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  • Welcome to the new site. Here's a thread about the update where you can post your feedback, ask questions or spot those nasty bugs!

Pocket Cameras

Sean Reid

Moderator
Chris Kresser recently brought up the topic of pocket cameras that one can easily carry with him, or her, all the time. Let's discuss some of them in this thread. Who is using what? How are they working out? Do they get used? etc.

Cheers,

Sean
 

Sean Reid

Moderator
I've posted about my Voigtlander Perkeo II in a similar thread over here--

http://openphotographyforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4991&highlight=perkeo&page=2
Now that's an interesting option! The closest camera to that which I ever worked with was my Graphlex which, while it folded up, certainly wasn't pocket sized.

Also, as your post reminds us, film photography discussions are welcome here as well. I haven't used film myself for a number of years but I used it heavily from 1976 - 2002 and I fully understand why some people choose to stick with it.

The compact film camera I always wanted to own, but never bought, was the Rollei 35.

In the digital world, the "pocket" cameras I've written about so far are the Ricoh GR2, the Ricoh GX100, the Sigma DP1, the Canon G9 and the Leica D-Lux 2/3.

Cheers,

Sean
 

Cem_Usakligil

Active member
Hi Sean,

I have just very recently joined the pocket camera brigade, having bought a Canon G9 (see here). I'll do a user review on this camera as I go along.
 

Ray West

New member
Is this 'Pocket' as in the original Sony Walkman, where the inventor had a jacket made with a bigger pocket than normal? What is the iso standard pocket ;-) ?

Best wishes,

Ray
 

Sean Reid

Moderator
Is this 'Pocket' as in the original Sony Walkman, where the inventor had a jacket made with a bigger pocket than normal? What is the iso standard pocket ;-) ?

Best wishes,

Ray
There is none, of course, but my personal ISO standard is the inside breast pocket of a jacket. Obviously some cameras are more pocketable than others.

Cheers,

Sean
 
All pockets not created equal

I think "pocket" cameras should fit into shirt pockets, and even this isn't definitive. The GR-D with its optical viewfinder attached fits into the pocket of most any flannel or canvas shirt, and the looser of my business-style cotton shirts, but can't quite squeeze into all of them, especially if a few pens got there first.

Putting a camera in a coat or jacket side pocket usually means putting the camera first into a protective case. Taking the GR-D as an example, it must first removed from its case, then the viewfinder (also in its case) is installed, and finally the camera is in hand, ready to use. The GR-D2 has a nicer case and smaller optical finder, solving half of the problem, but in its case it needs a coat pocket, not a shirt pocket. When summer comes, I guess I'll have to find out how the belt loop on the case works.

scott
 

Sean Reid

Moderator
I think "pocket" cameras should fit into shirt pockets, and even this isn't definitive. The GR-D with its optical viewfinder attached fits into the pocket of most any flannel or canvas shirt, and the looser of my business-style cotton shirts, but can't quite squeeze into all of them, especially if a few pens got there first.

Putting a camera in a coat or jacket side pocket usually means putting the camera first into a protective case. Taking the GR-D as an example, it must first removed from its case, then the viewfinder (also in its case) is installed, and finally the camera is in hand, ready to use. The GR-D2 has a nicer case and smaller optical finder, solving half of the problem, but in its case it needs a coat pocket, not a shirt pocket. When summer comes, I guess I'll have to find out how the belt loop on the case works.

scott
Hi Scott,

Right and that's the other option. Some cameras are of a good size for carrying in a small belt case. For me, that includes cameras like the GR2 and the DP1.

Cheers,

Sean
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
My Perkeo II usually lives in a jacket pocket or the pocket of my briefcase with no additional case required.
David,

A lot of guys may not know that the Perkeo II is one of the best pocket cameras made. It provides super sharp pictures rendered well in color with 120 film, 6x6 cm and good enough to enlarge to your hearts content. Scan with a $40-$120 flatbed using Hamrick's Vuescan software and you will beat out many expensive digital cameras. For the collectors, I apologize, because now wont be the only one's to grab these for next to nothing on eBay!

