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another recommendedation thread

Discussion in 'Open Gear Talk' started by daveyboy123, Apr 14, 2013.

  1. daveyboy123

    daveyboy123 New to SC

    8
    Apr 14, 2013
    Teignmouth, Devon
    Hi all, I would like your advice. I have £300 to spend maximum on a compact camera. I have been a keen amateur photographer for years so I want a enthusiast compact that shoots RAW if possible. The camera has to have a good auto mode as my wife will also be using it as a point and shoot. The smaller the better so it will fit in her handbag! The main reason to buy now is a trip to Vegas in May and I don't want to be lugging my old DSLR around. I don't need a super zoom necessarily. I was almost sold on the canon s110 for its pocketability and I have seen positive reviews. The s110 seems unpopular with many on this forum though? There are other options-Fuji xf1/x10/Pano LX7....so.....what's the best compact for the money?

    Any advice gratefully received

    Dave
     
  2. Hi Dave

    My wife stole my S100 and often takes photos that makes me envious despite the technical superiority of the cameras she hasn't claimed (yet).

    In the hands of anyone with an eye for composition, as S100/S110 is an awesome choice.

    Cheers
     
  3. Biro

    Biro SC All-Pro

    Aug 7, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Steve
    I don't know what the prices are in the U.K. versus the U.S., but a number of cameras come to mind and you've already mentioned some of them. The Panasonic LX7 punches above its weight, has an extremely fast zoom lens and is a joy to use. I just bought one myself as a daily go-to camera because the price dropped below $300 here in the States.

    You certainly can't go wrong with the Fuji X10 if you can find one in your price range. The camera's sensor is a bit bigger than most of the competition (but not as big as that in the more-expensive Sony RX100) and the built-in viewfinder is great to have when you're shooting in bright sunlight. Plus it's a beautiful, cool camera. The XF1 is a decent little camera as well but its lens isn't nearly as fast as the X10's.

    The Olympus XZ1. This camera is a bit older then the others but still does good work up to ISO 800. Its fast lens helps you keep the ISO settings low.

    I mention this next camera last because pocketability seems to be imporant to you. But the Olympus E-PM1, or Pen Mini, is going for great prices these days. This micro four-thirds camera has the original 12mp sensor (as opposed to the more modern 16mp sensors). But the sensor is still so much bigger than what you'll find in all of the other cameras I've mentioned so far that it doesn't matter.

    Olympus's intelligent auto mode works extremely well and the E-PM1's auto white balance is about the best I've seen, which means it can be a great point-and-shoot camera. There aren't a lot of exterior dial controls but the menu is very easy to manipulate.

    The size of the E-PM1 body is not much bigger than the LX7 and XZ1, and certainly no bigger than the X10. But you have to mount an interchangable lens on the body, which can hamper pocketability. The camera comes with a collapsable 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 lens (28-84mm equivalent) which really isn't bad at all. It's a manual zoom (the X10 is as well). You can always look around for a used Panasonic Lumix 14mm f/2.5 pancake. When you mount that on the E-PM1 the enitre package is about the size of the other cameras. I do this often with my E-PM1 and I can slip it into a jacket pocket.

    But you have to keep in mind that a micro four-thirds camera is an entire class higher than the other compacts I've mentioned, as good as they are, with corresponding improvements in image quality. Even the kit zoom for the E-PM1, despite being technically slower than the lenses on the other cameras, really isn't an issue because you're still catching a good amount of light with the larger sensor.

    Good luck. I hope this helps.
     
  4. entropic remnants

    entropic remnants SC All-Pro

    Mar 3, 2013
    John Griggs
    I am with Biro on the relative merits of the choices. My personal choice is the LX7 and if you click my blog link in my signature the most recent review is of that very camera. I love it. Here's a direct link to that review: BLOG.ENTROPICREMNANTS.COM: Virtue in Downsizing: A Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 Compact Camera Review

    None of the compacts mentioned is as pocketable as the S100/S110 though. Thats your choice if ultimate carryability is your primary goal. I had an S90 some years ago and it was a good little camera but I would not buy another that small I don't think.
     
  5. snkenai

    snkenai SC All-Pro

    Oct 5, 2010
    kenai, AK
    Stephen Noel
    John,

    I've reread your review (read it twice lately) of the LX7, and am amazed at what you do with a "point and shoot". Makes me reconsider my views on "small sensor" cameras.

    Thanks,
     
  6. nippa

    nippa SC Top Veteran

    561
    Aug 7, 2010
    Cheshire UK
    Dennis
    I haven't used the LX7 but I have the 2 earlier models and given the price range it's got to be in the list.
    It looks really great value.

    If you can stretch the Vegas budget a bit , take a look at the Sony RX100 ; it's a bit like an LX on steroids.
    Image quality from that is just amazing..the best compact ever! I'm so pleased that I bought one after returning the X20.
     
  7. P.H

    P.H SC Regular

    131
    Apr 4, 2011
    Derby, UK
    Another you might consider, though I've no direct experience. The Panasonic GF5 with the 14 - 42 compact lens, currently on offer in a few places right on your price limit, which has to be a bargain as the lens alone sells for £250 and this combination was over £550 a few months ago. The only reason it's so reduced is the new GF6. I have the GX1 and the IA (Intellegent Auto) is spot on, I use it if I have to grab a quick shot, where making adjustments would mean missing it, the reviews suggest it's the same on the GF5. The body and lens will be deeper than the LX5, but surprisingly for a MU 43 camera it's not as long or tall. It also gives the usual advantages of a system camera should you want to expand in the future.
    Panasonic Lumix GF5 Black & PZX 14-42mm - Home Featured
     
  8. porchard

    porchard SC Veteran

    344
    Feb 24, 2013
    Devon, UK
    Hi, and welcome to the forum. I'm squarely with Nippa on this: the RX100. I do appreciate that you have set a budget of £300, but if you were able and willing to go higher, I've seen used ones advertised at around £380 in reputable dealers (PM me for details, if you might be interested).

    I've never had or used an s110, but about three-and-a-half years ago I bought an s90, and rated it highly as a pocketable camera at that time. I presume that the s100 and s110 models were incremental improvements over the s90, but I have no experience with those.

    Things move on, and today I use a Sony RX100 as my take-everywhere camera. The RX100 is little short of astounding - especially in the context of a pocket camera. I liked the s90 enormously, but the RX100 really is in a different league.

    Should you decide to pursue this route, I'd suggest (as with any purchase) handling an RX100 if you can, to see if it suits you ergonomically. If you like the handling, then I would recommend it. I very much doubt that you'd be disappointed with the results.

    Good luck with your choice, and have a great trip!:smile:
     
  9. daveyboy123

    daveyboy123 New to SC

    8
    Apr 14, 2013
    Teignmouth, Devon
    Thanks for all the advice guys. I went for the LX7,simply couldn't stretch to make the price of the rx100. I will be posting some first photos this weekend.
    Tbanks again all

    Dave
     
  10. porchard

    porchard SC Veteran

    344
    Feb 24, 2013
    Devon, UK
    From what (little) I know of the LX7, you've made a good choice :thumbup:. I've had various bits of Panasonic gear, and in my experience it's very good. I'd expect the LX7 to be likewise.

    Good luck with it, and post some pictures from your trip, in due course.
     
  11. Biro

    Biro SC All-Pro

    Aug 7, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Steve
    You'll love the LX7. Congratulations and good luck!