Carry Everywhere Camera

aquarian_lightaquarian_light Posts: 135Member
edited April 2013 in General Discussions
Okay, first I'm sure there have been many questions like this before, but on the search bar I didn't come up with much information I was wanting to know, which is just honest opinions.

So before I jump into the question, a bit about me. I've been shooting portraiture for near 2 years. I have a D800E and it's a beautiful camera and I am nothing but happy with it.... in the studio. I obviously don't care to lug the thing around when I'm just out to the cafe or at a family dinner. But I always get an itch when I see an image I want to take, but have nothing but a crappy smartphone to take it with. So here's what I'm looking for. Any suggestions that fit all or most are welcome. I have my own considerations but I won't mention them just cause I want to know what you all think without bias to the system I mention.

So here it goes, I don't much care for spec sheet comparing. I can do that myself. I don't care about pin point clarity, I don't care about frames per second, and I don't plan on shooting Avatar 2 so video specs really mean nothing to me. Just people who own cameras and can tell me why they like them or don't.

Without further ado, what I'm looking for....
1-Highly Portable. Pocketable is a plus, but fitting in a messenger bag is perfectly fine. The D800 hurt's my bad neck on long walks, weight is more the issue than size.

2-At least decent image quality. I would prefer a larger sensor than that of a P&S, but it does not have to be interchangeable lens. (however being interchangeable is a relative plus or at least having a decent fixed lens zoom. I dont like being stuck with one FL for eternity) Resolution and ISO performance are second priority to overall image quality and appearance, and more importantly ergonomics.

3-Under or around US$400 for full system. Cameras up to $700 can be considered , but for a take-with-me-everywhere I would like it to not be too valuable in the case of it being lost, stolen, or damaged.

4-Focus speed is paramount. The camera is to be used for street photography as well as the family portrait or two at parties. So being able to point the camera at an unsuspecting passer-by and shoot in just a moment before they realize is very important. I do candid street photos, or at least like to.

5-The look and feel of the camera are mildly important. I like classic looks but am willing to forego that in the case of excellence in performance. Not having at least one control dial that can be set to exposure compensation is a REAL killer. I tend to set my aperture wide open, set the shutter to auto, ISO to auto 100-1000, and manually control my exposure with exposure compensation. Without that function being instantly changeable the whole purpose of the camera is lost to me.

The only reason I ask this here is because the guys at the camera shops all recommend me the same cameras that don't fit ~enough~ of those needs or is exorbitantly expensive. It's either in my price range and is a slow, soccer mom point and shoot (no offense meant to soccer moms), or is 1800-2100US. Internet reviews are little help in that one site says a camera is the bees knees, and the other site says its rubbish. That and nothing compares to simply getting your hands on them to get a feel for the camera and it's files, yet I haven't the budget to rent cameras until I find a keeper.

Sorry for the long post. TL;DR - I need a small light-weight carry-everywhere camera with at east decent speed and image quality, with manual controls that's no ~too~ expensive.

Thank's in advance for any advice or opinions offered.

-Aquarian.
D800E, 24-120 F4 VR, 50mm 1.8G, 85 1.8G, 28mm 3.5, 135mm 3.5
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Comments

  • blandbland Posts: 809Member
    Do you need a lot of focal length?
  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 1,796Member
    edited April 2013
    Sony RX-100. You won't get much bokeh, but it should fit all your needs. You won't get too much reach though.

    It's slightly pushing your budget though, it's $648.

