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State of the market 2nd half of 2014
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(drown) - F - MLife

Locale: Shenandoah
State of the market 2nd half of 2014 on 05/17/2014 14:02:02 MDT Print View

I've been researching a new camera. My main purpose is to document my trips rather than to create large format prints or exhibition. I am serious beginner photographer with a life long quest to shoot luminous mountain-scapes, including geological details, interesting botanical details, and an increasing interest in time-lapses and panoramas.

I do appreciate good image quality and details. For the last few years in the interest of saving weight I've been backpacking with either a Leica D-Lux 2 or a Lumix DMC LX3. The D-Lux which was my lightest camera but very limited finally died on my last trip to the Sierras resulting in bad streaking on most images and a stuck lens closure mechanism. The Lumix LX-3 body was cracked when dropped on a caving expedition two years ago and I don't really trust the camera anymore. These days I reach for my iphone 5 camera for most everyday needs but when I'm out in the mountains I feel the need to make better images. My last two trips in April to the Canadian Rockies and Yellowstone with just my iphone were definitely light, but the resulting images a bit anorexic despite no lack of phenomenal material to shoot. I was hanging out with friends and professional photographers. Many of whom had Sony RX100s in their pockets. I was impressed with the results.

So I've begun the quest for a new camera. My first since 2009 when I got the LX3. I've pretty much ignored camera development since then and it seems like a whole new world out there.

I've narrowed down my choices to a couple contenders based on what I'm interested in.

Lumix GM1 with a wide, prime lens.

Sigma DP1 Merril

Newly announced Sony RX100iii

I've looked at the Ricoh GR and the several Canons (S100, S110, G1) none of which really appeal to me.

I'm looking for some additional feedback. I know the RX100iii was just announced this week but I am leaning towards it. On paper it looks like it might be a great performer with the brighter 24mm lens spec, the built in viewfinder and the proven great sensor.

I've also considered just upgrading to an LX7, buying it used and keeping an eye out for a used DP1M down the road. And unless I get the new Sony I'll be buying anything I get used.

Thoughts, suggestions, flaws in my search, deals to point me towards? I've been pricing new on B&H and comparing used prices on Fred Miranda. Would be grateful for advice on where else to look. rather hesitant to buy a digital on Ebay...justified?

Icefield Parkway near Chephren and Howser

Bison, Yellowstone entrance, Gardner MT

Edited by drown on 05/22/2014 21:45:50 MDT.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: State of the market 2nd half of 2014 on 05/17/2014 15:49:48 MDT Print View

I like my G15.


Brendan S
(brendans) - MLife

Locale: Fruita CO
Re: State of the market 2nd half of 2014 on 05/17/2014 17:18:32 MDT Print View

Curious what you don't like about the Ricoh GR. The GR is quite a bit more versatile than the Sigma (I almost exclusively shoot with a Merrill) and will pretty easily give you better IQ than anything else on your list except for the Sigma at low ISO. The Ricoh user interface is excellent.

For general trip documenting under a variety of shooting conditions I think it's tough to beat the Sonys. The iii sounds great but I'd wait til they start showing up used. I don't think it'll be worth paying twice as much as the current going rate for the i or ii.

Edited by brendans on 05/17/2014 17:19:33 MDT.

Peter James
(pbjames) - F

Locale: High Sierra
LX7 on 05/17/2014 23:04:28 MDT Print View

I have an LX7 that I haven't used much since acquiring a Fuji X-E1. PM me for more info if you'd like to discuss possibly acquiring it from me. Thanks.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
State of the market 2nd half of 2014 on 05/18/2014 17:31:28 MDT Print View

If I were you I would wait for some real world photos from the nes RX100 III.
On paper it looks very tempting.

(drown) - F - MLife

Locale: Shenandoah
Ricoh GR on 05/19/2014 17:37:49 MDT Print View

So after reading Brendan's message I went back to read additional reviews and see more pictures taken with the GR. I've decided to add back to the list. For the weight it seems to offer an impressive sensor size. The focal lenght would work for me and it has a proven ability to do time lapses. I'm going to wait to see a rx100iii before I make my mind up. Not sure if a new version of the Ricoh is also in the works that might be worth waiting for?

