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Old 09-12-2014, 06:22 PM   #1
BillSears
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Best pocket sized camera for auto-shoot.

I realize I'm not a "photographer" or even an enthusiast but I'm hoping you guys can help out a guy who just wants easy fantastic pictures.

My current Panasonic TZ5 is getting a bit old and I was looking into something to replace it. After using this for 6 years I've discovered a few things:

I almost always just use the Intelligent Auto mode.

I always shoot in JPEG because that's the format I want to end up in.

I rarely use the zoom to it's full extent of 10X.

I usually want more vibrant colors and contrasts on my photo than what I get straight from the camera so I play around in GIMP2 to increase them.

I often crop my photos to get the shot I really want.

I rarely put my reading glasses on when taking a shot which is probably why I need that cropping. It also means I'm using the display to mostly just verify that everything I want is in the shot.

I'd love to be able to get better low light photos.

I've set a maximum budget of $500.00 but I'm considering cameras anywhere from $175-$500.

Here are the specs for the Panasonic TZ5 that I currently have: http://www.dpreview.com/products/pan...nasonic_dmctz5

The big guy I'm considering is the Sony RX100 right at $498. But I'm wondering is it just too much camera for a guy who will almost always use auto mode? That sensor really attracts me but is it worth it on auto?

The next one is the Panasonic LX7 at $398. It seems to be a nice camera but again a bit pricey. One good thing about it is I do like the Intelligent Auto that comes with the Panasonics. This camera is on the big size for a pocket camera, not too big for me but it is at the max.

There is also the Panasonic LF1 at $298. A bit cheaper and smaller. It's got the Panasonic IA and a few things I probably won't use like the viewfinder and the Wi-Fi.

The Canon S110 for $249. I considered the S120 but felt that if I was going to spend $449 on that I should probably just kick in the extra $50 for the Sony RX100. I'm not so sure about the S110 because it is a couple of years old.

Last on the list is the Canon PowerShot ELPH 340 HS at $179. This is a newer camera and I'm hoping that the recent tech might be better than the older tech of the S110. However this has the smallest sensor of them all.

I've heard Panasonic is announcing a new LX100 soon and that will have a nice 4/3 sensor. But I bet it will be closer to $800 and not under $500. http://www.43rumors.com/panasonic-lx100/
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Old 09-13-2014, 09:44 AM   #2
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Looking over my recent pictures I can see that low light is really my issue. I just can't seem to get a good shot without the flash and the flash is limited to how far out it will go...plus I feel guilty using a flash on rides.

I'm happy with the first image but will changing to a newer pocket camera improve the low light problems?

For example here is a perfectly fine shot in bright daylight:



But then inside with Belle the lighting was fine to see but terrible for my camera. Would the Sony RX100 or any of the above give a major improvement on this:



Or how about improving this? Inside with people moving in lower light plus probably a bit of hand shake on my part.

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Old 09-13-2014, 08:29 PM   #3
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One of the biggest complaints I hear about the RX100, is the RX100's tendancy to choose a shutter speed on 1/30 at wide angle at auto.

In a classic photography sense, that's a great choice for landscape photography, but it can result in blurriness if you have a moving subject or a slightly shaky hand.

If you are not interested in learning and using the A and S modes, the RX might not be your best choice, and something like the LX7/LFA or s120 might be better for your photography style.
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Old 09-14-2014, 12:51 PM   #4
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Thanks, that's just the sort of thing I didn't know about the RX100. I kept focusing on sensor size but other things are important too. I've now started looking at the F numbers. I didn't realize that this is how much light is let into the sensor. The LX7 has an F 1.4 and the RX100 has F1.8. My old TZ5 has an F 3.3. I'm not sure how much this affects the low-light photos but it seems to be pretty important.
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Old 09-14-2014, 02:13 PM   #5
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Your Panasonic lens is 3.3 wide open, going to 4.9 at the long end, not a good low light lens.
Sony's RX100 II is f/1.8 to 4.9 (RX100 III goes from f/1.8 to 2.8) so there is about a 2 stop gain at the wide end and no gain at the long end. Although the Sony only zooms to equivalent 100 mm compared to the Panasonic's 280 mm since you rarely use the long zoom that may not be an issue. At $500 the Rx100 II is in your price range, RX100 III is much more $$$.

As you noted Panasonic is releasing the new LX100 (next week) that looks to be best in class but it also looks to be about $800.

