Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > What Camera Should I Buy?

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Feb 13, 2013, 12:30 PM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 101
Default I don't want to carry the DSLR at Disneyland

I just booked a trip to Disneyland for our 15 anniversary and the kids are staying with grandma and grandpa. This morning my wife asks if I'm planning on taking the "big camera" (Nikon D90). So I paused and thought that without the kids I won't need to carry a backpack, so my only response was "I don't know, I really don't want to carry it around." She came back with "why don't you looking into a better point and shoot, and that will be your anniversary present. You can then buy my jewelry down there." OK, so this is really a ploy to get jewelry. But it has me looking cameras again, which is always fun.

I've been extremely happy with my D90, so I haven't given any thought to any of the new stuff coming out in the past couple of years. Once I switched from film to digital I have always used Nikon. So naturally, I pulled up their website and started looking at the Nikon 1 and the J7700. When I started reading individual camera reviews I felt like I was in over my head. So I'm going to step back and ask for help.

To try and put this into perspective, I've been into photography since I started using my Dad's Canon Ae1. Ever since then I've been of the mindset and that camera is the body, and everything else is interchangeable. I have a couple of months, so right now I'm trying to piece together the trade off's between the various form-factors that are out there.

I see that some sites are calling the Nikon 1 style mirrorless. I like my viewfinder. So is there a good place to go and read-up on how these compare to a DSLR? Durability, size, weight, etc. all come to mind when I'm looking at these.

Something like the J7700 looks very appealing to me. It has the look of a real camera, but again I don't have anything to compare it to except my SLR's.

To answer the quick questions:
For zoom I'd like to get some around 25-100mm when compared to 35mm.

Low light conditions are a definite concern. Think shooting a Disney parade at night. There are low light sources around, but an overpowering flash will cause the background to go black.

It doesn't need to go into a pocket, but should fit into a small pouch.

Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated,
estill is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Feb 13, 2013, 5:53 PM   #2
JPW2020's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: East Sussex, U.K.
Posts: 48

Without going too much into tecnicalities I've faced this problem, admittedly at Disneyland Paris, but its the same issue.

Most recently I left the 60d at home and took the Panasonic GF3 with the 14-42 gx vario pz lens.The combination is pocketable (though not jeans) took decent pictures, DSLR like, acceptable low light, a good compromise .

Downsides-the zoom is a little short from your spec on both ends, the flash is weak and of course no optical viewfinder.It worked for me though.Now superceded by gf5.

The sensor is not APS-C, but Micro 4/3 so a little smaller.I realise you are looking Nikon but on their CSCs the sensor is smaller still, so low light will be an issue.

No short cut but to look at a few reviews and try a few in shop I think.

Can't help with the jewellery I'm afraid.
“Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase”.
Panasonic Lumix DC-G9, Lumix G Vario 12-60 f/3.5-5.6, M.ZUIKO Digital 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro, M Zuiko Digital 14-150mm F4-5, Panasonic Lumix G VARIO 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ100
JPW2020 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 13, 2013, 6:02 PM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Bangor,North Wales
Posts: 3,755

A dilemma for many DSLR users- something smaller that doesn't compromise too much on things...
The P7700 is a nice camera,with a fast-ish lens,a reasonable zoom range- plus all the manual control you could want to hand. Though the small sensor might be a hindrance if you plan a great deal of low light use- as might be the lack of a viewfinder.
The V1 has a bigger sensor and a viewfinder- but no built in flash- and the standard kit lens may be a bit short of the length you require- unless you add the new 10-100 VR lens- which is a little pricey. It also wouldn't be the best lens for low light use- and certainly would require a slightly larger bag..!
Still the AF's perky,shoots great video- and if you don't mind trawling through the menu's,offers plenty of manual manipulation.
A bit "out of the box" maybe- but perhaps if not too large- Panasonic's FZ200 bridge camera might be a handy travel cam' ?
Full manual controls,viewfinder,great movie capture,fast AF and burst modes,fast f/2.8 lens across the whole 25-600mm zoom range- which would aid in low light. It's quite a compelling "all rounder". Yes,ultimately the IQ won't measure up to a DSLR- but there again,neither will a V1 or a P7700...!
SIMON40 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 14, 2013, 3:33 AM   #4
Senior Member
wave01's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: North West England
Posts: 1,749

if just the two of you what about an iphone
wave01 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 14, 2013, 11:44 AM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 101

Let me try to put what I'm reading into my own words to see if I'm on the right track. In low light conditions, the speed of the lens is important, but sensor size/quality may be just as important. From there the features and ease of access to them is where the main compromises are made when you move away from a DSLR.

Based on the specific recommendations so far. I like the idea of the mirrorless, but it may not be right for me. There is too big of a temptation to start adding lenses. A quick reading through of the GF5 looks very close to what I'm looking for. Its worth playing with it in a store to see if it is what I'm looking for. The Nikon 1 line up is not sitting well with me. It looks like the sensor is the limiting factor in it's low light capabilities. That line up also appears to have a different set of compromises with each model. Maybe I just need to read up more on them.

I really like the look of the P7700 and the FZ200. Again, I need to get those two into my hands and see if I like them.

As for cell phone cameras, I'm not impressed with them. I'm in IT and I keep all of my devices locked down. This does not make them very convenient. I also feel like I'm giving up too much control.

I should probably clarify that I am not tied to either Nikon or a view finder. I'm just starting my search with what I know and am comfortable with.
estill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 14, 2013, 3:02 PM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Australia, New South Wales central coast
Posts: 3,144

G'day ES

My 100% after reading both your posts + Simon's great response is to suggest the FZ200

1- you are already running an SLR so the shape + basic controls + P-A-S-M + eyepiece etc etc will be familiar
2- the FZ has the constant f2,8 lens - you may not need anything over 300mm equiv [200mm in dSLR terms] but so what if it comes for 'free'
3- the FZ lens starts at 25mm equiv, ie- 16mm in dSLR terms ie- great for tight spaces

and the whole FZ200 camera comes in weighing less than the d90 body ~ what more could a traveller ask for?

