Bjrn SWE: Cameras with viewfinders should be rated higher.
@Bjrn SWE - that's the point - some people desperately want a viewfinder, some don't mind. That's part of the reason we chose two cameras at the end - the second of which has a viewfinder because our main pick doesn't.
Jim: Why is the Canon G1X consistently omitted from your enthusiast compact round ups? It blows the others away from an image quality point of view...not even close.
It's also not terribly close in terms of price, size or speed.
There's an argument for including it here, but it has at least as much in common with the Ricoh GRs and Fujifilm X100S's of this world.
VaLeX: It's strange that if you read the qualitative, subjective appreciation of each camera, you'd say that the Fuji would get the recommendation. A comment about Fuji's bigger sensor (or at least a link to a chart, as you did with apertures) should have been made. Even appended with a comment about how the bigger sensor fails (or not) to translate into better image quality in comparison to 1/1.7 group.
The aperture charts are represented in terms of 'equivalent aperture,' which means they take sensor size into account (something that's important to do in a class with three main sensor sizes represented).
KLinLA: Canon G1X and Lumix LF1 left out here, or are they in some other category?
The LF1 is in the forthcoming 'High-end pocketable compacts' roundup.
There's an argument for including it the same class as things like the X100S and Ricoh GR - which I'm afraid we may not have time to cover.
Despite the visual similarities to the G16, it's a rather different creature, whose size and slowness would have counted against it in this group - excellent though its image quality it.
Buena Vista: I sure wish there weren't so many holes in the side-by-side spec comparison, especially for the Samsung. Why not fill in the blanks, dp?
Also it looks as though having a viewfinder is heavily weighted. Why? Not everyone needs a viewfinder, especially given the quality of some of the screens in these cameras.
Seeing these comparisons has made us aware of the need for greater consistency, in future. However, it's difficult to provide full specs for those brands that announce cameras without full specifications. Without constantly checking their many websites, (which we don't have time to do), these gaps will occur.
Stephen Scharf: I'm glad that the Fuji X-E2 is on this list (as the X-Pro1 was on the first list), but I have to really take exception to the "struggles with fine green detail" comment. This might be a bit of an issue with LR or ACR, but it most definitely is not with Capture One Pro or Capture One Express. Both of these applications provide the best RAW conversion of Fuji RAF files, but you never use it in your reviews. As such, you're providing an inaccurate description of what the camera is truly capable of producing.
Also, the comment that RAW support is "patchy" is also inaccurate. By my count, there are ten applications that provide excellent if not outstanding RAW conversion for Fuji X-trans files: SilkyPix, Lightroom, ACR, Capture One Pro, Capture One Express, AccuRaw, Iridient Developer, Apple Aperture, and Photo Ninja. How can *ten* different apps that provide RAW conversion possibly be referred to as "patchy"?
@Stephen Scharf - We tried (and published) Capture One's conversion of X-Trans when it was launched. It was a fraction better than ACR at the time but a subsequent ACR update has significantly reduced the difference.
We use a standard converter for our test scene and have settled on what's currently by far the most widely used. We could throw away the idea of consistency and had the time to cherry-pick a different converter for every camera, someone would still decide they prefer a different converter, and accuse us of bias, one way or the other.
That's why we provide the Raw files so that you can run them through your preferred converter and draw your own conclusions.
I have added a little more detail to the sentence about Raw converters.
sm176811: Agree with 60sphotographer... These categories are not MECE at all!
If you can work out a more logical way of segmenting the products, send us a feedback email and we'll consider it for next time.
Any attempt at categorisation will have flaws but we've tried to separate into groups that we think potential users might be looking at, then further consider sub-groups within those and make recommendations accordingly.
andy amos: Interesting to see 2 mirrorless models made it to the the round-up. A few years ago they would have been scoffed at. Looks like EVF is becoming viable at last. I wonder how the Sony Alpha range will do in the full frame catagory?
@Plastek - if our coverage reflected only what people bought, we'd spend over 70% of our time writing about Nikon or Canon DSLRs. The point is that most other manufacturers have switched away from DSLR now, so that's what there is for us to write about.
We're not biased towards mirrorless - we're trying to cover as many new cameras as we can. A few years ago that meant writing about Sony, Olympus, Samsung and Panasonic DSLRs, even though they were fighting it out for around 30% of the market, now it means Sony, Olympus, Fujifilm, Panasonic and Samsung mirrorless models, even though also not reaching a big market. Yet.
The difference is that, by doing something different, these manufacturers have created more interesting products (and in many cases, better products), so there's more that we're finding that's positive.
