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StrollerEd

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 13, 2011
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As several here know, I have been posting photographs using iPhone6, iPhone7 & latterly iPhone 12 Pro. Unless the iPhone 15 range something else v.special, it might be only the camera quality which prompts me to upgrade.

I am therefore thinking instead of using the money saved to buy a dedicated digital camera, probably one which I would readily take with me (perhaps not always) and with which I could begin a learning curve.

I think I've learnt a lot and have been 'an improver' with the benefit of the [camera I have with me] iPhone, but this will be new ground.

Clearly I could go pocket compact. However, I've been reviewing 'body only' options to buy second-hand from eBay and the like. But I realise that I'll probably need to ask about a 'starter lens'.

The (UK) consumer magazine Which has presented me with a much larger array of full frame, mirrorless and bridge options which it has reviewed but I thought I should tap into the experience of your good selves.

Any recommendations? Thus far, I've been prompted by friends to look at Olympus PEN E-PL10 (or 8 or 9), panasonic lumix dmc-fz1000 and the (older) Sony A7II
 

_timo_redux_

macrumors 65816
Dec 13, 2022
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The good news is all cameras above a certain sensor size produce excellent images.

The bad news is there is a tremendous variance in ease of use, ergonomics, and particulars of lens and body combinations, especially shooting in the RAW space.

There are a number of ways to break down the bewildering array of choices.

1. Try a candidate in your hand. Turn it on, put it up to your eye, check out the screen, check out how a lens mounts. Peruse the menu trees -- are they crazy? The whole of it has to feel good, but maybe that in-hand feel is the most important.

2. Forget about a particular body, but look at what lenses are offered. The majors all have good choices, but they vary quite wildly in price and compatibility. If there's too many choices to make any sense of your options, start with looking at the 50mm (or equivalent) options. Good, fast 50mm (or thereabouts) glass is often the sensible first lens for an interchangeable lens camera, and these are often well-priced.

3. One typically get the best results with primes (single focal-length lenses) but of course there's more flexibility with zooms. But zooms are bigger, slower and typically more costly. No free lunch. I think it's best to be, at first, restricted to what a prime can do, until you get your sea legs ... sure you'll miss out on some far-away shots, but OTOH the ones you make will be enough better than a phone's efforts to make obvious the reason for even having a camera different than your phone's camera.

4. The rest is habit and familiarity. Use it every week, or every day, and many of the niggles present in various brands and bodies become of marginal importance vis-à-vis the satisfaction acquired via the quality of your images. But you gotta work it: learn the camera, learn it's edge cases, experiment. If you are working the camera, it doesn't much matter which camera. But of course you've gotta start somewhere.

5. I've owned multiple Pentax dSLRs, a couple of Sony full-frame mirrorless (radically different form factors), multiple Canon dSLRs, a Fuji fixed-lens compact, and now a Canon mirrorless. My preference is for a sensor size not less than micro 4/3s: it makes a difference when you want to push edge cases in post-processing, as with low-light shots. I agree with those who think that APS-C is the sweet spot, which makes Fuji (and to a lesser extent Pentax) also the sweet spot (Canon/Nikon offerings in this sensor size are dumbed down; they want you paying full-freight for "full frame.") I vastly prefer fast shutter releases; shutter lag drives me nuts. I think bridge cameras are neither fish nor fowl. I'm agnostic about viewfinders or mirrorless displays; both have their advantages. For a well exposed image I've never seen a meaningful difference between all my cameras, except the smaller sized images can't be printed as large, or extremely cropped as much. Edge cases.

I'm sure if you post some candidates someone here has experience with the brand or even model.
 

mollyc

macrumors 604
Aug 18, 2016
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what is your budget and what kinds of photos do you want to take that you can’t with your phone? how much size are you willing to carry?
 

StrollerEd

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Aug 13, 2011
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Scotland
Thanks both.

