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02-28-2021, 03:20 AM   #1
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My next point and shoot

I have an Optio VS20 that's just become too ungainly. Batteries and memory cards have become hard to get, and it's heavier than my phone and bigger than my hand. I'm looking for something comparable but smaller, and ideally with wifi. A friend gave me her Canon Ixus 135--it's a good size, good price (free!) but it doesn't touch the Optio in terms of distance or low light shooting, and panoramas don't stitch in camera (My three favorite functions).

What can you recommend? Pentax is my first choice and I've had good experience with Nikons, but I'm not particular. I just need something super convenient for travel that does well in low light. Ideally under $600 so I'm looking at point & shoots rather than microcompacts.

Suggestions?

02-28-2021, 04:47 AM - 1 Like   #2
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The Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II and is a very good candidate, it is not very big and has a very good image quality and is cheaper than its successor the MKIII. Good luck in your search.
02-28-2021, 04:52 AM   #3
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We have had a series of Panasonic P'n'S cameras and have been very pleased with them.
The latest, a DC-TZ90, is remarkably capable and has a viewfinder for those times when the sun is bright on the back screen.
Among the many features I haven't tried yet is automated in-camera focus stacking.
Of course all these consumer items have a life and we have just got this camera to replace an earlier one which became unreliable.
02-28-2021, 07:30 AM   #4
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I am also of the opinion that Panasonic point and shoot cameras are really nice. But if you can get past the awful menus the Sony rx100 is very small with good features and image quality.

The specifics of what you want the camera to do matter. A Ricoh GRiii is fantastic but may not fit the brief.

Maybe if you can give more on the desired qualities of the cameras we could give more detailed answers.

02-28-2021, 09:52 AM - 1 Like   #5
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I really don't see a place in my own personal ecology for a point and shoot to find a worthwhile niche between my Huawei P30 Pro cameras and my KP/K70 DSLR duo.
Still have a couple old Lumixes hanging around somewhere, but never use them.

Last edited by jgnfld; 02-28-2021 at 11:22 AM.
02-28-2021, 10:47 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Barbara Fu Quote
I have an Optio VS20 that's just become too ungainly. Batteries and memory cards have become hard to get, and it's heavier than my phone and bigger than my hand. I'm looking for something comparable but smaller, and ideally with wifi. A friend gave me her Canon Ixus 135--it's a good size, good price (free!) but it doesn't touch the Optio in terms of distance or low light shooting, and panoramas don't stitch in camera (My three favorite functions).

What can you recommend? Pentax is my first choice and I've had good experience with Nikons, but I'm not particular. I just need something super convenient for travel that does well in low light. Ideally under $600 so I'm looking at point & shoots rather than microcompacts.

Suggestions?
I get these questions all the time. Here is my first question in cases like these: What is your smartphone not doing for your photography and why do you think you want to carry a separate camera?
The reason I ask this question is simple and I hope I don't offend. In 99% of the cases when someone asks a question like this, an advanced smartphone with its camera is the best solution. Many Smartphones now outperform a lot of compact cameras with functions even 1 inch sensor cameras can't offer. The computational powers of smartphones are unmatched and the functions like panorama stitching, portrait mode and even night mode are now superior to many compact cameras, especially in your price range. On top of that you might be able to afford a more expensive phone with payment plans, something that is not available with "regular" cameras.

The cameras which you would see a real improvement in image quality and functions (Ricoh GRIII, Sony RX100 VII etc.) easily cost double your budget.
02-28-2021, 10:55 AM - 4 Likes   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by gbl Quote
I get these questions all the time. Here is my first question in cases like these: What is your smartphone not doing for your photography and why do you think you want to carry a separate camera?
The reason I ask this question is simple and I hope I don't offend. In 99% of the cases when someone asks a question like this, an advanced smartphone with its camera is the best solution. Many Smartphones now outperform a lot of compact cameras with functions even 1 inch sensor cameras can't offer. The computational powers of smartphones are unmatched and the functions like panorama stitching, portrait mode and even night mode are now superior to many compact cameras, especially in your price range. On top of that you might be able to afford a more expensive phone with payment plans, something that is not available with "regular" cameras.

