New to the Compact Camera thing

Discussion in 'Sony' started by KC1976, May 12, 2014.

  1. KC1976

    KC1976 New Member

    May 12, 2014

    I am a proud owner of a DSLR which I love (although I am an amature and don't use 90% of the functions on the camera). But now I am looking to buy an easy to use compact camera to take with me on weekend trips, evenings out, etc. It will mostly be used for pics inside (mostly portraits/people) as well as outside (our kids playing on the beach or by the pool, trips to the zoo and the like, portraits, maybe some landscapes, etc). It might use it for a little bit of filming as well...

    I have an old compact but am dissapointed in the pics it takes (I think it's approx 8yrs old, 8MP and it takes horrible pics inside with awful lighting and red eyes, which I dont want!!!)

    After spending some time on the internet looking for info, I find mself even more confused and baffled at all the options out there. :dash2:

    I think I might have narrowed it down to the following 2:

    Sony RX100 (I understood great for portraits and landscapes, but maybe not great for taking candid shots of the kids due to limited zoom)
    Pana Lumix TZ60 (Less quality images, especially indoor portraits, but better for shooting the kids)

    Both seem to get great reviews. (I was also looking at the Fuji X20 but it seems to complicated/advanced for an amature although I love the looks...)

    Anyone have any info that can help me, or have been in a similar dilemma? Is the Pana really that "bad" or is the zoom worth it and will pics be sufficiently good for recreational use? Or can I take good "distance" pics with the Sony and still get good close-ups by zooming/cropping the pic after, and will this be suitable quality for making printed albums and the occasional large print?

    Like I said, I am an amature so any help welcome!!!

  2. KC1976

    KC1976 New Member

    May 12, 2014
    So no one can help me on this? :frown:

    Is it possible to take some more "distant" shots with the Sony RX100, but possible to crop/zoom into the pic later to still have decent quality close-ups for hard copy photo albums or the occasional large print on canvas or glass/plastic, or is this the wrong camera for this kind of use?

    Or should I then go for the Pana Lumix TZ60 (or the Fuji X20?)

    Thanks again!
  3. The RX100 is probably the best compact out there for IQ. The sensor is large and the lens is superb but like all cameras, none do everything perfectly. Have a play and see how they feel.

    I think if you go Panasonic you will be a little disappointed with the IQ as you will compare it to your DSLR. If you want a 'compact' compact then the TZ range are great!
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Rhino123

    Rhino123 Veteran

    May 11, 2014
    Tiew Chong Yi
    If TS is interested in taking distance shots and the closest image quality to match the RX100, in my opinion (short of at least a m4/3 camera) is the RX10.
  5. pictor

    pictor All-Pro

    Jul 14, 2010
    That's the Sony RX1. The RX100 is a great little camera nevertheless.
  6. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    The Sony is better in every measurable way compared to the TZ (except for zoom range). If the zoom is more important than everything else, buy the Panasonic. But I think the RX100 is a much better camera.
  7. chilliman

    chilliman Regular

    Jan 10, 2013
    Bonnie Scotland
    As said above regarding the RX100 but why don't you have a look through this thread >>> and let the results speak for themselves. I think its a safe bet to say most of the photos are pretty much straight out of the camera without a lot of processing in the likes of photohop etc except from some cropping where needed.
  8. ScrumPoet

    ScrumPoet New Member

    May 23, 2014

    After many years of lumping around 35mm SLR kits and the associated paraphernalia (Olympus Trip to OM2 and many Minolta cameras) I made the transition to a Canon based DSLR. However, I never found a "compact" of sufficient quality and flexibility (and I tried quite a few !!).
    Given my lifestyle, hobbies and growing family I needed something with high IQ and portability. Then the Sony RX100 appeared. I bought the mk1 about 15 months ago and everything changed. It does genuinely fit in my jeans pocket and it goes everywhere with me. I have taken 1000s of photos with it from portraits and candid family shots through to breathtaking landscapes from some of my adventures ( some very inhospitable places). It has NEVER let me down even in extreme temperatures.
    The quality of photos is superb in low light (the RX100 has many scene mode settings for low light situations including night portrait). The pop-up flash is adjustable so that you can "bounce" the light. There is even an option to push the ISO to Multi which takes a series of snaps and combines them to optimise NR.
    I love my photography but even with all my film experience I found it difficult to capture those mind blowing candid shots of the kids. This was impossible with all that equipment for me but now it is easy. I have never had a problem with the limiting zoom except when trying to defocus the background. This because at full zoom the camera can only go to f4.9. However, the mk3 now goes wider but with less zoom (if I have read correctly).
    I looked at the Fuji X10, X20 and X100 seriously and the range from Canon and finally plumbed for the Sony. The X20 is just not that compact in my view. Admittedly the extra controls on the X20 did have an appeal and so did the 'retro' look but the Sony has a plethora of options to tailor my common settings and I find it easy to use all the time and in some unusual lighting situations. There are plenty of P+S settings on the RX100 and this was imperative for me when taking candid/spontaneous shots.
    I wanted a high IQ camera that I could whip out of my pocket and snap away with and over 15 months I have realised that this camera is a whole lot more. I now shoot mainly in manual mode and use the other 90% that you allude to in your post.
    I did not upgrade to the mk2 when it was released (didn't need the tilt-able screen or optional viewfinder) and I doubt I will move to the mk3 because even though the high zoom aperture has improved I don't need that. Sure if I find myself on a serious shoot I will dust off the DSLR but for every other situation the RX100 is in my pocket. The IQ is fantastic, the autofocus is quick, the camera has grown with me and I have learnt an enormous amount with this pocket rocket.

