Switching To A Smaller Camera - Anyone Else?

Discussion in 'Mirrorless Digital Cameras' started by john_panek, Dec 30, 2013.

  1. I have been a lurker on the board for years and used come here when there was no digital ;) . I mostly shoot landscapes, architecture and people. Very occasionally I will do some macro stuff. Never sports or fast moving stuff. I apologize in advance for the long winded post.

    I have been taking pictures since I was a kid. My very first camera as a Kodak Pocket Instamatic 10 :) . I still have it in the original box. I got it when I was like 8 years old. I loved this camera as a child. Eventually I got my first 35mm film camera which was a water resistant Olympus point and shoot. It was small and very basic. Eventually I outgrew and got another Olympus point and show which had a power zoom lens and a lot more creative control.

    I outgrew that one as well so when I got out of college everyone told me I should get an SLR. I got a Canon Elan IIe film camera with a 28-105mm lens. Nice camera and we grew together but it was always a bit of a pain to carry. Carrying an SLR was in no way like carrying a point and shoot. I used to take the camera on vacations and what not. It was always clumsy and like carrying a brick.

    I than got my first digital SLR in 2004 when I bought a second hand Canon 10D. I picked the Canon because it could use my existing lenses and other Canon stuff. The 10D was a tank - all metal body and it was really heavy. A much heavier brick. Eventually the weight got to me so when Canon introduced the G9 I bought it.

    I used the G9 a lot - so much that the 10D just sat on the shelf collecting dust for a year. I sold the 10D and all I had was the G9. I loved the G9 and it took great pictures in bright sunlight. The high ISO was not great but it was ok. The downside was the auto focus was slow and rapid shooting was not so good but I took it everywhere as it was small and compact. Than one day after using it solid for 4 years the G9 jammed open. I got it repaired and than sold it for a Panasonic GF1.

    The GF1 was as small as my G9 and it interchangeable lenses. It was very light and I liked it a lot. The downside was as it did not have a viewfinder the screen was almost impossible to see in bright sunlight. Even with the external EVF it was tough. After I used it for about 6 months I sold it as it drove me crazy. I went back to Canon.

    I bought a Canon T2i (550D) and the 15-85mm EF-S. Though the T2i is not huge by DSLR standards, between the body and the lens its pretty substantial. The 15-85mm is a brilliant lens but weighs as much as the body if not more. I have had the camera for almost 3 years and frankly I have not used it that much. Its just a bother and its really heavy so I end up leaving it home a lot of the time. I also have the following:

    70-300mm EF Diffractive optics zoom
    100mm EF macro
    10-22mm EF-S wide angle
    430EX flash

    Not sure why I have it. I had high ambitions of using it. But every time I want to go out, the thought of dragging all this stuff with me turns me off. For the past 6 months I have been pondering getting rid of it all. Not sure yet. The one thing is for sure is I never like dragging this stuff around with me.

    I have nothing bad to say about the Canon, the camera or its lenses. The equipment works brilliantly and takes amazing pictures but taking all this stuff or even a piece of it is just like dragging around a millstone. I have a small pack that carries the body and one lens and no more. I also have a backpack that carries everything as well as a super light travel tripod but if I had to carry all this stuff I would drop a brick on my head. Its just too much stuff.

    When I had my G9, I would just pick it up and walk out the door with it. No fuss, no muss and even going on vacation it was like carrying nothing at all. I have always been drawn to the Leica's and their M mounts. It has always seemed like an elegant solution to photography. Especially the M9 with its full frame sensor. The body is not so large and neither are the lenses. But that being said the Leica's are way, way out of my budget.

    I am contemplating getting another camera - either one of the Fuji X-Mounts (X20, XE1/2 or X100S), Olympus OMD EM5, new Nikon Coolpix A compact or maybe a Sony NEX. I am not a pixel peeper and frankly I have realized that I don't need all this other "stuff". One primary lens and one ultra wide would do it for me or if it was all integrated that would work too.

    I know it sounds kind of stupid that I don't want to carry all this equipment and I feel somewhat foolish about whining about it. I do love taking pictures and I took the most pictures in my entire life when I had my G9. I am familiar with that saying that the best camera is the one you have with you. In terms of functionality I know that I do need a viewfinder (or at least the option of one) as well as the ability to control all the functionality so a point and shoot with no controls won't work.

