Camera for Italy Trip

Discussion in 'Mirrorless Digital Cameras' started by paul_brenner|1, Aug 9, 2013.

  1. My wife and I are going to Italy in late September. First week is a walking tour (up to ten miles a day but not too strenuous).
    I bought a T4i w/18-135 lens a year ago and love it, but a long weekend trip last week made me realize how heavy the combo is, and I'm thinking about a lighter alternative that still will give high quality images. I have an S-100 but would want something a bit better. (Would take S100 as backup in any case.) Preferences:
    • I like Canon
    • I want great low-light performance
    • Want a decent zoom range (at least 28-112)
    • Would prefer bigger sensor than G-series (but had a G-9 that I really liked).
    • Camera doesn't have to be pocketable, just lighter/smaller than T4i
    I have an 18-55 also which would reduce weight for the T4i, but I don't want to compromise zoom range that much.
    This all seems to add up to a G1X, or MAYBE G15: Two questions:
    Any specific feedback/comparison on G1X/G15?
    Anything I really should consider (even if not a Canon)?
    Thanks very much,
    Paul
     
  2. How about the new Canon SL1? :)
     
  3. Thanks, but am not looking for another DSLR; want to go smaller.
     
  4. [[want to go smaller.]]

    I'm guessing you've not seen the actual size of the SL1. With your existing lens, it meets every requirement on your list.
     
  5. After a trip in Italy with a heavy backpack loaded with photo gear (Canon 7D, three lenses and accessories - about 7 kg / 15 lbs) I decided that I have to find a reasonable travel camera. I found one - Canon EOS-M - at a bargain price (~$370 for camera, kit lens and small flash). In the past I paid much more for point and shot cameras. You may be able to find the kit for $400...$450 somewhere (Google is your friend) - Canon is dumping the current EOS-M in preparation for the next one later this year. Don't expect to pay the same price for the new one; I bet it will be $500 or more (body only). At this price you will get the camera for free!
    The Canon EOS-M with the latest firmware (2.0.2) is a decent camera. The APS-C 18 Mpx sensor produces high quality images - pretty much like my 7D. The kit lens (18-55mm f/3.5-5.6) is surprisingly sharp and relatively small. With a EF (and EF-S) to EF-M adapter you can use your old lenses. Unfortunately, Canon doesn't make a more travel friendly zoom in the EF-M mount. I'd like to see an EF-M 15-85mm zoom for travel. Maybe Canon will take this suggestion seriously one day.
    I used the EOS-M camera for a short trip in Germany this year. Perfectly usable for travel but not for sports or fast action. I have no regrets buying it.
    Read my short Canon EOS-M review at http://betterphotographytutorials.com/2013/08/04/canon-eos-m-a-new-camera-favorite/.
    A more detailed review: http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EOS-M-Camera-Review.aspx.
    If you want something more versatile and user friendly, try Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5 or GF6. No compatibility with Canon but the sensor is large enough (Four Thirds sensor) for good quality photos. Be ready to pay more for the camera and lenses.
    Good luck!
    P.S. If you didn't plan your trip in Italy yet, please visit Cinque Terre for few days. Absolutely beautiful, especially, if you like hiking.
     
  6. Rob, good point. I will look more closely at it.
    Stefan, thanks. Good info.
    Obviously, benefit with either (I believe) is that I wouldn't have to buy a lens (unless found used "kit").
    Paul
     
  7. Be careful when you look at lens adapters for a smaller camera. EF and EF-S lenses are relatively large (especially IS lenses). Yes, the camera would be small but the lens size is still a factor to consider. This is why I said that I regret Canon doesn't offer a good travel zoom (eventually with IS) in the EF-M mount. The whole package - camera and lens - would be smaller.
    Micro four thirds camera systems are probably even smaller (but not too much). Some prefer them because of a very good compromise between performance and size. In addition, there are EF to 4/3 adapters that will help you with the Canon lenses that you own but you have to be very careful with compatibility issues.
     
