Cheap Compact Camera Recommendations

nerwin

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I'm looking to buy a second camera for when I just can't bring my DSLR with me, but I want something that is better than my phone and not overly large, maybe something that can fit into a coat pocket.

So far the Panasonic Lumix ZS50 seems to be pretty good. It has a viewfinder, it's pretty compact, shoots raw and has rather decent video capabilities. I've seen it on eBay in like new for around $200. The image quality is actually pretty dang good for such a small sensor. I just don't know if I need that amount of zoom, heck, I'd be happy with 24-100mm. I don't need 24-700mm. Haha

I've seen the Fuji X10 on eBay for around $180 and I had the X20 but raw photos should not look like water paintings...the Fuji X10 has much better raw files than the X20 does. Its an older camera, but an option.

I also had my eye on the Panasonic Lumix LX7 too. But the used prices are a bit high for what it is and it don't even have a viewfinder...

But I'm just wondering if anyone else has any other recommendations that might be better.
 
Last edited:
Just use your cellphone till you can afford a better camera.
 
I've seen the Fuji X10 on eBay for around $180 and I had the X20 but raw photos should not look like water paintings...the Fuji X10 has much better raw files than the X20 does. Its an older camera, but an option.

There's no problem with the X20 raw files. The "looking like water color paintings" isn't a fault of the camera. The X20 uses the Fuji X-Trans sensor CFA and that CFA requires unique demosaicing. Any problem you experienced was a software fault -- camera and raw files are fine just -- get the processing right.

Joe
 
I've seen the Fuji X10 on eBay for around $180 and I had the X20 but raw photos should not look like water paintings...the Fuji X10 has much better raw files than the X20 does. Its an older camera, but an option.

There's no problem with the X20 raw files. The "looking like water color paintings" isn't a fault of the camera. The X20 uses the Fuji X-Trans sensor CFA and that CFA requires unique demosaicing. Any problem you experienced was a software fault -- camera and raw files are fine just -- get the processing right.

Joe

I beg to differ. I disabled all noise reductions which I don't think even affected the raw files but I didn't know.

I always processed them in Lightroom and this a picture of an unedited sooc of a snowy mountain top. I don't know...maybe there was something wrong with the software in the camera but I'm not the only one to say something about it. I tried everything to see if could get sharper images out of it, but it always resulted in something like this.

x20crap.JPG
 
I've seen the Fuji X10 on eBay for around $180 and I had the X20 but raw photos should not look like water paintings...the Fuji X10 has much better raw files than the X20 does. Its an older camera, but an option.

There's no problem with the X20 raw files. The "looking like water color paintings" isn't a fault of the camera. The X20 uses the Fuji X-Trans sensor CFA and that CFA requires unique demosaicing. Any problem you experienced was a software fault -- camera and raw files are fine just -- get the processing right.

Joe

I beg to differ. I disabled all noise reductions which I don't think even affected the raw files but I didn't know.

It doesn't -- not an issue.

I always processed them in Lightroom and this a picture of an unedited sooc of a snowy mountain top. I don't know...maybe there was something wrong with the software in the camera but I'm not the only one to say something about it.

Yes, it's a well-documented problem. I know, I have a Fuji X camera as well. It's just not a camera, camera software, or sensor problem. You've already identified the source of the problem. It's Adobe. As I noted the X-Trans sensor CFA is a bit tricky but it has advantages if handled properly. You've got to use raw conversion software that understands and correctly demosaices the CFA.

So just don't blame the camera: it takes great photos.

Joe

I tried everything to see if could get sharper images out of it, but it always resulted in something like this.

View attachment 113152
 
I've seen the Fuji X10 on eBay for around $180 and I had the X20 but raw photos should not look like water paintings...the Fuji X10 has much better raw files than the X20 does. Its an older camera, but an option.