    Would love to hear what others have to say about this. I can't be the only one thinking like this.
  2. Hi John. I bought a Sony NEX-6 back in June and liked it so much that I sold off my Nikon DSLR and lenses. In addition to the NEX-6, I bought the 16-50 kit lens, the 55-210, and the 35mm (my walk around lens).
    I took everything to England with me in September and was very pleased with the smaller size and weight I carried around. I haven't regretted the changeover for one second.
    Happy shooting with whatever you decide to get!
    regards! cb :)
  3. I have reached the point with µ4/3 that I use my Nikon D7000 maybe once a year. I started downsizing with µ4/3, and haven't had any interest in the NEX or Fuji cameras, because they have APS-C sensors and the same sized lenses as an APS-C DLSR. Between Olympus and Panasonic, the native lens line is more extensive than either Sony or Fuji. Since Olympus came out with the the E-M1, the E-M5 has been dropping in price and will probably drop more early next year when the E-M5 replacement comes out.
  4. Concerning photography, I have always been interested primarily in the idea of having equipment with the best balance of capturing everyday life in the highest quality possible. That has always meant that it had to be compact but uncompromising in quality. Compact and quality are both subjective terms, and different people find their own balance.
    BTW, my first camera was also a Kodak 110 Instamatic perhaps similar to yours. My next camera when I was about 10 years old was a Pentax K100 with a 50 f2 lens: quite a step up, but I was ready. My Dad was a photographer. I guess my point is that in film cameras I found the Rollei 35 with good film in it to be a fantastic small and quality unit because the lenses available on the various versions were very good and stopped down to 5.6 you got simply fantastic results for a landscape while camping or a street scape while clubbing for that matter. But even in film I suppose I found a Leica CL with a good Leica lens on it to be an even better size to performance relationship.
    My point is that DSLRs have no place in this contest for me. That is assuming that really good focus tracking is not needed. If you need that then the dslr has to remain in the discussion. If you don't, then forget the dslr.
    Lately I use a Sony NEX 5n with the external 2.5 million pixel EVF and the $200 but absolutely superb Sigma 30 2.8 lens which is equivalent on the APS sensor 5n to a 45 mm lens from 35mm film. I don't think this combo can be beaten. I sometimes want a wider lens for my normal lens, and sometimes I want a little longer lens for normal. In the end, this kind of "normal" is so supremely useful. The lens is rather plasticky. I mainly use it in manual focus mode, and when you squeeze the focus ring, if you are not gentle you can compress it and constrain its ability to turn. I've never seen such a combination of only decent materials and physical criteria in such a thing whose performance is beyond reproach. The lens performance is simply stunning. Read up on it. I don't think you can much surpass this outfit at any price for size and performance. It is very very small. I think you can get the body for about $450, and that would be for the 5r or 5t successor now that are essentially the same as the 5n but with a control dial now. The EVF is now about $250, but it is really good/excellent, and I've already described the lens at $200. I know that is $900, but now you have what you need. Yes, a Fuji 100s is similar, but it is more money at $1200 and you can't mount other lenses when you want. The Nikon Coolpix A is very nice but has no EVF and you can't change the lenses either, and those are both huge issues. The other Fuji interchangeable lens bodies that have EVF options or built-in are bigger and so is Sony's own Nex 6. The micro four thirds camera sensors just are not quite as good as the recent 5 series Sony aps sensors.
    I should mention that before the Sony 5n I was mainly a Leica M6 and Nikon FM3a film camera user. I use my manual focus Leica M and Nikon lenses on the 5n with adapters with excellent results, but I use that little cheap Sigma in Sony e mount most of all. There is always room for improvement however.
    I love the idea of the full frame Sony A7 and A7r. If they could jam that sensor into a little 5 series body, which I think they can, and then allow the attachment of my wonderful little EVF then we have something even more special. Keep in mind I never use flash with the 5n because the EVF is in the only port on the camera that is also needed if you want to connect a flash. The 5n isn't really a "professional" camera. Neither was a Rollie 35 or Leica CL or Minox or any of the other outstanding small cameras that could yet yield "professional" resulting images when loaded with the best film.
