Not sure what to buy next...
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Old 10-08-2012   #1
Alpaca
 
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Default Not sure what to buy next...

Hi Everybody,

I hope you can give me some reccommendations with regards to a new compact camera I want to buy. I have the following criteria:
- I already own an SLR but I have 2 small kids and I noticed that the SLR is not the right thing to carry with me during vacation (on top changing the lens simply lasts too long). So a high focal range (e.g. from 28 - 300 mm would be great) and the changing lens seems to be the issue.
- My wife already uses an Ixus 80 IS, but she says that now that she nows how pictures can look like (thanks to the SLR)she starts to be no longer happy with the picture quality of it. The SLR is too heavy for her - she doesn't use it. So low-light, noise and the weight seem to be the issues here.
- On top we do own a videocam, but it's an old PAL one and my SLR can't do video (it's an EOS 40D), so I'd highly appreciate if the video capabilities are good.

Now I know that there is no camera fulfilling everything perfectly, but I had a look already at a Nikon P7700 and at a Panasonic FZ-200. I didn't have the chance to have a proper look at the pictures, nor at the videos, but especially with regards to the video-section they were both extremely slow (zooming + focussing at the same time is almost not feasible and therefore useless). With regards to the usability the missing viewfinder and the electronic one are a real issue to me + I got mad at the Nikons menus, but I think it's a matter of getting used to it. The Panasonic has a nice focal length, but I'm not sure at its low-light capabilities + it was even slower than the Nikon.
Now we start thinking of taking a look at these new mirrorless system cams, maybe with one of those extreme lens attached to it (18-270), but they again look large, heavy and the missing optical viewfinder + higher costs are all not ideal prerequisites.

Now that you know what I'm searching for, do you have any further suggestions for me?

Thanks in advance,
Plasma

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Old 10-17-2012   #2
gpf
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Default Re: Not sure what to buy next...

I really know what you mean. There is no compact camera out there with a decent viewfinder which will still fit in my shirt pocket - something very important to me. If I'm going to carry a camera then I might as well carry the SLR, otherwise I want something which is with me all the time, close to hand, but unobtrusive.

I eventually plumped for the Canon S100. My wife has an Ixsus (can't remember which one) which has horrible touch screen focusing. For me the important things were good autofocus at the half touch of the shutter, plenty of manual control, and an integrated gps (long story but I need it for work as well as play).


Also important to me was high ISO. I've found this to be an absolute joy. So nice not to have to have startling flash.

The downside is the limited zoom. But with 14MP capture in RAW, there's not been too much of an issue with not being able to zoom in later in PP. Also, it's tough enough holding a tiny camera steady anyway, even with stabilisation, so a longer zoom wouldn't really add much.

For me the camera would have been perfect if it had had a viewfinder. I wear multifocal spectacles, so looking at the LCD screen is neck breaking. However, it's a great carry-around tool which I've used for family events, for holidays climbing in the Alps and for work in North African deserts.
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Old 10-20-2012   #3
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Default Re: Not sure what to buy next...

Thanks for your suggestion. The Canon S Series looked also quite promising to me so I had a look at it already - verry nice, feels very good in my hand and especially the gps is nice.

But I have to admit that even if I'm searching for a compact camera, it's not needed that it's completely pocketable - it's allowed to be a also slightly larger like the G15 or even the G1X (actually the FZ-200 I referred to in my previous post is even larger) - only issue with the Canons is that Canon seems to be reluctant to implement a slightly better Video support - 1080p24 as almost only FullHD option is not enough imho.

As I started accepting the idea not to have a viewfinder any more I had a look at the RX100 which turned out to be very promising. Very good photo quality, high ISOs seem to be no problem and the Video section seems to be well done - only issue is the limited zoom, but I think that I have to choose either for more zoom OR for more light.

But I think I'll wait for more cameras from the Photokina getting available at the stores before buying anything. The G15, for instance, is not yet available here in Germany (but I know it's available already in the US).
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Old 10-21-2012   #4
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Default Re: Not sure what to buy next...

If you can afford it the Sony RX100 is excellent. I have been playing with my son in laws the last few days and been very impressed with the image quality. From the point of view of shooting kids it is very quick to focus and take the shot which is not the case with many compacts. Zoom a bit less than you want but 20Mpx so plenty of cropping flexibility and also very good low noise ability and all necessary manual settings for enthusiasts and full auto for wives
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Old 10-22-2012   #5
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Default Re: Not sure what to buy next...

Thanks for the additional information, PhilC. How does the RX-100 perform with regards to the video section? (as this is also important to me) I own an old panasonic videocam (just PAL, i.e. 576i resolution) - is it fair to start any comparisons?
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Old 10-23-2012   #6
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Default Re: Not sure what to buy next...

Sorry, never played with the video mode as its something Im not interested in. It is apparently very good from reviews though. There s an excellent and comprehensive review here complete with sample video clips you can watch.
Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-RX100 In-Depth Review: Digital Photography Review
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Old 10-23-2012   #7
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Default Re: Not sure what to buy next...

Thanks for the link PhilC - I'll read it carefully. Yesterday I had the chance to hold the RX-100 in my hands at a local store (unfortunately without battery) - I was surprised by the small size (my wife would be happy!) and impressed by the very good build quality. I'll try to find a store that has a battery in the camera...
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Old 11-13-2012   #8
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Default Re: Not sure what to buy next...

I too had a dilemma whether to go for RX100 or G15. I have D300 and it is heavy and a pain to carry everywhere. I needed something which I can carry all the time. I finally went for G15 because it had the feeling that I am using a DSLR without the weight and a bright lens 1.8 to 2.8. you can change the settings easily because it has a number of buttons.
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Old 11-13-2012   #9
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Default Re: Not sure what to buy next...

I can absolutely understand your feeling about the G15, janof. I finally had a bit of time 2 weeks ago and went to my local store and compared G15 (yes, finally we have it here in Europe!), RX100 and the P7700.
The G15 is very good built and as I already own a Canon DSLR it just felt "right".

After playing a bit with the RX100 I have to admit that it is too small for me - it's even hard to hold it properly (I do not have large hands/fingers). When the lens drove out of the camera after turning on it almost slipped out of my hands as the weight got heavily unbalanced.

The P7700 also seemed to be good, but not as good as the G15; I don't think my choice will fall on it, even if I really like the +60mm compared to the G15 and the articulated monitor.

After I had a look at these 3 cameras the seller showed me a Nikon D3200 and told me "almost same price as the others, but much better picture/video quality". I was reluctant to have a look at it, as it's again a DSLR (almost not pocketable), but I have to admit that it was really light (for a DSLR).
This is now giving me some headaches - is it really reasonable to spend so much money for a compact camera if you already get and entry-level DSLR for the same?

Hmm...
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Old 11-19-2012   #10
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Default Re: Not sure what to buy next...

Like many others, I've debated this... and decided to go mirrorless. I started with the NEX-5N, and just picked up the NEX-6. I haven't played with the NEX-6 much yet, I was enthralled with the (small) size of the 5N with the new 16-50 lens, so I've been playing with that combination for now. When the 10-18 f4 arrives for me this week, I'll take out the set, and get a more thorough test of it all.

(as for hands/fingers, I've got large paws, and find the NEX series reasonable to hold - although if it wasn't for the weight of it all, I prefer the solid feel of a gripped D300/D700, but for travel and snapshots, it is looking like the NEX cameras are going to get a lot more of my time)

- Darcy


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