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CSC : Digital Compact System Cameras - This new category of digital Compact System Cameras with interchangeable lenses was mislabeled for a time as "Mirrorless Cameras" by those forgetting about "Mirrorless" Rangefinder cameras.  Such confusion is easily understandable, since interchangeable rangefinder cameras were only recently introduced in 1932.  hmm.    CSC or Compact System Camera is probably the best category description to date, although I am fond of the old RFF desigation of  CEVIL  indicating Compact Electronic Viewfidner Interchangeable Lens.   This forum is here at RFF because via adapters these cameras offer an inexpensive way to use rangefinder lenses on digital cameras -- in addition of just about every 35mm SLR lens you can think of.  All  offer the photo enthusiast an incredible array of adopted lenses which was not possible before these new digital formats.   This group continues to grow in popularity and new camera models! 

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camera for girlfriend
Old 03-19-2016   #1
jett
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camera for girlfriend

I shoot film but I have a Sony A7 + manual focus M lenses when I go digital. It works great for me but it's too complicated for my girlfriend to use, so I want to buy her a "point and shoot" camera that is a clear step up from camera phones. I'm looking for something that is incredibly simple to use, takes decent photos and videos (not expecting full frame), and relatively inexpensive ($500).

Years ago, I went with an M43 outfit and it served me well until I got a Sony A7. My E-PM1 + Panasonic 20mm f1.7 was terrific and I wouldn't hesitate to buy this camera again if it were still 2011/2012.

I've been looking at the newer Olympus and Panasonic cameras and the modern features, such as the wifi and "Selfie" mode, sound incredibly useful. If I were to go with an Olympus body, then I would probably go with an E-PL6.

I'm mostly familiar with M43 and Fuji cameras, I never cared for Sony (outside the A7), and I'm unfamiliar with the Canon and Nikon mirrorless cameras. I also do not know which pocket cameras are good, if I decide to go that route. The only pocket camera that I'm familiar with is the Ricoh GRD.

Anyone care to give a quick summary of the options and maybe specific camera recommendations.

Thanks!
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Old 03-19-2016   #2
Peter Wijninga
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If I were in your shoes, I'd seriously consider buying a higher-end smart phone, Android or otherwise. If you insist on buying a dedicated camera, have a look at Canon. They have a wide range of CMOS sensor point-and-shoot pocketable cameras that produce good results. I know, since my wife has been using Canon point-and-shoot cameras for many years and we're happy with the results. My wife especially likes the preset settings such as 'beach', 'candle light' 'children' etc... You'll find a complete list of all Canon point-and-shoot cameras on bhphoto.
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Old 03-19-2016   #3
Austintatious
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This is what I would consider for her, Panasonic LX 100.
http://www.rangefinderforum.com/foru...d.php?t=149819
Nice little "real" camera. Smartphones may have cameras, but it is not the same user experience.
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Old 03-19-2016   #4
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what i want to know is...how do you get one of them girlfriends???
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Old 03-19-2016   #6
Stephen G
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Avoid any compact with more than 4x zoom.
The 30x zoom cameras have huge compromises in sensor size & lens speed.
So you end up with a camera that's only useable outdoors on a sunny day, otherwise the photos are blurry and noisy.

The Sony RX line is fantastic with noise similar to a m4/3 mirrorless system camera.
This is because they have fast lenses & large (1" which is a step below m4/3) sensors.

The Panasonic LX100 is attractive as a photographers compact, but despite having a m4/3 sensor.. has worse noise performance than the Sony RX line.

If you can live with a fixed focal length, the Ricoh GR is $550ish, has a 28mm equivalent lens and a large APS size sensor.. rivaling the noise performance from most Canon/Nikon DSLRs (non full frame). It fits in your pants or shirt pocket, and is terrifically simple to use.

If you want interchangeable lenses, the newer Fuji's (X-T10 for example) have pretty good AF and great overall performance. Olympus/Panasonic m4/3 cameras still win in the size/AF/price game..
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Old 03-19-2016   #7
Darthfeeble
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Another vote for the Lumix. It's purse-able, takes a superb image on full auto. My wife loves hers. I've printed the results as big as 12 x 18 and they look great.
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Old 03-19-2016   #8
ruby.monkey
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Take her to a good camera store and let her choose.
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Old 03-19-2016   #9
Canyongazer
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I tried to get a camera for my girlfriend once but was offered only a Brownie Hawkeye with a cracked lens.
bada boom, bada bing.

