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Which compact camera?

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chebby's picture
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Good quality, compact camera suggestions wanted.  Budget £250 - £450  (top limit with no flexibility beyond that price).

Prefer 'fast' lens (fast at 28mm - 50mm equivalent at least).  Don't care about number of pixels. Actually prefer bigger sensor with less pixels (all other things being equal). Must have ability to mount seperate flash on hot-shoe.

My ideas so far...

(a) Canon Powershot G15

(b) Fujifilm Finepix X10

(c) Panasonic Lumix LX7 (or LX5 which is still available new and I also have the option of a mint, barely used LX5 for £240 with 6 month warranty from my local branch of London Camera Exchange).

(d) Your suggestion?

Thanks.

 

 

 

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RE: Which compact camera?

The Sony NEXes have a fantastic sensor, is that compact enough? Alternatively I would be looking at Olympus PENs or their Panasonic equivalent with the nice little 12-42mm. The latter would depend on what you consider to be a fast lens though, and whether you need that big aperture for shallow depth of field or for low light flexibility, which to my mind can now be obtained quite well with the current generation of sensors' good noise characteristics even up to stupid ISO.

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RE: Which compact camera?

Hey mate! Yup, Sony are pretty damn hot at the moment. All that Zeiss and Minolta stuff is beginning to bear fruit. I have an HX something at the moment, and the quality is easily as good as the Olympus and Nikon SLRs I had.

I'd post pictures, but haven't worked how to do it yet.

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RE: Which compact camera?

http://www.procamerashop.co.uk/sony-cyber-shot-rx100-digital-camera-5594.html

add one of these:  http://www.kleptography.com/rf/#camera_rx100

Very compact, mine fits easily in my jeans pocket.  Will max out your budget though.

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RE: Which compact camera?

I have Sony NEX and it is the best compromise that I found between portability, image quality and affordability.

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RE: Which compact camera?

John Duncan wrote:
The Sony NEXes have a fantastic sensor, is that compact enough? Alternatively I would be looking at Olympus PENs or their Panasonic equivalent with the nice little 12-42mm. The latter would depend on what you consider to be a fast lens though, and whether you need that big aperture for shallow depth of field or for low light flexibility, which to my mind can now be obtained quite well with the current generation of sensors' good noise characteristics even up to stupid ISO.

I like the look of the 20mm NEX mount lens (30mm in 'old money').  My favourite focal length is 35mm - 45mm.

I want the wider aperture for shallow DOF. (Or at least as shallow as these small sensors will allow.)

What Olympus PEN lens (or Panasonic or Sony NEX) would give me an equivalent focal length somewhere around 35mm to 45mm with a maximum usable aperture around f/2.0 ? 

If that were possible I wouldn't need another lens.

 

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RE: Which compact camera?

m4/3 is a 2x crop and NEX is 1.6x crop so you need 17mm-22m on the former, 22mm-28mm on the latter. There's the 17mm f1.8 for m43 at 400 quid and the 24mm f1.8 for NEX but they're both stupid money; I'm starting to think that the big aperture lenses for both those systems make my suggestions a bit out of reach...Sad

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RE: Which compact camera?

I love my nex.  5N is going dirt cheap now the 5R is released.  The nex 50mm f1.8 is sharper than my Canon EF f1.4.  The 16mm pancake is a bit of a dud, but everything else is great.  Sigma make some very sharp very cheap primes that are worth a look, but f2.8 on a 19mm cropped lens does not yield particularly shallow DoF.

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RE: Which compact camera?

Oh, the NEX 35mm f1.8 O.S is supposed to be a corker, but is quite a bit of cash!  

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chebby's picture
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RE: Which compact camera?

