So those pics from Friday.
Batch A was taken with my Canon A620 (its 3 years old). Batch B was taken with my colleagues Panasonic LX3 (a highly regarded compact camera released late last year).
The canon has a 35-140 lens (equivalent to a 24-95 on a dslr) and the Panasonic a 24-60 (equiv to a 16-40 on a dslr). Oh its fast f2-f2.8. As I said all the outdoor pics were taken in landscape mode on both cams.
I appreciate that the indoors shots are not good quality pics (hold camera up release shutter) BUT the Canon was with a flash and and the Panasonic without. I thought its lightness was impressive.
For the outdoor shots I was REALLY surprised at the totally different colours. The Canon looks a tadge washed out the Panasonic looked a bit too saturated.
If you zoom in I agree with Mary, I think the Panasonic was sharper when enlarged.
So overall I preferred the Panasonic image wise.....
not by a big margin. I think the Panasonic would have performed better in lower light. And of course it has RAW.
Handling? Well the Panasonic is more photographer centric but the Canon fits the hand much better (thanks to the bulge on the right-hand side for the AA batteries). The panasonic has a bigger better screen but the Canon's is rotatble screen. Annoyingly the panasonic has a separate lens cap which is just plain stupid on a compact. You either stick it in a pocket when it can get lost or attach it via a tether when it gets in the way. Stupid.
The Panasonic has image stabilisation very handy and a must have nowadays.
I think 10-15 minutes told me what I was dissatisfied with regarding the Canon and its width of the lens. I appreciate that the portico shot narrows at the top on the panasonic BUT the freedom the wide angle lens gives you is very seductive.
The other alternative is Canon's G10 which is heavier than the Panasonic and buckier. It ticks most of the boxes BUT its a £80 more than a panasonic and I'm not convinced is good value for me.
So am I pulling the credit card? I think not. As I say I now know what I want, a lens which is between 24-28 at its widest, has image stabilisation and has a bigger sensor. I don't need or want lots of "mega pixels" just a larger sensor.
Maybe the next generation will deliver it.