Deconstructed photography, part two: compact camera masterclass

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Imprint. Iphone 4

In part one, we deconstructed the essence of photography, and identified the critical qualities required for a good general-purpose camera. What about the candidates?

On this basis, we have a few potential candidates, in alphabetical order with specs and particular standout qualities:
– Canon G15 – 12MP, 1/1.7″, 28-140/1.8-2.8 – optical finder, zoom range, external controls
– Canon S110 – 12MP, 1/1.7″, 24-120/2.0-5.9 (!) – compactness
– Fuji FinePix X10 – 12MP, 2/3″, 28-112/2.0-2.8 – mechanical zoom, optical finder
Fuji FinePix XF1 – 12MP, 2/3″, 25-100/1.8-4.9 – mechanical zoom, compactness, JPEG quality
– Leica D-Lux 6 – 10MP variable-aspect, 1/1.7″, 24-90/1.4(!)-2.3 – variable aspect ratios, lens speed, macro, extended warranty and Lightroom (over the LX7)
– Nikon P7700 – 12MP, 1/1.7″, 28-200/2.0-4.0 – telephoto reach, external controls
– Olympus XZ2 – 12MP, 1/1.7″, 28-112/1.8-2.5 – a safe middle of the road choice
– Panasonic LX7 – 10MP variable-aspect, 1/1.7″, 24-90/1.4(!)-2.3 – variable aspect ratios, lens speed, macro
Sony RX100 – 20MP (!), 1″, 28-100/1.8-4.9 – low light use/ resolution/ dynamic range/ overall image quality, speed, video
– The Ricoh GR-Digital IV is a possible too, if you don’t mind a fixed 28mm lens – 10MP, 1/1.7″, 28/1.9 – steath, compactness, street/ hyperfocal photography, configurability

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Church reflection, Melaka. RX100

Of these, I think the G15, X10, XZ2 and P7700 are probably on the large side of what you might want to carry, that said, they are loaded with external controls, and the most tactile of the group. The smaller cameras are more button-and-menu-driven, though they all have control dials whose functions can be assigned to your preferences. The X10 and XF1 are the only two cameras here with physical zoom rings; a neat touch that improves responsiveness (especially since the rings are linked to power-on). Almost all of them are based around the same sensor, and offer fast lenses at the wide end; the LX7 and DL6 are really fast (f1.4); others are consistently fast throughout. The more compact cameras (S110, XF1, RX100) trade off lens speed at the long end.

If you’re expecting me to pick a winner, you’re going to be disappointed. All are similar enough and offer sufficient control, image quality and responsiveness that any one will do for the majority of situations. Yet, they are also different enough in control philosophy and particular feature speciality that if you particularly need any one of these features, your choice may be skewed. If not, pick the one that feels best to you, the one your brand loyalty dictates, the one whose design you prefer – whatever. It doesn’t matter. You just need to like the camera enough to use it, and it should be intuitive enough that you will actually do so. Lower end cameras will work just fine, too – I’ve had great results with the ultracompact Canon SD780 IS and superzoom Panasonic TZ3.

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May arches. RX100

Let’s get something straight upfront though: there are things you can do, and things you can’t. It’s important to know what falls into each category so you a) don’t waste your time attempting to shoot in a particular way then being disappointed by the results, and b) can play to the strengths of your equipment.

