnS with simple turn of a knob setting and capture that "perfect moment"?
 

Ouverture

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Jan 19, 2009
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#10
Do note also about the weight different. Do you want to carry a DSLR and start to flicker the setting before shooting that "perfect moment" or you can carry a smaller PnS with simple turn of a knob setting and capture that "perfect moment"?
I agree that perfect moment is only "perfect" only when you have your camera with you.

That's why I always do this.

1) If you know you want to take photos with your kids (scheduled), then DSLR is the best tool to capture the good quality photos.

2) If you don't know whether you are taking any photos (unscheduled), then PNS is your best backup tool for decent photos.
 

Ouverture

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Jan 19, 2009
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#11
Thanks all for your reply.

Ouverture, which DSLR has good high ISO performance in your opinion?
Hi,

If you ask me, since I am not a fanboy as I do not particularly support certain brands only, I would say most DSLRs (entry level to mid range) can produce good ISO performance (ISO800-3200) which is adequate since I can say that ISO1600 is the max I would go for the balance between noise, colours and sharpness.

Depending on your budget, I believe if you just start off, models like Canon 500D, Nikon D5000, Sony A500, Olympus E620...etc are quite good performer at about same price range.

If you look for something smaller yet do not sacrifice too much on quality and performance, GF1 is very good, of course it's quite similar in price as well. :sweat: Of course, you need to pay for convenience at times right?

However, one important advise I would give is: the advice from the website reviews and forums are definitely a good GUIDE to provide you information on which brand/model to select, however, I would only use them as purely GUIDE and not affect my final DECISION.

Yes, people can say how good a camera is and how many lenses that company has...but that's for their own individual usage. To be honest, you will only need maybe 2-3 lenses to cover all your daily shoots.

You must remember that YOU are the ONLY one who is paying for your OWN purchase and eventually the ONLY ONE using it to take photos, so YOU should be the ONE to decide on WHAT YOU want to buy.

If you can afford it, of course you can buy the most expensive models (D3s, 1DIV, A900, etc) with the most expensive lenses and accessories to get the ultimate photo quality....BUT will you be happy or comfortable or even competent to use it to your advantage? Would you want to carry something that you HATE using and end up with camera sleeping in Dry Cabinet most of the time?

I know many will bash me, but IMHO, if you want to use the camera primarily to take kids photos, Sony Alpha's implementation of Quick AF Liveview is a godsend for Fathers like you and me.

Also, with their new A500/550, the high ISO performance is really a big improvement over the previous models.

Your choice....:)
 

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TheStig

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Sep 9, 2009
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#12
I've been taking pictures of my daughter since she was born 1.5 years ago. I use my DSLR for most shots, but I did try to take pics with my LX3. I dunno if my results will be consistent with others, since my daughter is very, very active lol. From what I conclude, I can never get a good decently lit indoor picture of my daughter with my LX3 except with flash, but I know you wouldn't wanna hurt those lovely eyes with your camera flash lol (I use bounce flash with stofen diffuser when using my DSLR). If you still want to take good, sharp pics of your baby with your LX3, you'd have to let natural lights enter from your window. If you increase the ISO past 800, you'd see noise parade. ISO 1600 is unacceptable for me. The shutter lag also causes trouble when taking pics of my daughter.

LX3's low light performance is good, but not great (for me). Yes, LX3 is a great compact camera, but it's no DSLR. But its small size sure is awesome for traveling.
 

vino7272

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Nov 1, 2009
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#13
Thanks again for all the valuable replies. I have now started looking at both Nikon & Canon DSLR. Since Sony was mentioned, I will take a look at it too.
As my criteria is ISO setting and shutter speed lag. Can I say Nikon is better since its ISO setting can be set to auto whereas Canon can't (read this from kenrockwell) or has Canon already rectified this issue???

Generally speaking, which is easier to operate between Canon or Nikon? Which, in your opinion, is a better buy for my need to take baby photo?
;)
 

TheStig

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Sep 9, 2009
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#14
Thanks again for all the valuable replies. I have now started looking at both Nikon & Canon DSLR. Since Sony was mentioned, I will take a look at it too.
As my criteria is ISO setting and shutter speed lag. Can I say Nikon is better since its ISO setting can be set to auto whereas Canon can't (read this from kenrockwell) or has Canon already rectified this issue???

