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I want a new Camera-what's in between a SLR and a P&S?

maximumzeromaximumzero I...wait, what?New Orleans, LARegistered User regular
I'm considering picking up a new camera. All I have now is a little Canon P&S that admittedly takes nice pictures, but I'd love to take even NICER pictures.

Problem is, while I don't entirely mind spending the money for a SLR, the camera itself is just a bit too bulky for me, as I'd like something that's a bit more portable.

So what's exactly inbetween the two? I'm asking because I saw a display for the (apparently) new Nikon 1 camera at a local Target around Christmas, and it has me intrigued.

nikon-1-j1-compact-camera-1.jpg

It seems to have the general size of a P&S camera with the interchangeable lenses of a SLR. What's the story on this guy, and are there other cameras similar to it in design I should check out before I start doing research?

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    a5ehrena5ehren AtlantaRegistered User regular
    From what I've read on DPReview, the Sony NEX-7 is the best one of these, but it costs substantially more (and is in short supply due to flooding in Thailand). I don't know too much about them beyond that, but the Nikon looks to be cheaper than most of them.

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    ZiggymonZiggymon Registered User regular

    Reviews of the Nikon 1 series have been quite poor for the price. A lot of critics are saying any of the new Sony NEX series cameras the C3 being cheapest, the 5N being the mid range and the 7 being the top of the range (at over £1000 body only) are the best quality. But also look at the Olympus EPL series are good quality at the price.

    However Fujifilm have shown off a new camera, the X-pro 1 which is the latest in the X100, X10 series very highly rated with cool retro look.

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    maximumzeromaximumzero I...wait, what? New Orleans, LARegistered User regular
    edited January 2012
    Just did a bit of research on the X-Pro...$1,700 is a bit more that I was looking to spend. heck even the X100 at $1,200 is a bit hard to swallow.

    I was hoping for ballpark $750 with a max of $1,000.

    Edit: Just came across the X10...doesn't look too bad for $600, though the lens looks to be fixed. Regardless, if the quality is there I might go for it anyway, as I don't know how often I'd swap out lenses anyway. Still looking...

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    maximumzeromaximumzero I...wait, what? New Orleans, LARegistered User regular
    Hmm. So it looks like it might be between the Fujifilm X10, Sony C3/5N, and the Olympus EPL series then.

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    ZiggymonZiggymon Registered User regular
    Well the only other micro 4/3 or compact system cameras are the Olympus EP versions (more expensive full metal body EPL models with no built in flash) and the Panasonic G series cameras where the GF models are the smallest models, however the GF1 is still the best model to buy and still gets a high price point, the GF2 removed buttons for touch screen controls and the GF 3 has a smaller body.

    I would really look at the NEX C3 and 5N models see if and package deals with lenses are on offer.

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    maximumzeromaximumzero I...wait, what? New Orleans, LARegistered User regular
    edited January 2012
    I understand little of what you said there.

    I'm discovering that camera shopping is just as annoying as TV and notebook shopping. A dozen different models with very little differences between them.

    For example, on the Olympus site:

    fL3XQ.png

    Clicking "Compare the new PEN lineup" shows the differences between the P3, PL3, and PM1.

    Okay, good to know, but how does the PL2, PL1, and P2 differ from those three?

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    ZiggymonZiggymon Registered User regular

    The EP2 EPL2 etc are older models think the newest models the EP3 ones have OLED screens and some fancy new features on the software.

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    maximumzeromaximumzero I...wait, what? New Orleans, LARegistered User regular
    edited January 2012
    Okay I'm really leaning towards the X10. I love the look of the camera itself and I'm seeing the fixed lens as not being an issue because I don't see myself as being the kind of person that would take enough pictures with the thing to buy multiples.

    Edit: And of course now I feel like I'm back to square one because I don't see myself getting into the filters game either...maybe I'm trying to get too advanced for my own good here.

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    ZiggymonZiggymon Registered User regular
    I wouldn't worry about filters they are quite cheap and can be ordered from most places. The X10 is an excellent choice. However if you want a fixed lens camera thats a whole new ball park of choices...

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    maximumzeromaximumzero I...wait, what? New Orleans, LARegistered User regular
    I'm thinking I might revisit this in six months or so. There's a Disney trip coming up in October and that'll probably he the first stress-test of the camera, so I might just sit on it for now.

