Have you ever been surprised by a camera?

Jock Elliott

Hall of Famer
Troy, NY
Have you ever purchased a camera for one reason and found you were delighted by it for another, unexpected reason?

I purchased an OM-D E-M5 because it is supposed to be fairly well weather proofed and the 12-50 zooms and focuses internally, but I am delighted with it because of the way it renders the sky.

Alternatively, have you ever purchased a camera for one set of reasons and found it had an unexpected "dark side" you just couldn't stand?

I purchased the Canon G3X, loved many things about it, but found -- unexpectedly -- that I just couldn't abide the external EVF.

How about you?

Cheers, Jock
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Newcastle, Australia
Real Name
Yeah. I'm less enthralled by the FZ1000 than I expected to be. I knew it was as heavy as my K5, with the kit lens attached... I just didn't expect it to wear my wrists out because I had handled it in the shop ages ago. I think I'll be selling it. IN the meantime, it's a great camera. It's probably just not for me.

Ray Sachs

Not too far from Philly
Real Name
you should be able to figure it out...
Well, I first tried an RX1 to see what all the fuss was about. And I was shocked and surprised at how thoroughly and quickly I got sucked in by the quality of the lens and sensor and immediately became a full frame guy. I really didn't see it coming and wasn't really looking for it, but by that point I'd tried most of what was available in m43, APS, and smaller, and just figured I should give it a try in the name of experience. And then it changed everything. In the other direction, I bought a first generation RX100 for the sensor and then discovered relatively quickly that I hated pretty much everything else about the camera EXCEPT the sensor. Fortunately, my wife liked it well enough on its auto settings, so it stayed in the family and served a purpose. So, in both cases, a Sony, to the good and to the bad... And interestingly, from everything I've read, I'm quite sure I'd like the newer version of the RX100 a good deal more than the original and would like the newer version of the RX1 a good deal less (although I'd like a couple of details more). Life is funny like that sometime...



Hall of Famer
I sold a Panasonic GX7 after about 18 months. It had all the boxes checked, but ... silent shutter (eshutter) was very handy, but induced "jello" effect even in still (or slow moving) subjects, menus weren't quite as good as I thought, and i never got used to the on/off placement switch. Sadly, with the large G7 and GX8 getting bigger, I didn't upgrade to a new Panny. I just left Panny altogether :(

I have an a7 and didn't expect the ergonomics to be so poor, but the AF is better than I was lead to believe :)

I bought an RX100 and never dreamed I'd have it going on 4 years later!! It's the one camera that has stayed, while all the others come and go around it. It's not the most fun camera to use, but the size/output ration is amazing, so it's the "go anywhere" camera.


Top Veteran
Yes, a couple of times. I thought I would love the Sony a6000 and I really didn't. I found it uncomfortable to hold and really didn't like the plasticky body. On the opposite end I was really surprised that I like the Olympus E-M10 as much as I do. I find the Olympus comfortable, responsive and the images up to ISO 3200 are way better than I thought they would be. I suspect the E-M10 and P20/2.7 are going to stick around quite a while.
Pentax Q continues to surprise me at least once a week. This week, I put a little Manfrotto tabletop tripod on the Panasonic GM1 and quickly realized that I had to take it off every time I wanted to download photos or charge the battery. The Q, on the other hand, has the doors on the sides, facilitating mounting plates and whatnot. That Pentax put such photo-centric thinking into the camera really shows.
Real Name
I still remember picking up the Olympus E-PM1 - I was intrigued by the size, yet it had a solid feel to it. And I was sold when I saw the images. It opened up digital photography for me (and thus kept me in photography altogether, I believe) because finally, I had found a camera again that I could take everywhere and that would deliver images (almost) on par with my - then - unloved and hardly used DSLR, just like my Minox GT-E did (and does again) compared to my film SLRs. Things have changed quite a bit since, but it's still the only digital camera that newer and better gear can't quite seem to replace.



Student for life
I bought my Fuji X camera primarily to get good IQ in a lower-weight/-size package and found that the ability to set the key exposure parameters via rotatable knobs the thing I liked most. Totally irrelevant for shooting but I liked it.

