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Enthusiast compact cameras

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koshkin View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote koshkin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Enthusiast compact cameras
    Posted: March/22/2016 at 21:19
I am not sure how useful this is, but I wrote this for a friend and since it is written and published, I figured I should post a link:


and here is a follow-up:


ILya


Edited by koshkin - April/10/2016 at 00:22
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SEMO Shooter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/23/2016 at 13:34
Very nice article.  I have been using Olympus micro 4/3 since 2012.  I started with the E-PL1, and last year updated to the E-M5 while it was on sale.  If Olympus has a sale on a current camera, it usually means they have an updated version coming out.  In my case the E-M5 Mark II was soon to replace the E-M5.  Part of my reason to use Olympus cameras is underwater photos.  I scuba dive and their waterproof camera housing and camera kits are very affordable.  Olympus also has a wide array of affordable lenses for their micro 4/3 line of cameras.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote koshkin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/23/2016 at 13:43
Thanks.

I use E-M1 for my primary camera, primarily with Olympus F/2.8 zooms.

When I want something as compact as possible, I have an older Panasonic GX-1 body that I use with a 14mm F/2.5 when I want something virtually pocketable (I am a fairly big guy with fairly big pockets) or with Olympus 45mm F/1.8 for portraits and low light. 

I have a bunch of other 4/3 and m4/3 lenses, but I am about to dump them all on Ebay.  They are nice lenses, but I simply do not use them enough to justify keeping them.

I am not a diver, so my primary interest in underwater is a camera capable of surviving free diving, snorkeling etc, along with being tough enough for skiing and other outdoor adventures.  The level of sealing available with compact waterproof cameras like Olympus Tough series is sufficient for my needs, but image quality is not.  I also do not go deep enough to look for an external flash.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bitterroot Bulls Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/24/2016 at 10:25
Very interesting article, ILya.

I have really enjoyed my Sony RX1003, and some of my favorite captures have been with it. It is also a very capable digiscoping camera. It sure saves on backpack space over the DSLR.

The Nikon DLs are definitely Interesting. If the on-sensor PDAF focus capabilities are similar to the NIkon 1 line (and I don't see why they wouldn't be) they could really offer great performance in a compact package.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rancid Coolaid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/24/2016 at 10:27
I have an RX100 in a dive housing for my underwater - as well as above water - uses. It is so good, in fact, that my DSLR hasn't been out of its case in probably a year.

Good article.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jonoMT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/06/2016 at 15:21
Nice writeup. I'd sometimes like to have more of a camera but the Canon PowerShot SX710 HS we have (30X optical) has been a decent compromise between compactness and quality. Sometimes it's just more likely that a picture will get taken at all if there's something handy. I gave my son a Lumia Icon Windows Phone and am using an iPhone 6 myself. The former is relatively decent while the latter is more lucky than good when it comes to nice pix. (I do like the iOS panoramic feature though...used it like an Ansel Adams photo ho on our recent trip to Utah National Parks).
Reaction time is a factor...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote koshkin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/06/2016 at 15:25
Thanks, Jon.

I an putting together a follow-up article on large sensor compacts as we speak.

Ultimately, I like these cameras enough that I will likely switch over to them and sell off the bulk of my system camera gear.

I just bought Leica Q and plan to use is as my walkaround camera for a bit.

As far as cellphones go, I used Lumia 1020 for three years because of its camera and still use it for phonescoping.

For my cell phone I switched over to Nexus 6P and I am extremely impressed with the images it gives me.

ILya
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Marine24 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/06/2016 at 17:00
The same camera I picked up last summer after a great deal of advice and rudder from folks on this forum.  Served me well on a trip to Lake Powell last year, but hasn't seen much time outside the bag this winter. 

Excellent combination of portability and picture quality.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Peddler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/06/2016 at 17:15
Originally posted by jonoMT jonoMT wrote:

Nice writeup. I'd sometimes like to have more of a camera but the Canon PowerShot SX710 HS we have (30X optical) has been a decent compromise between compactness and quality. Sometimes it's just more likely that a picture will get taken at all if there's something handy. I gave my son a Lumia Icon Windows Phone and am using an iPhone 6 myself. The former is relatively decent while the latter is more lucky than good when it comes to nice pix. (I do like the iOS panoramic feature though...used it like an Ansel Adams photo ho on our recent trip to Utah National Parks).