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    maximumzeromaximumzero I...wait, what? New Orleans, LARegistered User regular
    Ziggymon wrote:
    I wouldn't worry about filters they are quite cheap and can be ordered from most places. The X10 is an excellent choice. However if you want a fixed lens camera thats a whole new ball park of choices...

    So hey, tell me about fixed lens cameras.

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    Lucky CynicLucky Cynic Registered User regular
    Fixed lenses are not always a good idea.

    Mostly because it is a one size fits all lens. Sure it may do some things alright, but a jack of all trades is a master of none. Think about in your kitchen. You don't just have a steak knife. So why only have one lens when your budget can allow for more.

    The fuji system is amazing. Sony is also on top of their game, and don't be shy of Olympus. Seeing as their camera has a true Micro-Four-Thirds mount, which is an open standard, you can get several third party lenses and don't have to be shoe-horned into the 2 or 3 that they offer.

    Of course, if you want the smallest interchangeable lens camera, the Pentax Q holds that throne- and it's lenses are cheap to boot. About $100.

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    maximumzeromaximumzero I...wait, what? New Orleans, LARegistered User regular
    Fixed lenses are not always a good idea.

    Mostly because it is a one size fits all lens. Sure it may do some things alright, but a jack of all trades is a master of none. Think about in your kitchen. You don't just have a steak knife. So why only have one lens when your budget can allow for more.

    The fuji system is amazing. Sony is also on top of their game, and don't be shy of Olympus. Seeing as their camera has a true Micro-Four-Thirds mount, which is an open standard, you can get several third party lenses and don't have to be shoe-horned into the 2 or 3 that they offer.

    Of course, if you want the smallest interchangeable lens camera, the Pentax Q holds that throne- and it's lenses are cheap to boot. About $100.

    Problem is that I'm not a master photographer in any sense. I'd probably use the lens that the camera came with and would never know the difference.

    I'm just a P&S guy looking for a nicer camera without going crazy.

    Also I could have sworn that the Fuji X10 had a non-removable lens.

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    DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    edited January 2012
    Fixed lens cameras have smaller sensors (the 2 smallest here) and of course fixed optics. Generally a larger sensor means lower pixel density which translates to less noise and higher attainable ISOs, though the camera manufacturers do implement their own proprietary noise reduction. Fixed lens cameras also usually have fewer control dials, which means access to some manual controls are going to be mediated by a UI, which may be fast or slow, intuitive or not very, or may require going through several screens to get where you want to be.

    I don't mean to trash fixed lens cameras, it's just the reality of trying to put a 4X+ zoom in a pocketable profile for less than $Texas.

    This guy has a review of the X10. I didn't know he did reviews as I used to go to his site mainly to learn a bit about light and technique. Seems to compete well with the G12 and 7100.

    Besides bulk, one benefit I've noticed of fixed lens cameras is generally people (or at least the people I shoot, family and friends) seem less weirded out by non-DSLR's, and I'm more likely to get candid and non-posed shots. I haven't tried one of these ILCs yet, but I think it's the general size of the camera and width of the lens that makes it look more "serious", and the effect is magnified if I put on a speedlite. That said, there are events I shot where I just wouldn't have gotten the shots with a P&S, even with the ISO dialed up and the attendant noise; though these are usually indoor social events with poor lighting, and I don't like to fire the flash.

    Edit: X10 is non-removeable, with a manual focus ring.

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    maximumzeromaximumzero I...wait, what? New Orleans, LARegistered User regular
    Maybe I'm confusing the the term "fixed lens". What I'm meaning by "fixed lens" is probably actually "non-removable" lens.

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    Donovan PuppyfuckerDonovan Puppyfucker A dagger in the dark is worth a thousand swords in the morningRegistered User regular
    Maybe I'm confusing the the term "fixed lens". What I'm meaning by "fixed lens" is probably actually "non-removable" lens.

    So, a super-zoom?

    Like this?

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    Dark MoonDark Moon Registered User regular
    Compact interchangeable lens camera systems fill a very specific niche, and I don't think it's the one you're in. When coupled with only their kit lenses they boast a very modest increase in image quality compared to a good P&S. Their real value comes when you start strapping on other lenses or external flash units onto them. If you want to buy a camera, rather than invest in a camera system, get a regular compact with a fixed lens.

