Smaller camera for walkabouts

BobBob21

Well-known Member
So, currently have a Canon DSLR and a bunch of L series and Sigma Art lenses for it. Image quality is fantastic, knocks the socks of any prior cameras we've owned. The only problem is the Mrs is 5' if she stretches and lifting a pint glass is a two handed job. Whilst she can operate the DSLR she finds it uncomfortably large plus doesnt like using a camera bag because they aren't "girly" enough.

Need to buy a new smaller camera, mainly for urban or garden shots (typical lifestyle blogger type things) but minimise the loss of IQ. A few of her associates use the Olympus Pen camera which she likes because its retro and girly looking but doesnt like the lack of a viewfinder and isnt 100% convinced by its image quality.

Our friends in Jessops recommended the Sony A6300 as a "much better camera", able to take the Canon lenses via an adaptor (not a major requirement but nice to have) but was "as ugly as sin" though she did finally decide IQ is more important than camera asthetics. She preferred the gunmetal colour of the lower model but again decided the weather sealing of the higher model was more of a priority.

Are there any other models she should be considering?
 

wysinawyg

Active Member
Fuji XT20? Retro looks and as a compact stills camera probably better than the Sony as Sony are a bit lacking in good small lenses.

If she's interested in video at all then the Canon M5 (lower quality but better auto focus and ergonomics) or the Panasonics are worth a look.

Olympus EM5 mkii or Pen-F both have viewfinders, better ergonomics, better small lenses and probably aren't giving up much in IQ if you're using them in good light.
 

BobBob21

Well-known Member
No interest in video at all.

A fair proportion of photos are taken inside (retaurants, bars etc) to capture the interior decor or food/drink, rather than people, and so not all are going to be good lighting conditions.... I think there is an element of realism though about not getting a great picture in a cocktail bar at night without flash etc but should be good enough for a normal restuarant in the evening.
 

Andy98765

Distinguished Member
Hi I have just purchased Panasonic LUMIX DMC-TZ100EB for the wife, excellent all rounder. I was lucky to get the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-TZ100EB KIT and £80 cash back making it £470. JL now sells the kit for £650.
 

snerkler

Member
You don't say whether you have a FF DSLR or APS-C as this will influence how much variation you will see in IQ between different formats. There's obviously no getting away from the fact that the larger the sensor the better the IQ, but the difference between formats is getting less.

My main camera is FF but there are times when I want something smaller and lighter. I initially bought an Olympus EM10 and then upgraded to and EM5-II. I was more than happy with both but struggled to justify the money tied up in a system that only got used from time to time so sold it all and thought I'd try something much more compact. Neither the Sony RX100-III nor the Canon G7x cut it. Yes IQ is very good for a compact, but when you're used to FF and a picky sod it's not good enough. Plus the controls are awkward and fiddly. Lastly, whilst they're pocketable they feel big and heavy in the pocket.

So I sold those and bought a Fuji XT1, in silver. Great camera, lenses are really good, nice colours but one major issue. For some as yet unknown reason Fujis are prone to artefacts. Some people see them, some don't, and for those that do like me you can't see past them. Google's full of info on it. Most folk will tell you it's due to the way people process the files and that Adobe hasn't figured out proper algorithms for Fuji files. I don't believe this is true, I tried at least 8 different lots of software and none solved it, even irident. I even saw it on SOOC jpegs. So I begrudgingly sold it. Obviously YMMV.

I decided to go back to Olympus, I really like the system, is a great compromise between size/weight and IQ, and of course they look cool especially if you buy the silver ;) :p I bought the EM1 this time as I use the 12-40mm f2.8 lens more than any other and it's much better balanced on the EM1 than the other OMD's imo. Also, the system is mature with plenty of lenses, some of which are cheap little gems. Of course, you could get the EM10 with 14-42mm pancake, or pancake prime and it will fit in a coat pocket. TBH after trying the compacts etc, and the EM10 with pancake I came to the realisation that I find it a PITA constantly taking my camera in and out of my pocket, bag etc and so just wear them on a sling strap.
 

Faldrax

Well-known Member
I have the A6000 (the prior model to the A6300) as my 'travel' camera - for when my FF DSLR is too big and heavy to be practical.

You can fit adapted lenses to it - but unless you are using it as a backup body, you are sort of missing the point - it's small and light, and the 16-50 kit lens matches that very nicely.
Powered off, if halves it's length and I have a 24Mp APS-C camera with 16-50 lens that fits in a coat pocket!
In camera or Lightroom lens profiles compensate for most of the compromises such a compact lens brings, and a little care in use avoids the others.
I add a 55-210, and the 50 f/1.8 to round off my travel kit (and a Meike MK-320 flash) and I have a very versatile set up that is light and compact.

Personally I wouldn't worry about the 'weather sealing' - any lenses are unlikely to be weather sealed, and a light shower won't hurt either model.

What the A6300 does have over the A6000 is;

Significantly improved AF coverage (and the A6000 isn't bad) - including better handling of adapted lenses
Higher resolution EVF
Better video capabilities

If small and light are key requirements, it's also worth considering one of hte RX100's - for me, I found them too small, and preferred the option of changing lenses, but as a 'pocket camera' they are hard to beat.
 

snerkler

Member
Personally I wouldn't worry about the 'weather sealing' - any lenses are unlikely to be weather sealed, and a light shower won't hurt either model.
You've clearly not been caught out whilst on holiday then ;) I got soaked in Venice, thank god my Olly system (including lens) was weather sealed :p I believe Olympus have some of the best weather sealing. Don't forget though, it's not just rain. Dust can also be an issue.
 

shotokan101

Banned
You've clearly not been caught out whilst on holiday then ;) I got soaked in Venice, thank god my Olly system (including lens) was weather sealed :p I believe Olympus have some of the best weather sealing. Don't forget though, it's not just rain. Dust can also be an issue.

