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01-10-2016, 08:14 PM   #1
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Point & Shoot Decision

We are needing to replace a lost P & S camera (a Canon ELPH 330 which we liked very much). We have about $300 to spend and I would like to upgrade to the "next level" but my wife wants to stay with a pocket size camera. (I tried to talk her into a basic Pentax DLSR with a good all-around zoom, but no joy). The important factors are good overall IQ, good "all-auto" mode performance, low/available light IQ, wide angle IQ. My daughter is more advanced and will use some of the more advanced modes. Long zoom is not important and most of the other bells and whistles will not get used except Wi-Fi would be good. 12MP to 16MP is a good range IMO. I am leaning to a larger sensor for low light performance. I have been reading a lot of reviews and info. and nothing really stands out.

The cameras I have more or less zoomed in on (pun intended) are the Canon Powershot S120 (Adorama has a bundle with rebate that gets it to $250), Fujifilm XQ2 and Nikon Coolpix P330 (Adorama has refurbished price at $180). But nothing is set in stone.

Just asking for any opinions.

01-10-2016, 08:30 PM   #2
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For a while factory refurb Nikon Coolpix A cameras were available for $299 - basically Nikon's equivalent to the Ricoh GR.

The issue I have with the Fuji XQ2 is the lens gets awfully slow when zoomed. Maybe you can find a used/refurb Fuji X20 for $300.

I had a Panasonic Lumix LX7 and found it to be very good, although 10MP is less than you spec'd.

Are we talking pants-pocketable or coat-pocketable?

One of the best values in photography is the Oly E-PL6: Amazon.com : Olympus PEN E-PL6 Digital Camera with 14-42mm II Lens : Camera & Photo
01-10-2016, 08:55 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by luftfluss Quote

Are we talking pants-pocketable or coat-pocketable?

One of the best values in photography is the Oly E-PL6: Amazon.com : Olympus PEN E-PL6 Digital Camera with 14-42mm II Lens : Camera & Photo
"pants-pocketable"

(Yes I keep looking at the Olympus E-PL6. I have a plethora of vintage Olympus glass that is only good for film shooting; I guess I am a kinda burnt by Olympus, not confident they will not just up and change lens mounts again.)
01-10-2016, 09:33 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by KC0PET Quote
"pants-pocketable"

(Yes I keep looking at the Olympus E-PL6. I have a plethora of vintage Olympus glass that is only good for film shooting; I guess I am a kinda burnt by Olympus, not confident they will not just up and change lens mounts again.)
I don't think you have to worry about Oly abandoning the m4/3 mount for a long time. They've built their m4/3 empire around it, and are still releasing new lenses to this day. But of course the E-PL6 + 14-42 is not pants-pocketable.

Of the cameras you listed, I guess I'd go for the Fuji simply based on their reputation for having really nice SOOC jpegs.

01-10-2016, 09:33 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by KC0PET Quote
"pants-pocketable"

(Yes I keep looking at the Olympus E-PL6. I have a plethora of vintage Olympus glass that is only good for film shooting; I guess I am a kinda burnt by Olympus, not confident they will not just up and change lens mounts again.)
Canon screwed their users twice with incompatible lens mounts, Minolta did it with Maxxum, Olympus did it, and no doubt many others. People are absolutely astonished when I mount my S-M-C Takumar 55mm f/1.8 lens on the camera. Particularly when they find out the meter still works using that lens. Actually it works better than K mount because using the A/M switch I can use it in Aperture priority.
01-10-2016, 10:01 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
Canon screwed their users twice with incompatible lens mounts, Minolta did it with Maxxum, Olympus did it, and no doubt many others. People are absolutely astonished when I mount my S-M-C Takumar 55mm f/1.8 lens on the camera. Particularly when they find out the meter still works using that lens. Actually it works better than K mount because using the A/M switch I can use it in Aperture priority.
We need to give Olympus some credit, though - at least they created an adapter that allows the use of old 4/3 lenses on m4/3 bodies, including AF.
01-10-2016, 10:21 PM   #7
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I'm a fan of Canon's S line. I currently own the S110 (previously owned the S90 and S95), which is already a few years old. It has a decent zoom range, a backlit sensor for better low light preformance, wifi, Av,TV, Manual modes, touchscreen, shoots RAW, and is easily pocketable. They and possibly even the newer models can be had within your price range.
01-11-2016, 01:42 AM   #8
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My vote would be for the Canon S series as well. As far as advanced super compacts that were raw & full-manual capable, I first got an S100 (w/GPS!), then a Canon G7X - and I still use the S100 for GPS tagging. Like the G7X, the S100 (and likely also the S110 & S120) can also be used in full-auto as well as full manual modes.
And if one of you REALLY wants to get nerdy about it, the S series can use the alternate CHDK firmware (via a program called 'Stick') that gets installed to an SD card - such that each advanced user here could have a separate SD card with their own CHDK preferences set. (Sadly, for me, CHDK isn't available for the G7X yet, if ever.)

And even though the G7X is higher up the rung of quality and budget (yet still pants-pocketable IMO, albeit more bulky), I find the Canon S100 is still no slouch.. I'll be editing an image thinking it was from the G7X - and then it turns out to be one of the GPS-tag pictures from the S100!

Another thing going for the Canon S series (vs. the G7X, for this example) is that spare 3rd-party batteries are much cheaper - about 2 for $5 USD. So cheap that I bought 2 more when getting the G7X, for a total of 5 batteries. I went for the S100 over the S110/S120 because it had GPS - if I want Wi-Fi, I could always get one of those Wi-Fi SD cards and then have GPS, as well as Wi-Fi.
.... As it stands now, I sometimes end up carrying both the S100 and the G7X - using the S100 to tag locations. Although personally, I think one might be a bit crazy if they literally just stick these cameras in their pockets. Even though you could get a screen protector (a glass protector, even) for the LCD, the lens 'cap'/cover on both these cameras have many blades.. And I don't know about you, but I always seem to have pocket lint - complete with particles -- perfect for getting stuck anywhere in the lens area. That's why I always use a belt case that's just barely larger than the camera, yet able to hold 3 to 4 spare batteries with a memory card or two.



I do wish Pentax would someday release advanced raw-capable super-compacts.. I would've bought one in a heartbeat!


Last edited by Hoggy; 01-11-2016 at 02:14 AM.
01-11-2016, 02:25 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hoggy Quote

I do wish Pentax would someday release advanced raw-capable super-compacts.. I would've bought one in a heartbeat!
Would be nice, Hoggy, but Pentax are already introducing a new DSLR line as world DSLR sales have fallen ... compact sales have plunged even worse.

You could try the premium P&S pitch to the board, I suppose.
01-11-2016, 08:22 AM   #10
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The key here is to find a 1/1.7 or larger sensor as they are a significant step up in IQ from the smaller 1/2.3 sensors. And you'll get more for your buck in the used market, which is filled with still quite good cameras because sensor tech has been taking small steps forward in the last several years, not giant leaps.

A used Pentax MX-1 would fit your budget and is a good performer.

As would a used Panasonic LX-7.

Or this refurbished Fuji X10 Fujifilm x10 Digital Camera 12MP 4X Optical Zoom 1080HD | eBay
01-11-2016, 12:27 PM   #11
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Maybe a touch on the large size, but the MX-1 is a good performer. You should be able to find a good used one in your price range.
01-11-2016, 08:29 PM   #12
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Good info, thanks everyone.
01-11-2016, 09:39 PM   #13
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+1 for Panasonic LX7

I recently bought a NIB Panasonic LX7 off ebay for $214 free shipping. A little larger than pants pocketable, but recommend it highly.
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