Small camera, really good IQ?

Started Jun 25, 2012 | Discussions
Roland Karlsson
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Small camera, really good IQ?
Jun 25, 2012

Hi fellow Pentaxians.

In the Open Talk forum there are some questions and advices regarding buying cameras. But as far as I can see - the answers are uninteresting. Maybe not so many that reads it, so ... Ill ask here .. where I know people.

I have several cameras, among those I almost always use K-5 or G10. The K-5 takes fantastic images and feels so good to use. The G10 is perfect size. Not big and clumsy and not small and fiddly.

I am going to make a journey, to China. And it is lots of travelling and lots of places to visit and lots of walking. A camera like G10 seems to be perfect, but ... I really want something with better IQ - something with a larger (or better) sensor.

Those are my alternatives right now.

Canon G1X - nearly APS-C sensor. Slightly bigger than G10, but still possible to have hanging around your neck all day. One thing - from DPReview review is that it is slow to focus - just as G10 is slow to focus. I can live with G10, but do I want to buy a camera 2012 that is slow to focus? Hmmmmm...

Sony NEX7 (or maybe NEX 5) - APS-C sensor. Can take my Pentax lenses with an adapter. Lightning fast focus (how do they do that?). 24 MP. Yada. Yada. But --- more expensive and also rather clumsy with the zoom.

K01 - hmmmm ... it IS smaller - but not by much. And it is lighter - but not by much. Hmmm ... how I wished Pentax had made it lighter and slimmer. They could - and still make it K compatible.

Some Nikon 1 (J1 or V1) camera. That has an 1" sensor. Its a compromise between the G10 and APS-C in sensor size. But .. its smaller than FourThirds. Hmmm ... I wonder how good it is? And it can take my Pentax lenses - but I dont know if that is interesting with the small sensor.

The new Sony RX100. Very small camera. Still an 1" sensor. It is not out yet --- but looks sweet - hopefully.

There will (maybe) be some new cameras from Sigma, DP1m and DP2m with higher resolution APS-C sensor. But ... they will probably not be out before I go.

The FourThirds (micro or not) I have omitted from my choice. I see no advantage really over NEX APS-C.

The Samsung APS-C cameras generally seem to have worse sensors, due to them insisting on using their own.

Have I missed something?

So ... what do you advice?

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FritsThomsen
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Use what you have ...
In reply to Roland Karlsson, Jun 25, 2012

Bring your K5 and a couple of compact lenses . You will regret not haven taken the best possible pictures ..when you are back home .
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Roland Karlsson
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Re: Use what you have ...
In reply to FritsThomsen, Jun 25, 2012

FritsThomsen wrote:

Bring your K5 and a couple of compact lenses . You will regret not haven taken the best possible pictures ..when you are back home .

Thanx ... a good advice really. 15, 21, 35macro and 70 maybe. I have those. I also have FA 50/1.4, but too many prime lenses is worse than a zoom

I shall think about it ... do not fancy all that much to carry and change extra lenses on this trip. But ... we will see.

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Jim in Hudson
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Re: Small camera, really good IQ?
In reply to Roland Karlsson, Jun 25, 2012

Olympus XZ-1?

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Roland Karlsson
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Re: Small camera, really good IQ?
In reply to Jim in Hudson, Jun 25, 2012

Jim in Hudson wrote:

Olympus XZ-1?

Interesting advice. I forgot about that one.

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grcolts
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Re: Small camera, really good IQ?
In reply to Jim in Hudson, Jun 25, 2012

Ditto the Olympus XZ-1!

GR

Jim in Hudson wrote:

Olympus XZ-1?

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Donald B
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Re: Small camera, really good IQ?
In reply to grcolts, Jun 25, 2012

have the xz1. perfect travel cam the results are stunning. not far behind an slr the lens is sooooooo sharp and bright 1.8-28mm 2.5 112mm add a vf2 that you can use in bright conditions. but its not cheap.

cheers don

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audiobomber
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Re: Small camera, really good IQ?
In reply to Roland Karlsson, Jun 25, 2012

Roland Karlsson wrote:

Have I missed something?

Fuji X10?
Ricoh GXR, but they're pricey.
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judith1600
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Re: Small camera, really good IQ?
In reply to Roland Karlsson, Jun 25, 2012

I had a similar dilemma when I travelled to Sicily and the AC in May. Do I take my K-5 and my D-lux-4 for portability or just the latter camera. What I ended up taking was the K-5 + the 21mm and 40mm lenses. They were exactly what I needed: lightweight, small and they did the job.

