Help purchasing a point and shoot

Discussion in 'Mirrorless Digital Cameras' started by leah_kushner, Nov 20, 2011.

  1. I normally use a Canon 7D and I also have a 30D. I use L lenses and a powergrip. I am having back issues and am finding carrying around a heavy camera, camera bag with multiple lenses, etc. too much for me at times. I would like to purchase a good quality point and shoot. I shoot in the raw. Lens quality, speed are also important to me. I did have a Canon G9 and had a horrible experience with it (I understand there was a problem with an internal screw). Canon let me trade it back in. I was going to purchase another Canon when I noticed my photography teacher using a Lumix. Now, I am open to any and all suggestions. I probably will use this for travel, family events, indoor shooting and times when I just can not carry heavy equipment.
    And thanks
  2. Pretty easy choice at the moment. Canon S100 if you want something pocketable, Fuji X10 if you are willing to carry something a bit larger. Alternatives are worse, in different ways. If you decide on the S100, make sure you can return it, because DPreview has so far received two samples with decentered lenses.
  3. There are better alternatives, like some from Lumix or Nikon, but for the best small size get Sony NEX-5 or the newer NEX-7.
  4. Leah:
    I have a Fuji X100 to complement my full sized DSLRs. I'm extremely happy with it. If you want a zoom, I'd look at the Fuji X10, but the downside is a much smaller sensor.
  5. A budget and more sizing info would help...The recommendations thus-far are all over the map, size and moneywise ...
  6. "I would like to purchase a good quality point and shoot. I shoot in the raw. Lens quality, speed are also important to me."
    I have a Panasonic/Leica P&S but do not use it except for small scale (5x7 inch max) images. With its smaller than finger nail sensor, I don't expect it to give what one might call good performance, that similar to a larger sensor system camera. But you appear to be in luck as some of the newer large sensor P&S cameras offer very good quality. There are several to choose from, between about $500 and $1200 or so (Fuji X100). If you want something light that will be as good in quality as your larger cameras, it is probably best to stay away from the very small sensor P&S models. A number of reviews do good comparisons of specs and performance of the newer large sensor P&S cameras.
  7. I am open to a mid-size point and shoot and would entertain any budget for quality. I just want to be able to take pictures without my back killing me at the end of the day. Quality is very important to me. I would like to come close to reproducing the quality I am use to. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
  8. Canon S95 was the best P&S until the S100 came out. It is still a great little camera and can be had at a real bargain price right now.
  9. The new Sony NEX 7 is wonderful but spendy. I picked up a Samsung NX100. 14.6MP, APS-C sensor plus the lenses are very good, plus other manual focus lenses, and EOS lenses can adapt. I picked up mine on eBay, new, open box, with the kit 20-50mm zoom for under $250. Downside: no anti-shake with this kit lens though others have it. But a nice, small body, easy carry. A slight bit more noise than my Canon 7D but very nice quality for the money. For shirt pocket size I use a Canon S95. Better IQ than my old G9 and way smaller.
  10. 1. Ep3, Epl3
    2. Nex 7, 5n
    3. Fuji X100
    4. Nikon J/V1
    I would consider these, each has its own strenghs and weaknesses, of course...
  11. Louis, aren't adapted EOS lenses stuck at wide-open aperture though?
  12. I honestly don't know. Perhaps you are correct. I've seen the NX-EOS adapters but I've only used manual focus lenses
  13. bms