Strengths:
– Stealth
– Compressed perspectives
– Getting everything in focus/ hyperfocal photography
– Low key photography (in low light)
– Moderate to high contrast images
– Long exposures, with a relatively lightweight tripod, or IS system: the leaf shutters used in compacts have almost zero vibration, and hand shake can be eliminated almost entirely when paired with the self timer.
– Odd points of view, when used with a swivel screen

Don’t waste your time:
– Getting any sort of shallow depth of field. Only close up, with a distant background, maximum aperture and whatever lets you focus the closest. Otherwise, forget it.
– Tracking moving objects
– Very low light
– Manual focus – why bother?
– Working with thick gloves in cold environments

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Two old ladies framed, Melaka. RX100

For the most part, there are few limitations. Most of the troubling ones can be worked around; the depth of field control one I consider to be more a compositional thing the photographer needs to learn around rather than a limitation of the camera. More problematic is the inability to track moving objects; AF-C is my preferred setting for street photography and reportage scenarios because it counters the effect of subject motion. That said, if you’re using a compact, you could either prefocus at the desired spot and release as your subject passes it, you can pan, or you can rely on the extended depth of field for a given field of view to cover you. Any one of these three approaches will work just fine. In very low light situations, a mini-pod can save you; alternatively, there’s self-timer and IS. But by far the best method is simply to shoot a low key image, or embrace the grain.

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Tranquility. RX100

There are only a few key settings for general photography, in my mind; all of the cameras on the list above will be able to cope.

Program mode. 99.9% of the time, you will be at a focal length/ aperture/ distance combination that means everything in your scene will be in focus anyway; aperture control is meaningless. I’d rather have the camera able to shift exposure automatically to prevent overexposure/ underexposure rather than miss a shot.

Auto ISO. If you set the right limits for maximum ISO (probably around 800-1600 for the smaller-sensored cameras, and 3200 for the RX100) and minimum shutter speed (not always an option), combined with P mode, you’ll avoid missing shots because of insufficient shutter speed or exposure – but at the same time, not have to use an ISO higher than strictly necessary to maintain image quality. Yes, it appears that we’re basically transferring control of exposure over to the camera – but unless you really need to freeze motion or add it (panning, soft water etc.) then I cannot actually think of a situation in which you need to set these parameters manually.

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A night out. RX100

Spot or center-weighted meter. The main reason I’m not an advocate for matrix metering on compacts is that it both tends to be a bit unpredictable, as well simultaneously critical due to the limited dynamic range of small sensors. Nothing screams unnatural in an image more than a blown highlight with a harsh edge transition; taking control of your meter by understanding how it responds to certain situations will help immensely to avoid this. If you use the spot meter, then add between 1/2 and 1 stop to bring the highlights up to the point just before they clip; if you’re using centerweight, then make sure you have a good mix of tonal ranges within the central spot. In either case, the priority is to ensure that the subject is exposed correctly; it’s also almost always the place where you want to focus, so having a spot meter linked to the focus point and exposure lock with a half press of the shutter is ideal – fortunately, this is also almost always the way compact cameras are set up to behave by default.

Exposure compensation easily reached. Regardless of whether you’re using spot or center-weighted meter, you’re inevitably going to need to use exposure compensation at some point – all meters are thrown out by very bright or very dark objects. Better that you either have a dedicated command dial for this, or better yet, a physical dial with the increments permanently marked.

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Tokyo nights. RX100

Single point AF. As much as I’d love to turn over focus selection to the camera, I find that far too often it doesn’t focus on what I want it to, or it picks faces when I don’t want it to, or it finds faces in random geometric arrangements. Whilst this technology has come a long way, it’s still not perfect and can’t determine distance accurately – so the subject picked is almost always the most contrasty one, not the nearest. Just use the center AF point for focusing and metering, then recompose once both are locked.

Prefocus. A common myth is that compacts have huge shutter lag: they don’t. If anything, they have less shutter lag than most DSLRs because there’s no mirror to get out of the way before the exposure. The confusion comes when people include focus acquisition time in the mix; this is not right because you can seldom compare situations in a consistent manner. Prefocus shutter release lag for say the Nikon D4 – arguably one of the fastest cameras out there – is 42ms. By comparison, the RX100’s prefocus lag is just 13ms – so short that it takes your finger longer to physically move to depress the button by that additional fraction. Prefocusing thus obviously reduces overall response time, meaning fewer missed shots. You have to shoot a bit differently with a compact and a moving subject: with a DSLR, I’ll use AF-C and track my subject until it hits the point I want relative to the rest of the composition, then release. With a compact, I’ll frame and prefocus first, wait statically with the final framing intact, then shoot when the subject hits the point I want.

