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Author Topic: Advice for pocketable but capable camera?  (Read 10754 times)
theguywitha645d
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« Reply #20 on: December 12, 2011, 10:59:21 AM »
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The only "pocketable" camera is the Pentax Q. All of the other cameras might be "overcoat pocketable."

Personally, I use a Olympus E-P1 and Panasonic 20mm f/1.7. Is has very little depth of field wide open--when I take a picture of my Newfoundland dog, full body, I can't get her nose and eyes sharp at the same time. That is a very small camera where size for carrying and the ability to hold it comfortably for me is the limit.

The fixed lens compacts by Fuji, Nikon, Canon, and Olympus would be a smaller. But not by as much as you would think. The Pen Mini and Nikon J1 are sort of in between depending on the lens. The interchangeable lens mirrorless can be small, depending on what lens you put on them.

The Pen is nice and I enjoy using it, but to be honest, I seldom get anything good out of it--nothing better than snap shots. The idea of a small, always-carry-camera is nice, but I need to put in effort to make good images and that is not the camera I grab to do it. My Pen has given me records of places and friends, which is why I keep it, but it has not been the tool for great imagery for me--some folks have done great work with this camera, but they are also using this as a primary tool and working hard on their photography.
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BJL
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« Reply #21 on: December 12, 2011, 01:04:03 PM »
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The only "pocketable" camera is the Pentax Q. All of the other cameras might be "overcoat pocketable."
I haven't tried them out in my pockets yet, but it seems to me that the biggest barrier to pocketing any of these cameras is the depth with lens attached ("from lens cap to LCD"): many pockets are deep and wide enough to handle the two longer dimensions of these bodies. And for depth, the GX1 with either the new collapsing 14-42 or one of the m4/3 pancake primes is about the same as the Pentax Q with its 8.5mm normal prime, and far slimmer than the Q with its 4-15mm standard zoom lens (or a Nikon One with 10-30 zoom).

So the pocketability judgement seems to depend a lot on whether one focal length is enough, or if you instead want to put some zoom in your pocket.


P.S. I am a bit cynical about the way that so many of the "compact system cameras" are shown in PR materials and reviews almost exclusively with a pancake prime lens attached, since I am fairly sure that in reality, the far more common usage is with a standard zoom. (Present company excepted, maybe.) Almost every brand is guilty of this with at least some models.
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DeeJay
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« Reply #22 on: December 12, 2011, 02:42:10 PM »
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Just bought the Leica X1. It's ridiculously good. Has it's quirks but I don't think there is a better compact camera out there.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #23 on: December 12, 2011, 04:45:38 PM »
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Just bought the Leica X1. It's ridiculously good. Has it's quirks but I don't think there is a better compact camera out there.

How fast is the AF in low light or with moving subjects?

Cheers,
Bernard
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A few images online here!
DeeJay
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« Reply #24 on: December 12, 2011, 10:18:14 PM »
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How fast is the AF in low light or with moving subjects?

Cheers,
Bernard


It's not its strongest point but having read all the reviews and then testing one in store I was nicely surprised that it wasn't as bad as I had thought it was going to be. I'm really quite fussy/picky and I walked out of the dimly lit store with one. I really don't think it's a problem. It was slower than the x100 but not by that much. I will use zone focussing if I really need it, but so far so good.

I had a Panasonic GF1. Focus speed was great but I was never happy with its picture quality. The fuji x100 is a nice looking camera, and probably quite inspiring to take photos with but I was left disappointed with the files I saw and the lens has a bit of barrel distortion which is unflattering for faces. The small sensor compacts i just find disappointing in quality. Good but not amazing.

By all means, the camera isn't perfect. I haven't ever found a perfect camera. Is it over priced? maybe. But I don't care, it was worth it to me. I made my decision based on the best image quality I have ever seen in a compact and the brilliant lens which doesn't have any barrel distortion which I think is really important for this focal length if you want to take photos of faces. The bokeh is lovely, the background blurs nicely for portraits and its sharp wide open. High ISO is great. The micro contrast is really special too. Really, the quality is astounding and was the over riding factor for my decision. And all in all, I have it in a tiny camera that goes where ever I do.

For anyone wanting samples, flickr is a really good source for any camera btw.

