Oct 10, 2011 at 2:58 am #1280382
I'm hoping for some suggestions: I was in Tokyo last week and managed to leave my camera – a Contax T3 with data back and full case (which was a present from my wife in 2003) – in the toilets of a Starbucks in Shibuya. When I realised I went back but it wasn't there and to date it hasn't been handed into the police or to the Starbucks – which is quite remarkable for Japan, as lost stuff is usually handed in.
I'd like to get a similar camera, i.e., a smallish camera that takes better than average photos. A shop here suggested that the only current equivalent would be a Fujifilm Finepix X100. What I was wondering though is whether, these days, that camera would take any better photos than something much cheaper. Or is the 4/3 format worth considering?
Thanks in advance for any suggestions.Oct 10, 2011 at 3:43 am #1788687
I'd say the X100 is about the only digital equivalent.
The micro four thirds non-EVF bodies are smaller and a bit lighter, but I found the GF1 useless without the add-on EVF. The X100 dual viewfinder is excellent and it has a larger sensor.
I now alternate between the X100 as the smallest/lightest option and a Panasonic G3 with the 14-140 lens for when I want something more than a fixed focal length.Oct 10, 2011 at 3:46 am #1788688
Hi Arapiles, sorry to hear of your loss, hope the insurance coughs up for you. I'm sure there will be several suggestions. I recommend you answer a few questions and then everyone can help narrow down to something suitable.
Do you want to be able to make big prints?
Do you want a big telephoto capability? Or extreme wide angle? Or both
How much weight are you prepared to carry?
Is a viewfinder a 'must have'
What is the budget?
Interchangeable lense cameras are the latest fad, but you can shave weight and get quality images from fixed lens cameras once you decide which compromises you can live with.
Fixed lens picks:
Big zoom with good video around 20oz – Canon SX30iS
Bright lens with smaller zoom around 10oz – Olympus XZ1 optional EVF
ditto Panasonic LX5
ditto Fujifilm X10 @ 12oz
or X100 @ 16oz if you have deep pockets.
Olympus PEN cameras
Panasonic G series
Samsung NX11Oct 10, 2011 at 5:31 am #1788698
Thanks Neil, thanks Rog
I'm more focussed on light weight and convenience so I accept that I won't be able to get strong telephoto – I do have an SLR I can use for sports events but it's a bit much to carry bushwalking and it's not really discreet when I'm travelling. I used to just use disposables but the photo quality was often disappointing – kind of like the disc film and nexus cameras I used on occasion. The Contax was really good in that respect.
I would prefer a viewfinder though as I find it hard to stare at a screen …
Unfortunately I suspect that insurance won't cough up, because the camera wasn't turned in rather than being actively stolen.Oct 10, 2011 at 9:29 am #1788758
What a shame. The T3 is/was the best compact 35mm camera made and clean used ones go for big bucks.
The X100 would certainly be a good digital replacement as would the just announced X10, at considerably less money. The Leica X1 is spectacular but absurdly priced, and the Sigma DPs are very good cameras but as quirky as cameras can possibly be.
A micro-four thirds body with pancake lens would be nearly as compact and offers system expandability as time goes on. The smallest bodies are really quite tiny. The NEX system is not nearly as vast as µ4/3 but very high quality. They're limited WRT compact lenses and accessories. The Ricoh GXR system is gathering quite a following and worth a look as well.
Almost too many avenues, to be honest.
RickOct 10, 2011 at 10:36 am #1788782
If you want to stick with 35mm film I have an old Ricoh compact which takes great photos, though you need to tape up the rear door as it leaks a little bit of light.Oct 11, 2011 at 5:44 am #1789074
Thanks guys. I'm actually tempted to buy one of the mint T3s on ebay at the moment: digitals just seem a bit complicated.Oct 11, 2011 at 7:13 am #1789095
Way to go. Don't let the light-fingered make a difference to your enjoyment.
This is my little Ricoh. Great camera for the money, the Rikenon 1:2.8 40mm lens is really sharp.
