About making pictures   - the DMC-LC5 vs NEX-5


Top is the DMC-LC5 picture (dc vario Summicron f2.0-2.5)

Lower is the NEX-5 taken with 35mm Summicron

I was attempting to match the image quality of the DMC-LC5 with its dc vario Summicron f2.0 - f2.5 with the NEX-5 camera using various lenses.

I found it very difficult to match the quality with any lens. Mostly I couldn’t duplicate the DOF of the LC5 with its 1/1.7” sensor. I tried Leica, Nikon, CSV, SONY lenses from 15mm to 55mm.

Eventually the best I could do was shoot the 35mm Summicron at its closest focus point (about 3 feet) and shoot RAW at full resolution, then adjust in RAW for contrast and sharpness, then crop the image to bring it to WEB size. So, I needed to use a $3500 camera/lens combo to equal the image from a $50 12 year old DMC-LC5. The LC5 image was good OOC. The SONY image required a lot of PP.

An obvious difference in the images is the lower detail in gray areas in the NEX-5 image due to the noise reduction applied to those gray areas. The LC5 software applies less NR.

The engraving looks more realistic on the LC5 image. The top section of the body looks like it might be chrome plated brass (which it is) but on the NEX image it looks like it might be Aluminum alloy. I have noticed in many shots of boats with theit ss tubing, and anchor hardware, that LC5 shots always represent metal surfaces very accurately.


BELOW:  this was an interesting experiment. I set the LC5 next to the NEX 5-R and zoomed in to this DMC-LC5 camera. I wanted to match the exposure times of 1/500 sec using the maximum aperture available from the two cameras. The LC5 had f 2.5 at maximum zoom. The NEX-5 had maximum f5.6 at maximum zoom. I allowed auto ISO on the NEX. It used ISO 2000 to match the LC5 at ISO 200.  The right picture is from the LC5.

This shows the importance of a big aperture. SONY does have a better lens for $750 - a 16-50 f 2.8, which would enable the ISO to be dropped from 2000 to ISO 500 to match the LC5 at ISO 200. This proves that 2x the light is captured by the LC5. So, if you are in a low light situation and want to keep the exposure time to 1/30 sec for a hand held shot, you could set the LC5 to ISO 200, but would have to set the NEX-5 with its zoom lens to ISO 2000! The ISO 2000 picture looks pretty smooth, but some details are washed out by the built in NR. You can see this in the pictures here.

There isn’t an f2.0 zoom lens for the NEX-5 from SONY, and as far as I know not from Leica either. There is one for an Olympus 4/3 for $1800.

The more I study this camera the more amazing it becomes. Note: using the CBL balance lens (shown below camera) I adjusted for WB and the lens seems to be white. But the cameras seems a bit warmer in the LC5 picture right. It may be that the camera shoots a slightly warmer gray than other cameras, or perhaps the yellow sensitivity of the sensor is showing here. The sticker is more yellow in the right picture, but the gray (actually white background) doesn’t seem to be more yellow.

DMC-LC5 picture (dc vario Summicron f2.0-2.5)

NEX-5 picture  with 35mm Summicron f2.0