David , BTW, makes his own albumin prints and they have some of the finest detail and tonalities you can imagine.

The LCD screen on this camera never seems to work for me!

Asher
 

Donald Mann

New member
What about Blackberrys Palms and Pocket PC's

I carry a Blackberry Curve with me for business purposes. (I am in the construction business and the bb camera is very useful for taking pictures of job sites so I can show my workers exactly what needs to be done.) It is only 2 megapixels - I think - but I am impressed with the quality of photos it can generate . . . and the convenience is amazing because I can email the photo directly from the program.

Perhaps we should have an exhibition of handheld photos . . . . I haven't submitted anything, because all my pics are pretty darn boring unless you are a roofing contractor, but the potential of the medium is there!

I would be interested in what others thing of this ultra-portable medium. A handheld not a Sigma or a Ricoh but most of us have one with us all the time!

PS I have an Leica M8 with a variety of lenses so I am not a total philistine ;-)
 

Chris Kresser

New member
Hi folks,

I'm the OP. It's been fascinating reading your responses.

For me, film cameras aren't in consideration. I'm a child of the digital revolution :) Though I've worked with film a bit and appreciate its aesthetic and technological advantages, I'm frankly too lazy to use it extensively.

What I'm looking for in a digital compact currently exists in the marketplace - only not all in one camera! I'd like the IQ and high ISO performance of the DP1 (minus the saturation issues) and the ergonomics/features of the GRD2. I guess I'll have to wait for that, but the good news is, it probably won't be too long now.

In the interim, I am trying to choose between the GX100 and the GRD1. Why not the GRD2? Can't afford it now unless I sell some of my 5D kit, which I don't want to do.

I'm having a very hard time choosing between the GX100 and GRD1. I know that they're quite different in some ways, but of course they're pretty similar too. I've read Sean's great reviews of both, and plenty of others too.

I guess the main question is whether the GRD IQ is superior to the GX100. Because if it's not, I can't see any reason to get the GRD1 other than size.
 

Sean Reid

Moderator
In a nutshell Chris, the difference between the original GR and the GX100 comes down to the quality of the lens and the fact that the latter is faster in RAW mode. At a 28 mm EFOV, the GR has a better lens than the GX100. Does that matter? Maybe not - it depends on one's work. Of course the better speed of the GX100, as well as the step zoom settings (pseudo primes) do add a degree of flexibility.

Cheers,

Sean
 

Chris Kresser

New member
Thanks for the clarification, Sean. That really helps me to get clear what I'm deciding between.

I suppose that if I'm using this camera for sketchbook/diary type work, and my 5D for the more demanding work, then the better flexibility and speed of the GX100 may be more useful than the slightly better lens of the GRD.

Inching closer to making a decision, thanks to your help everyone!
 

Wouter Brandsma

New member
For me the Ricoh GX100 is not only my pocket camera, it is my only camera. In combination with the stepped zoom, RAW, and the two saved settings it is an excellent and versatile camera.
I am curious if the release of the DP1 will bring new small cameras from the competition with larger sensors. I would love to see a small camera with a 28 to 50mm lens, a larger sensor, and an optical viewfinder.
 

philip rigby

New member
Me, l'm still stuck trying to work out which one to buy, despite reading all of Sean's reviews - will it be the Ricoh ( can't even sort out which one of three to buy ) or the Sigma ? Oh dear, the pressing problems of life.


philip
 

Wouter Brandsma

New member
Hi Philip,
What is your preferred focal length? Is it 28mm, then both Ricoh GRDI/II and the Sigma will do an excellent job. If you are interested in for instance 35mm too, then the GX100 is an outstanding versatile camera.
The Ricoh GRI is slow with RAW write times (12 sec), but seem to have better jpeg's (less noise reduction). The GRDII is much faster as a RAW camera, but applies more noise reduction to the jpeg's. All the Ricoh cameras have some of the best ergonomics. They handle great, and seem to be designed by photographers with photography in mind.
The Sigma of course has the superior image quality and a good lens, but has less ergonomics.
 