« Last Edit: December 13, 2011, 07:40:13 AM by DeeJay » Logged
geotzo
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« Reply #25 on: December 13, 2011, 02:03:23 AM »
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I recently had the chance to test a few "high-end" compacts for a local magazine, so bottom line, I was very impressed with Olympus XZ1 (f 1.8 wide, f2.5 zoomed in) and Canon s100.
Both very capable, shooting raw and Olympus having a fair ability with narrow dof. I have been using a Canon S95 over a year now and it never leaves my pocket. Brilliant colors and sharpness for such a small fella.
George
 
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danmansandiego
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« Reply #26 on: December 13, 2011, 07:11:37 AM »
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After due consideration of the good advice here, reading about a hundred reviews and spec comparisons, and actually finding an available camera--I have purchased the Canon S100. I will at least put it through its paces over Christmas to ensure that it meets the early expectations. At this point I will have to say I'm quite pleased and really quite surprised at it's tiny size and photographic capability in my big mitts.  I've concluded that I'll forego shallow DoF--it just can't be done well or at all when f2 is the aperture with focal length of 24 equivalent. I strongly considered the Fuji X10 and would have liked that viewfinder option and faster lens overall--but I had to consider the budget and what I really intend to use the camera for. When I want to have total control, I have access to the Canon 5D and 7D and excellent glass.  I can't come close to matching that, but I can now carry considerable photo power in my shirt pocket and I can control my results (well, I can as soon as I really understand all the options and variables like what function to assign to the front ring).  The wife and spoiled (blind) dog and I were walking at the harbor this weekend and I took a snap in the strong directional sunlight. Very strong shadows on the face, so I thought I'd check out the flash fill option and dialed up the flash at -1 and took another snap. Big difference. Definitely needs some fine tuning and is just a snap--but I'm already having fun with this camera because it's in my pocket most of the time now.
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theguywitha645d
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« Reply #27 on: December 13, 2011, 07:38:55 AM »
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I haven't tried them out in my pockets yet, but it seems to me that the biggest barrier to pocketing any of these cameras is the depth with lens attached ("from lens cap to LCD"): many pockets are deep and wide enough to handle the two longer dimensions of these bodies. And for depth, the GX1 with either the new collapsing 14-42 or one of the m4/3 pancake primes is about the same as the Pentax Q with its 8.5mm normal prime, and far slimmer than the Q with its 4-15mm standard zoom lens (or a Nikon One with 10-30 zoom).

So the pocketability judgement seems to depend a lot on whether one focal length is enough, or if you instead want to put some zoom in your pocket.


P.S. I am a bit cynical about the way that so many of the "compact system cameras" are shown in PR materials and reviews almost exclusively with a pancake prime lens attached, since I am fairly sure that in reality, the far more common usage is with a standard zoom. (Present company excepted, maybe.) Almost every brand is guilty of this with at least some models.

That is why I put the words in quotes--I never carry my pocket camera in a pocket. Overall, I have not seen a smaller camera, including width and height, than the Pentax Q. And I believe I go on in my post to say the lens is the wild card.
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BJL
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« Reply #28 on: December 13, 2011, 12:00:45 PM »
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That is why I put the words in quotes--I never carry my pocket camera in a pocket. Overall, I have not seen a smaller camera, including width and height, than the Pentax Q. And I believe I go on in my post to say the lens is the wild card.
The thread title is about pocketable, and your claim was about the Pentax Q being the only pocketable option, so I will stick to that topic. And so I repeat that the _depth_, front to back, of the cameras is most important, and probably makes the GX1 with options like the collapsing 14-42 and various pancake primes about as pocketable as the Q, and more so if one wants a zoom lens. Given the huge sensor size difference, and your dissatisfaction with the IQ of the Pen, the Q with its far smaller sensor does not seem a good option. I wonder why you completely ignore the depth issue and instead mention only the other two linear dimensions.

Perhaps it comes down to fashion choices: I wear a jacket often enough that the jacket pocket is my size criterion! The only camera that is likely to travel in my pants pockets with any frequency is a phone.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2011, 12:25:09 PM by BJL » Logged
teo.karp
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« Reply #29 on: December 19, 2011, 04:51:40 AM »
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Amazon is having one of those golden box deals on  the s95 . Only 229$ which pretty good  Grin .
amzn.to/u6J3Wf
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theguywitha645d
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« Reply #30 on: December 19, 2011, 08:48:07 AM »
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And so I repeat that the _depth_, front to back, of the cameras is most important...

Sorry, but that is hardly true--volume is more important to what can fit into a pocket than one dimension of depth. I have been putting things in my pockets for years.

Please point out where I am dissatisfied with the image quality of the Q?
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JonathanRimmel
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« Reply #31 on: December 19, 2011, 11:50:32 AM »
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I am somewhat in the same boat.

I often find myself driving from place to place, my DSLR at home. Then a photographic opportunity presents itself. But alas, I haven't anything to capture it with!