There's no problem with the X20 raw files. The "looking like water color paintings" isn't a fault of the camera. The X20 uses the Fuji X-Trans sensor CFA and that CFA requires unique demosaicing. Any problem you experienced was a software fault -- camera and raw files are fine just -- get the processing right.

Joe

I beg to differ. I disabled all noise reductions which I don't think even affected the raw files but I didn't know.

It doesn't -- not an issue.

I always processed them in Lightroom and this a picture of an unedited sooc of a snowy mountain top. I don't know...maybe there was something wrong with the software in the camera but I'm not the only one to say something about it.

Yes, it's a well-documented problem. I know, I have a Fuji X camera as well. It's just not a camera, camera software, or sensor problem. You've already identified the source of the problem. It's Adobe. As I noted the X-Trans sensor CFA is a bit tricky but it has advantages if handled properly. You've got to use raw conversion software that understands and correctly demosaices the CFA.

So just don't blame the camera: it takes great photos.

Joe

I tried everything to see if could get sharper images out of it, but it always resulted in something like this.

View attachment 113152

If the raw conversion software really makes a big difference, I may consider to pick up a X20 again. I wish I had known this, I probably wouldn't of sold it! Oh well, haha.
 
I've seen the Fuji X10 on eBay for around $180 and I had the X20 but raw photos should not look like water paintings...the Fuji X10 has much better raw files than the X20 does. Its an older camera, but an option.

There's no problem with the X20 raw files. The "looking like water color paintings" isn't a fault of the camera. The X20 uses the Fuji X-Trans sensor CFA and that CFA requires unique demosaicing. Any problem you experienced was a software fault -- camera and raw files are fine just -- get the processing right.

Joe

I beg to differ. I disabled all noise reductions which I don't think even affected the raw files but I didn't know.

It doesn't -- not an issue.

I always processed them in Lightroom and this a picture of an unedited sooc of a snowy mountain top. I don't know...maybe there was something wrong with the software in the camera but I'm not the only one to say something about it.

Yes, it's a well-documented problem. I know, I have a Fuji X camera as well. It's just not a camera, camera software, or sensor problem. You've already identified the source of the problem. It's Adobe. As I noted the X-Trans sensor CFA is a bit tricky but it has advantages if handled properly. You've got to use raw conversion software that understands and correctly demosaices the CFA.

So just don't blame the camera: it takes great photos.

Joe

I tried everything to see if could get sharper images out of it, but it always resulted in something like this.

View attachment 113152

If the raw conversion software really makes a big difference, I may consider to pick up a X20 again. I wish I had known this, I probably wouldn't of sold it! Oh well, haha.

In the case of Fuji X-Trans it makes a very big difference. If you like you can upload one of your X20 raw files and I'll be happy to show you a comparison.

Joe

P.S. A lot of Fuji X users still use LR to finish processing and manage their files but they first demosaic the raw file using say Iridient or PhotoNinja.
 
I've seen the Fuji X10 on eBay for around $180 and I had the X20 but raw photos should not look like water paintings...the Fuji X10 has much better raw files than the X20 does. Its an older camera, but an option.

There's no problem with the X20 raw files. The "looking like water color paintings" isn't a fault of the camera. The X20 uses the Fuji X-Trans sensor CFA and that CFA requires unique demosaicing. Any problem you experienced was a software fault -- camera and raw files are fine just -- get the processing right.

Joe

I beg to differ. I disabled all noise reductions which I don't think even affected the raw files but I didn't know.

It doesn't -- not an issue.

I always processed them in Lightroom and this a picture of an unedited sooc of a snowy mountain top. I don't know...maybe there was something wrong with the software in the camera but I'm not the only one to say something about it.

Yes, it's a well-documented problem. I know, I have a Fuji X camera as well. It's just not a camera, camera software, or sensor problem. You've already identified the source of the problem. It's Adobe. As I noted the X-Trans sensor CFA is a bit tricky but it has advantages if handled properly. You've got to use raw conversion software that understands and correctly demosaices the CFA.