.Oct 11, 2011 at 4:53 pm #1789312
@oystersLocale: South Australia
You could try getting an Olympus trip 35 off ebay. I have one, which I'd give to you but I'm thinking of getting into film photography (once I get over the costs involved in developing, scanning etc). You can get them for $20 or less on ebay if you keep your eyes open.Oct 12, 2011 at 3:37 am #1789470
Something I regret is that when Kyocera decided to stop making cameras the shop where I bought the T3 had all of the Kyocera brands for sale really, really cheap – I remember a new Yashica point and shoot being about Y4000 – I should've stocked up.Oct 12, 2011 at 5:51 am #1789480
@butukiLocale: Kanto Plain, Japan
As Rick was saying the new Fuji X100 and the upcoming X10 are both probably just what you are looking for. THe X100 has been getting RAVE reviews everywhere.
I have the RIcoh GXR with all their lens units but the M Mount (which I'm considering, because I love manual cameras). One great reason to consider the GXR or the recently released GR Digital 4 is that Ricoh's software interface is perhaps the best on the market… it's so intuitive that when I first got my GX200 three years ago I was able to work all the controls in the dark on the first day I used used it. I absolutely love Ricoh cameras. (I still have my little 35 mm GR1s, which was a superb compact camera)
I'd consider the GXR, but if a fixed, wide angle lens is all right, I would seriously consider the GR Digital 4… may street and travel photographers consider the GR series one of the best compact cameras ever made.Oct 12, 2011 at 3:32 pm #1789703
After a week of toting the Oly E410 I bought on the 'bay around Tuscany, I'm putting it back on the market. I just pulled the trigger on a Ricoh GX200 with EVF in it's original box for a fair price.
Any advice on external flashes appreciated.Oct 14, 2011 at 4:24 am #1790390
I'm seriously interested in an Olympus Trip 35 – my sort of camera!Oct 14, 2011 at 4:55 am #1790393
@butukiLocale: Kanto Plain, Japan
I'm seriously interested in an Olympus Trip 35 – my sort of camera!
A completely automatic camera that is solar powered and needs no batteries! I miss the days of cameras that don't need batteries.Oct 14, 2011 at 4:57 am #1790395
Fixed 35mm lens – pin sharp
Manual control as well as aperture and program.
Choice!Oct 14, 2011 at 9:38 am #1790471
"I'm seriously interested in an Olympus Trip 35 – my sort of camera!"
It seems you're boinging around a bit as to what direction to head, especially film vs. digital, which is a distinct fork in the decision path. What are your photographic goals? How did you use the T3? What did you photograph? Did you shoot slides and if so, how did you use them? Or did you shoot negatives and have your film scanned at processing and printing?
I didn't "surrender" to digital until losing many of my film and processing choices. I still shoot it occasionally but the changeover to digital is so all-enveloping it's not easy to make time to go back and "do it old school." And may I add, it's painful to budget the number of shots on film after learning to shoot like mad with digital. A whole different mindset.
RickOct 14, 2011 at 7:18 pm #1790726
"It seems you're boinging around a bit as to what direction to head, especially film vs. digital, which is a distinct fork in the decision path. What are your photographic goals? How did you use the T3? What did you photograph? Did you shoot slides and if so, how did you use them? Or did you shoot negatives and have your film scanned at processing and printing?"
Miguel wrote almost exactly what I very nearly wrote in my post:
"A completely automatic camera that is solar powered and needs no batteries!"
An idiot proof sustainable camera, still working 40+ years after manufacture? Sounds perfect to me.
I'm not a serious photographer and I used the T3 as a point and shoot. I'm embarrassed to say that I shoot a role of film and then have it developed, often without being scanned digitally. (I seem to be not just a late adopter but actually regressing: I'm seriously thinking of taking my house off the power and water grids, even though I live in the inner city: so, not even one generation using centralised power generation (my parents' farm had a generator until just before I was born)).
I get the "shoot lots" advantage of digital though – I bought my 3.5 year old a Lego digital camera when I was in Tokyo last week and she's got about 400 photos in her portfolio so far.Oct 14, 2011 at 7:50 pm #1790737
Fixed 35mm lens – pin sharp
Manual control as well as aperture and program.