    Some of my friends insist that for their everyday needs they are satisfied with the high quality point and shoots like the Sony RX 100 or Panasonic LX7. The only benefit of those little cameras over the Sigma 30 2.8 option I described is the zoom lens. You really can't put either in a blue jean pocket anyway so what is the point? Those little cameras can't compare in low light performance. Well, some of those folks have expensive dslrs, and the fact that the Sony 5 series with the right lens is just about as good is disturbing to them I guess. I have friends (about 3) that insist that their D600/800e is so good that they have to have it for "serious" things but they contend that their RX100 or Pani LX7 is "good enough" for Christmas morning and candid park trips and such. I don't understand this thinking at all. I have pictures of my daughter when she was less than 5 (she is 5 now) at the grocery store, getting her first hair cut, at a car dealership, and in all kinds of places in very high quality.
    Ultimately I guess my friends don't embrace the small quality concept because I think they want to take some kind of artistic technical masterpieces at the absolute uttermost quality and then they also need photos as memory markers with no effort at all. I like to combine the two ideas.
  5. You really enjoyed the G9. Why not just get the most current generation of that camera, the G16, and get on with your life taking pictures and having fun?
  6. Yep, I've mostly used compact digicams and film cameras for the past couplafew years and enjoy photography more. I actually have a camera with me everywhere I go and take more of the kinds of photos I enjoy. Whether it's candid photos of people I meet, or more deliberately composed photos of static subjects that catch my eye, I don't often feel I'm missing anything by relying on small P&S and mirrorless system cameras.
    And everything fits into either a small waist bag or a small shoulder bag that can double as a belt bag to get the weight off my shoulder and neck when the grumblies set in after a long day.
    I still occasionally use the old bulky dSLR around the house. It's still useful for some stuff. I have several lenses and a very good TTL flash. The resale value of the dSLR is next to nothing so it's more sensible to keep it even for only occasional use.
    But I can't imagine toting a dSLR again unless a manufacturer mimics Sony and squeezes a full frame sensor into a small body - nothing larger or heavier than a classic Olympus OM-1.
  7. The G16 is a really nice camera and would probably meet your needs nicely, as would the G15 which is selling for very nice prices at present. These are both very nice cameras. I have become very fond of the EOS M which is as small (body only) as your G9 but it has the same size sensor as your Rebel. It has its downsides to be sure, but in use the positives outweigh these negatives, at least for me. The image quality is superb as is the build quality. There are better mirrorless systems out there for sure, but as I said, the IQ is superb and ultimately, I want a compact body that delivers the same IQ as my dslr. What may also make the M attractive to you (besides its low price) is that with the Canon adapter you can also use your existing Canon lenses on the M if you ever choose to. Also consider the SL1 which is tiny but still a complete dslr that gives you all of the benefits of a dslr in a very compact and lightweight body.
  8. If you liked the G9, consider the Canon G1X. It's similar to the G9 but has a large proper sensor instead of the tiny comedy ones used in the rest of the G series line. The sensor is actually larger than that of the micro 4/3rds cameras such as the OM-D. The G1X offers excellent high ISO performance and lovely clean images from its 14 megapixel sensor. The built in 28-112mm zoom also opens up to f/2.8 at the wide end which isn't bad for a 4x zoom. It also has a built in optical viewfinder which is something the mirrorless system cameras don't offer.
    It's a good all in one solution with great image quality for your pocket.
  9. Canon now makes a tiny DSLR which you might consider since you still have the EOS lenses.
  10. I've been itching to ditch my D7000 and bag of heavy lenses for something much smaller and portable. I do work as a part time photojournalist and get called for assignments here and there. The pay sucks and the assignments are sporadic.....used to be once a week, now maybe once a month. It's the only reason I'm keeping the dSLR....for now. Since I live in the NYC area, I often walk around Manhattan and every time I want to bring the dSLR, I've got to use a small shoulder sack, and after hours of walking around, you really feel the weight and the clumsiness of it all. Even when I take off the battery/vertical grip, it's still not a camera that you can wear around your neck all day, so whenever you see something interesting, you've got to pull it out of the bag, start it up, take the cap off......the moment you were going to capture is usually gone.

