A point & shoot instead of standard zoom?

Discussion in 'This or That?' started by demiro, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 7, 2010
    I recently re-purchased an E-M5, and had some intention to buy the 12-35/2.8 as well. But the price and somewhat muted reviews are holding me back, as well as how much I like primes on the E-M5. And while I like the 12-50 and the 14-150 as options they are not "killer" lenses, so I am not being too quick to purchase one of them.

    What I've been doing is using the E-M5 with either the 25/1.4 or 45/1.8, and using my Fuji X10 when I want that standard zoom capability. That was never my strategy, it just sort of happened. But now it seems like a kind of smart thing to do.

    Wondering what people think of this approach. Obviously there is a trade off with the smaller sensor and other differences, but in good light (which the slow-ish :43: zooms need anyway) a good P&S camera can hold it's own in many ways. It also provides a more compact option when that matters, and gives you macro capability.

    I guess I am trying to provide a reason to own another nice camera. Given the recent sales prices on options like the XZ-1 or the LX7 you can take this approach for about the same price as a refurbed 12-50.
  2. zapatista

    zapatista Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 19, 2012
    Denver, Colorado, USA
    Real Name:
    Well, RX100 is as good as any m43 body with the 14-42mm
  3. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    You found the best tools in your bag for the job. That's great!

    I enjoy shooting with prime lenses but where I ended up is kinda the opposite of what you have. My E-M5 is the ideal platform for zoom lenses. As such, I primary use it with the 9-18, 12-35, and 35-100. My primary system, Leica M, is where I shoot primes.

    I used to shoot with a Panasonic LX5. It was my first introduction into the Lumix line of P&S cameras. It was LOADS of fun. A seasoned photographer can feel right at home with it. It was not uncommon to take it along with the Leica M as a second camera (prior to micro 4/3). I sold it to fund the E-M5 but if I were to head back to P&S, the LX7 would be top on my list. Another one would be the Canon Gseries (which is kinda big in today's standards) and Canon S100 (or whatever is the latest).

    As for the 12-50mm, I think it is a good lens in general and the macro function is pretty convenient. I think it is a bit too long (big) for what it does. I wouldn't be running to the shop to get one. If you do, there are a bunch used ones on sale from people who bought it as part of the OMD kit. I heard favorable things about the latest version of the Olympus 14-42mm. It should be cheaper than the 12-50mm too
  4. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    For me, if a picture is worth taking ... then I want to take it the best way I can. In this cae that would be with the OM-D.

    • Like Like x 2
  5. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Real Name:
    I've tried this approach. Doesn't work at all for me. The Olympus XZ-1 is a fine camera with a lot of nifty features, but I cannot get clean images out of it at base ISO. Invariably, if I take the XZ-1 instead of my m4/3, I am disappointed with the results. I see similar problems with other P&S cameras.
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  6. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    There are certain applications I use zooms on my m43 bodies for. I'll use the 14-150 for travel sometimes or for certain events where I need a really wide sweep - the Mummers parade is coming up next week and that's a perfect place to have a superzoon. But usually the only zooms I use for m43 are super long or super wide, and mostly only super-wide - the 9-18 is usually in my bag - the 75-300 is only in there if I'm shooting something I specifically want it for and know that ahead of time.

    So, yeah, I'll often have my LX7 (these days - its been other compacts before) in a pocket of my bag for just in case shots. I don't use it often - I'll stick with a prime or two 99% of the time. But its a nice option. And in reasonably good light, I'm always satisfied with the image quality even if it won't hold up under a microscope. In April of 2011, I only took the X100 (which was brand spanking new) and an LX5 and it was a wonderful way to travel. I used the X100 most of the time and pulled the LX5 out a few times for specific shots that the 35mm equivalent just wasn't gonna work for. I could easily see doing the same thing with my X-Pro - bring the two X-Pro primes and the LX7. Or with my m43 gear, but I might be just as likely to stick the 12-50 in the bag. Except that I almost never do..

  7. Warren T.

    Warren T. Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 10, 2010
    San Francisco
    It's interesting that you brought up this topic. On our recent road trip, and before I acquired my G5, I only had two Mu-43 bodies, the G1 and GF1. My wife would often go off with the GF1 and 14-45mm which leaves me with the G1. On this trip, when I had my 45-200mm on the G1, I had my LX5 slung on my wrist with a Gordy's wrist strap. This is the first time I tried this combo, and it worked well for me on this trip.

  8. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    I would say it makes more sense at the long end and for macro than it does in the "normal" range.
  9. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 7, 2010
    I get where you are coming from Gary, but let's be honest - we've all seen your work - the camera hardly matters to you. :smile: I'm pretty sure you'd be killing it with a $50 p&s from the bargain bin at Wal-Mart.
  10. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 7, 2010
    Just to be clear, I'm talking about a P&S vs standard kit zoom. I think both options need pretty solid lighting to be effective.
  11. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Real Name:
    That's what I'm talking about too. E-M5 + 12-50 or E-PM1 + 14-42 v. XZ-1. The XZ-1 actually does okay in low light (they're all noisy, and the fast lens helps) - it's good light that kills it thanks to a lack of DR and critical sharpness.
  12. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    How about E-M5 with primes with a good super-zoom bridge camera like the Panny FZ200?
  13. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin .

    Oct 9, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name:
    In theory it's a reasonable idea, but one thing that I have discovered is that if a camera drops below my threshold for image quality and easy handling I just will not use it, no matter how small or convenient it is (I can safely say that I have never used a phone camera for anything even remotely serious). My current "P&S zoom" is therefore a Canon G1X which for the price still gives me a better combination of size, lens specification and quality, handling, and features then I could find within the Micro 4/3 stable or other interchangeable or fixed-lens cameras.
  14. Bhupinder2002

    Bhupinder2002 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I played with lots of combinations of P&S cameras before giving up. I am sure SONESOR( sony sensor ) quality is improving and some P&S offer better quality but still I am never happy with them. Now cameras like Sony RX100 and Canon S110 are quite decent and I wont mind having them. I am curious to try Panasonic FZ200 with constant 2.8 aperture thro whole zoom range .
  15. littleMT

    littleMT Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 8, 2012
    Real Name:
    Lucille Sanchez
    my Sony RX100 really rocks! fun easy shots, nice filters, hdr, and can be used in a serious manner...

    RX100 ftw!

    playful HDR at a push of a button..

  16. robbie36

    robbie36 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2010
    Real Name:
    rob collins
    Well I have the RX100 (well has more like it as it has been acquisitioned by my daughter) and it is a great little camera.

    However, I have to say that the 12-35 is a great lens. Rather like the Op I hummed and haaed about the price and ok reviews but what I noticed was that those that had the lens (look on this site) really liked it (and a lot of people who were critical simply hadnt tried it.

    The lens has certainly surprised me in terms of its quality. When you consider it replaces a 12 and 17 for most purposes its price is pretty reasonable. I have hardly had my 25/1.4 back on my camera since I bought it. I would at least recommend trying to borrow/hire one before going down the p&s route.
  17. old.swede

    old.swede Mu-43 Rookie

    Coming from a Canon 5DII and a couple of L lenses I also tried to find an acceptable minor camera for the days I don’t wand to carry the 1.5+kg.
    I tried the G12, which did not fit in a usual pocket and the image quality was hardly good enough.
    So the next try was the Fuji X10. Same here with the pocket, but the image quality was quite good. I still wanted a camera with good image quality which will fit in a ‘normal’ pocket

    So I bought an RX100 and I'm quite happy with it. Fits in 'any' pocket and the image quality is good enough, even if I mix it with the image from my OMD.
    Some samples below.

    Attached Files:

  18. robertro

    robertro Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 22, 2010
    I had the XZ-1 and loved the size and ergonomics more than any m4/3 body with kit zoom. The IQ was mushy in JPEG and better in RAW, so ISO had to be kept down; the fast lens (compared to M4/3 kit) helped in this regard.

    I recently bought the LX7, and it's a noticeable step up in IQ and JPEG processing (and of course has a faster lens).

    For me, this replaces the kit lens on M4/3 completely (anyone want to buy a new 12-50?), and provides a carry-anywhere camera. For most people, I suspect that the LX7 or a Sony RX100 (smaller; slower lens especially at telephoto; faster sensor), will be sufficient. I chose the LX7 because of the wider, faster, and sharper lens, and the wealth of controls, even thought the smaller size of the LX100 was tempting.

    Of course, if I know I'll shoot a prime, or I don't mind carrying more than one lens, or if I need faster response or shallower DoF, I'll go to M4/3.

    For me, M4/3 is a great system that's even better when complemented by a high quality compact.
  19. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 14, 2012
    New Mexico
    Real Name:
    The Fuji X-10 is a pretty convincing little camera. And despite what they say, you can get great full resolution raw results in LR. When the EXR sensor is more fully supported it will be even better.

    It's not a replacement for the E-M5, which is my digital "I'm going out to shoot" camera, but as a carry anywhere solution the X-10 is wonderful if you're willing to figure out its quirks. The images from it can rival the old 12 MP with kit lens m4/3 results, which I always found awfully good. The XZ-1, while a fun little camera with good quality, does not begin to challenge any m4/3 camera.

    Some X10 preliminary test I've done are posted here:

    I'll do some comparison shots at some point. I stress, though I like the X10 a lot, that it is no match for the E-M5 even with the kit zoom at the focal lengths covered.
  20. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 14, 2012
    New Mexico
    Real Name:
    The DR on the Fuji X-10 can be quite good. It really is in another class from the XZ-1 (which I own - though maybe not for long - and like, by the way).

    The LX5/7, XZ-1/2 high end point and shoot cameras are being superceded by cameras with larger sensors or innovative sensor technology, or both. Having tried the LX and XZ, I don't think I would get one again, not because they are not good, but because the high end PS market is changing and they are no longer best of class.

    I love the X-10, and I've been looking for years for a good PS that I can take anywhere and about which I can feel confident in the picture quality.