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Panthera tigris

Small camera recommendation

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Hi,

 

Due to COVID I have been stuck in one country and all my camera gear is in another. It's been 6 months so far without a camera and I am getting bored. So I thought about looking for something that is small, not too expensive but capable of passing Alamy QC at say 400 iso (or 400 with limited post processing for noise). Something small I could just pop in my backpack during the day and could handle a little abuse.  Just for general location shooting.

 

I was looking at pics from my iPhone (10) and was quite shocked about how good the quality's in good light but am assuming they won't pass?

 

Am not looking for anything big or expensive or necessarily with interchangeable lens because I will give it to a relative when I am back with my own gear. 

 

Any thoughts/recommendations are welcome.

 

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Sony RX100 series. These are used by a number of contributors, including myself.

 

It is still possible to buy the original model new for a reasonable price but you may be able to one of the later series, mks 2,3,4,5, for reasonable cost second hand.

 

Of course the series do tend to improve technically with the later marques but become more expensive.

 

A lot of my images with Alamy are taken with the original model and the later mk 3.

 

Allan

 

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The Sony RX100 series is the only way to go. For birds and bugs you'll need a 24-200 RX100/6 or 7.

Edited by Ed Rooney
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RX100 + a little abuse = bad idea. You will need a good soft case and some care.

RX100 for bugs: you will need a close-up filter with all three lenses.

 

wim

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I've just purchased the Sony RX100 VA and can say I'm quite happy with it so far. The Raw files as rendered by Capture One Express came out nicely in terms of quality and sharpness. There was some corner softness but it wasn't too bad. I've taken it on just two photo walks so far and it works really well as a street photography camera. It's customisable in various ways. I was shooting in Aperture priority. Next time I will do the same but also set a minimum shutter speed and the auto ISO will adjust accordingly. I will see how that goes. The VA has a fast f1.8 lens, but if you need extra reach the VI and VII are better as Edo mentions.

Edited by Sally R
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I got a Fuji XT-30 recently and it takes great pictures even with the cheap lens. However coming from Nikon I do find the menu system fiddly and miss having what I was used to on the dials. They have done various offers in the UK of late, so if the price is high again maybe wait for the next drop.  It's also way lighter than the Nikon D500 I've got and looks less conspicuous .  It locked up on me today, which dissapointed me, as I was thinking about pairing it with an XT-3 as well.  Had sales from it in the first weeks of owning it.

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Thank you all for your time and recommendations it really helped a lot. A million thanks and some green.

I was convinced the Sony was the answer and got on the bus to Palma the day before yesterday to buy one. 

But we all know what happens when we visit a camera shop :+) I ended up walking out with a Nikon Z50 kit (+16-50) and 50-250 for 1300 euros. My first ever mirrorless. Definitely not pocketable but fits into a corner of my nap sack and weighs nothing compared to my usual rig. I like the feel and the image quality, I like the lightness, and being a Nikon theres no learning curve for me. 

I have not had a camera in my hands for 6 months due to the current crisis stranding me in Europe and it feels good to be taking pictures again.

 

Thanks again!

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19 hours ago, Panthera tigris said:

Thank you all for your time and recommendations it really helped a lot. A million thanks and some green.

I was convinced the Sony was the answer and got on the bus to Palma the day before yesterday to buy one. 

But we all know what happens when we visit a camera shop :+) I ended up walking out with a Nikon Z50 kit (+16-50) and 50-250 for 1300 euros. My first ever mirrorless. Definitely not pocketable but fits into a corner of my nap sack and weighs nothing compared to my usual rig. I like the feel and the image quality, I like the lightness, and being a Nikon theres no learning curve for me. 

I have not had a camera in my hands for 6 months due to the current crisis stranding me in Europe and it feels good to be taking pictures again.

 

Thanks again!

 

That looks like an excellent choice! The Sony RX100 is excellent for a compact, but if it is the only camera you have it has certain limitations that could be a bit frustrating, especially if you are used to a DSLR. I am using mine as a complementary camera to my DSLR, but would miss my DSLR hugely if I didn't have it. The Nikon Z50 looks still reasonably compact and high quality! Enjoy taking pictures again!