Ted E
(Mtn_nut) - MLife

Locale: Morrison, CO
Ricoh GR on 05/20/2014 14:57:06 MDT Print View

My Ricoh is Awesome. If you'd like to look at some examples of what it can do, send me a pm and i'll send you some links to my google drive to see some of the full size photos i've taken with it while backpacking.

I added the wide angle adapter (heavy, but 20mm wide angle is fun to shoot sometimes) and the filter tube adapter (49mm filters).

i switched to it from my RX100 when that broke. Sometimes i miss having a zoom, but overall it fits 99% of what i need it for.

TrailGroove Magazine

(drown) - F - MLife

Locale: Shenandoah
Re: Ricoh GR on 05/20/2014 19:07:53 MDT Print View


I'm interested to hear your experience with any dust issues carrying this camera in the desert?

Ted E
(Mtn_nut) - MLife

Locale: Morrison, CO
Re: Ricoh GR on 05/20/2014 22:29:30 MDT Print View

I haven't had any "issues" with dust, but that doesn't mean that any didn't get in. I've actually been thinking about getting it cleaned after my next two desert trips coming up and seeing what they find, if anything.

I can see where people might believe that the lens design is a dust trap, but I normally carry it on my shoulder (lowepro dashpoint 20 case) and i now keep the filter tube and a Marumi s-dhg circular polarizer filter on it at all times, which for all intents and purposes seals the lens. If i want to take a shot without the filter, the whole tube assembly snaps off and back on pretty quick.

My current kit -

Ricoh GR
GH-3 Hood/filter tube kit (i keep the hood in the toplid, comes in handy sometimes)
GW-3 Wide angle adapter (20mm equiv. - kinda heavy, but very nice, stays in the toplid)
two extra "wasabi power" batteries (top lid)
Marumi SDHG CP filter
Marumi variable ND filter (in a small hard case in toplid)
mini rocket air and small microfiber cloth (for cleaning)

Also now i'm carrying a Ricoh Theta 360 too (for CNN's spherical report) and my Galaxy S5 to control it.

I'll also carry either my Gitzo GT-531 tripod w/ G1077M head (preferred) or Zipshot mini (lighter, for trips when i doubt i'll use it)

I also just picked up a Vixen Polarie for doing long night exposures too!

All of my camera equipment is ruining my baseweight :-P
(still ridiculously light for the quality i get out of it for the magazine)

Edited by Mtn_nut on 05/20/2014 22:32:10 MDT.

rick .

Locale: NYC
Canon S series on 05/21/2014 12:01:55 MDT Print View

I'm in a similar use-group as you, and currently use an S-90 that is seeing the end of its life. Bought used at B&H, thousands of photos and tens of trips and I'm still happy with it.

I'd like to post an add'l consideration for the Canon S series.

The manual controls are not matched anywhere short of an SLR in my opinion. If you shoot manual or aperture/shutter priority, you will feel at home. The shortest path to mediocre photos is to let the camera pick the settings (not to say it's impossible, just shortest path).

It remembers the right settings and forgets the right settings when you turn it off/on. Its nice, it keeps the main exposure settings but reverts special one-time things, zoom, etc. Which means once dialed in, it's ready to shoot right out of your pocket.

The lens is fast and pretty wide for P&S. The sensor is the largest in the class (but smaller than all the others you list).

They have true RAW files. S90 weighs 8oz, and is my go-to backpacking camera when I leave its bigger brothers at home. I'd personally skip the touchscreen version (110) for backwoods use, but my friend likes it to pick autofocus point.

I am looking for a waterproof point/shoot around/under 8oz if anyone has suggestions (canoe trips are heating up).