...no way you'd catch me swimming in those canals :eek:
 

Faldrax

Well-known Member
You've clearly not been caught out whilst on holiday then ;) I got soaked in Venice, thank god my Olly system (including lens) was weather sealed :p I believe Olympus have some of the best weather sealing. Don't forget though, it's not just rain. Dust can also be an issue.

If the weather is 'changeable' then I'm probably wearing a coat, and the A6000 is easily small enough to tuck inside a coat if a sudden downpour occurs, and if it persists my trusty Lowepro shoulder bag will provide more than enough rain protection.

The one place it might be advantageous is if visiting something like a tropical house of butterfly centre - where it will be hot and humid, and the seals may help protect in that case.

I suspect changing the lens lets in more dust than get in via the dials the rest of the time!
 

BobBob21

Well-known Member
You don't say whether you have a FF DSLR or APS-C as this will influence how much variation you will see in IQ between different formats.
Our DSLR is FF.

What is the difference between the "Pen" and "OM" ranges in Olympus? The M5II and Pen-F are both at the sort of price I didnt want to go above, I'm guessing she'd perfer the former given it has a viewfinder but havent seen any noddy's guide on the core differences
 

snerkler

Member
Our DSLR is FF.

What is the difference between the "Pen" and "OM" ranges in Olympus? The M5II and Pen-F are both at the sort of price I didnt want to go above, I'm guessing she'd perfer the former given it has a viewfinder but havent seen any noddy's guide on the core differences
One the main differences was that the Pens were smaller but lacked a VF but the lines have been blurred with the Pen F. Likewise the OMD's tended to have more features and better AF systems I believe, but again I don't think there's a lot in it.

IMO whilst the Pen F is a very very nice looking camera it's not as nice to hold as the OMDs imo, and the viewfinder's not as big.

Someone on TP has just picked up a used EM1 in excellent condition with only a couple of thousand shutter actuations and 12m warranty for £400, bit of a bargain imo.
 

AMc

Distinguished Member
Back from holiday...
Need to buy a new smaller camera, mainly for urban or garden shots (typical lifestyle blogger type things) but minimise the loss of IQ. A few of her associates use the Olympus Pen camera which she likes because its retro and girly looking but doesnt like the lack of a viewfinder and isnt 100% convinced by its image quality.

Our DSLR is FF.
What is the difference between the "Pen" and "OM" ranges in Olympus? The M5II and Pen-F are both at the sort of price I didnt want to go above, I'm guessing she'd perfer the former given it has a viewfinder but havent seen any noddy's guide on the core differences
The PEN F has a viewfinder.
Park have an offer for a free 25mm f1.8 Olympus lens - might be elsewhere too.
Promotional offers at Park Cameras | Park Cameras Online

Both ranges are nominally based on previous generation film cameras.
Olympus tend to pitch the OM-D line at pro and amateur photographers, the PEN line at the Blogger/Vlogger/Selfie community.

I have an older E-PL5 (PEN lite) and E-M10 Mki - for your purposes I would really recommend looking at the EM-10 Mkii and the pancake zoom 14-42 + a fast prime (Olympus 17mm f.18, Panasonic 20mm f1.7 or 25mm f1.7)
The EM-10 has great in body stabilisation so low light static subjects are achievable handheld with a fast lens.
Olympus have just announced the Mkiii - I'm a little underwhelmed by what I've seen so far but I would expect good deals on the Mkii in the next few weeks.
 

muljao

Well-known Member
Old enough thread so maybe already sorted. I had a bunch of canon dslrs, have some Nikon stuff. The only camera my wife would actually use comfortable was an Olly EM5. It's not tiny but with the underrated 12-50mm it's almost same cover as a canon with a 24-105. Its tidy and weather sealed. They can be got cheap now, sorry I ever sold mine
 

BobBob21

Well-known Member
No, my wife's decision making process is slower than an ice age. Thankfully she's not aware of sites like Canon Rumors and so possible new models doesnt form part of it otherwise she would never buy anything.

Took 9 months to decide which slab roller to buy even though there is only a single brand with the design she wanted and only one table top one (took another 2 months from buying to actually using it but its been used almost daily since with lots of comments of how great it is).

Thanks everyone for the suggestions, will try and drag her back to a camera shop to look at the Olympus.
 

All Thumbs

Novice Member
I hesitate slightly to post my first entry after all these well established folk, but...
I was a Canon user for a long time (still am) but never in your L lens league.
But a few years ago it staled for me and then I got an Olympus EM5 and my love of photography got seriously rekindled. For me what I love most about these little cameras from Olympus is the IS is so good. And they really are possible to carry anytime - particularly with a nice fast prime. The cost of the lenses is not prohibitive either, ok if you want the top lenses it's going to cost you, but the equivalent 50mm, 28mm, rather nice macro are all so tiny, sharp and relatively cheap. Lastly my one long lens which is a 100-300 f4-5.6 (equivalent to 200-600mm) can be hand held for shooting butterflies and the like. I didn't even have to sell a limb to buy it.
I really love these little things.
 

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