Looking for a Serious Compact With a viewfinder

Discussion in 'Street and Documentary' started by Nikon Ed, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. Nikon Ed

    Nikon Ed New to SC

    Apr 5, 2012
    I am looking for a "street shooter" with interchangeable lens and a Viewfinder (back is useless to me in bright sun) Have been using a Fuji Xpro 1 and am very unhappy. Not a user friendly camera (to me) The 60mm hunts and hunts before it focuses, exposure meter is always off. If your gonna shoot fast you need quick responses. I don't wanna carry my SLR (too heavy). Your opinions will be appreciated.
  2. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    Real Name:
    you should be able to figure it out...
    I'd have mentioned the X-Pro based on your initial criteria, but based on your experience with it, I'd go next to the OMD. The menus are complex, but that's because the camera is highly customizable. So expect a bit of a learning curve there. But once you have it set up the way you like, it's got some fantastic prime lenses available from equivalent focal lengths of 24mm to 150mm, with great options at 24, 34, 40, 50, 90, and 150. And auto focus is DSLR fast for single shot AF - it doesn't track like a DSLR though. A less expensive option in m43 might be the Panasonic G5, with the same choice of lenses.

    The other possibility would be the Nex 6 or 7. I haven't shot with a Nex in a while so I don't know how it's AF is, but it's probably better than the Fuji 60 (which was designed as a macro lens after all), more like the Fuji 18 or 35. But I wouldn't expect it to be as good as the OMD. Also, not nearly the prime lens selection, although I think it's getting better.

  3. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator

    Aug 13, 2011
    Sunny Frimley
    Real Name:
    Bill Palmer
    I am assuming you want a digital answer...? Your choice with film is enormous...

    Sent from another Galaxy
  4. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Jul 3, 2010
    Depends on a few things:
    -Budget (often rules in or out the Leica M)
    -Working style - especially zone focus vs autofocus
    -EVF vs OVF

    -Willingess to use a "dumb" OVF (one without any electrical connection or info in the viewfinder).

    I find that any of the small Micro 4/3 cameras work well for street with a hot shoe "dumb" OVF like the Ricoh GV-2 or any number of Voigtlander hot shoe OVFs.

    For an EVF camera, I would look to the E-M5 for fast autofocus and the NEX-6 if you're going to use manual focus lenses and zone focus.

    If you want an integrated OVF with info in the viewfinder and have ruled out the X-Pro1, that leaves you with small DSLRs, digital Leica M, or film cameras.
  5. Nikon Ed

    Nikon Ed New to SC

    Apr 5, 2012
    Thanks to all, really appreciate the input. I'm only interested in digital, gave up film in 2000. (have a Leica M2ss, but digital is so much easier)
  6. Garylh

    Garylh SC Veteran

    The 60 on the xp1 is known to be the slowest. The 18 is the fastest to af. The latest fw update improved the 35. It is too bad about the xp1 not working out for u. The new Fuji x100s appears to be much faster than the x100. Hopefully, the next gen xp1 will be at least as fast as the new x100s.

    For csc type cameras, the main ones would be Nex and m43. The Nex is only slightly faster than the xp1. Lens lineup is more consumer based. Lol, the Zeiss and Sigma lines for it maybe the best of the lenses.. M43, I agree w/ Ray, omd. I spent a long time trying to like the omd, but for whatever just did not happen. When I first got back into photography it was the gf1. Skip everything until omd. Image iq is not quite as good as xp1, but for my normal print size it is good enough (max of 13x19). Af is much faster than xp1, but I found that the it also had a decent amount of miss focus as well (maybe less than 3%). The stabilization system is the best I have ever run across.. The other m43 camera to consider maybe the gx1 from Panasonic. I ave never played w/ it so cannot say how good it is. The m43 prime lenses are good, the older ones are a bit slower in terms of af such as the Panasonic 20.

    If u don't mind mf, there is the Ricoh gxr w/ a12 m mount. It works very well w/ all the rf lenses that can be adapted to m. It has an optional evf ( not as good as any Sony). The biggest advantage for street is silent electronic shutter mode. It is much quieter then even the leaf shutter on the Fuji x100.

