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Thread: Your favorite compact

  1. #1
    Shelby Lewis
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    Your favorite compact

    Afternoon all!

    I'm in the midst of picking up Josh's DL28 system (afdiii, aptus ii-6, and 80/2.8D) and will be selling off the majority of my 35mm gear. After picking up some odds and ends (monopod, few old lenses) I think I'm going to need a compact camera for family use.

    ... a camera my non-photographer wife could feel comfortable using

    In the midst of all this high-res mumbo jumbo we all love, what compact do you find yourself using? No interchangeable lens (m4/3 or nex) and doesn't have to even have lots of bells and whistles... just good IQ and ease of use.

    I'm very familiar with the canon G-series and may go that way, but if there is something out their more elegant (for me) while being usable (for her)... then I'd be interested in hearing about it.

    Thanks,
    Shelby

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    Re: Your favorite compact


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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Your favorite compact

    A lot of MF folks use 4/3rds system since it is the same format size as MF. Most are using Pana G1,G2,GF1 and such.

    BTW Congrats on the new MF.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Your favorite compact

    Hi
    My current little guy is the Canon S95, I even have the underwater case for it and have taken it scuba diving with me.
    Over all very happy with it, but I'm in line to buy the just released Olympus XZ-1
    I think the XZ-1 is going to be the best rounded out small compact camera.

    BTW I bought my fiance an S90 which she finally uses because it's small enough that she can always carry with her in her purse.
    am

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    Re: Your favorite compact

    Despite my dislike of 3x2 ratios, I am waiting for the Fuji X100 to arrive. If the hype comes even close to the reality, it should be a winner.
    Cheers,
    Jeff
    www.jeff-grant.com

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    Super Duper
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    Re: Your favorite compact

    I'd vote for the M9 and X1 in that order...
    Don Libby
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    Re: Your favorite compact

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Libby View Post
    I'd vote for the M9 and X1 in that order...
    +1!
    Bill

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    Subscriber Member TRSmith's Avatar
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    Re: Your favorite compact

    I bought a GF-1 with the kit 14-40 for my wife. And just yesterday received a new 20mm to fit on it. She loves it but I'm fascinated by it. With the 20mm mounted, it's very sweet and I think it easily qualifies as elegant.

  9. #9
    Shelby Lewis
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    Re: Your favorite compact

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Libby View Post
    I'd vote for the M9 and X1 in that order...
    Holy Cow, Don... I just bought an MF set-up and you suggest spending more for my compact. I Love this place!

    I hadn't though about the format of the 4/3 being a good match with our 645 gear. Hmmm, gives me pause. Maybe a gf1 or similar might be a good direction to go. I'll look into it

  10. #10
    Shelby Lewis
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    Re: Your favorite compact

    Quote Originally Posted by TRSmith View Post
    I bought a GF-1 with the kit 14-40 for my wife. And just yesterday received a new 20mm to fit on it. She loves it but I'm fascinated by it. With the 20mm mounted, it's very sweet and I think it easily qualifies as elegant.
    Thanks for this... I'm thinking similarly. I do have to admit that the lens adaptability of the m4/3 system is intriguing.

  11. #11
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    Re: Your favorite compact

    One of the smaller sized m4/3 cameras is good.

    The E-PL1 is being replaced by the E-PL2 so right now you can find good deals on the first model.
    GF1 has been discontinued so the prices seem to be rising a bit
    The GF2 should be hitting the stores shortly

    If you want to go smaller
    S95 or LX5 but I really do like the G12 with the articulating screen and knobs on top but a stop slower at the wide end.

    You can get big sensor E-PL1 for not much difference in price than the compacts.

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    Re: Your favorite compact

    I've got a GF1 with the 20mm and 14mm prime lenses. I'm struggling to click with it having had it since the summer. I bought the cheaper and smaller LX5 for my parents for xmas and loved it. I was going to buy an LX5 for my children (and me), but went for the even cheaper and smaller TZ10. It doesn't do RAW, but the jpegs are good and plenty of control in camera to change their look.