Budget is elastic between £400 to £900 for both camera and lens.
Purpose is to deliver better picture quality than iPhone 12Pro and achieve shots I don't usually manage with that phone camera, eg with greater and easier zooming.
Size is important as I don't want to inhibit my taking in with me 'on the off chance'. Most of what I capture in photographs is not planned, it's what I see/discover that I snap. I might change that behaviour but that's how it is at present.

1. The advice to get hands-on is well taken. I'd like to have a short-list before I enter a shop although there is a camera shop within walking distance I might visit.
2. The recommendation of 50mm is also welcomed.
3. OK, a zoom lens is bigger than the standard/prime; I get that.
4. Looking forward to that journey
5. Still mulling the upgrade/improvement in 'sensor size' I'm seeking from the iPhone 12Pro.

I like landscapes but I will v rarely have opportunity to attempt such skyscapes as Northern Lights or the Milky Way.

To restate, I have been looking at s/h e-bay purchase of Olympus PEN E-PL10 (or 8 or 9), panasonic lumix dmc-fz1000 and the (older) Sony A7II - ie, a bit behind the curve of new releases.
 
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_timo_redux_

macrumors 65816
Dec 13, 2022
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Re: #3 -- a prime is /faster/ than a zoom: bigger max aperture, so it can let in /much/ more light than a zoom. Makes a huge difference in low light, but also allows you to blur out the background if you want

Re: #5 -- any "real" camera's sensor size is categorically different than an iPhone's. It means better low-light gathering, and, yeah, more ability to blur out a background. iPhone sensor sizes tend to push everything in the frame into relative focus: fine if you want that, frustrating if you want to emphasize one subject over its background

The older Sony A7II would be a great camera. Heard lots of good things about the Olympus Pens, including their terrific compact size when paired with a pancake zoom.
 
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OldMacs4Me

macrumors 68020
May 4, 2018
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Wild Rose And Wind Belt
Don't know if the Lumix ZS200 is on you radar. This review I did awhile back may help you decide one way or the other.

To further emphasize something I said in the review there is a button which falls exactly where you will want to rest your thumb. That's the fn1 button you can see the second image in the original post. That button switches the camera over to 4K video and is a royal pain in the wazoo. Wife has accidentally found it on multiple occasions. Fortunately it has proven fairly easy to pull a quality still from the video. Sample below was actually cropped from a vertical shot.

RavenHatTrickA.jpg
 
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Ray2

macrumors 65816
Jul 8, 2014
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Sony RX100. That's predicated on you’re used to a pocket device that handles wide angle FL's well. So a longer FL may open doors that your iPhone does not do well. Mount a reasonably fast (f2.8) midrange zoom on an m43 or larger sensor and you’re now looking for a comfortable shoulder pad and a means of lugging it around. As in it stands a very good chance of being left at home.

RX100's are on the expensive side. For good reason. The same reasons they outsell their far lower priced competitors by a wide margin. Buy a couple of spare batteries, the cheap Sony grip, cover it in grip tape. You have a serious camera with either a 24-70/1.8-2.8 or a 24-200/2.8-4.5 eq. telephoto, superb AF and Sony's modern sensor tech. Both the raw's and jpeg's have a modern render, much like the newer iPhones. I find I do very little post processing with my RX100 (m3 & m6) files. I also shoot m43 (Oly and Panasonic) and Fuji.

On the bay, look at the Japanese sites. They charge more. But they, my experience, always overdeliver by a wide margin and avoid the risks associated with eBay - a better place to sell than buy. Other sites would be KEH, B&H used section and MPB. Sort low price first and you can occasionally surface bargains.

Good luck, have fun.
 
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mollyc

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I have really been enjoying Fuji lately and they have some really small bodies; they are all crop frame, which helps with size. The biggest problem with Fuji right now is they are so in demand it's hard to find any in stock.