Regards, Phil
Has Lumix mirrorless & superzoom cameras and loves their amazing capabilities
Spends 8-9 months each year travelling Australia
Recent images at http://www.flickr.com/photos/ozzie_traveller/sets/
Ozzie_Traveller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 14, 2013, 4:36 PM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 101

I've spent my free time this morning looking through posts here on the FZ, and I'm starting to agree with you.

I've also learned what I'm considering low light, would probably be dim light.
estill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 14, 2013, 7:27 PM   #8
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Bangor,North Wales
Posts: 3,755

Something else also to consider- Sony's bijou little RX100....
A larger than usual sensor by compact standards- 1", a fast f/1.8 lens (albeit at wide angle setting) and standard PASM modes... but alas,no viewfinder...! The zoom range won't set the world alight with 28-100mm- but 20mp does give you some scope for cropping...
A review...
Sample images(2 pages)- with many low light...

Last edited by SIMON40; Feb 15, 2013 at 7:46 AM.
SIMON40 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 15, 2013, 6:59 AM   #9
Senior Member
tizeye's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 382

I hear the Leica M9 is a nice walkaround camera...just kidding, now back to reality.

Also a D90/D7000 user who migrated to digital from and AE-1. Have pondered that question of a light walkaround but never pulled the trigger. Daughter approached it from the opposite direction, living in Europpe for a couple more years and wanted to upgrade her Canon 600 elph I gave her 10 years ago but didn't want the size of a DSLR as she takes long hikes in mountains, and of course in town stuff. She also preferred a viewfinder. Prior to visiting last month, she stopped at her brother's and played with his Panasonic 4/3 camera, ruling it out. When arrived here, short list was down to two cameras - Nikon 1 and Sony NEX. Playing with them, ultimately decided on the Sony NEX-5 plus the telezoom. Couldn't justify the additional cost of the NEX-6 or NEX-7, so compromised on the viewfinder issue. Nikon 1 V1 are screaming deal while V2 is grossly overpriced - but both have the advantage of, with adapter, using your D90 lens with a 2.8 multiplier, rather than the 1.5 multiplier of the D90 crop sensor. While the V2 improved on the complaint of everything hidden and menu driven on the V1, the electronic viewfinder on the V2 is worse with notable choppiness in the viewfinder when panning.

Of the ones mentioned so far, I have never warmed up to bridge cameras as the have 90% the bulk of a DSLR and the small 1/2.3 sensor in 99% of the P&S compact cameras - and a monster zoom. Next step up is the 1/1.7 sensor which was the go-to DSLR user walkaround option before 4/3 and Nikons 1's existed. Nikon's P7700 falls into that class and I don't understand why Nikon removed the viewfinder that existed in the predecessor P7100. While the P7700 is an excellent camera, in that same sensor class with a viewfinder is the highly regarded Canon G15. Another camera to consider in that same class is the Panasonic LX7 (or it's Leica twin) and the Sony Rx100 mentioned earlier. The biggest knock on the Panasonic is its limited zoom range 24-90, but that is close to the 24-100 requirement you stated. The Sony RX100 has a 28-100 zoom, while the Canon and Nikon blow them away with 28-140 (Canon) or 200 (Nikon).
Here is a rounup od all of them in that class. http://www.dpreview.com/articles/236...ompact-cameras

Finally, I wouldn't totally rule out the Sony NEX cameras with sensors the same size as your D90. I have been impressed with the one my daughter got.
tizeye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 15, 2013, 12:32 PM   #10
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: New England, USA
Posts: 2,069

A tough call. All the cameras mentioned thus far have been good ideas.

The Nikon 1 series is a CX sensor size which is the same as the Sony RX100 the other ones listed on the page tizeye referenced ( http://www.dpreview.com/articles/236...ompact-cameras ) are a bit smaller but not by much. All of them seem to follow the fast lens plus larger than P&S sensor size to achieve high IQ and low light performance. Among those cameras I will point out that the Olympus XZ-2 can be outfitted with the Olympus VF-2 electronic viewfinder more commonly used with the Olympus Pen series of cameras.

I would agree with what others have said about the FZ200, it is an all around excellent camera from everything I have seen and if you were going to shoot wildlife (there is some around there fwiw) then I would say the FZ200 is the one camera that does it all.

Since you didn't say that and did say small size and 100mm equivalent reach it makes more sense to look at those enthusiast zooms in the dpreview link.

I personally favor micro four thirds and would recommend you at least peruse the Olympus offerings. The OMD is a great camera and has a built in EVF but you can also get the same sensor in the E-PL5 and E-PM2 for alot less money. The new 16MP sensor in these cameras is made by Sony and offers great high ISO performance, providing several f-stops of use ability beyond what you would get with the enthusiast zooms or the Nikon 1 series. While you might not be able to get away with a single lens you could use a compact zoom like the new Panasonic Lumix 14-42mm x zoom (28-84mm equiv) and then grab the Panasonic 20mm f1.7 pancake lens for low light, maybe an Olympus 45mm f1.8 for something longer and low light. These lenses are all very small and can easily be stowed in a pocket, which would give you the flexibility of carrying it all in your pockets while still maintaining better performance.
in my bag: e-m1, 7-14mm pro, 14-54mm mk ii, 50-200mm mk i, 70-300mm
in my pocket: e-pm2 lumix 12-32
ramcewan is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 6:21 PM.