How to Handle a Compact Camera That’s Still Too Big
I have a confession to make. My shiny, new premium compact camera (Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX10) isn’t really… all that compact. Sure it’s a whole lot smaller than a DSLR, and it does just fit in the palm of my hand. Plus, it takes great pictures.
(For the price tag, it should!)
Technically, it fits the description of a pocket camera. But here’s the thing… It’s really too big to fit into the front pockets of my pants.
Sure, you can jam it in. But come on… that’s not comfortable. Especially if the pocket is already holding something else like your wallet.
My LX10 fits a little better sliding into my back pocket, but that still feels a little precarious. Especially if I were to sit down and forget it’s there.
To be fair, I’m using a neoprene case with it, which adds some bulk.
(OP/TECH USA Digital D Soft Pouch, Micro – $17.95 at Amazon)
The material stretches tight around the camera, which creates something of an odd shape, because the lens juts out a bit. Still, it can slide in and out of a pocket as long as the pocket is large enough.
But ideally, I want to be ready for action when I’m out and about. And the only way to guarantee that is to carry the camera in my pants like I do my iPhone.
And I don’t want it hanging off my shoulder with a strap. That’s not as convenient a solution.
(I think of a DSLR for that.)
Premium Compact Cameras Aren’t So Compact
You know what…? You can’t always get what you want.
I’m sure camera technology will get there one day, but if you want a big-time sensor in a small camera with a wide enough lens (24mm), today’s ‘premium compact camera’ is going be a little bigger than a true pocket camera or a lot thicker than your smartphone.
(I believe this also applies to the Sony RX100 V and Canon G7X Mark II competition.)
So deal with it.
How Fast Can You Get Your Camera Out of Its Case?
That’s the question today… How can I best handle the little beasty?
One way is to see if there’s a case with better functionality.
My OP/TECH USA is fine, but the fit is a little snug, requiring me to take an extra few seconds to pull the camera out. And as parents of young kids know, those priceless moments you want to capture only last for a few seconds. Fumbling with your camera to get it out of its case will often let that perfect picture slip away…
(I’m sure OP/TECH USA would remind me that you don’t want your camera to easily fall out of its case. That kind of defeats the point of having a protective covering to begin with.)
Also, this particular case has two snaps. And sometimes it’s a little wonky snapping them both once the camera is back in. Often, I just go for one. So that’s not perfect either…
MegaGear to the Rescue
The obvious choice is to buy the case that Panasonic makes for its Lumix LX10 camera, right?
Panasonic doesn’t make one. Not yet…
So you’ve got to continue to travel the third-party route to see if there’s a better case solution.
In my research, I came upon ‘MegaGear,’ which appears to design camera cases for specific camera models.
(As opposed to generic cases that will ‘generally’ work. Ugh.)
I found their version of the stretchy neoprene case…
What’s the difference compared to the OP/TECH USA version?
It’s got a Velcro strip instead of two snaps to close the flap.
Is that significant?
Well, you’d probably save two seconds or so pulling at the Velcro instead of two snaps. And assuming the fit is a bit less snug, I think you’d have the camera out and focused on the ‘moment’ while it’s still happening.
I’d say that’s worth fifteen bucks.
Back to the Future
Then, there’s an old-school MegaGear leather case option that connects to the bottom of your camera and has a molded flap with a snap release that covers the lens. What I like about this choice is it offers more protection since you’re not sliding the naked camera in and out of a case.
There’s always that instant where if you momentarily lose your fine motor skills or you perform a clumsy handoff, the camera could enter free-fall mode.
(No, that’s not in the manual.)
On the down side, this MegaGear case is definitely not going to make the Lumix LX10 any more svelte. I don’t think it’s going to be hanging out in pants.
But if you’re already resigned to that reality, why not add some protection to your solution? Plus, the one snap flap release design satisfies my speed requirement.
And yes, if you’re okay with the idea of swinging it over your shoulder, this case is perfect for that too…
So I picked up a couple extra cases for my Panasonic Lumix LX10.
Is that extravagant?
More importantly, will they really upgrade the camera’s usability and safety factor for this parent of a six-year-old boy?
I think we should all agree on a firm “Maybe.”
Until someone offers me a better solution, I’ll take those odds.