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Compact camera recommendation
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Adam Rothermich
(aroth87) - F

Locale: Missouri Ozarks
Compact camera recommendation on 03/01/2013 11:48:06 MST Print View

I'm looking to get something to take in place of my D300 when photography isn't the goal of a trip. I'm looking to keep it pretty cheap ($250 or less, used is ok) and am leaning towards a Panasonic LX5. I've had a Panasonic G3 in the past and liked the interface so I've mostly been looking at Panasonic models. Are there any other "serious compacts" I should look at? The intent is mostly to use it for quick shots on hiking trips so the pictures will likely just end up on the web. I know I'm giving up a lot of high-ISO performance but most of my hiking pictures are taken during the daytime anyway. Something with decent battery life and decent JPGs would be nice too. One wrinkle is that my wife may be getting herself a Nikon J1. Would it be worthwhile to try to sneak it in my pack rather than buying my own small camera? With the 10-30 lens it seems like its still a little bulky (too big to fit in a hipbelt pocket at least).

Adam

Ken Bennett
(ken_bennett) - F

Locale: southeastern usa
Re: Compact camera recommendation on 03/01/2013 13:16:31 MST Print View

I have several Panasonics, from cheap P+S models to several Micro 4/3 cameras and lenses. The LX5 is a fine camera. The ZS series is a decent p+s with a very long zoom range, though it's not a "high end" zoom. I have the ZS1 that I got at Costco for ~$100 and I take it on most of my hiking trips. 25-300mm equivalent lens, image stabilized. Decent outdoor daylight photos.

Other models to check out:

Canon S100 - very well regarded small p+s
Fuji X10 - larger, more manual controls, nice little zoom, probably heavier
Sony RX100, if money is no object, this is probably the best compact on the market

Adam Rothermich
(aroth87) - F

Locale: Missouri Ozarks
Re: Re: Compact camera recommendation on 03/01/2013 15:42:35 MST Print View

If only I could afford the RX100! The X10 is looks nice too but is still out of my price range. I'll look into the S100 a little more but there's little things about the LX5 that are really apprealing; an On/Off switch instead of a button and the clicky thumb dial that I liked a lot on my G3. The S100 is certainly small though!

As far as zoom range, my longest SLR lens is a 105mm and I rarely use it. I'm more at home in the wide to normal range.

Adam

Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: London, UK
Re: Re: Re: Compact camera recommendation on 03/01/2013 17:22:59 MST Print View

I have been very pleased with my Oly TG-1. It has many backpacking friendly features and is expandable with a fisheye/teleconverter lenses and filter holder. Being fully waterproof allows you to get some uncommon perspective shots with small Gorillapod than you would with a normal P&S. Think sticking it to a partially submerged rock in a flowing stream for example. Great battery life, supermacro, panorama, and HDR features too. Most importantly, gorgeous color output, especially the famous "Olympus blue" for those clear sky alpine and beach days.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Compact camera recommendation on 03/02/2013 00:36:31 MST Print View

Canon replaced my G11 (which was in for minor repairs) with a G15. Long saga, not relevant here, but Canon stood by their brand. Rather nice performance. But probably too expensive.

Cheers

Ken Bennett
(ken_bennett) - F

Locale: southeastern usa
Re: Re: Re: Compact camera recommendation on 03/03/2013 06:31:58 MST Print View

Note that the LX5 will take an optional electronic viewfinder, the same one that fits the GF-1. If you prefer holding the camera to your eye, this helps -- though it's not as good as the EVF on your G3 by a long shot.

Mathew Joseph
(matjok)

Locale: Northeast
Another vote for Canon G15 on 03/08/2013 20:00:04 MST Print View

I have used a G9 for many years, now replaced by a G12. Bought it just before the G15 came out. Not very compact and not cheap, but in my opinion one of the very best "compact" cameras out there. Great value for the price.

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Compact camera recommendation on 03/08/2013 22:53:36 MST Print View

I used a LX5 for awhile and was never super happy with the pictures. We also had a Canon S95 (current version is S110) - basically the Canon Gxx in a small package. We perferred the Canon S to the Panasonic LX by a slight margin (more compact, slightly better image quality, screen was a bit easier to see in the sun). It's pricy, but the Sony RX-100 is in a completely different class. It's the only pocket size camera that has sufficient quality that I will sometime leave our bigger camera at home. We found the image quality to be superior to some of the cheaper u4/3 like the Panasonic GF3.

--Mark

Edited by verber on 03/08/2013 22:54:43 MST.