Cem_Usakligil

Active member
Me, l'm still stuck trying to work out which one to buy, despite reading all of Sean's reviews - will it be the Ricoh ( can't even sort out which one of three to buy ) or the Sigma ? Oh dear, the pressing problems of life.


philip
Hi Philip,

Any particular reasons why the G9 from Canon isn't on your short list? I'm just curious and wanting to learn :).

Cheers,


.
 

philip rigby

New member
Wouter

I have to admit that l've never been one to limit myself to one focal length, so l therefore have leanings towards the GX100. However, and here l maybe wrong and no doubt will be corrected, l don't think the GX100 has the option to shoot in a square format, which l like from my MF days. I also tend to shoot exclusively in RAW these days.

I suppose that at the end of the day on balance of likes and dislikes the GX100 just about gets it.

philip
 

philip rigby

New member
Cem,

Do we really want to go there so early in this sites life ! I've never been a Canon man ( although the daughter thinks l'm mad ), always sticking to Nikons when it came to SLRs and DSLRs. I just prefer the feel of a Nikon to a Canon, and this tends to filter down to all things camera wise. There's no real logic to it, just me :)


philip
 

Cem_Usakligil

Active member
Glad you've mentioned this

Cem,

Do we really want to go there so early in this sites life ! I've never been a Canon man ( although the daughter thinks l'm mad ), always sticking to Nikons when it came to SLRs and DSLRs. I just prefer the feel of a Nikon to a Canon, and this tends to filter down to all things camera wise. There's no real logic to it, just me :)


philip
Hi Phil,

Until we get to know each other better, I think we need to be a bit more explicit than usual. I am not a "brand" focussed person at all. The reason for my question was not to start a discussion about Nikon vs Canon vs whatever. I have never gone into any of those discussions at all and we have never had them here at OPF. To me, a Canon G9 is just a tool, I don't care what the label on it says. BTW, I have been a "Nikonian" all my analaog life (for some 35 years). I still have the gear which I use occasionaly when I shoot film. So you could say that I too have a soft spot for Nikon, but it has not held me back from looking at other tools which were more suitable for my personal purposes :). So my question re. G9 was just that, it is one of the few RAW shooting digicams out there and having bought one a week ago, I was just intrigued as to why it is not on your short list.

Cheers,
 

Ray West

New member
I guess it is the way the question is framed. I have an idea of what a pocket is, but it depends what I am wearing, of course. But the op then says what can easily be carried. So, if I work on what fits in with what goes in my hypothetical pocket, that is a smaller camera than many of which have been mentioned above. It is not easy defining flexible boundaries, nor defining simple concepts. Also, in the case of this topic there is the case for the camera to be considered, ie.g. is it needed, is it to thick, etc. plus whether you consider its price to be sort of disposable, which depends on your budget, and the intended use of the gear.

I think it is less to do with the camera, than it is to do with the owner of the pocket. It depends how deep it is.
 

Wouter Brandsma

New member
Wouter

I have to admit that l've never been one to limit myself to one focal length, so l therefore have leanings towards the GX100. However, and here l maybe wrong and no doubt will be corrected, l don't think the GX100 has the option to shoot in a square format, which l like from my MF days. I also tend to shoot exclusively in RAW these days.

I suppose that at the end of the day on balance of likes and dislikes the GX100 just about gets it.

philip
Hi Philip,
Unlike the GRDII you can only shoot square format in jpeg mode. And it seems unlikely that Ricoh will add it with a firmware update.
 

Chris Kresser

New member
I was very intrigued, of course, by the DP1. But I've read quite a few reviews now and the general consensus is that its shortcomings don't quite yet make up for it's fantastic sensor and lens. This is the personal conclusion of the reviewers, of course - your mileage may vary.

