One thing I don’t like about the LX100

Discussion in 'Panasonic LX100 / D-LUX (109) Forum' started by Jock Elliott, Oct 21, 2015.

  1. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott SC All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY
    When it comes to my photography, I am often – intentionally – a witless dolt. Typically, I shoot in P mode, letting the camera make a lot of decisions for me. Why? For two reasons: first, because whoever designed P mode quite often gets it right, and second because I really enjoy wandering around, discovering whatever catches my eye, and taking pictures. Messing with the camera falls way down the list when it comes to the pleasures of photography. I thought I would enjoy the easily-accessible manual controls of the LX100, but in actuality, I rarely use them.

    An aside (and please, please don’t send disgruntled villagers to my door with burning torches and pitchforks when I say this): I think Henri Cartier-Bresson was like this. From what I have read and seen in interviews with HCB, I think he really liked finding intriguing scenes and capturing them and was content to let others handle as much of the technicalities of photography as much as possible. As I understand it, he didn’t develop or print his own images; other folks did that for him.

    Back to the main thread: there are two tiny buttons on the top deck of the LX100. One is the FILTER button, which allows the user to select from among a number of artistic filters like expressive, retro, monochrome, and the like. The other is for “iA” mode, which stands for intelligent Auto. When iA mode is invoked, the user points the camera at a scene, presses the shutter halfway down, and the camera decides which kind of scene it is – choosing from portrait, scenery, macro, night portrait, night scenery, handheld night shot, food, baby, and sunset. The camera makes the choice, adjusts its settings automatically, and makes it all happen when the photographer presses the shutter all the way down.

    One of these scenes I find particularly useful for the kind of stuff I do – it’s called handheld night shot, and it is only available through the iA mode. It makes six quick exposures and then stacks them inside the camera to reduce movement and noise. And it works pretty darned well, although, as you might imagine, some attempts work better than others, depending upon how much the photographer is wiggling around.

    I arise most days before dawn, and two days ago, I am “taking care of business” when I notice three bright lights in the very dark sky outside the bathroom window. I grab the LX100, trot outside, invoke iA mode and attempt to capture the scene overhead. The camera recognizes this as a handheld night shot and does its thing. The result isn’t bad, but I can see that I have moved too much while the six exposures were being made.

    On the second attempt, I press the shutter button halfway down, and the LX100 decides it is ambivalent about what kind of scene this is and begins cycling among various options. I try releasing the shutter button and pressing halfway down again, with the same result. And again. And again. I begin trying to reason with the camera: “Look, these are the same stars or planets that were there a minute ago! The sky is just as dark! Can’t you tell this is the perfect time for a handheld night shot? What are you – a moron?!”

    At this point, the camera relents: “Well, if you insist, maybe it is a handheld night shot. Let’s do that.” But at this point, I am quivering with frustration, and I still get a crappy result.

    If anyone knows how to force the LX100 to choose a scene in iA mode, I would be grateful for the knowledge. Maybe I can get this vein that is pulsing on the side of my temple to settle down.

    Cheers, Jock
     
  2. demiro

    demiro Serious Compacts For Life

    527
    Dec 15, 2011
    Jock, I am not 100% certain, but I don't think you can select hand held night shot on the LX100. You can on cameras with Scene Mode (I imagine your FZ200 has that), but the LX100 does not. One of the tradeoffs in making the LX100 an "enthusiast" level camera I suppose.

    In your example with iA mode, the only advice I can offer is to make sure you are focusing on same point from shot to shot.
     
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  3. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey SC Hall of Famer

    Jun 20, 2012
    Cambridge, MA
    Kyle
    Holy crap -- you can't just select from among those modes, manually, at your own choosing?! I find that incredible, and difficult to believe.
     
  4. demiro

    demiro Serious Compacts For Life

    527
    Dec 15, 2011
    If you look at recent Panny models, the GH3, FZ1000, GX7 and G7 all have Scene Mode setting, which presumably means you can select hand held night. The GH4, GX8 and LX100 do not have Scene Mode setting. Maybe it is still there and just takes a menu dive to find it and turn it on? Not sure, as I don't have any of those cams in hand.