I think you should narrow down what size sensor you want first, which will help direct you on brands. A m43 will be smaller than a crop body and a crop body will be smaller than a full frame. But if you decide that full frame is non-negotiable, then you can rule out a lot of things (this is the same which ever size sensor you land on).


Or hop on over to dpreview before it shuts down and read over their forums. 🙂

The good news is with the way cameras are today you'll be unlikely to choose a bad one!
 
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tizeye

macrumors 68040
Jul 17, 2013
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All are good choices, but one consideration not touched since shifting from iPhone is to make sure can transfer photo wirelessly to the iPhone. You wouldn't want to do this for every photo, but the special one you want to immediately post (or text/email) just as if you had taken it with the iPhone. While I am home now, I have been traveling for the past 4 days WITHOUT A COMPUTER to download to and all photos on the SD card will be transferred today. However, those photos I posted on the POTD and "Nature" threads were taken with the Sony a6000 and selectively transferred to the iPhone, also available on the iPad which I also carried. Also, I normally shoot with a Sony a7rIII, but wanted to travel light so took wife's a6000 and two kit lens...with the 55-210 blowing away wife's iPhone pics at the zoo. While the a6000 is dated, it is still sold new as and "entry-low cost" option, but would definitely consider the 6100, 6400 or even the 6600 as they resolved some of the initial issues. We had the a6000 since initially introduces and chose over the competing Olympus and Panasonic with the one requirement of a viewfinder after experiencing sunlight washing out LCD. The Sony just felt better in the hands. I did experience missing a photo due to the extended time that required when turning on and focus locking on which were resolved/improved with later models. Also, prices may drop as Sony is rumored to introduce a new, presumably high end, camera in the 6000 series in the near future.
 

StrollerEd

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 13, 2011
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All good stuff - please keep it coming ...

I'm just off to visit a shop to have some hands-on experience ..

But browsing the Excellent/9 s/h on for distant shops with pancake lens in mind:

£474 buys me Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III (£257) + Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 II (£217)

£748 buys me Sony Alpha A7 II (464) + Sony 35mm f/2.8 (£284)

Them there’s also whatever Fuiji + Fujinon 27mm f/2.8 (£499)
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
28,588
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Canon R50 ?
 

StrollerEd

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 13, 2011
971
6,926
Scotland
All good stuff - please keep it coming ...

I'm just off to visit a shop to have some hands-on experience ..

But browsing the Excellent/9 s/h on for distant shops with pancake lens in mind:

£474 buys me Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III (£257) + Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 II (£217)

£748 buys me Sony Alpha A7 II (464) + Sony 35mm f/2.8 (£284)

Them there’s also whatever Fuiji + Fujinon 27mm f/2.8 (£499)
Feedback from ‘hands on’ visit:

Unfortunately, the Olympus felt a bit small in the hand & the Fuji T-5 felt good! Now looking at a good price for the T-3
 

Clix Pix

macrumors Core
For me, when considering a new camera purchase I think about:

1) What do I plan to do with this? Travel? Use it primarily around home and in my local area? What type of shooting do I anticipate with this? Landscapes, scenery, historic sights, people (either casual candids or formal portraiture, or "street" photography), the world more closely observed with a macro lens? What types of lenses would most suit specific situations?

2). Lenses. If buying into an interchangeable lens (ILC) system, it really is important to consider what types of lenses the brand offers beyond the "Holy Trinity" of zoom lenses and a few standard configurations.

3) Viewfinder (OVF [optical] or EVF [electronic]). For me this is an absolute must and I will not purchase any camera which does not have a viewfinder. DSLRs use Optical VF. Mirrorless cameras all use EVF (Electronic View Finder). Some compact cameras have an EVF and most P&S cameras do not have any VF at all.

4) Sensor size and number of megapixels. For most of my shooting I prefer a FF (full-frame) camera and a lot of megapixels. I also want fast burst shooting in some situations (wildlife, in particular: those birdies and squirrels move quickly!) I like lots of megapixels for greater resolution (image quality) and croppability.

