It's been a while since I started down the road with my small camera quest. First it was the Olympus E-P1, next came the Panasonic GF-1, the latest acquisition was the Panasonic LX-5. I like all of these cameras. Of course 3 is way way too many little cameras. On second thought maybe it's not but more on that another day.
I figured that it was time to reassess now that the GF-2 is sort of here, or at least on it's way to general availability. Based on everything I know about the new GF-2, I don't want it. I'll stick with the GF-1 but that's not the whole story. I really really do like the GF-1 and I also like the one and only lens I own for that camera as well. The 20mm f1.7. The real story is that I do not use it nearly as often as I originally envisioned.
You can probably guess the reason for this. It's the LX-5's fault. I bought this little tiny camera on a lark. It was expensive back in August of last year but the prices have come down a lot. I would buy it again in a heartbeat. The sole reason I don't carry the GF-1 everywhere is because the LX-5 is sooooooo good. The lens is great, the color is great, the RAW files are actually useful, not that I really need them much. The bonus is that it's so stinking small and the lens really does cover 99% of my needs at 24-90 35mm equiv. Add on to that reasonable high ISO, reasonably fast maximum aperture (f2.0 at 24mm) and really really good image stabilization (actually unbelievable). Sprinkle in some convenient controls like AE lock, spot metering, innovative aspect ratio options, super close focus - my other cameras are feeling really really neglected.
Neglected so much so that I am going to have to force myself to carry the GF-1 around for a week. I will have to hide the LX-5 or I will automatically grab it as has been the case for months now. Have you guys played with the newer breed small cameras lately? I am telling you the S95, LX-5, etc. are a whole different ball game than mini-cams of a few years ago.
Ps. Check out this guy's shots on a Ricoh GRD - they are compelling no matter what it was shot.