  8. Pick up a Fuji X10 or X20 or a Sony RX100. Anything less impressive won't be enough improvement over your S100 to
    be worthwhile, and anything with interchangeable lenses (except maybe a Nikon 1 series or Olympus E-PM if the lens
    you're looking for exists and is small) won't be small enough to distinguish itself from your SLR. As SLRs go a T4i is on
    the smaller side so it sounds like you're needing something very compact and an APS-C mirrorless ILC, once you add the
    lens, probably isn't small enough.
     
  9. I basically agree with Andy. I actually rented a Sony RX100 for a trip in April, and it was a great choice. I hadn't realized how much I'd appreciate its very small size, but more than that, how well it worked in relatively automatic modes (typically aperture priority with auto sensitivity, although it rarely called for higher than ISO 800)--great when you're on the go and sightseeing instead of engaging in pure photography. Now of course you also have the option of the RX100 Mk. II with the articulated screen, which is a very nice addition. Either will be considerably smaller than a G1X.
    Which brings up another point: would renting a camera be a good option for you? Lensrentals.com will rent you an RX100 Mk. II for two weeks for $143 total, including damage waiver and two-way shipping. This both (1) allows you to use a camera that's best for the trip, but is not something you'd normally want / need; and (2) try a camera you don't own. Of course, they'll also rent you a G1X under the same terms for $116 total. Obviously renting means you'd be using a camera with which you're not that familiar, but you can download and read the manual ahead of time, and most of these cameras are just not that complicated for 99% of tasks. Or I suppose you could also do a three-day rental a couple of weeks ahead of time, and spend a weekend using it.
     
  10. I have owned - and used a lot - two of the cameras being mentioned here, the Canon G1X and the Fuji X20. Of those two, I think the Fuji is the better choice; the G1X has slightly better IQ and a bigger sensor, but it has its quirks (the lack of close focusing was the main one). The Fuji was the one I took when I went to Europe (along with a Nikon P7700) and when I got home and examined about 800 captures, the vast majority were from the Fuji. It's light, easy to carry (I was walking a lot), and pretty easy to use. The IQ is good enough for prints up to 13 x 19 unless you plan on doing exhibitions.
    But if I were doing it again I'd probably rent the RX100.
     
  11. Thanks to all. Once again shows that this is about the best forum on the web. A lot of good advice, glad I have time to take it all under consideration.
    My main problem with the T4i is the weight of the body plus the 18-135. Problem is that while I don't need that much zoom, the 18-55 (aside from any quality issues) isn't quite long enough. The zoom range of both the X20 and the G1x (28-112 effective) is just long enough (but why can't Canon do 24-120 on the G1x, like the S100?)
    Having had a G9 in the past I'm familiar with the basic G series, and close focusing isn't an issue; but if anyone knows of a shorter lighter lens than the 18-135 but longer than the 18-55, so that I could take the T4i with less weight I'm all ears!
    Finally...thanks for the rental suggestion. I didn't know it could be that reasonable for that period of time. Might do that. Doesn't solve the basic decision, but really limits the outlay, and protects me against having bought a camera I ended up not really sympatico with.
    Paul
     
  12. Paul it also depends on what functionality and handling you are looking for. Most of the interchangeable lens cameras are designed for automated use and are thus a lot of manual functions are buried in menus. A few years ago I bought a Panasonic G1 for a similar purpose but it rarely gets used these days. I primarily shoot Canon DSLRs (1 series, 5 series and a 7D) and also Leica (digital and film). If you want the sort of easy control you get with these cameras I have not found a interchangeable lens compact camera that works well (with the possible exception of the Fuji X series). I have shot Sony, own an M4/3 and was given a Nikon 1 a few years ago. All of these cameras have rather complex menu systems and handling that is more designed for automated use.
    That said I have found the Nikon 1 quite a useful companion - it is the smaller J type (no viewfinder) and is very compact. I use it quite a bit when skiing as it saves a backpack. The lenses are very compact and the 18mm is actually not that bad (the zooms are like all kit lenses - slow and acceptable rather than good). Camera like the Nikon or the previous generation M4/3 bodies can be found quite cheaply in new or refurbished condition on KEH, B&H and Adorama web sites for a lot less than the new version. If you do not need to shoot in manual and are happy with AF then these bodies will work well and can be found quite cheaply. I noticed Adorama has a refurbished J1 with 10-30 mm lens (27 - 85mm equivalent for $229)
    In terms of lenses Canon makes a 15-85 EFS lens but I believe this is heavier than the 18-135 as it is supposed to be better quality.
     