    Lens quality, speed are also important to me.
    Quality is very important to me.​
    Then I would strongly advise against a P&S.
    I recently "upgraded" my wife from a Nikon D60 to a Sony NEX 5N because she wanted something smaller and lighter. If you are willing to use 3rd party manual focus lenses or wait a bit until some higher quality NEX lenses are coming out (not that the kit lens is horrendous), I think that is a good option, given that is "as cheap" as some other alternatives with smaller sensors. It is surprisingly light. An E-P3 would be another choice (have not used it but I have used the E-P2 and was quite impressed).
  14. I got to use a Fuji X10 the other day. It's quite nice! The best parts are it's fast lens, lightening quick autofocus, almost "zero" shutter lag and very solid build and dials. Don't buy anything without trying this one!
  15. There are lots of good choices in this range these days, each with its own tradeoffs in terms of price & capability. About a year ago my choice of Lumix LX-5 seemed relatively clear to me -- fast 24-90 zoom, hotshoe, and (what seemed to me) better build & ergonomics vs. the S90/S95. Canon's successor S100 remains the only truly pocketable model of the bunch, but at the cost of the hotshoe and a slightly slower lens. Since then, the Olympus XZ-1 and Fuji X10 have emerged in similar mold. One remaining plus for the LX-5 is a 24mm equiv wide end while the others make do with 28mm, but they offer a little more reach. The X10 appears to pair the fast zoom with the largest sensor of the bunch and an attractive body including a Canon G-series-like optical viewfinder.
    As impressive as the X10 is, its price and size makes me want to compare it a bit with micro 4/3 system bodies too. At $700 it goes for nearly twice what an LX5 goes for now, and $700 will also buy you a m4/3 kit -- for example, a G3 with 14-42 std zoom and high-quality EVF goes for $650. The lens isn't as fast or long but the larger sensor and lens-swapping capability mitigates that a bit.
  16. Leah, I think the recommendations for micro 4/3 (Olympus EP and Panasonic GF) are misguided. Avoiding its right side, the DPreview studio comparison widget shows that the Canon S100 is superior to them up to ISO 1600 or so, and to the GF3 even afterwards. Moreover the EP and GF cameras are tested with excellent prime lens, not the crappy kit lenses they are sold with, so the studio comparison is unfair, though they lose anyway. Oly/Panny sensors are overdue for an upgrade.

    Sony NEX sure, if you are satisfied with the lens selection. Not at all pocketable, though. Or the Samsung NX, which has a better lens selection. Both are APS-C.
  17. "Leah, I think the recommendations for micro 4/3 (Olympus EP and Panasonic GF) are misguided. Avoiding its right side, the DPreview studio comparison widget shows that the Canon S100 is superior to them up to ISO 1600 or so, and to the GF3 even afterwards."
    Leah or anyone else interested, I would encourage you to check this for yourself -- I think this interpretation might be open for debate.

  18. Leah, I think the recommendations for micro 4/3 (Olympus EP and Panasonic GF) are misguided​
    Sure, Bill, although the m4/3 IQ isn't up to today's great standard, the AF is much faster than all P&S except maybe the recent nikon JV1. AF speed could be a big part of the equation, no? Who cares about IQ when the photo is miss focused, right? Besides...m4/3rd has the best lens selection including speedy fast primes. Isn't the S100 pretty slow (f4-5.9) in the tele ranges? What ISO range would she have to in inside light, 3200--12800?
    Lastly, unless they fixed the AF/shutter significantly in the s100, it's just too slow for anything moving imo, no matter how good the IQ is, and the IQ isn't all that...
  19. if it does not have to be pocketable but has to be reasonably light and small, how about a digital rebel and a fixed lens ( such as 28/1.8 or 50/1.4).. this way you do not much compromise image quality and yet can use whatever other lenses you already own on a given day..
  20. I understand your desire for something light. I have been exploring this space for a while and rented a Sony Nex 5 a while ago. My experience was pretty positive with it. If you want to see my full thoughts visit,_LLC/Blog/Entries/2011/1/20_Nex-5_Camera.html
    Based on this experience, I have been waiting to see Nikon's position (now the 1 bodies) and see Sony's 5N and Nex 7. Before the end of the year, I will pick up a camera such as these as camera/video option in a small form.
    What struck me about the Nex-5 was how similar the images were with my Nikon D700 up to an ISO of 800. What I did not like about the Sony series was the ability to control external strobe units.
  21. Leslie, what you say about AF speed was not true of older m4/3 models. measured the EP1 at .983 to 1.19 second, whereas they measured the F200EXR P&S at .49 to .451 second - twice as fast. Moreover the EP1 produces many misfocused images with moving subjects. The new EP3 is faster, .205 to .267 second, about the same as a Nikon D40 DSLR or F300EXR P&S.