    On the other hand, so what? Henri Bresson never fretted about missing shots.....I believe he said something to the effect of "there's always another shot to get", so what's the big deal anyway about pulling out the dSLR from the bag. I think as photography pros and enthusiasts, we're always thinking we're going to miss the "money" shot, when in fact, some of the best photos that I personally like were artistic shots of static objects, juxtapositions of shapes and colors that were striking, ordinary things made beautiful where 3D AF tracking and 10fps were the last things you would ever need. I guess it all depends on what type of photography you want to do.
    I know the last time I went to Europe, I told myself that I will absolutely take a smaller camera and leave the dSLR monster at home. I've also shot nothing but film in past European trips and that was the most fun I had. How often do we even look at all our vacation photos from years past? Does it matter if there's a little noise in your photos due to the smaller sensor in the compacts? If you make 5 x7 prints from a compact and show someone, are they really going to notice, providing the composition and light are interesting enough?
    I do have a Leica D-LUX 5 which I will use when I travel again. I also have an M5 and 35mm 'Cron. To tell you the God's honest truth.....I think shooting film is still the best way to go with any photography. You will take less pictures which makes post much easier and pleasant, you'll think about light, color, and composition much more before pressing the shutter, the 35mm film "sensor" is the equivalent of roughly 30-40 mega pixels, you don't have to constantly recharge the batteries, and lastly......you might actually enjoy yourself more wherever you are with whomever you're with. Something to think about.
  11. BTW, I wanted to add that what I don't like about compacts is that I don't like zooming with a little lever on the top of the camera. I also absolutely need a viewfinder, optical or electronic, I don't care.
    My personal requirements in a compact camera has led to my interest in the Nikon 1 V2. I like the little zoom lenses, it has a viewfinder, and you can put an external flash on it too. If anyone has any experience with these cameras, I'd like to know what you think.
  12. "On the other hand, so what? Henri Bresson never fretted about missing shots.....I believe he said something to the effect of "there's always another shot to get", so what's the big deal anyway about pulling out the dSLR from the bag."​
    That may be true for hunter-gatherer candid/street photographers, or folks who can plan out each session. But it wouldn't work for me. I do a lot of personal family documentary photography, hoping to use some photos for hospital fundraisers. My style depends on capturing fleeting moments. I don't have time to fish a camera out of a bag and ask people to recreate a moment. I always have a compact camera at hand - two on my desk right in front of me at the moment. Whenever I'm attending medical appointments with family members I almost always have a small camera in my hand, turned on and ready to use in an instant.
    Up until 2005 I typically carried compact film cameras, like the Olympus 35 RC and XA3. In 2005 I tried the dSLR route for awhile to document the life of a newborn family member who was born with a serious heart defect. After a year I switched back to smaller cameras.
    And now, whether for personal documentary photography or candid/street photos, the dSLR rarely leaves the house. I've used it exactly twice outside the house since 2010: once in 2010 to photograph an annual street fair; once in early 2013 for some maternity photos - half of which I did with a Nikon V1. I preferred the results from the smaller V1. It's easier to manipulate higher, lower, or off to the side for spontaneous photos. If I could afford a Ricoh GR with the APS sensor I'd add that to the bag of tricks. I have an older Ricoh GX100 and while the ergonomics and controls are excellent, the best of any small digicam I've tried, the IQ is pretty poor above ISO 100, as noise escalates quickly even at 200. The GRD4 has much better high ISO performance, as does Nikon's 1 system CX sensor, but neither can match the overall IQ of an APS sensor.
    The APS sensor compact cameras may be the sweet spot for a compromise between genuinely compact cameras and image quality.
  13. "My personal requirements in a compact camera has led to my interest in the Nikon 1 V2. I like the little zoom lenses, it has a viewfinder, and you can put an external flash on it too. If anyone has any experience with these cameras, I'd like to know what you think."​
    I've been using the Nikon V1 for a year, and recently added the little SB-N5 flash. It's a very good system for my purposes. The AF speed and overall quickness are excellent. The IQ strikes a reasonable compromise between tiny sensor 1/1.7" P&S digicams and larger APS sensor cameras. The EVF is handy, although in actual practice I find myself using the rear screen most of the time - once I adapted to it I found it a bit quicker for spontaneous photos.
    The V2 appears to have resolved some of the nagging quirks of the V1 - particularly the annoying controls. It's too easy to inadvertently nudge the mode dial and spinning wheel. The latter limits its usefulness for full manual exposure control, which assigns aperture control to the spinning wheel - any contact with my thumb or palm tends to nudge the aperture. To compensate I have to rely on auto ISO to avoid severe under/over-exposure. But while I've adapted to the V1's quirks, the V2 appears to be a better camera overall.
    My primary gripe about the Nikon 1 System is that it still fails to take full advantage of Nikon's existing CLS/iTTL flash. I'd hoped to be able to use my existing Nikon SB-800 flash with CLS control for off-camera TTL use, but Nikon failed to ensure full compatibility with the Nikon 1 System and Coolpix A.
    Other than those quirks, it's a satisfying camera. The AF is very quick, overall response is very quick, it's absolutely silent with the electronic shutter, and overall beats any tiny sensor P&S digicam. But don't compare it against a Micro 4:3 mirrorless camera - the CX sensor isn't in that class, other perhaps than at the base ISO 100.
  14. Two years ago when heading to Asia for a month I added a Olympus E-PL1 with kit lens to my lineup of Nikon DSLRs and liked it so much that the Nikons see less and less action. Yes, I still use my DSLR for sports, but for the rest of my photos I bought an OM-D E-M1 and love it. The entire kit from 7 mm to 100 mm fits into a fanny pack. Quite a difference from my Nikon gear, which takes up the better part of a backpack. I am looking forward to trying out the E-M1 in Iceland this summer.
  15. ... fits into a fanny pack​
    Just a warning, if you ever say that in England you will get arrested :)
  16. I would like to concur with almost every point that Mark Amos made. I, too, will not be moving to bigger sensors but either staying with the NEX system or moving to the Micro 4/3 system (or both).
    the 35mm film "sensor" is the equivalent of roughly 30-40 mega pixels​
    I don't agree, Thomas. It's more like 24Mpx (from Ektar 100). However, film gives better colour images than digital does. Not in terms of accuracy or resolution, but in terms of rendering (digital is too harsh when challenged). I will still be using digital more, even though I"ll still be shooting film, but that's another story. I do now own a Minox 35 and I might... maybe... buy a Leica M4. Or two.
  17. I'm moving the other way. Selling my Nikons and buying medium format digital stuff.
    Too slow to capture the decisive moment? Sometimes, yes. But I tend to shoot form, color and texture, so not a great concern, given my peculiar style.
    Too big and heavy, you say? I'm 72 and I've carried a 20 pound gadget bag around most of my life. Quit whimpering!
    And when it comes to making the large prints that I love, it's no contest. (See gallery wall pix, attached.)
  18. After only using film for many years, I am trying digital since a few years. To get a compact camera on holliday and to avoid the darkroom.
    I used a Nikon P7000 for a few years, a Leica Digilux, and now I use Olympus FT and MFT.
    I am pleased with the results of digital and print up to A3 with the Olympus MFT. But that is the limit for the equipment & the small sensor. The main advantage for me is that I can use the digital workflow and print in a spare moment.
    I can print bigger with 35 mm and much bigger with 120. Maybe film is better but than I have to use the darkroom and that is time consuming. I often use film and scan the images. But a good scan takes several minutes per image. Direct digital is faster.
  19. hbs


