Best P&S camera? Impossible question?!

Started Apr 9, 2013 | Discussions
SimonOL
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Best P&S camera? Impossible question?!
Apr 9, 2013

My dad has asked me to recommend 'the best' compact p&s camera.

He is not interested in swapping lenses, just wants to pick up the camera and get good results without messing about with settings. He's also not really interested in learning how to get the best from a camera

He is quite attached to his ancient 10+ year old Fuji Finepix bridge camera (I forget which model but I believe it has a 6mp sensor and upscales images to 12mp somehow) simply because it gives good p&s results as long as you don't look too closely!

He also has a more modern mini Casio Exilim, but the quality is poor.

I'm considering recommending the RX100, but I'm not sure the Auto mode would be any good. The camera would be used in Auto mode 99.9% of the time, so most of the RX100 capabilities would be wasted. It's probably overkill for him and the cost would no doubt be off-putting.

What would you recommend?

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Sony RX100
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joe talks photography
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Re: Best P&S camera? Impossible question?!
In reply to SimonOL, Apr 9, 2013

You might proceed by determining the budget allocated for any point and shoot. I would then recommend buying the best reviewed camera, irrespective of whether the features are overkill.

I am a Sony user now however I would really recommend an m43 camera like the Panasonic GF3 or 5 or, the Olympus Pen cameras, most notably the PM-2 ($499)...any of these with the kit lens should be more capable than the run of the mill point and shoot that is similarly priced. The RX100 (which I owned) is truly a great point and shoot but could use a lower price a year after introduction.

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Annex
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Re: Best P&S camera? Impossible question?!
In reply to SimonOL, Apr 9, 2013

What zoom range is he used to?

If you try and push him from a super zoom to a "normal" range as a P&S guy he'll probably think its junk.

Zoom range is a big deal to many P&S users.

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Keit ll
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Re: Best P&S camera? Impossible question?!
In reply to SimonOL, Apr 9, 2013

Your Father is expecting too much if he thinks that any camera will give perfect pictures without any input from the photographer however there are many who have the same expectation.

Have a look at the Fuji X20. It is a good looking camera with a useful FL range. It has good colour & excellent OOC jpegs & gives very respectable images in low light. It has a 35mm Equivalent 28-112mm lens which has optical image stabilization & an eye level viewfinder as well as an LCD. In addition it has image focus peaking which helps in judging focus.

It is a second generation camera which improves significantly on its predecessor the X10.

Have a look here :-

http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/fuji-x20/fuji-x20A.HTM

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danny006
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Re: Best P&S camera? Impossible question?!
In reply to SimonOL, Apr 9, 2013

I am not sure if the intelligent auto of the RX100 is that intelligent. I never use it - most of the time I use aperture priority - but when trying it out it chooses always a slow shutter speed. So putting it on auto and think you will have a sharp shot all the time, is not the case. Especially when you have some movement in the scene you will need higher shutter speeds.

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SimonOL
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Re: Best P&S camera? Impossible question?!
In reply to joe talks photography, Apr 9, 2013

joe talks photography wrote:

You might proceed by determining the budget allocated for any point and shoot. I would then recommend buying the best reviewed camera, irrespective of whether the features are overkill.

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Joe

Thanks Joe! I know He'd like to spend less than £300 (±$450) but could go higher for something exceptional.

Trouble is there are so many p&s cameras out there - the range is overwhelming as are the number of reviews. Where do you start?

I'll have a look at the cameras you've mentioned

I think what he really wants is a pro-sumer class camera that does everything for him - it's not really something I'm interested in personally, which doesn't help. Unrealistic expectations...?

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SimonOL
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Re: Best P&S camera? Impossible question?!
In reply to Keit ll, Apr 9, 2013

Keit ll wrote:

Your Father is expecting too much if he thinks that any camera will give perfect pictures without any input from the photographer however there are many who have the same expectation.

Have a look at the Fuji X20. It is a good looking camera with a useful FL range. It has good colour & excellent OOC jpegs & gives very respectable images in low light. It has a 35mm Equivalent 28-112mm lens which has optical image stabilization & an eye level viewfinder as well as an LCD. In addition it has image focus peaking which helps in judging focus.

It is a second generation camera which improves significantly on its predecessor the X10.

Have a look here :-

http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/fuji-x20/fuji-x20A.HTM

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Keith C

Thanks - and yes, I also think he's expecting too much!

I'll have a look at the X20 - sounds like a good possibility

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peruchox
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Re: Best P&S camera? Impossible question?!
In reply to SimonOL, Apr 9, 2013

Bridge camera? like superzoom? Take a look at the Panasonic Lumix line. They are great and easy to use.

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John Knuhtsen
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Re: Best P&S camera? Impossible question?!
In reply to SimonOL, Apr 9, 2013

I agree with others about Fuji X20. But it is maybe too expensive (6-700$). I have a Nikon P300, that I am happy with, and combine with a Nex6. Just 4x zoom from 24 to 100. I love the 24 mm, and it is with F/1.8. The camera is fully automatic, but one can just turn a wheel and choose another (lower) stop in Aperture mode. This is very nice for controlling some depth of field (or set F/4-5.6 for maximum sharpness). Unfortunately P300 (rather cheap around 300 $) has been replaced with P330, that has raw, gps and 5x zoom (you can buy it white or black). It now costs 370 $. Your father might not like raw. But the camera can sometimes (under rare conditions and high F-number) give much chromatic aberrations. This can be removed from the raw. Only from jpg to less extent with DxO.