    But point taken, Canon P&S models have relatively slow AF. The S95 measured .617 to .641 second. The S100 has not yet been tested. This is one reason I recommended the Fuji X10.
  22. Give the G12 some consideration. I carry one along with my 7D all the time. At low ISO settings it's very impressive and the auto-HDR feature is pretty cool. I find it quite usable easily at ISO 800 and even 1600. It's really a very nice little camera that would probably take care of most of my photographic needs, if I'm being honest (and humble!). The list of features is pretty awesome too!
  23. Sobering how fast things change. The LX-5 looked pretty obvious to me a year ago as well; now it hardly gets a mention. But, the other side of this is that the cameras that are now out of date still produce the same photos they did a year ago. I'm happy with my LX-5. With digital, it's expensive to stay at the leading (bleeding?) edge.
  24. Yeah, Bill, I was only speaking of the ep3 variants...should of made myself more clear.
  25. This thread has diverged. Leah, I think you need to come back and give us some guidance :) Let us know whether you truly want a point and shoot, or whether you're willing to step up to still small, yet not pocketable cameras like the micro 4/3 and NEX lineups, with interchangeable lenses.
    P&S choices are S95, G12, LX5, XZ-1, etc.
  26. It seems everybody, OK almost everybody here actually believes a bigger sensor is better! Why? If you think old film format it makes sense. Digital is a whole new way. I use point and shoots professionally. Yes, it's mainly for internet. There is little or no difference between the digitals..on a monitor. My print size is 4 x 6" and 8 x 10/12".
    I've made really nice prints at Fuji/Kodak labs with resolution as low as 640 x 480, set at finest. Are they sharp,good color, reasonable dynamic range? Yes!
    It seems so many old attitudes here are from the past.The manufacturers in many ways overshot the mark when they introduced these wonderful tiny,fit in a pocket, carry everywhere. Get a group at a table, all reasonably sharp and well exposed with a tiny camera and it's flash.
    I still shoot film. I prefer a decent finder, than the joke that is available on newer cameras.This includes Leica-M6 onwards to top of line DSLR. In the latter case, manual focus really difficult, the finders made for all the auto-nonsense.
    The simple joy of any small point and shoot a revelation. Last trip to South Africa a joy without carrying big equipment and film if reqd. Yes, long lenses needed if after game animals..I was there for family,shopping malls and get-together. Get anyone! The anti-shake an absolute must! Take snaps at 1/8th of sec that are sharp!
    I started with Pentax Optio s30 in 2005. Added a Canon Powershot s-590 in 2009.Picked up for $5 a Kodak Easyshare, very early model,that has color so close to dead Kodachrome and occasionally, the dreaded magenta cast, like the Leica m-8! Use anything!
    Did the Santa Claus Parade here,in Toronto,last Sunday. 460 shots on two tiny cameras.I used maximum resolution, 8Mp and 5Mp. My bag weighed nothing! Carried extra batteries and the Pentax Optio as back-up,not used.
    Spend a $100 or less. Go wild. Shelf your monster and enjoy it as if there's no other way! Raw? Why when JPEG is so good. You will learn how to get your camera to do things,where to focus,easy fill flash, change quickly from Vivid(Velvia) to softer and neutral(any Pro-portrait film,Portra).
    Stop thinking about image making. Push the button!
  27. Jason, I have a Pentax Optio I-10, but don't kid yourself about sensor size. It shows a clear difference with subject isolation, noise, dimensionality, and colors. I used my Panasonic G2 last night at ISO 1600 to get some snapshots of my girlfriend. At ISO like that, you can't come close with a point and shoot. Plus, the G2 has higher color capability, more dynamic range for those shadow details (important for my black-haired girlfriend!), etc. Go look at my previous posts, and you'll see that I am definitely no advocate for the latest and greatest, but give credit where it's due. Even the lowest-grade interchangeable camera like the NEX-3 will shoot photos that NO point and shoot can match, especially if you're going for a creamy background or are shooting complex scenes, with regards to color and light. Considering the photographer has the skill to take advantage of the better technology, anyway.
  28. Sure you are right. None of the one's you and others, mentioned are really small. Not fit in my pockets..You are right about high ISO.My stuff over 400~800ISO is noisy. The bigger cameras though are really way too big once you add the lenses, which are way too large.
    I recently checked on number of images filed with my Canon P/S. It was over 60,000! I use the tiny cameras daily shooting anywhere between 10 shots to many hundreds.(at some event).
    I read an article by Ctein which bears me out, about sensor size.
  29. Just to follow up on my previous bad-mouthing of Olympus EP autofocus: French retailer FNAC studied AF on a moving car, and determined that the E-PM1 could get 12 sharp shots of 13 total. This was better than the Canon 5D II (11 of 12 with 24-70/2.8), Canon 600D (10 of 10 with 18-55) and Nikon D3100 (9 of 10 with 18-55). Oddly the higher-priced E-P3 was much worse (5 of 6 with 14-42 kit lens).

