Point and shoots – Thoughts?

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Point and shoots – Thoughts?

Postposted on Mon Dec 30, 2013 2:23 pm

I don't always want to take my cameras out when I'm adventuring, and my phone isn't the best for pictures. Can anyone suggest a decent point and shoot that has some measure of optical zoom and DoF option so I can get near-pro photos without having to lug around my Camera and Lenses. Thanks!
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Re: Point and shoots – Thoughts?

Postposted on Thu Jun 12, 2014 10:13 pm

What are you looking for? Compact or superzoom and/or bright lens?
An xz-1 is oldish, but cheap if you find a deal. I got one for $200. Fast lens and decent sensor size can give a bit of that depth of field look.
The fz1000 is a new superzoom camera - fast F2.8-F4 lens, up to 400mm equivalent, and large sensor. Almost the size of an slr though.

What cameras do you use? If you're a traditional SLR guy, take a look at something small like the Micro Four Thirds GM1 or EPM-2. They've got a few small primes that will give you low light performance that rivals your standard SLR. The GM1 in particular is just tiny, and the epm2 can be had these days for cheap. You can even adapt lenses from your current SLR, even speedboost/focal-reduce them to make then wider/faster on the MFT mount.
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Re: Point and shoots – Thoughts?

Postposted on Thu Jun 12, 2014 11:40 pm

Two basic choices: Canon's S120 for stupid small and nice, and Sony's RX100 Mk.3, which is really as far as you want to go in the P&S arena outside of what Beomagi mentions above before stepping into an interchangeable lens system.
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Re: Point and shoots – Thoughts?

Postposted on Fri Jun 13, 2014 12:21 am

There is another category in the P&S world that may still be ok to consider: compact travel zooms. This means the Sony HX, the Panasonic ZS, the Canon SX, the Nikon S, and the Fuji F lines. They are more than 10x zoom in relatively compact bodies, most of them now start at "24mm" at the wide end. Some have GPS geotagging and wifi as well.

Sure, my RX100-II has 20megapixels for me to crop zoom a bit, but optical zoom is still optical zoom. Last year when I was trying to get a shot of a bald eagle from a distance, couldn't quite get it as good as an ZS7.

PS. We can ignore the OP. He's been banned for being a spammer. We can evolve this thread as we like it. ;)
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Re: Point and shoots – Thoughts?

Postposted on Fri Jun 13, 2014 1:04 am

Well, to move the topic on, you wind up making a decision between getting the most zoom vs. getting the largest sensor. If you need the zoom, you need it; but otherwise going for the larger sensor is always better. That's where the S120 at 1/1.7" and RX100 III at 1" come in; I don't know of any APS-C fixed-lens zooms, but that'd be the next step.
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Re: Point and shoots – Thoughts?

Postposted on Fri Jun 13, 2014 10:58 am

I'm actually interested in the topic verbatim here (I know there have been other P&S threads). I need to update from my wife and my 8-10 yr old college P&S cameras. Many of my friends are getting SLR cameras but don't really know how to use them to their full potential. I'm in the camp that I'd like a nice "daily driver" that I can pick up from time to time and take high quality pics without all the hassle of adjusting 20 settings to make a shot look good. Aka, point-and-shoot. I haven't looked too much, and I don't have much/any camera knowledge, but I'm fine with something 10x optical or less since I favor low-light quality over optical zoom. Let's say....roughly $300?
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Re: Point and shoots – Thoughts?

Postposted on Fri Jun 13, 2014 11:27 am

DPete27 wrote:I'm actually interested in the topic verbatim here (I know there have been other P&S threads). I need to update from my wife and my 8-10 yr old college P&S cameras. Many of my friends are getting SLR cameras but don't really know how to use them to their full potential. I'm in the camp that I'd like a nice "daily driver" that I can pick up from time to time and take high quality pics without all the hassle of adjusting 20 settings to make a shot look good. Aka, point-and-shoot. I haven't looked too much, and I don't have much/any camera knowledge, but I'm fine with something 10x optical or less since I favor low-light quality over optical zoom. Let's say....roughly $300?


Canon S110/S120, on sale. The main issue here isn't the 'settings' or the 'zooms', but rather just how large of a sensor you can get, and just how fast of a lens (maximum relative aperture, in f/ values, lower being better). The larger the sensor, and the wider the aperture (lower f number), the better in low-light, generally speaking. This is why Sony's RX100 series has garnered so much attention, though they are too expensive for most.

However, if you're up for learning photography (and there's like five critical ideas at most), a DSLR and kit lens will utterly destroy any available point-and-shoot across the board, as would a Micro Four-Thirds kit or Sony/Fuji mirrorless kit, supposing you found one that met your budget, as they all have larger sensors and faster (relative) lenses than P&S cameras.

Consider my suggestions in the first paragraph if you're really prefer to keep it simple; but in the span of maybe an hour, I could have you shooting manual with just about anything that supports it, from turning the camera on to posting a processed shot on Facebook, and it only gets faster from there. The processes behind photography are cake for any technically minded person.
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Re: Point and shoots – Thoughts?

Postposted on Fri Jun 13, 2014 12:07 pm

Airmantharp wrote: The processes behind photography are cake for any technically minded person.
I usually suggest Understanding Exposure.
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Re: Point and shoots – Thoughts?

