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Thread: m4/3 owner wants pocketable alternative

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    m4/3 owner wants pocketable alternative

    I never realised this section of GetDPI existed until someone mentioned it over on the m4/3 group yesterday.

    I am totally happy with my (now quite old) Panasonic GH2. New gear comes along all the time, however there has been little progress in sensor technology and I am reluctant to splash out on what is nothing more than a redesigned body.

    However, I do quite a lot of low light reportage when I really would prefer a camera that can go in my pocket when it is not being used.

    I don't want/need zoom. Ideally I'd like the equivalent of 28mm in full frame terminology. Usually I can get nearer my subject - walls I cannot move when I step backwards!

    I want RAW as my conversion software will always beat the in camera variants.

    However, my priority is max ISO, min noise. None of these shots, though published professionally, will be printed any larger than A4.

    Can I have your suggestions please?

    Tony

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    Re: m4/3 owner wants pocketable alternative

    Quote Originally Posted by Tonygamble View Post
    I never realised this section of GetDPI existed until someone mentioned it over on the m4/3 group yesterday.

    I am totally happy with my (now quite old) Panasonic GH2. New gear comes along all the time, however there has been little progress in sensor technology and I am reluctant to splash out on what is nothing more than a redesigned body.

    However, I do quite a lot of low light reportage when I really would prefer a camera that can go in my pocket when it is not being used.

    I don't want/need zoom. Ideally I'd like the equivalent of 28mm in full frame terminology. Usually I can get nearer my subject - walls I cannot move when I step backwards!

    I want RAW as my conversion software will always beat the in camera variants.

    However, my priority is max ISO, min noise. None of these shots, though published professionally, will be printed any larger than A4.

    Can I have your suggestions please?

    Tony
    I would have thought that the two main contenders would be the Sony RX100 (either the Mk1 or Mk2), or the Ricoh GR. The Ricoh has a 28mm (equiv.) f/2.8 fixed lens, and a 16.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor (without low-pass filter). The RX100 has a 28-100mm (equiv.) f/1.8-4.9 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* zoom lens, and a 20.2MP Exmor CMOS sensor (13.2 x 8.8mm)

    I can vouch for the RX100 being very impressive - indeed often amazing - for such a small camera. Its handling is something of an acquired taste. I found it rather difficult at first, but have since warmed to it. I now find it very good to use, and the results are excellent.

    The Ricoh receives much praise across the web, but I have no experience with it.

    Of course, there may be other suitable contenders of which I'm unaware, and I'm sure that others will chime in with these. Good luck with your choice.

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    Re: m4/3 owner wants pocketable alternative

    Thanks.

    I thought Ricoh would be mentioned. I bought my wife the GR1 and then the GR2. It is a bit slow using RAW but I am sure the new one is far better.

    I have yet to look at the specs but I guess the Sony is larger as it has the zoom? I also am not keen on those telephoto zooms that end up f 4.9. Totally useless for my low light stuff. As I have just loaded to the internet I'll put a link to Tuesday's work. Most shots are at around 3200 ASA. Yes there is some telephoto stuff (90mm FF) but I could have almost as easily moved nearer to the performer. Key thing is I was only 'working' half the time and would have loved to have been able to put my camera in my pocket when I had done.

    http://tinyurl.com/o4lbple

    Tony
    Last edited by Tonygamble; 4th October 2013 at 03:13.

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    Re: m4/3 owner wants pocketable alternative

    Quote Originally Posted by Tonygamble View Post

    I have yet to look at the specs but I guess the Sony is larger as it has the zoom? I also am not keen on those telephoto zooms that end up f 4.9. Totally useless for my low light stuff.
    The Sony is smaller and (slightly) lighter - their respective statistic are as follows:-

    RX100: 102 x 58 x 36mm (4.00 x 2.29 x 1.41″); weight: 240g (inc battery)

    GR: 117 x 61 x 35mm (4.61 x 2.40 x 1.38″); weight: 245g (inc battery)

    I agree that the long-end aperture of f/4.9 is a little disappointing. However, the high ISO of the RX100 is pretty good for a pocket-sized compact, so this goes some way to offset the restrictive aperture at ≈100mm. Besides, since you say that you don't want/need zoom, then you presumably wouldn't use the long end, anyway?!

