In the market for a non-SLR digital camera?

What if you’re in the market for a non-SLR digital camera? The old standby has been, and continues to be, Canon compacts. My current favorite would be the SD800 IS (for the wide angle lens), but there is a plethora of options. But! On the horizon is a batch of large-sensor, fixed-lens, small-body (and stylish looking) cameras which might be worth waiting a few months for. The one that’s out now is the Sigma DP2. This mixed review is worth reading in part because it explains the whole phenomena. But check out leaked pictures of the maybe-upcoming Olympus E-P1. Update: The head-on image of the Olympus disappeared from the page, but here it is:

Olympus E-P1

I also feel like I should be throwing in a word for the Panasonic DMC-LX3, but it seems to not be selling much, which is usually a red flag.

6 thoughts on “In the market for a non-SLR digital camera?

  1. My “Olympus stylus whatever” is broken. The lense seems to be stock or something. I can’t take pictures with it and it’s frustrating because I really loved having a little point and shoot that fit in my pocket. I had it for a good 2 years and I’m wondering if it’s worth it to send it in for repair… Any advise?
    I’m thinking I should just buy a new camera, the SLR of my dreams, I have my heart set on the Nikon D700, but my pocket doesn’t agree.

  2. G10 is a beauty, especially in low light. My friend has it and whenever he brings it out, I can’t stop shooting with it.

    For pocket, I’m very happy with the Sony DSC-W300

  3. the nikon d700 had a price increase of $1,000 or so, after dec. WTF?..i was about to purchase one this summer. It’s a great low light camera, especially with f1.4 50mm lens.

    As far as a pocket camera, how about the Canon Powershot SD990IS 14.7MP, (successor to the sd800)? Unless people are lying, the pictures posted on flickr look really good.

    either a great SLR or a solid pocketable camera. no between for me.

  4. Carolina~

    The sad truth about pocket cameras is that they have a limited life expectancy. Two years under heavy use, or longer if pampered, but they all die sooner or later. If you think of the D700 as the camera for the rest of your life (or for at least 10 years) your pocket may change its mind. The other thing to consider though is that the D700 is harder to always take with you then a pocket camera. Also, as a former D80 owner I have to suggest that you consider the D90, which is not full frame, but should be a nice camera to own.


    The G10 is a fantastic camera to use. Online tests have its images similar or identical to the SD880? My brother just got the SX200 (he’s a D300 owner) and seems to be enjoying it.


    It’s something to do with the exchange rates going screwy between the dollar and the yen due to the economic turbulence. Thom predicted this would happen a few months ago, so you may want to check in with him to see if he’s got a prediction for when it’ll blow over. But you may have to bite the bullet.

    The reason to prefer the 880 to the 990 is the 28mm-equivalent wide angle, if you care about that sort of thing.

  5. The G10s images may be similar to an everyday compact in full auto mode —Canon compacts are great— but the G10 is in a whole other level. It has the controls of an DSLR. In fact, very similar to my XTi. The overall effect of shooting it in manual mode is reminiscent of a great rangefinder, which is what it resembles in size and build.

    I would buy it in a heartbeat, except that for that price there’s always a lens I’d rather have for the SLR. And it is bulky.

    My kickaround camera is an Olympus stylus and I must say it has taken quite a bit of abuse. It’s waterproof, so it comes out in the rain or water splashing and so far so good.

  6. Yeah… another friend has the G9, and it is fun to shoot with. The G10 has better controls and the 28mm-equivalent lens, which makes it even more appealing.

    But imagine the same body with a large sensor and a fast prime lens! Just about the best of both worlds.

    Don’t talk to me about this stuff though — I just bought a Nikon F3 on ebay ($125!!) and am lens-shopping for it.

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