    Concerning sensor size: as I wrote in another thread, the new Canon S100 sensor seems to outperform micro 4/3 sensors used in current Olympus and Panasonic cameras, and is much smaller. Technology marches on.
  30. Well, I'll drop my hat in the ring. After a couple of years with an LX-3, which I barely used, I moved on to the E-PM1, and I have to say, wise choice. I am not sure there is a better, more compact system out there (barring the Nikon 1). But, it's problem is that it is a "system". GAS gets the better of you....
    That said, I would look at Fuji. They seem to consistently be advancing their gear and the new X10 looks to continue the trend.
  31. Ctein also uses an Olympus E-P1 :p
  32. And before that, Ctein had a Fuji S100fs. See article below. I have an S200EXR (same camera with EXR sensor) and love it, although seldom carry it (cumbersome DSLR size).
  33. You owe it to yourself to look at the Canon SX40, CMOS sensor, great low light, high ISO performance, I love mine!
  34. What I really want to know is if the Canon S100 is a real upgrade to the S90 or just marketed as one.
  35. I'm looking for a high quality camera and image with 24mm+ optical zoom of around at least 4x, AT LEAST 10 megapixel, raw capability, manual option, and good low light performance.
    The Nikon 1 V1 two lens system (10-30; 30-110) probably would do. But, it's expensive at $999, and more to the point, it's larger, and it would be a little hard for my wife to use. My gosh though, only 10 megapixels for $999! Plus, having to change lenses is kind of a downer that gets one away from that point and shoot spontaneity. They have a 10mm-100mm lens that would eliminate the need to change lenses. But, they don't seem to offer that lens as a kit. Plus, it would be very expensive.
    I'm also wondering about the Panasonic Lumix FZ150. It has broad optical zoom that begins at 25mm (35mm equiv.), 12 megapixel (which is reasonable), manual mode, shoots raw, reasonable price at about $387 on BH, etc. I'm wondering about its low light performance, though. Some reviews on the BH site say it's pretty good, but I'd like to see more authoritative reviews on this camera.
    I'd like to consider the G3 16 megapixel cameras at a higher price, but the zoom range is low and it starts at 28mm (35mm equiv.) rules that series of cameras out for me.
  36. @neil:
    "The Nikon 1 V1 two lens system (10-30; 30-110) probably would do."
    10mm is 27mm equiv -- so if you want 24-25mm, Nikon 1 isn't your system yet.
    "But, it's expensive at $999, and more to the point, it's larger, and it would be a little hard for my wife to use."
    A bit pricey, perhaps. Larger than what? They're still pretty compact. As for 'hard to use', the UI is pretty simple, really more P&S-like than enthusiast-camera-like.
    "My gosh though, only 10 megapixels for $999!"
    I think once you get to 10mp you don't need to price by the pixel -- it's adequate for most purposes. More than enough for for web or 8x10.
    "Plus, having to change lenses is kind of a downer that gets one away from that point and shoot spontaneity."
    Sometimes. This also might be an obstacle for a wife-friendly-camera.
    "They have a 10mm-100mm lens that would eliminate the need to change lenses. But, they don't seem to offer that lens as a kit. Plus, it would be very expensive."
    Yes, and lenses like that are also considerably larger/heavier.
    Panasonic Lumix FZ150: Low light performance is probably OK for a camera with small 1/2.33" sensor but will be generally inferior to contemporary cameras with larger sensors. There's no free lunch -- the compact size, reasonable price, and long zoom range are all made possible by the smaller sensor.
    Panasonic LX5 has 24-90/2-3.3 lens with a 1/1.8" sensor. That's a 3.75" zoom, starting from the useful 24mm-eq angle-of-view. Low light performance is good but not as good as a Nikon 1 or micro 4/3 camera.
