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| p.1 #13 · In search of portable perfection? |
Yes, this is YAWITBC post. (Yet Another What Is The Best Camera.) I've gone thru at least 6 iterations of "a camera I can carry with me always" without finding something that really works for me. I suppose I'd like the image quality of a 1DsIII (or Nikon equivalent) that would fit in the front pocket of my jeans. Clearly this isn't going to happen.
My current experiment is a Pany GX1 with 20mm f/1.7 lens and the EVF. I'm trying to decide if there is something more promising out there or to just keep this and learn to live with it. The GX1 is quite a nice camera and I have no complaints about its IQ for static subjects. It's not real good at things in motion and even though the lens is fast, its AF in low-light is less than stellar. Prior experiments include Canon G's, S's (still have an S90 that is a very functional "documentation" device), P&S's, cell phones, and one attempt with a Canon Xti (or something similar) with a 50mm f/1.4 on it. That was clearly too big - might as well carry a "real" camera. P&S don't give control, have less than stellar IQ, and I can't shoot holding a camera at arm's length - hence the EVF on the GX1.
So what have I missed out there? I prefer to shoot RAW, manual, and am OK working with a fixed or single lens if it is flexible enough. I've observed the hoopla over the RX1 and have to admit that it can create stunning images. Still $3k USD just to begin, plus another what $700 for a view finder?
My problem may be a simple one of not being imaginative enough in how I'm carrying the camera. I can get the S90 in a pocket though it is a pain to get out. I'm carrying the GX1 with a shortened sling/neckstrap so that I can keep it to my side or behind me when moving. I've thought of building a belt pouch for it as I've never found a commercial one that holds the camera in a compact manner.
So, anyone else with this conundrum? Anyone with a camera and/or carry arrangement that works for them?
A couple of thoughts. I started out my mirror-less journey with an EVF-equipped camera (Panasonic G1), however over time I have become very comfortable with shooting with just the LCD and in fact in many cases I now prefer the LCD over EVF. As for shooting at arm's length, I never shoot my LCD-based-mirrorless cameras or my RX100 at arm's length. I hold them just like I hold my DSLRs - with arms tucked tightly into my body. The only difference is that the camera is not pressed into my face but at a small distance. I don't find any great stability difference in holding even the ultra-light RX100 compared to my DSLRs. Whenever I see this reference to arm's length shooting I wonder about why would you ever shoot at arm's length - there is no reason to. The reason I mention this is that if you are willing to let go of the EVf then it opens up more options and also makes the package smaller.
In terms of my carry-always cameras I am very happy with both my RX100 and my NX200+30mm f2 combo. I have also in past used Panasonic 20mm for a while and was a satisfied user. I think GX1+20mm should do a good job for you. You might also try the E-PL5 to get some IQ boost and IS. For continuous AF, I have seen some users report that they had some success with E-M5. 20mm unfortunately is not a great lens for that. Panasonic 25mm 1.4 is as faster to AF lens though it is no longer compact. You could also look into Panasonic 14mm f2.5 which is fast to focus and even smaller than 20mm though obviously a wider focal length.