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

Started 10 months ago | Discussions
pede59
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Re: High quality compact to complement M4/3 system - any thoughts?
In reply to NewGirlLiz, 10 months ago

As always depends ...

if you really mean by compact complement that it has to fit in your pocket then i believe that the RX100 has to be a strong consideration. The quality of sensor  and lens given the size is quite astounding.

I am an m43 user only since about 3 months. If i would buy a compact complement  today i actually might consider one of the more compact m43 bodies since my main camera is an EM1. Either with the 12-32 or one of the smaller primes this is not as compact as the RX100 but a little better quality and you can use it as second body for your m43 system.

GM1? under $700 with 12-32

or if you need a view finder GX7 - under $700 for the body (amazing to me given the quality of that camera)

or the new EM10? under $700 for the body

So more expensive than a RX100 but not far away.

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Paulmorgan
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Re: High quality compact to complement M4/3 system - any thoughts?
In reply to NewGirlLiz, 10 months ago

NewGirlLiz wrote:

Apologies for starting a thread about compact cameras on a M4/3 forum, but am interested in the views of M4/3 users in particular.

I now have what I think is a pretty wonderful system for my needs. (EM1 + 12-40, 40/150 & 75-300 lenses.) I would like to top off my collection with a super quality compact to chuck in my pocket any time when EM1 & lenses aren't available for any reason.

Apologies if similar discussions have taken place in the past but am seeking any views based on current selections of high-end compacts as the perfect complement to my set up.

I'm considering the following...

Fujifilm X20. I really like this, but have issues with the viewfinder not fully matching up with what the lens sees - especially close up - and also being partly obscured by the lens at widest angle. Could I get over this for the sake of a really nice camera that is a joy to use?

Sony RX100 ii. I keep reading about how wonderful this camera is, but I have had one (brief) play with it and just didn't feel excited by it at all. It just didn't feel like an enjoyable camera to use. It's pretty expensive and for that amount, I feel that I should love it, and I didn't.

Olympus Stylus 1. I haven't had my hands on this yet but I wonder if it's a great compromise of features?

Any views on these or any others I should consider?

Many thanks
Liz

Fuji x100s

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Logan3-1639
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Re: High quality compact to complement M4/3 system - any thoughts?
In reply to pocketpygmy, 10 months ago

pocketpygmy wrote:

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

The GR is now widely available for $650 or less.

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Lawrence W
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Re: High quality compact to complement M4/3 system - any thoughts?
In reply to NewGirlLiz, 10 months ago

I would go for a small M43, and mount a pancake like 20/f1.7. E-PM2 now dirt cheap, with OMD-EM5 sensor.

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Dave Sanders
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In reply to Logan3-1639, 10 months ago

Logan3-1639 wrote:

Andrewteee wrote:

That's all you need to know. The GR is the perfect complement to any camera. Fits in your pocket and amazing IQ. Fixed focal length, though, at 28mm.

Agreed, but that's only half the story, for me. The GR also delivers the best shooting/photographing experience of any camera I've owned. From the way it feels in my hand, to the layout of the physical controls, and the ability to customize myriad settings to your heart's content, the GR is a camera that was designed by people who appreciate the value of a pleasing, delightful photography experience.

1. You used 'myriad' correctly. It's rarer than one would think. Bravo.

2. You did nothing to quell my lust for yet another fixed lens compact. Bah. I see late-night eBay combing in my future...

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Paul De Bra
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I second that: EPL5 with 14-42EZ
In reply to tlburnes, 10 months ago

That seems like a good Olympus alternative to the GM1 and you will have a more familiar user interface style than going to Panasonic, but the GM1 is also a nice option.

Alternatively you could just mount the 14-42EZ on the E-M1 but it's not all that compact.

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gotompoes
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Re: High quality compact to complement M4/3 system - any thoughts?
In reply to Tapper123, 10 months ago

Tapper123 wrote:

NewGirlLiz wrote:

Apologies for starting a thread about compact cameras on a M4/3 forum, but am interested in the views of M4/3 users in particular.

I now have what I think is a pretty wonderful system for my needs. (EM1 + 12-40, 40/150 & 75-300 lenses.) I would like to top off my collection with a super quality compact to chuck in my pocket any time when EM1 & lenses aren't available for any reason.

Apologies if similar discussions have taken place in the past but am seeking any views based on current selections of high-end compacts as the perfect complement to my set up.

I'm considering the following...

Fujifilm X20. I really like this, but have issues with the viewfinder not fully matching up with what the lens sees - especially close up - and also being partly obscured by the lens at widest angle. Could I get over this for the sake of a really nice camera that is a joy to use?