Using the "A" mode is not much different from "Program" or "auto" and can give you an advantage in low light by keeping the camera at the widest aperture. Exposure is still automatic in the A and S modes. Belle is difficult partly because of the low light and also because of the color and range, spot metering and raw can help a lot.
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Old 09-14-2014, 02:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillSears View Post
Thanks, that's just the sort of thing I didn't know about the RX100. I kept focusing on sensor size but other things are important too. I've now started looking at the F numbers. I didn't realize that this is how much light is let into the sensor. The LX7 has an F 1.4 and the RX100 has F1.8. My old TZ5 has an F 3.3. I'm not sure how much this affects the low-light photos but it seems to be pretty important.
You're approaching this very intelligently.....
Many consumers have been led to believe you should ask about how much the camera can zoom, but haven't a clue about F-stops (aperture) or sensor size...

First off, no camera will really resolve your issues unless you at least learn a little beyond the absolute auto-settings. The more you are willing to learn, the more potential to correct your issues. Doesn't mean you need to fully master manual settings, but at the very least -- knowing when to switch into sports mode or low light mode... Preferably knowing how to use aperture and shutter priority.

That said, the RX100 is a great choice to correcting the issues you have. Yes, it is far far better in low light than almost any other P&S on the market.

For low light, as you identified, the biggest issues are the lens aperture AND the sensor size. So best case, is to get a larger sensor and faster aperture (small number).

I like the LX7, it's a good camera... but the original RX100 is now around the same price, and the RX100 is better overall.
The LX7 has a very very slightly faster lens, but the RX100 benefits from having a lens nearly as fast, while also having a much larger sensor and double the resolution. Those factors should more than make up for the difference in aperture.

THough be aware -- again, learning to use the camera -- The original RX100, only has that bright fast lens, when you are zoomed all the way out. So when you want to maximize the potential in low light, you need to know to be zoomed out.

Anyway, some low light RX100 examples:

Pleasantville Train Station at night by Havoc315, on Flickr

Pirates of the Caribbean by Havoc315, on Flickr

Great Movie Ride, Wizard of Oz by Havoc315, on Flickr

museumnightrx-32.jpg by Havoc315, on Flickr

museumnightrx-49.jpg by Havoc315, on Flickr
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Old 09-14-2014, 03:58 PM   #7
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If it becomes a reality, Canon's G7X would be a very serious contend or

Sensor 1" 20MP CMOS sensor
Lens: 24-100mm f/1.8-2.8 equivalent

Read more on PhotoRumors.com: http://photorumors.com/2014/09/13/ca...#ixzz3DK0QJo99
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Old 09-15-2014, 11:37 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by hakepb View Post
If it becomes a reality, Canon's G7X would be a very serious contend or

Sensor 1" 20MP CMOS sensor
Lens: 24-100mm f/1.8-2.8 equivalent

Read more on PhotoRumors.com: http://photorumors.com/2014/09/13/ca...#ixzz3DK0QJo99
It was announced today... On paper, quite a competitor with the RX100iii. Longer lens. Dpreview says it is marginally faster as you move through the range. Dpreview also seems to like the manual controls more on the G7x. And it's $100 cheaper than the RX100iii. This is the first real competitor for the RX100 line, at least the first that needs to be taken seriously. (For the RX10 line, the FZ1000 was the first competitor).

Looks like a great camera. The only downside I see at this point, compared to the RX100iii, is the lack of a viewfinder. And there are many circumstances where a viewfinder remains huge. Recently, I brought my RX100 (original version) to the beach at Disney Castaway Cay. Bright mid-day sun... I couldn't see the LCD AT ALL. I was just pointing and shooting blind. Later on, I realized I got a couple decent shots... and several that looked like they were taken by a monkey.

So they both look like great cameras.... Big picture right now, slightly longer zoom range, slightly faster lens through the range, and $100 cheaper, vs. EVF and better battery life. (The battery is apparently pretty awful on the G7x).

I'd actually probably take the G7x myself... but if Sony drops the price by $100, it would be a really tough call. I'd probably go with the Sony only because I'm familiar with their set-up, AND because of the EVF.
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Old 09-15-2014, 01:00 PM   #9
BillSears
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They'e got the previews up for the LX100 too. It looks great on paper but it really is too much of a camera for me. Plus $899 is way of of my budget.

http://www.dpreview.com/previews/pan...umix-dmc-lx100
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Old 11-16-2014, 03:25 PM   #10
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An update for you guys. I ordered the RX100! I found it for $381 with a couple of extras and I couldn't pass it up. It should be here later this week so I'll have time to try it out before the holidays and my December WDW trip. I can't wait!
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