OTOH, my husband took both his video camera and a Canon S100 that I bought for him just prior to leaving. He used the Canon quite a bit and I borrowed it from time to time. Still, I was glad to have had the K-5 with me for those shots that you just can't get any other way.

Best wishes,
Judith

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Russ Houston
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Re: Small camera, really good IQ?
In reply to Roland Karlsson, Jun 25, 2012

Hi Roland,

I bought the OM-D E-M5 (say that 3 times really fast) and I'm loving it. IQ is much better than my E-P1, which was my previous "small camera but good IQ". Price right now though is more than the K5, so not sure if you want to spend that much.

However, I am really enjoying the E-M5, so much so that I'm selling my K-01 and using my K5 less (at least until the "new" wears off the E-M5).

Just another suggestion. I'm sure you'll take great shots whatever you take with you.
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Roland Karlsson
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Re: Small camera, really good IQ?
In reply to judith1600, Jun 25, 2012

judith1600 wrote:

I had a similar dilemma when I travelled to Sicily and the AC in May. Do I take my K-5 and my D-lux-4 for portability or just the latter camera. What I ended up taking was the K-5 + the 21mm and 40mm lenses. They were exactly what I needed: lightweight, small and they did the job.

OTOH, my husband took both his video camera and a Canon S100 that I bought for him just prior to leaving. He used the Canon quite a bit and I borrowed it from time to time. Still, I was glad to have had the K-5 with me for those shots that you just can't get any other way.

Hmmm ... I could buy a good small camera for my wife. The Oly XZ-1 maybe. She has a Fuji F40 today though, and its much smaller. Hmmmm .....

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Roland Karlsson
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Re: Small camera, really good IQ?
In reply to Russ Houston, Jun 25, 2012

Russ Houston wrote:

Hi Roland,

I bought the OM-D E-M5 (say that 3 times really fast) and I'm loving it. IQ is much better than my E-P1, which was my previous "small camera but good IQ". Price right now though is more than the K5, so not sure if you want to spend that much.

However, I am really enjoying the E-M5, so much so that I'm selling my K-01 and using my K5 less (at least until the "new" wears off the E-M5).

Just another suggestion. I'm sure you'll take great shots whatever you take with you.

Had not thought about that one

But ... it has got very good reviews.

Roland

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photodog25
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Re: Small camera, really good IQ?
In reply to Roland Karlsson, Jun 25, 2012

Roland Karlsson wrote:

Hi fellow Pentaxians.

In the Open Talk forum there are some questions and advices regarding buying cameras. But as far as I can see - the answers are uninteresting. Maybe not so many that reads it, so ... Ill ask here .. where I know people.

I have several cameras, among those I almost always use K-5 or G10. The K-5 takes fantastic images and feels so good to use. The G10 is perfect size. Not big and clumsy and not small and fiddly.

I am going to make a journey, to China. And it is lots of travelling and lots of places to visit and lots of walking. A camera like G10 seems to be perfect, but ... I really want something with better IQ - something with a larger (or better) sensor.

The Olympus EM-5 is the perfect travel camera. Small, yet has a sensor which comes very very close to the K5 in IQ. It is light, yet has good durability with it's metal body and weather sealing. Plus it has an IBIS which is more efficient than even the best OIS systems and a pretty complete stable of native lenses. That is the camera I would chose with the 12-50mm kit and perhaps one or two primes.

Those are my alternatives right now.

Canon G1X - nearly APS-C sensor. Slightly bigger than G10, but still possible to have hanging around your neck all day. One thing - from DPReview review is that it is slow to focus - just as G10 is slow to focus. I can live with G10, but do I want to buy a camera 2012 that is slow to focus? Hmmmmm...

Canon came close on this one, but decided to cripple it with horrible AF and a terrible viewfinder. You can do better.

Sony NEX7 (or maybe NEX 5) - APS-C sensor. Can take my Pentax lenses with an adapter. Lightning fast focus (how do they do that?). 24 MP. Yada. Yada. But --- more expensive and also rather clumsy with the zoom.

The NEX7 does not have IS and is not weather-sealed. The IQ is not significantly better than the EM-5, except at low ISO. The lack of native lenses and high cost mar this otherwise good camera.

K01 - hmmmm ... it IS smaller - but not by much. And it is lighter - but not by much. Hmmm ... how I wished Pentax had made it lighter and slimmer. They could - and still make it K compatible.

I'd say no on this one too, no viewfinder, or weather-sealing.

