Art and Photography

Best pocketable camera?

  • Last Updated:
  • Jan 4th, 2019 3:23 pm
Tags:
[OP]
Member
Apr 24, 2012
406 posts
414 upvotes
Vancouver

Best pocketable camera?

Looking for advice on best camera that would fit in a pocket with around slightly over 1k budget. Important features: high light sensitivity and high dynamic range. I currently have Nikon D5300 with 16-300 lens, but end up not carrying it most of the time because it's too bulky. Phone camera (LG V20) does well with good light, but ends up too noisy in low light and doesn't resolve shadows in high contrast scenes.
Currently considering Sony RX100 V, but not sure if there is anything better for the price or cheaper with same features.
DSC_9665.jpg
38 replies
Newbie
Feb 12, 2017
31 posts
14 upvotes
Calgary
Have a look at the Panasonic LX100 and newly announced Panasonic LX100 II.
[OP]
Member
Apr 24, 2012
406 posts
414 upvotes
Vancouver
medved1 wrote:
Aug 29th, 2018 9:35 pm
FUJIFILM X100F
Unfortunately, at $1650 this is out of my price range.
Kevin3840 wrote:
Aug 29th, 2018 10:03 pm
Have a look at the Panasonic LX100 and newly announced Panasonic LX100 II.
This is a great suggestion! Cheaper than Sony at $800 as opposed to $1150 and 1.5X bigger sensor, while all other specs are similar. Much bigger though :( Gotta go find a place to see if it's still pocketable. Also, gotta see which one has better stabilization. Ouch, just found that LX100 II is expected to ship in October at an MSRP of $999USD. I wonder if there are enough significant improvements to warrant a $500CAD price increase.

Edit: Never mind. No go for LX100. "External Flash Included" - Really? There are cameras sold in 2018 that still don't have a built in flash? Not carrying an external one, as the whole reason for buying it is portability :(
Deal Addict
User avatar
Sep 26, 2007
4119 posts
493 upvotes
because the built-in flashes are barely good enough even in a pinch?

I have the rx100 v and I can't rave about it enough...aside from lacking a touchscreen
Russell wrote:
Sep 10th, 2011 12:29 pm
We come here looking for deals. We use the savings on the things we buy to justify buying more things, thus filling our homes with tons of unnecessary consumer products. Such is the key to happiness.

Newbie
Feb 12, 2017
31 posts
14 upvotes
Calgary
Olympus started removing internal flash as far back as 5 years ago with the E-M5. Other models and brands may have done it even earlier. The reason was to make room inside to cram an electronic viewfinder. I think most cameras without a flash are good enough in low light to get away with it -- with the right lens and stabilization.

The X100F and LX100 (I and II) are probably the best in class for the low light shooting and dynamic range you requested. Canon still makes a full range of sizes. If you do not select a model from the Sony RX100 series, I would look at Canons next.
[OP]
Member
Apr 24, 2012
406 posts
414 upvotes
Vancouver
twitchyzero wrote:
Aug 30th, 2018 12:42 am
because the built-in flashes are barely good enough even in a pinch?

I have the rx100 v and I can't rave about it enough...aside from lacking a touchscreen
Oh, definitely agree that built in flashes are not good at all. But sometimes there is no other way to take a picture, if there is not enough light and the subject refuses to stay still, like my 4 year old :) Also, even built in slow sync flash can be fun.
[OP]
Member
Apr 24, 2012
406 posts
414 upvotes
Vancouver
Kevin3840 wrote:
Aug 30th, 2018 12:52 am
Olympus started removing internal flash as far back as 5 years ago with the E-M5. Other models and brands may have done it even earlier. The reason was to make room inside to cram an electronic viewfinder. I think most cameras without a flash are good enough in low light to get away with it -- with the right lens and stabilization.

