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What is a "compact"? Is my camera compact?

Discussion in 'Site Information' started by Amin Sabet, Jul 6, 2010.

  1. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 3, 2010
    Given the name "Serious Compacts", there has always been a question as to the scope of this site. What exactly is a "compact"?

    Answer: If a camera appeals to you because its size is smaller than some other type of kit, then it is "compact" enough for us.

    Examples of gear which fit in here at SeriousCompacts.com:

    • All mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras (EVIL, ILC, digital rangefinder, etc), including Sony NEX, Micro Four Thirds, Samsung NX, and Leica M
    • All large sensor, fixed-lens cameras, eg Leica X1 and Sigma DP1
    • All small sensor (less than 1" sensor) cameras, eg Panasonic LX3, Ricoh GRD, and Canon G11
    • Small DSLR cameras (you decide whether it is small enough to be called "small")
    If you're wondering whether your camera qualifies for discussion here at Serious Compacts, it almost certainly does :wink:.
    • Like Like x 2
  2. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    I'm bumping this up in hopes that it will clarify what cameras this forum encompasses. Obviously, not every camera has been listed - how could it be since they're always making new ones?:wink:
  3. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    And now, after receiving a couple of questions about cameras that qualify as serious compacts, I decided I'd ask for some clarification from Amin Sabet. Amin's view is that if someone likes their camera in part because it is small (from their point of view), then by all means they are welcome to discuss that camera here and share photographs they've taken with it. That sounded like just the right answer to me for "how compact is compact?". :2thumbs:
    • Like Like x 2
  4. pictor

    pictor All-Pro

    Jul 14, 2010
    This definition is fine, but I still see one objection. When I had a Nikon D90 and posted in a Nikon forum, many owners of the Nikon D700 called this big and heavy camera compact. The D700 is indeed compact compared to the D3, but I doubt that the D700 is the kind of compact camera we are talking about in this forum.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Well, we've talked a good bit about the Sony SLT cams (A33 and A55) which are basically small DSLRs, and use the lenses of an APS sensor DSLR. That's hard to call a compact except that its smaller than MOST DSLRs, is only a bit bigger than a GH2 (except for the lenses - a big exception), and its semi-mirrorless.

    Sounds to me like we're talking about anything other than DSLRs and occasionally one of THOSE sneaks in for comparison purposes. But obviously MOST non-DSLRs tend to be smaller rather than larger, so the compact title seems appropriate. But I decided against the A33 specifically because it was just too freaking BIG for my taste, so it failed my own personal "compact" test....

    • Like Like x 2
  6. john1027

    john1027 Regular

    Jul 11, 2010
    Alexandria, VA
    Ray, according to Amin's last line above, small DSLRs are included in the SC parameters. Certainly the Pentax K5, which was mentioned and embraced in another thread is a DSLR. In that light, the Canon Rebel line and some of the Nikon line should "qualify" as a small DSLR also.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    :thiagree: It's all in one's own point of view. I like to think we're inclusive and certainly if it's smaller than a breadbox (kidding!) - or if it feels that way to the person who's holding it - welcome aboard.:drinks:
  8. deirdre

    deirdre Top Veteran

    Sep 26, 2010
    I've also branched out to small medium format; I'd assume most old folders as well as smaller medium format cameras like the Mamiya 6 and 7 rangefinders would be "compact."
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Susan Sande

    Susan Sande Veteran

    Aug 3, 2011
    Upper left USA
    I've questioned my membership here at Serious Compacts because the current compact I am shooting is a Fujifilm F550EXR. I suffer lack of budget right now. My DSLR is a newly upgraded Canon 60D but I've gone through some serious compacts lately. I got the Oly E-PL1 when it first came out. We didn't get along, including problems with my low vision not melding with its LCD and I sold it after a few hundred images.

    From there I went to a used, be still my heart, G10. I used it for work and play and started having problems with the on/off button sticking about a month ago. Then it didn't work all together. No warranty and Canon told me a minimum of $150 for the repair if that's all that was wrong with it. I needed a compact fast, no time to wait for a fix so I sold it as....stupid me???... a parts camera. And picked up the 550 till I can afford a good used G10 again. (should I look at the 11s and 12s?)

