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Best compact camera for the buck (euro) -- cheap GAS

Discussion in 'Other Systems' started by bobbywise, Jul 27, 2012.

  1. bobbywise

    bobbywise Mu-43 Regular

    130
    Aug 23, 2011
    Nantes, France
    Hi everyone,

    I'm thinking of getting a "good" compact camera for my wife (and of course for me to also use :wink: ).

    I searched a bit on the net for the following "compact" cameras:

    Canon S100 (378 eur)
    Fuji X10 (429 eur)
    Panasonic LX5 (409 eur)
    Panasonic LX7 (473 eur) ** - not yet available
    Olympus XZ-1 (669 eur)
    Canon G1X (659 eur)
    Sony RX100 (624 eur) ** - not yet available

    I have the DMW-LVF2 EVF with my GX1, which is compatible with the LX7.

    After reading up, and seeing comparisons in the table at Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 Hands-on Preview: Digital Photography Review, I have come to the following conclusion.

    The Canon S100, although the cheapest of the bunch hasn't quite got it, although it's pretty compact and got the longest 35mm equiv focal length of 120mm.

    The Olympus XZ-1, Canon G1X and Sony RX100 are all too pricey. Sure the Canon G1X (not listed in the table) has a much bigger sensor, but it's a pretty big body, and it's reviews have been somewhat mixed. The Sony RX100 again has a bigger sensor compared to the rest of the pack, but its poor aperture at larger focal lengths doesn't make it so good for portrait -- and then there's the price again !

    So I've kind of come down to the following three:

    Fuji X10 (429 eur)
    Panasonic LX5 (409 eur)
    Panasonic LX7 (473 eur) ** - not yet available

    For the price difference between the LX5 and LX7, I prefer the LX7. There seems so much more in the LX for a marginal price difference compare to the LX5. And to boot, I can also use my DMW-LVF2 EVF from my GX1 with the LX7.

    However, the LX7 is not available yet. Compared to the LX7, the Fuji X10 has a slightly larger sensor, longer maximum focal length, OVF, solid body, is immediately available, and a bit cheaper than the LX7. Although the LX7 does have a wider 24mm equivalent.

    So what does everyone think ?

    Should I wait for the LX7 or go for the X10 ?

    Maybe the X10 body is too big for a compact ?

    Is the X10, user friendly enough for someone like my wife who just wants to point and shoot ?

    How do the JPGs compare (l think Fuji seem to be great with their JPG engine).

    An idea of introducing my wife to one of these type of cameras is that it could easily be used in full auto mode, but also I could show her the creative aspects of opening up the aperture to control DOF etc.

    With Well Wishes,

    Rob
     
  2. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 14, 2012
    New Mexico
    Larry
    Look at the ebay.com listings, where the xz-1 can easily be gotten for well under $400, used under $300. Even including the VAT you'd have to pay in France, it might be worth looking at. I'm sure there some of the sellers will ship world-wide, even if many only ship to the continental U.S or North America.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Chris
    have you thought of getting any of the Ricoh GRD series? the current model IV is a blast! no zoom lens though...
     
  4. htc

    htc Mu-43 Top Veteran

    579
    Jan 11, 2011
    Finland
    Harry
    I have had XZ-1, LX-5 and for me they are not compact enough to make the difference. I rather take my m43 gear with superior IQ with me. Only thing that passed my filter was S100 (what I now have). It's the only existing COMPACT among listed and with totally comparable IQ with the others listed. Trust me, been there done that ;-)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    If the X10 is not too big for what you want I'd really look at that. JPEGs are fantastic. Your wife can shoot it on auto-pilot and get great results.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. WJW59

    WJW59 Mu-43 Veteran

    235
    Feb 20, 2011
    Check the Olympus France site, I think the XZ-1 is listed at 400 eur. I have an XZ-1 one do find it to be noticeably smaller than my Pens with a comparable zoom. I find the really compact cameras to be too small for comfort. I also like the real hotshoe.
     
  7. Art

    Art Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    I agree if it doesn't fit nicely in jeans pocket then I' d rather use m43. However, I was very disappointed in S100 and returned it. Pretty soft pics especially at the long end (nearly unusable) even in good light. The difference is huge compared to super pixel sharp E-PM1. Also, insane distortion at wide end, ludicrous wide angle group pics. S100 video is somehow worse than S90 even if "HD". Overall, very lackluster camera even if small. E-M1 w/Panny 14 or 20 mm produces much sharper images even when using digital zoom (2x or 4x).
     
  8. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Don
    Different horses for different courses. You're looking for a relatively low cost, compact, one camera/lens solution for travel purposes. In your shoes, I know what I would pick right off the bat.

    I have and love an LX5 and find plenty of times when I prefer its size and weight even to my smallest m4/3 combo with similar focal length coverage (E-PL3 and 14-42IIR kit lens). The 24mm wide-angle focal length is exactly what I prefer and the IQ is very good. If, like a great many of us, you will view your images electronically for the most part and print few, if any, images at larger sizes, this little camera can deliver both great convenience in small size and light weight along with wonderful images.

    Just for fun... visit some of the LX5 groups on Flickr and see what wonderful results people are getting with this camera.

