Mar 252011
 

I’ve already mentioned it, I have bought some add-ons to my LX5, and that brought the total price up to a whopping 650€.

First thing was a replacement battery. I find it interesting that Juha reports 800+ images on the LX3 with one fully charged battery. Well, I may have played around a lot, but then, not that much. I have made only about 150 exposures and then the battery was depleted. Maybe the battery has a problem, maybe it was not completely loaded, maybe it happens only upon first charge, we’ll see. The battery was also not completely empty when I changed. Thus I suppose at least 200 exposures would have been possible, maybe more.

The second thing was a wrist strap. It’s a simple, cheap one and this finally makes the camera comfortable to use. The original shoulder strap does not work for me. I need the camera in my hand.

I usually carry the D300 in my right hand, basically dangling from my fingers, held securely by the shoulder strap that I sling around my wrist and the camera body. It’s totally secure and the camera is almost like glued to my hand, a natural extension. This does not work though with the LX5 and its shoulder strap. The camera is too small. A simple wrist strap for 6€ solved the problem.

The main reason why I want to hold a camera in my hand (or have it dangling from my hand like the LX5) is, that this makes it much faster to react to picture opportunities. The camera is already where I need it, I only have to switch it on.

Speed is also the reason, why I refuse to attach the lens cap to the camera. The LX5 comes with a string that can be used to tie the lens cap to the camera, but it slows me down to keep the lens cap on, and when I have it off and it dangles from the camera, it is always in my way. Thus I do as I do with my DSLR, I stow the cap away in my waist bag and only put it on the camera when I set it aside. There is a risk of losing the capt but, so what.

The third thing is the electronic viewfinder. It has mostly bad reviews, and really, it’s resolution of 200k pixels is extremely poor, given that it costs almost as much as Olympus’ 1.4 megapixel viewfinder for the XZ-1. On the other hand, it is completely sufficient for precisely framing an image, thus I won’t complain. After all, it was exactly such an electronic viewfinder that my old Kodak bridge camera, the DX 7950 had.

If you are interested in more than snapshots and if you need precise framing, I consider an electronic viewfinder essential, at least so in bright sunlight. Apart from that, it helps you holding the camera in a much more stable position. I am shortsighted, and therefore I wear contact lenses, but due to my age, I have also recently developed a certain degree of farsightedness. It’s not so bad yet that it forces me to wear reading glasses, but I still have to hold the camera at some distance, and that is detrimental to stability. Along with the excellent lens stabilization I can repeatably hold 1/4s when using the viewfinder.

Well, here we are. If you need a spare battery, this depends on how many images you make. You may be perfectly satisfied with the shoulder strap and a lens cap dangling from your camera may not irritate you at all, but I’d be surprised to find someone who has tried the electronic viewfinder and does not find it incredibly useful. Unfortunately it is also by far the most expensive accessory for the LX5 🙂

The Song of the Day is “Grab This Thing” from the 2010 album “Soulsville” by Huey Lewis And The News. Hear it on the (most probably) Vietnamese website nhaccuatui.com.

  5 Responses to “1621 – Grab This Thing”

  1. I think that getting up to 800 photographs with one charge is due to several factors: I’m using jpeg + 1:1 aspect ratio + no flash + no focus light + no automatic preview. Also, I don’t keep the camera on for long – I switch it on, take a few photographs of a subject in quick succession, and then switch the camera off. Typically this takes 3-10 seconds for each subject. Also, I always have a spare battery, just in case.

    • Well, I’m slow at the moment, everything is new, I make mistakes, review almost always, experiment a lot and so on. Besides, most of that first session was without EVF and with AF assist on. Apart from that I use RAW+JPEG fine. May explain some things 🙂 Anyway, even with as low as 200 images I wouldn’t have a problem.

  2. I’m glad that I’m not the only one who can’t see things close up, my eyes used to be so good, but since I’ turned 50 a couple of years ago….!

    You need one of the self opening lens caps from Ebay, I have one permanently attached to my LX5 and I’ve forgotten all about it. I just turn the camera on and off and the lens cap opens and shuts itself to suit, there’s nothing to loose and nothing to worry about.

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Self-Retaining-Auto-Lens-Cap-Panasonic-Lumix-LX5-D-LUX5-/160508871619?pt=UK_Photography_CameraLenses_Lens_caps_hoods_adaptors_ET&hash=item255f1303c3#ht_4848wt_989

  3. I noticed that your last few posted photos now have a white border. Any reason for the change? New camera, new ways of visualizing the final result ?

    • It’s completely unconnected. When I processed the image in “1542 – Get What’s Coming“, I noticed that the black to of the image and the black background of my blog didn’t work together at all, and so I added a white border. I tried it a few more times the following days, experimented with colored borders, but in the end I settled with white.

      Sometimes the border improves the image, sometimes it is just a fad. Mark “The Landscapist” Hobson offered me a convincing explanation of why I like those frames: They make the image look like an old paper photograph 🙂

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