So just don't blame the camera: it takes great photos.

Joe

I tried everything to see if could get sharper images out of it, but it always resulted in something like this.

View attachment 113152

If the raw conversion software really makes a big difference, I may consider to pick up a X20 again. I wish I had known this, I probably wouldn't of sold it! Oh well, haha.

In the case of Fuji X-Trans it makes a very big difference. If you like you can upload one of your X20 raw files and I'll be happy to show you a comparison.

Joe

P.S. A lot of Fuji X users still use LR to finish processing and manage their files but they first demosaic the raw file using say Iridient or PhotoNinja.

Here's one where I noticed a lot smearing in Lightroom. I really do appreciate you doing this dude because I really did like the X20 but had no idea you should use a raw converter for the x-trans sensor.

Erwin-131018-1126.RAF
 
I've seen the Fuji X10 on eBay for around $180 and I had the X20 but raw photos should not look like water paintings...the Fuji X10 has much better raw files than the X20 does. Its an older camera, but an option.

There's no problem with the X20 raw files. The "looking like water color paintings" isn't a fault of the camera. The X20 uses the Fuji X-Trans sensor CFA and that CFA requires unique demosaicing. Any problem you experienced was a software fault -- camera and raw files are fine just -- get the processing right.

Joe

I beg to differ. I disabled all noise reductions which I don't think even affected the raw files but I didn't know.

It doesn't -- not an issue.

I always processed them in Lightroom and this a picture of an unedited sooc of a snowy mountain top. I don't know...maybe there was something wrong with the software in the camera but I'm not the only one to say something about it.

Yes, it's a well-documented problem. I know, I have a Fuji X camera as well. It's just not a camera, camera software, or sensor problem. You've already identified the source of the problem. It's Adobe. As I noted the X-Trans sensor CFA is a bit tricky but it has advantages if handled properly. You've got to use raw conversion software that understands and correctly demosaices the CFA.

So just don't blame the camera: it takes great photos.

Joe

I tried everything to see if could get sharper images out of it, but it always resulted in something like this.

View attachment 113152

If the raw conversion software really makes a big difference, I may consider to pick up a X20 again. I wish I had known this, I probably wouldn't of sold it! Oh well, haha.

In the case of Fuji X-Trans it makes a very big difference. If you like you can upload one of your X20 raw files and I'll be happy to show you a comparison.

Joe

P.S. A lot of Fuji X users still use LR to finish processing and manage their files but they first demosaic the raw file using say Iridient or PhotoNinja.

Here's one where I noticed a lot smearing in Lightroom. I really do appreciate you doing this dude because I really did like the X20 but had no idea you should use a raw converter for the x-trans sensor.

Erwin-131018-1126.RAF


OK, got it.

Here's three files for you to look at:

First is Adobe default. This I assume is what you encountered and found to be a problem.

adobe default

You picked a good example. The problem has to do with demosaicing the X-Trans CFA to render finest detail in the photo.

Adobe can do better than the default. Do a Google search on Fuji X-Trans and Peter Bridgwood: you'll find plenty of links that address getting better results with X-Trans and Adobe. Here's Adobe using a variant of Pete's input sharpening. In addition to that I applied frequency separation sharpening in Photoshop.

adobe better

That's better and for many people that's good enough but it's really a case of too much sharpening for detail that's really not there.

A lot of people like Iridient for X-Trans -- Photo Ninja, Capture One, Raw Therapee, LightZone, DarkTable, Aperture all render finer detail than Adobe without the smearing you're seeing in the default render above.

photoninja

That's PhotoNinja as a raw converter. NOTE: You're going to see some color and tone/contrast differences. I'm happy to do this but I'm not going to the trouble to get either PN or Adobe to match each other for color and tone. Those are adjustable. What you're concerned with here is the rendition of fine detail for example in that pine tree.

