Compact cameras

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Ok, I admit it, I’ve really liked the Sony RX-100 and then the RX-100 Mark II. Actually, the additional depth of the Mark II at least to me wasn’t super worth it, but now I seem to have misplaced our RX-100 Mark II (I know, I need to put a bluetooth tracker on it!). So time once again to analyze the market and see if its time to buy a new camera as my Canon 5D2 and RX-100 II getting even longer in the tooth. Here’s the state of the art:

Pocket cameras

Wow, these things are really getting good and being disciplined, this camera is small enough to fit in your pocket

  • Sony RX-100 Mark III. This latest version adds a full EVF and has less zoom but is a full stop faster 24-70 f/1.8-2.8 so that’s pretty cool. The other limitation of all Sony cameras is they actually use a lossy compression for their RAW format, so the bigger cameras don’t get you full quality (why did they do this?). It probably doesn’t matter for this 20MP 1″ sensor (with actually true resolution being more like a very good 11MP at F/5.6). It is even good at ISO 800. It is 102x58x41mm and weighs 290g. It has a bullt in ND filter as well

Compact camera

A hard definition, but I’d say this is one that you can just put into your backpack and they don’t weigh much and the cutting edge technology allows 4K video and fast lenses f/2.8 and high ISOs (relatively) at 1600. 

  • Panasonic LX-100 (Imaging Resources). The new thing now is to keep it small but get to 4K video. The new contender is the Panasonic LX-100 which is 4K video and uses an even larger Micro 4/3 (although 12MP resolution). It is a bit bigger than the RX-100 at 115x66x55mm and weighs 398g with battery and lots or protrusions. You also need an auto lens cover assembly. It uses a standard 43mm filter attachment as well so can put an ND or other filters on it. It also focuses very fast, faster than the RX-100. It’s highest resolution aperture is f/4 (Cameralabs). Interestingly, the noise isn’t that much lower than the Sony RX-100 III. It has an external flash so that makes it even more bulky.
  • Sony a6000. This is the rebadged NEX-6. And with a pancake or a small lense, it is actually the same size the Panaonic LX-100 but has interchangeable lenses. If it didn’t have that compressed RAW it would be very attractive. The nice thing about this is that it does use the standard E-mount, so if Sony ever fixes their RAW issues, it would be nice to have a small body (a6000) and a large body and share lenses. It also has phase detection in addition to
  • Olympus MD-5. These are very nice micro-4/3 cameras and is somewhere between compact and the big dSLR. And is very small. 

dSLR

This is the big camera case and in some ways where the most interesting things are happening. With cameras above 36MP like the Sony A7r, you need to have a tripod, shoot at high speeds and have the finest lenses (eg primes):

  • Canon 5Ds. This is a 50 megapixel camera?! that uses standard Canon EF lenses. Of course only the very best lenses can actually handle 50MP resolutions.
  • Sony A9. It is a much rumored version, but is supposed to be 50 megapixels as well (although the lossy RAW gets really annoying for a high end camera like this).

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