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Thread: Searching for a shirt-pocket camera with RAW capture capability

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    Senior Member petermcwerner's Avatar
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    Searching for a shirt-pocket camera with RAW capture capability

    I am using various “Pro” cameras that all have their merits: Leica M8, Leica R9 with DMR, Panasonic G1 and Nikon D700. All of them give excellent results but all are quite heavy and bulky to carry around. I was missing many shots because I did not have a camera on me when I needed. The best camera is the one you have with you, so I decided to look for such a camera. A cell phone would not provide the IQ I required

    I set up the following list of criteria:

    - shirt pocket size
    - excellent lens, preferably Leica or Zeiss
    - wide angle coverage at least 28mm
    - RAW capture
    - possibility to attach a lens hood
    - movie capability not needed, I only take stills
    - Capable of good prints up to A3 (12x18)
    - reasonably priced

    Why RAW? I want the possibility to postprocess and thus rescue shots that do not turn out as I wish them, e.g.

    - over- or under-exposed,
    - too much or too little contrast,
    - white balance off
    - in need of perspective and/or distortion correction

    Sony, Canon and Nikon encrypt all or portions of the RAW file in an attempt to prevent third-party tools from accessing them and thus were out; I want to use the same RAW converter for all of my cameras and do not want to be dependent on the camera makers’ specific software

    Although there are hundreds of shirt pocket cameras on the market, I did not find much choice: After googling and reading many reviews, the Panasonic LX5 aka Leica D_Lux 5
    seemed a valid contender but fell short on size, not really shirt pocketable. I would not carry it on me at all times.

    Finally the best compromise seemed to be the Panasonic Lumix FX150 (see Detailed Review). Although on the market since 2008, it fulfilled all of my criteria except one, the possibility to easily attach a lens hood, but this is common to most if not all shirt pocket cameras.

    I found a good bargain on ebay and bought one at around 200$. I have now used it for two months and am very satisfied, so much so that my other cameras sit most of the time on a shelf. Here a few examples:



    Sunflower – original JPEG – re-sized and slighlty sharpened - no need to use RAW



    Billboard – Original JPEG (resized)





    Billboard after distortion, perspective and white balance correction and optimization from RAW





    House of painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919) in Cagnes (French Riviera) – Original JPEG (resized)





    House of painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir in Cagnes (French Riviera) – after perspective correction from RAW
    Peter Werner
    Leica M8, R9+DMR & Digilux 2; Nikon D700; Panasonic FX01, FX150 & G1; Samsung TL350 (WB 2000)

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    Senior Member thrice's Avatar
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    Re: Searching for a shirt-pocket camera with RAW capture capability

    Olympus XZ-1
    Decent zoom (4x) and f/1.8 aperture at the wide end. RAW capability. Sharp.

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    Senior Member petermcwerner's Avatar
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    XZ-1 falls short on size

    Quote Originally Posted by thrice View Post
    Olympus XZ-1
    Decent zoom (4x) and f/1.8 aperture at the wide end. RAW capability. Sharp.
    Thanks for the suggestion. With its depth (43mm against 24mm of the FX150) it would not fit easily in the front pocket of my jeans.
    Peter Werner
    Leica M8, R9+DMR & Digilux 2; Nikon D700; Panasonic FX01, FX150 & G1; Samsung TL350 (WB 2000)

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    Senior Member bradhusick's Avatar
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    Re: Searching for a shirt-pocket camera with RAW capture capability

    Quote Originally Posted by thrice View Post
    Olympus XZ-1
    Decent zoom (4x) and f/1.8 aperture at the wide end. RAW capability. Sharp.
    +1
    Brad Husick

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    Member sonomichele's Avatar
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    Re: Searching for a shirt-pocket camera with RAW capture capability

    Glad you found something that works for you. If you are willing to forego a zoom lens - the Ricoh GRD III is well loved by many and fits your other criteria (although I'm not sure about the hood). With zoom the Canon S95 is often touted as the best in shirt pocket cameras. But if you are good with what you have - stay with it.
    michael

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    Senior Member petermcwerner's Avatar
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    Re: Searching for a shirt-pocket camera with RAW capture capability

    Peter Werner
    Leica M8, R9+DMR & Digilux 2; Nikon D700; Panasonic FX01, FX150 & G1; Samsung TL350 (WB 2000)

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    Re: Searching for a shirt-pocket camera with RAW capture capability

    I have the Samsung tl 350 camera and would recommend it. It has a Schneider Kreuz.
    lens that starts at 24mm and goes to 120mm. It is f/2.4 at the wide end. It also can be used in full manual mode ( focus, f stop, aperture, and I believe ISO ) Minimum focus in macro is only about 2 inches though. I don't think it will take a hood, however, there is always your hand to shade the lens. Yes, it also does raw and comes with a raw processor If someone could tell me how to insert pics into a post , I will do so.

    DaveO

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    Member akiralx's Avatar
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    Re: XZ-1 falls short on size

    Quote Originally Posted by petermcwerner View Post
    Thanks for the suggestion. With its depth (43mm against 24mm of the FX150) it would not fit easily in the front pocket of my jeans.
    Isn't this the depth with the lens extended?