    I really am not familiar with Nikon offerings, but I have two family members who really like the RX-100.
    Post edited by NSXTypeR on
    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
  • aquarian_lightaquarian_light Posts: 135Member
    @bland not terribly long, just portrait length of around fullframe equiv. 85mm and a wide end side of FFequiv. 28mm

    @NSXTypeR Yes I realize with the small sensors everything is hyper focal lol just a facet of the cameras that composition choices will have to revolve around. I have looked at the RX100 and if I can find a cheaper solution I'd go with that first.
    D800E, 24-120 F4 VR, 50mm 1.8G, 85 1.8G, 28mm 3.5, 135mm 3.5
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 3,552Member
    edited April 2013
    In the price range you are talking about you really only have two choices. A high end point and shoot (Nikon P7700, Canon G15, Panasonic LX-7) or an older Micro 4/3s camera with a pancake prime. As other noted there is the Sony RX100, but to me that camera is overpriced (just like the Nikon 1 cameras).

    A small micro 4/3s camera will have better performance, and interchangeable lenses. Of course in my mind the point of having a pocketable camera is that you don't have to worry about lenses. Owing and using two lens systems is just a pain IMO. I've been there and done that, and sold the camera. Now when I want portable I use a point and shoot or my smartphone.
    Post edited by PB_PM on
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • aquarian_lightaquarian_light Posts: 135Member
    @PB_PM that's what I was suspecting, like I said I've done my research I just want an open ended question to see if there was something I missed. Like say I ask about X camera and get answers about X camera when camera Y is a better fit, but no one mentioned it cause I didn't ask about it lol

    That and leaving this open ended can help other people get their more general questions answered as well :)
    D800E, 24-120 F4 VR, 50mm 1.8G, 85 1.8G, 28mm 3.5, 135mm 3.5
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 3,552Member
    Yeah, it's a tough spot to be in. The camera makers really haven't help either, they want advanced users to stay up market ($1000+), just look at the price point of what I could consider decent compact cameras (Nikon Coolpix A, Fuji X100s), of course Ricoh/Pentax did just announce the new APS-C equipped GR for $799, but that is a little beyond your budget.
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • aquarian_lightaquarian_light Posts: 135Member
    There are a few options, but I cant get a good feel for them all because my local who doesn't carry them. So a good half of what fits from what I've researched would be from B&H. So hence the 'wanting honest opinions on ergonomics and performance'
    I would LOVE to be able to afford an X-E1 and a those wonderful Fujinon lenses... but alas... I do need to eat.
    I like the x-trans sensor. I've been able to test drive those cameras and that good old fashioned Fuji color is lovely, but none of them are something I can afford within the next 5 years. And I have a trip to Chicago this summer lol (hence the allowance of up to $800 because that's what I could save up by then.) But I would like to get to know a camera before I start depending on it away from home. So I'm looking for my options now. Ya know, the D800E is great, but not so great for walking 10 miles all day around downtown Chicago. But I digress. I've looked at the Nikon P330 and P7700, Panasonic LX7, Pentax MX-1, Fuji XF-1, Samsung EX2, and the Sony RX100 (whats with all the X's??) Right now I'm leaning towards the Panasonic because of it's fantastic Leica glass in front of it's verrrrrry DECENT sensor lol I'ts supposed to be the sharpest glass on any compact. But I've also seriously considered all the rest of them. And the only one I can actually go to the store to test out is the Nikon P330 and older versions of the others. (P7100, LX5... where the new ones offer from what I read very significant updates.) So if I had all of those in front of me at a store, the decision would take no more than an hour total of fiddling around with them all.

    And BTW, I tend to avoid Cannon like the borg... I dunno... just always have and everytime I pick one up it just NEVER feels right. They just don't fit lol so the G series is absolutely right out.
    D800E, 24-120 F4 VR, 50mm 1.8G, 85 1.8G, 28mm 3.5, 135mm 3.5
  • blandbland Posts: 809Member
    @bland not terribly long, just portrait length of around fullframe equiv. 85mm and a wide end side of FFequiv. 28mm

    Then I'd go with the Lumix LX7. You said you didn't like Canon but their S110 is a good camera for your price range.
  • aquarian_lightaquarian_light Posts: 135Member
    Thanks bland, the more recommendations I can get for one or another the better I'll feel about ordering a camera I've never touched lol
    D800E, 24-120 F4 VR, 50mm 1.8G, 85 1.8G, 28mm 3.5, 135mm 3.5
  • WesleyWesley Posts: 67Member