John Duncan wrote:
m4/3 is a 2x crop and NEX is 1.6x crop so you need 17mm-22m on the former, 22mm-28mm on the latter. There's the 17mm f1.8 for m43 at 400 quid and the 24mm f1.8 for NEX but they're both stupid money; I'm starting to think that the big aperture lenses for both those systems make my suggestions a bit out of reach...Sad

Thanks for doing that bit of research/maths for me. The respective manufacturer websites are clear as mud on such details and if they can't be a###d to make it easy I can't be a###d to look on their sites.

I suppose what I really want is the nearest digital equivalent to some of my old favourite film compacts and lenses.(Contax T2 with 38mm f/2.8 Carl Zeiss Sonnar, Leica CM with 40mm f/2.4 Summarit,  Contax manual SLR fit Tessar 45mm f/2.8, Minolta MD Rokkor 45mm f/2.0 ).

I have never found any use for telephoto or tele-zoom lenses.  My old Nikon D80 with Sigma 30mm f/1.4 EX DC HSM (or whatever it was) was perfect but the size of a bus.

I briefly considered the smallest possible Nikon DSLR with their 35mm f/1.8 AF lens but that's too long with a 'real' focal length of 52.5mm. And it's still too bulky to carry on me everywhere.

(Fussy blighter aren't I?)

I will read up a bit more and save a bit more if necessary.

Keep them coming.

Thanks everyone else too.

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RE: Which compact camera?

Canon G15 - slightly slimmer than previous versions 'cos it no longer has an articulating screen & the G series have cr*p optcal finders

Nikon P7700 - 28 - 200mm (equiv) but has very slow RAW write speed. Articulating screen & no optical finder (which are dubious anyway)

The Sony RX100 is very nice but gets critisised for no indent on the lens surround but has a large sensor but no hotshoe.

I owned a Canon G12 - beautifully built, nice to use but poor results. The G15 is an altogether better camera if a little bulky but the UI is very well-sorted. Nikon make great SLRs (I own a D700) but their compacts are inferior to Canon's. CSC models are bulkier than compacts & can be an option if you don't own an SLR.

This month's What Digital Camera has reviews of the above models, plus the LX7 from Panasonic. My 1st choice would be the Canon, if it ain't too big.

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RE: Which compact camera?

My wife has a Nikon Coolpix P310 which seems excellent, and was recommended to her by her friend who is a professional photographer.

RRP was £299, but can be had for a lot less http://www.amazon.co.uk/Nikon-COOLPIX-P310-Compact-Digital/dp/B0071L3LSO/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1359323256&sr=1-2

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RE: Which compact camera?

I loved my LX5, until it was nicked Sad and would highly recommened it.

I've replaced it with a Panasonic G5 fourthirds and I am even more impressed but its a bit over budget and not that compact.

Anyway, back to the point. LX5, excellent camera and in stock at the bargin price of £219 from Park Cameras.

 

http://www.parkcameras.com/16346/Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-LX5-.html?referrer=...

 

 

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RE: Which compact camera?

Doesn't look like jessops will get a look in then. shifty

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Tonestar1's picture
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RE: Which compact camera?

simonlewis wrote:

Doesn't look like jessops will get a look in then. shifty

To be honest, that's where my girlfriend bought my G5. I was thinking of swapping it for something a little smaller but now glad I was forced to keep it. Some great shots already even though  light has been terrible. Lens prices are outrageous though.

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RE: Which compact camera?

Chebby, do you have many manual film lenses lying around that you are already happy with?  There is a lot of support for compact system cameras like the NEX for manual lenses using adapters (very cheap on eBay).  Some cameras use a system called 'focus peaking' which highlights the in focus areas in much the same way that zebra mode highlights clipped highlights.  There is a demo video in the link below.  This focus peaking makes manual focusing without a view finder nice and easy Smile

 

You will get a crop factor, NEX is 1.5, Canon Eos M is 1.6, Four Thirds is 2, Samsung is 1.5, Nikon is 2.7.  The Pentax K01 is 1.5 crop, and interestingly will take K mount Pentax lenses without needing adapters.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPQroziHz-M

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