This one would be nice, but a bit outside my price range:Oct 16, 2011 at 1:46 pm #1791247
Nice lens!Oct 17, 2011 at 5:16 am #1791491
item 120793808178Oct 18, 2011 at 12:29 pm #1792068
@timalanLocale: Mid Atlantic
If you can wait a few weeks and have the money, I'd hold out for some reviews for the Fuji X10. Looks gorgeous, and with an MSRP of $600, I'd expect it to be possible to get it for $500 or less by Christmas, if your wife is looking for gift ideas.
Looks like it specs out at 12.3 oz with battery and memory card, and with an optical viewfinder, large sensor size, 2.0 – 2.8 28-112 zoom lens, you're looking at what may be the best price/performance camera available for the BPL photo crowd.
On the far other end, if you are just looking for an inexpensive option, there are some excellent cameras that have been made through the years that you can pick up for almost nothing if you can find them. The entire Canon G series is usually good, some of the Panasonics that had the slightly larger sensor sizes, and then some random other cameras through the years, especially Fujis.
I still take an old Fuji E550 on some of my hikes. Takes great outdoor pictures, uses 2xAA batteries, weighs 9.1 oz, and is worthless, being ~7 years old, so I don't worry if something were to happen to it. Here are some pics from a 2005 trip; need to post up some newer ones sometime.
You might consider looking on ebay or craigslist or photo forums for some older cameras that would meet your needs, and keep your expenses minimal.Oct 19, 2011 at 12:08 am #1792352
delOct 19, 2011 at 2:07 am #1792360
Something I'm curious about: will there be further advances in digital, so that cameras bought now will be redundant in a couple of years, or is it now a mature technology?Oct 19, 2011 at 10:20 am #1792516
Continued evolution of digital technology is occurring at breakneck pace, so don't be tempted to consider a digital camera an "investment" in something of stable longterm value. There will always be something better released in a year and whatever camera it replaces will plunge in value. Leica M8 owners felt mighty grumpy when the M9 was released and for the first time, the older model's value tanked. You could dish up the schadenfreude with a spoon.
Good lenses, however, do hold their value.
There is plenty of room left for advances in low light, high-ISO performance, autofocus performance, enhanced dynamic range, reduced image noise, better display performance. I'm intentionally leaving off pixel counts–we need clean pixels far more than we need more pixels. I suppose higher image bit rates will be welcomed at the advanced end, but I understand that takes real hardware firepower (i.e., expensive).
Video is in its infancy, and a poor fit in dslrs, and is driving a lot of the technical advancements.
With all that said, what makes a good photo is 20% camera, 80% the person holding the camera. As long as a digital camera remains in good condition, it will take the same pictures five years down the road as it did when it came out of the box.
My "trap" is I start doing new types of shooting and hit the camera's limits, then want something better suited to that type of shooting. Naturally, when a better performing camera hits the market I'm tempted to jump. Marketers seem to know this. :-)
"Something I'm curious about: will there be further advances in digital, so that cameras bought now will be redundant in a couple of years, or is it now a mature technology?"Oct 20, 2011 at 12:27 am #1792850
"Something I'm curious about: will there be further advances in digital, so that cameras bought now will be redundant in a couple of years, or is it now a mature technology?"
My approach to this issue is to buy little used mint-in-the-original-box second user cameras which are a couple of years old. Yes, it means I'm behind the curve of the latest thing, but it means I get an upgrade path which costs little each year, and I can get a high quality device after it has suffered most of it's depreciation.
As time goes on the gap in capability is narrowing, as the megapixel race is almost over.
It does require a different psychological approach to ownership though. You are not buying "a camera for life".
The trick is to watch the market and see which cameras are 'emerging classics'. They don't depreciate much once over two years old. My current stable includes:
Canon S2IS 'superzoom' – Paid £120 4 years ago. Still worth £70
Fujifilm 200EXR compact – paid £139 a year ago. Still worth £120
Olympus E420 DSLR – Paid £180 a month ago. Won't depreciate much.
Ricoh GX200 – Paid £150 (with EVF). Won't depreciate much.
The higher up the market you go, and the newer the camera, the steeper the losses…
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