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I've also been considering getting a small, inconspicuous camera at some point. My main kit consists of Fuji XT bodies, generally at least two since I don't change lenses in the field. One thing I don't want is to pack along a different charger and set of batteries that would largely defeat the “small and light” benefit. I have an X-A5 I could use for the purpose if I could stand arm's-length photography, squinting at an LCD in bright daylight. For a pocketable camera with an EVF, I think something in the X100 series would be ideal.

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5 minutes ago, DDoug said:

For a pocketable camera with an EVF, I think something in the X100 series would be ideal.

A brilliant series of cameras and I'm still using the 12MP original version. It wasn't until the X100F and the subsequent X100V that they started using the NP-W126S battery and both cameras are excellent of course. Not truly pocketable though, especially with the lens hood fitted but very discreet. For me the main advantage of the series is the optical viewfinder, I use back button manual focusing either on the subject or on something at a similar distance in another direction so as not to arouse interest and find the optical viewfinder indispensable, similarly with my X-Pro1. Some people don't like the OVF in which case the X-E3 might be a compact 24MP contender. As you know the excellent 23mm lens on the X100 is tiny because it extends inside the camera, the 23mm f2 XF lens is disappointingly huge in comparison. The weakness of the original X100 lens (X100, X100S, X100T, X100F) is that it is a little soft wide open and at close distance, they have apparently fixed that on the X100V as well as going up to 26MP with a new sensor, and the flip out screen.

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21 minutes ago, Harry Harrison said:

 It wasn't until the X100F and the subsequent X100V that they started using the NP-W126S battery and both cameras are excellent of course. Not truly pocketable though, especially with the lens hood fitted but very discreet.

Good point. Probably a good used X100F would be the most bang for the buck and the earlier models wouldn't work for me. As to pockets, I usually have a vest in summer and jacket with large pockets in winter, so my idea of "pocketable" is fairly lax.

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6 minutes ago, DDoug said:

Probably a good used X100F would be the most bang for the buck

That's what I'd be going for I think, nice video by Nick Turpin, eminent street photographer and long-time Leica rangefinder user, on setting up the X100F for his type of work:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWARQGvI88M

 

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Paul, I just want to say that you are right about the quality of the images one can take with an iPhone. And you might want to think about contributing to Stockimo, Alamy's iPhone stock agency. 

 

https://www.stockimo.com

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On 27/09/2020 at 16:35, DDoug said:

I've also been considering getting a small, inconspicuous camera at some point. My main kit consists of Fuji XT bodies, generally at least two since I don't change lenses in the field. One thing I don't want is to pack along a different charger and set of batteries that would largely defeat the “small and light” benefit. I have an X-A5 I could use for the purpose if I could stand arm's-length photography, squinting at an LCD in bright daylight. For a pocketable camera with an EVF, I think something in the X100 series would be ideal.

 

Hi Doug,

 

Personally I really like the Fuji X-100.

I now have the X-100V and it is a great improvement on all of its predecessor.

Not only, but for me, mostly due to the weather sealing.

I once had dust in the sensor of one of the previous version...

As it is a single lens camera, I had to send it back to fuji to get it clean. 

As I live about 3500km from the Fuji office, it basically cost me about $300 and about a month to get fixed.

Hopefully this won't happen again with the new one.

Also the lens is much better, and the sensor is not too bad too.

 

If you look at my small portfolio, about the last 1300 photograph were made with a X-100 camera.

From the original X-100 to the X-100V.

 

I spend my working day carrying around Heavy Nikpon DSLR and really enjoy doing my personal stuff with the little fuji.

 

Now having said all that, I want to make it clear that I do not own any Fujifilm shares...

 

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1 hour ago, Regis said:

I now have the X-100V and it is a great improvement on all of its predecessor.

 

Hi Regis,

I'm just a couple hours up the road from Fuji's facility in Germany, but still it would be a real bother to have to send the camera to them to get the sensor cleaned. Perhaps it's worth it to hold out for the X100V.

 

One of the things that appeals to me about the X100 series is the unlimited synch speeds, making fill flash in bright daylight a snap.

 

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