    In the UK the Ricoh seems to be around 50% more expensive - which might, or might not, be relevant in your decision-making. I have no interest in trying to persuade you to get the RX100 - I reckon that either would do a fantastic job for your stated requirements.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tonygamble View Post
    Key thing is I was only 'working' half the time and would have loved to have been able to put my camera in my pocket when I had done.
    You'd certainly be able to do this with the RX100... it's very small!

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    Re: m4/3 owner wants pocketable alternative

    Oh dear. The Sony does not have a viewfinder.

    Nor does the Ricoh but at least one can clip on an optical one.

    Do you not use one with your RX100?

    Tony

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    Re: m4/3 owner wants pocketable alternative

    Quote Originally Posted by Tonygamble View Post
    Oh dear. The Sony does not have a viewfinder.

    Nor does the Ricoh but at least one can clip on an optical one.

    Do you not use one with your RX100?

    Tony
    The RX100 MkII can accommodate an external VF in the hotshoe - the MkI has not hotshoe, so it can't. I do prefer a viewfinder, but I accepted the compromise for portability, when I bought the MkI (the MkII was not available at that time).

    I might, at some point, upgrade to the MkII, but I don't feel inclined to do so, as yet.

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    Re: m4/3 owner wants pocketable alternative

    OVF with a zoom? What good would that do?

    The rumored GM1should show soon. i would wait for it.

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    Re: m4/3 owner wants pocketable alternative

    Thanks,

    I have Googled the EVF and it looks both large and expensive.

    Do you know if anyone on this forum has posted experience with one of those magnifying glass thingies that attach to the back?
    Frequently asked questions for ClearViewer

    I need to trawl this forum - sorry about being lazy and I will.

    Tony

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    Re: m4/3 owner wants pocketable alternative

    "OVF with a zoom? What good would that do?"

    Yes, sir, I had worked that one out.

    GM1. I will do some Googling.

    Tony

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    Re: m4/3 owner wants pocketable alternative

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    OVF with a zoom? What good would that do?
    The OP stated that he didn't want/need the zoom.. which is why he's also considering the Ricoh GR. Therefore, if he were to opt for the RX100, he would only (or at least, mostly) be using it at 28mm, so an external OVF could be fine.

    Obviously, if he were to use the zoom more frequently, he might find the EVF more suitable. Alternatively, he could just use the LCD for those occasions.

    Of course, the GM1, when it arrives, might also be a very good candidate.

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    Re: m4/3 owner wants pocketable alternative

    Tony, Though not as small as the RX100/II, have a look at the Ricoh GR. Fixed lens and all.

    Oh, the GM-1 is a rumored (to show up in 1 week) Panasonic m43rds cam.

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    Re: m4/3 owner wants pocketable alternative

    Thanks guys,

    I have searched the RX100 threads here and even the big one only shows five references to viewfinder. Clearly not having one is not an issue for most people.

    I can't manage holding a camera at arm's length. As I said above the accessory EVF is a joke price and size wise. Does anyone have any suggestions like the ClearViewer?

    Tony

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    Re: m4/3 owner wants pocketable alternative

    Yes, Vivek. Thanks.

    I mentioned above that my wife has the GR2 - I'll see what progress has been made.

    The GM-1 would be interesting as it would take my M4/3 lenses like the 14mm pancake.

    Tony

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    Re: m4/3 owner wants pocketable alternative

    I have the RX100 II with the EVF and I love it. My other cameras are a Leica M and Nikon D4.
    Brad Husick

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    Re: m4/3 owner wants pocketable alternative

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    OVF with a zoom? What good would that do?