Postposted on Fri Jun 13, 2014 12:08 pm

Rx100 I prices are plummeting. They are worth a look.
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Re: Point and shoots – Thoughts?

Postposted on Fri Jun 13, 2014 12:11 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:
Airmantharp wrote: The processes behind photography are cake for any technically minded person.
I usually suggest Understanding Exposure.


Excellent suggestion! I've never read a book per se myself, nor attended a class- all of those resources are spelled out through Wikipedia, reviews, forum discussions, etc.- so I tend to take the perspective of explaining the camera's meter, which guides your exposure (shutter speed, aperture, and ISO) settings when running in full manual mode, and explains why the camera does what it does when you use any of the three automated manual modes to assist. From there, exposure itself is innately explained.

But I do understand that some people, unlike myself, would get far more benefit from a clear, concise, and complete explanation in a book :).
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Re: Point and shoots – Thoughts?

Postposted on Fri Jun 13, 2014 12:18 pm

TheEmrys wrote:Rx100 I prices are plummeting. They are worth a look.


I'm not an Ebay expert, but after some cursing and pounding, this list looks pretty promising, approaching the OP's price point at ~$350 to start, and that's just the Buy It Now's. I'd honestly jump on one of these if I needed such a camera (my EOS-M and three lens selection satisfies that urge, mostly, but is admittedly not nearly as pocket-able nor as smooth to use in practice).
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Canon EOS-M|11-22/4-5.6 IS STM|22/2 STM|EF-M 18-55/3.5-5.6 IS STM|
For sale!|24/2.8 IS USM
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Re: Point and shoots – Thoughts?

Postposted on Fri Jun 13, 2014 1:08 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:
Airmantharp wrote: The processes behind photography are cake for any technically minded person.
I usually suggest Understanding Exposure.


This is an excellent one. His Understanding Aperture is a great follouw up.
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Re: Point and shoots – Thoughts?

Postposted on Fri Jun 13, 2014 2:37 pm

I'm going to have to look into these books- 'understanding aperture' is an extremely basal concept, but I have to assume that if it's worth writing a book over, that there are some really interesting further insights. As for 'Understanding Exposure', well, I honestly feel I'd have to be proven significantly wrong first :).
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For sale!|24/2.8 IS USM
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Re: Point and shoots – Thoughts?

Postposted on Fri Jun 13, 2014 3:08 pm

TheEmrys wrote:
JustAnEngineer wrote: I usually suggest Understanding Exposure.
This is an excellent one. His Understanding Aperture is a great follouw up.
I've also got Learning to See Creatively.

The David Busch guides can also be also worthwhile, since they are very specifically laid out to address all of the functions on your particular camera.
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Re: Point and shoots – Thoughts?

Postposted on Fri Jun 13, 2014 4:05 pm

The Busch guides aren't nearly as thorough as the Gary Friedman ones. He may only write Sony ones now, though....
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Re: Point and shoots – Thoughts?

Postposted on Fri Jun 13, 2014 4:29 pm

Airmantharp wrote:Well, to move the topic on, you wind up making a decision between getting the most zoom vs. getting the largest sensor. If you need the zoom, you need it; but otherwise going for the larger sensor is always better. That's where the S120 at 1/1.7" and RX100 III at 1" come in; I don't know of any APS-C fixed-lens zooms, but that'd be the next step.

The only APS-C fixed-lens zoom camera I know of is the Leica X Vario. It has taken much flak for its slow lens, which is less suitable for available-light work, but this is a fine optic nonetheless. Of course, there's also the high price of admission.

I see no reason to not consider a mirrorless system camera with a lens stuck on. In fact, without knowing the budget, I'd say the Panasonic Lumix GM1 with the tiny kit lens is a top candidate (along with the less-small Olympus PEN E-PL5 and upcoming E-PL7). If greater size can be tolerated, my personal choice would be the Panasonic Lumix GX7, though you get a lot more options as you move up.
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Re: Point and shoots – Thoughts?

Postposted on Fri Jun 13, 2014 6:31 pm

Leica, as much as they make the very best optics on Earth (aside from special one-offs) for photography, rarely enter a discussion concerned with price- and while I was tangentially aware of the Vario X, thanks for the reminder that it exists in this capacity :).

But yeah, I'm left wondering if there isn't some solid, inexpensive MFT kit that can't fill that role of mobile P&S for most people, but I'd prefer to let those more in tune with that system answer, as I'd be going completely off anecdote and research.
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Re: Point and shoots – Thoughts?

Postposted on Fri Jun 13, 2014 7:27 pm

I own a Panasonic Lumix G3. With this class of sensor, you have greater control over depth of field than even a 1" sensor can provide. My main quibbles with the G3 are its low-ISO image quality and record-to-play time (you have to wait a bit after taking a picture to view it).

With the latest MFT models, you get improved IQ (especially dynamic range), blazing-fast and deadly accurate AF in single-shot mode, and no performance issues to speak of. Sony's new A6000 now boasts nearly top-tier AF and can provide even better IQ at the cost of lens size and lens options, the latter of which is probably not a factor for a P&S shooter.
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