    It is a bit crazy to not offer it, as it can't cost much of anything to include. It just seems like Panasonic is marketing these higher end cameras by saying "you are such a good photographer you wouldn't ever need Scene Mode".
     
  5. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    I don't have the camera, but it looks like it can be activated with a menu dive...... page 78. Perhaps once you get there, you can figure out how to save that as a custom setting, but that's way beyond my pay grade.

    ftp://ftp.panasonic.com/camera/dmclx100/dmc-lx100_adv_series_oi.pdf
     
  6. Richard

    Richard SC Top Veteran

    564
    Feb 1, 2013
    Marlow, UK
    I think the Sony RX100 is the same - not all of the automatic scene recognition settings which sometimes appear when using iAuto mode can be selected manually in SCN mode.

    It's equally odd and annoying on the RX100 too.

    -R
     
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  7. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott SC All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY
    Luke,

    The manual says: "If a night scene is detected automatically while the unit is being handheld, [iHandheld
    Night Shot] can record a still picture with less jitter and less noise without using a tripod
    by combining a burst of pictures."

    Unfortunately, I don't see any way to activate it other than through automatic detection and no way to save it to a custom setting.

    Cheers, Jock
     
  8. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    so those steps shown on page 78 are just to turn on the "option" of the camera selecting it on it's own?
     
  9. drd1135

    drd1135 SC Hall of Famer

    Jul 13, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    My wife has an RX100 and has hit this problem with, oddly enough, the hand held night mode. Luke, I realize we're talking about a different camera but it is only off by one letter.
     
  10. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott SC All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY
    Exactly. And there is no other way to execute the six quick exposures and stack them inside the camera manually.

    And -- when it works properly -- it is a very slick function!

    SIGH
     
  11. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    That is really frustrating that they would have those intelligent scene modes built into the camera, but then not give you the option to select them on your own.

    Do they think "advanced" photographers are above selecting a scene mode?
     
  12. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    Steve, does the RX100 not have a scene mode on the dial? The RX10 does.
     
  13. demiro

    demiro Serious Compacts For Life

    527
    Dec 15, 2011
    Kind of annoying when the answer is "you need a cheaper/less high end camera". At least you can grab your FZ200 for those shots. I assume it provides hand held night in Scene Mode?
     
  14. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott SC All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY
    I just checked. The FZ200 has "handheld night shot" and it is manually selectable . . . no psychic link required. Of course, the sensor isn't nearly as big as the LX100 and the lens isn't as fast, but the blood pressure is definitely lower!

    Cheers, Jock
     
  15. drd1135

    drd1135 SC Hall of Famer

    Jul 13, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    Maybe I haven't looked hard enough. She is protective of her RX100 and I can't easily find it.
     
  16. demiro

    demiro Serious Compacts For Life

    527
    Dec 15, 2011
    It does.
     
  17. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott SC All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY
    Maybe I just need to resign myself to being a "point-and-shoot" kinda guy. I can live with that.
     
  18. Richard

    Richard SC Top Veteran

    564
    Feb 1, 2013
    Marlow, UK
    I can answer that Luke. There is a scene mode on the RX100 dial (marked SCN) but when you cycle through the available modes, you're not offered some of the modes which are sometimes selected automatically in iAuto mode.

    The one I looked for was 'Spotlight' I think. It sometimes gets selected in iAuto mode, but it's not available to manually select in SCN mode.

    -R
     
  19. davidzvi

    davidzvi SC Regular

    180
    Apr 18, 2014
    David
    Jock, I know how you feel. I went through a few options before finally getting an LX100. But in the end I just couldn't resist the lens. If that isn't as important for you I would pick up a GM1 or GM5 with the kit lens. Either is actually smaller than the LX100, I had both before getting the LX100.
     
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  20. Biro

    Biro SC All-Pro

    Aug 7, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Steve
    I'll bet a GM5 with a 20mm f/1.7 on it would work very nicely in situations like the one Jock has described. Wait until Christmas... I'll bet the GM5 goes on sale at B&H or Amazon.
     
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