5) Size and weight of camera body without lenses and with lenses. There's an interesting site on the web which shows actual comparisons in physical dimensions of various camera bodies and that can be very helpful. If I am considering a camera specifically for travel then the size and weight of the body and any lenses becomes more important to me.

6). Budget. Oh, yes, that is a significant factor for most of us!

Ed, it looks as though you've done a lot of thinking about these things already and that's good.

I used Nikon in the past and am currently using Sony. My first Sony ILC was the NEX-7, which is an APS-C camera body, and one of my earliest Sony purchases was the RX100 III, which was eventually followed by its successors. The RX100 series is excellent for carrying in a pocket and the images are excellent. It has a surprisingly good 1" sensor. Later models have a pop-up EVF, which while a little awkward, does the job just fine.

My first Sony ILC FF camera body was the A7R IV, and that brought me into the wonderland of Sony lenses -- there's a lot of native lenses (made by Sony and by other "third-party" manufacturers) from which to choose, offering great versatility and lenses to suit just about any particular need and budget. I notice you mention the 35mm f/2.8 lens. Sony also makes an excellent f/1.8 lens at a quite reasonable cost, too. That is one to think about, too, as it is fast and works well indoors as well as outdoors. It's small and fits nicely on the camera without adding bulk or much weight. If one wants something wider, Sony also makes a very nice little 20mm lens, too, again quite reasonably priced.

One thing which is interesting about the Sony system is that everything uses E-Mount. This makes it convenient for someone to start out with an APS-C body and eventually move into a FF body, as the lenses will work on each. If I chose, I could use APS-C lenses on my FF body as well as using the FF lenses on an APS-C body. Using FF lenses on an APS-C body creates the so-called "Crop Factor," which on Sony is 1.5x, creating a field of view that is the same as a 75mm lens on a FF body.

Sony's system includes a small FF camera body (A7C) which some people choose for its size and portability, especially for travel. It works with all Sony lenses, of course, and is lighter in weight and smaller in dimensions than the other FF bodies and is just about the same size as the APS-C bodies. It is not quite as full-featured (not as many dials and buttons) as the larger FF bodies, though. It uses the same NP-FZ100 batteries as the A7R IV and A7R V, giving it good battery life, which is important when traveling, whether around town or around the world.

Happy choosing your new gear. It'll be fun to see what you get and it will be a fun learning experience for you!
 

Clix Pix

macrumors Core
Feedback from ‘hands on’ visit:

Unfortunately, the Olympus felt a bit small in the hand & the Fuji T-5 felt good! Now looking at a good price for the T-3
Oops, this came in while I was busily composing my lengthy screed.... Yes, it is very important that a camera feel good in one's hands, both with small, short lenses and large, long lenses and zooms. I'm sure the Fuji folks here can fill you in on the info you need about the Fuji system.
 

StrollerEd

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 13, 2011
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Scotland
Sony RX100. That's predicated on you’re used to a pocket device that handles wide angle FL's well. So a longer FL may open doors that your iPhone does not do well. Mount a reasonably fast (f2.8) midrange zoom on an m43 or larger sensor and you’re now looking for a comfortable shoulder pad and a means of lugging it around. As in it stands a very good chance of being left at home.

RX100's are on the expensive side. For good reason. The same reasons they outsell their far lower priced competitors by a wide margin. Buy a couple of spare batteries, the cheap Sony grip, cover it in grip tape. You have a serious camera with either a 24-70/1.8-2.8 or a 24-200/2.8-4.5 eq. telephoto, superb AF and Sony's modern sensor tech. Both the raw's and jpeg's have a modern render, much like the newer iPhones. I find I do very little post processing with my RX100 (m3 & m6)
Interesting, not what I was expecting, but I will explore this as it is undoubtedly a step up and might be as far as I should go.

