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I'm a long-time contributor to Alamy though I've been away from this forum for a few years. I normally use a pair of Canon DSLRs. At the moment, however, I'm kitting myself out for some hiking and camping trips and my gear is already up to 13 kilos not including camera gear. I need to cut back on what I already have and adding a DSLR is out of the question. At the same time I'd like to take a camera with me, and it would be nice if it was good for Alamy, but it would need to be as compact as possible. Even a Canon G16 is too bulky for me. So my question is: what is the lightest and most compact camera that people have used to shoot stock for Alamy with? I know about the Sony RX100 and I'd consider getting a Mark I but I wonder if there are any alternatives that are smaller still. I've looked at the approved camera list but most of them seem to be mirrorless types which again are too bulky for me.

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I've had both the Sony rx100 mk 1 and 2 with bad experience. Poor lens quality, dreadful manufacturing QC and generally very inconsistent random results. I now have a Canon G7x in my pocket and it's a revelation, I no longer have to be worried that when I open the image up when editing as to whether it will be any good.

Supposed to have the same sensor as the Sony but miles better camera. It's a bit soft wide open but after that all is good.

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Fuji X100; X100S; X100T; fixed f2 lens, superb quality, built in ND filter, Leaf shutter. I'm still using the oldest X100 and it still looks great! ;)

 

Phil

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Fuji X100; X100S; X100T; fixed f2 lens, superb quality, built in ND filter, Leaf shutter. I'm still using the oldest X100 and it still looks great! ;)

 

Phil

 

Love my X100T with supplementary lenses but do not use it enough. Get cracking Allan!

 

Allan

 

EDIT: I also have the RX100 mk 1 and still get good images from that too.

Edited by Allan Bell

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If the OP finds a G16 too bulky, it's not likely he'll find any Fuji X100 iteration acceptable. That pretty much leaves one of the Sony RX100s, or maybe the Canon G7X which isn't on the unsuitable list but isn't on the recommended list either. I have the original RX100 and while I seem to have a good one, with no lens issues, etc., I will say that the build quality just isn't up to where Canon is. I have an aunt who recently bought a G7X and the difference in build quality from the Sonys is night and day. The G7X is way better built.

 

As for size, there aren't any Alamy worthy cameras smaller than these.

 

As an aside, I find it odd that the G15 and G16 are on the recommended list and neither version of the G1X are on it, considering their much larger near APS size sensors.

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Thanks for the replies so far. TABan, you're right - the Fuji X100 is too big for me. The Canon G7 is an interesting alternative to the RX100 though I gather from reviews that the RX100 has a better quality lens.

 

I wonder: does anybody use the Canon S100/120 or the Panasonic DMC-LF1? Neither one is on Alamy's unsuitable camera list though the S100 has been around since 2011 and the DMC-LF1 since 2013.

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- Panasonic GM1/GM5

- very small

- mirrorless

- bigger sensor than the small Sony

- accepted by Alamy

 

Best

 

Gareth

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A couple of years ago I bought myself a Canon EOS M. Personally, I've found this to be a very good tool in terms of image quality and portability and is certainly lightweight when hill walking or going to shoot in awkward places. It came with an 18-55mm IS lens with which I usually carry a polariser and a grey graduate. I've found it very good for hand holding so you can leave the tripod behind! I see you are a Canon user, and an EF-EOS M mount adapter is available so you can use other Canon EF and EF-S lenses if required to increase flexibility. It's also on the 'approved' list.

 

Jim. :)   

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Just to clarify. The G7 is soft at the 24mm end of the lens. I find all apertures acceptable.

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I have been using the Canon G1X MkII with good result.  It has a large sensor and the lens is very sharp.  The photos that come from it are DSLR quality.  Its heavy but well built, has a fold out touch screen, WI-fi, 1080p video, and has macro capability.  No problem passing QC with it.  Its fairly new and not on the approved camera list.  Here is a photo taken with it 1/25 sec @ f/2.8 ISO 800 

batman-and-chinese-new-years-stamps-from

nd not on the approved camera list.

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Thanks for the suggestions. I haven't been following developments in the mirrorless field and I wasn't aware that mirrorless cameras come in such a range of sizes. Still, even short lenses stick out too far on mirrorless cameras to make them a practical proposition for me. I need something that I can truly keep in a pocket (or in a hip pouch on my backpack).

 

Andy, how does the G7 perform when shooting landscapes at 24mm? Do you find the quality acceptable?

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I don't think that the edges would be up to standard at 24mm.

You are asking a lot from a compact if that is your intended use. The only fixed lens compact for that job would be the Fuji x100, although it's not as wide as a 24mm the quality is up there.

Andy

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I don't think that the edges would be up to standard at 24mm.

You are asking a lot from a compact if that is your intended use. The only fixed lens compact for that job would be the Fuji x100, although it's not as wide as a 24mm the quality is up there.

Andy

 

My understanding is the G7X lens' image circle does not cover the entire imaging chip at 24mm equivalent, so there's a lot of distortion correction going on to stretch things into the corners. The result is soft corners so if you want landscapes sharp across the frame, this may not be the camera for you. I'll have to see if my aunt will let me shoot a few images with her's so I can see for myself. There's something to be said for this size camera with such a fast 24-100 lens (f1.8-2.8) and, as I said before, more robust build than the Sonys.

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I have many hundreds of images taken on a Sony RX10 Mk1 on Alamy and for the past 6 months the Sony RX100 Mk3.  The lens on the Mk3 is much improved right across the range although a bit shorter on the telephoto end.  Click on my portfolio on the left.  Every image you see will have been taken with an RX100.  Regular sales every month and no rejections.

