Right now I carry a monstrous 5d ii with 3-4 lenses (24-105, 16-34, 100-400, 50 f1.4 for available light). But there is a big gap between a 3mp iPhone and 25 pounds of 21mp gear. What’s in between is finally getting filled in with micro 4/3 and high end compacts. The ideal is a point and shoot with optical viewfinder, true iso 400-800 with low noise and great fast optics with decent zoom say 24-105 equivalent. Interchangeable lenses are nice too.
We aren’t completely there yet but getting close. Here are some choices.
1. Panasonic Lumix lx3. $500. Is current leader. Sensor is about 0.5 inches so decent. Really fast lense. Sort of compact. Main issues are lack of viewfinder and sensor is still small.
2. Olympus digital ep-1. $800 Use micro 4/3. Like a small rangefinder. Sensor is relatively huge at 2x factor vs. 1.6x for aps-sized digital rebel. Almost a buy except it has no optical viewfinder.
3. Canon s90. This is a lx3 killer. 10mp which is actually unintuitively better because u want bigger pixels for less noisy performance. No reviews yet.
4. Panasonic micro 4/3. Even better but $1500 so hard to justify