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Annex
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Re: Best P&S camera? Impossible question?!
In reply to peruchox, Apr 9, 2013

As a curveball Nikon 1 series is a good option too.

There are some great deals around on the last gen, realise its not a P&S but you can use it as one for sure (just leave the zoom on it).

The fast AF and busrt is ideal for many P&S types.

Personally not an interesting option for me (too small sensor) but very attractive at a reduced price for a P&S use model.

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Jarola
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Re: Best P&S camera? Impossible question?!
In reply to Annex, Apr 9, 2013

SONY RX100

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blue_skies
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Re: Best P&S camera? Impossible question?!
In reply to SimonOL, Apr 9, 2013

Find out his other objectives, such as size, postprocessing, compactness, RAW, ease of use, usage?

http://blog.mingthein.com/2012/11/13/fuji-finepix-xf1/

  • Fuji XF1 - if you are a JPEG shooter and don’t plan to do much, or any, postprocessing.
  • Panasonic LX7/ Leica D-Lux6 - if you shoot macro, or want to try and get some depth of field control.
  • Sony RX100 - if you want the best image quality in any compact camera available, period.
  • Canon S110 - …I actually can’t think of any good reason to buy this – if you need GPS, perhaps.
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SimonOL
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Re: Best P&S camera? Impossible question?!
In reply to SimonOL, Apr 9, 2013

Thanks for all the suggestions.

I will show this to my Dad and at least it will point him in a few directions. Choosing a compact camera is like choosing a meal in a Chinese takeaway - bewildering choice...

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viking79
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Re: Best P&S camera? Impossible question?!
In reply to SimonOL, Apr 9, 2013

SimonOL wrote:

Thanks for all the suggestions.

I will show this to my Dad and at least it will point him in a few directions. Choosing a compact camera is like choosing a meal in a Chinese takeaway - bewildering choice...

Yeah, definitely find out what zoom range he wants.  Go from there.  I am reviewing an X20 and it is a very good camera.  Fast focus, great build, but it isn't for everybody.  Definitely an enthusiast camera and targeted towards someone who knows photography controls, but still good in automatic modes.

Eric

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SimonOL
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Re: Best P&S camera? Impossible question?!
In reply to blue_skies, Apr 9, 2013

blue_skies wrote:

Find out his other objectives, such as size, postprocessing, compactness, RAW, ease of use, usage?

http://blog.mingthein.com/2012/11/13/fuji-finepix-xf1/

  • Fuji XF1 - if you are a JPEG shooter and don’t plan to do much, or any, postprocessing.
  • Panasonic LX7/ Leica D-Lux6 - if you shoot macro, or want to try and get some depth of field control.
  • Sony RX100 - if you want the best image quality in any compact camera available, period.
  • Canon S110 - …I actually can’t think of any good reason to buy this – if you need GPS, perhaps.
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Cheers,
Henry

Thanks Henry.

I've tried to explain to him about pixel density and not to go above around 12mp for a compact, preferably less for better quality. RX100 is an exception due to it's large sensor.

Other objectives would be:

  • As little post processing as possible
  • As compact as possible
  • No interest in RAW
  • Ease of use important (won't read the manual unless completely baffled)
  • Used everywhere - mainly outside in daylight, but sometimes indoors, portraits, interiors (widest possible lens would be very useful) and some basic macro (flowers, details of almost anything).

Like I said, it's an impossibility to cover all bases; the best compromise is the goal really.

Physical look and styling of the camera is of absolutely no interest whatsoever!

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Glenn
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Re: Best P&S camera? Impossible question?!
In reply to SimonOL, Apr 9, 2013

frankly I don't think you're going to go wrong with any P&S you could buy today. pick a form factor he likes from any of the major brands and away you go.  You might consider how much computer he has too. if he's used to a 6mp camera and he starts getting pictures that are 4 times the size then he might need a new computer too

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SimonOL
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Re: Best P&S camera? Impossible question?!
In reply to Glenn, Apr 9, 2013

Glenn wrote:

frankly I don't think you're going to go wrong with any P&S you could buy today. pick a form factor he likes from any of the major brands and away you go.  You might consider how much computer he has too. if he's used to a 6mp camera and he starts getting pictures that are 4 times the size then he might need a new computer too

Hmmm - that's not really the case. His compact Casio is relatively modern but just not good enough in terms of IQ. Of course, it has a tiny sensor and it gets left on Auto ISO. Anything above ISO400 is basically trash. In fact, the really old Fuji does better in low light - it produces 12mp files somehow and is really quite impressive considering it's age and spec, but it's had it's day.

Another thing to add to the list - good low light capability.

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ottonis
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Re: Best P&S camera? Impossible question?!
In reply to Keit ll, Apr 9, 2013

The Nex 3N with the 1655 powerzoom ist very small, pocketable, has a good intelligent auto-mode and provides definitely higher image quality than any point and shoot camera save for the rx1 (2.800 USD), or the new Nikon A (1200 USD) but at the fraction of the cost. Together with the power zoom lens the 3N is available for 499 USD at amazon.

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Glenn
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Re: Best P&S camera? Impossible question?!
In reply to SimonOL, Apr 9, 2013

well Casio isn't really known for their cameras. good low light means larger sensor usually there are a few larger sensor P&S's out there. You said he likes his Fuji "as log as you don't look too close" does that mean he or you don't like the output from it? I can't tell who is being picky about quality from your posts. you or your dad?

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MAlby7
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Re: Best P&S camera? Impossible question?!
In reply to Glenn, Apr 9, 2013

Sony DSCHX200VB if you don't mind the bulkiness.

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