River's A Pretty Picture
Picture: Steve Scourfield
"In many ways, the day fits the camera and the Swan River itself.
For it begins in the crisp, early-morning light and high-contrast sunshine coming in flat angles at Peppermint Grove. The river is wide and estuarine here and the Leica V-Lux 2 with the camera’s superzoom lens gives it the equivalent to 25mm and catches the wide expanse of it.
Late in the afternoon, I am further up in the narrower reaches of the Swan River, feeling like I am right in the barrel of the other end of the camera’s built-in 24x zoom — the equivalent to 600mm.
The lens is, of course, the most-talked-about feature of the Leica V-Lux 2 and the reason it is particularly good for travellers. It can do pretty much anything — and do it well.
With 14.1 megapixels and a CMOS sensor, it is a camera that most people will take on their trips, and come back with good photographs. It’s light, easy to use. It has automatic, program, aperture and shutter speed priority settings and scene modes that include the rather self-explanatory soft skin, panorama assist, beach and snow — and, unusually, food, party, baby, pet and others.
Following the Swan River for the day gives it a good workout and, while it could use a better sensor, the camera proves a versatile do-anything friend.
I particularly like the tilting screen — it folds out and in many directions, and I find this useful in markets and other places where a photographer wants to be less obvious.
For the more technically serious, it shoots both RAW and JPEG and full 1080p AVCHD video recording. It shoots 11 frames a second continuous at full resolution with a maximum shutter speed 1/2000 second.
And that brings me to the subject of price.
I borrowed the Leica from Camera Electronic, in Stirling Street, Perth. It sells it for $899 — a price that can’t be matched on the internet and considerably less than Leica’s RRP of $1049.
Saul Frank, who with brother Howard runs the shop their father Ronald started 40 years ago, says: “There’s old-fashioned service, of course, and people want to see and touch certain items.”
But shop retailers have to compete on price, too, and the brothers go to great efforts in working with suppliers to match internet pricing. Or, in this case, to beat it.
The Leica, of course, bears more than a passing resemblance to the Panasonic DMC-FZ100 but comes with a two-year warranty, Photoshop Elements and Premier Elements 8. And, of course, the Leica badge.
Details: Camera Electronic is at 230 Stirling Street, Perth. Visit cameraelectronic.com.au or call 9328 4405."
Camera Electronic would like to thank Steve for his travel section write up. You can see more informative articles from Steve at The West via their website http://www.thewest.com.au/travel