Looking for Camera Recommendation

Sleeping Dog

Adventurer
Background - Context

Back in high school and through college, I was an avid photographer who enjoyed playing with exposures and lighting. During that time I built a dark room in my mother's basement plus had access to the ones at school if needed. Photo equipment was as you might expect, a couple of camera bodies, several lenses, light meter and a couple of flashes. Adulthood came and I moved across the country so the darkroom equipment was traded for a guitar. The cost and results of photo finishing diminished my interest and, at that time, professional finishing was beyond my budget except for special occasions. Needless to say I took many fewer pictures, though there was a revival when I began traveling on a motorcycle, I soon tired of hauling lots of gear. Eventually the camera's sat in the back of a closet.

A number of years ago I was traveling a lot for business and decided it would be fun to have a small digital camera that would slip into a suit jacket pocket. I picked up a Canon Powershot that met my two criteria at the time, a view finder and compact size. That camera was replaced by a smart phone, that takes better pictures, but the Canon still sits on my desk and is better than the phone for certain uses.

Retirement has me exploring old hobbies and photography is percolating to the top, but the DSLR's and even the mirrorless SLR's that I've seen are far too big for convenient carrying around and use as I anticipate. But it doesn't need to fit in my pocket either.

How will I use it? Quite likely it will be with me most of the time, slung over my shoulder in its leather case. I also expect that it will be found in a messenger bag or in the pocket of my riding jacket when on the bike and perhaps even hung around my neck

Here are my must haves.
View Finder - either optical, electronic or both​
Compact Size - more later.​
Controls for ISO, shutter speed, aperture and aspect ration on the camera body and not buried in the display.​

Nice to have
Built in telephoto - approximately equivalent to a 35-100mm lens for a 35mm SLR film camera​
Classic styling - Frankly I like the looks of old film cameras​
Neutral on

Built in flash​
Superior video capabilities​
Tilt screen​
Due to the lock down my search has been limited to the internet and a couple of camera's that seem to fit the bill for my must haves are the Fujifilm X100V and the separated at birth, fraternal twins the Panasonic LX100 II and Leica D-Lux 7. Size wise both fit the bill and hit my other requirements. My reticence with X100V is that it has a fixed focal length and is a tad expensive. The LX100 or the D-Lux was where I was headed until I began reading that dust infiltration is an issue with these cameras and given my intended use that is a concern. Perhaps someone could provide some perspective on that issue.

I'm open to considering a replaceable lens camera as long as the body size is similar to the X100V/LX100V/D-Lux, so suggest away.

Thanks,

Jim
 

1000arms

Well-known member
Background - Context

Back in high school and through college, I was an avid photographer who enjoyed playing with exposures and lighting. During that time I built a dark room in my mother's basement plus had access to the ones at school if needed. Photo equipment was as you might expect, a couple of camera bodies, several lenses, light meter and a couple of flashes. Adulthood came and I moved across the country so the darkroom equipment was traded for a guitar. The cost and results of photo finishing diminished my interest and, at that time, professional finishing was beyond my budget except for special occasions. Needless to say I took many fewer pictures, though there was a revival when I began traveling on a motorcycle, I soon tired of hauling lots of gear. Eventually the camera's sat in the back of a closet.

A number of years ago I was traveling a lot for business and decided it would be fun to have a small digital camera that would slip into a suit jacket pocket. I picked up a Canon Powershot that met my two criteria at the time, a view finder and compact size. That camera was replaced by a smart phone, that takes better pictures, but the Canon still sits on my desk and is better than the phone for certain uses.

Retirement has me exploring old hobbies and photography is percolating to the top, but the DSLR's and even the mirrorless SLR's that I've seen are far too big for convenient carrying around and use as I anticipate. But it doesn't need to fit in my pocket either.

How will I use it? Quite likely it will be with me most of the time, slung over my shoulder in its leather case. I also expect that it will be found in a messenger bag or in the pocket of my riding jacket when on the bike and perhaps even hung around my neck

Here are my must haves.
View Finder - either optical, electronic or both​
Compact Size - more later.​
Controls for ISO, shutter speed, aperture and aspect ration on the camera body and not buried in the display.​

Nice to have
Built in telephoto - approximately equivalent to a 35-100mm lens for a 35mm SLR film camera​
Classic styling - Frankly I like the looks of old film cameras​
Neutral on

Built in flash​
Superior video capabilities​
Tilt screen​
Due to the lock down my search has been limited to the internet and a couple of camera's that seem to fit the bill for my must haves are the Fujifilm X100V and the separated at birth, fraternal twins the Panasonic LX100 II and Leica D-Lux 7. Size wise both fit the bill and hit my other requirements. My reticence with X100V is that it has a fixed focal length and is a tad expensive. The LX100 or the D-Lux was where I was headed until I began reading that dust infiltration is an issue with these cameras and given my intended use that is a concern. Perhaps someone could provide some perspective on that issue.