    all the best


    PS...I don't work for Sony !!
    • Like Like x 2
  9. RT Panther

    RT Panther All-Pro

    Dec 25, 2012
    How much are you willing to spend ?
  10. bilzmale

    bilzmale Super Moderator Emeritus Subscribing Member

    Jul 17, 2010
    Perth, Western Australia
    Bill Shinnick
    I'll chime in with another plug for the Sony RX line. And by the way, a warm welcome to both KC1976 and ScrumPoet - hope you stick around.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. bartjeej

    bartjeej Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Nov 12, 2010
    The rx100 has a 20mp sensor with pretty good pixel level sharpness, so depending on your desired output size, there's definitely some cropping possible. Certainly if you don't print and view your photos digitally, but also if you print. If pixel level sharpness is good, 10mp is usually considered enough for a quality A3 print (11.7x16.5 inches for the Americans). So you could crop to half the surface area and still get a very decent sized print.

    Oh, yes, and welcome to the both of you! :smile:
  12. ScrumPoet

    ScrumPoet New Member

    May 23, 2014
    Thank you fro the warm welcome....some interesting posts up here. perhaps you will permit me to 'share' some of my tips garnered from my time with the RX100:

    1) Buy a screen cover. I bought an excellent one off of Amazon for about 7 quid.

    2) The camera struggles to operate in temps below minus 20. I know the official guidelines stipulate that you don't go lower than 0 but I have had no problems minus 20 to zero. Colder than that then she stays at home and I use the Olympus Trip.

    3) The battery level indicator is tantamount to useless. Buy a spare battery. I have 3 batteries in all and this covers all eventualities...especially low temp operation.

    4) No need for expensive camera bags or clip on pouches. I use a red, kid's sports sock to wrap the camera in my pocket to protect it against change/keys dropped into my pocket. I learnt this the hard way with my beautiful camera bearing the scar ! The red sock also helps me find her in the long grass/bushes of my campsites !

    5) Use the Fn button. I have many configurations now and this oft overlooked button has significantly helped me.

    6) Use the creative effects especially in family situations. On playback, your audience will be captivated and I have found this reduces their shyness to being photographed. Kids love it too and if you can trust with the camera they will happily move around shooting then ask them to do it with the effects turned off. This gives an interesting perspective and dramatically increases their enthusiasm for photography....cant be bad !!

    7) buy decent software for all those photos ! I got fed up with iPhoto, looked at Aperture and eventually opted for Lightroom...the sorting, cataloguing and presentation
    of the photos is superlative...Lightroom saves me a lot of time !


    • Like Like x 1
  13. Judderman62

    Judderman62 Veteran

    Mar 24, 2013
    Greater Manchester, UK
    Above all go play with the cameras you're considering in a shop. I was in John Lewis a while back and played with : Canon G 15, Fuji X 20 and Sony RX 100.

    It took me less than 20 seconds to decide there was NOTHING I liked about the Sony RX100 .. wouldn't want one if you gave it me for free. Also bear in mind that at 20MP if you're going to shoot raw file sizes will be large and if you shoot a lot you're going to need a lot of storage - my 750 gb hard drive is straining.

    An option that hasn't been mentioned, and I recently purchased and love, is the Pentax MX-1. Superb optics f1.8 - to f2.5 on a 28-112mm and images quality you would not expect from a sensor that size.

    You can see some examples of images in this thread:
  14. BillN

    BillN Hall of Famer

    Aug 25, 2010
    S W France
    Don't cover that lovely screen up with a £7 bit of cheap chinese plastic or any screen cover

    You have just spent a fortune on your camera - enjoy it to it's full

    didn't read the rest of your points after seeing that

    Same goes for lens filters
  15. bartjeej

    bartjeej Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Nov 12, 2010
    ^ i think an anti glare screen cover can improve the experience if the screen itself is too reflective; ptherwise, i probably wouldn't bother although it might help with residual values..
    Filters... I always have one on my X100, to protect it from dust and moisture, but i dont think it's necessary in a not-too-dusty, typically electronics-friendly western urban environment. Polarizing filters can be useful though.
  16. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    Yup, welcome ScrumPoet and thank you for sharing your views on the camera for such a variety of uses - would love to see some of your photos when you have time!

    It seems that KC1976 hasn't been around for a while, but perhaps he or she will come back and let us know their ultimate decision.
  17. Gary1

    Gary1 Rookie

    Have you taken a look at the Olympus XZ-2 yet? The IQ and zoom range is in between the RX100 and TZ60, but the handling is far exceeds them. It was released at $600 two years ago and can now be had for less than $300. I traded in my trusty old G12 for one 2 months ago, and I'm finding it to be a GREAT little camera. If a need a bit more range, I set the Fn1 button to give me 2x Tele converter and go from 4x straight to 8x zoom instantly. The IQ, fine detail, low light level capability, fast AF, touch screen and handling far exceeds what my G12 gave me. Do yourself a favor and at least check on out.