    The D800 hurt's my bad neck on long walks, weight is more the issue than size.
    Are you using the Nikon strap shipped with the camera?
    Perhaps the cheapest solution would be to buy one that goes over your shoulder.
    The most popular would be Black Rapid: http://www.blackrapid.com/products#straps
    Looks like LumaLab will be coming out with their second iteration in a few days: http://luma-labs.com/blog
    D700: 24-70 2.8, 85 1.8G
    D3100: 18-55
    A7II: 16-35 F4, 55 1.8, 70-200 F4
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    One big draw back of the D800, is it spoils you for anything else

    I have a P7100 it it useless except in bright daylight

    The D800 is heavy but using a Spider holster AND a black rapid will transfer the weigh more evenly
  • JJ_SOJJ_SO Posts: 1,158Member
    I'm still happy with a 3 or 4 year old G11 with all it's limits. Whenever I wanted to switch to P7100 or 7700, there was something keeping me away from it. It's dayin, day out a good companion if I don't want to bother carrying the big bag.
    I got used to the G11's crappy optical finder because it's useful in bright sunshine, also to the tilt and swivel display. Nikon doesn't offer both in one package. I've not interest in G15, would go for G12 instead. But the main reason would be, I don't wanna go through this research process again, am used to what I know.
  • aquarian_lightaquarian_light Posts: 135Member
    edited April 2013
    @wesley because it's not exactly inconspicuous for candid street photos, and still requires a fairly large bag to haul around. I have my little messenger bag I carry my iPad in, my D800 doesn't fit in that, I'd like a camera that does.
    It's heavy no matter how many straps you've got on it. Since I've got latent whiplash AND scoliosis I'm quite sensitive to thinks hanging off my neck or shoulders.
    Post edited by aquarian_light on
    D800E, 24-120 F4 VR, 50mm 1.8G, 85 1.8G, 28mm 3.5, 135mm 3.5
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    How about a D3200 with a 18-55 kit lens? If you want really cheap get a refurb D3100. I use my 3100 with a 35mm as a P&S all the time and hardly notice it's there.
  • turnthedarncranksturnthedarncranks Posts: 116Member
    While we are talking about small cameras, any thoughts about a J1 v. an Olympus EM3 v. a Sony NEX-FM3? Through today they are all the same price (Nikon has a deal that expires today). I am going to get one for my daughter's first interchangeable lens camera, and I can talk myself into any of them. So I am looking for the wisdom of crowds.

    Thanks!
  • MikeGunterMikeGunter Posts: 536Member
    Hi all,

    I would likely recommend a micro 4/3ds.

    My carry-around is a Panasonic G3 with the 14-42mm lens or the 17mm f1.7 pancake (a great lens), but I have a complete-ish) set of lenses and a GH2 as well and use it for longer trips and moviemaking with the G3 as second camera (when the Nikon D7000 (and now D7100) doesn't quite warrant it - and there reasons.

    There are many cases to be made for the 4/3ds cameras - even over Nikon. I wish Nikon had jumped on that bandwagon rather than try to compete with a different format - I'm not the only one humming that verse.

    Olympus pens can slip into a biggish pocket - think coats - and if your final product (in prints) are not bigger than 11x14 inches - you should be happy. My prints from the G3 and GH2 have been enlarged to 11x14 easily.

    My kit, 12-14mm, 14-42, 17mm, 14-140mm, 2 bodies, flash, chargers and extra batteries fits into a small backpack and when I'm out and about, a very, very small day-pack carries what I need.

    I'm adding portrait and wide lenses this year to maximize the potential of the kit. Overall it has been a fun kit, and has been a better video kit than Nikon - but that's another story.

