Please find me a friend...

marlof

Trying to focus
Dec 25, 2010
The Netherlands
Marlof
Agreed on the LX100. I didn't want to sway you away from it: when it works, it seems to tick almost all the boxes. It's just that I've read quite a few stories of people having dust problems on the sensor (as I did), and lens motor issues (the motor doesn't stop trying to extend the lens when the on/off is accidentally hit, and the camera is in your bag/jacket where the lens can't expand; this causes the lens mechanism to break). I now put the camera in the (far too large) leather case that Panasonic put on the market for it. It's no longer coat pocketable, but the on/off switch can't be accidentally switched and the lens is covered. I hope there will be less dust/motor issues this way. Working with it is a pleasure again. But... when it is this size, I don't know if I'd not rather carry a GX80/Pen-F, even if I'd be limited to a fixed 15 / 17 / 20 (which I don't find too much of a bother).


Train Station
by Marlof Bregonje, on Flickr

Jezus for president by Marlof Bregonje, on Flickr


GAS station :)
by Marlof Bregonje, on Flickr
 
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ajramirez

Hall of Famer
Jul 9, 2010
Caguas, Puerto Rico
Antonio
Mark,

It's GREAT to hear from you again! My recommendation is not going to be popular, but it is what has worked for me. Knowing your shooting style, I would get a Leica M Typ 240 or 262, a 24mm Elmar, a 35mm Summarit and call it a day. Find a used Olympus VF-2 (for the 240, cheap and plentiful on Ebay) or 24mm optical viewfinder (for the 262) to use with the Elmar and stop looking at camera review sites.

I am recommending this from experience. The camera is small, but not so small to be cumbersome to use. Menus are extremely simple and straightforward, and (save for formatting sd cards or setting white balance) very infrequently used. Image quality is top notch, and the Elmar and the Summarit are two little jewels of lenses.

I have been shooting with mine for over two years now (and the two years before with the M9) and it has quashed my desire for other cameras. I also have a Nikon system built around a Df (which I can also recommend with no reservations) for doing things that are better done with a DSLR (extreme low light, fast action and things that require 200mm in focal length). Between the two, I have no need (or desire) for any other camera, and have focused my GAS on lens acquisition instead.

Cheers,

Antonio
 

jssaraiva

Top Veteran
Dec 31, 2014
Porto, Portugal
José
Hi Mark, nice to see you back! The way you used to promote to SiJ challenges was really what made me join here.

As for cameras, a lot of good option already posted, I'll just add two a bit different, for landscape;
1) Sigma DP1 Merrill plus Sigma VF-11 optical viewfinder - Great IQ;
2) Medium format film, namely Pentax 67 with the 45mm f/4- Great everything! (but you'll need a good lab)
 

stillshunter

Super Moderator Emeritus
Nov 5, 2010
Down Under
Mark
FWIW I'll put in a late recommendation for the LX100. I find it an extremely capable little camera. The slightly sluggish zoom is about the only thing I have against it, but I tend to shoot wide most of the time anyway so it's not such a big deal. And don't forget it's 22mm eq when you use 16:9 format. It produces great JPEGs and the RAW files have lots of latitude in them when you need it. Finally it's just the right size. You wouldn't go far wrong with one.
Agreed on the LX100. I didn't want to sway you away from it: when it works, it seems to tick almost all the boxes. It's just that I've read quite a few stories of people having dust problems on the sensor (as I did), and lens motor issues (the motor doesn't stop trying to extend the lens when the on/off is accidentally hit, and the camera is in your bag/jacket where the lens can't expand; this causes the lens mechanism to break). I now put the camera in the (far too large) leather case that Panasonic put on the market for it. It's no longer coat pocketable, but the on/off switch can't be accidentally switched and the lens is covered. I hope there will be less dust/motor issues this way. Working with it is a pleasure again. But... when it is this size, I don't know if I'd not rather carry a GX80/Pen-F, even if I'd be limited to a fixed 15 / 17 / 20 (which I don't find too much of a bother).