    I went through a similar soul searching experience recently. I have a Nikon D600 that I love, I took it on a recent trip to Paris, but I've felt it was just too big to carry around at [nearly] all times for those spontaneous photographic opportunities.
    I looked seriously at both the Canon G16 and the Nikon P7800. The Canon just didn't "feel good" in my hands and I hated its viewfinder (having a viewfinder was very high on my list as was RAW, good image quality, and size). The Nikon P7800 looked like a good candidate until I read reports about how slow it was in saving images (especially RAW). I then stumbled across the Sony NEX6 and almost immediately fell in love. Size was OK (a bit larger than my original hope), but it offered full control, RAW, a decent EVF, and a large sensor that I had gotten used to with recent DSLRs.

    I got it with the kit 16-50 zoom but have replaced the lens with the Sony 35mm f/1.8 that I really enjoy. I'm not going to sell my DSLR -- I still will need it for serious birding, nature photography, macro, etc. However, I expect to get many miles from the NEX because it will be with me nearly all the time.
  20. Harvey, give that lens a clean for God's sake. Stuff like that makes me lose sleep :)
  21. I use the D700 and D800 for my professional work. A few years ago, I picked up a Sony Nex 5n (rented a couple of times first) with the 18-200 lens. Over several family vacations I will take either a D700 or D800 with the Sony Nex 5n. Once home, the pictures are reviewed by my wife and other family members and ranked. I always look at the number of pictures taken with each camera type vs the percentage of pictures taken with each camera type that survive the review/selection process. I have describe these results on a couple of different blogs
    In all cases the percentage of pictures that survive the review process favor the Sony Nex 5n camera type slightly. There are a couple of reasons for this. The first is related to how the different bodies are used. The Sony is a walk around camera and so I tend to get many more spontaneous pictures with it (The best camera in the world is the one that you have with you!) The larger camera bodies are used for high speed photography and/or HDR so there tend to be lots of frames for finding/constructing the final single picture. Nonetheless, the Sony competes very well with much larger and heavier DSLR for this type of application.
    1. As amount of light decreases, eventually the D700-D800 will out perform the Sony in terms of digital noise.
    2. The Sony does not have the breath of lighting capabilities afforded to the D700-D800 so if you are going to need to add light, the Sony is less capable.
    3. I have found that in bright light, the Sony back screen is very difficult to see.
    4. The Sony plus lens is not terribly small, but pretty easy to use.
    Given this learning experience, I have been looking for a mirrorless camera that provides for a great EVF and flash control capability along with great image quality.
  22. I had a t2i and spent too much time renting mirrorless cameras: the X100s; the NEX cameras; even the RX-1. They're all great cameras. I eventually went with the Olympus OM-D because I couldn't see the difference in image quality between the X100s and the OM-D with the 17mm f 1.8 lens. The lens selection is much better and less expensive than the NEX lenses (right now, anyway). The in-body stabilization is much more useful than I'd imagined.
    The good news is that there are few if any "bad" choices.
  23. hbs


    Sorry, Jamie. I know I should not have posted that shot. How's this? Not perfect, but better.
    Happy New Year
  24. Oh, lord, fix the chromatic aberration around the Sony logo or I won't be able to sleep! And do your nails. A little moisturizer on those hands wouldn't hurt either. It's winter, you know. Hurry, before I lose any more sleep!
  25. hbs


    CA? I used some green magic marker around the logos to give them color. Moisturizer? Can't you see the improvement between the first and second shots? Nails? I'm a guitarist. If these don't work, please take two doses of Photoshop and call me in the morning. :)
  26. I just looked at the metrics from a recent trip to Peru. I took three cameras: D800 with 24-70 f2.8, Sony NEX 5n with 18-200mm and a D800 with a 14-24 f2.8 lens. The last camera I did not use!
    D800 took 1494 frames (387 survived review (26%) and 141 (9.4%) are displayed publicly
    Sony Nex 5n took 1111 frames (330 survived review (30%) and 75 (6.8%) are displayed publicly
    The main reason reason for exclusion from the publicly displayed pictures is they included an image of myself or my wife. This means the Sony took 255 personal retained pictures while the D800 took 246 personal retained pictures
    If you would like to get a visual feel, stop by the gallery (http://e2photography.zenfolio.com/p451453742). In the upper right corner, click on the 'i' icon and you can see which camera took the picture. I would guess most people will have a hard time telling which camera it was.
  27. The mirrorless models are making strides very fast. Name something you believe they can't have to compete for your attention and they come up with a new model that has it in spades. Like optical finder because it has a clearer view. Epson has done amazing things with EVF. Want more ruggedization?. The OMD latest seems to have most of the boxes checked. Want movies that are High Def and do stills just as good. Look to Panasonic down the road. Want a 16 by 20 print. No problem, really, unless you see a problem. Want small, you got small. Want fast zoom lenses. Coming fast. Want connectivity. It is here. Want an idiot mode to hand to your untutored partner...switch to auto mode and it chooses the works. Shoot fireworks, there is a setting. Getting tired of the big lenses in the small bag, ---now tell the truth---lenses can only be small if the lens mount is kind of small....it just has to be that way. If the comparison is against what people are doing with phone cameras, then four thirds is super big. APS-C is not arguably bigger. You can guess my choice of format:) I also like the four thirds frame format. Just as I don't much care for 2:3.
    Only downside for me is that the ergonomics of my fat fingers and hands and the state of the art on buttons vs wheels hasn't reached nirvana. I stuck with four thirds and now am into micro four thirds. Both turn out stuff I like. I admire those who have the discipline of film. I don't. It had its time in the sun. I am happy with what I have. No wish lists for now....aloha, GS
  28. I am weighing the advantages right now between the various Olympus and Fuji models. This picture I found on the web comparing the size of an OMD EM5 and a Rebel says it all. Oh the OMD is 1/2 the weight.

