High quality compact to complement M4/3 system - any thoughts?

Started Feb 7, 2014 | Discussions thread
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pocketpygmy Contributing Member • Posts: 829
Re: High quality compact to complement M4/3 system - any thoughts?

I keep coming back to this question myself. It's not as straightforward as it seems, especially since many similarly sized (physically, or sensor-wise) compacts can vary widely in price. And so, while, no, many compacts can't compete IQ-wise with the RX100, if you can get it at a fraction of the price for almost-good-enough IQ, then... why not?

$200 -- Pentax MX-1 (1/1.7" sensor with f1.8-2.7 lens, but chunky, almost m4/3-ish size)

$200 -- Olympus XZ-10 (smaller sensor, but f1.8-2.7 lens, and pretty small)

$200 -- Fuji XF-1 *RED* (2/3" sensor, f1.8-4.9 lens, pretty small but requires unusual lens twist activation to switch on)

$200 (and up) -- Pentax Q system (tiny interchangeable lens cams, but lenses do stick out, not really pocketable)

$250 -- Canon S110 (maybe the smallest of the enthusiast compacts?)

$250 -- Nikon J1 (1" sensor, interchangeable lenses, but like Pentax Q, lenses do stick out)

$300 -- Panasonic LX7 (another favorite, with f1.4-2.3 lens, but lens protrudes and requires lens cap)

$300 -- Olympus XZ-2 (another comparable sub-$400 enthusiast compact, but pretty bulky, and also requires lens cap?)

$400 -- Canon S120 (like the S110, but I guess 'better' in some way?)

$400 -- Canon G15 (one of the old reliables among enthusiast compacts, but size is larger)

$400 -- Fuji XQ-1 (specs like the XF-1, but with conventional auto lens-cap)

$450 -- Canon G16 (like the G15, but again... I guess it's somehow better?)

$500 -- Fuji X-20 (really nice design, but basically m4/3-ish size, not pocketable)

$550 -- Sony RX100 (the new star of compacts, but personally not a fan of its computer-like character, not as small as some of the others, and it's expensive)

$640 -- Olympus Stylus 1 (specs aren't bad, but again pretty close to m4/3 size, not pocketable)

$700 -- Sony RX100 II (even more expensive, and is it really worth it?)

$700 -- Panasonic GM-1 (m4/3!!)

$800 -- Ricoh GR (APS-C! but fixed at 28mm, and... the price)

$1000 -- Nikon A (APS-C! but fixed at 28mm, and... the price)

Ha... didn't know I had it in me, but there's a quick list sorta off the top of my head (but thanks to Amazon too). Did I miss any?

I still don't know what my preference would be, personally, but given such a range, I would really, really value the ones that are truly small, and truly inexpensive. (Are the $400 ones really twice as good as the $200 ones?) I've already got an EM-5 and primes for high quality images. What I'd want is something I can really take anywhere (no bags, no straps), but is better than my smartphone.

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