View attachment 121202
Train Station by Marlof Bregonje, on Flickr

View attachment 121203Jezus for president by Marlof Bregonje, on Flickr

View attachment 121204Express by Marlof Bregonje, on Flickr
Well I've certainly not discounted the LX100 from my list. My shooting has never been a rapid response activity and so a little sluggishness in the zoom is neither here nor there - probably wouldn't take as long as it would me dismounting one lens and attaching another focal length. Thought I do admit the dust on the sensor thing is a concern - as we have no way of getting in there - unless we employ the old vacuum cleaner trick that was popular back in the day ;) The main issue is that I've started looking at other cameras - mainly PEN F and GX85/GX80/GX7 MkII - and so now have prepared myself for that slippery slope. I'm convinced that now the only thing for it is to try these cameras out. I'll drop into a store over the next few days (we have a whole one camera store in town) and get these cameras in-hand. Maybe the LX100's VF will suffice, or maybe the PEN F's VF will bowl me over but then I'll be put off by the size. Who knows? What always echoes with me is having pre-ordered the OMD EM-5 when it was announced. I was one of the first in line here. Then it arrived and I had a courtesy look at it in-store and it was like someone had passed me a Rubik's Cube. I was all fingers and confusion. Suffice it to say this 'perfect camera' on paper, stayed at the store.

There is nothing like feel to determine which camera is really right.
 

stillshunter

Super Moderator Emeritus
Nov 5, 2010
Down Under
Mark
Nikon is supposed to come out with their DL compacts at some point, and they look mighty tempting (DL18-50 in particular)... if it weren't for the add-on viewfinder, I'd think it was your perfect camera.

Beyond that, I can't really think of important options that haven't been mentioned yet.

Good to see you again, by the way!
Hey Bart! How are you my old friend?
Mate I have seen the Nikons and noting that would see me stay on-brand with my dSLR then it would be a good choice - maybe keeping some consistency with the UIs. But, yes, my preference would be to keep all things integrated.
Great to see you again mate.

And on the other end of the spectrum would be a camera like the Canon G5X.
Built-in viewfinder, 1inch sensor, 24-100mm 1.8-2.8 lens...
Does anyone have experience with that one?
Mate this one is quietly on the list too. I'd far prefer it to the Sony RX100-series. Obviously my issue is that once you start down the road where the like of LX100 and mu43 live, then you start becoming a little of a sensor size snob ;)

A few ILC options, although not quite perfect in terms of ultimate compactness.

For smallest size, two come to mind:

Pen-F on GX80/85 w/ the Oly 9-18mm
New Canon EOS M5 w/ 11-22mm

Both options offer a nice focal range, but with slower glass, as well as good EVFs.

If you are willing to carry more size, an X-T2 with the 10-24 would be a great choice.

These options don't quite have the range of the Nikon DL18-50 (if it ever appears), but offer much larger sensors.

Compact Camera Meter
The XT2 is also high on my list - as mentioned above re: Nikon DL, being a X100T user I think will see an easy transition to the UI. Only issue I think will be the size. But, again, having it in-hand will tell.

I'd discounted the EOS earlier for some reason, I'll need to go back and revisit why. Having said that I've always found Canon not quite for me. Can't quite put my finger on why, but a short dalliance with the 5D Mark II saw me back to Nikon rather smartly, and travels with both the S120 and then the G1X found me listing these cameras within weeks of returning. I know I shouldn't get fixated on the brand, but I have the same aversion with Sony.

I'm looking very forward to seeing the PEN/GX options in the flesh.

Mark,

It's GREAT to hear from you again! My recommendation is not going to be popular, but it is what has worked for me. Knowing your shooting style, I would get a Leica M Typ 240 or 262, a 24mm Elmar, a 35mm Summarit and call it a day. Find a used Olympus VF-2 (for the 240, cheap and plentiful on Ebay) or 24mm optical viewfinder (for the 262) to use with the Elmar and stop looking at camera review sites.

I am recommending this from experience. The camera is small, but not so small to be cumbersome to use. Menus are extremely simple and straightforward, and (save for formatting sd cards or setting white balance) very infrequently used. Image quality is top notch, and the Elmar and the Summarit are two little jewels of lenses.

I have been shooting with mine for over two years now (and the two years before with the M9) and it has quashed my desire for other cameras. I also have a Nikon system built around a Df (which I can also recommend with no reservations) for doing things that are better done with a DSLR (extreme low light, fast action and things that require 200mm in focal length). Between the two, I have no need (or desire) for any other camera, and have focused my GAS on lens acquisition instead.