    Canon's new S100 has a 24-120/2-5.9 lens with a 1/1.8" sensor. Longer zoom range but considerably slower at the longer end. Truly pocketable, unlike pretty much any other 1/1.8" or larger sensor camera (apart from Canon S90/S95), but at the cost of relatively slow lens (at long end) and no hotshoe or electronic viewfinder option.
    Most of the other cameras in this class like Olympus XZ-1, Canon G-series, etc., and even the new Fujifilm X10 have lenses with 28mm wide angle (or shorter zoom range like Samsung TL500/EX1 with 24-70).
  37. Andrew, I sure appreciate your response. While I insisted on full-frame for my first digital SLR used primarily for architecture, I hadn't considered sensor size for a point and shoot. I will look at cameras again, which that specification in mind.
    At any cost, what's a camera with larger sensor size, yet with a little more zoom than the LEX 5. But in fact, the LEX 5 was a camera of interest for me. The shorter zoom range on the LEX 5 would be OK. But, if there's another camera out there that would have at least as good quality image and lower light performance as an LEX 5, yet with higher zoom starting with 24mm (35mm equiv.), I would appreciate knowing about it.
  38. Sony NEX7 looks VERY interesting as does the Fuji X10. Perhaps Canon will trump everyone with a full frame compact pro...?
  39. I came here to ask almost this exact question- I am looking for something that I can have in addition to my 5DMII. I want something that is lighter, and that my husband can use in auto mode.
    I bought and returned the Canon S100. I absolutely hated it. The in camera noise reduction was very excessive (I did not shoot in RAW as LR was unable to process the images at the point I had it). I would have waited and given it in a chance in RAW, but the AF modes were very hard to manipulate (and made it clear to me why on a camera of this size a touchscreen could be really useful), the shutter lag was way longer than I could tolerate, etc. Granted, I am very used to a DSLR, and it had been a long time since I had used a point and shoot, so I suppose my expectations were too high. I honestly felt like I could get pretty much the same photos with my iPhone, and have a far easier time with the focus while using it. I am just not sure where to go from here. I don't care about a viewfinder, I don't care about the camera being tiny and fitting in my pocket. I just wanted less of the shutter lag, very high quality, and something my husband can use so I can actually be in some photos. I am thinking one of the Olympus PEN cameras, the Fuji X100 or X10, or the Panasonic GH2?
    I will be listening for more suggestions- but I just wanted to add my experience with the S100.
  40. Nex 5N or Nex 7
  41. Interesting cameras. The zoom range begins at 27mm. It would be nice to find something a bit wider.
  42. After seriously considering the Lumix LX5, I turned away from it because a review described how someone had encountered excessive noise at 400 asa. But if not this camera, what else to purchase?
    I think that expecting great low-light performance, in addition to excellent images, longer zoom, etc., etc., is a bit much to expect from these little pointy-shooty cameras. Perhaps I should relax my requirements a bit. Reading the reviews at BHPhotoVideo indicates that this cameras has quite a lot of desirable attributes. Probably time to drop by a store and take a look at this camera.
  43. Neil, at high ISO the Canon S100 is almost a stop better than the S95, which is somewhat better (1/3 to 2/3 stop?) than the LX5. For me, the two LX5 show-stoppers are changing color balance at different ISOs, and yellow blotching in low light. Fuji's new x10 is even better, comparable to the m43 models, but widens only to 28mm crop equivalent. The S100 widens to 24mm.