The cameras which you would see a real improvement in image quality and functions (Ricoh GRIII, Sony RX100 VII etc.) easily cost double your budget.
I see answers like this. And despite having an iPhone 11 and access to an iPhone 12 max I prefer my Panasonic lx-7. Iíve seen computational photography results from these smartphones - they have limitations. More importantly they lack camera controls. The ergonomics are garbage with smartphones not to mention the complete lack of an EVF.

This doesnít mean that they have no place in photography, but their role is very limited from where I sit. External Flash is hard, composing is meh, stability of grip is weak, aperture and shutter speed controls are difficult. Mind you I had an LG with an add on for control wheels and still found it hard to use. Things are improving - quick snapshots arenít the only use anymore but there are very large compromises involved.
02-28-2021, 12:19 PM   #8
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Did you try modern smartphones? Like google pixel 4a?

02-28-2021, 12:24 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
I see answers like this. And despite having an iPhone 11 and access to an iPhone 12 max I prefer my Panasonic lx-7. Iíve seen computational photography results from these smartphones - they have limitations. More importantly they lack camera controls. The ergonomics are garbage with smartphones not to mention the complete lack of an EVF.

This doesnít mean that they have no place in photography, but their role is very limited from where I sit. External Flash is hard, composing is meh, stability of grip is weak, aperture and shutter speed controls are difficult. Mind you I had an LG with an add on for control wheels and still found it hard to use. Things are improving - quick snapshots arenít the only use anymore but there are very large compromises involved.
I've found the controls on a small-sensor camera (most are smaller than the lx-7) mostly not worthwhile since the adjustment range (aperture, notably) is so small and hardly practical to use given the already huge depth of field and diffraction issues. When you step up to the larger-sensor compact cameras such as you have, you can get better low-light capability and you can do more with them in terms of adjustability, but the lens zoom range becomes more limited and the price becomes significantly higher.

I agree on the viewfinder. I have a compact without one and the only advantage vs. a phone is the zoom range. The phone's processing is much more sophisticated and gives better results, despite them being from the same generation. My phone has a decent camera but only one lens. Same for ergonomics: without the viewfinder it's more difficult to see when in bright light, and more difficult to hold the camera still.
02-28-2021, 12:26 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
I see answers like this. And despite having an iPhone 11 and access to an iPhone 12 max I prefer my Panasonic lx-7. Iíve seen computational photography results from these smartphones - they have limitations. More importantly they lack camera controls. The ergonomics are garbage with smartphones not to mention the complete lack of an EVF.

This doesnít mean that they have no place in photography, but their role is very limited from where I sit. External Flash is hard, composing is meh, stability of grip is weak, aperture and shutter speed controls are difficult. Mind you I had an LG with an add on for control wheels and still found it hard to use. Things are improving - quick snapshots arenít the only use anymore but there are very large compromises involved.
Absolutely, I agree with everything you said. But like I said, people who ask questions like these are usually (not always of course) the group of users that are buying expensive cameras only to find out a few months later that they don't use them because they don't take them with them. That's why I asked the original poster the first question "What is it about your smartphone camera you don't like?" Does the OP even like camera controls? The answers would steer us all in the right direction. It is futile to throw camera makes and models to somebody like this without knowing what kind of photos this camera will be used for.
The OP mentioned Panoramas for example. Well I tell you, Apple Iphones have one of the best automatic panorama function. I can do better, but only with knowledge, experience and sophisticated software. These are usually things people asking "what Point and Shoot camera should I buy?" lack. I could be wrong of course. But I would like to provide the OP with the best option of what suits her/him, not what is best for me. Personally, I never use a Smartphone camera for anything but to remember where I parked.
02-28-2021, 02:55 PM - 2 Likes   #11
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When someone says they have a camera with a 20x zoom lens and they like that reach... cell phones won't work.
The Pentax RZ18 is a lot like the VS20, but is a smaller more pocketable package. Those are really the last Pentax point and shoots with some range.
Based on your use of the VS20, a Panasonic FZ1000 would be great - low light would be an incredible improvement, reach would still be very good. But it is big...
The Panasonic ZS200 is smaller, same great sensor but the trade-off is a slower lens.
Those are my suggestions and either one would be a big improvement.

