After 7 Years…

Seven years ago my dad bought me my first, real, digital camera. I had previously owned an Intel .5mp camera and a 1mp Sony camera. They both sucked. I’d played with his Nikon D1 but like he was going to let a 17 year old kid play with a $5,000 camera, right?

The camera I got was a Nikon Coolpix 4300.

It was a 4 megapixel, 3x zoom camera and at the time, kinda top of the line.  I took all my pictures with this camera, for like five years, until I got the Nikon D80.  And I gotta say, the pictures that came outta this camera were beautiful.  I’d still put it against many of those point and shoot cameras on the market right now. Too many of the cameras coming out now have tiny pixels so they can brag “14 megapixel!!!” but, really it should not be more than like 8.  Ugh, the megapixel war has really fucked up the digital camera marketplace… but that’s a different blog post entirely.

So what, after seven years of loyalty, has got me buying a new point and shoot?  Finally a company came out with a camera that focused on quality not quantity.  I’d wanted this camera for about a year, the pictures coming out of them are beautiful, the lens (a Leica) is pretty incredible and, well it’s just an all around stellar machine.

It’s the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3

So what makes this camera so sexy to me?

  • Leica lens is 24-60 with just about zero chromatic aberration or pincushioning (sharp as a tack with no bending of the image or color fringing)
  • Lens opens up at freaking f2.0-2.8.  That means you can shoot in lower light without pumping up the ISO so better images, greater depth of field and sharper images as you move up the aperture range
  • Image stabilization (two forms)
  • Shoots raw (much higher quality images compared to JPEG or TIFF)
  • Lower pixel density on a larger sensor, they do 10 megapixels on a sensor that Canon or Fuji or Kodak would put 14-24 megapixels so low light photography is less noisy, sharper and useable up to 800 ISO (really like 1200 ISO)
  • Metal body is super durable
  • Full manual mode including focus
  • 720P 24fps HD video recording

Basically, it’s a handheld, pocketable DSLR like my D80.

When this camera came out and made its American store fronts it cost around $650 (MSRP $499).  When retailers realized how in demand it was by high end photographers that wanted a throwback to the old Leica rangefinders that totally dominated the camera market for decades, they upped the price to $850-1050!  Yeah, double the MSRP and guess what, people paid it. has sold it for as low as $400 and as high as $850.  My university is selling it to me for $450!  That’s cheaper than the retail price, $220 cheaper than!

It should come in any day now and once it is, expect a full review here and more pictures streaming into my blog.  I seem to be having trouble taking pictures, carrying a Nikon D700 everywhere I go is kinda a deal, this will be much easier to deal with.

Did I mention how freaking excited I am?

I’m going to keep my Nikon Coolpix 4300. It’s still such a wonderful camera, but this Lumix LX3 just might be a game changer for me and my photography.

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Nikon D700 beats $32,000+ Cameras

Isn’t it wonderful when you find out that the “steal” you got turns out to be more of a heist?

Such is the case with my Nikon D700. Not only did I get it, brand new from an authorized dealer, for about $1,000 off retail price, turns out it’s better than a Leaf Aptus75S… which costs about $32,000.

Oh, did I mention that you still have to buy the $7-15,000 camera to use the Leaf Aptus75S?

Check out the stats here from DxOLabs

My camera wins over the latest and greatest Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III and the Leaf Aptus75S in…

  • Sensor quality
  • Low light ISO (noise)
  • Price
  • Pixel Pitch
  • ISO Latitude
  • Frame rate

And out of the three metrics where the Leaf Aptus75S wins, two of them are only by a hair.

Now, I will say that the Leaf digital backs are amazing and I’d definitely love to have one but if I can get similar and/or better performance with a more portable camera at a more affordable price, I’ll take it.

I’d much rather have a Nikon D700 in my bag than be stuck lugging around a heavy, and extremely pricey, medium format digital camera. If I ever want to make those stunning 20+ megapixel pictures, I’d probably be just fine with a Nikon D3x… Which, by the way, wipes the floor with the Leaf Aptus75S!


Oh happy day.

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