Sony RX100 ii. I keep reading about how wonderful this camera is, but I have had one (brief) play with it and just didn't feel excited by it at all. It just didn't feel like an enjoyable camera to use. It's pretty expensive and for that amount, I feel that I should love it, and I didn't.

Olympus Stylus 1. I haven't had my hands on this yet but I wonder if it's a great compromise of features?

Any views on these or any others I should consider?

Many thanks
Liz

RX100 II is what I have, and I do love it. If you truly want a pocket sized camera, it's the only one IMO. I also have the EVF for it, and which is a great option. Image quality is amazing for its size. Feature set and lens is superb. Trade-offs are the small size means less ergonomic, which I suspect is your main gripe with it. I wouldn't trade it for any other camera yet available in terms of having a truly small pocket camera with good IQ.

The others you mention are significantly larger, and for me, if I'm going to bother with lens caps then I might as well use a bigger, better camera in general. Plus the X20 and Stylus both have smaller, less capable sensors than the Sony.

If you're not worried about truly pocketable size, then you might as well skip the toy sensors and get something with a decent sized sensor. Maybe a Fuji X100S, or a very small M43 model.

Agree with the above. The quality of the RX 100 II is top and in "the shutter shock zone" of the
M 4/3 systems i get better results with the RX 100 II then with the E M1(returned) and or E P5.
A highly recommended camera with not the best ergonomics because of the small size buttons.
Aperture of 1.8 at 28 mm (FF) comes in very handy in low light situations.
You could consider the GM 1 with the kit lens.

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CharlesTokyo
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3 choices...
In reply to NewGirlLiz, 10 months ago

NewGirlLiz wrote:

Fujifilm X20.

Sony RX100 ii.

Olympus Stylus 1

None of these are really compact. The RX100 being the closest. You might as well by the 14-42EZ zoom and put it on the E-M1 instead of getting the X20.

The Ricoh GR. I've owned the older models and it's really a pleasure to shoot with. As a bonus it's one of the most compact high end compacts you can buy. Truely pocketable.

The Panasonic GM1. Stay with the m43s family. The 12-32 lens is a good match. A number of other compact primes or even the new 12-42EZ although it might stick out the bottom a little. It's hardly bigger than most of the high end compacts and a lot better in many ways. The ability to use better lenses on it, or small lenses on your E-M1 adds to it's flexibility.

It doesn't sound like you are looking in this direction, but one of those rugged compact cameras. Looks like you are looking more for quality, but it's nice to have a camera that can take the bumps, when you might not like to bring the E-M1.

I"ve been searching for a nice compact for a while and I haven't really found anything more appealing than these choices. Just don't need it enough to justify buying it yet.

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mchnz
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Re: Why not get a smaller m4/3?
In reply to dgrogers, 10 months ago

dgrogers wrote:

Get a camera such as the Panasonic GM1 or an Olympus Pen (some of the older Pens with the 12mp sensor are very cheap right now) and add a lens such as the new Olympus 14-42 f3.5-5.6 EZ which retracts to the size of a pancake lens (or the Panasonic equivalent), then pick up an automatic lens cap for it. Cheap, small, and similar quality to what you are used to.

It is certainly worth considering a small m4/3 camera such as the GM-1 + 12-32.  But is 32 or 42 enough reach? You could resort to digital zoom.  Do you need to be able to do macro with the lens?  You could carry a macro accessory like a Raynox.  Is the lens bright enough?  I guess high ISO's might negate any need for a brighter lens.

If you would be happy with the image quality produced by the Stylus 1, then it would be impossible for m4/3 to match this in as small a package. It's hard for me to override my tendency to want to prioritise image quality, but Robin Wong struck a note with me when he wrote the following in his review of the Stylus 1 - "I do admit the truth that for many of my shots, a high quality point and shoot digital camera (with a good lens) would suffice." Retrieving fat cameras and changing lenses probably costs me memorable images.  But is even the Stylus 1 small enough?  Small enough to take everywhere without a second thought?

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Ulric
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Re: High quality compact to complement M4/3 system - any thoughts?
In reply to NewGirlLiz, 10 months ago

NewGirlLiz wrote:

I now have what I think is a pretty wonderful system for my needs. (EM1 + 12-40, 40/150 & 75-300 lenses.) I would like to top off my collection with a super quality compact to chuck in my pocket any time when EM1 & lenses aren't available for any reason.

You don't need a new compact camera, you need a compact body, compatible with your existing, pretty wonderful, system: a GM1.

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Franz Weber
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In reply to NewGirlLiz, 10 months ago

The Fujifilm XQ1 is smaller than the RX100 focuses faster and has a sensor that is bigger than the competition like the Canon 120

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RoelHendrickx
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Thoughts and two extra suggestions (+ my personal choice)
In reply to NewGirlLiz, 10 months ago

NewGirlLiz wrote:

Apologies for starting a thread about compact cameras on a M4/3 forum, but am interested in the views of M4/3 users in particular.