Edit: I might have misunderstood - still exploring this
 
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StrollerEd

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 13, 2011
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I have really been enjoying Fuji lately and they have some really small bodies; they are all crop frame, which helps with size. The biggest problem with Fuji right now is they are so in demand it's hard to find any in stock.

I think you should narrow down what size sensor you want first, which will help direct you on brands. A m43 will be smaller than a crop body and a crop body will be smaller than a full frame. But if you decide that full frame is non-negotiable, then you can rule out a lot of things (this is the same which ever size sensor you land on).


Or hop on over to dpreview before it shuts down and read over their forums. 🙂

The good news is with the way cameras are today you'll be unlikely to choose a bad one!

Fuji cameras are in stock, just expensive. I was taken with the Fuji T5, is that what you had in mind?

As stated elsewhere, the T5 felt much more comfortable for the size of my hands than the Olympus OM-D E-M10 III but only slightly more than the Sony A7 III - which of course is v much less expensive.

The 'camera consultant' I spoke with had a Fuji T5 fitted with Fujinon 27mm f/2.8 ;) She was very helpful and did not do the hard sell, preferring to support my journey into her world.

I'm looking at reviews & s/h offerings for the T3 - any other Fuji models to recommend, APS-C or otherwise?
 

Clix Pix

macrumors Core
Definitely check out the Sony RX100 series -- The current version is RX100 VII, but the older versions are still available as well, either new or gently used. The image quality is truly quite good and I find having the built-in zoom range of 24-200mm very convenient in a small compact and sophisticated little camera that fits in my purse or a large pocket. I have used mine at concerts -- being mirrorless, this is a camera that one can set it to silent shutter, which is essential in some situations -- and since I have the popup EVF I can turn off the back LCD screen (and of course the flash) so it doesn't bother others in a darkened theatre or in other places.

Although technically the RX100 series is considered a P&S it is far more than that, as the user has the ability to shoot RAW, to shoot in Manual, Aperture Priority and Shutter Priority, plus the ability to adjust ISO or set it to Auto ISO, and can set the metering to whichever is most appropriate for a situation. I tend to use spot metering much of the time for the type of shooting I do, whether with this little camera or my others.

That 1" sensor sounds like it could be an issue, but actually the 20.1 megapixels perform nicely, and with today's technology, including the ability to increase resolution in an image if needed (the folks at Topaz provide this in their apps, and now some other editing software does as well, including Photoshop, so it is not that much of a problem).

The camera shoots quickly under fast-moving conditions, too, in burst mode if the occasion requires it, and this is nice in situations involving very active and on-the-move animals or children, or dancers on-stage. I occasionally take my RX100 VII out for a walk with me around the lake and I set things up to be able to shoot in Continuous High if the situation requires it.

Since its very first one, the Sony RX100 series has included several very versatile and flexible cameras which have served many professional and serious amateur photographers for quite a while as their "pocket, carry-with-me-everywhere" camera."

That said, this, an RX100, is definitely a somewhat different shooting experience than using a camera which is larger such as an ILC: enter the "Bridge" or "SuperZoom" camera. Sony fills that gap with its outstanding RX10 IV, a body-and-fixed-lens combination that is a sort of go-between when it comes to P&S cameras and interchangeable lens cameras. Yes, I have the RX10 IV, too, and it is a wonderful camera, but definitely not pocketable! It has the 1" sensor and 24 MP and is sized like a small DSLR but has an amazing fixed zoom lens with a range of 24mm - 600mm (35mm equiv). It feels much like a DSLR or mirrorless ILC in its features and functions, and is quite useful for travel or for walking around one's neighborhood, but does need to be on a neck strap or wrist strap or with a small bag to carry it when not using it.

So, yes, check out Sony's RX100 and RX10 cameras....
 

Clix Pix

macrumors Core
Fuji cameras are in stock, just expensive. I was taken with the Fuji T5, is that what you had in mind?

