Looking for a LIGHT but good camera

Started Dec 11, 2013 | Discussions
nydecoco1
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Looking for a LIGHT but good camera
Dec 11, 2013

Need a sanity check, please help.
I am a hobbyist, and like to carry the camera around all day. Started a few years ago with a Canon rebel dslr, that was too heavy with zooms. Was marginally better with primes. Talking about weight here, the picture quality and everything else was great.

Moved to Leica X1 (used, got a fantastic deal on it), and it was honestly a phenomenal camera except too slow. 35mm I can live with but not at 2.8 f stop, because for walking around the camera is next to useless at night.

From there I moved to my current rig, OLympus OM d EM 5. With a 25mm 1.4 lens. Well, the picture quality is outstanding and I can really get some amazing night shots due to 1.4 and the image stabilization function. But, and I know this isn't a big deal for some, the rig is super heavy. I mean if I am on my feet 5-7 hours, my shoulder starts hurting. This sucks bc I really enjoy everything else about this setup.

Looking at specs etc it seems that my options are another leica x, which is too slow and no IS so no night shots; something smaller like a sony 100, or a nikon 1, or a ricoh gr, but that's probably not any better than leica in the night shot department.

Question for the group: am I overlooking anything? How do these cameras compare to what I've used? Thanks a lot in advance!!!

RhysM
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Re: Looking for a LIGHT but good camera
In reply to nydecoco1, Dec 11, 2013

nydecoco1 wrote:

Need a sanity check, please help.
I am a hobbyist, and like to carry the camera around all day. Started a few years ago with a Canon rebel dslr, that was too heavy with zooms. Was marginally better with primes. Talking about weight here, the picture quality and everything else was great.

Moved to Leica X1 (used, got a fantastic deal on it), and it was honestly a phenomenal camera except too slow. 35mm I can live with but not at 2.8 f stop, because for walking around the camera is next to useless at night.

From there I moved to my current rig, OLympus OM d EM 5. With a 25mm 1.4 lens. Well, the picture quality is outstanding and I can really get some amazing night shots due to 1.4 and the image stabilization function. But, and I know this isn't a big deal for some, the rig is super heavy. I mean if I am on my feet 5-7 hours, my shoulder starts hurting. This sucks bc I really enjoy everything else about this setup.

Looking at specs etc it seems that my options are another leica x, which is too slow and no IS so no night shots; something smaller like a sony 100, or a nikon 1, or a ricoh gr, but that's probably not any better than leica in the night shot department.

Question for the group: am I overlooking anything? How do these cameras compare to what I've used? Thanks a lot in advance!!!

Easy Fuji X100s, probably the best camera in this "professional pocket camera category"

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hybert46
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Panasonic gm1?
In reply to nydecoco1, Dec 11, 2013

Hi there,

What about a panasonic GM1? It is about 204g versus 425g for the Olympus EM-5 (625g total with the 25mm). You could pair it with its 12-32mm kit zoom (70g) and that would leave you with a great kit and a total weight of 274g, not bad. You could also pair it with the pana 20mm (87g) or even better the 14mm (55g). That would give you an additional m43 backup camera and all lenses would be compatible on both body.

see also

http://www.dpreview.com/news/2013/11/20/dpreview-gear-of-the-year-panasonic-lumix-dmc-gm1

I think you cannot do much better than that if you look for a light portable setup.

Simon

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nydecoco1
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Re: Panasonic gm1?
In reply to hybert46, Dec 11, 2013

Thanks for the replies!! Totally missed the memo on gm 1. Sounds like it could be a winner. No IS it seems which sucks but can still put a 1.4 lens on it. Will definitely check it out, side by side with nikon 1.

Fuji is not for me. As I recall it has no IS and the lens is only one stop faster than Leica X.

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Red5TX
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Re: Panasonic gm1?
In reply to nydecoco1, Dec 11, 2013

nydecoco1 wrote:

Thanks for the replies!! Totally missed the memo on gm 1. Sounds like it could be a winner. No IS it seems which sucks but can still put a 1.4 lens on it. Will definitely check it out, side by side with nikon 1.

Fuji is not for me. As I recall it has no IS and the lens is only one stop faster than Leica X.

A GM1 + PL25 isn't going to be usefully smaller than an E-M5 with the same lens. It sounds like you want something really small. In that case, the Ricoh GR or Nikon Coolpix A are your best options. While the GR might have a slower lens than the PL25, it makes up for it with better high ISO performance.

Size comparo: http://camerasize.com/compact/#454,491.352,289.352,ha,t

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nydecoco1
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Re: Panasonic gm1?
In reply to Red5TX, Dec 11, 2013

Small is good but what I really care about is the weight - I want a light camera. Don't mind bulky too much.