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Duplicity. RX100

Stabilizer on. Small cameras held at arms’ length (and not braced against one’s face) are not the most stable of shooting platforms; without a stabilizer, you’ll probably need 1/2x focal length – or higher with higher resolution cameras – to maintain a pixel-sharp image. You can probably claw back around 3 stops with the best of the stabilization systems, of which Panasonic is currently king. Make sure it’s set to the mode which is always active so you can frame more precisely, too – some cameras only activate the stabilizer when shooting to save power.

RAW (with exceptions). Other than the Fujis – whose JPEG files, especially with DR400 set – are amazing – there are gains to be made by shooting RAW and postprocessing for all of the above cameras. The gap is smaller for the Sony RX100, but still noticeable. Note that some cameras like the LX7 add in-camera processing to remove CA and distortion; whilst you might get more detail and dynamic range in RAW, you’re going to be trading off automated lens corrections.

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Crossing. RX100

Burst mode. I don’t spray away at 10fps on my RX100 all the time, but I do have it set to CL and 4fps in case I need to shoot a sequence of something interesting; it’s the same way I have my DSLRs and OM-D set up. In lower light, keeping your finger down can partially alleviate any camera shake caused by the depressing motion.

Flash off. Unless you’re triggering remote speedlights, are shooting social images in a dark place, or perhaps trying something with rear-sync, then avoid the small built-in unit. It’s just going to look horrible, not to mention lack power to fill in daylight beyond a meter or so.

Highlight warning in playback, with zoom-to-focus-point. I find this particular combination of review settings useful because it lets me quickly assess if I nailed the shot or not: is it critically sharp (magnification amount for this will differ from camera to camera)? Are there any overexposed areas? Critical underexposure? The latter is especially important when you have both only the LCD to use in daylight to evaluate images, as well as limited dynamic range.

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In front but not driving. RX100

Have a spare battery handy. Continuous live view drains batteries very quickly. Even the best of cameras will only manage perhaps 3 hours of continuous running time with the LCD on, which is probably about 200-250 images or thereabouts. If you are careful and turn the camera off between exposures and minimize your chimping, you might eke this out to about 5-600 shots; for me, this is bare minimum for a full day of shooting. A spare battery is therefore a must have, and allows you to keep going even when the main one is being charged.

I want to talk a bit about RAW, processing and sufficiency. Although I’ve been repeatedly revisiting the whole idea of postprocessing recently – first with film, then with medium format, and as a question in and of itself – I know I haven’t taken a position either way yet, but I don’t think not processing is an option for most compacts, with the exception of the Fuji X10 and XF1. This is because none of them have the native tonal qualities that are desirable in a photograph – namely smooth highlight and shadow transitions with reasonably punchy midtones – straight out of the camera. The files certainly have the potential to be that way, but they do require work post-capture; perhaps a bit more than a good file from a larger sensor camera. However, I wouldn’t be too worried about image quality: a good 12MP file that’s critically sharp at the pixel level will print just fine to A3 and perhaps one size beyond; needless to say it’s more than enough for web viewing. It’s often important to take a quick reality check in the pursuit of megapixels: when was the last time you printed larger than A3?

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Imagined patterns.