Cheers,

Antonio
Oh Antonio. It has been too long. I will never forget you're being one of the very first people I met on Serious Compacts so, so many years ago (back when our icon/mascot was the original GR). I was blown away by your images then, and I continue to be so as I spy them pop up on my Flickr stream. Mate the Leica suggestion is a very good one indeed as I miss my film Leicas every second day. Best VF in the business - and so I don't think I'd not need the EVF with that luxurious RF (maybe a hot shoe OVF for the 24mm FL). Oh and your lens choices are spot on! I only just sold the Summarit 35. Such and under-rated but capable lens. But the realities are, alas, as Sue mentions:

I want what Antonio said. And sadly its way way beyond my meagre financial capacity.
If I could muster the funds I would need to make the jump I would. And I know I'd likely save money in the long term by less switching, but the realities are I don't think I can stretch just yet....even just for the body :(
However I will continue admiring your images my friend.
Great to still see you around these parts...
 

stillshunter

Super Moderator Emeritus
Nov 5, 2010
Down Under
Mark
Hi Mark, nice to see you back! The way you used to promote to SiJ challenges was really what made me join here.

As for cameras, a lot of good option already posted, I'll just add two a bit different, for landscape;
1) Sigma DP1 Merrill plus Sigma VF-11 optical viewfinder - Great IQ;
2) Medium format film, namely Pentax 67 with the 45mm f/4- Great everything! (but you'll need a good lab)
Thanks for your kind words mate, very much appreciated. I look forward to participating again in the Singles and Saloon challenges once I'm adequately armed again.

I cannot agree more about the Foveon outputs. I was an early adopter of the original DP2. What a camera....I think I am still waiting for a RAW file to load to the card though ;) Yeah they were slow, but such a filmic quality to the files. I realise they have improved in the Merrill series...and the images from the new Quattros are out of this world....as is the design which looks a little ahead of its (and our) time.

...and I will not argue with you about medium format. I have culled my kit somewhat but still have a compact YashicaMat 124G which I shoot. ...and I have found the best lab in town - my laundry - though the turnaround times and customer service are absolutely awful ;)

based on what I'm seeing in this thread, there is a gap in the market. So who here is going to manufacture a compact camera with an APS-C sensor (or m43) with a huge beautiful viewfinder and a zoom range from ultrawide to just past normal?
Where do I sign?

man, this thread is really giving me a bad case of GAS
Now mate, I'm certain one thing's not changed around here...and that is you're needing my help develop GAS. Though I'm also sure that we are - and have always been - a bad influence on each other!
 

Tilman Paulin

All-Pro
Nov 15, 2011
Vancouver B.C.
Tilman
I'm looking very forward to seeing the PEN/GX options in the flesh.
Exactly! There's no alternative to trying it out yourself. :)


Now mate, I'm certain one thing's not changed around here...and that is you're needing my help develop GAS. Though I'm also sure that we are - and have always been - a bad influence on each other!
Guess that's the one thing we all have in common here - no matter which gear we end with :) Gasoholics anonymous :-D

I guess in the end it boils down to this (at least it did for me):
Find a camera that you love to use (and one where you like the image quality) - and worry less about the size of it (up to a point obviously :) )
Then, once you got that done find a good way of carrying it. (for me it's the ultralight cameracarrier waist belts)

No point in having a small camera, that you might not like to use. And if you have a camera that you really like, you'll find a way to carry it too ;)
 

ajramirez

Hall of Famer
Jul 9, 2010
Caguas, Puerto Rico
Antonio
2) Medium format film, namely Pentax 67 with the 45mm f/4- Great everything! (but you'll need a good lab)
This recommendation is absolutely spot on. A Hasselblad with a 40mm or 50mm Distagon would also do nicely. The good lab is essential if you intend to shoot color, but for B&W nothing beats the smell of fixer in your hands...

Cheers,

Antonio
 
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ajramirez

Hall of Famer
Jul 9, 2010
Caguas, Puerto Rico
Antonio
Find a camera that you love to use (and one where you like the image quality) - and worry less about the size of it (up to a point obviously :) )
Then, once you got that done find a good way of carrying it. (for me it's the ultralight cameracarrier waist belts)

No point in having a small camera, that you might not like to use. And if you have a camera that you really like, you'll find a way to carry it too ;)
Fantastic advice.

