Buying a new high-end compact.....

Discussion in 'Other Systems' started by Zeus1, Sep 18, 2015.

  1. I would like to probe the collective wisdom of this forum.

    I’m in the market for a new (high-end) compact camera to replace our slowly-dying Canon Powershot G9.

    After much reading and studying, the remaining contenders are Fuji X30, Panasonic LX 100 or Sony RX100 mark III or mark IV.

    Would like to have Your input......what to choose and why camera X and not camera Y or Z. If somebody owns one of these cameras, what about image quality, noise level etc.

  2. rezatravilla

    rezatravilla Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 7, 2013
    Real Name:
    Reza Travilla
    vote for RX100 III or IV for it's compactness and superb lens also sensor. LX100 also good camera but rather bigger than the RX100 series.
  3. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    The Sony is too small for many. LX100 has very nice ergonomics, but many are disappointed with the lens's sharpness. Fuji seems nice, but I've never used one.
  4. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    Real Name:
    do you need to have a zoom? If not, I would lean towards a Ricoh GR or Nikon Coolpix A or Fuji X100. No reason your high end compact can't have better IQ than your main system camera (!)

    You might also consider posting this "across the aisle" at the sister site Photographers' Lounge (formerly called Serious Compacts) that has compact cameras as their main focus......
  5. bigboysdad

    bigboysdad Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 25, 2013
    Sydney/ London
    If you're looking to have the same flexibility as the G9 (still got mine, alas, there's a huge band across the screen), then the Fuji X30 looks ideal. I say that as I've been quite impressed with the images I've seen taken with it, better than what I'd imagined.
  6. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    I'm rocking a XZ-2, I picked it because I knew it was a performer and I don't really care about a few more megapixels more.

    Having the same menu systems as my normal camera was more important than any performance 'gain' shown in online reviews, it's more than enough for what I want a compact camera for.
  7. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    Real Name:
    Have you considered the GM1? That thing is tiny.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. TwoWheels

    TwoWheels Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 28, 2014
    British Columbia
    Real Name:
    I was in the same position a while back and ended up with the GM1. I still think it's the best alternative out of all the premium compacts--the best balance of image quality, flexibility, size, weight and sensor size. With the kit lens, it's no bigger than the cameras you mention plus it gives you a back-up body. If you have a very specific need, one of the ones you mention may be better but overall, I think nothing else even comes close.
  9. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Not to mention, it is really no more expensive than any of those compacts and MUCH cheaper than the higher end RX100 models. I personally don't see a lot of reason to get the expensive and bulky X30, even though I agree with a poster above that it punches above its weight.

    In absolute terms, the RX100 III/IV are hard to beat. a 2.7x crop sensor with an f1.8-2.8 zoom has about a stop advantage over a 2x crop sensor with a f3.5-5.6 zoom. I know everyone loves equivalence, but to match an RX100 III in low light or for DOF control, you'd need a 12-35mm f2.4-3.8 pancake zoom for the GM1. But they are quite expensive and don't come with the ability to swap lenses or clean dusty sensors.
  10. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    Real Name:
    Four options for you (here is a size comparison):

    I would rule the Fuji out based on sensor size and X-Tran, not really a fan of it.
    The GM1 with a 12-32 is a very good option. I had one (and the GM5) but replaced it with my LX100. If I had a larger m4/3 body the GM1 or GM5 would be a very good complement to it.

    As for Sony RX100 vs Panasonic LX100?

    The RX100 is a better point and shoot pocket camera that has very good advanced features.
    The LX100 is a advanced tool that's more enjoyable to use as a tool, but can be used as a point and shoot.

    That's about how I would sum up the main difference in two sentences.

    I've owned the GM1, GM5, and RX100 vI before the LX100.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  11. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 7, 2010
    I think the answer really depends on whether this camera is to be a primary camera or not. If Zeus has a main system is it m4/3s? If so, I can see the case for the GM1, though I must say that it seems like a bad trade off to me. Ergonomics of a tiny camera with too much lens sticking out to really be pocketable.

    If this was my main camera I supposed I'd go LX100. Best all around in my mind. Bigger than the GM1+12-32, but you realize the benefit of that size when you hold and use it. Sony RX100 MKIV would get some consideration as well. If it was a secondary camera I'd likely go for the RX100mkIII or maybe even Canon G7X, favoring size over the IQ of LX100 and saving some money vs the newest Sony.

