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Help me choose a compact camera


OnMyWay

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I'm looking for a higher end compact camera and will probably buy it here in NZ soon.  I've found that the prices here are not bad if you shop around.  Slightly higher than the best prices on Amazon U.S. if you find a sale.

I have a few cameras at home but my smaller ones have mostly died.  I had a Nikon waterproof and a Panasonic waterproof and they both proved to not be waterproof.  I'm tired of trying to take pictures in bright sunlight on my phone, so my key requirements:

-  Viewfinder

-  Good low light indoor performance

-  Pocket size

The low light performance is hard to find unless you spend a lot.

Here are a couple in the ballpark:

Panasonic Lumix TZ 90

Sony HX90V

Thoughts?

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2 hours ago, OnMyWay said:

Thoughts?

 

Speaking as a camera hobbyist (who uses Nikon DSLR , Olympus Micro 4/3 and compact cameras) there is zero doubt in my mind that the best compact camera is the latest version of the Sony RX100 series that you an afford.  I've got a III (they go from the original 1 up to the IV) and specs and performance get better with bigger number.

There are cameras with larger zoom but they compromise on image quality (a lot), there are cameras with better low light performance (but they are bigger) but there is IMO no camera that comes close to matching the features AND usability of the RX100 series in the same size and form factor.

If you really really have to have a super zoom... well that's your choice and someone else can recommend one.

 

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4 hours ago, GeoffH said:

 

Speaking as a camera hobbyist (who uses Nikon DSLR , Olympus Micro 4/3 and compact cameras) there is zero doubt in my mind that the best compact camera is the latest version of the Sony RX100 series that you an afford.  I've got a III (they go from the original 1 up to the IV) and specs and performance get better with bigger number.

There are cameras with larger zoom but they compromise on image quality (a lot), there are cameras with better low light performance (but they are bigger) but there is IMO no camera that comes close to matching the features AND usability of the RX100 series in the same size and form factor.

If you really really have to have a super zoom... well that's your choice and someone else can recommend one.

 

Thanks Geofff!  I was hoping you would respond!

I do want the smallest form factor that can deliver the goods, but as you say, that is difficult.  I looked at the Sony HX90V today and I was disappointed in the viewfinder.  Either it was not functioning properly or my eye was not functioning properly!

It may have been after I posted here that I read up on the Sony RX100 series.  Definitely something I will consider.  I have done a lot of research and understand that when you move up to a larger sensor, you will not be able to get a long zoom in a compact camera.  These Sony's have a 1 inch sensor so they can take great low light pictures.  The zoom is only 3.5X but I can use something else for when I need a long zoom outside, nature photography, etc.

The RX100 series are very expensive but perhaps a Boxing Day sale will be my friend!

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As Geoff said the Sony RX100 series can be a good choice, their picture quality and auto focus is probably unmatched in pocket size cameras. What many people don´t like with them is tiny knobs and complicated menus.

If you can accept something a Little bit bigger, Panasonic LX100 II is a really nice camera too and it have an even bigger sensor than the RX100.

Decisions decisions :laugh:

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Always found some excellent items from Panasonic Lumix range . And then I was in Tokyo and found a Canon Power Shot with 40x zoom ( only sold in Japan apparently ) and its been the only camera I use for past 3 years.

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Get an iPhone 11.   Takes great pictures and it's an awesome phone.  You can kill two birds in one stone without having to lug around a bulky camera.  

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10 hours ago, bows00 said:

Get an iPhone 11.   Takes great pictures and it's an awesome phone.  You can kill two birds in one stone without having to lug around a bulky camera.  

I use my iPhone 10R a lot and the 11 has a bit better camera but all phone cameras are limited by the sensor size.

Also they lack continuous smooth zoom (even the top end phone cameras only have 3 choices of fixed focal length).

They're incredibly convenient but they can't replace a dedicated camera in all usage.

 

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12 hours ago, bows00 said:

Get an iPhone 11.   Takes great pictures and it's an awesome phone.  You can kill two birds in one stone without having to lug around a bulky camera.  

I'm trying to find a camera with a viewfinder because I am tired of using a phone in bright sunny conditions.

Like many electronics iphones are way overpriced in PH.  ~1000 usd for an 11.

Anyway, I don't buy Apple products.

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14 hours ago, Viking said:

As Geoff said the Sony RX100 series can be a good choice, their picture quality and auto focus is probably unmatched in pocket size cameras. What many people don´t like with them is tiny knobs and complicated menus.

If you can accept something a Little bit bigger, Panasonic LX100 II is a really nice camera too and it have an even bigger sensor than the RX100.

Decisions decisions :laugh:

Best price I'm seeing for the RX 100 III is 799 NZD (~527 usd) but that includes a free extra battery.  799 is the suggested retail on the Sony web site.

Panasonic LX100 is a 4/3rds camera and is around 1000 nzd.  Nice camera but the 4/3rds are a larger than I want.

I do like Lumix.  I bought the first 10X optical zoon lumix in around 2007 in Germany, and still have it.  It still takes fairly good pics.  The battery door finally broke off.

Here is an interesting Lumix with 1 inch sensor:

https://www.noelleeming.co.nz/shop/photography/digital-cameras/digital-still-cameras/panasonic-dmc-tz110gns-digital-camera/prod145994.html

 

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The one inch sensor is sort of a 'sweet spot' for size vs performance in my opinion.  I was a bit sad when Nikon stopped making the Nikon One series.

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