Jon, how about some pics please.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jonoMT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/07/2016 at 13:55
Originally posted by Peddler Peddler wrote:

 Jon, how about some pics please.

Reaction time is a factor...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote koshkin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/10/2016 at 00:23
Here is a follow-up article on large sensor compact cameras:

ILya
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jonoMT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/10/2016 at 13:37
Those prices make me want to just jump right into a more versatile camera like the Nikon D500. Mainly because with that much money invested I'm going to be carrying a backpack or something similarly roomy for protection. So extra size isn't going to matter.
Reaction time is a factor...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote koshkin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/10/2016 at 13:46
Originally posted by jonoMT jonoMT wrote:

Those prices make me want to just jump right into a more versatile camera like the Nikon D500. Mainly because with that much money invested I'm going to be carrying a backpack or something similarly roomy for protection. So extra size isn't going to matter.


I used to agree with that, but I don't any more. Even a small system camera does not spend nearly as much time with me as a high quality compact does. Note, for wildlife photography or really anything involving telephoto these cameras are obviously not a good option. However, for Street photography and landscapes, things change some.

Since Lightroom had rather nice categorization tools, I looked at the focal lengths I use the most with my zoom lenses. It turns out that in terms of equivalent focal lengths, 28mm, 50mm and 90mm cover more than 80% of all of my photography and most of the time I do not use all the during the same shoot.

ILya

Edited by koshkin - April/10/2016 at 13:51
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RifleDude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/10/2016 at 14:21
The Leica Q is a very interesting camera. I really like the macro mode and if typical Leica lens mechanics are any indication, it's probably a joy to manual focus with. I don't like the fact you can't set it up for back button focusing, and it lacks button customization. I have no doubt the lens is optically wonderful, as is typical for Leica. The build quality looks fantastic. At first glance the price tag seems pretty hefty, but you are getting a FF sensor with a Leica lens, with all machined aluminum and magnesium construction, so I guess that's as much of a "bargain" as you're going to get with Leica.

In practical use, how well does the crop feature to convert to 35mm & 50mm work vs a zoom lens? I prefer at least 50mm for portraits.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RifleDude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/10/2016 at 14:52
Also, I'm hearing that the Leica Q gives you an option of shooting JPEG or RAW+JPEG, but not RAW only. If true, I'm not sure I'd like that. I only shoot in RAW and convert to TIFF or JPEG in PP, so I'd prefer not to take up extra card space with files I won't use anyway.

Edited by RifleDude - April/10/2016 at 15:21
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote koshkin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/10/2016 at 18:58
The lens on the Q is absolutely stunning, as is the build quality.

I played with a fair bit before I ordered one and the user interface works well for me.  It is not especially adjustable I think, but I do not expect to need to adjust it.

Basically, if I wanted a 28mm Leica lens for an interchangeable lens camera, it would cost me as much as the whole Q.

My general walk around camera for a couple of years now was a m4/3 GX-1 with a 14mm pancake, so I am used to the 28mm look.

In practical use, the 35mm mode works pretty well.  In terms of depth of field, it is roughly equivalent to using a 35mm F/2.8 lens with a 16MP sensor.

At 50mm equivalent mode you get 6MPs and the equivalent DOF is around F/5.6, which is not ideal for portraits.  Generall, in 35mm equivalent terms, I like the look of somewhere between F/2.8 and F/4 for portraits if you use a 50mm lens.

Generally, for portraits I prefer somewhat longer focal lengths anyway and I plan to retain some of my m4/3 gear, most notably a 45mm F/1.8 Olympus lens just for such purposes. 

As far file saving goes, I routinely shoot in RAW+JPEG mode since I like to preview my images on my phone or tablet, paired to the camera.  I need JPEGs for that.  I use that to screen and mark images and then develop RAW files only for the ones I like.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RifleDude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/10/2016 at 20:21
Originally posted by koshkin koshkin wrote:


Basically, if I wanted a 28mm Leica lens for an interchangeable lens camera, it would cost me as much as the whole Q.