    Finally, and with some experience I hope you'll understand, if you are anything like me, trying to compromise what you want to carry and what you expect your images to look like is going to be tough going. I've been trying to do it for decades. It came to a point where I just gave up. I decided that would just be happier to carry 'enough' to get what I want to shoot rather than surrender want I wanted to do.

    So I have a camera around my neck all the time. It's a part of who I am and by what I've become. I don't have any problem with that.

    My best,

    Mike
  • AlfonsoAlfonso Posts: 15Member
    Look for a Nikon V1. If focus speed is paramount, it will give it to you. It doesn't have the best control dials, but there is a exposure compensation dial, so you can chance it quickly.

    Greetings,

    Alfonso
  • aquarian_lightaquarian_light Posts: 135Member
    @MikeGunter The newer pens are pushing a my budget a bit, will the previous generations produce decent images? Say an EP2? I know the new EPL5 has the same sensor as the OMD, which is a fantastic sensor, but will an EPL3 or an EP2 perform well? I hear that the new EP4 is due out, maybe wait for a used EP3 when the EP4 hits?

    @ironheart, even a D3100 is a bit big for what I'm looking for, my messenger bag is about 12' wide, bay 10 inches long and only 3-4 inches deep. I'd like a camera that fits easily in those dimensions without having to remove the lens.
    D800E, 24-120 F4 VR, 50mm 1.8G, 85 1.8G, 28mm 3.5, 135mm 3.5
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    I get what you are saying. However a D3100 with 18-55 attached is approx. 5 x 3.8 x 5.8 (WxHxD) inches. Just sayin' :-)
  • aquarian_lightaquarian_light Posts: 135Member
    lol well, to be honest with you, I kiiiinda want something with absolutely different styling than my D800 lol because you know sometimes the looks of the camera itself inspire to go shooting with it. When the D800 doesnt manage that something different would be helpful ;) that and the 3100 still isn't quite ans inconspicuous as I would like. It still pretty much screams CAMERA to anyone looking at me using it.
    D800E, 24-120 F4 VR, 50mm 1.8G, 85 1.8G, 28mm 3.5, 135mm 3.5
  • MikeGunterMikeGunter Posts: 536Member
    Hi all,

    @aquarian_light I'm not sure what the Pens can do. Thom Hogan talks about them at his site and he uses one, I'm not sure which.

    The G3 and GH2 generally work about the same, but the GH2 edges the G3 on additional features, but really, there isn't much difference in the images that they produce.

    As you well know, there are a ton of choices out there, and most of them reasonably take good photos, I'd recommend holding the camera in your hands and seeing if the controls make sense to you. That will make your picture taking experience more pleasurable than anything else.

    Best of luck and and my best,

    Mike
  • aquarian_lightaquarian_light Posts: 135Member
    @MikeGunter how fares the GX1? It seems to basically be an LX7 with a m4/3 sensor and lens mount, and it's cheaper lol
    D800E, 24-120 F4 VR, 50mm 1.8G, 85 1.8G, 28mm 3.5, 135mm 3.5
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    @aquarian_light, you can always get it in red, that will be less conspicuous :D
  • aquarian_lightaquarian_light Posts: 135Member
    lol yes... red... totally stealthy...
    and from just a quick look, even if the GX1 is fairly inexpensive, putting nice fast glass in front of it gets painful in my wallet parts really quickly. Where as the LX7 comes with a f1.4 attached for only $400 bucks.
    A GX1 body is 249, but the cheapest sub-f2 lens is the oly 45/1.8 for $399. ouch.
    A GX1 Body with a sigma 30mm 2.8 is $425. and that's for a slightly bigger sensor and 2 less stops of light. Meaning ISO 3200 instead of 800. I just don't much care for those numbers. The lack of cheap fast primes in MFT really is making it less attractive.
    D800E, 24-120 F4 VR, 50mm 1.8G, 85 1.8G, 28mm 3.5, 135mm 3.5
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,308Moderator
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