My new 6×6 back arrived (the seller of the faulty one agreed to take it and the 6×9 back back), so I was out this morning testing it. I now have a clear protector for the LCD so I took the LX2 with me to test composition before getting the Silvestri out. I’m sure the reviews said it was usable in sunlight, but I couldn’t see a thing on the LCD (other than my reflection).
I also took some real photos the other day with the LX2 (such as this photo of Willie on the deck). In more normal ranges, don’t seem to have any trouble protecting the highlights and recovering the shadows in ACR. Also did a comparison with my 5mp Olympus 5060W. LX2 is much better. Haven’t done any prints still. The AUTO ISO feature is great, except that you can’t use it in aperture, shutter or manual modes.
When saving as RAW, the LX2 also creates JPG. This is good (this is how I have my E-1 set to work). However, most cameras I believe save a JPG preview in the RAW file, but it seems Panasonic is doing the separate JPG instead. The JPG is handy if you want to do a quick scan of what you got (and devices like the Epson P2000 only know a limited set of RAW formats). And since with the LX2, I am getting B&W JPGs, that can be especially useful. But when you get down to hunting for a RAW to edit, things are much slower because the RAW lacks the preview, so the raw converter in Finder or Bridge has to kick-in just to create a temporary thumbnail.
There’s been camera announcements this week from Canon and Nikon. Canon have added RAW back into their main contender (the G9, now with 12mp) but it weighs half as much again as the LX2 (the LX2 is half the weight of the 5060) and is bulkier (the LX2 fits into the pocket in the waist-belt of my backpack!) Nikon haven’t announced any new digicams yet, but they will soon and since they are finally getting things right, it’s quite possible they will produce a useful digicam. Of course, my preference had already been the Ricoh GX100, but like the G9 it costs a lot more than I wanted to spend (and it’s not on ebay yet) (B&H list the LX2 for $410 and I got it for $310).
More significant in all this is the new Olympus DSLRs. When I bought the E-1 it was on the expectation there would soon be a replacement. Still waiting, supposed to be in the next month or so. This year’s Olympus E-510 is pretty interesting, smaller, lighter, built-in IS. Now the Canon D40 and Nikon D300 seriously raise the bar that the new E-1 will have to compare with, especially given that they have moved onto a 14-bit RAW file.