For me, the dealbreakers on the DP1 are 1) saturation problems at ISO 800, 2) no macro mode, 3) poor LCD screen. Unfortunately, #1 seems to be an issue with the Foveon sensor and is not therefore likely to be remedied by the DP2. But who knows, perhaps Sigma and Foveon will figure it out.

The macro mode may not seem like an issue if you don't shoot macro (I don't either), but with a 28mm focal length it is necessary to get very close to your subject if you want to fill the frame. The minimum focusing distance on the DP1 is 11.5 inches, and that's not close enough. The Ricoh's focus as close as 2 inches, which allows for close-ups and also dramatic perspective shots with foreground and background objects.

The GX100 is indeed more versatile than the GRD1/2. However, it is also slightly larger, the performance of the lens is inferior (more barrel distortion, not quite as sharp) and the quality of the RAW files is arguably not as good. The GRD 2 writes RAW files faster and has some nice features (like a level) that the GX100 doesn't.

The GRD 1 has much sharper JPEGs than the GRD 2, as has been pointed out, due to NR that can't be turned off in the GRD 2. One would hope this might be addressed in a future firmware update. The GRD 1 takes FOREVER to write RAW files.

Also, the GRD 2 can shoot RAW in 4:3, 3:2 and 1:1.

I am still very torn. 28mm is not a familiar focal length for me, whereas I love 35mm. I can imagine getting the GX100 and using it with an OVF at 35mm, but then I still have the option to use other focal lengths if necessary. OTOH, I love the even smaller size of the GRD, and the sharper lens with less distortion (along with the faster RAW write speeds and the level on the GRD 2) are very appealing.

I guess I can always get one and if I don't love it try the other.
 

Sean Reid

Moderator
Thanks for the clarification, Sean. That really helps me to get clear what I'm deciding between.

I suppose that if I'm using this camera for sketchbook/diary type work, and my 5D for the more demanding work, then the better flexibility and speed of the GX100 may be more useful than the slightly better lens of the GRD.

Inching closer to making a decision, thanks to your help everyone!
That, I think, is a conclusion several photographers have come to. With the GX100, one can pop on a 35 finder and have a 35, pop on a 50 and have a 50, etc. Photographers who love a 28, though, are often very happy with the (albeit more expensive) GR2. The speed difference between the GR and GR2 is a dramatic.

Cheers,

Sean
 

Sean Reid

Moderator
Hi Philip,
What is your preferred focal length? Is it 28mm, then both Ricoh GRDI/II and the Sigma will do an excellent job. If you are interested in for instance 35mm too, then the GX100 is an outstanding versatile camera.
The Ricoh GRI is slow with RAW write times (12 sec), but seem to have better jpeg's (less noise reduction). The GRDII is much faster as a RAW camera, but applies more noise reduction to the jpeg's. All the Ricoh cameras have some of the best ergonomics. They handle great, and seem to be designed by photographers with photography in mind.
The Sigma of course has the superior image quality and a good lens, but has less ergonomics.
I hit the right button this time, there's hope for me.

-----------------------------

Yes, the speed differences I'm talking about certainly apply in RAW. If one is working in RAW, I personally feel the GR2 is very much worth the extra cost over the GR.

The focal length question we've mentioned is important.

"Image Quality" is a nebulous term though if we defined it in terms of signal to noise ratio, etc. we could certainly weigh the two cameras. Deciding between the GR2 and DP1, I strongly suggest that one first spend some time thinking about which format (small sensor or medium sensor) one prefers. Thats an important question to consider as well and each format has its pros and cons.

Cheers,

Sean
 

Jeff Jacques

New member
Pocket Camera

Chris I've found some of the criticisms of the DP-1 to be overrated.
The LCD "problem" is easily obviated by an OVF, I purchased the Voigtlander 28mm and walk around shooting in "rangefinder" mode.
I find the 28mm focal length to be very interesting after having shot mostly in 35/50 on my M8. I'm enjoying the wider view of the world and I can crop things I don't like.
More irritating is the issue of the RAW read speed which can lead to loss of photo opportunities.
But overall I've been impressed.
Jeff
 
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