    Take a look at the Canon G12 and the Canon S100. Pick the size and feel you like more and you'll be more than happy with it. The Nikon P7100 is a nice alternative to the G12, if you prefer the Nikon's handling, but they have no answer to the S100. In Panasonic land, the LX5 is comparable to the S100 but is an older camera that could use an upgrade. It's also significantly larger than the S100. Stay the hell away from Sony, Fuji, Olympus and Samsung compacts - there be dragons.

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    maximumzeromaximumzero I...wait, what? New Orleans, LARegistered User regular
    All these reviews I'm reading mention "Micro four thirds" cameras. What are they exactly?

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    Donovan PuppyfuckerDonovan Puppyfucker A dagger in the dark is worth a thousand swords in the morningRegistered User regular
    That's the sensor size. Bigger (and better) than your standard p&s camera, but not as big (or as good) as a DSLR sensor.

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    AkilaeAkilae Registered User regular
    The main thing with a new camera purchase is to identify what is it exactly that you feel limited by. Do you want higher ISO? Do you feel your camera does not have good enough low-light performance? Do you just want to chase the pixel count? Do you want more control over your camera?

    However, anytime a friend comes running to me for camera advice, I point to one, and only one, camera: The Canon S90/95/100, for a lot of the same reasons Dark Moon said. Despite myself being a DSLR shooter and haven't owned a a P&S/compact in over a decade, I've been very impressed with the S9x/1xx series and have recommended this to friends over the years, and every one of them have been very happy with it. A larger-than-usual sensor, compact package, AND if you so desired you can have total control over the camera, all for a (relatively) affordable price.

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    Lucky CynicLucky Cynic Registered User regular
    Maximum, if you want an easy no brainer and you basically just want a better point and shoot, go with a Sony Nex. The C3 is a good value while getting good horsepower.

    If you want to get more into photography, take a look at the Olympus Pens, or the Fuji or a few others. I do think getting an interchangeable lens camera would be best because then it is a foundation which if you want to get more into it, cool, little side hobby- neat... then with an interchangeable lens camera- well you now have a platform to work off of- instead of "oh great, my camera doesn't do X very well... time to get a whole new camera."

    Also don't mind Olympus's woes at the moment, their dickhead CEOs are shmucks, they are very good cameras, so don't feel you have to go with a Nikon or Canon to avoid being scoffed at.

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    AntihippyAntihippy Registered User regular
    edited January 2012
    Get a NEX C3. APS-C sensor, which is pretty much on par with entry level DSLRs, and pretty good high iso performance too. Only thing that really hurts it is the poor lens selection, but the default lens kits is OK and you can buy adaptors. I think it really shines with my Nikon lens. The price is pretty damn good too. Be noted though that the menu selection for iso and white balance is a goddamn pain, but playing around with custom key bindings makes it alot more manageable.

    You can also look at the new Panasonic GX1 and olympus PEN. They have a bigger lens selection and I think the panasonic one has a leica lens out. Sony has a carl zeiss though. I'm guessing that you wouldn't be looking at getting them though.

    Some examples of the default zoom lens. (if you don't mind my rather average stuff. :P)
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    DSC02617.jpg

    With a nikon 50mm/1.8 (which makes it something like a 75mm lens)
    DSC02438.jpg
    DSC02477.jpg

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    maximumzeromaximumzero I...wait, what? New Orleans, LARegistered User regular
    Problem is that the more and more I read into this stuff, the more I realize that I may not have a need for exchangable lens.

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    wonderpugwonderpug Registered User regular
    I'm seconding Akilae's post. Go ahead and get a Canon S100 if you want a great new camera without having to go through any decision making.

    But you say you already have a nice Canon P&S that takes nice pictures. What is it that you want it to do better? What are the shooting situations where you can't get it to perform the way you want it to? What kinds of pictures are you having trouble taking? What is it about the pictures you're taking that disappoints you?

    Depending on your answers you may need just an upgrade to an S100, an upgrade to an SLR, or an upgrade to reading some Scott Kelby technique books.

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    mtsmts Dr. Robot King Registered User regular
    you caan throw full size nikon lenses on the sony with an adaptor

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    ZiggymonZiggymon Registered User regular
    Ziggymon wrote:
    I wouldn't worry about filters they are quite cheap and can be ordered from most places. The X10 is an excellent choice. However if you want a fixed lens camera thats a whole new ball park of choices...

