Random thoughts from The Photography Show 2017

theoldsmithy

Hall of Famer
Location
Cheshire, England
Real Name
Martin Connolly
I went along to Birmingham on Sunday to have a good look at all the cameras I haven't been able to try out. My main aim was to find a smallish camera with a largeish sensor :) My main criteria were: clarity of viewfinder and display; build quality; ease of accessing controls; weight and comfort. I reckoned IQ and other factors can be determined via the interweb. These are my rather unordered thoughts grouped by manufacturer.

Panasonic - GX80 - loved everything about this except that the viewfinder seems exactly the same as in the LX100 (which I have just sold) - or even worse actually. So that was a no-no.
G80 - not really in the market for another SLR-type camera but I liked this one a lot. The controls were all nicely to finger/thumb and a very good EVF.
GX8 - wow, the EVF in this is fabulous! On all criteria - except, sadly, budget - this was possibly my favourite of all the cameras I looked at. I had thought it seemed like a swollen beast from reviews but I found the size was fine. Controls all in logical places and did I mention the EVF? It's superb!!
TZ100 - I only judged the EVF and it's tiny.

Canon - M10 - yuk. Plasticky and cheap.
M3 - a bit better but the front control dial seemed very stiff, focus seemed to struggle and no EVF.
G1X Mk2 - lots to like. A good zoom range and speed, logical menus, excellent build quality. (Except for the connections to the tilty screen which seemed really flimsy). However being built like a tank it weighed about the same as a tank. What do they put in there? Also the EVF (although excellent) is only the detachable and optional EVF-DC1.
G5X - nice but a bit too small even for my Trump-esque hands. Everything seemed slightly cramped.
G3X - now if this had the optional EVF built in it would have been a really handy device. Great zoom range, good build quality, nice to hold. But a 600 zoom with no VF is a non-starter.

Fuji - X100F - lovely build quality, excellent viewfinder(s), not much to dislike except the cost!
XT-20 - I couldn't get a comfortable grip on this at all. Unfortunate since I had rated this one of the front-runners based on specs and reviews. I couldn't get near the XT-2 past the leather jacket brigade, and they had neither an X70 nor X30 to look at :(

Sony - RX100 MkIV - since I have a mk1 I thought this was worth a look. Very nice except the EVF mechanism (press a switch, break a fingernail pulling out the display) annoyed me after just 2 goes!
A7 - thought I'd have a look for fun and it really impressed me. When the numbers come up that will probably join me along with the X100F.
A6000 - everything felt right about this for me. Nothing was outstanding but the sum of the parts was by far the most impressive and comfortable to use, it's a darned attractive price now and in fact I have since bought one!

Ricoh/Pentax - GRII - this seemed like a very skittish, sensitive beast, and weighs next to nothing. The controls did not seem to respond as I expected. Another shame as I always enjoy seeing the output from these.
Pentax KP - ooh, I think I want to upgrade my K30 to this. A much more serious feeling bit of kit, and everything a bit snappier and more modern. They had the 20-40 DA Limited lens, a lovely combo indeed. Actually this can join the A7 and X100F next week when I win the lottery. Oh and the GX8 :)

Olympus - EM-10 mkII - still a slightly awkward shape. The grip is still not big enough and why are the dials now so much smaller? They were one of the best features of the MkI.
E-PL8 - see comments on Canon EOS M10 above.
Pen-F - I can't see what people like about this. It's an ergonomic disaster and really hard to hold comfortably. Sorry Olympus, definitely style over usability here.

So folks, a lot of trudging around and after a very dispiriting cheese and ham toastie and cuppa, I made my choice, drove home and promptly ordered the Sony A6000. I shall report on that next week!!
 
Last edited:

kyteflyer

~@¿@~
Location
Newcastle, Australia
Real Name
Sue
Wow, thanks for all this information, Martin! Seems you and I may well be on the same mission, though mine will have to wait a considerable length of time before I can splurge.

Curious, though, why the A6000, and not the A6300?
 

Petach

Hall of Famer
Location
UK, Essex
Real Name
Peter Tachauer
Wow, thanks for all this information, Martin! Seems you and I may well be on the same mission, though mine will have to wait a considerable length of time before I can splurge.

Curious, though, why the A6000, and not the A6300?

Me too, intrigued unless the roughly £500 difference was the decider? I have the 6300 and loving it.
 

MiguelATF

Hall of Famer
Location
Talent, Oregon (far from the madding crowd)
Real Name
Miguel Tejada-Flores
I went along to Birmingham on Sunday to have a good look at all the cameras I haven't been able to try out. My main aim was to find a smallish camera with a largeish sensor :) My main criteria were: clarity of viewfinder and display; build quality; ease of accessing controls; weight and comfort. I reckoned IQ and other factors can be determined via the interweb. These are my rather unordered thoughts grouped by manufacturer.