In the end though, it all comes back down to the pictures, and the ideas encapsulated and communicated therein. The camera is merely a box, a tool; why should it be over-promoted to seemingly also be the endgame? My personal journey for creative evolution has taken me in a different direction: an increased focus on the purity of the idea, and continued liberation from equipment requirements. I want something that can capture what I see in a variety of perspectives; something that is unobtrusive, stealthy and doesn’t attract attention; something that’s flexible enough for most situations I might randomly encounter, but doesn’t require a great commitment in bulk or weight, preferably I shouldn’t even know it’s there. I don’t mind if it imposes some limitations on the way I shoot or the way I meter; these might turn out to be good things which provide small creative nudges in the right direction. As good as Micro Four Thirds is, by the time you load up on a lens or two, you still know you’re carrying a camera – and I would still take the OM-D for serious personal work – but for experimentation, and the kind of ligthbulb moments of experimentation that happen when you’re not planning them, it seems that for now a serious compact or two is the way to go. And the best thing of all is that if (and probably when) I get bored of it, it’s not going to be too painful to swap it for a new one and start the process all over again. MT

The various cameras mentioned in this article are available here at their respective links from Amazon: Canon G15, Canon S110, Fuji FinePix X10, Fuji FinePix XF1, Leica D-Lux 6, Nikon P7700, Olympus XZ2, Panasonic LX7, Sony RX100, Ricoh GR-Digital IV.

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Images and content copyright Ming Thein | mingthein.com 2012 onwards. All rights reserved

Comments

  1. Very nice article. I’m especially looking for something to complete my heavy Canon’s pack. Actually I was thinking to buy some NEX system, thinking that I wouldn’t be annoyed by low image quality at high iso and still have something handy, but the more I was thinking about it, the more I was realizing that I would have to carry lenses and that the system isn’t that small. Reading your article “Thoughts on system choices” I reach the link leading to the compact cameras. In a nutshell you have put all the characteristics of the compact system. Now I’m still wondering wether it’ll be rx100 or XF1, but at least I have a better overview.
    Thanks!
    Fred

  2. joeoflakeland says:

    The issue of camera size really resonates with me. As a casual photographer I began moving away from larger DSLRs mid-2009, and I recently arrived at a point where I am only wanting small and stealthy (or fairly so) cameras with decent image quality and feature sets. This article reinforces my decision to have a few different small cameras to cover my interests. By the way, great tips on compact camera settings.

  3. Another excellent read. Thank you. I shoot (commercially) weddings, and stock for five different agencies. Primarily I use my D700, and now my D800. However I will say that ALL five agencies accept my Lumix LX5 images — when I post-process the raw file. jpeg’s not so much. Even though that little workhorse is only 10 megapixels it produces some amazing images. It’s also lightweight, and does not draw attention like my dSLR’s. I am planning on possibly moving to the LX7 except for the fact I have to re-purchase accessories like my flower-petal lens cap, and my my filter extension tube to handle my 77mm Singh-Ray’s that I use on the LX5 as well as my dSLR’s.

    • Thanks. Yes, the stock agencies generally have no issues with the better compacts now so long as they can’t tell – I’ve even got iPhone 4 images in the main Getty collection.

  4. Frans Moquette says:

    Hi Ming,

    Great read again and great pictures as always. Obviously you like the RX100. However, in part 1 you write “I’ve pretty much made a complete U turn and am contemplating a Nikon P7700 instead.” So I’m wondering, what made you write that? Are you still contemplating or have you made a choice by now? And if so, for what reasons did or did you not go for the Nikon?

    Thanks!

    • I thought about the P7700 for the extended perspectives; I didn’t buy one in the end for two reasons: 1. every local retailer I have a relationship with didn’t have one in stock and was actively discouraging me from buying it (poor margins? Who knows) and didn’t even want to order it. 2. There are some annoying control idiosyncrasies that I think would drive me mad after a while. 3. I was offered and eventually bought a Hasselblad for about 50% more than a P7700 would have cost me. :)

      • Frans Moquette says:

        Thanks Ming. Now 1 does not apply for me here in the Netherlands and 3, well, happy for you but not what I’m looking for. I’m curious about 2 though. Can you be more specific about the control idiosyncies? That would help me on what to look for when I try out the camera. So far I’ve only held a P7700 briefly and it felt vey nice in my hands. Better than the Canon S110 or the Sony RX100. I also like the swivel screen and the fact that you can use the Nikon CLS. I’m looking for a compact that fits between my Nikon D300 and Canon IXUS 860. Better portability than the DSLR and more control than the IXUS. (I use CHDK on the IXUS to shoot in RAW.)