    So hey, tell me about fixed lens cameras.

    There are 3 types of 'fixed lens camera's'. The simple P&S camera the average night going out person would buy. (best model is probably Canon's G10/11 range). The 'Bridge' camera which is a large camera with a huge lens for long zooming. Called bridge cameras because before the new Leica style fixed lens cameras and Micro 4/3 cameras came out were basically in between a P&S and a full blown SLR. Then finally theres the new larger sensor fixed lens cameras like the Fujifilm X10 etc.

    What I would advise for you is to find someone who has a camera you can borrow (even if its a cheap digital or old film) for a while and start to take different types of pictures (Like landscapes, indoors action shots etc). See what you find good/bad about the camera you are using and what you would like from an ideal camera. Hopefully that way we can all help you with some good suggestions.

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    WraithXt1WraithXt1 Registered User regular
    Dark Moon wrote:
    Take a look at the Canon G12 and the Canon S100. Pick the size and feel you like more and you'll be more than happy with it. The Nikon P7100 is a nice alternative to the G12, if you prefer the Nikon's handling, but they have no answer to the S100. In Panasonic land, the LX5 is comparable to the S100 but is an older camera that could use an upgrade. It's also significantly larger than the S100. Stay the hell away from Sony, Fuji, Olympus and Samsung compacts - there be dragons.


    Here's your answer.

    I picked up the Canon G10 a few years back and the images I take with it are as good or better than my older canon rebel SLR. It fits in a pocket with a bit of bulk, but it is an easy stand in for an SLR while keeping a small form factor. The newer G12 model is even better. The controls are all quickly available on the outside of the camera without digging through menus, which is always great.

    If you want something smaller than that while keeping most of the performance, the S100 is by far the best compact.

    WraithXt1.png
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    maximumzeromaximumzero I...wait, what? New Orleans, LARegistered User regular
    So I think I've decided on the Fujifilm X10. It seems to be nice enough for me to fidget with but not so advanced that I have a hard time using it.

    Meanwhile I think I'm gonna pick up a Sony DSC-W570 for the girlfriend, because it looks to be the nicest of the selection of Pink cameras on Amazon.

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    RohanRohan Registered User regular
    If you haven't ordered it already, you may want to hold on for the version of the X10 that Fujifilm are developing that will have removable lens... at least according to this guy in his review of the X10.

    ...and I thought of how all those people died, and what a good death that is. That nobody can blame you for it, because everyone else died along with you, and it is the fault of none, save those who did the killing.

    Nothing's forgotten, nothing is ever forgotten
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    maximumzeromaximumzero I...wait, what? New Orleans, LARegistered User regular
    edited January 2012
    Rohan wrote:
    If you haven't ordered it already, you may want to hold on for the version of the X10 that Fujifilm are developing that will have removable lens... at least according to this guy in his review of the X10.

    I think I've decided that I don't need a removable lens, however. I don't forsee myself using the camera enough to consider buying additional lens.

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    ZiggymonZiggymon Registered User regular
    Rohan wrote:
    If you haven't ordered it already, you may want to hold on for the version of the X10 that Fujifilm are developing that will have removable lens... at least according to this guy in his review of the X10.

    I think I've decided that I don't need a removable lens, however. I don't forsee myself using the camera enough to consider buying additional lens.

    The X10 and X100 are amazing cameras and if you want a very high end fixed lens camera. You should give us impressions when you finally get it.

    Also the pink Cybershots are usually the nicest colour scheme, not too garish.

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    DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    @Rohan that is hands down the oddest camera review I've ever seen.

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    maximumzeromaximumzero I...wait, what? New Orleans, LARegistered User regular
    I found a nice forum that has a bunch of X10 owners that I was gonna ask a bunch of questions to but they will not approve my account. Argh.

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    maximumzeromaximumzero I...wait, what? New Orleans, LARegistered User regular
    Y'know what, I'll post it here anyway in case anybody here has any insight into the whole thing:


    Alright, looking to purchase my X10 in a few months and I wanted to list all the accessories and add-ons I'm planning on purchasing, so that I can ask questions and get some opinions on them or recommendations for similar products.

    Alright, here goes.

    Fujifilm X10 12 MP EXR CMOS Digital Camera with f2.0-f2.8 4x Optical Zoom Lens and 2.8-Inch LCD

    I'll be purchasing the camera itself from Amazon as I have some credit built up from my Amazon Rewards Visa card I plan On spending.


