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Cheap compct digital camera with a large sensor?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Finally some compact cameras with decent sized sensors. The Canon G1X or the Sony RX-100 are too expensive though at over $600. When will cameras like these be priced under $200??????

Which do I like better, the G1X or the Sony RX-100? A tough choice. The Sony is much smaller and has a faster lens, however the Canon has a 1.5" sensor vs 1" on the Sony. If I win the lottery I would probably buy both. Right now I am waiting for these to become much more affordable. I would also like to see large sensor compact cameras with much more of a zoom range. One with an F2 12x zoom would be nice. . Look at the sample photos from these cameras. Imo they look nice, especially the ones from the G1X.

I  looked some more for a cheap compact camera with a large sensor. The best I could find was the 12.3 megapixel  Olympus E-PL1 for $265 with a 3X zoom lens. Having just 12.3 megapixels doesn't bother me even though there are now some digital cameras under $100 with 16 megapixel sensors. I do want more than a 3X zoom though. I also don't like the fact that the 3x zoom is f5.6 at telephoto. I want a lens that is faster than f4(ideally f2.8 or faster) at full telephoto. I was also disappointed to learn that micro four thirds does not mean a 4/3 inch sensor. The sensor is just .89". This still seems like a better deal than the Sony RX100, even though this seems much bulkier. The sample images from the E-PL1 imo also look nice. If only I could get the E-PL1 at a low price with a 6x f2-2.8 lens.







Edited by JK1 - 9/3/12 at 12:11pm
post #2 of 4



I am going through a similar dilemma. My Canon G9 is gone and I have been using the highly configurable Panasonic ZS10 as a standby. Only problem - terrible image quality. Terrible.


I have reviewed my EXIF data and it appears the 24-100mm zoom range seems to be ideal - provided the camera delivers clean, sharp results at 800 ISO. A fast-ish lens would be nice but I have the D300 for that, as well as a good macro.

I had originally considered M4/3 - the Panasonic GX1 + a few lenses but gave up on that idea because it would have been so expensive. Then I considered the NEX 5N + a Sigma 30/2.8 - more affordable, bigger sensor, focus peaking... but nixed THAT because either solution would force me to buy into another system (I already have a Nikon D300 + lenses and a flash so ...) and cost a bomb. AT that price buy some pro NIkon glass and shut up, mate.


Now it's down to: 


  • Canon G1x - Con: slow AF, slow Shot-to-Shot. But SLR comparable IQ, sounds good. HAve yet to see some street scenes in any of the reviews.
  • Sony RX100 - Con: cost? Sensor, lens, size, focus peaking are all bonuses
  • Panasonic LX7 - Con: small sensor? Superfast lens and Panasonic seem to have the IQ right at last
  • Fuji SX10 - it has a fast manual zoom lens, Highly configurable, Fuji colour
  • Canon S100 - Canon IQ is great out of the box. Focal length is perfect (105mm being my fave for street n portraits...)
  • Olympus ZX1 - Con:? Not sure about Oly IQ. 
  • Panasonic LX5 - Con: IQ? Highly configurable
  • Nikon P310 - Con: small sensor, not as configurable as Id like but F1.8 at 24mmm... also IQ seems top notch. And it's silly cheap; means I can spend on Head-Fi stuff, a new laptop...
  • Nikon P7100 - Con: small sensor but IQ is great, highly configurable, 28-200 mm zoom (as long as my old G9), Nikon menu system, and it takes Nikon flashes like my SB-700.
  • Sigma DM2M - super expensive but has awesome IQ
  • Fuji X100 - moronically expensive
  • Samsung SL500 - slightly older tech but great IQ, fast lens...


My rationale. Get a compact that has at least a fast 24-105 lens, and delivers clean results at ISO 800. Anything longer, I will spring for a 70-300 VR Nikon zoom lens.

Decisions decisions. 

post #3 of 4



My few cents..


If you're gonna go Micro 4/3, go with Panasonic. I've never owned an Olympus before, but I've played with a few that some friends own, and quite frankly, I just don't think that Olympus makes good cameras in the budget Micro 4/3 range. I think that Olympus' ergonomics are poor, and the build of the camera feels so.. cheap. There's so much plastic. And it seems to me that their selling point is that it is indeed affordable, and highlight gimmicks like art filters and all that nonsense. In the range of Olympus M4/3 pricing, I'd go with a Panasonic GF2. My friend was looking into buying a supercompact, but didn't know anything about cameras so he asked me. I wasn't too familiar with Micro 4/3 either, so I went ahead and did research. There's pros and cons to each model; one isn't going to be definitively better than the other. But in almost every major review done in comparing the GF2 to the EPL1 and EPL2, the GF2's come out on top. Plus Panasonic's got Leica glass. I'd honestly go with a GF1 because I think that they look a hell of a lot sexier than the GF2, but for some reason they're ridiculously expensive brand new. You'd have to go eBay surfing to find a cheaper used one.


Anyway, not to belabor the point.. I'd go GF2. My friend picked up one at Best Buy last year for like 215 bucks. I think it was on sale in their weekly ad that week.


Oh and j0burger.. the Fuji X100 may be moronically expensive, but it's my favorite purchase I've made in quite some time now. It's an incredibly beautiful camera, and the pictures that it pumps out.. worth every penny I spent. It's the only camera I use now (despite terrible autofocus. I'm still waiting on a firmware update...) But if you want to get a nice complimentary camera to your DSLR for fine tuned compact shooting, go with a camera from the LX series. I have an LX3, and it's a gorgeous camera. Very nitpicky little thing, but once you get a feel for it, it's awesome. If you want a no-nonsense just point and shoot and get a good quality picture camera, I'd go with the Olympus XZ-1, which is actually a really nice little camera. I didn't even know what it was before my friend brought one over last winter (says a lot about their budget Micro 4/3 cameras when their flagship point and shoot costs more huh?). I keep hearing negative things about the S100, which apparently was a severe disappointment following the S90 and S95.


Hope this helps somewhat.

post #4 of 4

Thanks Peeg. I'm thinking to go with one of the LX models. 

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