No doubt about that. I also have no doubt the lens on the Q is spectacular. I also love the idea of the selectable macro mode. No doubt the whole package exhibits sublime build quality, and it's a very sexy camera.

I imagine the software issues I have with it could be easily fixed with firmware updates.

I would just prefer it was a 35mm lens rather than 28mm, with 50mm equivalent selectable. 28mm is a little too wide for all purpose "walk around" use for my taste. If they did that, incorporated back button focusing ability, improved the continuous AF performance, allowed RAW only mode, and allowed more function customization, I might consider buying one, as I'm a fan of the "Leica look" with regards to color, contrast, bokeh, and sharpness. I love its styling and materials used. I absolutely love my Pana-Leica Nocticron 42.5mm lens for M4/3, even though it isn't a "real" Leica; only using Leica optical design licensed to Panasonic. Nevertheless, it produces photos with the Leica look, and has very Leica-esque build quality and feel.

Still a very intriguing camera!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote koshkin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/10/2016 at 21:46
Originally posted by RifleDude RifleDude wrote:

Originally posted by koshkin koshkin wrote:


Basically, if I wanted a 28mm Leica lens for an interchangeable lens camera, it would cost me as much as the whole Q.


No doubt about that. I also have no doubt the lens on the Q is spectacular. I also love the idea of the selectable macro mode. No doubt the whole package exhibits sublime build quality, and it's a very sexy camera.

I imagine the software issues I have with it could be easily fixed with firmware updates.

I would just prefer it was a 35mm lens rather than 28mm, with 50mm equivalent selectable. 28mm is a little too wide for all purpose "walk around" use for my taste. If they did that, incorporated back button focusing ability, improved the continuous AF performance, allowed RAW only mode, and allowed more function customization, I might consider buying one, as I'm a fan of the "Leica look" with regards to color, contrast, bokeh, and sharpness. I love its styling and materials used. I absolutely love my Pana-Leica Nocticron 42.5mm lens for M4/3, even though it isn't a "real" Leica; only using Leica optical design licensed to Panasonic. Nevertheless, it produces photos with the Leica look, and has very Leica-esque build quality and feel.

Still a very intriguing camera!

As I said, it really comes down to how you prefer to take your pictures.  For people who spend a lot of time indoors or in cities, 28mm is a very standard "walk-around" focal length.

The 42.5mm Nocticron is an absolutely spectacular lens.  I was on the verge of buying it, but then Olympus announced that they will introduce a few F/1.2 primes, so I decided to wait and see how they stack up.

Generally, I still need to receive my Q, but I spent a fair amount of time with one before ordering it, so I know what is coming.  

It will be interesting to see how my further camera purchases work out.  For now, I will divest some of my m4/3 collection, but keep a few lenses: 14mm f/2.5, 45mm f/1.8 and 45-150 f/4-5.6 and one body (the rather compact GX-1).  I think my F/2.8 zooms will have to go along with the E-M1 body since I have to pay for the Q.

One possibility would be to get the new Sony RX10 Mark III which will give me a 25-600mm equivalent lens with a 1" sensor.  That image sensor produces pictures not far removed from the current m4/3 imagers and the camera has a very rich video feature set.  Quality 4K video is becoming rather important to me and now that I sold my NX500, the only 4K capable device I have is my cellphone.

The alternative is to get the new GX85 body, of course.

ILya

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote koshkin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/10/2016 at 22:17
Oh, forgot to add: Leica Q does support back button focus if memory serves me right, although admittedly I do not use that a capability much.

ILya
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jonoMT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/11/2016 at 12:27
That's a good point regarding the type of photography you're most likely to do. For me, the appeal of a system camera is because I'd be more likely to shoot landscape or long-distance wildlife shots (esp. grizzly or moose). Otherwise, the little 30X Canon has been pretty decent for most photo opportunities. Low-light indoor shots are poor, however. I've taken to just shooting video at kids' school performances or indoor games. (More memorable that way anyhow).

Two of the best features of a good sub-$400 camera are pocketability and far less concern over theft, destruction or loss. Photography is great but I want to complement the experience, not dominate it. The less I worry about equipment the more likely I'll bring it. Case in point, hanging out over a 75' rappel taking this shot of my son:




Reaction time is a factor...
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