Joe
 
There's no problem with the X20 raw files. The "looking like water color paintings" isn't a fault of the camera. The X20 uses the Fuji X-Trans sensor CFA and that CFA requires unique demosaicing. Any problem you experienced was a software fault -- camera and raw files are fine just -- get the processing right.

Joe

I beg to differ. I disabled all noise reductions which I don't think even affected the raw files but I didn't know.

It doesn't -- not an issue.

I always processed them in Lightroom and this a picture of an unedited sooc of a snowy mountain top. I don't know...maybe there was something wrong with the software in the camera but I'm not the only one to say something about it.

Yes, it's a well-documented problem. I know, I have a Fuji X camera as well. It's just not a camera, camera software, or sensor problem. You've already identified the source of the problem. It's Adobe. As I noted the X-Trans sensor CFA is a bit tricky but it has advantages if handled properly. You've got to use raw conversion software that understands and correctly demosaices the CFA.

So just don't blame the camera: it takes great photos.

Joe

I tried everything to see if could get sharper images out of it, but it always resulted in something like this.

View attachment 113152

If the raw conversion software really makes a big difference, I may consider to pick up a X20 again. I wish I had known this, I probably wouldn't of sold it! Oh well, haha.

In the case of Fuji X-Trans it makes a very big difference. If you like you can upload one of your X20 raw files and I'll be happy to show you a comparison.

Joe

P.S. A lot of Fuji X users still use LR to finish processing and manage their files but they first demosaic the raw file using say Iridient or PhotoNinja.

Here's one where I noticed a lot smearing in Lightroom. I really do appreciate you doing this dude because I really did like the X20 but had no idea you should use a raw converter for the x-trans sensor.

Erwin-131018-1126.RAF


OK, got it.

Here's three files for you to look at:

First is Adobe default. This I assume is what you encountered and found to be a problem.

adobe default

You picked a good example. The problem has to do with demosaicing the X-Trans CFA to render finest detail in the photo.

Adobe can do better than the default. Do a Google search on Fuji X-Trans and Peter Bridgwood: you'll find plenty of links that address getting better results with X-Trans and Adobe. Here's Adobe using a variant of Pete's input sharpening. In addition to that I applied frequency separation sharpening in Photoshop.

adobe better

That's better and for many people that's good enough but it's really a case of too much sharpening for detail that's really not there.

A lot of people like Iridient for X-Trans -- Photo Ninja, Capture One, Raw Therapee, LightZone, DarkTable, Aperture all render finer detail than Adobe without the smearing you're seeing in the default render above.

photoninja

That's PhotoNinja as a raw converter. NOTE: You're going to see some color and tone/contrast differences. I'm happy to do this but I'm not going to the trouble to get either PN or Adobe to match each other for color and tone. Those are adjustable. What you're concerned with here is the rendition of fine detail for example in that pine tree.

Joe

Very interesting. I tried the free raw converter from Fuji and honestly it wasn't too bad. Photo Ninja seems to do a much better job than Adobe and the SilkyPix. But it still just don't look right to me and I'm sure it's because I'm use to my full frame sensor haha. I need to remind myself the X20 is only a 1/2.3" sensor so its not going to be highly detailed.

I don't know, it certainly has given me something to think about.
 
I beg to differ. I disabled all noise reductions which I don't think even affected the raw files but I didn't know.

It doesn't -- not an issue.

I always processed them in Lightroom and this a picture of an unedited sooc of a snowy mountain top. I don't know...maybe there was something wrong with the software in the camera but I'm not the only one to say something about it.

Yes, it's a well-documented problem. I know, I have a Fuji X camera as well. It's just not a camera, camera software, or sensor problem. You've already identified the source of the problem. It's Adobe. As I noted the X-Trans sensor CFA is a bit tricky but it has advantages if handled properly. You've got to use raw conversion software that understands and correctly demosaices the CFA.

So just don't blame the camera: it takes great photos.

Joe

I tried everything to see if could get sharper images out of it, but it always resulted in something like this.

