The Art of Exploration · a diary of day trips, natural places, and miscellaneous adventures

A New Pixel Catcher

Sunday, June 7th, 2015 in Colorado
A New Pixel Catcher

Over the past several months, I’ve been struggling with the little Canon Powershot S100 compact camera that I take on my hikes, as there are repeated signs that its sensor is failing. It renders blues and greens poorly, resulting in fake looking skies and flat looking vegetation—a disastrous thing, considering my subject matter consists mostly of landscapes and big skies.

The problem seemed to be getting worse over time. When I compared some recent images I captured with the S100 to ones I took several years ago, I saw a sharp decline in image quality. I tried to switch to RAW image format to remedy the problem (something I should have done from the start) but this only helped occasionally. I hit a low point when I tried to pick out some nice photos for this post. There simply were none.

Because I rely exclusively on a compact camera for my hiking photographs, I decided it was time to replace my ailing S100. After weeks of methodical research, I decided to buy a Panasonic Lumix LX100. There are many reasons I selected this camera, some of which are highlighted in this review:

An in-depth review of the Panasonic Lumix LX100 by Angela Nicholson.

Today I took my new camera out for a spin and I’m very pleased with the results. I’m still learning about the camera’s many options and how to control various exposure settings with ease, but so far I’m liking the switch. The following video has been helpful to me in this learning phase:

An in-depth review of the Panasonic Lumix LX100 by Maarten Heilbron.

The pictures shown at the top and bottom of this post were among those I captured today during the most challenging light conditions of the day—a good way to evaluate how the camera performs under intense alpine skies. I was pleased to see that the camera captured the complex light conditions accurately and rendered details well in both the brightest and darkest parts of the scene.

There were many clouds that built up throughout the afternoon and the sun dipped in and out behind them, casting large blocks of shadow across different areas of the landscape. The air was also humid and hazy, the result of the recent heavy rains throughout the region. The LX100 was able to record this unique atmosphere, just as I remember it.

Lily Mountain
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Ma’alaea Bay
Ma'alaea Bay
Niwot Loop Trail
Niwot Loop Trail
I found the Niwot Look Trail by accident. Last week, I was driving along Mineral Road on my way to Boulder and the evening light was so beautiful that I pulled off on side road so I could stop and take a picture.
Shanahan Mesa
Shanahan Mesa
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