Generally speaking, which is easier to operate between Canon or Nikon? Which, in your opinion, is a better buy for my need to take baby photo?
;)
My 40D has auto ISO function, but I rarely use it. Almost never lol. I tried this function for panning shots during F1, though. But then I decided to use ISO 100 since the artificial lighting really is bright.

Comparing canon and nikon will be like comparing orange to apple. I'm a canon user, so I'm more familiar with Canon functions and button placements. My friend, who uses Nikon, says he prefers Nikon's ergonomics. I'd say go with canon because the cameras are cheaper and the lenses and equipment are also cheaper (slightly only though lol). All DSLRs are capable of taking good baby pics. I read somewhere that Canon is better for portrait while Nikon is better for landscape. But don't quote me on that, because I can't remember where I read that.
 

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Nov 16, 2004
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#15

a sample of my precious doing funny faces while I'm not watching,
used AF tracking,
shot indoor in the day with decent light,
used additional 2.8x digital zoom (yes... taboo to use digital zooms... really deteriorates quality!) so had to resize it down and apply a little post-processing.
when photos cannot give good shots, i might as well switch to HD video recording (kids have endless expressions that only videos can record)

why not use my DSLR?
she will stare at my big lens and stop making those random un-staged expressions.
LX3 in this case is much more discrete, but had to rely on digital zoom to get a close-up portrait.
 

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Nov 16, 2004
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#16
just in case you are wondering what happens to the photos when I desperately trying to get more zoom using digital zoom:


100% crop image of the first shot in native form.
 

Ouverture

Senior Member
Jan 19, 2009
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#17
Thanks again for all the valuable replies. I have now started looking at both Nikon & Canon DSLR. Since Sony was mentioned, I will take a look at it too.
As my criteria is ISO setting and shutter speed lag. Can I say Nikon is better since its ISO setting can be set to auto whereas Canon can't (read this from kenrockwell) or has Canon already rectified this issue???

Generally speaking, which is easier to operate between Canon or Nikon? Which, in your opinion, is a better buy for my need to take baby photo?
;)
Kenrockwell is a die-hard Nikon fans...so read his articles with a pinch of salt...

I would say best is to go to one of the camera shops or go to Courts Tampines or Best Denki to try out all the targetted model and feel for yourself.

PS: Do seriously try out the Liveview AF of Sony and see if you agree with me that it's a really useful feature to take kids photos...it's responsive and with flippable LCD screen. Imagine has to lay on the ground with your eyes stick to the OVF when you kids are crawling on the floor...:sweat:
 

creampuff

Senior Member
Jul 11, 2006
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#18
It's not the camera... it's the technique.
Comparing a compact PnS camera with a DSLR in terms of image quality is not comparing like and like. The larger sensor of the DSLR will obviously give better images.

How many times have I met parents who bought a DSLR thinking or were told they would be able to capture their baby or toddler but who come up with images no better than a PnS? :bsmilie: Sure the DSLR is definitely more responsive and will provide better image quality but it is not a panacea for poor technique or for those who find the ins and outs of getting the right exposure a challenge. If the OP wants to buy a DSLR, I'd suggest getting one with video capability as it is useful for taking short movie clips. With a little thought and planning, you can shoot clips like this and this...

Don't forget the LX-3 shoots great video too...
 

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TheStig

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Sep 9, 2009
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#19
why not use my DSLR?
she will stare at my big lens and stop making those random un-staged expressions.
LX3 in this case is much more discrete, but had to rely on digital zoom to get a close-up portrait.
You're right. My daughter would stare at my lens and be tempted to play with it as she thinks it's a toy. And yes, the expression would change too. It's getting more and more difficult to take good pics after they learn to walk (or run) :sweat:

@creampuff
I agree that some people bought a DSLR thinking they would automatically become a better photographer. Many of them always leave their DSLRs in the auto mode. But then again, entry level DSLRs are quite affordable now, and the auto mode works well too. Of course they can take better pictures with the DSLR than with any pns (if composition is not the issue).
 

alc217

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Oct 13, 2009
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Stevens
#20
Just want to add a little something...

Historically, Sony's cameras typically renders jpegs with a bit more red than other companies, and hence skin tones come out warmer. Granted, this can always be created in PP, but if you don't like/know PP, then you should really look at how the different brands' jpegs come out.

At the end of the day, agree with Ouverture... go out there, try, and make your own decision. Key word: TRY.
 

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