Which 1" compact?

Discussion in 'Other Systems' started by tkbslc, Mar 15, 2017.

  1. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    I've got some business and family travel (to urban areas) coming up this year, and I've decided that I "need" a compact for this purpose. M4/3 is a lot smaller than my SLR was, but it still needs a bag with lenses and I just have a hard time bringing those along for meetings, etc, so I have it in the evening for walk-around sight seeing. And for family travel, I have 4 kids, so I really just am to the point where I can't have another bag or take time to swap lenses. It really ends up being a point of contention at times.

    I don't want to go over $700, so that kind of eliminates the RX100 IV/V. But I see major pros and cons for each of the remaining options.

    ZS100 has a great zoom range + EVF, but is it too slow aperture to be all-around?
    LX10 has a fast lens and great 4K features, but no EVF or ND filter.
    RX100 III has an EVF and fast lens, but no 4k.
    G9 X is cheap and super pocket friendly, but no EVF or 4K and lens is slower.

    Any advice on which one to choose? Again, this would be primarily just used for walk-around travel and family trips/outings. And if I was going somewhere that photos would be a primary purpose I'd still bring m4/3.
  2. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    How about the LX100? Bigger sensor and a decent fast lens. To big maybe?
  3. clk55pete

    clk55pete Mu-43 Rookie

    Nov 9, 2010
    I happily use a canon g7x alongside my 4/3rds kit and am very happy with it. (But I do not video).
  4. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    I thought about it, but there don't seem to be a lot of benefits over the 1" compacts given the big increase in size it's a 2.2x crop sensor vs 2.7x. And I've always drooled over an X100T, but they are more money than I can spend and have no zoom range. The Ricoh GR, I don't think I can live with just 28mm. So that's why I've kind of narrowed it down to 1".
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  5. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    For the "good enough" category I would probably go with the ZS100. The lens is clearly not superb for low light, but I don't think any 1" camera is, or even any M4/3 camera unless you are using a fast (sub-f2) prime. But I tend to put away my camera indoors in most cases...it doesn't feel super social (to me) to be snapping pictures when I should be engaging. But the wide zoom range and tiny form factor gives it the ability to fulfill a role that is difficult to achieve with any other camera on the market. So I think that's pretty cool. The touchscreen, 4K video, and EVF are really gravy there from a usability and feature-set point of view.

    I also personally prioritize zoom range over a narrow but faster aperture range, especially since the sensor size won't give me a ton of DoF control anyway. I find I can make more interesting pictures with a reasonably long telephoto, images that are absolutely impossible to create with a smartphone, which is really the primary competition for this use-case.

    If you search on eBay, you can also find (greymarket?) TZ110s from Hong Kong for $570. In Canada in particular, that puts it in a whole other price class compared to anything else it competes against - much more affordable.

    What's also surprising is that the RX100 III-V doesn't actually have a huge aperture advantage at 28mm equivalent compared to the ZS100. And the RX100 I/II doesn't have much advantage from 35-100mm equivalent. Those cameras all lose their fast apertures very, very quickly, whereas the TZ100 starts slower and falls off more slowly as well.

    Power Zoom: Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS100/TZ100 Review
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2017
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  6. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    I do seem to often take pics of the kids at museums and the like indoors, so f2.8 vs f1.8 could be the difference between ISO 1600 and ISO 4000, which would definitely be noticeable. But certainly f2.8 on 1" is going to beat f2.0 on our phones. I do think the zoom range of the ZS100 and the EVF are very appealing, though.

    Thanks for the opinion.
  7. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    For sure, and only you know the specific activities your family best likes to engage in. If I was hiking or camping or picnicking or sightseeing, or generally doing more outdoorsy things, I would definitely pick the ZS100. But museums and art galleries and aquariums and other things of that ilk definitely favour the LX10 or RX100 III. I think I would need to try the RX100 III's EVF before picking it over the LX10, which has the faster lens, better controls, touchscreen and 4K all for a bit less money.
  8. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    Problem is that it's all of the above! I wish there was a ZS100 model with a 24-135mm f2-4. Then it would be a no brainer.
  9. Lindsay D

    Lindsay D Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 2, 2013
    West Sussex, England
    I chose a Canon G5X and it's an impressive little camera. It has an excellent viewfinder - big by compact camera standards. The handling is also very good as well, and it performs a bit like a mini DSLR. Image quality is what I wanted (particularly dynamic range) and RAW colour straight out of the camera is beautiful. It has a 1.8 to f2.8 lens and gaining subject isolation is quite easy. In case you're interested I reviewed it thoroughly here: Canon G5X Field Review, Choosing High End Compact Cameras, Part II
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  10. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    Wonderful review and images. Thanks for the link.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Legend

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Used RX100M4's can be had for right around $500. An unbelievable value, and excellent camera for the price. Having said that, unless you have a need for the 4K video or slow-mo 1080p, you're probably better off going with an RX100M3. Those can be had used for even cheaper.
  12. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    I've never seen one that low. They are $700+ on ebay, etc.
  13. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Legend