View attachment 113152

If the raw conversion software really makes a big difference, I may consider to pick up a X20 again. I wish I had known this, I probably wouldn't of sold it! Oh well, haha.

In the case of Fuji X-Trans it makes a very big difference. If you like you can upload one of your X20 raw files and I'll be happy to show you a comparison.

Joe

P.S. A lot of Fuji X users still use LR to finish processing and manage their files but they first demosaic the raw file using say Iridient or PhotoNinja.

Here's one where I noticed a lot smearing in Lightroom. I really do appreciate you doing this dude because I really did like the X20 but had no idea you should use a raw converter for the x-trans sensor.

Erwin-131018-1126.RAF


OK, got it.

Here's three files for you to look at:

First is Adobe default. This I assume is what you encountered and found to be a problem.

adobe default

You picked a good example. The problem has to do with demosaicing the X-Trans CFA to render finest detail in the photo.

Adobe can do better than the default. Do a Google search on Fuji X-Trans and Peter Bridgwood: you'll find plenty of links that address getting better results with X-Trans and Adobe. Here's Adobe using a variant of Pete's input sharpening. In addition to that I applied frequency separation sharpening in Photoshop.

adobe better

That's better and for many people that's good enough but it's really a case of too much sharpening for detail that's really not there.

A lot of people like Iridient for X-Trans -- Photo Ninja, Capture One, Raw Therapee, LightZone, DarkTable, Aperture all render finer detail than Adobe without the smearing you're seeing in the default render above.

photoninja

That's PhotoNinja as a raw converter. NOTE: You're going to see some color and tone/contrast differences. I'm happy to do this but I'm not going to the trouble to get either PN or Adobe to match each other for color and tone. Those are adjustable. What you're concerned with here is the rendition of fine detail for example in that pine tree.

Joe

Very interesting. I tried the free raw converter from Fuji and honestly it wasn't too bad. Photo Ninja seems to do a much better job than Adobe and the SilkyPix. But it still just don't look right to me and I'm sure it's because I'm use to my full frame sensor haha. I need to remind myself the X20 is only a 1/2.3" sensor so its not going to be highly detailed.

I don't know, it certainly has given me something to think about.

Here's another one:

rawtherapee

This time using the free converter raw therapee. Compare that with the Adobe default.

And yes you're talking about a compact camera with a sensor half the size of a postage stamp. You can't have it all. The X20 is a nice fixed zoom compact that's going to deliver as good a photo as you can expect from that size sensor. It'll make a very fine 8x10 print and given it's size you can put it in a jacket pocket and go. Put the 24-120 on your 610 and try sticking that in your pocket.

Joe

edit: Personally I'd go with something a little smaller than the X20. That lens doesn't retract and that makes it hard to pocket. I'd look for something like a used Panasonic LX-7 or an Olympus XZ-2 or 10. Just make sure it saves raw files.
 
Last edited:
I've been playing around with the SilkyPix, the free one from Fuji and I'm quite impressed really.

Here is Lightroom CC

lrprocess.JPG


and here is SilkyPix

lrsilkypix.JPG


I say SilkyPix makes the image look so much more natural instead of Lightroom's water painting ability. Lol
 
I've been playing around with the SilkyPix, the free one from Fuji and I'm quite impressed really.

Here is Lightroom CC

View attachment 113163

and here is SilkyPix

View attachment 113164

I say SilkyPix makes the image look so much more natural instead of Lightroom's water painting ability. Lol

Yep, SilkyPix UI can take some getting used to for a lot of folks but it does a very respectable job and is particularly good with X-Trans. Make sure and take note that the demosaicing process is adjustable and can be set to render a sharper/softer result. Very few raw converters provide a similar function.

Joe
 
I guess now I just need to figure out if I REALLY need it or if it would be worth to wait and just save the money and buy the Panasonic LX100 or Sony RX100III instead rather.
 

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