No LX3 for Me

No Panasonic Lumix LX3 for Me :-(

No Panasonic Lumix LX3 for Me ūüôĀ

So, after months of waiting, turns out I will not be getting that Panasonic Lumix LX3, the one I wrote about a while back. ¬†The Bookstore, which I wrote about earlier today, worked as hard as they could to get this order processed but in the end, it just didn’t work out. ¬†Their distributor apparently isn’t sure that he’ll ever be able to get my camera order fulfilled, they’ve had it on back order for months now.

Many online forums say the camera has been discontinued, some argue it hasn’t it’s just in such demand that no one can keep them in stock. ¬†Sadly, I am thinking it’s the prior. ¬†Nothing in mass production should be on back order for this many months. ¬†Some sites still sell them, while others say out of stock, who knows if the sites REALLY have them in stock. ¬†The price has gone up significantly in the last few months on Amazon, which often means, hard to find or out of production.

I went to the Bookstore earlier today, talked to the TigerTech guy who has been helping me out and we decided it was probably time for us to just shut down the order. ¬†While that makes me quite sad, it does open up some other opportunities for me. ¬†There are of course rumors of a Panasonic Lumix LX4 and the recently leaked Panasonic Lumix GF1…

Panasonic Lumix GF1

Panasonic Lumix GF1

Panasonic Lumix GF1 Breakdown

Panasonic Lumix GF1 Breakdown

This new camera adds a few bells and whistles, such as interchangeable lenses, a larger sensor and more manual features.  The larger sensor means even greater image quality, better low-light performance and maybe even better video, say 1080 instead of 720 and 30fps instead of 24fps.

It’s all just speculation right now, come September 1, when Panasonic has their big “event”, perhaps we’ll know more. ¬†It’ll likely cost around $800-900, which is a lot for a point and shoot but around the same price of the more compact but less powerful Lumix LX3, when it came out.

So here’s hoping it’s still affordable, that lenses are too expensive, that maybe I can even connect my Nikon lenses with an adapter… That would be amazing.

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Kodak Zi8

It appears my dream to own the Panasonic Lumix LX3 is going to be forced into early retirement.  The order was placed months ago and seems to continue to be on back order.

Kodak Zi8 (click to zoom)

Kodak Zi8 (click to zoom)

I was really hoping to use this camera as a fantastic point-and-shoot that I keep with me at all times and shoot high definition video for the fun of it, and to allow myself some experience editing video since that’s a major weakness in my portfolio.

But then Kodak announced their new handheld camcorder, the Kodak Zi8. ¬†This camera beats out the competition with 1080p video at 30fps. ¬†The LX3 shot at ¬†720p 24fps. ¬†So, in theory, this should be a pretty decent upgrade to the LX3 in terms of video capabilities. ¬†Plus it’s supposedly, especially made for the Mac. ¬†It records to Apple’s preferred HD format for portable devices for quick editing and uploading to YouTube.

Now, it isn’t the HD you see from the likes of NBC or the beautiful work of the Film Riot podcast, but it’s still pretty damn nice, in theory at least. ¬†There is no zoom on the camera and your pretty limited in features. There will be none of that beautiful soft focus to sharp focus effects that make true cameras such beautiful, and expensive, machines to work with. ¬†But, as a tool to teach myself editing in FinalCut and just fun videos for Ryan and I, this is a great option for me.

Plus, you can always hack them and put some adapter lenses on them to get a fisheye or zoom lens on there. ¬†And at under $180, it’s a steal really. ¬†Mine will be at my doorstep September 2nd so look for some of my “films” posted here after that! ¬†Now I must decide, YouTube HD, Vimeo HD, Flickr HD or SmugMug HD?

What are your favorite video serving sites, for HD? ¬†Flickr has beautiful video but it’s gotta be under 90 seconds (artsy but lame). ¬†SmugMug has the best video playing PERIOD but I’m not sure I want to renew my account, I still haven’t used it and it’s kinda expensive. ¬†Vimeo has a shitty EULA and ToS (they get all your intellectual property) as I’ve been told. ¬†And YouTube… well I don’t want any ads placed over my videos, do they do that to every video and do they let you embed the HD video into your blog or do people have to click the “HD” button to activate HD?

Thanks friends and shoot me some ideas on what to shoot!

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Damn You Olympus

It wasn’t really news per say that Olympus was going to release a new camera this summer. ¬†Not newsworthy at all. ¬†In fact, I wouldn’t even be writing this paper if Olympus has released any other camera. ¬†They could have released a 1080p camcorder for $400 and I wouldn’t have been excited. ¬†They could have released a 16mp ultra compact and I’d say, bleh. ¬†They even could have gone as far as to release a 28mp full frame DSLR for $1200 and I’d continue to proudly shoot with my Nikon D700.

So what did they do?

A little over a week and a half after I order my new Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3, they have the gall to not only release a competing camera, but to do so in the nearly non-existent digital range finder form factor and with a motherfucking pancake lens.

(I have a bizarre love of pancake lenses…)

That is to say, it’s got a much larger sensor and it’s got interchangeable lenses.

Olympus PEN E-P1

Olympus PEN E-P1

And to make things worse?  My favorite camera site asks the question

So is this the camera we’ve been waiting for? After years of hectoring all the manufacturers to give us what we had in the days of film (a small camera that takes pictures as well as an SLR) is the E-P1 a camera we’d actually reach into our own pockets for?

Followed by a picture of the Olympus next to the camera I just ordered!  Salt in the wound.

Olympus PEN E-P1 vs Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3

Olympus PEN E-P1 vs Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3

Finally, the last straw in this whole debacle? ¬†Olympus and Panasonic are the two companies that (re)started this whole 4/3 camera style, the Olympus PEN E-P1 is a “micro” four-thirds camera. ¬†Chances are, Panasonic is working, and possibly soon will release, it’s own micro four-thirds camera.

So what do I do?

  1. Cancel my order for the LX3 and wait for Panasonic to come out with competition for the Olympus
  2. Get the LX3 and be happy, I still have two Nikon DSLRs that would best either of these cameras
  3. Cancel my order for the LX3 and get the Olympus PEN E-P1

Honestly, I’m probably going to go with option number two. ¬†Panasonic has said that they will not replace the LX3 until some time in 2010, probably around July. ¬†So I could potentially have 13 months of e-joy (the period of time before what I buy has become obsolete).

Still… kinda mad about the whole deal haha. ¬†And… really, it’s that damn pancake lens that got me started. ¬†I have wanted a 35mm equivalent pancake lens for a long time now and here it is, not on a Nikon.

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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.

Amazon.com 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 Amazon.com!

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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