These days (and for the last few years) I leave the house with a Leica body (M6TTL or M-P) or a Nikon body (FM3a or Df) and a 50mm lens. Strap it on and you barely notice it's there. I really do not need anything smaller. For travel, the Leica with 24, 35, and 50mm lenses (one on the camera, two in coat pockets) does the trick. The DSLR and the bag full of lenses only come out to play when it's strictly necessary, and in those instances a compact would certainly not do.

Cheers,

Antonio
 
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stillshunter

Super Moderator Emeritus
Nov 5, 2010
Down Under
Mark
an update:

Well I made it into the store on my lunch break today. It was a whirlwind visit but a valuable one. It really progressed my thinking with my camera choices.

Caveat: what follows were my personal impressions based on my personal preferences and requirements. I will frame my impressions quite frankly but please don't confuse them as wholesale judgements on brands, models or gear or, more importantly, as a slight on a brand, model, etc. of your choosing. I do not mean to offend.

So the store had on-hand most of what I was hoping to interact with first-hand and a few more.

My main contenders at the time were:
1. LX100
2. GX85/80/G7ii
3. PEN F

Impressions:
1. PEN F - impeccable build quality and the best control layout, and feels really good in the hand. But the VF was smaller than I would have liked (by comparison - read on).
2. LX100 - controls were overall pleasing - I'm a sucker for dedicated dials for shutter speed, aperture and exp. comp. But VF was worse than the PEN F and performance was sluggish.
2. GX85/80/G7ii - a nice grip in the hand with good weight and size, the VF on a par with the PEN F. But the body was rather bland and two-dimensional and just didn't inspire use.

Now if forced to choose I'd not pick any of these three. Instead was quite taken with the VF of the EM5ii. It was far more generous and clear. Also I wasn't aware of the weather-sealing, so this is a bonus I'd like to pursue. Also coupled with the 12-40/2.8 PRO I found a very versatile and (seemingly) capable kit. Also the price on the combo is quite competitive. So the EM5ii stood well above the PEN F in terms of the VF and then the weather-sealing. I was surprised - noting the PEN F demands quite a premium above the EM5ii.

However, it wasn't so clear-cut as the store had a few Fuji on hand to try. I started with the XT-1 and XT-2, whose VF was a step above the EM5ii again. Also I much preferred the control layout - with dedicated dials. Here again we had weather sealing. I also tried the XT-10 which was a better size again - and still a better VF than the PEN and EM5ii - however now you sacrifice the weather-sealing.

So now my bar is set between Fuji and Olympus.
Olympus having everything I'd settle for in a body - albeit a little busy, less intuitive (to my film rangefinder upbringing) and still a little cramped (though better than the original EM5 for some reason). What would be perfect is the PEN F (with it's aesthetic and left-sided VF) but with the EM5iis VF and weather-sealing. However, I have to also give kudos to Olympus for their range of lenses (I can see a host of primes - including the 300/4 - in my future, along with the 12-40 too).

However the Fuji XT just felt more right in the hand than the EM5ii - better laid-out, balanced and spaced. However, again I'd prefer the offset (to the left) VF. Now the only other candidate they had on-hand was the XPro2, but that thing was just too big. So I am left wondering about the likes of the X-E2. I assume it's a little smaller than the XPro2, but with a VF similar to the XT-series?
Can anyone confirm?
However I should note that on balance I'm less impressed with the scope and size of the Fujinon (or X-mount) lens range.

So there you have my initial confused impressions. Not sure how much closer I am to finding the right camera - though I do feel closer to avoiding the wrong (or less right) camera. First world problems...
 

marlof

Trying to focus
Dec 25, 2010
The Netherlands
Marlof
This is my story as well. Next to the briefcase LX100 I have a nice Olympus m43 set (in fact, 2: Pen-F with small primes (12/17/45/75) and EM1 with zooms (12-40/40-150+TC) and a fast normal (PL25; possibly to be replaced with a O25 1.2)). That should do all I'd really want, but still I occasionally think about switching it all for a Fuji set. Fuji seems to offer a nice balance between size and quality, paired with a control set that speaks to my old brain. So far, the hassle of exchanging it all and the images coming from my gear have prevented me to get too serious about this though.
 