    Slightly puzzled why I'm not getting on with the GF1, but am persisting. The files aren't a patch on my Leica M8 with zeiss lenses. I wanted to sell the M8 and have the lower bulk of the GF1, especially for a summer visit to Hawaii. The 645DF/P45 is not being considered for the holiday.

    Just read a book about Joe Cornish who is using the LX3 (LX5's predecessor) alongside a P45+ set-up and had some double page pictures from it in the book. Obviously not to same standard as the P45, but good nevertheless.

  13. #13
    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: Your favorite compact

    Shelby,

    I really really like the M4/3 cameras. I have a GF1 as my P&S which I find much easier to use (and more fun) than my Canon G9 (too many menus and submenus). I've committed to only using Panasonic lenses (20mm, 14-45mm so far), to protect my wallet from further incursions.

    I also converted a GF1 to IR----and that's been great as well.

    ken

    p.s. Following along with Don, howabout an M9 and then you can convert a second M9 to IR....

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    Member jdbfreeheel's Avatar
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    Re: Your favorite compact

    Since Shelby is picking up my mfd kit, I figure I can offer a few suggestions:
    1) I love my Leica X1 but as your only small compact, especially sharing it with another person who might be expecting zoom, etc, it's probably not the best option.
    2) For some reason, despite a few quirks, I tend to reach for my Ricoh GX200. It's not new anymore, isn't flashy, and the zoom is limited. But there's something about it, the pictures that come out, and the fact that it has raw format, that makes me grab it more often than I expect.
    3) M4/3 is another good option. I currently have the Oly EP-1 and I really like it despite the limitations (no onboard flash, no e-viewfinder). I'm actually thinking of selling mine too just because I don't use it very often. Shelby...if you go this direction, let me know and we can make another deal...
    4) Lastly, and this is out there, maybe...I really enjoy the Epson RD-1. Rangefinder, only 6mp, simple, solid, and good iq. It won't compete with the M9 but I think it gives the m8 a run for its money. They're old now, but I've never had a problem with the two different ones I've owned. (I sold my original and missed it enough to buy another).

    -Josh

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    Subscriber Member TRSmith's Avatar
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    Re: Your favorite compact

    One addendum to my earlier post. My choice of the GF-1 was determined primarily by what I thought my wife would be most comfortable with. I actually ordered and received an EP-1 but returned it once I realized how difficult it would be to explain to my wife that there's no onboard flash.

    My goal was to make it easy for her to make pictures but still allow some room for "development" of her interest. The GF-1 seems like a perfect fit and the fact that I like it too is strictly icing.

  16. #16
    Shelby Lewis
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    Re: Your favorite compact

    You guys are funny... spending other people's money (ken!).

    Josh and I must be cut from similar cloth... I have always wanted to try the ricoh gx series cameras. There are a few on ebay at a decent price. I'm still not completely jazzed about m4/3 as they still seem a bit too "photographer-oriented". I know, sounds pretty stupid, but I really think I want a simple box that takes great photos and maybe has a bit of the gestalt of the old film compacts.

    Still... gf-1/-2 could be a nice direction to go as far as me having fun later on with alt lenses.

    Thanks for the discussions, everyone. Keep 'em coming!

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    Re: Your favorite compact

    My wife has a Panasonic FZ something (28? 80?) for when she wants to bother taking 'real' pictures, and a pocket sized Canon P&S for everything else. She uses her iPhone 4 a lot too. She takes a LOT more pictures than me, in fact she usually runs a P&S into the ground in just 3-4 years. Her use is purely documentary.

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    Re: Your favorite compact

    I'll add one more voice for the GF1 with 20mm. I bought one to replace my lost Canon G9 - dramatic improvement in quality. Can stick it on A priority and use it as a point and shoot or easy to adjust manually. Fits comfortably in an overcoat pocket and also in my larger jackets.

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    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: Your favorite compact

    Quote Originally Posted by Shelby Lewis View Post
    You guys are funny... spending other people's money (ken!).

