Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Camera update - the shortlist!

I've now been reading camera reviews for three days and feel like I've been reading them almost non-stop for the last 24 hours!

So here's where I'm up to!  Comments and suggestions continue to be very welcome. I'd have never looked at the one I think I might get if it hadn't been for comments on the last post I'm shopping for a new camera !

First the general conclusions which have emerged over the last three days - and then the shortlist. Finally I comment on which reviews I've found most helpful.

General conclusions

I've realised that I usually take two types of photography 
  • in art galleries, photographing artwork and people - frequently under artificial light and often in less than ideal lighting from the perspective of 'white balance'.
  • in gardens photographing scenery and flowers and plants in daylight - can be sunny, can be very dull.
I do need a camera which can take very good macros as this is a particular interest and translates through to my botanical artwork.

I don't need a camera which can take fast moving objects and I don't need to replicate the quality of image I can get with my iPhone 6Plus - which is very good. In fact it was only when I got the iPhone that I realised that I'd got a major problem with artificial/low light photography with my Canon.

I need to decide whether I need different cameras which each deliver better performance in relation to different types of photography - or whether one will do. 

I'm very much leaning towards a "prosumer" small camera (much easier to carry/much better pics) that's designed for the sort of person who normally uses a big digital SLR but really can't be bothered to carry it around everywhere given both the bulk and weight.

Then see how well that does across both types of photography. I'm pretty sure it will do better at the art gallery type photography and it certainly would mean that I no longer have to carry a heavy camera in town.

Critical Issues are now down to
  • Can I live without a decent zoom? Especially as I've begun to realise that I maybe use it less than I think.  I certainly don't need a mega zoom lens of the variety now associated with a bridge camera.
  • How important are excellent images in low light - so I don't have to faff around and waste time doing image adjustments using PS Elements (current feeling is 'extremely')
  • How important is HD video (current feeling is 'very')
  • How important is a viewfinder (I think 'very' given you can't see the screen in bright sunlight)
  • How important are sweep panorama shots. I only got to do these for the first time with my iPhone and I love them! (Not essential - but a valued bonus if present)

The Shortlist 

The shortlist is:
  1. Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III Camera - recommended to me by two people
    • HD 1080p, 20.1MP, 2.9x Optical Zoom, Wi-Fi, NFC, OLED EVF, 3” Screen
    • available from a number of suppliers at the moment at £569 - plus a £50 reimbursement offered by Sony on purchase (net £519)
    • it uses a Zeiss lens
    • I'd also need to buy the grip which means it's easier to hold, a screen protector, a spare battery and (probably) a battery charger so I can go out with two fully charged batteries
    • review by Photography Blog - includes Image quality
  2. Canon PowerShot G5 X Digital Camera
  3. Canon PowerShot G9 X Digital Camera
    • 1080p, 20MP, 3x Optical Zoom, OIS, NFC, Wi-Fi, 3" Touch Screen
    • available for £399.95
    • review by Photography Blog  - includes Image Quality
    • I love the look of this one - in silver and tan mode!
and I'm leaning towards the Sony.

I've got them lined up in compare mode on the John Lewis website so I can review the features side by side and decide what's the deal breaker!

The line-up for the shortlist

I might also get a second bridge camera which has a long zoom lens and/or better scope for macro photography of plants and flowers - but I think I might be waiting a bit for a camera with a large-sensor AND a super zoom. (For the record here's the review of the camera that I lost the Canon Powershot SX40 HS which worked well outside)

Or I might possibly buy a Canon Powershot SX710 (characterised as a 'travel zoom' camera - currently available for just under £200) which has a 30x digital zoom but doesn't work so well in low light.  

My current thoughts are that there must be something of a shift in camera design and functionality soon to come up with something which differentiates cameras from smartphones - which can't do zoom very well.


I found the best in-depth reviews seemed to be by 
The major benefit of the photography blog reviews is that they always include the same sorts of pics in their review of image quality - which then allows you to do comparisons across different models in similar circumstances (within their capability). However the quality of these and the systematic approach does appear to have improved over time - or maybe varies due to individual reviewers?


  1. Check out the camera in the iPhone 6"s", it is amazing! Can't beat the color and clarity. One less thing to carry is bonus if you use mobile phone. I find it great for reference photos.

  2. I already have an iPhone 6Plus (which has the optical image stabilization) - I don't think the 6S is much of an improvement on that.

  3. I've had a Sony RX100 m3 for a few weeks and I've got excellent results with it in quite challenging conditions. In good conditions the results are even better. to a lot of zoom, but it's not missed by me.

  4. Just today I got a Nikon D5300, it links to my iPhone 6 so I can use it remotely, it's ace! I am very impressed with the lenses and all the stuff, I think it may be a bit big for what you want Kathrine but it's a small ish slr style digital, and I am most impressed with the whole thing. It has great colour matching for photographing art work and so far has worked very well in the dim lighting conditions of a Cornish winter!

  5. I absolutely LOVE my Sony RX100 mk3!!! I am a canon girl, but the sony has blown me away - the video is great too!
    I miss a few canon features that I am used to, but LOVE the sony!
    Of course, this was 18 months and the canons on offer now might be equal.


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