Nov 11, 2011
Milwaukee, WI USA
Luke
While my little icon shows me obscured by the original E-M5 and I bought and sold them more than a few times, I have ended up a Fuji man. Despite the fact that I don't consider myself a pixel peeper, I felt that the IQ from the bigger sensor was appreciably better (and again, the Oly is no slouch....I've seen MANY National Geographic worthy photos coming from them). Bigger sensors are just bigger sensors.

Regarding the EVF being in the center, I also prefer one on the side, but the X-T1 VF is so big and juicy that I got over it. I had an X-E1 for awhile and while I liked the viewfinder on the side, I felt the body was a bit too small and cramped for my big manhands. Actually the X-Pro body would be MY preferred choice, but I understand it's too "big" for some. I'm tempted to upgrade to the X-Pro2, but the disparity in price of what they sell for and what my not-that-old-to-my-eyes X-T1 would bring on the second hand market is just too much for what I only consider marginal upgrades.

And while many tout the Olympus smart panel (or whatever their menu system is called), I also just find dedicated dials to be far more intuitive. And I struggle enough thinking about composition and exposure without wanting to think about HOW to operate the camera to get there.

I think your familiarity with (and affinity for) the X100 will only help to get you up to speed.

Yeah, Oly (and Panasonic) definitely have a massive array of lenses from which to choose and there are a LOT of great ones....that may be the ONLY thing that would make me go back to m43. The small primes (and cheaper by a fair margin) are magnificent. But Fuji has all (more like most) of the bases covered by this point. I keep a pretty minimal kit (mainly because of finances at this point), but there is no shortage of good lenses to tempt me. I wish Fuji had something along the lines of that Oly 12-40 Pro.......that thing is the bomb! When I had it, I no longer craved primes.

Good luck sorting out your priorities. I don't think you can go wrong with either choice. For me, I think the synergy of already having a Fuji would tip the scales that direction for me.
 

Lightmancer

Legend
Aug 13, 2011
Sunny Frimley
Bill Palmer
The X-E2 viewfinder is the same as the X100T. the camera is significantly smaller and lighter than the X-PRO2 (I have both) but very capable indeed. I ran an X-E1 as my first interchangeable lens X-System body before I upgraded to the X-Pro1 then 2 and I bought the X-E2 secondhand at a bargain price as a backup to the X-Pro2. Most of the time the 27mm lives on it. These are the sort of results I get:
 

kyteflyer

~@¿@~
Jan 31, 2011
Newcastle, Australia
Sue
Hmm... I don't know that I would call any of the fujis "compact". I sure don't regard my X100 that way. However, reading your first post and now the last, I'd suggest the XE2 is probably the way to go, if the Xpro is too big. I'd kill for an XE2... but... Can't seem to bring myself to sell my other cameras (K5, K200D, Nikon1x2, and all their lenses) in spite of almost never using them anymore.
 

porchard

Veteran
Feb 3, 2013
Devon, UK
but... Can't seem to bring myself to sell my other cameras (K5, K200D, Nikon1x2, and all their lenses) in spite of almost never using them anymore.
I've had the same problem from time to time. I've never worked out why I'm sometimes reluctant to sell something that I don't want to use... :confused-95:
 

stillshunter

Super Moderator Emeritus
Nov 5, 2010
Down Under
Mark
Hmm... I don't know that I would call any of the fujis "compact". I sure don't regard my X100 that way. However, reading your first post and now the last, I'd suggest the XE2 is probably the way to go, if the Xpro is too big. I'd kill for an XE2... but... Can't seem to bring myself to sell my other cameras (K5, K200D, Nikon1x2, and all their lenses) in spite of almost never using them anymore.
I've had the same problem from time to time. I've never worked out why I'm sometimes reluctant to sell something that I don't want to use... :confused-95:
I'm the exact opposite to you guys. , more often than not 1 sell too readily. ... and then regret and buy again. Hence why I'm on my 4th X100
 

Steve Noel

All-Pro
Oct 5, 2010
Casey County, KY
What's with the X100, that folk love it, but can't live with/without it? I've wanted one for a long time, but do not think, I could get along with the simi-wide FOV, as a everything camera. And because I subscribe to the only one gun, philosophy, I just never seriously sought one. But wheeee, they sure do tick some buttons for me.
 

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