Last edited by ChristianRock; 02-28-2021 at 03:20 PM.
02-28-2021, 07:08 PM - 1 Like   #12
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Great answers all.
Christian Rock nails it on the 20x lens--possibly the biggest selling point of the Optio at the time. I had no idea that there were trade-offs between zoom and sensor (for low light) since the Optio really hit the sweet spot on both for me.
I have a Galaxy S6 Edge and it takes really good pictures! Zoom is not where I like it, but shooting in the dark works pretty well. Viewfinder is nice but not important--I can just look over the top of the camera and reshoot if I miss. Ergonomics is an issue, but my main issue is battery power. If I'm taking tons of pictures under difficult conditions and then I need to call a taxi, set up a hotspot, or do any of the other necessary things a phone does, I've shot myself in the foot. I want a separate camera so I can shoot promiscuously. Being combined with a phone (and I've seen Apple shots--they're breathtakingly good) takes away some of the joy of photography for me by making me worry about things other than taking pictures.
Will look at your specific recommendations after I get home today. I have the day off and the urge to wander.
03-01-2021, 04:19 AM   #13
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I would suggest one of the Sony RX100 models. 1 inch sensor and you can pick the model that suits your needs best. The RX 100 II seems to meet your requirements quite well.
A smartphone is no alternative for me. My 20 year old Fuji F20 has way better ergonomics and a 35-70 mm. In my opinion you also can not compare the price of a smartphone and of a compact camera. Usually you can use a compact for about 10 years. A smartphone will normally last 5 years until the battery is done or the OS ist so out of date that you need a new phone.

EDIT: Women have a complete different view on the subject. My wife has no room to carry around an additonal compact and she has a smartphone anyway. The pictures she takes look great on her phone (to be true they look very good on a screen as well and that was a just a Galaxy S6). Only thing she was missing was a telephoto lens, but she made a big leap forward with her new phone, which provides one (50 mm equivalent).

Last edited by Papa_Joe; 03-01-2021 at 04:30 AM.
03-01-2021, 06:52 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Barbara Fu Quote
Great answers all.
Christian Rock nails it on the 20x lens--possibly the biggest selling point of the Optio at the time. I had no idea that there were trade-offs between zoom and sensor (for low light) since the Optio really hit the sweet spot on both for me.
I have a Galaxy S6 Edge and it takes really good pictures! Zoom is not where I like it, but shooting in the dark works pretty well. Viewfinder is nice but not important--I can just look over the top of the camera and reshoot if I miss. Ergonomics is an issue, but my main issue is battery power. If I'm taking tons of pictures under difficult conditions and then I need to call a taxi, set up a hotspot, or do any of the other necessary things a phone does, I've shot myself in the foot. I want a separate camera so I can shoot promiscuously. Being combined with a phone (and I've seen Apple shots--they're breathtakingly good) takes away some of the joy of photography for me by making me worry about things other than taking pictures.
Will look at your specific recommendations after I get home today. I have the day off and the urge to wander.
Loads of choices. Here's a relatively recent article on the subject from not my favorite site:
Best enthusiast long zoom cameras: Digital Photography Review

For more rational cheaper options with good discussion of why to pick what:
The Best Superzoom Camera | Reviews by Wirecutter
03-01-2021, 07:25 PM   #15
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The only point-n-shoot cameras I have are all Panasonics and are starting to get some age on them. All three are in the 10-12 megapixel range. The DMC SZ1 is shirt pocket sized, smaller than a smart phone but still feels more like a camera than a phone. It's what I carry with me when I think yeah, I might like to snap a few shots but I'm not really into doing heavy duty photography. Next up the line is the DMC FZ35, which is a compact bridge camera. It's not really pocket sized but it's nice and lightweight so it's easy to carry around all day without strain. The biggest of the lot is my DMC FZ50, which is built like a DSLR. Leica also offered the same camera as the V-LUX 1 and all three cameras have Leica zoom lenses. It's a good walking around camera when I don't want to carry a bunch of gear but for the weight and bulk involved, I might as well carry a Pentax DSLR. I've gone through phases where I used the Panasonics, especially the FZ35, as much, if not more, than the Panasonics but now, not so much.
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