The X100F and LX100 (I and II) are probably the best in class for the low light shooting and dynamic range you requested. Canon still makes a full range of sizes. If you do not select a model from the Sony RX100 series, I would look at Canons next.
I didn't realize absence of flashes was so common. I've only had Nikons and Canons and they all had flashes. My current Nikon D5300 can get away without flash with the right lens, but it still has one built in. Which Canons would you look at?
G9 might look interesting: good sensor and bright lens. Inexpensive too. Wonder what the catch is. (Edit: found the catch, soft lens) https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canon- ... -ii-review

Edit:
Looks like LX100 II, which comes in October is going to give the best quality in my price range. Need think about the missing flash though :(
https://www.dpreview.com/products/panas ... _dclx100ii
Deal Guru
User avatar
Jun 15, 2012
11144 posts
5299 upvotes
Southern Ontario
Was that deer taken with your LG? In casual situations, I see a dedicated pocket camera good for reach, and maybe indoor portraits where you manually tilt the flash at the ceiling like on an RX100, over using a phone.

Do you still see yourself at the end of the day investing time in uploading to a computer, editing, sharing, and possibly printing? I can’t be bothered for social pics unless I have a clear intention to print. YMMV and I don’t knock people who have pocket camera, just my personal preference to use a phone (caveat, I do have 2 Canon 5DIV’s I use for paid photography and surpassing limitations of my phone like Milky Way shots).

Edited your shot, quick and dirty on my X:

Image

iPhone X, 40min before twilight near the Parry Sound 33 fires:

Image

What are you shooting? Other examples? Maybe you could save some money and try editing techniques, unless you need optical zoom.

I should add I did have a Sony RX100IV and sold it, I was still using my phone more.
Newbie
Feb 12, 2017
31 posts
14 upvotes
Calgary
The Canon G7 X Mark II has an f/1.8-2.8 lens to handle low light better than the G9 X Mark II, and it has a flash. DP Review says it's a good pocket camera except for its soft JPEGs: not a problem if you process RAW when you want better quality. (When you don't want to process, just extract the biggest thumbnail: it's usually good enough for most viewing.)

https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canon- ... -ii-review
http://canon.ca/en/products/Cameras/Com ... ct-Cameras

The G7 and G9 models are perhaps simpler than Canon's top compact, the G1 X Mark III. That G1 is much more expensive and won't fit in a pocket though. For simpler shooting, don't forget to look at the Fuji XF10. DP Review hasn't done a full review it yet, but the XF10 has an APS-C sensor, f/2.8-16 lens, and a tiny flash.

https://www.dpreview.com/news/230077545 ... -c-compact
https://mirrorlesscomparison.com/previe ... 10-vs-x70/
https://fujilove.com/xf10-first-shooting-impressions/

The XF10 seems to trade a bigger lens and multiple control points for a much better sensor and very slim size. While I haven't seen critical reviews of a production model yet, the image samples look absolutely fantastic. Having used predecessors of both the LX100 and XF10, I know Panasonic and Fuji can make great optics. I would choose the Panasonic for high control, low light shooting, and the Fuji for maximum image quality that truly fits in a pocket.

Incidentally, the LX100 II does come with a flash as you noted, but it would be very easy to lose if not tied to something. Once mounted ,the flash sits high for a compact camera, which is good.
[OP]
Member
Apr 24, 2012
406 posts
414 upvotes
Vancouver
AncasterRFD wrote:
Aug 30th, 2018 11:18 am
Was that deer taken with your LG?
Animals are not that trusty of people where I live. No way to take such close picture with a phone. This was taken at about 250mm zoom with Nikon. And you can't have that background blur on a phone.
Yes, I edit all of my DSLR photos in lightroom. I try to make my photos look the same as reality looked to my eyes at the moment of taking picture.

Your iPhone X example is a good illustration of what I'm trying to avoid. Sky looks overexposed and reflections look underexposed. I'm not saying your photo is bad or not pretty, but it's just not how I like my photos to look.

I take many pictures that can't be reasonably taken with any phone, unless I stop caring about quality.

Low light with very bright background
DSC_7557.jpg

Super low light example
DSC_7663.jpg

This is how I like my sky and reflections to look
DSC_6872.jpg
Last edited by zaporozhets on Aug 30th, 2018 1:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
[OP]
Member
Apr 24, 2012
406 posts
414 upvotes
Vancouver
Kevin3840 wrote:
Aug 30th, 2018 12:42 pm
The Canon G7 X Mark II has an f/1.8-2.8 lens to handle low light better than the G9 X Mark II, and it has a flash. DP Review says it's a good pocket camera except for its soft JPEGs: not a problem if you process RAW when you want better quality.
I looked at a RAW sample and they appear just as soft. I'll keep looking, perhaps it was just a bad image.
Kevin3840 wrote:
Aug 30th, 2018 12:42 pm
The XF10 seems to trade a bigger lens and multiple control points for a much better sensor and very slim size.
That looks very interesting, especially for $500USD! I'll check out the samples.

