Good on Paper Doesn't Always Mean Good in Hands


I was just reading the excellent review of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100. This is a camera for which I have serious lust. And that desire was intensified by the Gold Award bestowed upon it by DP Review.

Since the LX100 is a new form factor, however, I'm also reminding myself that I need to experience it physically before dinging my credit card for $800. Why? Because good on paper doesn't always mean good in the hands.

I recently received this note from Ed, a longtime TDS virtual camera club member, and owner of a previous LX camera. He shared his experience with the LX100, a camera he knew he wanted from the moment it was announced. Ed wrote:

"I was like a kid waiting for Christmas on the day it was to be delivered. But as soon as I opened the box and picked it up I experienced immediate disappointment. It just didn't feel right in my hand; it felt awkward. I couldn't believe how 2-3mm here and 2-3mm there and only ~2-3oz more had so drastically changed my wonderful and most used LX camera. It no longer just slipped into my hip pouch, I had to consciously angle it in and it felt surprisingly heavy in my vest pocket."

Ed ultimately sent back the camera. His experience is something to keep in mind in this online world. When I upgraded from the Canon 60D to the 70D, I was pretty confident that I would like the new camera. That's a purchase I could make online right away.

But I also know that's not always the case. Trade shows, friends with gear, and physical camera stores can help me evaluate new form factors. (If you try at a camera store, BTW, they deserve the sale.) Yes, we can usually return the item if necessary.

But as with photography itself, it's best to get it right the first time.

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