Photography Review Slow Living

Slow Living: @Tilore’s High End Compact Camera Buying Guide 2015

ver confused on what or how to purchase a camera? Looking for that perfect gift for someone who wants to carry an everyday camera? Meet Tyler Hayward (@tilore). He’s my go to guy for anything camera. So naturally, I asked Tyler for some suggestions for a camera I could take around with me on the daily. Here’s what he suggested (one of which I’ll be purchasing soon – stay tuned)!

Here’s a list of the top 3 high-end compact cameras I would consider right now. These cameras are all capable of fantastic image quality and what I think are the best on the market in this price range (hence no Leicas). They can compete with DSLRS and interchangeable lens cameras, but aren’t nearly as bulky and heavy, so you can bring them with you everywhere, all the time, which is the most important thing! I’ve highlighted their key features here and each of these cameras has their specialty. In terms of which ones takes “the best” photos, I’d say they’re very similar across the board in terms of image quality, iso and lens performance. The biggest difference will be the handling and some other technical features, so I always highly recommend you try them out in store and see what feels best in your hands and suits your main needs!

Ricoh GR II ($800) – great for street photography and if you like shooting wide, also pocket-able and simple to use – also the cheapest of the bunch

  • 16mp APS-C sized sensor (no low-pass filter for sharper images)
  • 28mm f/2.8 fixed lens
  • No viewfinder built in
  • Built in flash
  • Interesting manual focus settings for street photography
  • Non-tiltable LCD
  • 320 shots/battery approximately
  • 9oz 4.6×2.5×1.4
  • 4fps

Fuji X100T ($1340) – larger, more traditional layout and design with physical manual controls, large viewfinder with 35mm fixed lens – the most expensive of the three

  • 16mp APS-C sized sensor (x-trans design for better colour and noise performance)
  • 35mm f/2 fixed lens
  • Hybrid optical and electronic built in viewfinder
  • Physical manual controls
  • Built in flash
  • Rangefinder like manual focus option
  • Non-tiltable LCD
  • 330 shots/battery approximately
  • 5oz 5×2.9×2.1
  • 6fps

Sony RX100 MKIV ($1200) – great if you want a pocket-able camera that shoots incredible video as well as good stills that features a zoom lens and many advanced, technical features

  • 20mp 1” sized sensor (stacked sensor design for faster performance and frame rates)
  • 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8 zoom lens
  • Hi-res popup viewfinder available
  • Built in flash
  • 180degree tiltable LCD screen
  • Very good video quality and high frame rate options
  • Built in image stabilization
  • 280 shots/battery
  • 5oz 4×2.4×1.6
  • 16fps

However, these are the newest models of each camera and thankfully, when a new version is released, the older ones can be found online used for a heavy discount. All 3 of these cameras have very capable predecessors with similar feature sets that are worth a look if you want to save money and don’t mind buying a used camera. With some quick research of what’s available right now, I’ve found:
Ricoh GR (1st version) – although harder to find, can be had from $500-600 and doesn’t have wifi, so buying the newer version still might be your best bet unless you find it for a steal. You can get around the no wifi problem by using eye-fi sd cards though.

Fuji X100s – also lacking wifi, but still very capable. The T will boast faster handling in the menus, focusing and a better viewfinder, but you have to think if that’s worth the extra money as these can be found anywhere from $700-800 used with many available in great condition as it was a popular camera

Sony RX100 MKIII – sometimes hard to come by as well, this can be had for around $800 when people aren’t snatching this gem up. This model does include that built in wifi for you instgram users out there. The MKIV introduced some fancy video updates, but if you only care about the stills, the main features are pretty much unchanged while the MKIV boasts a faster shutter, more fps and better iso performance from the newly designed sensor.

Tyler Hayward.
Instagram: @tilore.

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