Now that I’ve got my Nikon envy out of the way or at least feeling not so dumb, time to figure out what to get for a really compact camera and also for video. This was just updated for the new Canon M series and here is the stack ranked list of cameras. Also reminds me that if this is the right then I can feel ok investing in more canon lenses and things like their gps receiver GPE-2 GPS.
I’ll post links later but after studio dpreview quite a bit. There are two conclusions and a realization that the ultimate compact nearly but not quite here. Most of these are not really shirt pocket, but they are way smaller than a big dSLR, but bigger than a compact shirt-pocket camera so in order of what I’d love to own we have:
- Canon M is a newly announced camera that is APS-C sized and looks a bit more conventional than the NEX-7 with an 18MP sensor and seems to be a simpler version of the new Rebel 650D which is actually pretty cool. Ken Rockwell really likes the initial spec particularly given the sensor and the wide range of lenses since it (unlike all the cameras below) need new ones. Pretty big plus for all us Canon fanboys. The only thing I see missing is a EVF so you have to focus from the back of the camera
- Fuji X-Pro1. Yes its autofocus is slow, its very expensive and not great at video and it’s raw processing isn’t great but with a tweaked 16mp CMOS sensor, it achieves amazing low noise high quality photos that rival a 21-24mp dslr. It has an aps-c sized sensor so that shouldn’t be a surprise, but what a camera. It also has some great low light lenses to go along with it which is wonderful. Most interesting thing is the out of the box jpegs are terrific so no need for raw and it shoots up to ISO 1600 at very good quality. For me, it is good for everything but sport photography. But then for that purpose is use my dslr with a 70-200 f/2.8 anyway. Dpreview gave it just under a gold award mainly because of its slow auto-focus even in bright sunlight. I’m not sure how big a deal that is for me given that I would use this mainly for portraits and landscapes. Ken Rockwell likes it but says color rendition is off and the lense selection is very small.Interestingly, he disagrees wtih dpreview and thinks that autofocus is fast and doesn’t like the color rendition for landscapes.
- Olympus E-M5. It is a micro-4/3 camera, but has resolution that is closer to the APS-C cameras. The user controls are good and most importantly the lenses are terrific with nice pancake lenses.
- Sony NEX-7. This has a very strange firmware set and very fee lenses, but with the right tweaks it is great. The underlying noise in the 24mp sensor is high above iso400. But when u talk about actually printing which is in fact down-rez that doesn’t much difference. It is a camera u should definitely shoot in raw and the in camera jpeg is too aggressive. On the other plus side is the video is excellent and allows detailed control. It even shoots 1080p60! Seems like the big issue here are the quirky controls (which can be fixed).
Net, net I’m in the end leaning to towards paying the bucks for the Fuji and it expensive accessories because of the sensor. We actually had a Fuji way back when which has a similarly amazing sensor and back five years ago shot very good IS0 400 when comparable compacts could barely manage noiseless iso200. We’ve come a long way!