Leica D-Lux 3 / Do I Need an SLR?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by T-Stex, Nov 25, 2006.

  1. T-Stex macrumors 6502

    Jan 15, 2006
    Hey guys. I'm looking at getting a new camera over the holidays this year, and I'm kinda stuck on deciding which route to take. I originally thought I'd go with a DSLR (D50 or 400D), but I'm having second thoughts. I'm not sure how often I'm going to carry around a larger camera, lenses, etc., and I'm now considering a smaller P&S. I feel like I'd get more use out of it, and ultimately enjoy it more.

    I've been into photography for a little bit, but consider myself a novice when it comes to the digital side of the house. I want a camera that will take good quality photos that I can be proud of, and eventually frame. I realize that by going with a smaller camera, I won't have as much freedom as I would with a DSLR, but I don't think I'd use the DSLR to its full potential anyway.

    I'm wondering if a camera like the Leica D-Lux 3 will provide me with enough enjoyment and "room to grow" as a digital photographer that I won't be disappointed. Any input you guys have would be greatly appreciated.
  2. wmmk macrumors 68020


    Mar 28, 2006
    The Library.
    a DSLR will give you lots of room to grow as a photographer, no question. with the leica, it's arguable. still, I'd consider leicas the best cameras in the world (and so would many others), so you have to factor that in too. if you want the best of both worlds, try a Lumix SLR-like PS. they're nice, but they so suffer from shutter lag. anyway, for that price, a DSLR would be more practical. I'd say go with the SLR.
  3. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Dec 25, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    WMMK's comments were good.

    Though in some ways it is like asking if a sub-compact hatchback can substitute for a mid or full sized station wagon.

    I have the Panasonic LX-1 (similar to the Dlux 2 from Leica). You have to search for some of the photos I have posted from my Reykjavik and London trip in February to see some samples of what the Dlux series can offer. Also two of my recent postings in the POTD thread show a couple from last month with the LX-1.

    Warning to all, this may end up being a long posting! :)

    For my February trip I carried both the LX-1 and a Nikon kit of the D50 and the 18-200VR and the 10.5 fish-eye. I had much more fun in travel when weather forced me to leave behind the Nikon kit at the B&B.

    Same thing in October with my cruise on the Caribbean Princess. So a couple weeks ago I went on the Carnival Imagination with only my LX-1 in tow.

    For most of my shots the zoom of the LX-1 was enough for all of my recent travels. The freedom of a smaller camera in most cases out weighed the cost and weight of my DSLR kit.

    That being said, I did want for some things that my DSLR kit would have given me over the LX-1 in some situations. I missed not having my fish-eye lens at times. I have the Tokina 12-24 ultra-wide zoom that would have seen some use at times.

    My current DSLR kit for travel contains a D200, a D50 converted to IR, the 10.5 fish-eye, the Tokina 12-24 ultra-wide, the Nikkor 18-200VR, and the SB-800.

    On my last cruise I wish I had taken my Nikon travel kit, along with my 105VR macro lens and the R1 macro flash kit. Or at least the macro lens and Ri flash kit. The shutter response of the LX-1 at the butterfly conservatory in Key West left me with lots of image with the closing of the butterfly wings.

    Attached are some images from both the LX-1 and my Nikon kit.

    The first shot is from the LX-1 on the October cruise. The second is from my February trip with the LX-1. The third is with the D50IR with the 10.5 fish-eye. The next one is with the D50 (not IR converted with the Nikkor 18-200VR). The last one is also from October with the LX-1.

    In the end it ends up with what I have said in other threads. The right tool for the right job.

    Attached Files:

  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California

    I'd decide this way. A "photographer" is someone who goes out with a camera with the intent to make images. Maybe you might go to the beach but the reason is to make some pictures. If that's you then you need an SLR. But if you go the beach and just happen to take a camera with you and photography is not the primary reason for going then a P&S would be best.

    But on the other hand even if you have an SLR you might still want a P&S so that you can always have a camera with you. After all no matter how fancy the camera if you don't take it with you you don't get the shot. But then again if photography is the main activity you would likely be happy to haul a backpack full of gear, if only you could afford it.

    If you do go the SLR route stop thinking "camera" Pick out a set of three or fours lenses you would like to own, even if you can't afford to buy them all right away. Pick out a set now. Then and ONLY then select a camera body.
    Why? You may not be able to find four Nikon lenses you want but you can name 4 "must have" Canons. It would be a shame to buy a Canon 400D only to find out the lenses you want are all Nikons. Lenses cost MUCH more then a body and last four times as long. Shop for the big ticket stuff first.
  5. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Actually, I'd go so far as to say that if you just want to take a photo of something because you think that a photo of that object/scene/person will help you remember some details of your trip when you get home, then you're not a photographer because you didn't consider the factors related to that situation that a "photographer" would/may have considered.

    If you go out there and take into consideration all the things that require consideration before you take the photo (eg: settings, composition, factors specific to that particular situation that may affect your photograph), then you're a photographer regardless of whether you have a DSLR, SLR, point&shoot camera, or a cheapo one-time-use film camera you're only using because your camera or memory card is busted. A photographer doesn't stop being a photographer once he picks up a non-SLR, non-medium format camera. It's not a fracking costume......it's a skill. Good cameras don't make good photographers.

    Regardless of what anyone tells you about photo quality, DSLRs are an investment that require money, and if you don't invest $$$ and time, you're better off just getting a point and shoot or a very basic DSLR, because todays high end P&S cameras take photos comparable to a DSLR, and it would be difficult for most people, including yourself, to tell which photos were taken with a P&S, and which were taken with a DSLR.

    If you're not going to carry that DSLR monster around with you, then you're going to spend a lot of money on something that doesn't fill your needs, whereas that high end point-and-shoot camera with the manual controls would have been great during fun situations, or during times when you want to take great photos.
  6. netdog macrumors 603


    Feb 6, 2006
    If you don't rely on a flash and don't shoot in low light situations, the D-Lux3 is outstanding. Otherwise, consider a Canon. I love my Leica, and it spanks my Canon 10D in many ways.
  7. wmmk macrumors 68020


    Mar 28, 2006
    The Library.
    What Leica do you have? Is it an either M, R, or screwmount? If so, I shall kill you out of jealousy!

    Just kidding, but seriously, you are incredibly lucky to have that kind of camera, even if it's just a C-Lux or something.
  8. Binford macrumors member

    Feb 15, 2007
    Boston, MA
    I haven't read everyone's responses, but if you plan to shoot at higher than the lowest iso setting you might want to research into the high levels of noise that would entail...
  9. Grimace macrumors 68040


    Feb 17, 2003
    with Hamburglar.
    If you are looking at the Leica DLux, check out Panasonic's Lumix series. Same camera rebranded cheaper!!

    Does RAW @ 10MP.
  10. Pac a Mac macrumors regular

    Pac a Mac

    Jan 26, 2007
    That clears that up. I'm not a photgrapher cos I dont have a DSLR. But if I did own a DSLR I would be a photograher even though I am **** at it. OK :)

    What do I need to own to be an artist...a paintbrush:D

Share This Page