I now have what I think is a pretty wonderful system for my needs. (EM1 + 12-40, 40/150 & 75-300 lenses.) I would like to top off my collection with a super quality compact to chuck in my pocket any time when EM1 & lenses aren't available for any reason.

I understand that. I want the same thing.

Apologies if similar discussions have taken place in the past but am seeking any views based on current selections of high-end compacts as the perfect complement to my set up.

I'm considering the following...

Fujifilm X20. I really like this, but have issues with the viewfinder not fully matching up with what the lens sees - especially close up - and also being partly obscured by the lens at widest angle. Could I get over this for the sake of a really nice camera that is a joy to use?

Never used an X20 but I have seen and used an X10 and it is a very nice camera. But not really small-small, right?

Sony RX100 ii. I keep reading about how wonderful this camera is, but I have had one (brief) play with it and just didn't feel excited by it at all. It just didn't feel like an enjoyable camera to use. It's pretty expensive and for that amount, I feel that I should love it, and I didn't.

Never used one. But if it goes against your grain, then don't get it.

Olympus Stylus 1. I haven't had my hands on this yet but I wonder if it's a great compromise of features?

Interesting features : 10x zoom at F2.8 and a form factor that will feel familiar. Also an EVF.

But again : not really small small.

Any views on these or any others I should consider?

Someone already mentioned the option of a small (and quite cheap) second µFT body.

I think that would be a good idea : it gives you a backup and the option to go shooting with dual cameras (one lens on each camera and no lens swapping) for circumstances where that would be a benefit. None of your lenses are really small, but if you add one of those new pancake zooms, the package could be pretty small. And if you add a fast small prime (like the 14, 17 or 20), it will give you the benefit of also getting into the field of fast lens prime shooting. That really is a liberating and stimulating experience.

Well, if all that is true (and it is), then why don't I myself own a small second µFT camera.

Well, because I wanted a small compact that I can stuff in a jeans pocket, take anywhere, with a really fast lens and still a bit of zoom capability.

You have to ask yourself what you will be using that additiional compact most for.

Probably not for outings where photography is "premeditated" : you will take your E-M1 for that.

No, you probably want it in your coat or jeans pocket or in your purse for occasions where bringing the "real" camera is awkward. Like : family occasions, parties, etc.

What is the main characteristic of such occasions? They are often indoors and in low light.

So I believe that your main focus should be on lens speed : you want a fast lens to shoot with natural low light. At least that was my priority.

I considered a few and it was a close call between the Panasonic LX7 and the Olympus XZ-1 (or XZ-2), but ultimately I chose the LX7 (for price and a few other reasons).

The XZ-1 had a tilt screen, just a bit more tele reach and a mode dial around the lens as pluses.

But the LX7 topped that (for me) with being slightly faster (in aperture), a bit wider (24mm vs 28mm EFL makes a real difference for me), allegedly better performance at ISO1600, a faster max shutter speed, a built-in ND filter for wide open shooting in good light, slightly smaller size, a few more dedicated switches for functions I use a lot, and finally : having a separate charger for the battery (I don't like to plug in my camera).

I'm very happy with the LX7.

I have yet to use it for concerts and theatre, but the LX3 already did brilliantly there - check out on my webpages under "concert" and look for the galleries that say they were made with that little powerhouse of a camera. (Yes, I had an LX3 before, but wanted the even faster lens, better high ISO and aperture dial around the lens - and my daughter is now a happy LX3-user)

Most recent gallery with the LX7 : http://roelh.zenfolio.com/p606560168

But by all means: do your own investigation.

All cameras mentioned are reviewed on this site.  And go to a store to handle them.

Many thanks
Liz

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Waaylander
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Re: High quality compact to complement M4/3 system - any thoughts?
In reply to NewGirlLiz, 10 months ago

Interesting thread, I have an Em-1 and a great lens selection and an E-5 also for home shots. I also have an Olympus TG-2.

I find the E-5 is perfect for home shots (large size 50-200mm), the EM-1 is great for portability and hand-held video and portability (I take photos/videos on skateboards runs with my 3 you daughter riding her bike/scooter and it is amazing).

However being in summer here in Perth I find I TG-2 the perfect camera all the other stuff the EM-1/E-5 could never capture (Beach/swimming pool/underwater, My daughter shooting the shots, dropping the camera).

So whilst the TG-2 is a great camera, something like a "tough" version of the Stylus-1 (Waterproof/toddler proof) would be my imy perfect "compliment" to my EM-1, E-5...

