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Samsung A camera to compare with (and better) Samsung S8 phone

melanieylang

Rookie
Sep 18, 2017
14
Hello all,

With friends around me snapping away with their S8 (and even as far back as S4) phone cameras, I am often left with that Gah! taste in my mouth when I see how well their shots turn out. I don't really want a fabulous smartphone camera, as it would be too easy to stop carrying my 'good' cameras (currently only micro four thirds), but I have been wondering about a compact to equal the latest Samsung JPEGS. While I acknowledge that shooting in RAW will give more flexibility in PP, I'm really only interested in shooting JPEG - laziness dies hard!

I have previously had, and enjoyed, Olympus XZ1 and XZ2, Fujifilm X10 and X30, and generally the JPEGS were good SOOC, but don't pop like the Samsung files do. I love having an articulated touch screen, which the XZ2 had; recently I tested a Ricoh GR, which is on my one-day list of cameras to own, but it lacks these two things.

I tend to buy (and re-sell) cameras second hand, so am only looking to invest up to $250 for a used camera. Hit me with your recommendations!

Cheers,

Melanie
 
Nov 11, 2011
214
Milwaukee, WI USA
So are the two main criteria for this camera to be articulated touch screen and JPEGs that pop?

I'm not up on which cameras have articulated touch screens (because that usually rules OUT a camera for me), but I'm sure someone here who is a fan of that feature will help out. Also, the sensors and lenses in all of these modern-ish cameras should be better than what is in the cel phones. What I think you like about the files you are seeing is that the phones probably jack up the jpegs with more contrast and saturation to make them pop. You can set up your camera to create more punchy jpegs if that is your preference.

My recommendation since you are already in the m43 ecosystem would be to buy a m43 body that you like and slap on a compact lens and set-up the jpeg output to match your taste.
 

donlaw

Hall of Famer
Sep 14, 2012
124
Texas
Since you have m43, you may have some lenses that would work for you. Watch for a used Olympus E-p5.
I have seen them selling at or below $250 on the Mu-43 buy/sell board. This is a great camera that initially retailed for +$800ish.
Has the touch and flip screen. I have one and it works great as a carry everywhere camera with a small lens like the Panasonic 14mm...
 

bartjeej

Hall of Famer
Nov 12, 2010
124
One important factor to consider is the screen you're using to evaluate shots. Samsung phones's oled screens give any image a whole lotta pop compared to most tablets, computers, tv's and older phones. So make sure you're viewing images from different devices on the same screen.
 

melanieylang

Rookie
Sep 18, 2017
14
Thanks very much for all your replies. I had been wondering about the factor of the phone screens being optimized for viewing, and that may have given me an unrealistic perception.

I should have said that I am currently using a Panasonic GX7 and Olympus EPL7, the lenses most often used are Panasonic 20mm f1.7 ii, Panaleica 45mm f2.8 macro, and Panasonic 14-140mm ii. I acquired the Olympus body recently and have rediscovered the excellent colour in the JPEGs (I've previously also had EP1, EPL3, EPL5, EM5); I particularly like the screen articulation that allows front shooting for selfies (if you don't think this is a useful idea, try it out with kids!). So, of the two cameras I have, I think the Olympus runs closest to being the match for what I'm thinking about. The 20mm lens is lovely, but maybe a wider pancake should be my next investment, instead of a new compact camera.

Really, I think I just wanted an excuse to get another compact - since selling the X30 I miss the convenience of a fast zoom lens in a small package!
 
Nov 11, 2011
214
Milwaukee, WI USA
If you like Olympus cameras (and I definitely do....I've sold dozens over the years, but I always come back to buy more), but aren't in love with your E-PL7, I suggest trying another one their bodies to see if you like it better.They have sold boatloads of E-M5 bodies over the years, so if you look around you can usually find a very clean, low miles camera pretty reasonably.

You can definitely adjust the output of your jpegs. I think the default jpeg for Oly is great, but they can also take a fair bit of juicing before they show signs of stress. Experiment. Sometimes I like to shoot with their art filters settings and just make sure that the camera is in capture raw+JPEG mode......so if you don't like the art-filtered jpeg, you can go back to the raw original.
 

melanieylang

Rookie
Sep 18, 2017
14
What I like is rangefinder styling; I had an EM5 (also Panasonic G5), and though it was gorgeous I found I didn't like the SLR shape and rear layout in use. But the EPL7 layout has improved over previous models, so I'm pretty happy with that, though it could do with a bit better grip considering how weighty the little metal body is! I've been shooting Australian wild flowers (mostly very small) with it in Vivid, and have been really pleased. Here's a quick sample from EPL7 + 45mm macro: image 1 is SOOC JPEG, image 2 is a quick 60 second edit using Snapseed on my phone, which is how I most often edit.

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

If you like Olympus cameras (and I definitely do....I've sold dozens over the years, but I always come back to buy more), but aren't in love with your E-PL7, I suggest trying another one their bodies to see if you like it better.They have sold boatloads of E-M5 bodies over the years, so if you look around you can usually find a very clean, low miles camera pretty reasonably.

You can definitely adjust the output of your jpegs. I think the default jpeg for Oly is great, but they can also take a fair bit of juicing before they show signs of stress. Experiment. Sometimes I like to shoot with their art filters settings and just make sure that the camera is in capture raw+JPEG mode......so if you don't like the art-filtered jpeg, you can go back to the raw original.
 

Covey22

Hall of Famer
Feb 3, 2012
124
The best counter to a smartphone camera is...another smartphone camera. Honestly. The Post-process potential of files from even a less than 1" compact are indeed better than whatever smartphone camera there is out there, but that's the potential. If part of the objective is truly SOOC and no post, your only real choices to fight Samsung are Google Pixel (esp. the 2nd gen series) and iPhone X.
 

melanieylang

Rookie
Sep 18, 2017
14
Two things happened this week, related to my post: first, to channel my GAS into the most appropriate place, I ordered a used Panasonic 14mm f2.5 pancake lens for my m43 kit; second, I dropped my Sony Xperia phone on the ground, and, despite it being in a protective case, the screen shattered into an unresponsive mess...so perhaps a Samsung Galaxy phone is on the horizon, after all!
 

Lightmancer

Super Moderator
Aug 13, 2011
164
Sunny Frimley
A word for Moment lenses. I have accumulated three now, quite cheaply since they often go on sale. My current daily carry phone is a Note4 and they do a mounting plate for it, and many others. For other phones including Galaxy, iPhone and Pixel, they do a case with the mount built in. Quality is excellent and it increases the flexibility of your phone considerably.
 

melanieylang

Rookie
Sep 18, 2017
14
A word for Moment lenses. I have accumulated three now, quite cheaply since they often go on sale. My current daily carry phone is a Note4 and they do a mounting plate for it, and many others. For other phones including Galaxy, iPhone and Pixel, they do a case with the mount built in. Quality is excellent and it increases the flexibility of your phone considerably.
Thanks for this suggestion; I hadn't given these any thought, but have seen some amazing results used in an iPhone.

Cheers,
Melanie
 

melanieylang

Rookie
Sep 18, 2017
14
A long way down the track, I'm back to report that I had a used LG G4 (loved its camera, form, and interface) briefly until it succumbed to a death glitch I hadn't known about; then a Samsung S5 for a year which I hated the camera on.

After more research recently I sold the S5 for what I paid, and bought a used Huawei P9, with dual Leica lenses on the back (one with monochrome sensor) and am very happy with the output... but I still prefer to carry a dedicated camera!

I didn't actually like the Panasonic 14mm lens, so sold it for a small profit.

Here's one from the P9, edited with Snapseed app:
195037
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