  29. Another comparison diagram this time comparing the Canon Rebel to various Nikon and Canon full frame cameras as well as 4/3's and others.
  30. I have an NEX-6 now. "Can you hold this for a minute" works wonders in getting someone to consider a smaller, lighter camera and kit for an upcoming trip. I'm not completely enamored of it yet, still fussing with learning it's menu "system" and having some glasses/finder interface issues. I remember a term from a book I've read several times. "Festooned with impedimentia" in referring to a gadget freak who had to carry every golf gadget and outing gear (canteen, flashlight, binoculars, hip flask, etc.). The small camera won't gain you much if discipline isn't imposed on the overall kit.
  31. I find DSLRs not terribly heavy, but rather clumsy because of the heavy lens. Still, so far the fast autofocus, low light performance, and optical viewfinder have outweighed the clumsiness factor. (My special hobby is photographing dogs, and fast autofocus is critical there.) Still, given the rapid development of mirrorless cameras, as well as my rapidly advancing age, I think that the recently purchased Nikon D7100 will be my last DSLR, and that if I live long enough to replace it, it would be with a mirrorless camera.
  32. I agree the overall kit needs to be small. For carrying my T2i Rebel and the 15-85mm EF-S I use a Crumpler 3M home. It holds the camera and the lens but not much else besides a circular polarizer, extra battery and memory cards. I guess you could fit another lens at the bottom but it would be tight. Carrying little was my intent from day one. That being said its still bulky and thats because the Rebel with the 15-85 is bulky.
    I also have a Dakine photo back that is capable of carrying pretty much everything I own including the tripod lashed to the outside. This has gotten very limited use because I don't want to carry everything I own. It has to weigh 15-20lbs easily.
    I am in a simplifying mode and have decided that I just do not need all the extra "stuff". A camera with a single lens is enough.
    I used to work in NYC and had to drag a laptop back and forth every day and the weight killed me. Even the lightest of laptops is an ordeal every day when you have to take the power supply + your papers and stuff. I used to use a Dakine laptop backpack. Even though the Dakine backpacks are fairly comfortable as they originated in surfing and other outsides sports its still heavy. I did all kinds of things to reduce the weight.
    Its a new year and its time to simplify.
  33. What a humorous post... I like the one about dropping a brick on your head.
    I'm in a similar phase, I got a Canon S95 a couple of years back, and have been using it since for trips, documentation, research, stills and videos, and whatnot (wish I knew how to use it as an audio recorder tho'). I have a Nikon system with a D7000 and a number of lenses purchased used, but haven't taken them out for a long time. I'm busy right now in building a second life as an academic after 38 years in the Forest Service, but I guess I WILL eventually get out on the road purely for travel and photography in a couple of years... but DSLR's are for a vehicle, I don't think I will actually get back to carrying them around... Happy New Year everybody!
  34. I've been trying to replace my G9 for two years now. I'm tempted to go with the Nikon P7700 cos I have an SB700 flash which may prove useful. Also I like Nikon colour. But I am also tempted to buy the now bargain price Nikon V1 system which is going for about the same as a G15...
  35. for my PJ work, i typically use a nikon D3s and nikon D300s with big, heavy lenses. i also have a nikon p7000 which is a decent compact. i recently picked up a Fuji x100 and an X-E1 w/ 18-55, as well as the nikon J1 w/10-30. the x100 would probably fit the OP's criteria, as long as you dont need zoom or different focal lengths, it's a great camera. i've only taken a few shots with the xe1 so far, but plan on building that into a system for travel, etc., with 14mm and 35mm primes and possibly the 55-200. the surprise was the J1. despite limited controls, it's a really capable imaging machine for casual snapshots and candids, with great close-focus performance. at closeout prices it was a great buy. i'm also kind of intrigued by the sony RX100.
    i guess the point is that there is no one do-it-all camera. for me, it makes sense to have multiple bodies which do different things. the p7000's 28-200 zoom and DSLR-like controls make it pretty versatile (as does the ability to use a sb-400 flash), but for larger prints, the Fuji sensors are the way to go. the J1 is somewhere in-between, definitely more of a point and shoot experience, but with manual zoom ring and direct aperture/shutter control if you need it. i'm not tossing my DSLRs just yet, just adding to my photographic capabilities.
  36. Obvioiusly you can get decent pictures with any camera. I've had a number of Canon P&S film models over the years that gave excellent results (to my amateur eye) until they broke, but once I turned the the SLR/DSLR, I found it difficult to go back because of the control they offer. But perhaps you can get the same control in mirrorless cameras now - I haven't looked lately. One of the main advantages I always found with the SLR was the ability to manually focus if needed. A God-send when trying to photograph through structures at zoos.
    Anyway, whatever you have, you'll have to carry it in something, and the smaller it is, the more easily it's misplaced. I shoot Pentax, which are comparatively small in the DSLR world, and use a Tamron 18-250 superzoom for travel (and a lot more). I know, perish the thought... In a small pouch that can be carried around the waste or over the shoulder, it's no problem at all. Plus, it makes you feel like a real photographer, even if most of my pics are crap. When you have one tool that does practically everything you need, why bother with others?
  37. The GF1 was as small as my G9 and it interchangeable lenses. It was very light and I liked it a lot. The downside was as it did not have a viewfinder the screen was almost impossible to see in bright sunlight. Even with the external EVF it was tough. After I used it for about 6 months I sold it as it drove me crazy. I went back to​
    The screens on more modern m4/3 cameras, such as GX7 or even the inexpensive E-PL5, are much improved (better coating, reduction in the space between the glass and the screen, etc) so they are quite usable in direct sunlight, if your primary purpose is to compose. The rear screens in these cameras are also tilt-able to make it easy to find an angle to further reduce glare. If a small and light camera can take the pictures you want, why carrying something that is SO MUCH bigger?
  38. The screens on more modern m4/3 cameras, such as GX7 or even the inexpensive E-PL5, are much improved (better coating, reduction in the space between the glass and the screen, etc) so they are quite usable in direct sunlight, if your primary purpose is to compose. The rear screens in these cameras are also tilt-able to make it easy to find an angle to further reduce glare. If a small and light camera can take the pictures you want, why carrying something that is SO MUCH bigger?​
    What you say is very true. I am looking at m4/3 cameras again. I like the Olympus OMD EM5 very much. I probably should have given the GF1 more time to get used to it. The pictures that I did take with it were difficult to separate from pictures taken with an SLR. Actually they were better in a lot of cases.