 

John

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I have used a RX100mk 1 for a couple of years with no QC problems, the only thing it's missing is a viewfinder, a problem solved on the mk3....highly recommended

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Hi John and Steve

 

I too have a RX 100 MK 3. I find the image quality generally quite good but nowhere up to the standard of my 5D III with L glass. But I did not expect to have that sort of quality. With the RX100 I always reduce image size when uploading to just above the Alamy minimum. I shoot in raw and post process in LR and occasionally PS CC.

 

I would be interested in your RX100 workflow. Do you accept The RX JPEG output or shoot in raw only. The noise at anything above 100 ISO is a concern to me, so do you have any comment on noise treatment.

 

All said though, the RX100 is a great carry around that certainly attracts no attention whatsoever in general street shots where so much of our editorial potential exists. The weight relief on my aging back and shoulders is a bonus.

Regards Ken

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Hi John and Steve

 

I too have a RX 100 MK 3. I find the image quality generally quite good but nowhere up to the standard of my 5D III with L glass. But I did not expect to have that sort of quality. With the RX100 I always reduce image size when uploading to just above the Alamy minimum. I shoot in raw and post process in LR and occasionally PS CC.

 

I would be interested in your RX100 workflow. Do you accept The RX JPEG output or shoot in raw only. The noise at anything above 100 ISO is a concern to me, so do you have any comment on noise treatment.

 

All said though, the RX100 is a great carry around that certainly attracts no attention whatsoever in general street shots where so much of our editorial potential exists. The weight relief on my aging back and shoulders is a bonus.

Regards Ken

I only shoot raw and also reduce the size, the only problem with my RX100 is it has a mark on the sensor, but that is easily cloned out. I have used it a couple of times for video for my day job. and removing the mark from video is more problematic. 

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How about a Panasonic LX Series camera?. I have an older LX5. The new LX100 is very nice. I've always like the colour rendition on Panasonics.

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This may interest you since you'll be taking landscapes. Two years ago I took my RX100 to St Croix. I also shot a D800. Many of the Sony shots stood up against the Nikon. I took shots of the beach, people on the beach, the resort showing that beautiful turquoise water and palm trees. It did very well.

I have taken shots inside Walmart, one of which has sold a couple of times, shots inside a shopping mall, and shots in a dim eye doctor's exam room. Although the latter had grainy type noise and I carefully applied noise reduction. Those passed QC. that said, I prefer to shoot it in decent light. The shopping mall was well lit and the images were good.

 

My cottage was 50-75 feet from waters edge. Even when resting indoors during the hottest part of the day, I constantly popped out to see if there was a photo op. The D800 isn't a "pop-out" camera. More like lugging an anvil. I had this tiny purse that I wore cross-body with the RX100, my key and a couple of other things, and it felt weightless.

 

I realize mirrorless is too large for what you're wanting, but pitting the RX100 against my X-T1 is no contest. It's like pitting a quarter horse against a Kentucky Derby horse. My T1 will lap the RX100 every time.

Betty

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Thanks all for the feedback. You've been very helpful. Looks like the RX100 is the favourite. 

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Bizair - here is my workflow you asked about earlier RX100 Mk3

 

Shoot in RAW on full auto most of the time.  Pre-focus if needed.

 

Bring image into ACR with the following default settings for the camera

 

Highlights 0

Shadows +60

Whites 0

Blacks -5

Clarity +30

Vibrance +30

Saturation +10

 

These setting give me nice punchy images which for well lit subjects need little if any further adjustment from me.

 

Then open in the main screen and adjust converging verticals unless intentional.  Check for spots/insects and use healing brush if required.  Check Levels. Check whole image at 100%.

 

If all ok - save into my upload file ready to go to Alamy.

 

Works for me and only a couple of failures over a very long period (both my fault)

 

As I said earlier - look at my portfolio - every image you see with have been taken on my RX100 - this is my entire photographic equipment now - just one little camera in my pocket.

 

John

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Thanks all for the feedback. You've been very helpful. Looks like the RX100 is the favourite.

 

I would also recommend napoli lowpro 30 pouch, just check it fits mk3/2 Edited by Steve UK

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Love my RX100 no issues

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I'm using Sony mirrorless. I started with an NEX-5n, then NEX 6, and now use an A7r and a6000. The Sony mirrorless cameras are fantastic. Their shortcoming is the lenses. Where Fuji shines is their breadth and quality of lenses including ultrawide and fast in addition to high quality zooms. Sony has made some bad decisions in my view where they have some ok and cheap amateur lenses, and some crazy expensive pro grade lenses that aren't all that fast. 

 

In short for the slow stuff I'm using my A7r with my Canon lenses adapted. I've also purchased a few Minolta lenses and an adapter that can auto everything.

 

For my small on-the-go kit I use the a6000 with a Rokinon 12mm f2 (mf), Sigma 19mm f2.8 & 30mm f2.8, Sony 50mm f1.8 and the 55-200mm f4.5-6.3. That kit is small and lightweight. All the lenses are quite sharp, except the edges of the long zoom. 

 

Image quality is very high on the little Sony. One benefit over the Fujis is (from what I understand) video quality. 

 

The a6000 is ridiculously small. I'm a big guy and it looks like a little toy in my hands. Another benefit to which is I almost never get any grief from security guards- I don't look like a "professional" walking around with my Canon DSLR and 70-200mm f2.8

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