My Compact Camera Wish List

The exceptionally sharp lens of the LX5 captured the detail in this building brilliantly - but I still want more pixels.
The exceptionally sharp lens of the LX5 captured the detail in this building brilliantly – but I still want more pixels. Click the image to see a larger version.

With Christmas approaching my mind has turned to some of the new compact cameras on the market. Why this should happen I don’t exactly know because I remain a huge fan of the LX5. What this has confirmed to me however is that whilst there are some very nice cameras on the market, none make me want to switch from the LX5. I have however been able to compile a shorts wish list of features in my ideal compact camera – I have of course been careful to keep them realistic:

  • 24-140mm high quality lens. The LX5 currently has a 24-90mm equivalent lens which captures detail wonderfully and is very sharp. I would like the same level of performance but extending to 140mm at the long end.
  • Faster maximum aperture. The LX5 offers an f/2.0 aperture at 24mm and f/3.3 at 90mm. The LX7 has improved on this as have other cameras. I would really like a f/1.4 to f/2.2 lens. Actually I really want f/1.4 across the entire zoom range but I think that will be prohibitively expenses so will settle for f/2.2 at the long end.
  • It would be nice to have some high quality lens adapters that extend the wide end of the zoom to 20mm and long end to 200mm. I want high quality adapters that don’t degrade or distort the image and which don’t look like blood has been spilled onto the image because chromatic aberration is so bad.
  • 20Mpixel sensor. The LX5 and LX7 are both 10Mpixel which the Sony RX100 already has 20Mpixels. I think this will soon be the new benchmark for smaller cameras.
  • Optical viewfinder, ideally with electronic information displayed shown.
  • GF1 body in miniature. The GF1 still has to my mind has the best body design of all the Lumix cameras. It might be a little large for a compact but providing the camera fits in my pocket I don’t mind so long as it’s not too small to handle easily when your hands are cold.
  • Great low light performance up to ISO3200. I don’t like to push my LX5 beyond ISO400 and although I have noticed improved performance in the LX7 RAW sample images I have downloaded, it can’t manage clean, crisp shots at anything near to this ISO.
  • Built in ND filter and the ability to attach further filters such as ND graduates.
  • Touch screen. I never thought I would use this but having owned a GX1 for around a year now, I miss the touch screen focussing each time I use another camera. It’s so simple to tap the screen at the point I want to focus and I really think this is an invaluable feature.
  • Ability to create RAW conversion profiles in software and load these to the camera for in camera JPG processing. This should allow a RAW file to be processed on a computer with noise reduction, sharpening and lens calibration and then upload these settings to the camera. The camera would then use these settings to process future images shot at the same ISO when shooting in JPG.
  • All the same great features and functionality as are already in the LX5.

Hopefully someone from Panasonic will read this and plan the features into the LX9. And of course this is only my list; you might have more improvements of your own to add.

2 thoughts on “My Compact Camera Wish List

  1. Hi, I ran into your blog and find it extremely interesting. good job. I have a silly question, i’m thinking of either picking the LX7 or the GX1x ( getting good deals with gx1x , $150 more than lx7) Im no professional, but want to take great pics, especially of my 3yr old. I know i can get extra lens with the GX1, but that i not my buying point. I want to know which can take better pics as is. Thanks for your input

    1. Hi Ashish. Both cameras will produce good images. If you want to print larger than A3 then the GX1 is probably better. The LX7 is probably a better all in one package and fits easily in your pocket. Given what you say you will use it for I would personally chose the LX7. It can be used close up and has a wide aperture so you can throw the background out of focus. Unless you have a need to print very large or want to use other lenses the LX7 will likely do everything you want and more. Regards Robin

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