    Reports are that new canon m and nex6 have slow af.

    If u don't mind smaller sensor, the Nikon v1/2 is known to have very fast af and pretty good lenses, but I ave never tried it. Plus an adapter for their dslr line. Those lenses look huge on the Nikon v1.

    Good luck
  7. wt21

    wt21 SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 15, 2010
    What quality output do you need? Is it color or B&W. The EPL5 (or EPL3) with a cheap OVF and the 15mm lens lap lens is super quick to focus (given that it's a set focus lens), really small and really stealthy. The output has rough character, but it's pretty well suited to B&W shooting. Just one example. There are others.

    What about an X10? (or X20)?
  8. CapoDave

    CapoDave SC Veteran

    Dec 3, 2011
    Mission Viejo Ca
    Real Name:
    Dave Kavlich
    I agree with Garylh.
    You may want to try a different lens.
    Also, I really cant say I have had any real issues with AF on my X E1.
    Using the 18-55 and 14mm lenses.
  9. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Real Name:
    the G1 can be found used for the same price as many viewfinders and has a great built-in viewfinder........ with a built-in eye sensor to shut it on and off. It is first gen m43 sensor quality, but for street with outdoor lighting, it should be fine. You should be able to find one for around $150 so you risk very little. But if you want newer tech, the finders always will cost you.
  10. Nikon Ed

    Nikon Ed New to SC

    Apr 5, 2012
    Thanks to everybody, appreciate input and am going to try one of my Nikon SLR's (5200), its light only a few oz heavier than the Fuji, and see how that works. Fuji works fine with the 35mm(which is really 53mm)but I wanted something with a little longer reach. Again thanks everybody
  11. Gary

    Gary SC All-Pro

    Aug 19, 2012
    Southern California
    Real Name:
    Gary Ayala
    I've found Streets to be more of a mental thing than a physical challenge. For many, the physical aspects of an indiscreet and quiet camera shot from the hip helps to overcome the mental challenge of confronting stranger with a bazooka staring down their throats. If you can get into the right frame of mind, you can shoot Streets with anything. A seasoned Street photog should do well with the Nikon. If you are just starting out on "Street", then discretion may be the better part of valor, until you develop your Street Sense and thick skin.

    I recommend an OM-D or GH3, both are smallish (compared to dSLR's), lighting quick focus with very good, photojournalistic acceptable, IQ. I don't think the difference in IQ between ยต4/3, APS-C or FF for Street genre is significant. The OM-D is quiet (no mirror slap), but the GH3 can be even silent with it's electronic shutter mode. The electronic shutter does work well with moving objects, long lenses, long exposures, et cetera. So if you're interested in the Silent/Electronic shutter aspects of the GH3 do your homework and see if it will work for you.

    If you are a new into Streets, then check out Ray's gallery. Ray has captured some some wonderful images, pure Americana. Some quick tips (assuming you are neophyte), Shoot and walk, shoot and walk, shoot and walk. I like to capture the street moment, typically if you ask permission the moment is now theatre. So just shoot and walk. If someone yells at you, just keep on walking. After a while you'll develop a sixth sense of who you can openly shoot and who you need to be stealthy, who you can talk with and who is the last person in the world to you want to talk with. What has worked for me was to look and act professional. My cameras are in the open and I shoot with EVF. I like the challenge of the using the EVF over a stealthy mode of looking like a tourist (LCD) or shooting from the hip/belly. My typical set-up is one camera with a long lens the other wide. I dress 'professionally', long pants, collared shirts, closed-toed shoes. Most of the people on the streets are busy doing something, I try to fit into a mind set that they're working and so am I. That what work's for me, everyone is different, YMMV.

    Good Luck and Good Shooting,

    PS- If you want small, the GX1 is a pretty good deal w/a removable EVF. With a pancake, it is easily stuffed into a jacket pocket.
  12. Ripleysbaby

    Ripleysbaby supernatural anesthetist

    Sep 9, 2011
    Cumbria UK
    Real Name:
    If you want fast it's got to be the Nikon V1. I'm a convert, as are a lot of people .