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Author Topic: Looking for high quality, simple and fast compact  (Read 4869 times)
smozes
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« on: November 21, 2012, 07:33:53 PM »
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My history: Canon AT-1, EOS50, G7, S90. Once I moved on from the AT-1, I've been pretty much flummoxed with all the options on modern cameras. I'm looking for simplicity, speed and amazing image quality.

I'm not totally happy with the image quality of S90, don't find the shape truly pocketable and I'm impatient with the electric motor when I just want to shoot. I still find it confusing and mostly leave it on auto.

With the S90 I find that I almost always shoot at wide open. I take photos while hiking and socializing with people indoors, not much of a tripod or big setup guy, rarely use flash other than fill.

From my aforementioned usage of the S90, I may be content with a fixed prime.

The most obvious contender is the Fuji X100. What else should I consider? It seems odd that I can't find a selection of simple, fixed lens cameras with a large sensor.

Thank you.
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simonstucki
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« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2012, 08:35:10 PM »
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the x100 is much larger.

what about the nokia pure view?
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AFairley
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« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2012, 09:43:02 PM »
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Sony RX100 for really compact.
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niznai
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« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2012, 01:21:19 AM »
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If that is your opinion about the S90 I would say you're doing it wrong. I have been using an S90 for a while now and for what it is I don't think you can beat it. You do realise you can leave it on and just touch the trigger when you want to shoot to wake it up, right? And you know the ring is the aperture control, right? And the fact that it has 90 grams, right? I mean how small are your pockets? This camera is smaller than an iPhone. True, it is thicker, but still only about twice as thick as an iPhone. Hey, perhaps you should get an iPhone?
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EinstStein
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« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2012, 01:52:26 AM »
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I use medium format and FF DSLR, but I also have a couple of P&S. I usually look for the best possible IQ from the DSLR and MFDB, so the P&S has to be good enough for IQ and with  the convenience that makes sense.
My minimum requirements on the convenience is 1: optical finder, 2: 1080 movie, 3: optical image stabilizer, 4: AW format file.

IQ-wise, Leica Dlux-4 sets the lower bar, but it's does not have optical finder. I tried Canon G1 X, and Fujifilm X10 (not X100). I'd recommend any of these two. If you can live with EVF, Dlux-4 or Dlux5 could be the best choice.
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stever
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« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2012, 11:12:39 AM »
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the Sony RX100 is relatively expensive but far superior to S90 (which my RX100 replaced) and other smaller sensor cameras in overall IQ and high ISO.  before settling on the RX100 i tried a few other including Panasonic micro 4/3 (i bit large and a lens issue) and the Fuji X10 which is generally inferior even to the S90 IQ

i set the RX100 up for auto ISO and RAW in program mode for my wife.  she took a bunch of indoor shots without turning on the flash at 1/30 sec ISO 6400 - with a little Lighroom cleanup, they're as good as the S90 at ISO 400.  landscape shots have less shadow noise at ISO 400 than the S90 at base ISO.

the Sony is not without a couple control quirks, but i'm afraid this is true of every camera made today
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mac_paolo
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« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2012, 03:47:09 PM »
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If you can afford a Sony DSC-RX100 there's no need to look elsewhere, IMHO Smiley
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Steve Weldon
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« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2012, 12:50:11 AM »
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My history: Canon AT-1, EOS50, G7, S90. Once I moved on from the AT-1, I've been pretty much flummoxed with all the options on modern cameras. I'm looking for simplicity, speed and amazing image quality.

I'm not totally happy with the image quality of S90, don't find the shape truly pocketable and I'm impatient with the electric motor when I just want to shoot. I still find it confusing and mostly leave it on auto.

With the S90 I find that I almost always shoot at wide open. I take photos while hiking and socializing with people indoors, not much of a tripod or big setup guy, rarely use flash other than fill.

From my aforementioned usage of the S90, I may be content with a fixed prime.