As for high ISO, I hear you but I find that ISO differences are marginal between cameras and brands. Usable high ISO is a very subjective factor. To me, I'd rather rely on other things like image stabilization and fast aperture. So if I'm looking at a leica x variant again I'll be very unhappy bc in really low light it just doesn't compare to omd em5 with a 1.4 lens.

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Sonyshine
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Nikon V1 or Nex7 - my view.
In reply to nydecoco1, Dec 11, 2013

I own the Nikon V1 and Nex7.

Both are light and compact - the Nex is slightly heavier but has a thinner body.

Both cameras have very light native lenses although the Nikon 1 lens are physically smaller.

The Nikon V1 is better at action. The Nex7 has better IQ

I changed away from a DSLR system for the same reason as you - weight and bulk.

No regrets.

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joejack951
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Re: Looking for a LIGHT but good camera
In reply to nydecoco1, Dec 11, 2013

nydecoco1 wrote:

But, and I know this isn't a big deal for some, the rig is super heavy. I mean if I am on my feet 5-7 hours, my shoulder starts hurting. This sucks bc I really enjoy everything else about this setup.

Have you considered looking for a better camera strap, perhaps one that distributes the weight better?

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D Cox
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Re: Looking for a LIGHT but good camera
In reply to nydecoco1, Dec 11, 2013

nydecoco1 wrote:

Need a sanity check, please help.
I am a hobbyist, and like to carry the camera around all day. Started a few years ago with a Canon rebel dslr, that was too heavy with zooms. Was marginally better with primes. Talking about weight here, the picture quality and everything else was great.

Moved to Leica X1 (used, got a fantastic deal on it), and it was honestly a phenomenal camera except too slow. 35mm I can live with but not at 2.8 f stop, because for walking around the camera is next to useless at night.

From there I moved to my current rig, OLympus OM d EM 5. With a 25mm 1.4 lens. Well, the picture quality is outstanding and I can really get some amazing night shots due to 1.4 and the image stabilization function. But, and I know this isn't a big deal for some, the rig is super heavy. I mean if I am on my feet 5-7 hours, my shoulder starts hurting. This sucks bc I really enjoy everything else about this setup.

Looking at specs etc it seems that my options are another leica x, which is too slow and no IS so no night shots; something smaller like a sony 100, or a nikon 1, or a ricoh gr, but that's probably not any better than leica in the night shot department.

Question for the group: am I overlooking anything? How do these cameras compare to what I've used? Thanks a lot in advance!!!

You may be overlooking the general rule that the bigger the sensor, the better the camera is for night shots. (Assuming the lens is the same aperture on both cameras being compared.)

If there was an affordable small camera with a full frame sensor, it would be ideal for you. Failing that, look at APS-C models. For example, a Sony NEX with a 35mm f/1.8 lens.

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nydecoco1
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Re: Looking for a LIGHT but good camera
In reply to joejack951, Dec 11, 2013

A better strap may be a great idea! Hadn't even thought of it but my current bag strap is skinny as can be. And it's a better solution than changing camera again bc capability wise omd em5 fits the bill perfectly for me (including the little things like the articulating screen that's just amazing for certain shots).

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nydecoco1
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Re: Looking for a LIGHT but good camera
In reply to D Cox, Dec 11, 2013

Sony nex is not much lighter than my current camera I don't think ...

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Allan Olesen
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Yes, look at the camera strap first
In reply to joejack951, Dec 11, 2013

joejack951 wrote:

nydecoco1 wrote:

But, and I know this isn't a big deal for some, the rig is super heavy. I mean if I am on my feet 5-7 hours, my shoulder starts hurting. This sucks bc I really enjoy everything else about this setup.

Have you considered looking for a better camera strap, perhaps one that distributes the weight better?

Exactly.

I can walk all day with 1.5-2 kg camera - because I use a sling strap instead of a neck strap. With the right strap, a tiny camera like the OP's Olympus should not be a problem at all.

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joejack951
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Re: Looking for a LIGHT but good camera
In reply to nydecoco1, Dec 11, 2013

nydecoco1 wrote:

A better strap may be a great idea! Hadn't even thought of it but my current bag strap is skinny as can be. And it's a better solution than changing camera again bc capability wise omd em5 fits the bill perfectly for me (including the little things like the articulating screen that's just amazing for certain shots).

I would suggest looking at the S.O.S. line of straps from Op/tech. Extremely comfortable and well made straps. Hopefully your bag can accept one, or with a needle and some thread, you can probably make one work with some hardware and/or strap length modifications. I'm currently using a mini-S.O.S. modified to work as a sling strap for my camera. Makes a D3S and normal zoom feel like nothing on my shoulder.