As stated elsewhere, the T5 felt much more comfortable for the size of my hands than the Olympus OM-D E-M10 III but only slightly more than the Sony A7 III - which of course is v much less expensive.

The 'camera consultant' I spoke with had a Fuji T5 fitted with Fujinon 27mm f/2.8 ;) She was very helpful and did not do the hard sell, preferring to support my journey into her world.

I'm looking at reviews & s/h offerings for the T3 - any other Fuji models to recommend, APS-C or otherwise?

I may be wrong about this but I have the impression that Fujifilm cameras are not available in 35mm FF? I think they do m4/3 and APS-C and then skip over to a somewhat modified version of Medium Format (not the usual dimensions and aperture/mount size we old-timers think of when we think of Medium Format)? There is a compact APS-C fixed-lens Fuji that is very popular (maybe the one Molly is currently using along with her MF camera?)

Molly and the other Fuji folks can provide more details here....

After I hit the "Send" button it occurred to me that Ricoh also makes a very well-regarded series of fixed-lens cameras that is quite popular and used by many professional and serious amateur photographers as their carry-everywhere camera. Another brand to check out!

Clearly a major decision for you right now is going to have to be whether you go with a fixed-lens compact (small, even if not pocketable) camera or an ILC which has a fairly small body but which can handle any and all lenses thrown at it as shooting scenarios and situations change....
 
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StrollerEd

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 13, 2011
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Scotland
Definitely check out the Sony RX100 series -- The current version is RX100 VII, but the older versions are still available as well, either new or gently used. The image quality is truly quite good and I find having the built-in zoom range of 24-200mm very convenient in a small compact and sophisticated little camera that fits in my purse or a large pocket. I have used mine at concerts -- being mirrorless, this is a camera that one can set it to silent shutter, which is essential in some situations -- and since I have the popup EVF I can turn off the back LCD screen (and of course the flash) so it doesn't bother others in a darkened theatre or in other places.

Although technically the RX100 series is considered a P&S it is far more than that, as the user has the ability to shoot RAW, to shoot in Manual, Aperture Priority and Shutter Priority, plus the ability to adjust ISO or set it to Auto ISO, and can set the metering to whichever is most appropriate for a situation. I tend to use spot metering much of the time for the type of shooting I do, whether with this little camera or my others.

That 1" sensor sounds like it could be an issue, but actually the 20.1 megapixels perform nicely, and with today's technology, including the ability to increase resolution in an image if needed (the folks at Topaz provide this in their apps, and now some other editing software does as well, including Photoshop, so it is not that much of a problem).

The camera shoots quickly under fast-moving conditions, too, in burst mode if the occasion requires it, and this is nice in situations involving very active and on-the-move animals or children, or dancers on-stage. I occasionally take my RX100 VII out for a walk with me around the lake and I set things up to be able to shoot in Continuous High if the situation requires it.

Since its very first one, the Sony RX100 series has included several very versatile and flexible cameras which have served many professional and serious amateur photographers for quite a while as their "pocket, carry-with-me-everywhere" camera."

That said, this, an RX100, is definitely a somewhat different shooting experience than using a camera which is larger such as an ILC: enter the "Bridge" or "SuperZoom" camera. Sony fills that gap with its outstanding RX10 IV, a body-and-fixed-lens combination that is a sort of go-between when it comes to P&S cameras and interchangeable lens cameras. Yes, I have the RX10 IV, too, and it is a wonderful camera, but definitely not pocketable! It has the 1" sensor and 24 MP and is sized like a small DSLR but has an amazing fixed zoom lens with a range of 24mm - 600mm (35mm equiv). It feels much like a DSLR or mirrorless ILC in its features and functions, and is quite useful for travel or for walking around one's neighborhood, but does need to be on a neck strap or wrist strap or with a small bag to carry it when not using it.

