Last year my One Month One Camera (OMOC) project worked very well, so in 2020 I plan to shoot with just one camera every month of the year.
First up for January, following on from my happy reunion with my Lumix LX3 in December, another Lumix that I’ve had a while but not yet used, the FX10.
I’m no stranger to the Lumix range.
As well as the LX3, I have a GF1 which I used to use mostly for M42 lenses but most recently have used only with a 7Artisans 25mm f/1.8 manual focus lens.
The overall feel, build quality and logical layout and design of these Lumix cameras has endeared me greatly to the brand, so it’s no surprise I wanted to explore another, this time from a series I’ve not tried, the FX series.
From what I can gather, the FX are Panasonic’s “ultra compact” offerings, and the FX10 is indeed pretty small, enough to all but disappear in the palm of your hand, or in a trouser pocket.
The lens is Leica branded, which I believe means Panasonic built, to a Leica Vario-Elmarit design.
Something that appealed with the FX10 is the lens is 35mm (equivalent) at its widest, which is the focal length I nearly always favour with digital compacts, and means I can just turn on and shoot without zooming, or without needing to rely on the Zoom Resume feature, like on the TZ2 or LX3.
In other words, I can treat it like a 35mm prime lens compact, and never touch the zoom.
And it focuses close enough (about 0.05m, perhaps less) to satisfy my up close and intimate yearnings.
The largest aperture of f/2.8 is decent enough at 35mm, and indeed better than the TZ2, which has dropped to f/3.7 at the same focal length.
The sensor is a 6MP CCD, so right in the sweet spot of where I like.
Aside from that, there’s not much to say at this point about the FX10.
It’s small and discrete, without being fiddly or slippery to handle, and everything is where you think it’ll be – no doubt helped by my previous experience with Lumix cameras, but even to a Lumix newbie I don’t think there would be anything here overly confusing.
Oh it cost me £4 plus postage, somewhat less than the £75 I paid for my LX3 a couple of years ago, though that was worth every penny.
One of my other experiments for this year is to shoot entirely in camera, without any post processing.
With cameras like the Lumix FX3 and GF1, with their fantastic Dynamic BW Film modes, this is easy.
But with most other compact cameras, including my lovely Ricoh pair, and the rather cracking FujiFilm S7000 bridge camera, I still need to run the images through Snapseed to get the look I like afterwards.
The Lumix FX10 has limited colour modes, and only one for black and white.
The results have mostly been as I’ve expected – decent enough in terms of sharpness and so on, but lacking contrast from my liking, unless shot in high contrast light in the first place.
The photos in this post I’m happy enough with, because they were shot in a high contrast situation anyway.
I’ve taken many more shots with the FX10 in less harsh light, that have been rather more bland – an infinite number of shades of grey, rather than the more dramatic, crisp blacks and whites I enjoy.
So the dilemma is, do I run these overly grey photos through Snapseed and see how much better they look?
Or just continue to use the FX10 like this for the rest of the month, and then revert to something like the LX3 or GF1 with their on board processing to get me back to that zero processing dream?
Time will tell!
Do you have any cameras where you use the images straight out of camera? Or do you always process in some way?
Please let us know in the comments below (and don’t forget to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).
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