Some cameras just feel right. My FM2n feels right; my F3 didn’t. This is a shame since the latter is a wonderful camera, a classic, and possibly a sound investment. Yet I found it frustrating to use, partly because of the poor information display in the viewfinder, but also because of some intangible element I could never identify. Since I’m a camera user and not a camera collector I ended up selling it.
My favourite camera of all those I have owned, or the one that felt most right, was the Panasonic LX3 I bought in 2009. Again, I couldn’t really put my finger on why it felt right; it just did. More importantly, the end result of a camera that feels right is a photograph that looks right and over the years I owned the LX3 I took some nice pictures with it.
I sold it in 2012 when I picked up the newly released Sony RX100. This was another fabulous camera that never felt quite right, though it got a lot of use despite this. I sold the RX100 a little while ago, thinking I might pick up the latest version — mine was the mark i, Sony is now up to the mark vi— but the $1,000 plus price tag was a little off putting.
Then I started looking out for one of the earlier versions — maybe the mark iv — second hand, but even these are $600 and more. While browsing I did come across the Panasonic LX7, a camera very similar to my LX3 but two generations on. This discovery set me looking for a second hand LX3. I didn’t find any but I did spot an LX5, the immediate successor to the LX3. I was tempted and, having money on account with this particular dealer, I bought it.
It turned up in mint condition with all the original accessories, including the CD of terrible software, in the original box. Six years after selling the LX3 picking up the LX5 felt like picking up an old friend. It’s a great little camera and on a recent visit back home I took it along as my only digital camera for that trip. It didn’t let me down.