  13. Thanks Philip. More good info.
    I'm continuing to ponder, but may end up taking the T4i and 18-135. It would be a no-brainer except for the first half of the trip being a walking tour. You are right, the 15-85 is heavier than the 18-135.
    Paul
     
  14. Paul I live in the canadian Rockies so i have done a lot of climbing and walking with cameras over the years. I have carried everything from the Fuji GX680 down (the body weighs 10lbs). I find that these days as i get older a rangefinder (I mainly use Leica) or my Nikon 1 travels the most when weight is an issue. All of my Canons are fairly substantial (the 5DII being the lightest). If I want quality and an optical viewfinder I take the Leica - this is obviously an expensive option but the Fuji X series is very close. I actually was given the Nikon 1 a while back but I find that it is very handy and light. Quality is not the best and manual options are very limited / impossible to access. that said it is small and light (I carry 3 lenses) and I really dont worry if it gets damaged. Another though for you is Pentax who make the Q which looks very small but I have never used it.
     
  15. Philip,
    I'm with you. My first passion is "fine art" b&w. Like many photographers of much more repute than me, I used to shoot a lot of large format, now more medium (with a range finder). (Actually, ever since teaching myself how to make digital negs for a print I wanted to have in my last show, I'm shooting little film/paper negs except with early 20th century cameras, but that's another story...)
    Sorry for the digression. I still have five+ weeks to figure this out, but will find a lighter solution than the T4i if I can; the rental alternative may be the way to go.
    Paul
     
  16. gib

    gib

    well, not Canon, but I would recommend for a trip the relatively compact, Sony Nex F3 with the 18-55 lens and the 55-200. I was quite pleased to find how good the images are. The one function it took me a short while to figure out was the sunny weather setting for the display which works incredibly well in bright sunlight ot make the screen easy to use. I have added some inexpenive lens adapters to reuse some old film lenses and that also works very well, with the zoom to focus manually the old lenses. I am leaving my DSLR at home and toting the F3 daily.
     
  17. [[but if anyone knows of a shorter lighter lens than the 18-135 but longer than the 18-55, so that I could take the T4i with less weight I'm all ears!]]
    There is no such lens (that I'm aware of). The only one that comes close is the Sigma 17-70 f/2.8-4 OS but that is 10g heavier than your current 18-135mm.
    Some compromise will be needed here. (Or another camera system would need to be considered.)
    However, in more than 5 weeks time, you could simply exercise to the point that carrying the T4i and 18-135mm is no longer an issue.
     
  18. Do you really need a zoom? I went to Tahiti last year and on a whim, instead of my m43 stuff, I took my Fuji x100. No zoom, just a 35mm equivalent 35mm lens. Terrific sensor, great viewfinder system. Lightweight.
    I got some wonderful images. Sure, there were a few shots that I missed, but not having to think about lenses was liberating and allowed me to be quicker when it was necessary to be so.
    It was a great trip and a great experience!
     
  19. Steve,
    Good thought, and one I've considered.
    Once again, all, thanks for the good thoughts. Too bad there was a bit of a digression (now removed I see).
    FYI, recently I got my hands on an EOS-M, and was hooked. Very solid, well made, and as folks may be aware, they've been greatly discounted. Happy to stay with Canon, and to get an APS mirrorless with lens for less than $400...
    Got it with the 22mm lens, which fits in with Steve's thought; but still thinking about possibly getting the 18-55mm.
    Some gamble, not knowing where Canon is going with the EOS-M, but again, with this price and quality, not too much of a gamble...
    Keep photographing!
    Paul
     

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