My "Goes Everywhere" Camera Companion
15 Nov 2008
As a photography who prefers to capture travel and social documentary pictures a good compact camera that I can have with me all the time is a must. I have been a fan of Panasonic Lumix cameras since first owning the DMC-LX1 in 2006. The latest edition, the LX3, recently joined me and my Lecia M8 on a trip to Morocco and soon became my favorite camera for the trip.
Photography in Morocco and in particular, Marrakech, can bring unwanted attention and even demands for money from the locals. With the LX3 being so small and also very intelligent in its IA (Intelligent Auto) mode, I was able to capture photographs quickly and quite discreetly if needed. The F2.0 24-60mm Ultra Wide Angle LEICA DC VARIO-SUMMICRON Lens takes stunning images thanks to the same glass standards as my Lecia M8 lens. Additionally, the ability to switch to a B&W and manual exposure mode ensures artistic composition can still be achieved by the photographer as I have shown here with my B&W images captured in the ancient fishing port of Essaouira on the Atlantic coast. Although not always easy the LX3 can also be focussed manually but to-date I have found the 11 point Auto Focus areas the LX3 uses provides perfect results every time.
Another useful feature of the LX3, like its predecessors, is that is has three aspect ratios 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9 and its this final aspect ratio of 16:9 that I find particular pleasing to capture images with. The photograph "Essaouira Sunset" shows this aspect ratio really well and used carefully can provide the photographer with an almost cinematic feel to their photography (see also "The Volunteer" shot with an LX1) and in a way challenges the rule of thirds standard we are all used to. And this is the simply beauty of this compact camera, it is anything but a point and shoot "snaps" camera. It has tools and gizmos aplenty but is also has a stunning Lecia lens and full manuel control of settings when needed. I'm not set to stop using my Lecia M8 but with quality compacts like the LX3 becoming more normal there is truly no excuse for serious photographers to ever again leave there camera at home and miss that perfect shot!