        • I agree – the camera felt great, which is what drew me to it in the first place. CLS has limitations – one flash, I believe – and let’s be honest, I can count the number of times I’ve used remote flash + compact on the fingers of one hand. It just isn’t worth the hassle – and much easier to use a DSLR. The problem lies in the control dials: we have three of them, yet we can’t choose their assignments. And you can’t jump between images while zoomed in during playback, which is very useful for comparing sharpness between images. It’s also very slow to zoom – whether this is for control or because of the IO speed, I’m not sure.

          Best advice I can give for testing out cameras is set it up as you would normally, try to shoot with it – and see what bothers you. If you notice it straight away over the euphoria of a new toy, then chances are it’s going to continue bothering you and only get worse as time goes on.

  5. I think the Pentax Q deserves a mention here… after picking one up ridiculously cheap in the last month I’ve been having a blast with it compared to my DSLRs with the standard prime (50mm equivalent)… as a bonus I can take it literally anywhere. Amazing image quality for what it is. Only weakness I think it has is that RAW write times are slow.

    • It probably does, but I haven’t had a chance to shoot with one. Somehow prices are being maintained here – I’d definitely give it a go if one came up at the right price, though.

  6. Hi Ming,
    I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and am impressed with the quality of your photography no matter what gear you are using. Really beautiful work!

    Maybe you or your readers could help me answer a question that I do not know the answer to?

    I have been struggling with whether to buy a new P&S camera after my last one bit the dust (or actually sand and seawater). However, after getting my first serious digital camera this Spring, after many years of clinging to Nikon film SLR equipment, I found a critical requirement that few if any of the “pocketable” enthusiast range of compacts fulfill. I need a reasonably weatherproof camera.

    After sailing, hiking and now skiing with the OMD, I am convinced that this is really important. Even on a recent trip to New York City, the rain would have been a big issue without at least a drip-proof body and lens.
    So, are there any high-quality and truly pocketable, but weather resistant options out there?

    Here is a link to a brief description of the torture I put the Olympus kit through this weekend in the Sierra Nevada mountains. I am not sure whether any of the cameras listed in your post would have survived.

    http://gerafotografija.wordpress.com/2012/12/18/snow-skis-and-lyles-lookout/

    • Thanks for your compliments!

      Hmm…weatherproofing is a problem. It doesn’t seem to be something the manufacturers take seriously in compacts, which means your only real option is the OM-D – and as you point out, that isn’t so compact, and the only weather sealed lenses are the Panasonic 12-35, 12-50 kit zoom and 60/2.8 macro. I can’t think of anything else off the top of my head.

      That said, I’ve shot under similarly harsh conditions with non-sealed bodies and compacts before – just keep them in a pocket when not in use and try to keep them dry – they should be fine. Hell, I once did a workshop in a typhoon with an M9-P that most certainly isn’t sealed…it worked just fine.

  7. great articles, very informative blog …
    funny thing is you didnt pick a winner, but all the images where with the RX100 :) Winner!

  8. Luis Castro Solla, Lisbon, Portugal says:

    I am still following your posts almost daily, and have been strongly recommending your site to my friends. A good compact is something you can put in a pocket when you finish shooting, and go to a dinner without having to go drop your big camera in the hotel first. A good compact allows you to use a cheap mini tripod (I always carry it in the other pocket), and a waterproof case which does not cost an arm and a leg. The main problem, imho: the fact that most do not have a viewfinder, force you to look at the screen for composing (not so bad when it is dark, not very good under the Portuguese sun). When Oskar Barnack designed the Leica, he designed a compact – the quality of the pictures was not better than the plate ones, but the camera was much easier to carry and operate. I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

    • Thanks Luis. The lack of viewfinder is annoying, but those with hotshoes can at least take optical finders for the wide angles. I wish my RX100 had this – I suppose they want us to buy the RX1. Ah well.