  44. there are only a few choices if 24mm is a requirement, and nothing currently wider in the P&S category w/out an adapter: TL500, S100, LX5, XZ1. i got the TL500 over the LX5 because of its skin tones, the slightly faster aperture (1.8 vs 2.0), and articulating LCD. it's a pretty decent camera for low-light shooting up to ISO 800, but also one with a bunch of idiosyncracies and quirks. the X10 is clearly the best P&S out there, but it's as much as 2x the current price of the nikon p7000, LX5, s95, and TL500. at under $300, the p7000 is probably the best bargain going, and the manual flash options mitigate its slowish but versatile 28-200 lens somewhat.
    i think you need to prioritize. no hi-zoom camera with a dinky sensor is going to give you stellar IQ, and the term "better low-light P&S cameras" is relative, as a 10 mp 1/1.7 sensor hits a technical wall at 800 (or under); only the fuji x10 seems to be able to pull off 1600, but at a much higher cost--which gets close to low-end DSLR or m4/3/mirrorless territory.
  45. A minor correction: the ZX1 only goes to 28.
  46. New Fujifilm X-S1 has 2/3" sensor similar to X10 (larger than most compacts but not as big as micro 4/3) and a 26x 24-624mm zoom range. Camera is close in appearance and size to the smaller DSLR but of course none of them can boast nearly as much zoom range, and this might even be better built than the cheapest DSLRs. There are no 16-400/2.8-5.6 superzooms (actual focal length required to match this, not 135 equivalent) for APS-C sensors available and while this is not a cheap camera it will still represent decent value vs. a low-end DSLR with superzoom that will still only offer maybe 28-405/3.5-5.6 (or 6.3) equivalent.
  47. Leah (original poster) wasn't asking about bridge superzooms, but Andrew has a good point there. Furthermore, the longest superzoom available for APS-C, Tamron's 18-270/3.5-6.3 (27-405 crop equivalent), is inferior at all focal lengths to the 28-400/2.8-5.3 lens (crop equivalent) on the Fuji S100fs and S200EXR. This is easily seen by examining the respective studio shots. Hard to know if Fuji can duplicate that feat, given the more ambitious specs of the XS1 lens.
  48. So, thinking beyond the Lumix LX3 for a bit, one thing that's kept me away from the G3, the P7000 or P7100 is the ho-hum 28mm wide-angle capability. But, the P7100 system includes an auxiliary wide-angle lens that would be an acceptable alternative.
    I think I like the idea of the G12 a bit better. But when Canon had an auxiliary wide-angle (0.66) lens for the G9, why don't they include one for the G12? It's noticeably absent. Could one use the G9 wide-angle with the G12?
  49. the p7000 is a hell of a deal for under $300. not tripping on the W/a converter, at least not the nikon one. G12 is 28mm too, plus the zoom is 60mm shorter.
  50. If cost is a factor, the Canon S95 can be had for $300 or LESS, to make room for the "latest and greatest". After trying el cheapo point 'n shoots, I did what I should have done in the first place, bought the S95.
  51. mwr


    >I would like to come close to reproducing the quality I am use to<
    What uses are your photos put to? For web/computer display, I find my pocketable S100 to be, for most subjects, as good as my XSi. I had 12"x18" prints made of the same finely-detailed landscape scene taken with both cameras, and I could tell the difference if I looked from a few inches away wearing my prescription reqading glasses, but not otherwise.
    Here are a variety of subjects from my S100 (no action shots if that's your thing).
  52. Hi

    I was in the same situation a couple of months ago, and ended up buying the Fujifilm X10.

    After 2 months of usage I decided to write a few words about my experiences with the camera. If you are interested in
    the review, take a look at my blog at

    Klaus, Denmark

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