So, yes, check out Sony's RX100 and RX10 cameras....
Thanks for this. Whilst not wishing to be bothersome, but I've seen two advertised from a good source with 'just go for it' pricing that might get me on the path:

Sony Cyber-shot RX100 Mark IV @ £394 'Excellent'

[The LCD screen has a small number of light irremovable marks, but this doesn't affect functionality.This has been reflected in the price]

Sony Cyber-shot RX100 Mark III @ £319 'Good'

[Item is in good overall condition, but may have some signs of cosmetic wear, i.e. light scuffing to some areas or slight shiny surfaces, the clean/mark re sensor, hot-shoe, and buttons may have some signs of wear. There may be some light marks or dust on the LCD screen.]
 

mollyc

macrumors 604
Aug 18, 2016
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yes i have the fuji x100v which is fixed lens and a fuji medium format. but something like the x-e4 is inexpensive. fuji skips over full frame options.

@Darmok N Jalad shoots fuji too.
 
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Clix Pix

macrumors Core
Ed, I just had a quick look at camera decision.com, which compared the Sony RX100 III and RX100 IV, and it looks as though the EVF was significantly improved in the popup IV (I think, but don't remember for sure, that the III was the first time they implemented the popup EVF). There were other differences but much remained the same between the two versions from what I can tell. I would go for the newer model as there are always other things "under the hood" which have been improved and reviewers don't always know about those or mention them. The fact that it is also stated as being in "excellent" condition is good, too.

However, before pressing that "buy" button, if it is possible to hold and handle an RX100 in a local store that would be a good thing to do, as if you have large hands and big fingers the camera body may feel really fiddly to you. The buttons are pretty small on there! Fortunately, once someone has set up the device in the menu there are not a lot of times when one needs to go back in there to change something, and the buttons and dials are pretty straightforward, but that situation does arise, of course.
 
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Darmok N Jalad

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Sep 26, 2017
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Fuji cameras are in stock, just expensive. I was taken with the Fuji T5, is that what you had in mind?

As stated elsewhere, the T5 felt much more comfortable for the size of my hands than the Olympus OM-D E-M10 III but only slightly more than the Sony A7 III - which of course is v much less expensive.

The 'camera consultant' I spoke with had a Fuji T5 fitted with Fujinon 27mm f/2.8 ;) She was very helpful and did not do the hard sell, preferring to support my journey into her world.

I'm looking at reviews & s/h offerings for the T3 - any other Fuji models to recommend, APS-C or otherwise?
The X-T3 is a great camera body. The X-E3/4 are very compact, but maybe out of your budget. A cautionary tale on Fuji, is most bodies don’t have IBIS, and the primes offer no OIS. That can sometimes require a good amount of technical skill, which might result in frustration when starting off. M43 is a great jumping off point because the IBIS is phenomenal, the primes are excellent and small, and you can get long zooms for a fair value. Smartphones fall flat when seeking up-close detail, like of wildlife, where the 75-300 will get your right up there to it. It’s also an affordable avenue, and much of the products are weathersealed really well. E-m10 is nice, but don’t overlook a used E-M5.3 or E-M1.2 for value.
 
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StrollerEd

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Time for shuteye, so will sleep on all this good advice - trying not to toss and turn on the acronyms ;)

[This reminds me of when I first entered the world of hifi - I used to buy s/h then too, deciding when I had reached my level of minimum dissatisfaction, whilst all along wanting to be focussed on just enjoying the music - PRAT not then being a term of abuse.]
 
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_timo_redux_

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Dec 13, 2022
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New York City
Time for shuteye, so will sleep on all this good advice - trying not to toss and turn on the acronyms ;)

[This reminds me of when I first entered the world of hifi - I used to buy s/h then too, deciding when I had reached my level of minimum dissatisfaction, whilst all along wanting to be focussed on just enjoying the music - PRAT not then being a term of abuse.]
It /is/ a bit like hi-fi, right down to the voodoo. And as with hi-fi, in the end, it's all about the picture/music.
 
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