New Pocket-able Camera
Love hate relationship
I have always had a love-hate relationship with compact pocket-able cameras. I have tried three or four different cameras over the years and with each one I have grown to loathe them with equal contempt.
The compact that sticks in my mind is the Canon G9 as with all things of this type, it costs around £400 to £500. I can only remember using two pictures from it in its entire time with me. Therefore each picture cost me around about £200, that is not including the loss when it was traded-in or sold. Before buying the G9 it received rave reviews on the Internet and in magazines. This type of commercially driven review highlights the positives and plays down the not so positive. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
The penultimate try
The latest in this run of small pocket-able cameras is or perhaps I should say was the Panasonic TZ 100. This was bought as a small travel camera with a viewfinder and a lens with a zoom range of 25 to 250 mm. So from the outset, all looks well. When the camera arrived as was suspected the viewfinder was too small to use or even adjust the diopter setting.
The feature that actually ruined it for me was the impossibility of removing or turning off icons on the back screen so you could actually see the picture. I just happen to be at Fotofest where Panasonic was attending as traders so I asked the Rep how to get rid of all the what I euphemistically described as “the crap on the back screen!” The bemused sales assistant after playing around with the camera for a while came to the conclusion that all the icons were non-removable. That was the point when I decided the Panasonic TZ100 had to go.
So what have I decided to replace the Panasonic with?
My next choice of pocket-able camera is the Fuji XE-2S. The reason for choosing this camera body is one it takes Fuji X mount lenses. The physical size of the XE-2S body is smaller than the Fuji XT1 or 2 which makes it an easier prospect with a pancake lens to fit into one’s pocket or bag. This camera body is going to be used specifically with the Fuji 27 mm F2 .8 lens. This lens has been selected for its physical dimensions. It is a pancake lens which means that it is very short in length and will not prevent the camera with a lens attached being put in a coat pocket.
Fuji 27mm f2.8 Pancake Lens
The Fuji 27 mm lens equates to a focal length of 41 mm in what I call Christian or 35mm terms. This would appear to be a strange choice of focal length to make a lens. I assume Fuji calculated the optimum focal length for the minimum physical length of the lens body.
As a note, the Fuji 18 mm Pancake lens in real terms a 28 mm is actually about half an inch longer than the 27 mm lens.
The cost to change
So the cost to change from Panasonic to Fuji was around £730.
The Panasonic camera was about £450 after cashback. The trade-in value of the camera £260 as it was in excellent condition because it has only been used twice. A loss of £190.
I bought a used Fuji XE2S body for £325 and a used Fuji 27 mm lens for £216.
The Fuji XE-3 camera body as an alternative option
The Fuji XE-3 camera body currently retails at around £850.
This body has just been released. The only real benefit over the XE-2S is the increase in megapixels from 16 to 24 Mpx and a joystick to move the focusing point around. Both of these options were not of any great interest to me, therefore, I went for the lower specified and hence cheaper used XE-2S.
The best camera is the one you have with you
Just for those of you who were wondering “why doesn’t he just use his phone?” Although I have taught the use of a mobile camera to clients I never use one by choice. For me, they fall into the category of poor use-ability. It’s a good job we are all different.
The feature picture above – Beached Leviathan
Taken with a Samyang 8mm f 2.8 Fisheye lens on the Ise of Skye. An aperture of f2.8 was chosen at the minimum focusing distance. These settings even with a fisheye lens have managed to produce a soft-ish background. The Lens Correction Profile was applied in Lightroom Classic. A warm tone has been applied to the highlights only.