If you don't mind the bulk, the full size S.O.S. curve strap feels even better. I'd be using that but it's too bulky to then stuff into a small camera bag.

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Cailean Gallimore
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Re: Looking for a LIGHT but good camera
In reply to nydecoco1, Dec 11, 2013

nydecoco1 wrote:

Need a sanity check, please help.
I am a hobbyist, and like to carry the camera around all day. Started a few years ago with a Canon rebel dslr, that was too heavy with zooms. Was marginally better with primes. Talking about weight here, the picture quality and everything else was great.

Moved to Leica X1 (used, got a fantastic deal on it), and it was honestly a phenomenal camera except too slow. 35mm I can live with but not at 2.8 f stop, because for walking around the camera is next to useless at night.

From there I moved to my current rig, OLympus OM d EM 5. With a 25mm 1.4 lens. Well, the picture quality is outstanding and I can really get some amazing night shots due to 1.4 and the image stabilization function. But, and I know this isn't a big deal for some, the rig is super heavy. I mean if I am on my feet 5-7 hours, my shoulder starts hurting. This sucks bc I really enjoy everything else about this setup.

Looking at specs etc it seems that my options are another leica x, which is too slow and no IS so no night shots; something smaller like a sony 100, or a nikon 1, or a ricoh gr, but that's probably not any better than leica in the night shot department.

Question for the group: am I overlooking anything? How do these cameras compare to what I've used? Thanks a lot in advance!!!

The Fuji X100S has very very good low light performance, and is a pleasure to use.

It rivals high-end DSLRs in low light usage due to it's X Trans sensor.

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Cane
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Re: Looking for a LIGHT but good camera
In reply to nydecoco1, Dec 11, 2013

nydecoco1 wrote:

A better strap may be a great idea! Hadn't even thought of it but my current bag strap is skinny as can be. And it's a better solution than changing camera again bc capability wise omd em5 fits the bill perfectly for me (including the little things like the articulating screen that's just amazing for certain shots).

Put that camera in a small belted bag on your hip.

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yardcoyote
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Re: Yes, look at the camera strap first-- or the bag.
In reply to Allan Olesen, Dec 11, 2013

I was thinking the same thing. My usual camera set up of a DSLR with one lens is almost certainly heavier than the OPs camera and I can and do carry it all day-- off my body in a well designed messenger bag. Sling it cross body, put the bag behind your off hip, and the weight is distributed around your torso so you will never notice it. Plus, you have both hands completely free.

I carry a Timbuk 2 Custom Classic Messenger (I actually have three in different sizes, depending on what exactly I want to carry), but there are a lot of different brands that work well. Note that you get what you pay for--a cheap shoulder bag does not hang the same way as an actual messenger bag and will not provide the same stability and weight distribution.  That said, a good bag is a lot cheaper than a new camera!

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Zaax
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Re: Looking for a LIGHT but good camera
In reply to nydecoco1, Dec 11, 2013

The Sony RX100 or the newer Mark II will fit in you pants pocket and has a 1 inch sensor. THe original RX100 is $550 at B&H and includes a 32 GB card and case.

I just bought one to keep in my car at all times.

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D Cox
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Re: Looking for a LIGHT but good camera
In reply to nydecoco1, Dec 11, 2013

nydecoco1 wrote:

Sony nex is not much lighter than my current camera I don't think ...

The various NEXes have different weights, but typically about 100g lighter than the EM-5. The real point is the bigger sensor.

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joejack951
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Re: Looking for a LIGHT but good camera
In reply to D Cox, Dec 11, 2013

D Cox wrote:

nydecoco1 wrote:

Sony nex is not much lighter than my current camera I don't think ...

The various NEXes have different weights, but typically about 100g lighter than the EM-5. The real point is the bigger sensor.

That bigger sensor adds nothing though unless paired with a suitably fast lens. At the ~50mm (equivalent) focal length, the only E-mount option is the 35mm f/1.8 which is, for all intents and purposes, only the equivalent of the 25mm f/1.4 the OP already has. You'd need a massive (relatively) 35mm f/1.4 to experience any better light gathering capability which, even if one did exist for the E-mount, would surely mean a heavier overall system (based on current full frame 35/1.4 offerings).

If 150 grams (camera + lens difference) on its own is enough to make the OP lose hundreds of dollars selling used gear and buying new gear for a sideways move, that's fine by me. But, it wouldn't be my first choice.

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KCook
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Re: Looking for a LIGHT but good camera
In reply to nydecoco1, Dec 11, 2013

Oly PM2 body is 223g vs 373g for the E-M5.

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