Save & earn with MPB; trade-in and buy pre-loved

Compacts at the Ready


I hope you enjoy browsing the images in my Portfolio - all comments are welcome!
...Read More

Compacts at the Ready

23 Sep 2020 9:41AM   Views : 540 Unique : 363

The poor compact camera, squeezed on the one side by the mobile phone and on the other by ever smaller mirrorless cameras. One by one, manufacturers have given up on compacts........and yet, maybe they still do have a place. In my jacket pocket is a Pentax MX-1, not the most compact compact but small enough to fit and give my jacket a sloppy, well worn look as it spoils the way the fabric lies. Fortunately I'm not looking for the John Steed look, so sloppy the jacket can remain, Harris Tweed reigns! I digress, but the mobile phone can produce great images, although put them into Photoshop and have a good look at the drawbacks of the tiny format can be seen clearly enough. Going the other way, mitrrorless cameras are still larger than compacts and won't fit in my jacket pocket.

So 12MP and a lens that offers a really useful focal length range with bright maximum aperture (Equiv. 28-112mm, f/1.8-2.5), really close focusing down to 1cm and full control of parameters with lots of real dials and buttons and a menu system almost identical to the Pentax DSLR range. Every marque will have something from their back catalogue, and the Olympus ZX-1 and ZX-2 will seem very similar to the Pentax as well. But whatever the make and model, the principle is there, so let's have a quick look at some simple techniques.

Two sneaky shots at the ballet, Av setting with -2EV dialled in.


Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, 2017, Av setting with -1.7EV dialled in.






Always at the ready for reportage shots, and with no bulky bag to carry.


Compacts tend to be very sharp, thanks to in-camera sharpening being hard or even impossible to switch off.


Spontaneous portraits



There are of course other practicalities, such as recording accidents, products and offers in shops for later consideration, chance meetings and so on. Even crimes in progress I suppose. So don't write off the compact camera yet!

Recent blogs by johnriley1uk

Buile Hill Greenhouse - Progress Report

We were down at Buile Hill Park in Salford today, just to see how the mansion and the Greenhouse were getting along. The mansion is under restoration at the moment, but the greenhouse was set to be demolished. This was such a wonderful place, with bi...

Posted: 11 Sep 2023 12:42AM

Always Carry a Camera

I make a point of always carrying a camera, just to capture anything and everything that catches my eye as we carry on with the minutiae of life. I was in Atherton and just heading for the shop that sells fuses and passed a small alleyway that used t...

Posted: 7 Sep 2023 8:59PM

The Golden Days of Motoring, Part Three

For the final part of this short sequence of motoring based blogs, a glimpse of something that would be a terrific find for anyone. Perhaps there's an old disused barn on your land, perhaps one day you decide to clear it out and perhaps withiong you ...

Posted: 5 Sep 2023 9:56AM

The Golden Days of Motoring, Part Two

Continuing the look at yesterday's classic car show, I could have spent many more hours looking at these fine machines and chatting to their owners, plus of course collecting a huge set of images. Only one car that I would like to see again seemed to...

Posted: 4 Sep 2023 10:19AM

The Golden Days of Motoring, Part One

Today we went down to Arley Hall to see the Classic and Performance Car Motor Show, a magnificent display of classic vehicles brought to uis by their proud and doting owners. I used to be quite an officianado of all things motoring, but it's been man...

Posted: 3 Sep 2023 10:11PM


NeilWigan Avatar
NeilWigan Plus
13 17 16 England
23 Sep 2020 1:29PM
Joan always has one in her bag and we keep a old bridge camera in the car and they probably get used more than any other cameras.
SlowSong Avatar
SlowSong Plus
15 11.1k 30 England
24 Sep 2020 12:30PM
I'm a great fan of compacts and always have one with me. My favourite was the Canon S100 but, sadly, my two have now expired and it's not cost effective to have them repaired. My Panasonic TZ100 is the replacement, but I stil hanker after the small, light and user-friendly Canon.
altitude50 Avatar
altitude50 19 23.9k United Kingdom
25 Sep 2020 3:13PM
There is a lot to be said for the compact camera. Three years ago I went on a coach holiday to St Mawes in Cornwall, I had a Nikon D5200 at the time with three lenses but I didn't want the hassle of carrying a camera bag with me. I had just bought a Sony RX100 and I was so pleased with the results from it, much to my wife's surprise, I took only the Sony with me and I am glad that I did.

Some photos were taken out of the hotel window of the harbour 'waking up' well before dawn with the camera supported on three spare toilet rolls. As well as general landscapes and architecture. Others were taken inside a fairly dark Truro cathedral, camera on back of a chair, with very good results. I think that overall I might have missed some shots with the DSLR getting it out of the bag and or changing lenses and my general clumsiness!
Now I always carry my Panasonic TZ80 which has a much longer zoom than the Sony, but not quite the quality. Pictures of distant yachts and shipping always available as well as street and portraits, very versatile.

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join for free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.