    ....
    p.s. Marc is selling his H4D40.... http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showthread.php?t=22934

    Seriously, I love my GF1. I can use it as a P&S, pop-up flash, or in M or AP with ease. I actually find true P&S difficult to use because of all the buttons, menus, and submenus....

  20. #20
    Super Duper
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    Re: Your favorite compact

    I bought my wife a gh1 some time ago. Overall its great specially with the flexibility of shooting video. However today I would buy her something with less buttons. She isnt interested in all the functions and ends up sometimes with motion blurr/shake etc. even though I tell her using i.a. (they call it intelligent automatic, we call it idi... automatic.
    Personally I like the x1 a lot.

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Your favorite compact

    Sorry Shelby, another vote for M4/3rds. With my MF kit and no 35 DSLR any more, I find the flexibility and size of the Panny GH2 *perfect* for everything I don't want to use the MF kit for. No, it won't fit in my shirt pocket, but it's compact enough for my needs and does make very, very nice 16x20 prints.
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Super Duper
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    Re: Your favorite compact

    Keeping with the Leica theme...

    Choices in order of my preference:

    1. V-Lux 2 - Jpeg & RAW Movies 14MP 4320x3240 with a 35mm lens equivalent of 25-600mm. Around $849

    2. D-Lux 5 - Jpeg & RAW & Movies 10MP 3648x2736 with a 35 mm lens equivalent of 24-90mm. Around $800

    3. V-Lux 20 - Jpeg only & Movies 14MP 4000x3000 with a 35mm lens equivalent of 25-300mm. Around $700. (I personally don't like this as it doesn't offer RAW format)

    I came very close to the Lux 2 as I was making my mind up about a small walk around and in the end decided on the X1.

    Remember I am the/a super enabler ... (Actually I thought I was the senior enabler - guess Jack changed the title again )

    Don
    Don Libby
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  23. #23
    Super Duper
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    Re: Your favorite compact

    I will admit to liking Ken's GF1 setup when I played with it last year. The system small yet offers great image quality and room to grow as it had interchangeable lenses.

    Don
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    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: Your favorite compact

    After using Dlux3 and Dlux4 for some time I bought a M43 EP2 last January, which immediately started to become my favorite high quality compact (I shoot only RAW even with that type of camera).

    I tried the NEX5 last summer, but even as this camera is very small and IQ is pretty ok, I do not like it and will give it to one of my kids.

    I bought the GH2 some weeks ago and this camera is not really a compact, but it is the first more serious DSLR (EVF based) I started to take always with me on business travel, because it is so nice and small even with kit lens and has not much weight.

    I think that M43 has a huge potential here and maybe if a GF3 with the GH2 sensor (or however this one will be called) comes to market, I will take this one as my favorite compact.

    So another big vote for M43!

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    Re: Your favorite compact

    I'll offer another vote in favor of an m4/3 body with the 20mm Panasonic lens on it. In some ways, in fact, I still prefer using my m4/3 gear to my MF digital gear, but there is no question the IQ isn't nearly as good...

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    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: Your favorite compact

    Quote Originally Posted by Audii-Dudii View Post
    I'll offer another vote in favor of an m4/3 body with the 20mm Panasonic lens on it. In some ways, in fact, I still prefer using my m4/3 gear to my MF digital gear, but there is no question the IQ isn't nearly as good...
    I only can back this statement. Today I was on the road with my H3D39 and the GH2. Guess what I used all the time? The GH2, as it is soooo much lighter and to carry and shoot than the H3D.

    But for sure there are situations and jobs there MFD is the only way to go!

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    Re: Your favorite compact

    Ok
    I thought we are recommending a in-expensive point and shoot.
    In that case I do have to admit that along side my S95 I also have a GF-1 with a 20 and 14-45
    But based on myself I know this kit is already too big for my better half to lug around.
    So...
    The new E-PL2 also looks really good, In body IS and On board flash, two big check marks in my book.
    am

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