Wohlf: You nearly ignored Olympus XZ.
Like a lot of families, our use is often travel, sports and family dinner gatherings. The other cameras are slower and usually need flash indoors; to me this pollutes the results with unnatural lighting. With the XZ, I set the flash indoors to 1/4 or 1/16...perfect results. I have a D90 with a 35mm 1.8 lens and I barely use it! The speed of the XZ lens means that one rarely needs over 400 ISO. With the others you can't use the zoom at all and maintain low light capability and they can't easily control flash intensity. Flare just hasn't been a problem.
For sports I set the aperture to 2.5 and have full zoom. At equivalent zoom, the other cameras are at F5.0 or more and need high ISO, that doesn't work well for sports. A DSLR lens with equivalent speed/zoom would be $1000.
Small for travel and fast lens for sports that stays fast at full zoom. Most importantly you get natural lighting results at family gatherings. I think the XZ is the best choice.
I think You did your home work before you bought...smart man!
snake_b: I wish DPR did a re-shoot with the EX1, considering that the lens looked decentered in the original review and many complained about that fact. It's not a perfect camera and essentially, Samsung has abandoned it and not fixed weird firmware holes, but it is a good performer.
I've tried most all in the class and in terms of IQ, it absolutely holds its own. The shooting experience is subjective and some of the firmware holes take away from that (no RAW bracketing, remote use during bracketing not allowed, sometimes slow operation, switching to backlit while in RAW results in lockups, so jpeg must be manually selected, and a host of others).
The SRW files are huge (21megs per shot). The hardware is slow. However, the lens is fantastic and so is the swiveling screen.
what you wrote kind of confirms the fact that mathematically one can crunch 21 megs into a sensor that's a couple of times smaller then say a full frame sensor but should one expect the $900 compact camera's chip to process that amount of info in the same manner and time?
Tord S Eriksson: To me, the winner is the XZ-1, with the VF-2 viewfinder. Amazing camera, and even better if you buy the UW housing, that take 67mm Canon 500D close-up lenses. Versatile and easy to use, decent pictures in even rather low light, due to f1.9 and ISO 3200. Steve Huff likes it, and that says a lot in my book!
forget about Steve Huff...what's important is what you do best with...even if it is a WWII Brownie!
Damage Inc: The Canon G12 seems the one to go with.I've been wanting one next to my SLR, so I could sometimes carry one in my pocket for events like concerts and such.So that I don't have to walk around with a big camera on my neck or on my hip and it doesn't feel so cumbersome.
But it's too bad the price is so ridiculous... I'm not spending that on a secondary compact camera...Also, what's up with the only 5x zoom?? While other compact Canon-cameras with the same or similar lenses such as the SX100 have 10x zoom.These are 2 major points that keep me from buying it...
some of the canon G models (such as my G7)does not have RAW mode where as my venerable "Brick" , the G2 (cost me $1100 Canadian way back when...)but renders excellent RAW material to work on (perhaps because it was a simpler Raw engine design ?).My general opinon on taking RAW shots with any compact is if you don't have time for Harvest or Post Production then shoot JPEG or get a entry level SLR with as big a sensor as possible (thats a tall order I admit).Also .I encounter compact enthusiasts on a weekly base that,when asked, say they are disappointed with the zoom quality and IQ thereof.All Digi zoom should be outlawed ...instead users shoud be given a cd to show them how to adjust the settings for particular light conditions (of course one could also say...read the manual first).I think 90% of compact users would be better off with a fast prime wide angle built in and that is why complete beginners more often come up with "keepers".
If I ever get a shot like this I'll be drinking champagne for a week...CONGRATULATIONS! And Carmel ....GET A LIFE!