So you’re a photog. And you want to go out to dinner with friends, but you just know that on the way or where you are going something is going to happen. Or who knows, NEWS could jump up right in front of you. So do you wanna lug your full frame SLR which has super-duper resolution and instant reaction? Or are you going to get stuck with some compact that fits niftily into your pocket but has shutter lag that makes a slug look like lightning?

Not to beat around the bush – by pass all non-raw shooting compacts. If you shoot jpeg, and its an important image good luck to you as you try and resize. So now it’s a megapixel race. But is it really? What is the use of an extra 2-3 megapixels if you have noise ripping your image apart?

When I was shopping late last year, I brought it down to 2 contenders. The Lumix LX3 and the Canon Powershot G10. I had had a LX2 and a G9, so I was looking to see what had been upgraded. This is not going to be a full on review, for that you could check out 60Hz’s quick overview. This is just personal preference.

What drove me crazy with the G9 was the shutter lag. But I loved the solid engineering – unfortunately that means size and weight. In that aspect nothing has changed much with the G10. But the focus tracking (or did I just notice it) on the G10 is pretty good. The weight and size are still an issue – where do you put the damn thing when you go out? Man bag? Hang it around your neck like a hillbilly tourist from some swineflu fearing country?

The Lumix might not have that BMW feeling but it really is a compact, and it is sleek. Might not be as tough, but I don’t have to sit around waiting for the shutter to go off. The big surprise: even if it is still 10.3 megapixels to the G10’s 14 – hey, the little fella has less noise in low light!

Then there is the sexy 24mm equivalent wideangle, the different lens settings for panoramic etc (ok so it is a bit of a cheat but it is cool for framing). Then you can tweak your shooting in a lot of ways which is easy to do, eg just move the joystick around, very intuitive. Changing display mode is synch. What a relief (Imagine having to throw a 2 pound manual in your man bag too). And the girls love it “so cute”. Yeah, that’s why I bought it.

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