The best reasonably priced, compact / compact system, pocketable camera? Help please

Discussion in 'Photography Forums' started by jammieeeee, Feb 6, 2014.

  1. jammieeeee

    jammieeeee
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    So, I'm in the market for a camera. I'll be spending 3 months in Asia this summer and want to make sure i'll get some great shots on a budget - so i'd expect to be buying second hand. I've been giving it some thought and have outlined my requirements and ideas below. Really appreciate any thought you guys might have on this!

    Originally had my eyes on an Olympus Pen, or an alternative compact system camera, however I'm beginning to think a compact may be a better option

    Requirements:
    • Ideally £200, would pay £300 for the right kit / a great deal
    • Needs to fit in my pocket
    • Needs to take great pictures!
    • Manual control options, with external dials if possible
    • Viewfinder
    • Fairly hardy design
    • Happy for compact system or premium compact
    • Happy to buy second hand - perfect working order essential, not fussed about the odd scratch

    Thoughts (and reasoning)
    • Canon G15 - currently the front runner, available new for around £215 and looks to tick all the boxes.
    • Fuji X10 - look to be available second hand for around £150, not too sure it's better than the G15
    • Fuji X100 - my first choice, looks great, don't think it would come in at under £300 second hand, seen one go for £325 but that was snapped up in an instant!
    • Olympus E-PL2, looks like a great price although no viewfinder.... one, Olympus E-PL2 Black Digital Camera with 14-42mm II Lens (N4288092) - Wex Photographic

    I look forward to hearing any suggestions! Cheers
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2014
  2. Tinywerz

    Tinywerz

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    None of those are what I'd call pocketable unless you class a coat or jacket pocket as an option.
    Out of them all the X100 has the best image quality, followed by the Olympus.

    The Canon G15's viewfinder next to useless because its so sodding small (and I do mean small!) and suffers the age old parallax error problem. It has a great lens though with a very useful range but this is somewhat offset by its small sensor which is very prone to highlight clipping in contrasty scenes.

    The X10's viewfinder is bigger but still suffers from parallax issues but it has a larger sensor than the G15 and significantly for me personally, a far wider dynamic range which is very useful if you plan on shooting landscapes or cityscapes. The X10 also has some of Fuji's superb EXR modes that really are more than gimmicky scene modes you find on other cameras.

    From your list I think the X10 finds the right balance between size, features and image quality but if I had £300 to drop on a compact it wouldn't be any of the above it would be a Sony RX100.

    Although it doesn't have a viewfinder it does everything else and just about matches the larger sensor cameras for quality of images, it's also superb in low light and spits out very good video as well.
     
  3. jammieeeee

    jammieeeee
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    Thanks Tinywerz really interesting thoughts, I'll read up on the RX100 (before I ask any questions)!
     
  4. jammieeeee

    jammieeeee
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    I do like the idea of a slightly larger camera with more external controls, something the RX100 seems to lack.

    The G1x looks like another option....
     
  5. bobbymax

    bobbymax
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    GX1...Cracking camera especially with the small PZ kit lens. But won't fit your pocket very well.
    Can get a refurb for under £300 ;)
     
  6. Tinywerz

    Tinywerz

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    Do not buy a Canon G1-X, I'll quote myself from another thread regarding it:

     
  7. jammieeeee

    jammieeeee
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    In terms of image quality, how do the likes of an RX100 or Fuji x100 or Olympus E-PL2 compare to a starter DSLR with kit lens.

    I ask this very uneducated question as my family own a D5100 - I'd be happy if my photos were of a similar quality.

    Thanks
     
  8. twist

    twist
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    RX100 has a decent zoom but smaller sensor, image quality is good. Only downside, slow lens. Odd handling.

    X100 has no zoom, 35mm equivalent lens with a very fast aperture, one of the best APSC sensors around. Downside, no zoom.

    Why are you looking at a very old Olympus, a used EPL5 can be had for £250 and a kit lens for £50-60.
     
  9. jammieeeee

    jammieeeee
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    I saw the E-PL2 for £147 including a lens, an appealing price!
     
  10. twist

    twist
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    You'll learn that in photography looking to spend as little as possible is a bad idea. Thats ancient sensor technology, hence the price. You can get an EPL3 for the same price.

    Have a look at ISO, the D5100 destroys the EPL2.

    Nikon D5100 versus Olympus PEN EPL2 - Side by side camera comparison - DxOMark
     
  11. topgazza

    topgazza
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    Agree... don't scrimp to save a £100... it will pay off to buy the better camera. For me the RX100 is the best overall quality compact and although no zoom the X10 will also give you great shots that crop well. Not bad in a big pocket the OMD EM5 is worth looking at. The Panasonic range is always worth checking out to see which one suits you best
     
  12. Tinywerz

    Tinywerz

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    The X100 has an APS-C 1.5x crop sensor, that is the same size as what is in a D5100 and image quality is very comparable to each other.

    But the X100 is a bit of an enthusiast camera, it has a fixed 23mm lens (35mm actual) that for a starter could be a rather steep learning curve due to lack of zoom.......or you could take to it like a duck to water and wonder why you ever bothered with zoom.

    The Olympus has very good image quality, great AF and decent lens options. It also has a large m4/3 sensor and some options for adding an electronic viewfinder. Again image quality will be very similar to a D5100 until high ISO's come into play. I definitely wouldn't say it was pocketable though unless you have big coat pockets.

    An RX100 punches well above it's weight for image quality and although it has a smaller sensor than the above it offset by it's portability. No viewfinder though and no option for one unless you buy the more expensive RX100 II. For everyday shots you should get very similar images to an DSLR for the vast majority but what will suffer due to the smaller sensor is the depth of field control.

    This is where the subject in focus is isolated by blurring the background in an 'out of focus' way. There are a few things that affect this but the first rule is the bigger the sensor is the better the subject isolation could be and that where the X100 would win everytime.

    Hope that helps!
     
  13. shotokan101

    shotokan101
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    Nex range doesn't seem to have been mentioned much and probably should be if we're looking at CSC's and similar sized "compacts" - recently saw Twist post up a link to a used Nex5 Kit for well under £200...

    JIm
     
  14. twist

    twist
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    Yes, Id agree with Jim, the NEXs are fantastic value for money. I shouldve really mentioned them (Ive only had 5 or 6 of them!!)

    This was the camera... very cheap

    Used Sony NEX-5 + 18-55mm | London Camera Exchange - Leamington
     
  15. SevloW

    SevloW
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  16. bobbymax

    bobbymax
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