    I have realized that big cameras are not for me. There is nothing wrong with DSLRs for the people who want to carry them but I don't.
  39. There is nothing wrong with DSLRs for the people who want to carry them but I don't.​
    One clear advantage of the dSLR system is still the AF, especially in the area of AF tracking. However the single area AF and face detection in m4/3 camera are so good that for most of the people a dSLR is not really needed, considering the extra bulk and weight. The m4/3 system is not more popular, IMOP, primarily because of the lack of proper marketing from Olympus and Panasonic and their initial asking price for the cameras and lenses are not low. The sensor in the latest m4/3 cameras, such as Em5, is really good, as good as those in most NEX and Canon APS-C cameras. You can further narrow the gap in terms of noise performance and DOF by using many outstanding and small f1.8 and f1.4 lenses. As a long time Nikon shooter myself, I still hold on to my D90 and do not want to upgrade to the D7100 because I know it won't get used much.
  40. I agree that the DSLR has superior AF tracking. And there is no lag unlike most P+S.
    I have also come to the realization that less is more. The more stuff you have the less likely you will take it with you. When I had my G9 I would take it everywhere because it was small and light. As a result I took more pictures than I ever took in my life because I would just take the camera because it weighed nothing.
    Since I got my T2i I have not used it a lot because I detest taking it with me because of the bulk and it gets much worse if you bring extra lenses and stuff. I have been thinking about this for a while now. Whats the point of owning a camera you don't use? For example we went out before Christmas to take pictures of the lights - it was an ordeal with the camera and it aggravated my girlfriend.
    The m4/3 sensors now rival the APS-C sensors from the tests I have seen. It raises some interesting questions because we have been told over and over that sensor size is everything. Now the m4/3 has come along and proves its not so.
    Now what?
    Its good to have choices like we have now. Not that long ago digital cameras were priced way beyond what normal people could buy.
  41. Hi,
    I bought a Nex 6 and a manual adapter so as to use the few old Nikkor lenses I have: then I thought maybe I should buy another one so as to leave the adapter on one all the time. I bought a new but show room used Nex 3N quite cheaply and it seems a really great little camera.
    The proper reason for this post is to query the zoom lever on the body as when I had the adapter and my 28/3.5 lens mounted, moving the lever seemed to zoom the lens, which I think pretty neat !
  42. Hi John. I started with a Kodak Brownie years ago. In grad school I had a ten day trip through Asia and packed my two used Nikon FMs and two zooms clothes, textbooks, laptop, etc. in a backpack. Lifting up the backpack, I switched over to carry an Olympus Stylus and a Contax T4 to save space and weight. I carried a light tripod on the trip for low light landscape shots. My sister commented that the Japanese tourists were staring at me taking pictures at the Great Wall of China using a dinky pocket camera on a tripod. I was using ISO 50 and 100 Fujichrome for landscapes.
    The Fuji XPro-1 and Leica M2 rangefinder have replaced the SLRs. I use the 50, 35, and 21 focal lengths most of the time. I use a 90mm once in a while. The Fuji does a great job and is easier going through airports. My Olympus XA and Contax T4 were replaced by the Lumix LX3. The Lumix LX3 was a good carry everywhere camera. I just put a 50mm external finder on the LX3 and used it all the time.
    My kids have the LX3 now. I have been thinking about getting the LX7 or Fuji X20 as the replacement kick around "pocket" camera. The Fuji X20 is bigger and won't fit my pocket as easily. Both cameras allow me to control ISO, shutter and apeture.
    If you are looking for one main camera consider the Fuji XE1/2 with the 35mm and 18 to 55 equivalent zoom. The Olympus OMD is considered very good and gives you lots of options in terms of lenses. I just felt that the Olympus was more than I needed.
    Looking at photographs done by others, I am learning to appreciate the composition and expressions more. Image sharpness is not the only thing that makes a photograph interesting and memorable. Some of the old classic images had lots of grain and artifact compared to modern film. Yet those photographs are still interesting.
    Your selection comes down to how you plan to use the camera. If I want the best image quality I still reach for a 6x7 film camera. Best wishes on your selection.
  43. I started with a 40D and "graduated" to a 7D. However, I wanted a smaller camera for those times when I didn't want to lug around a DSLR with an assortment of lenses. Thus, a few years ago I added a G12 to my camera collection. However, the G12 quickly became my wife's camera (the DSLRs were too heavy for her, and the smaller P&S cameras we had were too small for her). She has been using the G12 for the past few years and has been very pleased with it. When we were leaving for Italy for our 20th wedding anniversary recently, I grappled with deciding what camera equipment I wanted to bring (see the separate thread I started on this topic). Ultimately, I decided to purchase a G16. We just got back from our trip two days ago. I took nearly 1,400 photos with the G16 and am so happy I bought it for this trip. It is a great camera, and I would think that if you were pleased with the G9, you'll be even more pleased with a G16.
  44. ......it was an ordeal with the camera and it aggravated my girlfriend.​
    LOL! You know, herein lies a key component as to why compact advanced mirrorless and P&S cameras are potentially better than the big dSLRs. Those of us who travel, hike, walk around town, with our wives/girlfriends who don't share a passion for photography, know that our women can get prickly if we're constantly stopping and fumbling with settings on our giant cameras to get another shot that we really didn't need to take in the first place. The fact of the matter is that dSLR are big and clumsy and have too many settings at our fingertips to tempt us into taking more shots than we need to take. The weight and bulk is a legitimate issue. I hiked in Yosemite last year with a 20lbs backpack of gear and my goodness, even if you're a fit man in his 40's like me, that weight is exhausting after a 4-5 hour hike. If I were a single man, this probably wouldn't be so much of an issue, but I saw that my need to stop all the time to take another meaningless shot was annoying my wife and I didn't want to go down that road to the doghouse.
    I bought a Leica D-LUX 5 instead for casual shooting. Pocket sized, fast, easy, non-intrusive, fine IQ, very light, etc, etc. You can shoot the camera with one hand without anyone even noticing. On hikes and such, you're not wiped out by the end of the day carrying around a bouncing dSLR. I found that I was taking this camera everywhere and the D7000 and bag of lenses collected dust at home. With the compact, I was taking more interesting shots because we would end up in all kinds of places where there were great views of NYC and different street scenes where having a dSLR would have been intrusive and impractical. My wife actually got interested in using it too. I printed an 8x10 of one of my DLUX shots and it was awesome.....not that I make too many prints....I feel that I could probably make a quality 11x14 print as well if I needed too.