    The rumored GM1should show soon. i would wait for it.
    just leave the camera set to 28mm equivalent and fit a 28mm optical viewfinder. Used to do that with my Panasonic LX1, only I had to rubber-cement the viewfinder in place.

    G

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    Re: m4/3 owner wants pocketable alternative

    Godfrey,

    Good advice.

    And look at the back to get a feel of any zooming.

    I'd quite to know where and when the camer was focussing. But do people bother with such a big DOF?

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    Re: m4/3 owner wants pocketable alternative

    Quote Originally Posted by Tonygamble View Post
    ...
    I'd quite to know where and when the camer was focussing. But do people bother with such a big DOF?
    The Leica X2 is my "minimum and pocketable" camera. Or the Olympus E-PL1 fitted with the 15mm body cap lens and a Ricoh optical viewfinder ...


    When I take the X2 out, I use it in two very distinct ways:

    - Fitted with an OVF, I set the aperture to f/5.6-7 and the AF to Face Detect. Face Detect defaults to a high contrast area when it can't see any faces. Or a switch of AF entirely and set up the MF to focus by zone for my intended shooting range. In either case, I turn off the LCD and just use the OVF to frame and shoot. This is best for street shooting in modest to good light, when total scene gestalt and large DOF is called for.

    - Fitted with the EVF, I set the aperture to f/2.8-f/4. Since I can see what the AF is doing, I either make sure that it's on my preferred focus point, or I switch to MF and manually focus the camera. This is best used in low light or when shallow DOF is desired.

    I sometimes carry just the camera and use the LCD, but I find that a 35mm FoV is a little tight for that mode of operation, for me, most of the time. With the E-PL1 and body cap lens (or my twisty little Cosmicar 12.5mm f/1.4), it works better; or with a longer focal length when you're shooting sideways or from the hip.

    This one with the E-PL1 and body cap lens:


    Not bad for a camera that weighs 9 oz and cost me all of $140 (used body, new body cap lens, and I already had the viewfinder).

    G

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    Re: m4/3 owner wants pocketable alternative

    Thanks Godfrey,

    Some good ideas there.

    I am currently tempted to trade my wife's Ricoh 2 to the 4. We have the OVF already.

    EDIT. I had not realised that there is now '5' but it seems to be just called GR.

    Whet I sold her Ricoh 1 with an OVF to a friend he immediately put it in a drawer so he could use the back LCD and join the 'wobble the camera at arm's length' brigade. Talk about taking horses to water and ........

    But any other ideas would be fun. I love shopping - as long as I don't have to go to the shops to do it.

    Tony
    Last edited by Tonygamble; 5th October 2013 at 07:50.

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    Re: m4/3 owner wants pocketable alternative

    Tried a Clearviewer with my LX5. It worked better than I thought it might. However, even when folded against the camera it did make the package noticeably thicker, and it tended to catch on things when taking it out of my coat pocket or small bag. With the LX5's 460,000 dot LCD, the view from the Clearviewer looked annoyingly "pixelated" -- a higher resolution LCD would be recommended.

    Then there's this jobbie -- a Hasselblad waist-level viewfinder bolted on the back of an RX100!

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Adapter-use-...-/200862370122
    Last edited by JBurnett; 7th October 2013 at 07:45.
    Best regards,
    John.
    http://jburnett.ca

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    Re: m4/3 owner wants pocketable alternative

    Update.

    The Ricoh GR arrived yesterday afternoon. I took it to a function in the evening and was pleased to be able to tuck it into my pocket whilst relaxing. The shots are here:-

    Verdi

    Some are pretty noisy as at times the camera was working in excess of 10,000 ASA. I used the mode where one can set the aperture and shutter speed and the camera picks its own ASA. Brilliant.

    And there is a green camera on the dial where one chooses P Av etc that is the position where my wife can do herself the least damage.

    I am confident that I have made the right choice. I still lust after the X100S - but it would not have suited my wife and also I do prefer 28mm to 35mm as a shooting focal length.