The most obvious contender is the Fuji X100. What else should I consider? It seems odd that I can't find a selection of simple, fixed lens cameras with a large sensor.

Thank you.
While the S90 is a fine pocket small sensor camera, I can totally understand the areas you're looking for improvement in.  Further, I don't think a fixed focal length much of a handicap for the uses you've stated.   We tend to forget that it wasn't that many years ago where the "kit" lens with our SLR's was a 50/1.8 and a zoom was still rather exotic.  We took pictures of the same things and got along just fine.

With all that said the Fuji x100 is far above the S90 in lens and image quality.  The two areas you express concern.  But nothing comes for free, for the reasons you mentioned the wider apertures will result in less DOF which 'might' be less than desirable to you.

But if you can live with it, or within it (DOF considerations), the x100 is a fine camera.  I think looking at the APC-S sized sensors and bigger is the way to go, but do consider the 4/3's in the mix.  I love my x100, but it's far from my only camera.  I choose it when it makes sense more than my other cameras which is more often than I thought it would be when purchasing it.


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smozes
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« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2012, 05:29:40 PM »
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Thanks everyone for the responses.

To the suggestion of using an iPhone, I do. Part of the reason I wanted to move on was that I tended to use my iPhone 4S much more frequently than the S90. It's just simpler and more immediate, and HDR and panorama work easily.

Regarding pocketability, it can be carried in a pocket, but not comfortably when hiking or walking all day since it swings heavily in the pocket. Realistically, it needs to be carried like any other camera.

After some thought, I decided to keep the S90 and try to understand it better, be more deliberate and become more proficient in using it. When I owned my first SLR, I walked around with a light meter and thought about every aspect of a shot. I should have the same attitude with my latest camera, even if it requires learning all kinds of new ways. I also have never actually worked with RAW, an area I should explore. I used to develop and print my photos, I can do this.

I think I would be more satisfied when I truly outgrow the S90 before paying for a new model. And new models just keep getting better for when I'm ready.

I'll stick with the S90 a little longer.
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Deardorff
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« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2012, 10:40:56 AM »
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Look at the Panasonic Lx7/Leica DLux6.

Very nice images. Full manual control if you want it. f/1.4 at 24mm and f./2.3 at 90mm.(equivalent)

Images can be shot at 10 frames per second and slower rates.

RAW images as well as Jpegs.

The camera is nice, works well and can be held in a shirt pocket tho a jacket pocket is a bit better.

The Fuji X100 files are better but unless you really want one focal length only, this LX7 is worth looking at.
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EricWHiss
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« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2012, 12:43:07 AM »
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I have been playing with a nokia 808 as an alternative to my iPhone since camera is a priority and I'll always have the phone with me.
The nokia 808 has really done well against the iphone in many of the comparisons I've made for myself.  Not all the images from the 808 are awesome but some have really amazed me.  It's quite fast to pull this out of your pocket and get a shot thanks to the dedicated camera button on the side of the phone.   

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BJL
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« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2012, 03:45:24 PM »
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Regarding pocketability, it can be carried in a pocket, but not comfortably when hiking or walking all day since it swings heavily in the pocket. Realistically, it needs to be carried like any other camera.

After some thought, I decided to keep the S90 ...
That is an interesting observation about pocketability. I also gave up on any camera beyond a phone being (fully) pocketable, and shifted my emphasis to "light enough to carry on a wrist strap for hours." For now, that even covers my E-M5 with 12-50 lens (I have ditched neck strap for a wrist strap), but an even better choice now could be one of the lightest Micro Four Thirds bodies like the E-PL5 and one of the collapsing 14-42 lenses. Then you have the option to add zoom range with another lightweight lens like the 40-150 in a pocket of a coat or pack.
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Paulo Bizarro
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« Reply #12 on: December 18, 2012, 03:08:34 AM »
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The most obvious contender is the Fuji X100. What else should I consider? It seems odd that I can't find a selection of simple, fixed lens cameras with a large sensor.

