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Old Apr 19, 2006, 11:11 AM   #1
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OK, so I know it probably doesn't exist.

I'm looking to take documentary and snatched landscape shots from a small camera I can carry in my pocket, for when I'm either not carrying the SLR or it's in a bag and I need a camera now because the shot is going to disappear in a second or two.

The kind of low light ability I'm looking for is on the London Underground without flash, not action shots of black cats at night. :-)

It would be nice to have the following features...

1. Wide angle 28mm equivalent.
2. Minimum 6Mp
3. Either a fast lens or high ISO or preferably both.
4. Easily carried in a jacket pocket, the smaller the better.
5. Not too expensive - perhaps £200-£250.

What I really want of course is a Fuji F30 with a 28mm equivalent wide angle lens, but they have neglected to make one thus far.

Contenders:
1. Ricoh GR D - looks fab, but I'm not sure I could live with a fixed 28mm lens. And it's a bit pricey.
2. Ricoh GX8 - great camera, rubbish sensor => poor picture quality.
3. Panasonic LX1 - bad noise above ISO100.
4. Panasonic FX01 - looks very good, noisy above ISO400, but does at least have ISO1600 mode.

#4 looks like the best option to me. ISO to 1600, nice Leica lens, very small and light, 6Mp, around £220 online.

Is there a camera out there I have overlooked??






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Old Apr 19, 2006, 1:41 PM   #2
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Panasonic's high sensitivity mode is 1.5MP resolution fraud, but if you keep ISO400 shots acceptable (for example after doing noise removing) image stabilization would enable two-three stops longer shutter times, meaning you could easily get ISO1600, possibly ISO3200 "equal" exposures from stationary targets.
Also in FX01 time they made "normal" 28mm camera instead of 28mm only in horizontal direction.

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/panasonicfx01/page6.asp
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Old Apr 19, 2006, 2:02 PM   #3
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peripatetic wrote:
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Ricoh GR D - looks fab, but I'm not sure I could live with a fixed 28mm lens
How's the image quality from it?

I noticed that Adorama is now stocking them. They must be the only one here in the U.S.

http://www.adorama.com/IRCGR.html?se...&item_no=1

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Old Apr 19, 2006, 2:52 PM   #4
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ET,

Quote:
Panasonic's high sensitivity mode is 1.5MP resolution fraud
Thanks for pointing it out, I read the review but not that closely, it's fraud indeed, but quite clever even so. And I guess a 1.5Mp shot is better than none at all.

And yes the image stabiliser should help a bit.


Jim
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How's the image quality from it?
It looks pretty good really. I love the fact that you can get a really good fast lens on it, and the massive depth-of-field macro feature is quite intriguing.

This strikes me as a very good real-world review.

http://luck.spotfolio.com/grdvgr1.html

I'm just not sure the f2.5 lens is going to be fast enough, as I don't expect too much from it at higher ISO settings, although the few pictures I've found seem ok at 400, and pretty good even at 800.

I worry somewhat that the 28mm equivalent might be too wide as the ONLY focal length available for street work.

And it's £400! Which is quite a lot.


Alas, everything is a compromise, why can't Fuji give us a wide angle lens! Boohoo.


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Old Apr 19, 2006, 5:32 PM   #5
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How about a digital rangefinder like the Epson RD-1s. It's not an SLR. ;-)

Or, go with a smaller and lighter SLR like a Pentax with a 40mm f/2.8 Limited (Pancake) on it.

For low light use in a P&S, I'd probably give up the 28mm and go with one of the little Fuji models. That's probably about as good as you're going to do without going a bit larger for low light use.

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Old Apr 19, 2006, 5:40 PM   #6
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I think on balance the 28mm is probably more important than the low-light performance.

The RD-1 is a little bigger than I wanted, and about 10x what I wanted to spend.

Having said that however, (for heaven's sake don't tell the wife) I'm holding out to see the Leica Digital M before I decide whether to upgrade my 20D to a 5D. :|


If I'm feeling really stupid I could get the Panny FX01 in Leica C-Lux1 livery, which pushes the price from £220 to £380. Though I think it does get an all-metal body and 3 year warrantee to distinguish it from the FX01. And it has a Leica badge of course so everyone will think I'm cool.
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Old Apr 19, 2006, 5:49 PM   #7
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peripatetic wrote:
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Having said that however, (for heaven's sake don't tell the wife) I'm holding out to see the Leica Digital M before I decide whether to upgrade my 20D to a 5D.
That should work well as a street camera.

If your wife asks, imply that you're saving money, since you'll hold off upgrading your 20D and use this smaller camera for street use. Just don't show her the bill. ;-)

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Old Apr 20, 2006, 4:40 AM   #8
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that FX01 looks tasty to have as a pocketable alternative to my dSLR.... hmm tempted


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Old Apr 20, 2006, 10:19 AM   #9
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I felt the same way, AudioEdge-

Until, I saw noise in the images beginning at ISO 80.

MT
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Old Apr 20, 2006, 10:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
I felt the same way, AudioEdge- Until, I saw noise in the images beginning at ISO 80. MT
Thanks MT,

You've got me worried now.

Can you point me to a review or some sample pics please? The samples over at DPReview look pretty good to ISO200 to me, with noise only really starting to become a problem at ISO400. As ET points out 800&1600 are achieved by pixel binning so aren't comparable.

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/panasonicfx01/page6.asp
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