      • Ming I went in to pick up my RX1 the other day…..and left without it! The 5-10 minutes I had in store with it, I found it to be too small! My hand felt cramped and ergonomically uncomfortable.

        Given it is not designed as a P&S camera and it would have been my only camera whereby I would call on it’s functionality I decided against it. Ended up buying the OMD with 45mm and 25mm lenses.

        Be interested to get your thoughts on this camera (RX1)? I know the RX100 and most of the compacts are small you have discussed, though they are used in a slightly different context as to what the RX1 design capability and functions aim at, IMO. For instance a person buying a compact, would look at the price of this and think…no way (for the most part). So that would put the RX1 vs. other mirror less systems as opposed to compact cameras!

        You make a great case for the compact cameras by the way. I guess at the end of the day though I’d personally like to have that DoF capability handy to mix things up. But overall I see your point and capability of compacts (including phones).

        • That’s a surprise. Most people want smaller…but yes, there are limits. Too many buttons on too few surfaces doesn’t work.

          I honestly doubt I’ll be reviewing the RX1 as I’m certainly not buying one at that price, and the 35mm FOV isn’t interesting for me.

          As for compacts – you can actually get some DOF control with the faster ones; the LX7, for instance, is f2.3 at 100mm equivalent or thereabouts.

  9. Regarding exposure compensation (EV), I would only add (perhaps I missed it in another part of your article) that the histogram feature should be turned on in the active display. I find it to be one of the really nice things about live view not only in compacts but in mirrorless cams like the OMD and NEX systems. I haven’t paid much attention to which metering I am using (that is, matrix, versus centerweight, etc) because I just look at the histogram and make my EV corrections. Blinkies are nice too!!

    Getting slightly off topic, I haven’t looked at the histogram on an Olympus compact, but if they have the same histogram as the OMD that would be wonderful. As you know, the Oly histogram is really two-in-one. There is the overall histogram in grey color and on the same scale there is a green histogram that reads from the pixels only within the single focus point. I love it.

    Peter F.

    • Actually, I don’t use it because I find it’s too distracting – just takes up too much of the composition. Blinkies are much better, because they only show if you get it wrong – sadly not many cameras have this in live view though.

      I don’t remember if the XZ2 does the same thing as the OMD, to be honest, I never looked – just used the post-review blinkies again…

  10. Hi Ming,

    A great read! I am tending towards compact camera’s for the reasons you’ve mentioned. But I’m not sure as yet. I don’t have much to spare, and I find prices of 400 or more euros quite a lot of money. Can you say anything about older, but cheaper, models of compact cameras? (for instance, the Olympus PEN E-PM1 nowadays costs 250 euros, including the 14-42mm lens).

    Thanks in advance!

    • The E-PM1 is definitely a good buy, as is the GR-Digital III. The LX5 and XZ1 are pretty cheap today too. Most of these newer models are evolutionary rather than revolutionary – the changes are often small and just to satisfy the marketing department. So, if you’re on a budget, there’s no reason why one generation previous shouldn’t satisfy :)

      • Thanks for the reply!

        I’ve now logged in via twitter, lets see if this way I can trick the spam filters into posting my comment ;)

        These are indeed good options and worth consideration!

        However, I think my (actually my dad’s old) ixus 970 is not yet the limiting factor. I finally found out how to reduce/minimize internal ‘processing’ of the jpeg (no ‘sharpened’ and ridiculously over-saturated jpegs anymore, yay!); in stead of annoyed, I am now quite impressed.

