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

Started Feb 7, 2014 | Discussions thread
Rohith Thumati Contributing Member • Posts: 509
Re: High quality compact to complement M4/3 system - any thoughts?

I've been on a similar hunt for a while now, actually.

How important is pocketability? The only one of the three that you mentioned that's pocketable is the RX100 M2, so I'm guessing it's not that high of a priority. If I'm mistaken, then your options for super quality compact are pretty much limited to that Sony and the Ricoh GR. The reviews of the GR are glowing, and if you're happy with the 28mm (full frame equivalent) angle of view, then that'd be a great option. The Nikon Coolpix A also qualifies, but it's so much more expensive than the GR and doesn't appear to have any better image quality (from the reviews I've read) that I can't imagine it being worth it. If you don't like that field of view, though, it'd be the wrong choice.

If you're okay with non-pocketable, your choices expand quite a bit.

The Panasonic GM1 should be at the top of your list (it's at the top of mine right now). Whether or not it's pocketable depends on how big your pockets are, but the people I know who have it love it. The images will be on par with what your E-M1 puts out, give or take a little here or there. The kit lens isn't the brightest optic, but it's, well, a kit lens. You can always put on a prime like the Panasonic 20mm f1.7 or Olympus 17mm f1.8 and be a low light monster. It doesn't have a viewfinder, though.

Canon is also supposed to unveil the new version of the G1X next week at the CP+ show. If it retains the large sensor (slightly bigger than Micro Four Thirds) and the rumors about the faster lens are correct, it could be great. The current one has really good image quality, but has abysmally slow AF. We'll find out a bit more next week, but a certain rumors site already has some info.

If you're okay with fixed focal length, the Fuji X100S is always worth a look. Its handling is my favorite of any camera I've used (E-M5 included), the electronic viewfinder is solid (not as good as the E-M1's or E-M5's), has a great optical viewfinder, and it produces great images. I would have definitely bought one by now if I liked that angle of view, but it doesn't suit me.

The X20 is very good, but the viewfinder takes some getting used to if you don't want to rely on the screen. The Stylus 1 will be very familiar to you as an OM-D user, also, but don't expect the viewfinder to be as nice as the one on your E-M1. Both have good, wide aperture lenses for telephoto. In most situations, the RX100 M2 will take better photos than either, though. The RX100 M2 of course lacks a viewfinder, which some find important.

So you have a few questions to ask yourself: zoom or fixed focal length? If a zoom, how important is having a bright lens? How important is pocketability? Do you need a viewfinder? And how much do you have to spend? If you have answers to those questions, the answer becomes easier.

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