Panasonic - GX80 - loved everything about this except that the viewfinder seems exactly the same as in the LX100 (which I have just sold) - or even worse actually. So that was a no-no.
G80 - not really in the market for another SLR-type camera but I liked this one a lot. The controls were all nicely to finger/thumb and a very good EVF.
GX8 - wow, the EVF in this is fabulous! On all criteria - except, sadly, budget - this was possibly my favourite of all the cameras I looked at. I had thought it seemed like a swollen beast from reviews but I found the size was fine. Controls all in logical places and did I mention the EVF? It's superb!!
TZ100 - I only judged the EVF and it's tiny.

Canon - M10 - yuk. Plasticky and cheap.
M3 - a bit better but the front control dial seemed very stiff, focus seemed to struggle and no EVF.
G1X Mk2 - lots to like. A good zoom range and speed, logical menus, excellent build quality. (Except for the connections to the tilty screen which seemed really flimsy). However being built like a tank it weighed about the same as a tank. What do they put in there? Also the EVF (although excellent) is only the detachable and optional EVF-DC1.
G5X - nice but a bit too small even for my Trump-esque hands. Everything seemed slightly cramped.
G3X - now if this had the optional EVF built in it would have been a really handy device. Great zoom range, good build quality, nice to hold. But a 600 zoom with no VF is a non-starter.

Fuji - X100F - lovely build quality, excellent viewfinder(s), not much to dislike except the cost!
XT-20 - I couldn't get a comfortable grip on this at all. Unfortunate since I had rated this one of the front-runners based on specs and reviews. I couldn't get near the XT-2 past the leather jacket brigade, and they had neither an X70 nor X30 to look at :(

Sony - RX100 MkIV - since I have a mk1 I thought this was worth a look. Very nice except the EVF mechanism (press a switch, break a fingernail pulling out the display) annoyed me after just 2 goes!
A7 - thought I'd have a look for fun and it really impressed me. When the numbers come up that will probably join me along with the X100F.
A6000 - everything felt right about this for me. Nothing was outstanding but the sum of the parts was by far the most impressive and comfortable to use, it's a darned attractive price now and in fact I have since bought one!

Ricoh/Pentax - GRII - this seemed like a very skittish, sensitive beast, and weighs next to nothing. The controls did not seem to respond as I expected. Another shame as I always enjoy seeing the output from these.
Pentax KP - ooh, I think I want to upgrade my K30 to this. A much more serious feeling bit of kit, and everything a bit snappier and more modern. They had the 20-40 DA Limited lens, a lovely combo indeed. Actually this can join the A7 and X100F next week when I win the lottery. Oh and the GX8 :)

Olympus - EM-10 mkII - still a slightly awkward shape. The grip is still not big enough and why are the dials now so much smaller? They were one of the best features of the MkI.
E-PL8 - see comments on Canon EOS M10 above.
Pen-F - I can't see what people like about this. It's an ergonomic disaster and really hard to hold comfortably. Sorry Olympus, definitely style over usability here.

So folks, a lot of trudging around and after a very dispiriting cheese and ham toastie and cuppa, I made my choice, drove home and promptly ordered the Sony A6000. I shall report on that next week!!

Nice review, Martin.

I'm curious about one thing, really - EVF/VIEWFINDER quality.

I have a secret agenda: I'm selling my faithful GX7, which has been a splendid camera in most senses, except for having a tiny, cramped, small-ish EVF that has always either frustrated or irritated me. And life is too short to always go around frustrated or irritated so...I'm doing initial explorations.
You mentioned, several times, that the GX8 has a lovely (and large) EVF. I think your actual adjectives were "superb" and "fabulous" ;) --- my question to you is, in simple terms of EVF/Viewfinder - did anything, in your opinion, come close to the GX8?
 

theoldsmithy

Hall of Famer
Location
Cheshire, England
Real Name
Martin Connolly
Nice review, Martin.

I'm curious about one thing, really - EVF/VIEWFINDER quality.

I have a secret agenda: I'm selling my faithful GX7, which has been a splendid camera in most senses, except for having a tiny, cramped, small-ish EVF that has always either frustrated or irritated me. And life is too short to always go around frustrated or irritated so...I'm doing initial explorations.
You mentioned, several times, that the GX8 has a lovely (and large) EVF. I think your actual adjectives were "superb" and "fabulous" ;) --- my question to you is, in simple terms of EVF/Viewfinder - did anything, in your opinion, come close to the GX8?
Hi Miguel, the optical viewfinder on the X100F was close, so was the Sony A7 (not sure which exact variant I looked at). I believe the GH4/5 have the same EVF. The G80 possibly too. But the GX8 was easily the best I looked at in the show.
 

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