Some Nikon 1 (J1 or V1) camera. That has an 1" sensor. Its a compromise between the G10 and APS-C in sensor size. But .. its smaller than FourThirds. Hmmm ... I wonder how good it is? And it can take my Pentax lenses - but I dont know if that is interesting with the small sensor.

Yuk! As good an autofocus system as Nikon gave it, it's user interface is cumbersome by the fact that you will need to dive into the menus for most everything (ie. changing ISO). Nikon crippled this camera here so that the camera enthusiast would not be interested. Bad move as they had to lower the prices very quickly.

The new Sony RX100. Very small camera. Still an 1" sensor. It is not out yet --- but looks sweet - hopefully.

That looks like a possibility! Wait for reviews, however.

There will (maybe) be some new cameras from Sigma, DP1m and DP2m with higher resolution APS-C sensor. But ... they will probably not be out before I go.

You are probably right here.

The FourThirds (micro or not) I have omitted from my choice. I see no advantage really over NEX APS-C.

I don't agree at all. I think the EM-5 is a better camera than any of your other choices. See my earlier comments.

The other choice would be to take your K5 with 3 primes.

Enjoy your trip!

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Gesture
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Re: Small camera, really good IQ?
In reply to Roland Karlsson, Jun 25, 2012

"The Samsung APS-C cameras generally seem to have worse sensors, due to them insisting on using their own." I think the NX100 with kit lens is a very good camera. The NX200 is likely even better. What you really want is reliability. I wouldn't use any camera with one of those lens shutter covers, unreliable batteries, etc. Samsung also has some nice, affordable compact lenses, 16mm (24mm equiv), 20 mm (30mm equiv), 30 mm (45mm equiv). Have a great trip.

However, if this were a once in a lifetime trip, I might spring for a Leica X2. It will be intimate and conducive to environmental portraits, etc.

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ayewing
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Re: Small camera, really good IQ?
In reply to Russ Houston, Jun 25, 2012

Russ Houston wrote:

Hi Roland,

I bought the OM-D E-M5 (say that 3 times really fast) and I'm loving it. IQ is much better than my E-P1, which was my previous "small camera but good IQ". Price right now though is more than the K5, so not sure if you want to spend that much.

However, I am really enjoying the E-M5, so much so that I'm selling my K-01 and using my K5 less (at least until the "new" wears off the E-M5).

Just another suggestion. I'm sure you'll take great shots whatever you take with you.

I second this suggestion. I have only recently acquired my OM-D E-M5 but it does seem to produce images closely matching my K-5. I got mine with the kit lens, a Zuiko 12-50mm which like the camera body is weather sealed and due to the crop factor has an effective FL of 24-100mm in 35mm terms. It is quite a bit lighter and smaller than the K-5. Zoom lenses have many advantages when traveling as you get a useful range of FL and avoid the risks of changing lenses in dusty environments. There are some nice wide aperture pancake lenses which make an even smaller package but obviously cost becomes a factor.

I hope you enjoy a great trip.

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TheChefs
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Re: Small camera, really good IQ?
In reply to ayewing, Jun 26, 2012

Take K5 and your primes. I travel with my 5ltds and I walk A LOT! You just need a good bag.

As for changing lenses, I only do it when I need to, sometimes I can leave 1 prime on the body whole day and just shoot everything from best perspective. Funny enough a lot of the photos that I like are shot that way.

Also I've GRDIV in my pocket or it's with my gf.

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kuuan
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Re: Small camera, really good IQ?
In reply to Roland Karlsson, Jun 26, 2012

NEX5N + EVF + stock 18-55 AF lens and two or three of your Pentax DA lenses.
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Roland Karlsson
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Re: Small camera, really good IQ?
In reply to photodog25, Jun 26, 2012

Thanx fo a thorough answer. I, more or less, agree with all of them.

Its a pity about the G1x and its slow AF. Otherwise I would own one already, and would not have to ask this question

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Cideway
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In reply to Roland Karlsson, Jun 26, 2012
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Chris.

A weather sealed ultra wide, is that too much to ask?

http://www.pentaxphotogallery.com/chriside

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awaldram
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Re: Small camera, really good IQ?
In reply to Roland Karlsson, Jun 26, 2012

Personally i'd go K5 small primes.

The only other option for me would be the k01 but as you see size advantage to great enough.

My issue is that I take pictures when and where the mood take me, This means a good proportion of those image are in environments where an P+S sensor produces mush.

I just couldn't take the frustration so the dlsr would go with me and even that gets pushed hard at times

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