Camera purchase advice please

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  • Camera purchase advice please
  • Advice needed for new camera. Currently using a DSLR, like the pic quality, thru the lens viewfinder, lens choice. Don’t like the size and bulk. Also have a compact that I rarely use – just never seem to bother.
    Thinking about some kind of compact camera system. Wondering if one of these will tick the boxes of quality pics with ease of use. Will be using it for riding so needs to be light-ish, compact enough to carry on waist or chest belt of pack, and sturdy/durable. Needs to be quick and easy to use – want to be able to get action shots without pissing about too much and irritating everyone else on the ride. Fast autofocus, fas shutterspeed and pos halfway decent fill-in flash too. I want it all, really!

    Any thoughts from anyone using one would be appreciated, as would any particular recommendations on camera and lens choices.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Premier Icon stevemakin

    Sony RX100s

    Premier Icon molgrips

    Olympus E-PL3

    Premier Icon siwhite

    Fuji X100s.

    Granted, its a thousand quid for a fixed lens camera, but it is an amazing thing. You’ll struggle to find something to match the speed of a DSLR unless you spend a lot of money.

    Premier Icon dannybgoode

    Fuji X Pro 1. Just swapped my Sony A77 for one and I am in love. Supreme build quality and Fuji lenses are to die for. It handles beautifully also.

    Best bit, if you buy the body and 18mm lens for £899 before 31 March you can claim the 27mm, 35mm or 60mm for free. The 35mm in particular is a stunning lens that would usually set you back £400.

    A lot of the nuggles around how the camera functions mentioned in early reviews have been fixed by firmware updates.


    I know these generally turn into recommend-your-own-camera, so I’ll join in…

    I’ve been using a Sony NEX 5N with the tiny and brilliant SELP1650 for about 18 months.

    I too came from a DSLR and found it inappropriate for the majority of places I needed to take the camera (climbing, biking, hiking, wild camping etc) so after a lot of research I switched to the NEX.

    It’s almost perfect for me. The only thing I’m not so keen on is that it’s LCD only, which makes manual focus difficult in bright light. But that’s a minor gripe and one which is easily circumvented most of the time.

    I use a lumix gf1 but you would need to spend a but more for a viewfinder. That size is ok for carrying on a chest strap with a pancake lens or one of the little motorized zooms. Flash is going to be limited. If I had money to replace it I would buy a gx7 or the Olympus with a pancake lens, probably the 20mm.
    Had guests out with the Sony, and they are lovely. One guy fell and smashed his to pieces so remember that carrying something on the outside can lead to that!

    Premier Icon AlexSimon

    Take a look at the Sony RX100 ii
    It’s the compact I’d buy if I were in the market right now.

    It’s small
    has pop-up flash and also hot shoe
    tiltable screen
    28-100mm equiv lens f/1.8 at widest
    Really fast focus
    Great 1080p video
    Usable up to iso800
    Shake Reduction
    If you want to shoot JPG, it even has HDR options
    Sweep panorama

    £429 on DigitalRev


    I picked up an EOS M, i know its had some iffy reviews but its a mini dslr in most aspects its better than my last dslr. Great little camera, much better than my compact and takes some great pictures without too much faffing around with settings it does have detailed menu’s and if thats your thing you can change any setting you want.

    Premier Icon mactheknife

    I just picked up a Lumix GF2 from Ebay, it came with a 14mm pancake lens and a 14-42mm lens. What i like about it is the metal body, interchangeable lenses and full manual controls.

    I was down with a few lads messing about on the downhill trails at Innerleithen yesterday and it took some cracking shots. Dave my accident prone mate didn’t wreck it so it must be tough 🙂

    The only thing i wish it had is wifi connectivity but thats just for me being a tart on instagram.


    I’m a fan of Lumix M4/3 cameras but I’d be seriously tempted by the RX100 II if buying now. For a cheap option, I’ve been impressed with this:

    The Olympus OM-D gets some very good reviews. They are much smaller than they look in the pics and the viewfinder is pretty nice. Semi water and dust proof too.

    I have a Lumix GF1, one of the first rangefinder compact system ones. It’s a good camera but there are better and smaller versions now – the GM1 for example.

    Personally, I’ve never looked through an electronic viewfinder I’ve liked. Even on the OM-D which is meant to be one of the best. I love the optical ones on the DSLRs.

    So for me it was either size/bulk + optical viewfinder or small + LCD screen. I went with the small camera with LCD screen and I’ve never thought “I wish this had a viewfinder”.

    Olympus OM-D:

    Olympus EM-10:

    Lumix GM1:

    Blimey, ++.
    Thanks all!
    Lots good advice there, much appreciated. Time for a visit to my Local Jessops before scouring the net for the mandatory 99p saving.


    I use a Fuji X100. It’s a bit slow to save to the card but for EVERY OTHER REASON, it’s an amazing camera. I absolutely love it.

    A couple of (my badly composed) photos…


    Premier Icon coolhandluke

    I love my Sony Rx100.

    GF1 and GF3 haven’t been used since the RX100 arrived.

    Premier Icon Russell96

    Bit of a PSA Argos are knocking out the Canon EOS M with the 18-55mm lens for £199 at the moment, a camera with a sensor similar to the 650D for a compact camera price.


    liking my olympus epm2, a cut down version of omd above (sort of) can be got cheaply, has great lenses and quality.

    Premier Icon coolhandluke

    Preferring my Fuji X20 to my Sony RX100 these days.

    Wanna buy a mint RX100 with Spny screen protector and grip?


    Russell – what’s the EOS M like?

    Premier Icon mactheknife

    I asked the same advice a while ago and for me the Lumix GF2 came up trumps. Its a fantastic wee camera which came with 2 x lenses. A fixed 14mm and a 14 – 42mm.

    Fully manual to fully automatic with every conceivable setting in between.

    i got mine from ebay at a vey good price.


    Pentax mx-1 looks interesting (IMO)

    Pentax wg-3 and Olympus “tough” tg-3 will take more of a [physical] beating if you need that

    Premier Icon somafunk

    I had a day out n’ about with a mates rx100 recently as I said to him “what’s the point of carrying a camera when my iPhone 5s takes decent pics”, he snorted and gave his pride & joy for 24hrs, I didn’t want to give it back.

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