The only time I had regrets was when I had purchased a Nikon D800E and a set of big lenses. When I was playing with it sitting on the couch, and my arms got tired I thought "what the heck am I doing". So I brought it back. Fortunately that was possible.

Deleted member 6640

I bought the RX100 mk3 and loved the output, but I couldn't stand the UI. I tried for few months but it just didn't click. I would love to try out the A7S or RX1, but I'm wondering if I would still have the same problems...

A positive surprise was the Ricoh GR's versatility. I didn't expect 28mm to be such a nice only focal length for a take everywhere camera.


Serious Compacts For Life
My wife got me the original X100. I had no idea what it was... I hadn't been paying attention to anything but little point-and-shoots. I remember opening the box, taking it out, and trying to figure out how to remove the lens. So everything about that camera was a surprise.

Your wife is super cool!


Serious Compacts For Life
I've been surprised a lot, positively and negatively. On the good side, the RX100, X10 stand out. The Sony because it just didn't seem as bad as many were making it out to be, from a UI and ergo standpoint, and the Fuji because it really delivered (and still does) some high quality images when you "get it right". On the down side, what comes to mind first is the Canon G11 and the S90. They were "serious compacts" back in the day, but both seemed more closely rooted to being typical point and shoot cameras. Neither lasted long with me.

From a lens standpoint, the Oly 17/1.8 was a hugely positive surprise for me. It got lots of bad press (much of it parroting, I think). I finally bought it anyway because I wanted the speed and FL, and it just knocked my socks off. One of my favorite m4/3s lenses.
I have always been fascinated with photography and followed several photographers work, but due to the size and price, never interested in hauling around a DSLR.

When I first saw the original NEX-3, I was excited to see that camera makers were making a compact camera that had respectable image quality. I was hooked. :biggrin: I've enjoyed each progression in the Sony E-Mount line, and feel the A6000 is everything I really, (I always have a few wishes), need.


Hall of Famer
Central Ohio, USA
Real Name
Not so much have a I been surprised by a camera but by an entire system.

I heard so much internet banter about how m43 was not a good choice, sensor issues, too small.

Then I had an opportunity to shoot with one and much preferred it over the Fuji offerings of the time. The AF capability, the small primes, system speed and features. While m43 is not for everyone, I was pleasantly surprised that it fit 99% of my shooting needs. If they ever get the AF-C as good as my Nikon DSLRs, then Nikon could be out for sale (except the Df...love me some Df...lol).

It just goes to prove the point that you really need to get out there and use the gear in spite of the internet reviewers. What is a deal killer for them could be something that doesn't matter to you at all or could be the very thing you ARE looking for.

Tilman Paulin

Vancouver B.C.
Real Name
Given how much I like my film Canons, I was pretty sure I would like Fujifilm's control scheme. As it turns out, I prefer modal control wheels to using separate and hard-coded aperture ring and shutter dial. Go figure.

Similar here.
With the Pentax MX1 I was excited to finally get a camera with dedicated exposure compensation dial.
Until I realized that it made it much harder to change exposure compensation, since I had to take the camera down to see the dial markings and the stiffness of the wheel (to prevent accidental change) made it much harder to turn...

Now I've learned that I'm perfectly happy with modal dials and modern control schemes... Anything I can use while I have my eye at the viewfinder.

Tilman Paulin

Vancouver B.C.
Real Name
Just curious: even with a dedicated dial for exp comp, didn't the value appear in the viewfinder?

Don't remember, but probably yes :)
The issue was mostly with the location and stiffness of the dial. You kind of have to pass the camera from the right hand to the left and then change the dial with the right hand.

With a dial that's right above your thumb (and a bit of a front grip for your fingers to support the camera) you can change any value assigned to the dial much easier.
So not necessarily a condemnation of a dedicated exposure dial.

I'm simply finding modal twin dials (for thumb and forefinger) more useful. In Manual mode they can be Aperture and Shutter Time.
In AperturePriority or Shutter Priority they can be either - plus exposure compensation.

Matter of preference really. Some might like the dedicated exp-comp dial... I see them as a waste of a wheel by now :)
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