I've been looking at the s90, s95, s100 line of cameras and continue to come back to that again and again. Personally I want full manual control, RAW capture, as fast of AF as possible, ect. But all this in something very pocket-able. Although I will likely have the camera sitting on my belt. This then eliminates most CSC/ILC. The Pentax Q was interesting, but the super small sensor among other things quickly turned me from that camera.

Price is another major hurtle. I don't want to spend as much as it would cost for a entry-level DSLR. It will likely be a few months before I can afford any new camera at all. But it is always best to start researching early.

Cameras such as the GX1 are tempting, but again price is an issue. Of course CSC's also have the added expense of lenses. I would really like a viewfinder though. The Fuji x10 has got on my radar in part for this reason, although the optical viewfinder is not that great.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2011, 11:52:23 AM by JonathanRimmel » Logged
brandtb
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« Reply #32 on: December 19, 2011, 04:36:33 PM »
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Lumix LX5...for the money...superb...in every way.
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Brandt Bolding
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JonathanRimmel
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« Reply #33 on: December 19, 2011, 05:22:09 PM »
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Lumix LX5...for the money...superb...in every way.

This is a camera I've been looking at also. But I can't seem to get over the results I've seen on DxOmark and dPreview. It doesn't seem to have as high of image quality as the s100.
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brandtb
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« Reply #34 on: December 19, 2011, 08:30:22 PM »
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This is a camera I've been looking at also. But I can't seem to get over the results I've seen on DxOmark and dPreview. It doesn't seem to have as high of image quality as the s100.
Certainly the s100 is going to get a better grade on variety of fronts. That said, one issue for me in small shirt pocket cameras is how they fit in the hand...and I like the rubberized "handgrip" on the LX5 - It's a personal thing, but I can't stand shiny smooth "soap bar" cameras!  I also like the viewfinder for the LX5...brilliant.  As well, I've sold prints made from an image taken with the Lumix...
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Lloyd Mayeda
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« Reply #35 on: December 20, 2011, 06:45:53 AM »
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Lumix LX5...for the money...superb...in every way.

+1...  I also find my LX5 to be a superb pocketable and capable camera although I have not tried the S100.
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stever
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« Reply #36 on: December 28, 2011, 11:24:10 PM »
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Just sent the X10 back after spending more time than i should have figuring out the settings from the poor (as usual) manual and randomized menus, the bottom line:
  Resolution: at 12mp about the same as my old S90 but with worse resolution in the CENTER than edges?! Lloyd Chambers says it backfocuses (how can this be with CD autofocus?) - not as good as Canon G12 and about half that of a Pany G3 with kit lens
  Noise: high ISO better than my s90 (which is pretty bad) but no better tha G12.  pixel binning at 6mp does not seem noticeably better than 12mp downsized to 6mp. about 1 stop worse than G3, 2 stops worse than my 7D.  Noise noticeable at ISO 200.  Luminance noise at high ISO is severe and does not seem to be as easily correctable in LR as Bayer sensor cameras.
  Dynamic range: subjectively, base 12mp dynamic range in RAW does not seem to have the headroom in LR of G12 (in general, the camera does not play well with LR).  At 6mp DR 200 and 400 probably offers some advantage if you don't care about resolution.  It just needs a Canon sensor and image processor.
  In short: it's a pretty, expensive little camera with a manual zoom lens (nice), annoying menu and UI issues, and point-and-shoot image quality - JPEGs are good.
A G12 is better, and the G13 should be better yet.  However, the resolution of the G3 with kit zoom compared favorably with my 7D and 24-105 (10% down in center, but better in corners) - will probably end up with GX1 and pancake zoom for even more money - but worth it if i can can have large print quality in my (jacket) pocket
 
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mediumcool
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« Reply #37 on: January 04, 2012, 06:25:34 PM »
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For shallow DOF and low light performance I wouldn't consider any sensor smaller than Micro Four Thirds. That leaves out all compacts, and some interchangeable lens cameras (including Nikon J1/V1).

Your best bet is either latest top of the line MFT cameras from Panasonic, or Sony's mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. MFT cameras are smaller, have significantly smaller and lighter lenses, have a much wider and better lens selection, including fast native lenses. Sony has a larger sensor, better IQ, and better low-light performance.

Smallest MFT cameras from Panasonic and Olympus are definitely pocketable with a pancake prime lens - but requires a jacket pocket. All of them (and the Sonys) meet your list of requirements, so it's mostly a matter of lens selection, UI and size/bulk/weight preferences.

+1
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