    Fujifilm NP-50 Lithium Ion Rechargeable Battery for Fuji F60fd, F50fd & F100fd Digital Cameras (Retail Packaging)

    I've looked at third-party batteries and while some are better deals and some even have higher capacity mAh, I always feel better going with the official product when possible.


    Fujifilm Lens Hood X10 for Digital Camera and

    B+W 52mm Clear UV Haze with Multi-Resistant Coating (010M)

    Here's where I run into a bit of a road block. I really need opinions on the Lens Hood & 52mm Lens combo vs. going with a 40mm lens standard.

    I've doing my fair share of research over this and I definitely want an extra lens on there, for protection specifically. I'll likely get a UV filter for that extra bit of help but that's not the main reason it'll be there.

    Why should I go with a Lens Hood & 52mm lens over just a 40mm lens? Or vice versa, for that matter. What's the pros and cons of each?

    If ya'll recommend going with the 40mm lens I need an opinion between this option and this option.


    Dopo Snap On 52mm Replacement Lens Cap for Nikon, Canon, Sony, and Other Digital Camera Lens

    If I go with the Lens Hood & 52mm lens I'd like to get a lens cap to use with it, since I won't be able to use the stock lens cap. From what I've read this one will work. Is this true? If I go with the 40mm lens option I assume I'll be able to use the stock lens cap, in which case I won't need the above. As usual, if you have a better lens cap to recommend, throw it my way.


    GGS Optical Glass LCD Screen Protector 3" for Digital Cameras

    I've read in the comments of this brand's 2.8" LCD screen protector that the 3" is a better fit on the X10. Anyone know if this is true? In addition, are there any downsides to going with a glass screen protector over the usual film-type screen protector? How difficult is the glass protector to remove? Do you suggest a different brand?


    Finally, in terms of cases, I think the Kaza full case wins out. I like the Gariz's metal bottom, but the Kaza is almost half the price, so I think I'm going with it in black, unless someone can offer a super-compelling opinion to go with the Gariz over it.

    So that about covers it. Thanks for any help ya'll can throw my way.

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    DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    Personally I haven't used UV filters much, though I did use them initially because I was concerned about the lens front element. Usually I shoot without filters, though I've found circular polarizers to be useful in cutting glare.

    The advantages I see from the lens hood + 52mm are: hoods can mitigate flare, this is the fujifilm solution to their using an off standard filter diameter (39.5 mm). Disadvantage is it adds size.

    Disadvantage of using 40mm UV filter is you may have to try a couple to find one that fits right.

    I also don't use LCD screen protectors, even on my pocketable cams. Not saying you shouldn't, I just never bothered.

    Have you looked into the light orb issues I'm seeing on the negative reviews on Amazon?

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    maximumzeromaximumzero I...wait, what? New Orleans, LARegistered User regular
    edited March 2012
    Yeah, I've been reading about the light orb issue, so it's definitely something I'm keeping in mind. There's so many other things I like about the camera, however. Thankfully Amazon has a fairly lenient return policy so I'd love to put the camera through its paces for two weeks to see what I think.

    Think I'm gonna go with the hood and a UV filter for now, mostly for protection. I might look into a polarizer in the future when I get more comfortable with the camera.

    I might just get a film screen protector for now...the glass ones concern me just because of how difficult they would be to remove.

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    maximumzeromaximumzero I...wait, what? New Orleans, LARegistered User regular
    edited September 2012
    ...9 months after my initial post, I'm finally about to go through with this shit...Clicking the "order now" button on this cart soon, hopefully by the end of the week.

    E6Ucb.jpg

    Only things not listed here are the case that I order a few weeks back which should be arriving in a few days, and I'm undecided on a soft release and a thumb grip.

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    Lucky CynicLucky Cynic Registered User regular
    Your lens cap and your UV filter are not the same size. Best double check to see what size you need.

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    maximumzeromaximumzero I...wait, what? New Orleans, LARegistered User regular
    A 58mm lens cap fits into the end of the lens hood.

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    DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    Yeah, I'm not sure if you want to hear this since you're just about to buy, but this camera just came out, and it's pretty much in the same category as the X10 and G1X as "serious compacts". Things you'd lose: hotshoe, optical VF, and filter capability (there are hacks, but they don't sound terribly elegant).

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