        • Well, this time it didn’t go to spam :)

          Same with all compacts – if you dial saturation and contrast down to the minimum, leave sharpening at the native (so long as it isn’t haloing – anything less and you’ll lose detail because of the JPEG compression) then you’ll probably be surprised at the output…even better if you use spot metering to protect the highlights.

      • The Canon S100 and S110 appear to have similar image processors. At the wide end of the lens, they are 24mm, F2; the RX100 is 28mm F1.8 (with a larger sensor). If I don’t care about depth of field, how would the low-light performance compare? I know it’s about a third of a stop, and the larger sensor of the RX100 must help too – but the S100 is $250 in the US while the RX100 is $650.

        • Not having extensively used the Canons, I can’t say – but they appear to use the same sensor as the others. I’d give the Sony a 1.5-2 stop noise advantage, and color is noticeably better – 14bit vs 12 – however, the Canon’s IS is much better than the Sony. So, I suppose a stop for static subjects?

  11. Hi Ming, could you perhaps elaborate on what you mean with “compressed perspectives” under strengths? Compressed compared to what? Thanks. :)

    • Telephoto perspectives where background and foreground objects are relatively similar in size.

      • Right, but this is listed under strengths. Can’t you achieve this with pretty much any camera, given enough reach? And I imagine it would be even easier to achieve with a camera where you can change the lens and add more tele. Many compacts only go up to about 100mm equivalent.

        • Not quite: it’s the depth of field which you don’t easily get with a larger sensor camera unless you stop down to f16 or smaller, which impacts image quality through diffraction limits, high ISO noise etc. – but you can get the same or greater DOF from a compact even near wide open.

  12. Floyd Summerhayes says:

    Great two part essay. In the Internet world were so much personal preference is written as fact, it’s refreshing to read some common sense, thank you. Just ordered the RX100

    • Thanks Floyd. I make no secret of the fact that it’s all very subjective – there are very few absolute truths in photography, or anywhere else for that matter.

  13. David Wootton says:

    Dear Ming, I want to thank you for all the work that goes into your site, as well as for your whole approach to photography. Since you included one fixed lens camera in the list above I wonder why you left out the Leica X2? At the moment I use a D-Lux 4 and I’ve been thinking of upgrading to a Leica X2 and a Sony RX100. Perhaps the X2 would be sheer indulgence? I must confess I have never been really happy with anything that wasn’t a compact. Another site (you can guess which) persuaded me to try the Leica Digilux 2, and I loved it as a camera, but wasn’t happy with it as an object to carry… Thanks again, David

    • Thanks for your compliments. Simple answer: I don’t like the 35mm FOV, and the price is rather steep. It’s a great camera, but is very out of place when you look at relative value for money…that said, if money is no object, go ahead. The Digilux 2 has truly terrible ergonomics – it’s a square box with no concessions whatsoever; nearly as bad as my 501C…

  14. Thank you for the two part series. Some of the images took me awhile to figure out how you took them and “Church Reflection” I still do not know how you captured that image. All wonderful.

    I was able to use your affiliate link to buy some non-photo Christmas presents for the kids. Still picking out my present though. :-)

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Compacts. His last point is that many compacts are really good now. Some good candidates are the Sony RX100 (but have an extra battery) because is has a 1″ 20MP sensor and a 28-100MM zoom which is a fast F/1.8 at the wide angle end.  [...]

  2. [...] a mirrorless camera, let alone a DSLR. There are a lot of very competent compacts – covered here – that would fit the bill for the majority of situations. Granted, there’s some [...]

  3. [...] Imprint. Iphone 4 In part one, we deconstructed the essence of photography, and identified the critical qualities required for a good general-purpose camera. What about the candidates? On this basi…  [...]

  4. [...] Nikon P7700 – 12MP, 1/1.7″, 28-200/2.0-4.0 – telephoto reach, external controls – Olympus XZ2 – 12MP, 1/1.7″, 28-112/1.8-2.5 – a safe middle of the road choice – Panasonic LX7 – 10MP …  [...]

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