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compact cameras - how do you view them

Discussion in 'General Equipment Chat & Advice' started by pixelpuffin, Jul 20, 2019.

  1. pixelpuffin

    pixelpuffin Well-Known Member

    Whilst I do like dslrs, I find them incredibly constricting hence mine seem to be staying at home more often than not.
    My iPhone is fairly old and whilst I do fancy a more modern one, it will suffice until I decide which to replacr it with.
    That leaves me with just my Lumix TZ70. If I use it as a point and shoot, then the images are pretty much as one would expect. However, I find that when I take the camera seriously and actually treat it as I would a dslr the results often make me question what the major advantage is in keeping the dslr.
    This dilemma is even more so, after I spent a few hours yesterday making a makeshift cable release bracket out of an old aluminium flash bracket. The little TZ is now a different beast. The rigs I can use for holding the tiny lumix whilst I trip the shutter with my remote cable release are miniscule in both size and weight when compared to what's needed for holding steady my dslr's.
    I'm now thinking of attaching a rear screen viewer to the TZ and adding a pistolgrip with built in cable release, I could then us it for video work.

    In short I'm having a blast
  2. John Farrell

    John Farrell Well-Known Member

    I have a Canon 60D, but I find I use my Canon G12 more often.
  3. RogerMac

    RogerMac Well-Known Member

    And I have a Pen F plus a Canon 6D. I find that the Pen is superb for walk around unplanned shots but for considered shots I reach for the Canon.
  4. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    This question comes up again and again with variations on the "my DSLR is too heavy". Compact cameras serve a purpose. Phones have eaten one end of their market and compact system cameras the other so, arguably, the survivors should be getting pretty good. When I travelled on business I used to carry a Canon G10 (not their best variant) and it was capable of good results with care but the menu system drove me crazy and the viewfinder was awful. I settled on a Fuji CSC alternative to DSLR for times I want less weight but I've only become comfortable with it since the XH-1 came out, this body is of a size with my Canon 5D, and with a grip is nice to use but with 3 lenses and XE-2 as second body still fits in a small bag. Should I want again something that fits a pocket then I'd look at a compact but I'd want one with a 1" sensor*, a really good ELV, 24-105 (or so) focal length and minimal need to use the menu system.

    *My wife uses a Sony RX10 iii bridge camera and the results from the larger sensor are stunning compared to those from my Canon compact.
  5. pixelpuffin

    pixelpuffin Well-Known Member

    My approach to photography these days is so far removed from when I was in my early 20's. Back then it was 6x6 TLRs and borrowing the college's 5x4 MPP camera. The 35mm often felt like I was using a toy! The college days have long since gone. Family/work life now dictate how I spend my free time. Lugging the dslr around and expecting family members to take the same interest as me never works out. Truth be told I'm often aware just how anal I must appear to others - that bothers me deeply.

    The compacts I had years back were nothing like as amazing as those of todays generation. I'm in awe of their versatility. The TZ I use offers 3cm macro - then 30x zoom. I'm currently pondering the use of a simple 6" steel ground spike with a standard 1/4" whitworth thread atop. My mind is racing at the macro opportunities that will present itself. In my minds eye I see myself knelt down in waterproof trouser with my tiny TZ stuck on top of the spike taking stunning close up macro with high powered led light to add fill in.

    The TZ70 just blows me away everytime I use it (especially in macro) but the fixed rear screen is limiting for low down viewing.
    If I were to add the newer TZ90, I could then use the tilting rear screen AND the amazing 4k focus stacking! I can only imagine the jaw dropping macro shots with focus stretching from 3cm out to infinity, close up with a wide angle zoom lens.

    The downside is the small sensor, however as someone who has never once shot RAW, despite owning 5 dslrs and well over a dozen lenses. In fact the only pictures I have had printed are those I printed off at boots - both times the images came from either the iPhone or the compact cameras.

    I do enjoy occasionally wandering around the garden with the dslr and a macro lens. But the pressure is always on to justify using it. Likewise the dslr comes in its own when covering my sons sports activities, but even then I've managed to catch the odd action shot with the humble TZ.

    As for CSC, I had a brief affair 2yrs ago, sold the bulk of my canon eos stuff and sampled several panasonic models along with several lenses and even their flashguns. BUT, as clever as it was, the need to still carry other lenses around made me question the transition. Needless all was sold (at profit) and I quickly built up my canon system once more.

    We've just booked (yesterday) a last minute trip to Bruges, leaving this evening. As much as I'd love to take the SL1 and 18-135 stm, I know it will be ball and chain, so it stays and the TZ with a few spare batteries will be taking its place.

    AND, it this kind of scenario that is often getting repeated and is exactly why I seem to be shifting more and more to the compacts. I no longer have the freedom as I had when I was single, maybe that's why I still think I need the dslr, back then I could devote all day, every day - that's gone. Maybe I need to wake up and realise the fact that the actual image, regardless of how its captured is the true essence of photography and not necessarily having the best kit available to capture it - but just a means of capturing it.

    It's all clever stuff.
  6. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    I also have a TZ70 (inherited when my wife upgraded to a TZ90) plus a Sony HX90. One of them is always in my pocket. I'll admit that your idea of fitting bits to them is not something I'd do. The whole point for me is that they're small and ready to use just as soon as I get one out of a pocket and switch it on.

    Some examples of how I use mine...

