I know I said it before, but the best camera is the one you have with you!
I have always favoured carrying a small pocket or jacket pocket camera when travelling around for off the cuff record taking, sudden inspiration, street photography and those moments when the unexpected photographic opportunity turns up.
Interchangeable lens cameras are usually just that bit too big to always carry around, so it’s the fixed lens camera with all the discipline that requires in making the best of the lens that comes with the camera, that counts for true portability in my book.
The trouble is up until relatively recently, these smaller cameras also had small sensors with correspondingly lower image quality than the DSLR, so a compromise had to be made as far as image quality was concerned, usually specifically in limited dynamic range and poor or noisy micro contrast.
Cameras like the Sigma DP1 changed all that, certainly in terms of getting a larger sensor into the camera, so that DSLR levels of detail could be recorded. More recently others have got in on the act with great pocket cameras with APSC sensors that also help provide better dynamic range and better quality at high ISO sensitivities, such as the Coolpix A from Nikon, the GR from Ricoh and the X100 from Fuji. OK, the latter is really more of a jacket pocket camera but its slightly larger size is offset by its almost perfect aesthetic and sublime image quality!
Having recently reviewed the miniature but fully featured and very powerful ‘pocket rocket’, the Sony RX100 MkIII with its one inch sensor and superb Zeiss lens, it has been my pleasure more recently to contrast that tiny camera with the slightly larger Panasonic LX100, a micro four thirds sensor compact camera with a beautiful Leica DC Vario-Summilux lens and old school manual controls on a delightful retro body that is more in the mould of the Fuji X100.
For the photographer who likes to travel light, but still have a camera that is a pleasure to use, it just gets better and better – more on this small camera revolution in future posts, meantime here’s the PDF of the short review of the Panasonic in this month’s (April Issue) of Outdoor Photography Magazine: AndyLuckPanasonicLX100