Throughout January I used only the Panasonic Lumix FX10 as part of my ongoing One Month One Camera (OMOC) project.
Here are the three previous update posts if you missed them –
So finally, a summary of the month, the camera, and the project.
What I like about the Lumix FX10
– It’s very compact and light, but not so it’s awkward or fiddly to use.
– The camera is easy to set up and use, the menus are logical, and there aren’t many (or perhaps any) silly superfluous features to get in the way.
– The FX10’s zoom lens starts at 35mm, my favoured focal length for a digital compact, so I just powered it up and started shooting, without touching the zoom rocker. No need to reverse engineer and figure out different focal lengths.
– The Intelligent ISO mode is great for optimising the camera’s performance. I set the ISO limit to ISO400, then the camera always used the lowest ISO it could (starting at its native ISO100) without dipping too low with shutter speed, thus avoiding camera shake.
– The reliable exposure system of this Lumix meant very little need for using the exposure compensation dial, which is certainly not the case with many of my favourite digitals where I begin with -1/3 or -2/3 to avoid blowing out highlights, and sometimes need to drop further.
– The FX10’s lens was fast enough at f/2.8 and plenty sharp enough with decent light, in fact significantly sharper than I expected. Again the 35mm focal length at the wide end helps here – many compact cameras go wider, to say 28 or even 24mm, with a maximum aperture of perhaps f/2.8 or f/2.4, but once you zoom in to 35mm, they’re slower than that, meaning longer shutter speeds and increased risk of camera shake.
– Overall the Lumix FX10 just gets on with making decent, reliable photographs, in a very portable package, there’s very little to disappoint.
What I didn’t like about the Lumix FX10
Really, there’s only one thing, and that’s something shared by the majority of cameras I use, so it’s unfair to isolate the FX10 for this exclusively.
The b/w mode is just too middly muddly grey (technical terminology!), only starting to show the deeper blacks and crisper whites I like in high contrast scenes with bright light and strong shadows.
I realised to avoid writing off 95% of the b/w shots I made with the FX10, I’d need to run them through one of my b/w Snapseed presets, something I increasingly want to avoid when I have a number of cameras that deliver b/w images I love straight out of camera.
Aside from this, no complaints with the little Lumix!
What I liked about the One Month One Camera project overall in January
It reminded me again of the simple joy of going to your camera shelf and knowing which camera to grab, because you already decided at the start of the month.
It completely eliminates the kind of near endless deliberations I used to have, wasting precious time I could be out on a photo walk.
With a simple digital compact like the FX10, this project works even better, because there are no alternative lenses to consider, and a straightforward set of features that can be set up in a few minutes of using the camera, then virtually forgotten about.
In other words, the OMOC project hugely optimises my photography time, meaning as much as possible is spent looking for and capturing compositions I find beautiful.
It minimises the time spent choosing between different cameras, then faffing around with the settings of the one I have chosen because I’ve forgotten what/where most of them are, having not picked up that particular camera in months.
The Lumix FX10 isn’t special enough, or doesn’t have any outstanding features to make it a dead cert keeper in my small collection, but for now I’ll just tuck away in the corner of a box, and perhaps revisit it later in the year.
For February, I’ve chosen a camera I adore, but has spent an disproportionately small time in my hands since I bought it a couple of years ago, the Ricoh GR Digital III. Which makes it a prime candidate for an OMOC experiment.
More on that very soon.
How about you? How long do you usually use one camera for, before switching to another? What benefits have you found of using just one camera for a sustained period?
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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