I'm open to considering a replaceable lens camera as long as the body size is similar to the X100V/LX100V/D-Lux, so suggest away.

Thanks,

Jim
Are you sure you won't consider a Canon EOS body and a Canon 1200mm lens? :cool:

From the link I posted: "It takes nearly a year to grow fluorite crystals large enough to be ground and polished for use in this lens." o_O
 

DiploStrat

Expedition Leader
I am normally a Nikon shooter, currently a D800, but due to some misinformation, I was told that I could not take an SLR/lenses on a trip. DPReview was indicating that the Sony RX-100 was their pick for a "travel" camera. I bought the slower, longer reach Model 6 and have been stunned by the quality, even in low light. The camera, spare batteries, cards, etc. will pack in a tiny case. Not has fast to handle and focus as the Nikon, but not bad and not at all as laggy as the first generation of Sony digital that I used over a decade ago. In moments of madness, have considered replacing the Nikons with two RX-100's, one with the shorter, faster lens, and the second with the longer slower lens. You could carry both on your person with less bulk than an SLR and two lenses. Probably the priciest of this ilk, but highly recommended.

DP Review on the latest: https://www.dpreview.com/products/sony/compacts/sony_dscrx100m7

Random gallery. (You will note some shake. Ironically, the hardest part of shooting with the camera this small is the fact that it is soooooo very small: https://pbase.com/diplostrat/jerusalem

As with all things photographic - YMMV! ;)
 

Herbie

Rendezvous Conspirator
I've shot everything from DSLR to compact travel cameras and in between. It REALLY depends on the travel you're doing.

For a fixed-lens option, there's a lot of bang for the buck out there. My last trip to Europe we were doing carry-on only on the discount Euro carriers (very tight baggage weight/size restrictions), so I used only a Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZX50 which I picked up cheap. It had a HUGE zoom range (24-750 equivalent) and decent IQ for the tiny package, and more importantly sufficient battery life for a day of touristy work. EDIT: I forgot to say that one of the reasons I like this family of Panasonics is that even though they're "point-n-shoot", they can still be configured for two-dial manual shooting.
I imagine the LX100 will give even better performance, what with the bigger sensor, though probably at the cost of battery life.

My current favorite for a good mix of quality lightweight/compact are the Micro 4/3 stuff. I use an Olympus OMD E-M5mk2 for the mix of compact size and weather sealing (the Olympus 12-40mm f2.8 pro is a really magical package). For our planned (but COVID-aborted) trip to Europe this summer I was planning on the EM5.2 with only a Lumix 14-42 3.5-5.6 pancake lens. (I chose this as it has a manual electronic focus control since my Olympus doesn't have electronic focus control assignable to a dial, only the on-screen controls) It's a bit bigger/heavier than the ZX50 "travel zoom", but there were some specific setups I anticipated shooting that needed filters, etc. and that wasn't an option on the point-n-shoot body.

But, there are even smaller packages available: If I were in the market for a ultra-compact rig right now, I'd be looking hard at the Panasonic DMC-GX85 body with the 12-32mm pancake (which I think is optically a much better lens than the 14-42 I picked up). You can see it's only slightly bigger than the LX100 you're looking at: (https://cameradecision.com/compare/Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-GX85-vs-Panasonic-Lumix-DC-LX100-II) plus you get interchangeable lenses. The nice thing about the GX85 is that there are some crazy kit deals out there right now, like a pancake zoom, a decent telephoto kit lens, cards, filters, and even software for <$500. This is where Micro 4/3 is finally fulfilling the promise of more compact packaging without sacrificing optics. I almost picked up that kit as a starter for my Kiddo who is showing some interest in photography, but she's at the age where she would rather have a phone, and she can always borrow my gear for when we're out on shoots.
 
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OregonGX

Member
My advice, buy a system not a camera.

