Have you ever been surprised by a camera?


Feb 12, 2014
New Jersey, USA
The Bassman
Disappointed by the Nikon 1 V1. UI is terrible, and the comparability with the Nikon F system was much less than you would like. The images were good up to ISO 400, then deteriorated fast. And there were no fast lenses for years.

The E-M5 was great - the image quality, the UI, the portability and flexibility. The E-M1's handling delighted me even more.


Hall of Famer
Nov 12, 2010
Sony nex c3 was a disappointment. I knew the UI wasnt the best, but i thought that the 16/2.8 lens, which gives me the wide angle with reasonable bokeh that my Fuji X100 and Samsung EX1 don't give me, would fill a gap that I've been longing to fill, for a price i could afford. However, I found it just slightly too big for everyday, forget-it's-there carrying in a jacket pocket, and the shooting experience doesn't do ANYTHING to call me to go out and play with it. Tooj some test shots, took it outside twice, then never again.

Oh, and a Samsung WB-something 18 or 20x travel zoom. For some reason it insisted to use a 1/9 second shutter speed by default, even at 300mm+ equivalent focal length. Total madness. And in manual mode, it somehow didnt focus reliably at all, even though it was mostly fine in automatic mode. So there was simply no way to get a decent shot at the long end of the zoom with any kind of reliability. Poorest firmware design ever.


Jan 16, 2014
Was impressed by the IQ of Sigma Foveon images (DP2,DP1s) at low ISO viewing them at my monitor and this was repeated by the Merrils.
Was impressed by holding my X100 for the haptics of a 30y old camera.
Was surprised first by the IQ of the Ricoh GR in such a small body and the easiness to handle it with one hand.
Was surprised by the fun the NEX-5 had given me by collecting all these old lenses.


Hall of Famer
Nov 24, 2014
Scott Depot, WV, USA
Reviving a slightly older discussion. I think the camera that has surprised me the most has been the Fuji X30. It has good IQ to be just a 2/3" sensor, and enough reach to suit my occasional need for a zoom. It is a good complement to my X-T1. I was also surprised at how easy it was to give up my MFT cameras and lenses. I don't see myself moving away from Fuji any time soon.


I've been pleasantly surprised by many cameras, from the Rollei 35 and Minox to the Leica X-Vario. But one that stands out for me is the diminutive Panasonic GM1 with its 12-32 (24-64 mm effective FL) kit lens. I could shoot that camera with one hand, it had very good MFT image quality, and was purely fun to use.


Dec 20, 2013
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 :)
There's one situation where it does make a big difference to me - in manual with auto ISO. I adjust shutter and aperture using the modal dials, and tweak exposure with the exposure comp dial with the ISO floating. Not all cameras do this 'right', but Sony's A7 series does. Combined with WYSIWYG through an EVF it works really very well indeed.


gee aahrr
Jan 27, 2012
Los Angeles
Coolpix A and GR - I've owned both twice now and each time I'm surprised by how well they transport and their image output.
LX100 - I've tried twice and despite the seemingly perfect(for me) "specs" it has turned me uninspired very quickly. Not sure why.
Fuji X-E1 - I kept this camera and lenses longer than I thought and much longer than most. Low EVF refresh, slow AF, etc. Much more satisfying than I thought it would be.
Nikon FX dslr - I returned to a D600 after years and years of Nikon dslrs and was amazed at how much I prefer to shoot with mirrorless now. Not only for size but the ability to use an EVF i/o an OVF. Never thought I'd be saying that.

I really do a lot of spec research so there aren't many surprises but these have standed out.

I very recently picked up an A3000. Not surprised at all by the lack of ergonomics. Not surprised by the outstanding output or dirt cheap price. A little surprised at how large Sony ballooned the size up to make it familiar to dslr shooters. And very surprised at my decision to purchase one at all. I'm usually all about the journey and not much about destination.
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Mar 31, 2013
Atlanta, GA
Fuji x100s: It was my first Fuji and I knew I was going to love the colors and 35mm 2.0, but I didn't know how much I was going to love the handling of it, and the size. The overall build quality really surpassed what I was expecting. I fell in love with that camera.

Lumix LX100: Seemed like it would be fun, but it really surprised me how completely unexciting it was to actually use. Only camera I think I've owned for less than 48hrs.

Ricoh GR II: This is my most recent camera purchase. Bought it cause it seemed to have a cult following and it looked like the only real pocketable camera that I could seriously get into. Totally surprised by how light it felt in the hand, and how much it would entertain me. The biggest surprise was how much longer the battery was last for me, vs the Sony RX1 I was using with it. The GR just seemed to keep going.

Jock Elliott

Hall of Famer
Jan 3, 2012
Troy, NY
I have been astonished at how good the Sony HX400V is for my style of shooting. Lovely reach (24mm e to 1200mm e before digital zoom kicks in), excellent ergonomics and image stabilization, a great manual focus, and -- above all -- kick gluteus maximus image punch.

I expected to like this camera, but I didn't realize that so many things would work so well together.


Feb 2, 2013
Toronto, Canada
By far the best surprise for me was the Ricoh GR. Even though I had read many positive user reviews, I still wasn't sure I'd get along well with a fixed 28mm equiv and no viewfinder. I took a leap of faith and purchased a used copy (no returns) and after a few short hours, I came to realize all the benefits I had read online. Great image quality and excellent handling, all in an extremely compact package.

As for cameras that didn't live up to my hopes, I'd have to say the Fuji X-E1 - sure the handling and compact size were great, but the sluggish AF and UI had me sending it back. Still tempted to get into the X system though, perhaps with a clearout X-T1.

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