Good night everybody....please remember to tip your waitress.
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Old 03-19-2016   #10
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Get the PEN E-PL7 for her.
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Old 03-19-2016   #11
Santtu Määttänen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Austintatious View Post
This is what I would consider for her, Panasonic LX 100.
http://www.rangefinderforum.com/foru...d.php?t=149819
Nice little "real" camera. Smartphones may have cameras, but it is not the same user experience.
Seconded, easy to use and delivers pretty amazing pictures. I haven't used the newest Sony RX100, but I used mark 3 and for my eyes the results from LX100 are better. But what's even more important, ergonomics are from a different world, much better world It's a real camera, which just happens to be a compact. About the same size then film PS cameras were (of course depends on which one you compare to, there were smaller ones too).
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Old 03-20-2016   #12
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The current 1" cameras are interesting, from Sony (RX100), Nikon (DL) or Canon (G7x, G9x). Or the LX100 - but take her to a shop and let her feel the cameras. Any slight advantage is nullified if she doesn't like it.

If you go interchangeable lenses, I would look at the Sony A6000, it still is a bargain. If she doesn't need the EVF, get the A5100. The 16-50 is good enough and if she wants to try your lenses, she can.

But whatever you do, let her decide!
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Old 03-20-2016   #13
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My girlfriend only really cared what color the camera was. But I bought her an Instax camera on her birthday with lots of film. She absolutely loves it.
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Old 03-20-2016   #14
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Sony A5100 with an 18-55.

B2(;->
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Old 03-20-2016   #15
Peter Wijninga
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Quote:
But I bought her an Instax camera on her birthday with lots of film. She absolutely loves it.
I'll second the attraction of Fuji's Instax. A perfect family sharing system. Also consider the Fuji Instax Share smartphone printer S-P1 http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...hare_sp_1.html
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Old 03-20-2016   #16
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For m4/3 cameras, I'd go for the Panasonic GF7 with kit lens. It comes in colours like pink and brown. Plus it's got a flip screen for selfies.

The newer GF8 even has a beauty retouch function. But it's not available in the USA for now.

Otherwise for compacts, I agree with others on Canon G7x, G9x and Sony RX100 series.
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Old 03-20-2016   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Austintatious View Post
This is what I would consider for her, Panasonic LX 100.
http://www.rangefinderforum.com/foru...d.php?t=149819
Nice little "real" camera. Smartphones may have cameras, but it is not the same user experience.
you really can't go wring with the LX100. a fabulous modern camera.
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Old 03-20-2016   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emraphoto View Post
you really can't go wring with the LX100. a fabulous modern camera.
^^^ WHS - except that I reckon he meant "wrong"...
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Old 03-20-2016   #19
Addy101
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I guess what we are saying is that any camera that costs a couple of hundred euros/dollars/pounds will be good. The difference will be what she prefers and likes holding.
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Old 03-20-2016   #20
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I am a Canon guy for small cameras. (Nikon for big) For small but high quality one of the S series. I have an S90 but they go up to S110 now. A little larger -- one of the G series. I still use a Canon G2 occasionally.
But it depends on what she likes and what she wants to do with it. A great new camera seems to appear every five minutes.
Also, using the smartphone is a good suggestion. I occasionally shoot with my iPhone 6 and the quality is excellent. Haven't quite got my head around to shooting with a phone. )
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Old 03-21-2016   #21
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Did a little research into this and landed on a Canon G9x for my wife. She didn't want to use her phone and prefers a dedicated camera. The temptation to get sucked into your phone when on vacation is just too much. No need to see your email when you just want to take a photo.

The G9x looks pretty tiny and has the same sensor as all the other 1 inch sensors. Haven't gotten around to purchasing yet.

Not a camera review site but I found this helpful:

http://thewirecutter.com/reviews/bes...oot-under-500/
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Old 03-21-2016   #22
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Nothing like a romantic trip to B&H...
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Old 03-21-2016   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ruby.monkey View Post
Take her to a good camera store and let her choose.
Yup. And let her get hands on your stuff. Alone, and for long enough. "Too complicated" might just mean "not enough time to get familiar with it" - a A7 is no wet plate view camera but a consumer device, and in terms of simplicity in its basic settings pretty close to the compacts that have been proposed...
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Old 03-21-2016   #24
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Get this. a RED E-PM2 reconditioned for $111.

http://www.getolympus.com/us/en/outl...ed.html?ref=CJ
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Old 03-21-2016   #25
joe bosak
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Maybe something that's not completely serious?

- Olympus E-PL7 - the flip-down selfie screen is very cool, everyone I know loves it.

- maybe one of those splashproof Ricoh's? WG5, WG30.

- and as others have said, Instax
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Old 03-21-2016   #26
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Both of my suggestions are a little out of your budget, but closer if you get used.

1) Latest version of Sony RX100. I got my wife the first version, and it is still going strong after almost 4 years. I'm not familiar with the specs on the new one but I only mentioned it for the wifi function, since that's the only new feature my wife said she would be interested in.

2) If she doesn't need a zoom point & shoot, I'd get her Fuji X70 or X100T for ease of use. No need to mess with RAW files since Fuji has exellent JPEG outputs. Also with wifi capabilities.
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