Having jumped around most of them - Canon, Nikon, micro 4/3rds, APS-C, full frame. They all have their relative strengths and weaknesses. But what is most important is the support of the roadmap. I just did a bit of an impulse buy this winter on the Nikon Z50. While there is a lot to like about the camera, the lens roadmap is not strong and COVID hasn't helped the situation. I find myself really missing the flexibility and robust ecosystem of M43. If I had to do it all over again, I probably would have resisted the temptation to move up to FF/APS-C Nikon from M43 a few years ago and continued to invest in the (very, very good) M43 ecosystem. While that sensor and technology has its limitations, it makes it up for it in the ecosystem, usability, and size vs. capability.
 

verdesard0g

Search and Rescue first responder
Most cell phone cameras are pretty good. I 72 years old and have been shooting since high school, my favortie film was kodachorme 25. I now have a Nikon d5300 with a nice assortment of lenses. I only take it when doing a purposeful event that will need the capabilities. My major concern with cell phone cameras is the uber wide angle lenses on most of them. They will all do pretty good unless you want bill board size images.
 

alanymarce

Well-known member
To answer the specific question - we have a Leica D-Lux and it's excellent.

Having said that we usually use Canon 5D Mk IIIs with a variety of lenses, also carry a Canon SX620HX everywhere as a very conveneient/small camera, and as others have said smartphones are now remarkably good, and can do some things better than the DSLRs.
 

deserteagle56

Adventurer
Check out the Sony RX100MkVII. 24-200 lens, fits in your shirt pocket, and has pretty darned good image quality. Mine is actually the Mark VI, older version, and it is all I carry when on the dirt bike or quad. Excellent pop-up viewfinder, and the rear screen unfolds and pivots as needed.Check out the reviews on DPreview.com.
 

autism family travels

Active member
I've shot everything from DSLR to compact travel cameras and in between. It REALLY depends on the travel you're doing.

For a fixed-lens option, there's a lot of bang for the buck out there. My last trip to Europe we were doing carry-on only on the discount Euro carriers (very tight baggage weight/size restrictions), so I used only a Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZX50 which I picked up cheap. It had a HUGE zoom range (24-750 equivalent) and decent IQ for the tiny package, and more importantly sufficient battery life for a day of touristy work. EDIT: I forgot to say that one of the reasons I like this family of Panasonics is that even though they're "point-n-shoot", they can still be configured for two-dial manual shooting.
I imagine the LX100 will give even better performance, what with the bigger sensor, though probably at the cost of battery life.

My current favorite for a good mix of quality lightweight/compact are the Micro 4/3 stuff. I use an Olympus OMD E-M5mk2 for the mix of compact size and weather sealing (the Olympus 12-40mm f2.8 pro is a really magical package). For our planned (but COVID-aborted) trip to Europe this summer I was planning on the EM5.2 with only a Lumix 14-42 3.5-5.6 pancake lens. (I chose this as it has a manual electronic focus control since my Olympus doesn't have electronic focus control assignable to a dial, only the on-screen controls) It's a bit bigger/heavier than the ZX50 "travel zoom", but there were some specific setups I anticipated shooting that needed filters, etc. and that wasn't an option on the point-n-shoot body.

But, there are even smaller packages available: If I were in the market for a ultra-compact rig right now, I'd be looking hard at the Panasonic DMC-GX85 body with the 12-32mm pancake (which I think is optically a much better lens than the 14-42 I picked up). You can see it's only slightly bigger than the LX100 you're looking at: (https://cameradecision.com/compare/Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-GX85-vs-Panasonic-Lumix-DC-LX100-II) plus you get interchangeable lenses. The nice thing about the GX85 is that there are some crazy kit deals out there right now, like a pancake zoom, a decent telephoto kit lens, cards, filters, and even software for <$500. This is where Micro 4/3 is finally fulfilling the promise of more compact packaging without sacrificing optics. I almost picked up that kit as a starter for my Kiddo who is showing some interest in photography, but she's at the age where she would rather have a phone, and she can always borrow my gear for when we're out on shoots.
Agreed, "point and shoot" is a great travel option. I still don't like taking photos on my phone other than quick snaps of something I am doing right then. For our blog, we use a combination of fuji x-s1 and x10. This is our travel rig. Lightweight, great IQ and just an all round awesome camera combo.

That being said, Since I am moving into more serious photography now, I am soon ordering a Fuji GFX 50s, and X-H1 for my WORK cameras.
 

IdaSHO

IDACAMPER
I saw at least one mention of the Sony RX100 line.
They are incredible little cameras. Dont overlook them.

I've been packing a RX100-V since new. I feel it is the best version so far.
The VI and newer added a longer tele lens, but in doing so the lens is considerably slower.

But any version of the RX100 is a great option. They are rock solid and pack a serious punch.
 
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