    Living and working in an urban jungle like NYC, the need for a dSLR is practically overkill for the photo-ops in and around the metro area here. If my part time PJ gig continues to slow down, my D7000 and 24-70mm and 80-200 f/2.8's are getting listed on ebay. If I live out West somewhere with big expanses, mountain ranges, jagged red rocks, wildlife galore, etc, etc, I'd probably have the biggest dSLR money could buy but for me, I'm set on compacts and will probably get a Nikon or Sony mirrorless in the near future. Happy wife, happy life!
  45. It raises some interesting questions because we have been told over and over that sensor size is everything. Now the m4/3 has come along and proves its not so.​
    All things being equal, this rule about sensor size vs ISO performance is still true. However all things are not equal. The sensors are not built the same way and the "processing engines" in the camera are also different. M4/3 used to use sensors built by Panasonic but now they apparently switch to SONY, which evidently makes better sensors. Even the same SONY sensors can be further modified by camera manufactures to give better performance. What ever the reason, I am happy that m4/3 has sensors that are now on par with most APS-C cameras, and they have some really small and nice cameras such as the GM1 and EPM2, which are pocketable with the right lens.
  46. bmm


    First post in a while; these days I lurk but dont write so much as I used to.
    Up to ~12 months ago I was a APS-C DSLR shooter (Nikon D80 then D7000) and am forever grateful to those cameras for 'teaching' me photography over a period of 6 years or so. However, both as I liked the way it made me think as I composed images and - importantly - due to size and weight, the last couple of years were almost predominantly spent using the smaller Nikon primes (e.g 24/2.8, 35/2, 50/1.4 etc) and even then I found myself taking my camera on less adventures than I would have liked due to convenience and size/weight constraints.
    After some thought I switched to the OMD-EM5, selling my entire Nikon kit for the body, a kit zoom (12-50), and 3 primes (12, 45 and 60macro). Notwithstanding the minor technical compromises, this has been an amazing choice and my amount of time with camera in hand has increased 2 or 3 times over... not to mention the enjoyment of having high quality yet compact gear on travels and daily activities.
    As I said before, I have enormous affection for the DSLR gear which opened the world of photography for me so this is in no way denigrating that gear choice. But, for my lifestyle, I would not hesitate to again make the choice to switch to a mirrorless system and am delighted with what it has offered me.
  47. For myself, the main reason I prefer u4/3 and mirrorless offerings is the discretion factor. People get nervous when you point a 'big' DSLR and lens at them. Shooting not only strangers, but SP as a relatively wealthy Westerner in China who likes to get into strange and often working class (or at times even "Peasant class") areas, a D300s plus expensive zoom gets you nowhere- all that hardware marks you out as a "Pro" in many people's minds and they are often uncomfortable about this, which is perfectly understandable I must add.
    But if you're walking around as an obvious tourist with a tiny camera, using the LCD screen to compose, it's a different story. Sometimes I take pictures of silly things, like the local dog or their kids (for which they often actually say Thank you), to put people at ease. The last thing I want is to make a nuisance of myself.

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