    I've owned all that I mentioned except the Sony MKIV.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. TXS for all this input so far.
    Some remarks: main camera is an Oly Em5 with Pany zooms and Oly fixed focal lenses.
    Wife wants a good camera that can be carried in her purse; I want a camera with good image quality, RAW, Aperture priority, and ISO and Exposure on scroll wheels or on dedicated buttons (not hidden somewhere in a menu tree).
  13. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    Real Name:
    If it's mainly for her purse then I would lean toward the RX100. I seem to recall you can program buttons for those functions. So button press + dial if not exactly direct access. But Something like the GM1 and Panasonic 12-32 would also work. I enjoyed the GM1 combo over the RX100, but size was less of an issue for me.
  14. ashburtononline

    ashburtononline Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 21, 2015
    New Zealand
  15. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Unless she's a "photographer", I'd just upgrade her phone. To most people, the RX100 is a "big" camera and not worth the effort. I have a lot of great cameras in my household and 99.9% of my wife's photos are on her phone because it's easiest to use and easiest to share photos with her sisters.
  16. DigitalD

    DigitalD Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 10, 2014
    Real Name:
    Ill put another vote for the Sony RX100 based on your last feedback. Id say its the best "purse" ready camera out there. A buddy of mine picked up a version III and lately I have been blown away with the images he's been getting. Sunsets full of color. Nice DOF on occasion. Best of all no fiddling with lenses. Its really a little powerhouse.

    Now, if I was getting a small camera just for me I would get the GM1, so I could repurpose my lenses. That with a 15 or a 20mm prime would be a great little handy side camera for me. But if I was sharing it with the wife, I don't think the kit zoom is particularly exciting for her. Id rather have the RX100.
  17. MoonMind

    MoonMind Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 25, 2014
    Real Name:
    If you yourself come from the E-M5, you'll love the LX100, but you may find the GM1 or even the GM5 too small and fiddly (though the GM5 has a much improved interface as far as dedicated controls are concerned).

    The same goes for the RX100 - it's a really good camera, but coming from mFT, it feels crammed and also a bit laggy in operation - not basic things like focus and shutter release, but switch-on time and wheel/dial operation - handling in general, really. The RX100 IV is much improved when it comes to speed, but it's also very expensive. There's an alternative, though: Have you thought about the Canon GX7? While it's certainly inspired by the RX100 series, it handles very intuitively with better feedback and useful extras (touchscreen and buttons), and IQ is much the same. Subjectively, it also feels a bit faster (though it probably isn't).

    Having said all that, what I'd actually do is grab a LX100 (again, like I did when facing a very similar decision) and be very happy indeed.

    However, by far my best performing compact camera is the Ricoh GR - it's a tiny powerhouse of a camera, certainly not your usual point and shoot. But I think given your description of the situation, it's probably better to opt for something more mainstream ...

  18. TwoWheels

    TwoWheels Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 28, 2014
    British Columbia
    Real Name:
    The GM1 has an excellent touchscreen and quick menu that make those settings quick to access. On those rare times when menu diving is needed, the menu is much easier to navigate than the Olympus menus. :hide: I most often adjust aperture, exposure comp, ISO, bracketing, etc. For me, it's about as fast to access those settings as on my 7D and much better than I expected on a tiny camera. I have normal-sized hands and fingers. If I had huge hands or fat fingers, it likely wouldn't work as well. Having said all that, I haven't owned any of the others so I can't really compare.
  19. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Real Name:
    I had the X10/XF1 and currently have the RX100 mk 1. The RX100 wins hands down for IQ. If you don't need the EVF, get the RX100 mk1. It's much cheaper and has essentially the same innards as the mk 2 and 3. I bought the RX100 for my wife and was pleasantly surprised by how good it was especially at iso 1600 and even 3200 if needed.
  20. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Real Name:
    Here's a thought: Get a Fuji X-20/30 for yourself (you'll love the controls) and an RX100 I for your wife. You can find the Fuji in the $400-500 range and the RX100 for $350. Still about the price of the RX100 mk iV or the LX100.:)