Thank you.

I have recently used the RX100, LX7, G1X, and G15. These are currently "state of the art" "serious compacts", and at low ISO they will produce very nice images. The G1X has the largest sensor, so it will provide better image quality. The RX100 is a marvel of miniaturization, but the lens is not very good in the corners. The LX7 is a good camera, and the lens starts at 24mm.

In the end, I simply prefer the ergonomics of the Canons, and the lenses on the G1X and G15 are top notch.

If you want to step up to next tier, then indeed the Fuji X100 is a good choice. Other possibilities regarding cameras with large, APS-C sensors, are the Sigma DP series, Leica X1/X2, and the brand new Canon EOS-M.
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RobbieV
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« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2012, 10:27:06 AM »
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When I first got into photography as a serious hobby, the S90 was the camera I purchased after careful consideration. I told myself that I wouldn't buy a larger sensor camera until I grew out of the S90. For me, that took about 1.5 years, but truth be told I probably could have still shot with it for a longer period. I did want to start to understand lenses though, and have more ability to crop so it was on to newer things.

I still have the S90, and my opinion would be for you to hold on to yours. Get Lightroom, and keep the camera shooting in RAW. Force yourself to shoot in Manual mode and in a couple weeks (or days) the camera will become an extension much like the iPhone. Don't even think about the iPhone. Keep the S90 charged and keep at it. It's a marvelous little camera.
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AFairley
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« Reply #14 on: December 18, 2012, 01:40:49 PM »
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The output from my RX100 is simply stunning compared to the S90 which it replaced, and I knew how to wring every last bit of IQ out of the Canon.  You can put the RX100 in total P&S more or control it to whatever degree you want.  There is a reason so many people rave about it.
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Wayne Fox
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« Reply #15 on: December 19, 2012, 01:29:40 AM »
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Sony RX100 for really compact.
+1

Just shot one for a couple days, amazing for how small it is (not much bigger than the Canon s90)
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xpatUSA
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« Reply #16 on: December 19, 2012, 01:16:22 PM »
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There's always . . .



. . . a Samsung Galaxy SII or III cellphone. Maybe their new camera is as good . .

Seriously though, I'm looking at a micro-4/3" for wifey - Panasonic Lumix DMC-Gx series. Probably G1, I don't like a lot of MP's and don't need video.

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« Reply #17 on: December 19, 2012, 01:24:49 PM »
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My wife has a G1 with the original 14-45 and the 45-200. It's her favorite camera ever, and I have to say that I think it's pretty darn sweet. They are available for a song these days. Up to ISO 400 the images are excellent, at 800 they are good, and 1600 is mostly kinda usable if you need it Smiley The two lenses are very decent for the price.

The main reason she likes it over any other camera she can use out of our gear locker, is how simple it is to use. She's no idiot - she uses manual or aperture priority mode and can handle all the camera settings - but it's much simpler than a typical DSLR. She's made some very nice photos with it over the last three years.

Recently she borrowed my GH2 with the 12-35/2.8 to shoot an event at her school, where she needed better high ISO capability. Given her feedback, we're likely to add another GH2 to the m4/3 kit soon. (They are below $500 now, and if it drops any further....) Or perhaps wait a few months and see what Panny decides to announce in the new year.
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« Reply #18 on: January 08, 2013, 08:11:26 PM »
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Check out the Pentax Q which is tiny & super fun to use and opens up freaky compact super-tele and new macro possibilities for you (via adapters for your slr lenses). It's really well made, IQ is good enough easy for 11x14 prints or more (at lower ISOs), and it's discontinued and on closeout for under $250 now! Try to get it with the 01 std lens (which is really sharp) and more compact than the 02 zoom.
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Graham Clark
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« Reply #19 on: February 26, 2013, 01:34:42 AM »
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iPhone 5 all the way

Graham
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