On top of that, spend some time shooting with some of the latest mirrorless models and it's hard to believe DSLR dominance will last forever.
bossa: The K-3 smokes the D7100 in any comparison apart from maybe focus tracking. This comparison is a travesty for the following reasons: A. The sensor shake reduction mechanism can do (i) amazing star tracking when combined with the O-GPS, (ii) horizon correction (iii) sensor shift (shift lens anyone?) (iv) sensor shake based AA filter
B. The new hi-res exposure system C. the silky shutter D. 25 cross point AFE. f2.8 AF system that works way down low (in the dark almost)F. Huge buffer for 23 RAW shots at 8 fps G. superior ergonomics (ISO right where you need it and DOF Preview on the shutter button lever etc etc)H. The Green Button and numerous exposure modes Nikon never heard of.
The K-3 is a no brainer when compared to the D7100.
PS: The new AF system also uses the new hi-res exposure system to differentiate and track.
@dosdan - In the light of what you've posted, I have to assume it's what we were told that's wrong. As I say, it seemed odd at the time that they wouldn't use a relatively high-res metering sensor for some sort of scene or subject recognition.
Impulses: Is there a formatting error on the mobile site or something? The line that reads:
" However, even without taking that step, these enthusiast models offer until recently undreamt of image quality in a more compact package "
Shows up at the start of the last paragraph, when I'm pretty sure it's meant to go at the end of said pantagraph (contextually).
You're right - the paragraph had been shifted at some point (and picked-up some odd formatting in the process). I'm not sure how that happened, but it's now fixed.
Thanks for drawing it to our attention.
Plastek: 5 mirrorless 3 DSLRs? No Sony SLTs?
Best enthusiast-level camera - Olympus OM-D E-M1 - a 2x crop factor mirrorless in price of full frame DSLR? Why you haven't included Canon 6D and Nikon D600 than?
You've got to be kidding me. It's a joke, not a comparison.
The 6D, D610 and A7 would all be in a class above these. We probably won't get a chance to cover those cameras this time 'round and would want to spend more time with the A7 before trying to draw a conclusion.
WT21: The problem with roundups is that at any given moment, some camera is new, and some is old. The XPro 1 is getting long in the tooth. The 70D and EM1 are the lastest and greatest from their respected makers, as some examples. Not that there's any choice, of course. You have to roll with what you got. But I would argue the XE2 would be a better choice here than the XP1. I'm not a Fuji user, but I think the XE2 is competitive with the rest of this lot. The XP1 is kind of it's own thing.
@WT21 - I wasn't trying to disagree - I was trying to explain that we hope to keep these up to date, in future.
@dosdan - that's odd, since it flatly contradicts what the K-3 product manager told us when explicitly asked.
It seemed odd that it wouldn't, since Nikon has done this for several years (and Canon later added it on at least one of their models).
Kim Letkeman: I laughed when I saw that Panasonic was (inevitably and predictably) left out of the running. One has to wonder who Panasonic ticked off to get left out of a category in which it should be able to compete very well ... after all, enthusiasts do shoot a lot of video these days.
I've shot the D300, D7000, and D70s in the Nikon "enthusiast" lineup and I would take a Nikon over any of the others listed for the system, the ergonomics and the image quality.
But ... I would take the Panasonic G6 or the GH3 over the Nikons for the smaller size, the incredible video, the same ergonomics and basically the same image quality.
And so it goes ...
@caver3d - I understand your frustration and we do what we can to minimise it, but however we approach this, it won't ever be quite right for everyone (almost right for a majority is the best we can hope for).
Kim - I thought long and hard about including the GH3, and you're right, it's a great camera. However, while its video trumps everything here, as a stills camera it fails to stomp. At which point I think we risk under-representing its strengths and essentially overlooking it in the roundup.
Duckie: However well rehashed, there is only so little existing info. Because there are only so many cameras that did come out in the year.
This is like inserting new index cards into an old archive.
We were hoping that having all those index cards together in one place, and referencing new information (test scene images and real-world galleries), might be convenient for some people.
Allen Yang: I think most readers will go for Canon 70D or Nikon D7100. It's still an era of Canikon. Sony needs time to release more lens. Other brands are just for a few people who have "special needs".
However, if you look at which lenses you intend to use, and whether ones have been specifically designed for the format, it's not quite as clear-cut as you make it sound.
Clearly there are more lenses for Nikon and Canon, but whether they're the focal lengths you want or just ones that make sense on full-frame, becomes a pertinent question.
Different product ranges don't line-up perfectly, so it's impossible to make a perfect selection, regardless of what logic you base your decision on.
We've put the GX7 (and G6) in the mid-level mirrorless class (along with the Olympus E-M5), so they will be covered.
The K-3 is a *very* impressive camera and it's not *impossible* that it would win the next roundup if it excels as we continue to shoot with it.
However, based on our shooting with it so far, it doesn't *smoke* the D7100 in any important respect, bar ergonomics. The better JPEGs and proved AF system give the D7100 an edge, but it's extremely close.
For what it's worth, Ricoh explicitly said the exposure system is used to help the AF system understand how challenging it will be to focus, **not** for tracking.