Thank you for taking time to post the links. All of your suggestions look very interesting :)

Edit: After seeing sharpness of LX100 samples, it's hard not to be a little disappointed with quality of lenses in Canon compacts.
Deal Addict
Feb 21, 2013
3490 posts
792 upvotes
Toronto
I was just going to suggest XF10 as well, which I think is going to be a rival to the Ricoh GR II

I've been wanting a GR II for a while, but I just can't justify it considering I have a XPro2 + 18mm Fuji, and the only real advantage is a smaller form factor (but still not one I'd consider "pocketable" unless I wore baggy pants/cargo pants)
Games: XBox Live: M1GO

Gear: Fujifilm X-Pro2 | Canon A-1
Deal Guru
User avatar
Jun 15, 2012
11144 posts
5299 upvotes
Southern Ontario
zaporozhets wrote:
Aug 30th, 2018 12:59 pm
Animals are not that trusty of people where I live. No way to take such close picture with a phone. This was taken at about 250mm zoom with Nikon. And you can't have that background blur on a phone.
Yes, I edit all of my DSLR photos in lightroom. I try to make my photos look the same as reality looked to my eyes at the moment of taking picture.

Your iPhone X example is a good illustration of what I'm trying to avoid. Sky looks overexposed and reflections look underexposed. I'm not saying your photo is bad or not pretty, but it's just not how I like my photos to look.

I take many pictures that can't be reasonably taken with any phone, unless I stop caring about quality.
Nice shots! Fair enough. Our eyes' instantaneous DR sees greater than 24 stops, you definitely need a bigger sensor than a phone. And you're right, while a phone can fake bokeh a portrait mode, it cannot at distance nor has the true optical reach.

I'm a portrait/wedding shooter, by habit I want my subjects the biggest and brightest and sometimes that means blowing out the sky which works for people as subjects because it's like putting a white backdrop behind them. If I want what broad DR, I've taken landscape shots with a CPL+rectangular grad fliter, stacked images for sharpness throughout etc. For the most part, casually shooting I'm just sharing events and my audience isn't finicky about IQ, usually family/friends. I'm less of a documentary photog these days. I know some people who strive to have accurate colours in their camera and Lr as much as possible too, nothing wrong with that.

The sky was pretty white 2 weeks ago as it was cloudy and there was a big fire there that's currently under control. Here is the same last year, not as blown out with my 5DIV, I still didn't have time to do it properly as I had family/children with me.

Image

Photography is subjective and we all have different goals, good luck in your search!
[OP]
Member
Apr 24, 2012
406 posts
414 upvotes
Vancouver
AncasterRFD wrote:
Aug 30th, 2018 2:59 pm
I've taken landscape shots with a CPL+rectangular grad fliter, stacked images for sharpness throughout
LOL, what? Is that even English? JK, brb, gotta google to understand what any of that means :) This photo looks amazing and is the perfect illustration of what I'm aiming for and what a phone camera can't deliver. Beautiful orange haze while looking directly at the sun and all shadows look natural. I love the sun rays (is that what you call them?). Yep, this is what I call perfection! Artistic photos can be fun too, but natural looking photos like this one make you feel as if you are there.
AncasterRFD wrote:
Aug 30th, 2018 2:59 pm
Our eyes' instantaneous DR sees greater than 24 stops
Didn't know that. It's an eye opener :D (pardon the pun ) Amazing how such small sensors can have so much resolution, DR and sensitivity, and even somewhat weather sealed and mostly self cleaning. No zoom though :) Oh, and the memory card is not very reliable.

Took the left one with D5300 with no tripod. ƒ/3.5 1/4s 16mm ISO1600
The right one is woth camera perched on an object.
Don't think it's possible with any small sensor or a phone. Super interesting place to explore, btw
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V%C3%B6lklingen_Ironworks
DSC_4233.jpg
DSC_4237.jpg

Top