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    Senior Member Tim's Avatar
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    Re: Searching for a shirt-pocket camera with RAW capture capability

    Quote Originally Posted by sonomichele View Post
    Glad you found something that works for you. If you are willing to forego a zoom lens - the Ricoh GRD III is well loved by many and fits your other criteria (although I'm not sure about the hood). With zoom the Canon S95 is often touted as the best in shirt pocket cameras. But if you are good with what you have - stay with it.
    +1 from me on the GRD I/II/III or IV -- just look at my Avatar . It will take a hood but the hood would have to be removed to make it pocketable. The lens is quite recessed when extended so it kind of has a hood anyway. Take a look at one and see if it fits the need!

    Jump to this page http://www.dpreview.net/reviews/ricohgrd/page2.asp and have a look at about the 9th image down to see the hood in place - it bayonets on/off. This is the GRD I but all GRDs have this.

    The RAW file is DNG RAW so just about everything software wise that accepts RAW reads it.
    With the GRD IV now out the III will be a good price now!
    Last edited by Tim; 6th October 2011 at 00:09.

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    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: Searching for a shirt-pocket camera with RAW capture capability

    Quote Originally Posted by bradhusick View Post
    +1
    ++1

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    Re: Searching for a shirt-pocket camera with RAW capture capability

    Peter,

    Perhaps your biggest problem is that your shirt-pockets are too small and that limits the number of cameras that meet your criteria. As a pretty informed person, you already know that generally the smaller the camera, the smaller the sensor and the greater the compromises that must be made.

    My small camera is an LX5 and that does not fit in my "normal" shirt pockets. But I am pleased with my results with it.

    Good luck in making your selection.

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    Re: Searching for a shirt-pocket camera with RAW capture capability

    Canon S95 or Ricoh GXRIII are the only shirt pocketable ones. My pick, the Ricoh. The GRDs fit nicely in the small leather belt pouch from the GR1, that's how I prefer to carry it.
    One size up are the LX5 and XZ1, too bulky and heavy for shirt pockets, though.

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    Senior Member petermcwerner's Avatar
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    Re: Searching for a shirt-pocket camera with RAW capture capability

    Howard,

    Thank you for your contribution. The LX5 would be my favourite, too, were it not for the size. As you may know, I have a few cameras, Leica M8 and DMR, Nikon D700, Lumix G1, all of which deliver excellent results but are too bulky and/or heavy for me to carry along at all times. Thus I have often missed a good shot.

    The best camera is the one you have with you, so It must fit the front pocket of my jeans. This is the number one priority when I do not want to carry one of the other cameras. I bought a Lumix FX150 but am not satisfied with the results. My wife’s 5 year old 6.4 megapixel Lumix FX01 in my opinion delivers better results but has no RAW capability.



    Iris “Venetian Glass” - Lumix FX01

    I am still on the lookout for the seemingly impossible compromise. I have not yet tried out the Samsung TL350 , which seems the only alternative I found to the FX150.

    Peter
    Peter Werner
    Leica M8, R9+DMR & Digilux 2; Nikon D700; Panasonic FX01, FX150 & G1; Samsung TL350 (WB 2000)

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    Re: Searching for a shirt-pocket camera with RAW capture capability

    Ricoh GRD III (or IV now)

    the fixed lens (28 mm equivalent) is very good. low distortion and sharp into the corners. really small, I often carry it in my front trouser pocket ... "is that a camera in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?"

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    Re: Searching for a shirt-pocket camera with RAW capture capability

    The best camera is the one you have with you, so It must fit the front pocket of my jeans.
    is _not_ a shirt pocket! My sigma dp1s fits in my jeans OK, and takes superb images.

    Best wishes,

    Ray

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    Senior Member petermcwerner's Avatar
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    Re: Searching for a shirt-pocket camera with RAW capture capability

    I have now ordered a Samsung TL350 after reading various reviews and user appreciations. I expect it to arrive in about 10 days and shall post my experiences and comparison photos ASAP. In the meantime I thank all the members who have posted in this thread.
    Peter
    Peter Werner
    Leica M8, R9+DMR & Digilux 2; Nikon D700; Panasonic FX01, FX150 & G1; Samsung TL350 (WB 2000)

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    Senior Member DHart's Avatar
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    Re: Searching for a shirt-pocket camera with RAW capture capability

    Quote Originally Posted by Howard View Post
    Peter,

    Perhaps your biggest problem is that your shirt-pockets are too small and that limits the number of cameras that meet your criteria. As a pretty informed person, you already know that generally the smaller the camera, the smaller the sensor and the greater the compromises that must be made.

    My small camera is an LX5 and that does not fit in my "normal" shirt pockets. But I am pleased with my results with it.

    Good luck in making your selection.


    A big +1.

    Looking forward to your thoughts on the Samsung TL350. Looks like it might just do the trick.
    Don

    "Be kind, everyone you encounter is fighting battles you have no awareness of."

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    Senior Member petermcwerner's Avatar
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    Re: Searching for a shirt-pocket camera with RAW capture capability

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveO View Post
    I have the Samsung tl 350 camera and would recommend it. It has a Schneider Kreuz.
    lens that starts at 24mm and goes to 120mm. It is f/2.4 at the wide end. It also can be used in full manual mode ( focus, f stop, aperture, and I believe ISO ) Minimum focus in macro is only about 2 inches though. I don't think it will take a hood, however, there is always your hand to shade the lens. Yes, it also does raw and comes with a raw processor
    Thank you for your recommendation. I received it, here a few examples of RAW pictures, developed with RAW Therapee. I particularly like the high luminosity of the Schneider lens, color rendition and contrast.

















    Peter Werner
    Leica M8, R9+DMR & Digilux 2; Nikon D700; Panasonic FX01, FX150 & G1; Samsung TL350 (WB 2000)

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