(I'd skip ebay. B&H and Adorama both have extensive used collections, slightly more expensive but have a 30-day lemon policy. is also a great used source. Again, usually more than ebay but great quality and return policy).

daniel B
(dbogey) - F - M

Locale: East Coast
Sony on 05/21/2014 12:31:44 MDT Print View

Drown - I'm a current rx100 owner (1st generation) and will be selling it to purchase the rx100 iii. I recently purchased the Nikon d7100 and returned it after comparing the pics from my rx100 to it. The rs100 has been with me on all my hikes and I can only imagine that the iii will be a much better camera. checkout - is a great hangout.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Re: Sony on 05/22/2014 06:34:11 MDT Print View

Kind of a dumb question -

Does the rx100 (any version) really have a manual focus ring on the lens?? It certainly seems that way from the specs and what I read......

Dave Grey
(dapperdave) - F
Focus Ring on 05/22/2014 08:14:46 MDT Print View


All versions of the RX100 have a "multi-function" ring around the lens, you can use this for focus, zoom, ISO, shutter-speed, aperture and a few others. It is smooth in rotation (no clicks). Please note that it has no direct mechanical connection to the lens, it's a "fly-by-wire" sort of affair.


Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Lumix LF1? on 05/22/2014 13:16:27 MDT Print View

Not really a 2nd half of 2014 camera but has anyone here owned a Lumix LF1? I recognize that it's mildly absurd that I'm looking for another camera in light of the fact that my Sony A6000 has been in my grubby hands for less than a week but I'm looking for a camera I can carry with me every day in my pocket and I no longer own a smart phone.

RX100iii looks pretty sweet but unfortunately the price tag reflects this at more than 3x the cost of the Lumix.

Michael L
(mpl_35) - MLife

Locale: NoCo
waterproof on 05/22/2014 14:53:05 MDT Print View


If you ever hit the pool/river/water, I'd suggest getting a waterproof for a 3rd (?) camera. I take my Olympus to the waterpark with the kid, rainy dayhikes, and rafting. It is nice not having to worry at all.

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Re: waterproof on 05/22/2014 15:24:12 MDT Print View

That was something I've considered since we kayak from time to time but I'm concerned about its performance at that level. For example, my dad has a Lumix ZS-20 or 25 (can't remember which but probably the 25) and I've been very impressed with its results.

Which Olympus are you using and how is it working out for you, especially in low light situations?

Edited by IDBLOOM on 05/22/2014 16:06:30 MDT.

Michael L
(mpl_35) - MLife

Locale: NoCo
Re: Re: waterproof on 05/22/2014 16:03:14 MDT Print View

Olympus TG-1iHS 12 MP Waterproof Digital Camera with 4x Optical Zoom.

Had to look back on amazon to see what I had. I am sure it isn't as great as some of the others. But I have 5 cameras now and can't buy one for EVERY situation. I go it for taking to the pool truthfully. I have since retired the older canon P&S and use this exclusively as a pocket camera for when I don't want to tote my DSLR.

There was the Cnet review. I think they are several models down the road. I got mine in 2012. It was great for underwater. It isn't the best P&S, so if your chances of needing or wanting it around water are low, then go for the better IQ elsewhere. Low light was "ok" for me, but definitely better out there.

For me, it was an acceptable trade off. The kid swimming under water is fun for photos! But yeah, if your priorities are different, then you will want to look at another...

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Re: waterproof on 05/22/2014 16:12:18 MDT Print View

I'll probably stick with a Lumix then unless I find something better at that price point. I think having a waterproof camera is nice but I'd like to get a GoPro for my kayak once they start discounting it for the next release.

After looking at what the ZS20/25 is selling for on Amazon, I have to wonder if the LF1 is worth an extra $100.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
State of the market 2nd half of 2014 on 05/24/2014 00:26:03 MDT Print View

Some sample shots from the new Sony here :

(drown) - F - MLife

Locale: Shenandoah
Sigma DP1M on 05/26/2014 18:45:23 MDT Print View

Well decision made. I've just found a used DP1M for a good price locally so I'm thinking of getting that for now. I'll see later how to supplement or replace it if I'm not happy. But I think its a good landscape camera for me for my current needs.