    Tony

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    Re: m4/3 owner wants pocketable alternative

    Congrats on getting the GR Tony. Looks like you had alot of fun! The venue seems very colorful, and it is good to see the GR was able to capture this. The high ISO shots are indeed noisy, but somehow it seems to suit the event well, and when I see your lower ISO images in the same set ie no visible noise grain, it just feels not quite right as if it does not belong. But thats just my opinion, it would be good to see if you agree or disagree.


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    Re: m4/3 owner wants pocketable alternative

    Mazor - an interesting observation.

    The curtain call shots with the full cast came out at around 1200 ASA. Given more time to process the RAWs it would have been better to use less noise reduction (I use Qimage Ultimate) on those shots.

    One of my chums who organised the evening hung the red/white/green banners during the previous night (midnight to three he tells me). You've made my green banner look turquoise he said. That is because the roof is lit with blue flourescent tubes. I promised him I would re-colour any files that were going to be used in our Club magazine. However, I did point out that with all the different coloured lights being used in the Palm Court it was hard to get any sensible and consistent white balance - you can see the white table linen looking blue from those tubes!

    But a lovely handy camera to use and that is the real point.

    Off to sell my wife's GR 11 this lunchtime - hopefully to one of the staff working on the event as they tend to like to buy my old cameras as they have seen them in action (not the 11 I admit but they know I use reliable kit).

    EDIT ONE DAY ON

    I would have preferred the exposure compensation toggle at the top right to be blocked in the green camera (dummies) mode. It can be knocked easily. I have the OVF on the camera and encourage my wife to use it instead of the screen. On the old GR2 I turned the screen off to discourage her from shooting with the camera at arms length and to use the OVF. Now I will leave the screen on and encourage her to look at it from time to time to make sure she has not accidentally hit that exposure adjustment toggle. To me it seems illogical to leave it live when things like the macro button are barred.

    Tony
    Last edited by Tonygamble; 18th October 2013 at 23:35.

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    Re: m4/3 owner wants pocketable alternative

    The new Panasonic GM-1 would be just the ticket. I bought mine for the exact same reason you are looking. The kit zoom is decent enough too. Micro Four Thirds

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    Re: m4/3 owner wants pocketable alternative

    Thanks Turtle.

    I have had my GR for about five months now.

    I love the larger sensor and its inherant benefits.

    Tony

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    Re: m4/3 owner wants pocketable alternative

    why not just get the Panny GM1 and 14mm lens? very tiny, fits in any pocket I've got that I'd put a camera in.

    now if you want an optical viewfinder, the Oly E-PM2 fitted with the same panny 14mm lens and a compact optical viewfinder is a nice kit with the plus of IBIS. also fits in my trousers/jacket pocket although not as small as the GM1.

    G

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    Re: m4/3 owner wants pocketable alternative

    Thanks,

    I am fixed now but the GM1 and the 14mm looks a good alternative.

    I also have the Clearviewer on the GR and it suits me fine.

    Tony

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    Re: m4/3 owner wants pocketable alternative

    The clearviewer + GR goes in a pocket?
    any chance of a photo series showing how this works?

    My pocketable is an e-P1 with original 17mm pancake and home-made OVF.

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    Re: m4/3 owner wants pocketable alternative

    Ulfric,

    If you look here you will see what it looks like:-
    ClearView Product page

    I took it on a cruise at Christmas. In the evening I put it in my jacket pocket with ease.

    In the day time it was in a small canvas soft cover and that went into my shorts pocket with no problem.

    No you would not get it into a pair of jeans - but even a money wallet struggles.

    The good thing about the Clearviewer is that you see all the info on the screen such as exposure and focus. I had an optical viewfinder - it worked well but the screen info was missing of course.

    I have just bought a Sigma DP and ordered a Clearviewer for that.

    Tony

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    Re: m4/3 owner wants pocketable alternative

    There is always the Olympus Stylus1 complete with viewfinder and m4/3 sensor.
    Cheers, Dave
    www.simmondsphotography.com

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