    That's my story. Oh and my first camera was my Mom's Kodak Duaflex IV, and my favorite cameras for a long time were my Exa and my Exacta. Those serious compact enough?
    • Like Like x 1
  10. I have an 11, and if I were you, I'd definitely look at the 12. However I am thinking surely its nearly time for the next iteration...

    As for the F550EXR... its a very competent little camera (I have one, also) and I like a lot of the shots that come off it. Having that should not make you question your membership. I think its a very serious little compact even if not as serious as some :) :) 
    • Like Like x 1
  11. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    No need at all to question your membership here, Susan. We're very glad to have you and whatever compact camera you're currently using! Next time you're here, please stop over to the Welcomes and Introductions forum where we can meet and greet. :wink:
  12. vincechu

    vincechu Veteran

    Sep 14, 2010
    Hope this isn't off topic, but heres a little comparison of how 'big' the k7 (and therefore k5) is compared to other DSLR's lol, it shows why i consider it to be compact

    Pentax K-7 size comparison | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    Credit to sveinmb for the picture
  13. Grant

    Grant Veteran

    Nov 12, 2010
    Lunenburg Nova Scotia
    I have shot with 4 x 5" and 2" 1/4 Square cameras to me everything smaller than is a compact camera. I shoot with two cameras and with their prime lens my big main one is just over two pounds and my mini main one is just over one pound. That is not much of a difference really.
  14. jim_khoo

    jim_khoo Veteran

    Jul 11, 2010
    Kuala Lumpur
    you can also explore the lx-5 and xz-1, while scouting the g12.
  15. AzPete

    AzPete Veteran

    Dec 24, 2010
    My take on this site is that the word small is all incompassing. He (Amin) says "small" on the outside, but "screams" whatever! on the inside.
    I have never given much thought about what I was using to shoot with. Although, when I was an active soul over at mu43 I did feel somewhat restricted in use.
    Here I am as free as a bird and no one seems to care about it. No big egos or attitudes (some small ones here, but thats fine) here.

    This site is more geared to the creative open heart rather the techo minded gagdet freak. Oh, Im not saying you can't love gear, new cameras and gadgets, Im
    saying that does not matter (especially to me) as much here. What matters more is you....

    Thanks for listening, hope I made sense.
    Cheers all,
    • Like Like x 5
  16. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    You made plenty of sense to me, Pete - and I'm glad to see you around these parts.:wink:
  17. wolfie

    wolfie Veteran

    Sep 19, 2010
    Compact is in the hand of the beholder ...

    to mangle a well worn quote. I actually felt sort of guilty about posting pictures here from my Pentax K-7, even though it is about as small as a conventional DSLR as you can get.
    For me a compact has been about a simple rangefinder-styled body and an appropriate mass that would be a perfect balance of quality, heft, solidity and lightness. That's why the Pentax DSLR began to be a pain in the neck - a kilo of mass swinging around while tramping on dirt tacks, sinking into sand or slipping on oyster covered rocks has helped me make my choice for the mirrorless form factor. Yes, it aint no "pocket" camera but then I believe in having a camera around my neck ready to use. I love cameras, and dont see the point of squeezing it into a pocket from whence it must be forcibly extracted and switched on. Even worse, I would hate if the day people ever dawned when people could just have a brain implant to take pictures. The mechanics of taking the photo, viewing the image, tweaking settings and clicking the shutter are a huge part of the enjoyment for me. And if the camera doesn't fall pleasingly to the hand, then it fails for me to be the companion in my imaging adventures.:rolleyes: 
    Oh well, time for a coffee now!
  18. Wonderful summation, Pete.
    • Like Like x 2
  19. vincechu

    vincechu Veteran

    Sep 14, 2010
    +1, I totally agree - I'm glad I've found a home here with my K5, but mainly I'm just glad that I'm welcome here whatever camera I shoot - I just love the atmosphere here, everyone here is just so friendly and helpful :) 

    All together now: :grouphug:
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Andrewteee

    Andrewteee All-Pro

    Jul 8, 2010
    For me, it's not so much about the compact nature of the cameras. It's more about the seriously interesting people and pictures and conversation that inhabit this forum.
    • Like Like x 2

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