    If I were in your shoes, I would hold off a bit and get the LX7. For a great many uses, the images taken with the LX7 during a trip will be of very good quality and the convenience of such a compact camera with built-in retracting lens is really nice. It does awesome close-up work and performs quite well in low light situations. Capture in RAW for the utmost IQ this camera can produce. The fact that you already have an EVF to work with the LX7 makes this a match made in heaven for you.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. htc

    htc Mu-43 Top Veteran

    579
    Jan 11, 2011
    Finland
    Harry
    If S100 IQ is nearly unusable then something is definitely wrong. You can get comparable results between all those compacts and nobody will tell the difference, I think. Like I said been there done that. IF the size or lack of it is the point then S100 is the only answer. It's the only pocket size thing among those. Of course you have to sacrifice part of the IQ, but with ALL of those compacts. Agree that E-PM1 delivers superior IQ BUT with the same size as lets say XZ-1.

    My point is that why bother to think those compacts if the size is same as lets say E-PM1 (with superior IQ)? If you still have to have smaller THEN S100 is the way to go. This doesn't mean that any of those are something bad, they just are pretty close same size as the smallest m43.

    The advantage of compact is that it usually includes macro mode and full zoom in that same size, but I think IQ is not the primary reason to buy compact.

    I'm sorry if my thoughts sounds harsh. They just are so expensive thoughts (by learning and paying) for me so I have to scream loud and clear ;-)
     
  10. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Don
    Rob stated that his choice is down to X10, LX5 and LX7.

    He isn't considering a m4/3 solution in his post, but since that has been brought up, I will add... for me, the difference between the LX5 and the E-PL3 with the smallest kit lens available which offers a similar range of focal lengths is significant. As is the weight difference. Is it terribly more difficult to take the E-PL3 and 14-42 than the LX5... no. But I can drop the LX5 into a pocket in my cargo pants... and I can't/wouldn't want to do that with the E-PL3 and 14-42. The LX5 drops into a coat pocket quite easily as well.

    Z7280003.

    Z7280005.

    There are plenty of times when the decrease in size and weight by going with the LX5 is just the ticket. And I'm never disappointed in the quality of the RAW files the camera puts out, given it's size and convenience. If I MUST have something even smaller than the LX5, the iPhone4S takes a surprisingly respectable picture... if I do my part well.

    Back to the X10, LX5, LX7, I have no doubt after reading the review on DPR and seeing the sample images that the LX7 will be a fantastic followup to the great LX5.

    There is no right nor wrong answer to this decision. And obviously, this is a determination and decision which only Rob can make, based on his unique circumstances and preferences.
     
  11. EP1-GF1

    EP1-GF1 Mu-43 Veteran

    312
    Apr 12, 2011
  12. woof

    woof Mu-43 Top Veteran

    511
    Oct 18, 2011
    The present.
    I have an LX-5. I agree with this statement as far as it goes, especially as to say bringing an EPM-1 or EPL-3 instead.

    I've wondered about the S100 or S95, as the LX-5 was always paired with the S95 as a point of comparison and it is somewhat more compact when off.

    For me the best bang for the buck is the last generation or so a little while after release of the next... I've resigned myself to having less for MUCH less. For example only if it is the LX-5, wait a little until the LX-7 is out. It has already dipped to $250.00 at least once, and that is not the bottom of that.

    woof!

    woof!
     
  13. htc

    htc Mu-43 Top Veteran

    579
    Jan 11, 2011
    Finland
    Harry
    • Like Like x 1
  14. bobbywise

    bobbywise Mu-43 Regular

    130
    Aug 23, 2011
    Nantes, France
    Thanks to all.
    Since I have the GF3 spare my wife could use that. But my idea was to have a compact zoom with reasonable IQ. My wife did use the GF3 with the power zoom pancake a while back when we visited Barcelona.

    That S100 looks very thin, but I don't like the steep price. Knowing the XZ-1 is cheap and available (300 euro at simplyelectronics) makes it tempting. However, if the lenses on these compacts are not much smaller than the GF3 plus power zoom pancake, maybe I should just wait six months to see what's going on in the compact market.
     
  15. Hikari

    Hikari Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 26, 2010
    iPhone
     
  16. htc

    htc Mu-43 Top Veteran

    579
    Jan 11, 2011
    Finland
    Harry
    The same Simplyelectronics sells Canon with 310 price tag ;-) Okay, XZ-1 is good also, but bigger. Both have zoom starting 24 mm equivalent. Olympus is brighter at the long end, but Canon has a bit better high iso IQ and Oly has a separate lens cap and more pro look ;-)
     
  17. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    Vin
    Sorry but the sensors in these cams are too small to notice any real DOF effects even with wide aperture.
     
  18. lenshoarder

    lenshoarder Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 7, 2010
    The RX100 and the G1X sensors are big enough.
     
  19. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Don
    As I contemplate updating my LX5 with the LX7, the RX100 with the larger sensor bogs me down a bit in the decision process. That said, for the purpose, the RAW files from the LX5/7 are quite nice... so the bigger sensor, while nice to have, isn't that big of a deal to me. More importantly, for me, I'm not crazy about the RX100 only going to 28mm on the wide end - would much prefer 24mm equivalent. I don't care much about where the long end ends. The LX7 with the 24mm-90mm equiv. f/1.4-2.3 Leica lens is quite appealing.

    http://www.dpreview.com/previews/panasonic-lumix-dmc-lx7
     
  20. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Don
    The XZ-1 zoom only goes to 28mm equiv. on the wide end.