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Lindsay D
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Re: High quality compact to complement M4/3 system - any thoughts?
In reply to tlburnes, 10 months ago

tlburnes wrote:

How about an E-PM2 (or E-PL5) with the new Olympus collapsible 14-42EZ lens? You'd have essentially the same sensor as in your E-M1, could use all your lenses on either camera, with in body image stabilization, and would have familiar Olympus menus and controls on both, especially the Super Control Panel.

If you'd like a viewfinder you could add the cheap but competent VF-3, removing it when not needed for a smaller package. Add a small fast prime at some point, like the 17mm f1.8 or the new 25mm 1.8 and by carrying that along with the E-PM2 with the EZ lens you'd have good low light capability and maximum image quality when needed.

Used with the very good Olympus digital zoom the EZ lens gives you a 35mm equivalent reach of 168mm.

If you're like me you'll find yourself taking the smaller camera often since you'll give up little in terms of image quality in most circumstances but have a much smaller, lighter and less obtrusive package.

THIS ^

Liz, if you don't like the handling of the RX100, you won't use it and you won't enjoy owning it. I carry my EPL5 in a small padded makup bag inside whatever handbag I have on me that day, very light system and totally portable everywhere you go. Not quite as pocketable as the little Sony, but I think you'd use the Oly more.  EPL5 performance and IQ is out of this world.

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SkiHound
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Re: High quality compact to complement M4/3 system - any thoughts?
In reply to pocketpygmy, 10 months ago

Good post. I was using an LX5 that decided to take a swim while kayaking and have been looking for a replacement. I have an E-M5 as my primary camera. All of these cameras are pretty good but they all have some negatives.

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DLBlack
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Re: High quality compact to complement M4/3 system - any thoughts?
In reply to NewGirlLiz, 10 months ago

Sony RX100 I I is a very good choice. The Olympus Stylus 1 is a good choice.

Since you are considering the Stylus 1 the GM or the E-M 10 are basically the same size and you are staying in the MT system.
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Jeff Tokayer
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Re: High quality compact to complement M4/3 system - any thoughts?
In reply to gotompoes, 10 months ago

gotompoes wrote:

.

 .

i get better results with the RX 100 II then with the E M1(returned) and or E P5.

Ha ha ha 

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Linda F
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Re: High quality compact to complement M4/3 system - any thoughts?
In reply to NewGirlLiz, 10 months ago

Liz,

Some questions you need to ask yourself.

1: what does convenience mean to you, eg size ( this is the biggest question)

2. Do you mind, or want, to change lenses

3. What do you shoot or need to shoot when you have your convenient camera

4. What sort of focal range do you need

5. Can you manage without a viewfinder

I had DSLR, I now have M4/3, a Panny FZ200, and this week a Stylus 1 (Maybe I'm too wealthy also!). Until this week, my most grabbed camera was the Panny, it will be interesting to see if the Stylus takes over. The FZ does the lot from macro, especially with a close-up filter attached, to long telephoto. Its downside is that it's a bit on the bulky side. I did have a Panasonic LX7, brilliant little camera, but I can't cope without a viewfinder of some sort.

I suspect I'll get bitten for this, but I believe we are becoming obsessed with quality and kit, and believe me, I'm just as bad! One small package with no lenses changes or extra bits to worry about is fun and can be very liberating. To me, convenience is not having to change lenses, or work out what I'm going to need, it's about having something to hand that can do the lot. You need to go to a store and handle some of this stuff if you can as it makes a huge difference. Personally, I found the  Sony far too small although I have small hands. There is so much choice these days it makes things quite difficult, although anything you get will be able to produce good photos.

I hope you find something you'll enjoy.

Linda

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lapdog99
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Re: High quality compact to complement M4/3 system - any thoughts?
In reply to NewGirlLiz, 10 months ago

Just buy an E-M10 body and/ or add the new power pancake lens.  You will have a great backup camera and familiar menu, as well as be able to keep a long tele on one and a fast  wide lens on the other.  Or, you can never go wrong keeping an LX7 handy.

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Ido S
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Re: High quality compact to complement M4/3 system - any thoughts?
In reply to NewGirlLiz, 10 months ago

Look around for some deals on the first-generation Sony RX100. If you can find one new or used (in great condition) for under $450, then just go for it. It's 95% as good as the RX100 II. Especially if you get an accessory grip for it, which will make it comfortable to hold.

Otherwise, I'd either get the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 or the Olympus Stylus XZ-2. They're very similar in a lot of respects - from sensor size through lens to price. From what I understand, the Olympus is slightly bigger and manual settings are more easily accessible, but I haven't checked to see if it's true or not.

If you pass those two, then get one of the connected cameras, like the Canon PowerShot S120 or the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LF1.

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