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Choosing a compact to supplement my DSLR?

pixor 13 181 Australia
2 Mar 2010 3:04PM
Hi Folks,

I usually shoot with a Canon 40D plus a few nice lenses, but now there are a few compacts on the market that do RAW and reasonable image quality, I would like to get one of these to carry with me at all times.

I have narrowed things down to the Canon G11 and the Panasonic GF1. Both look to have great image quality for a compact. I like that the GF1 does HD video, and the pancake lens looks rather nice. I like that the G11 is cheaper!

Does anyone have either of these? Care to comment on your experience with them?

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kit-monster 14 3.7k 2 Singapore
2 Mar 2010 3:42PM
I would choose the S90.

It uses the same chip as the G11 - same great image quality.
It is a pocket camera - the G11 isn't much smaller than a 40d with a light prime - if you want to carry the G11 around, you may as well take the 40D.
Wide open at 28mm it's f2 - G11 is f2.8
It's half the weight of the G11.
It's a canon - you already have a canon, so should be a shallow learning curve.
It's cheaper than a G11.
It has a slightly bigger LCD than the G11.
You can still shoot RAW.
It has 2 direct control rings on the lens!
Toonman 11 1.4k 2 England
2 Mar 2010 3:49PM
Hi Pixor. Bought an S90 at Christmas it's awsome. If you are after a pocket rocket you should consider this one but, it's not cheap.
guidoa 16 1.4k United Kingdom
2 Mar 2010 5:07PM
The Panasonic LX3 gets very good reviews and has an f2. 24mm Summicron lens
2 Mar 2010 6:20PM
easy... the GF1

same sensor as a dslr (not so for G11)
much better lens (lenzes)
much better results at higher iso values

basically it's a dslr looking like a compact
the G11 is 'just' a (good) compact

yes, the GF1 is more expensive, mostly for the reasons mentioned above
2 Mar 2010 6:25PM
Another vote for the S90, I did try a G10 but way too big, the S90 sits in an old minolta leather pouch on my belt, even when I play golf, it is truly pocketable.

If you choose the S90 then the Richard Franiec grip is a must, makes shooting so much easier
strawman 14 22.1k 16 United Kingdom
3 Mar 2010 12:07AM
As my compact is playing up this is an area that interests me. I am intrigued to see how the cameras based on the new Sony backlit sensor technology work. The S90 looks nice but I found the controls very fiddly. The GF1 lacks IS and gets very bulky with a zoom on, plus costs a lot more, and the S90 looks expensive enough.

Is the Sony HX5 any good?
discreetphoton 13 3.5k 20 United Kingdom
3 Mar 2010 12:46AM
S90 was no use to me, as I needed a hot shoe, so I stumped for the G11 (one of the first in Central Scotland to do so). Delighted with it. I'm experimenting more with angles, which is what I wanted, and I never find myself saying "I wish I'd brought the SLR". It's great for street photography, as people aren't intimidated by it.
Toonman 11 1.4k 2 England
3 Mar 2010 6:18AM
Yes the G11 is very good (Ihad a G9) but, you may as well get a GF1 if you are going to pay that sort of money whereas the S90 is truly pocketable with near DSLR quality (In the right conditions).
pixor 13 181 Australia
3 Mar 2010 8:19AM
Interesting comments - thanks and keep them coming!

The GF1 appeals to me for the size and weight (I am thinking just about the 20mm "pancake" lens), as something to have with me at all times. I'd mainly be doing street photography with it.

I'd still have my DSLR for when I am "going out to take photographs", but there's so much I miss because I don't have my DSLR with me when I am walking about cities just doing my normal daily stuff.

I must admit, the missing IS is a shame, but with an f/1.7 lens, I don't think that should be much of an issue, unless shooting in low light (which I would like, but you can't have everything - not right now, anyway). A way round this might be the Olympus E-P2 + the Panasonic 20mm f/1.7, but the costs are mounting.

Anyone want to buy a Canon 17-40mm f/4L? I may need to "rationalise" my lenses to justify this purchase!
petemasty 9 155 England
23 Mar 2010 9:18PM
Will be taking delivery of my S90 tomorrow after deliberating somewhat between the Pnanasonic LX3 and Leic DLux4. Played with the S90 and was bowled over by its compactness and ease of use.

Wanted something to supplement my dSLR and something compact to do street and reportage photography. After all i have read, the Canon lens is certainly equal to the Leica lens of the Panasoic and the DLux. But, above all, picture quality being equal, its compactness and ease of use was the winner for me.

I suppose it's horses for courses. analyse what you want it for. Thats what I did and the Canon won ahead of the Pana and Leica.
pixor 13 181 Australia
24 Mar 2010 12:15AM
I ended up getting a Panasonic GF1 with the 20mm pancake lens.

I'm really impressed with the quality. Not having a viewfinder is a little tricky as I wear glasses, and have to peep over them when focussing on the screen.

All in all, it's a success, as I am taking photos most days now Smile
Toonman 11 1.4k 2 England
24 Mar 2010 6:17AM
Congrat's Pixor. Happy snapping.

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