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Fed up weight-lifting and looking for a small pocket camera.

SamLS 15 237 United Kingdom
27 Jun 2019 3:02PM

I've got to the stage where carrying a "full" SLR kit is becoming a bit of pain in all senses of the word and for holidays etc I just want something small and light I can keep in my pocket.

I have had a Olympus ZX-1 which fitted the bill but the sensor gets dusty (and it costs a fortune to clean) and the battery life is abysmal.

My criteria is
- small and light
- full automatic / full manual control;
- hot shoe (many small cameras don't these days)
- viewfinder (see above)
- optical zoom
- reasonable battery life

So, I'm looking at an Olympus PEN EPL-8. On paper it meets my criteria other than viewfinder, but you can buy a plug-in viewfinder accessory. It also has the possibility of reusing my old Zuiko OM lenses - I see there's a couple of adaptors available.

Any thoughts?

27 Jun 2019 6:37PM
Sony RX10mk3 or Mk4 bridge camera should be perfect, spare batteries are less than a tenner on ebay so battery life shouldn't be a worry

Does everything you want and quality images too

bornstupix2 4 120 1 France
27 Jun 2019 7:11PM
I love my sony a6000 and also my old lumix lx3 but the sony is great for all sorts of old lenses via the adapters that are available plus the e mount zeiss optics.
SamLS 15 237 United Kingdom
27 Jun 2019 9:47PM
Forgot to say... Another requirement is either that the sensor never ever gets dust on it (!) or that you can clean dust off the sensor yourself (or it's very very cheap to have done professionally).

I'm scrapping the ZX-1 because it'd cost more than the camera's worth to have the sensor cleaned again.

Sony seem to be getting votes....
Carabosse 18 41.5k 270 England
28 Jun 2019 12:26AM
Sony A6300 APS-C mirrorless camera with standard zoom could be a good starting point. LINK That is a compact and fairly light combo. You can add other lenses as and when you feel like it.

You could go for the newer A6400 with the same lens for about 95 extra.
Chris_L 7 5.5k United Kingdom
28 Jun 2019 11:54AM
For kit replacement. Have a look at Micro Four Thirds - plenty of lenses from Sigma, Olympus, Samyang, Panasonic and others. Adaptors that let you use legacy lenses in manual from just about any other brand. Some excellent bodies from Olympus and Panasonic, some that fit in your shirt pocket, some that are almost small DSLR size but lighter with good handling and ergonomics.

Sony's stuff is great but the weight reduction isn't as significant as Micro Four Thirds.

Your buying criteria concerning how expensive a sensor is to clean might be causing you to make compromises that you don't have to make.

Changing lenses in the same conditions using the same technique is as likely to get some dust on the sensor of one model as it is on another.

You can learn to clean your own sensor. You don't need fancy tools or expensive liquids. You just need very good light and some magnification that lets you see the dust you need to remove. It makes all the difference - buy one of these for less than the cost of a shop clean.

People get OCD about sensor cleaning, I used to, it helps to remember that it's not the actual sensor that you clean but a small rectangle of glass that protects it. If you would be happy to clean a camera lens or your camera's LCD display then you should be able to do this.

Most dust will blow away with the likes of this this , other specks can usually be dislodged with one of these (you can use them dozens of time before they stop working). I've dislodged dust with a Johnson's cotton bud. To scratch the glass you would have to press stupidly hard. I avoid using liquid or wet swabs unless all else fails.

SamLS 15 237 United Kingdom
28 Jun 2019 12:19PM
Thanks for the comments about sensor cleaning. On my "proper" camera (Nikon D200) I do clean the sensor myself, but on my pocket Olympus you have to strip the whole thing down to get to the sensor. I attempted it once and wrecked the camera and had to buy another one for eBay.

To put this in context I used to br a service engineer with IBM so and quite handy and confident about fiddling witg things, but point and shoot camera maintenance without the proper gear isn't for the feint hearted

Hence the concern....
Ross_D 7 841 1 United Kingdom
28 Jun 2019 4:04PM

Quote:criteria concerning how expensive a sensor is to clean might be

Agreed. I always chickened out of cleaning the sensor on the various cameras I have owned. However, I bit the bullet and decided to 'home clean' the sensor on my current camera, a Fuji. I used a Visible Dust EZ cleaning kit and it was simplicity itself ! Each kit contains sufficient swabs and fluid for 5 cleans which works out about 7 per clean.
lobsterboy Plus
17 14.9k 13 United Kingdom
28 Jun 2019 4:12PM

Quote:So, I'm looking at an Olympus PEN EPL-8.

The Pens are great but tend to rely on the back screen for a lot of functions. The EM10 mkIII may be a better bet as you have more dials to get at functions quickly. I use the EM-10 in the city and it's just brilliant, with the pancake lens I can drop it into a coat pocket and barely notice the weight.
DaveRyder Plus
7 5.4k 9 United Kingdom
28 Jun 2019 4:18PM

Quote: I use the EM-10 in the city and it's just brilliant, with the pancake lens I can drop it into a coat pocket and barely notice the weight.

I can agree with that - I've an E-M10ii and use a Panosonic 12-32 a lot and it's a sharp little lens (downside there no manual focus on this lens) or when travelling a Tamron 14-150 (although this is then not a pocket size but neither is it too heavy on a wrist strap).

Chris_L 7 5.5k United Kingdom
28 Jun 2019 5:17PM
So long as your new camera uses removable lenses you will be able to clean the sensor without disassembling the camera so don't let that put you off the Micro Four Thirds range. If you plan to shoot a fair amount of video then go for Panasonic, if it's nearly always stills then get an Oly with the amazing IBIS.

Look at how gorgeous this is. It reminds me of being a kid and chancing across my dads' camera, in its leather case, in his sock drawer. The solid feel, the reassuring weight, the knurled knobs, the beautiful colour. I spent ages looking at it, drying to press the silver button with the red dot, but not daring. In comparison my first DSLR, a Canon 300D, looked like a piece of plastic ****. My current Sony looks little better despite costing thousands. Those EM-10s and other Olympus and Panasonic models make you want to take them out and shoot with them.
SamLS 15 237 United Kingdom
28 Jun 2019 6:10PM
I have an OM1 and OM2n and occasionally just look at them and "play" with the controls... Very geeky but they're just such beautiful pieces of machinery ...

Anyway, back to reality. That's why my original thoughts were the Pen.

Didn't mention my budget, which is around 500. I guess that excludes some of your suggestions.
lobsterboy Plus
17 14.9k 13 United Kingdom
28 Jun 2019 6:26PM

Quote:Didn't mention my budget, which is around 500. I guess that excludes some of your suggestions.

There is very little difference in price between the PEN and the EM-10 MKII - about 30 from the Olympus shop.

P.S. If buying from the Olympus shop PM me & I can give you a code for 10% off
Chris_L 7 5.5k United Kingdom
28 Jun 2019 9:51PM
The slightly smaller size and few grams less weight wouldn't be enough to persuade me that the PEN was the one to pick between the two.

The EM-10 has significant photo taking advantages for a tiny bit more money.250184_1561754914.jpg
Carabosse 18 41.5k 270 England
29 Jun 2019 12:49AM
Of course if you want to go really small and light - and keep within your budget - consider a Panasonic GM1 + 12-32mm combo. You won't be able to buy brand new but this might be worth consideration. LINK

I have owned a couple of these cameras (and lenses) in my time and would still own one had I not decided not to make the move out of MFT.

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