    Panasonic TZ70 8GB H05 P1030218.JPG

    Panasonic TZ70 8GB H05 P1030233.JPG

    Panasonic TZ70 8GB H05 P1030278.JPG

    Panasonic TZ70 8GB H05 P1030411.JPG
  7. pixelpuffin

    pixelpuffin Well-Known Member

    image.jpeg image.jpeg You're just the chap I need to speak with Andrew
    May I ask your view on the TZ90?
    How does it compare with the 70? Is the lowlight that much different - is the EVF the same size on both?
    I note the EVF on the 90 is virtually flush with the rear screen? Is it comfortable to view through?

    I had the Sony HX90 as well as the older HX30 (gifted to a relative) the HX90 was quickly sold on - I found it vastly inferior to the older HX30 and the TZ range.
    Both the pop up EVF and Flash became the archils heel for me, plus the AF was shocking in lowlight and wouldn't focus on anything less than 3m away once the camera had been zoomed beyond a certain range. Granted the build quality was sublime / beautiful, but the flaws were more than I was prepared to tolerate.

    I'll try to upload a few images I've taken with compacts / never done this before...
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2019
  8. pixelpuffin

    pixelpuffin Well-Known Member

    image.jpeg A few others I found....
  9. pixelpuffin

    pixelpuffin Well-Known Member

    image.jpeg And...
  10. pixelpuffin

    pixelpuffin Well-Known Member

  11. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    I haven't used it myself but my wife's opinion is that it's an improvement on the TZ70. It's a chunkier camera so easier to hold and the images she's getting out of it do seem to have better sharpness and gradation. The closeup capability seems to have improved as well. She uses it quite a bit in poor light and thinks that both the IS and high ISO have improved a little bit. She uses it with spectacles and the viewfinder seems be more spectacles friendly.

    Now I would say that the Panasonic cameras are better built than the Sony cameras on the whole. My entire reason for buying the HX90 was the tilting screen and although I haven't used it as often as I expected it's very useful when it is needed. The pop up finder and flash are just the crosses we need to bear for supporting Mr Ibuka's little enterprise. They do the job and more I won't say. Some shots from my HX90...

    Sony HX90 8GB 01 DSC00031.JPG

    Sony HX90 8GB 01 DSC00825.JPG

    Sony HX90 8GB 01 DSC01300.JPG

    Sony HX90 8GB H06 DSC00169.JPG
  12. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    It has been said that the best camera is the one you have with you.

    With a few exceptions, a noisy/dark/light/blurred photograph is always better than no photograph. I completely agree it isn't the camera that matters it is the image and if you can get the quality you require with a compact camera, why not use it? My argument with the current "switch to mirrorless" campaign isn't that the cameras are poor or that they are in any way inferior it is that the camera isn't important, if you can get the image with what you already have you have no need to switch.

    Brilliant photographs by the way. Shame a leaf has caused some green blur in your last one Andrew but still a great result.
  13. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    I am quite happy with my Panasonic Lumix LX100 although I do miss using my fixed length 200mm on my old Nikon D300S

    Heere's a selection from an old Nikon D50, my Nikon D300S and my current Lumix LX100

    On balance, my Nikon with different lenses was probably my best, but even when I used my first digital Sony DSC, the little Lumix comes with me everywhere and keeps me taking pictures.

    Nikon D50

    ap a and the dark side Nikon D50.jpg

    Nikon D300S
    ap nikon D300s a.jpg

    and again Nikon D300S
    ap nikon D300s c.jpg

    and my current (getting old) Panasonic Lumix LX100

    ap lumix lx100 a.jpg

    ap lumix lax100 c.jpg
    Andrew Flannigan likes this.
  14. spinno

    spinno Well-Known Member

    I loved my TZ 70 but it broke so I've got a TZ 80. Having been laid up I haven't had much chance to try it out yet but first impressions from the garden are pleasing.
    My view is that compacts went through a phase where they tried to cram too long a lens on too poor a sensor with too many megapixels with the result that they went almost into oblivion but most modern compacts if handled correctly can produce decent images
  15. pixelpuffin

    pixelpuffin Well-Known Member

    I've got a pair of tz70 one black the other chrome.
    Initially I intended to go for the tz80, but both of mine still work perfectly. The chrome one did have dust on the sensor, but I simply hooked it up to the dyson using a toilet tube and sucked the bugger out!! Crystal clear now!!
    The latest TZ95 is now in my sights.
    Absolutely loving the freedom of using compacts.
  16. DaveM399

    DaveM399 Well-Known Member

    No shit??!!:D
    dream_police likes this.
  17. dream_police

    dream_police Well-Known Member

    Why didn't I think of doing that when I had some muck on my sensor?
  18. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    You wanted to hang onto the sensor? ;)

    I remember doing the most awful thing when I had to clean my Nikon D50. I used a puffer, but that didn't seem to be working, so I blew on it (the sensor). I could certainly see the result after I did that!!! Talk about sweating after doing it. I then got some eclipse and swabs and got it clean. I never breathed on a sensor again. Haha!
  19. dream_police

    dream_police Well-Known Member

    Yeah. I think I’ll stick to the swabs, or at a push a dustpan and brush.
    Catriona and DaveM399 like this.
  20. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    Some years ago I bought a small paint brush, the type model makers use, and brushed it gently on a filter. I was left with a greasy mark, not entirely unexpected but probably worse than I had imagined. After several rounds of washing with detergent I repeated the experiment and it didn't leave any residue. I now have several such brushes, kept in a sealed bag, that I can use to shift visible debris from sensors, mirrors etc. Much cheaper than a dedicated brush from a photographic supplier.

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