Getting closer to that perfect carry around camera

A Bar of Ice, 2013 Holiday Party - Austin, Texas

A Bar of Ice, 2013 Holiday Party – Austin, Texas

Note: I noticed that Amazon has the Fujifilm XF1 point and shoot in stock for $199 again. This is currently my favorite point and shoot camera. All photos in this post were taking with it.

I went to a holiday party last week. I got to wear my suit, which I do maybe once a year, which is alright by me. While my 10+ year-old formal garb still fits, the waist was snug enough that I won’t be eating any steak dinners. The inner jacket pocket was perfect though for carrying around the Fuji XF1 that I’ve toted around lately. While not truly pants pocket-sized, it works well with jackets.

I’ve waited for technology to improve so that I can have a small carry around camera that works in almost any situation. And while any camera, even smart phones, work well in bright light, low-light interior shots have certainly been out of reach — at least at a level of quality that matches my expectations. I use a 27″ monitor and I want relatively noise free, detailed images, full screen.

2013 Holiday Party - Austin, Texas
2013 Holiday Party - Austin, Texas

Back in 2006, when I got my first DSLR, the then outstanding Canon Rebel XT was fairly noisy at ISO 1600. I remember I had to run special noise reduction software to remove the chroma splotches. I just had a kit lens that started at a modest f3.5 and with no image stabilization and with the mirror recoil, 1/30 of a second was iffy.

In 7 years, we now have $200 cameras with modest sensors that have f1.8 lenses with image stabilization. ISO 1600 is on the borderline but in some ways, better than that old Rebel XT. I’m satisfied with these party pics in a dark hotel. Isn’t technology wonderful? I’m certainly not one of those nostalgic film people.

2013 Holiday Party - Austin, Texas
2013 Holiday Party - Austin, Texas

Snapshots of my friends, especially with Fuji’s Super Intelligent Flash System, came out good for the most part. One downside is that the Fuji defaults to a slow shutter speed in these dark scenes. 1/15 of a second is common. And with image stabilization, my shots usually come out good enough, but not always. Letting others use the camera becomes tenuous. They need to be steady or mostly sober. In retrospect, I probably should have gone to shutter priority and dialed in a 1/30s or 1/60s shutter speed.

2013 Holiday Party - Austin, Texas

Focusing in dark areas gets slower but still does better than the Fuji X100S. All in all, it’s a close to perfect camera for these party situations. Maybe someday, with on board sensor based phase detection, these little point and shoots will have the assured snap focusing of a DSLR. You know there is always room for improvement. But at the rate these technologies advance, I’m excited to see what cameras will do in 2020.

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5 thoughts on “Getting closer to that perfect carry around camera

  1. I picked up another PM2 for $268 (body only, silver). Is Olympus bringing out a new PM model?

    I carry the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS19K. I know there are fancier — smaller, lighter, faster — P&S’s available … undoubtedly the Fuji is one … but I want to put my money into my system cameras. I bought the ZS19 for its long zoom and the quality is very good. Not brilliant, but it keeps surprising me. It’s not pocket size, but being a female person, I don’t usually have pockets — it fits well in one of the pouches of my shoulder bag and has become my go everywhere camera. I entered a contest at Olympus with the grand prize being the whole OMD setup … camera and ALL the lenses. A gal can dream 🙂

    1. That’s a great price. I have no idea what Olympus is releasing. Having two of the same body is nice, I’ve considered it myself. Right now, I’m opting to get different cameras for the different type of uses I have.

      I don’t envy women and their need for handbags but it does make it easier to carry a slightly larger camera.

  2. Great photos, and looks like an interesting event. Night (existing light) photography can usually make a location much more interesting visually than during daylight. Where was the location at? Oh, and best of the new year to you and yours.


  3. Very impressive – I really enjoyed these! I bought a XF1 a month or so ago but haven’t really put it into use yet….got to get myself into gear!
    Were these taken using EXR mode?

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