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Check out the FS section over at Fred Miranda. There are quite a few that are around $550. I absolutely love mine, and am blown away by the video quality. I use it quite a bit when I travel to shoot timelapses and what not. But, if you have no interest in video then it makes sense to go with the M3 instead of the M4 or M5 (which despite it's PDAF, I'm still not a fan of because they didn't put a touch screen in it, d'oh!).
  14. RichDesmond

    RichDesmond Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Nov 18, 2011
    My wife has the ZS100, we bought it for a trip to Ireland last September. Gotta say, I was extremely impressed with how well it did, even with low light pub shots in the evenings. I have a business trip to Poland coming up, and just may take the ZS instead of a :mu43: kit.
    Haven't owned any of the others, so I can't give you a true comparison, but I'd be surprised if you weren't very happy with the ZS100
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  15. Strick

    Strick Mu-43 Regular Subscribing Member

    Jan 8, 2013
    Columbia, MD
    Take a Look at the Fuji X70. Might be a little slow at f2.8 but it's great travel/pocket camera. Also APSC sensor.
  16. Ed Diaz

    Ed Diaz Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 26, 2017
    +1 for the RX100. Other than the Panasonic ZS100, not really much choice if you need pocketable, minimum 1" sensor, zoom lens, and an EVF. For family photojournalism, I would pick faster aperture and wider zoom over longer reach. Haven't tried the ZS100, but used to have the original RX100, and it was an excellent camera.
  17. MoonMind

    MoonMind Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Oct 25, 2014
    @tkbslc@tkbslc Panasonic cameras offer DFD - which is a really impressive piece of technology the RX100 III can't match (the V can - and then some). I'd also take into account that high-ISO performance of the last couple of generations of 1" sensors is quite remarkable - so even the ZS100 should offer enough opportunities to shoot at low light, at least at its wider end. I use my LX100 as an EDC, but I find the limited zoom range a bit of a downer sometimes.

    Another thing to consider is start-up time - some cameras (the LX100 included) present you with just enough lag to be annoying at times - and it will cost you shots. I admit that this isn't too common, but it can happen. The RX100 V is a very desirable camera for its demon speed alone ... but it's outside your budget, I understand.

    Honestly, if you want a one-for-all travel solution, I'd lean more towards the ZS100 - crop doesn't replace reach, especially that kind of reach. And the lens on the ZS100 is actually quite a good performer. I use my :mu43: gear (GX80, a superzoom and a fast prime or three) as a travel companion, but the ZS100 still feels really attractive - at that kind of size, nothing compares.

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  18. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Legend

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    @MoonMind@MoonMind , while that's true that they do offer DFD, it's really a non-issue IMO for the type of shots taken with a compact camera. DFD is helpful for long focal lengths and tracking action (so it's nice on the 1" bridge cameras), but the RX100M4 has never let me down despite not having PDAF. It focuses very well in good light, as well as poor light (within reason).

    One thing I will say is that if video is important, the gigantic crop on the Panasonic cameras is a no-go IMO. The RX100M4 has no crop (or if there is one, it is very little). The Panasonic cameras on the other hand have a severe crop that makes shooting any wide-angle video nigh impossible.

    The 24-70 lens on the RX100 or most recent Panasonic camera may seem like a limitation, but in practice I rarely find that to be the case. For family documentation purposes, there's really nothing that can't be captured within those focal lengths.
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  19. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    @ijm5012@ijm5012 Yeah, I am really annoyed by the major crop factor and lack of ND filter on both the Panasonic cameras when it comes to video. But, truth be told, I don't really have any need for 4k. I don't have any screens above 1080p in my house right now. Obviously it's nice to have for the future, but 4k is not a make or break feature for me. I generally just do video "snapshots" of the family, but never any serious editing, etc.

    I have looked at it, but I just don't think I can live with 28mm as my only option. If I could, I'd probably just use my phone. (Not implying phone = x70, just that I'm kind of bored with that as an only FL)

    There was a used Coolpix A at KEH for $260 last night, so If I could talk myself into 28mm, I'd have already bought that...
  20. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Legend

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Definitely understandable. One of the things I was surprised at just by doing a search for "RX100" over on the FM B&S page was the small price difference between RX100M3 & RX100M4 asking prices. A lot of M3's were asking $450-500, where M4's were asking $550-600.

    If it's only a $100 difference, I would definitely say go for the M4. It has an improved EVF, slightly better sensor, and much better video modes. I don't own any 4K monitors yet (looking at getting a 4K TV though), but I do use MacBook Pro's as well as a 1440p wide-gamut monitor, and the difference between 4K & 1080p is definitely noticeable. Even when I work with everything on a 1080p timeline, there's a difference (plus the advantages of being able to zoom/pan/crop and still have a 1080p video).

    The M4 simply blows me away. An excellent sensor, a fantastic lens, and stunning video quality, all in the size of something that can fit in my jean pockets.
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