Walkabout camera recommendations please


Link Posted 21/05/2014 - 08:48
For many years I've used a Fujifilm F810 compact camera. It finally died on a recent trip to Morocco and I had only my phone to use.

I've figured it's not worth repairing and I'm now looking for its replacement.

I've had a look at the MX-1 which has a good price currently, and the Ricoh WG-4 GPS, not sure I need the ruggedness but the GPS might be handy and it has no Av mode.

Any others that you consider better for the job of taking images on city breaks etc. when I don't want to take a DSLR + accessories?
Peter E Smith

My flickr Photostream


Link Posted 21/05/2014 - 08:56
This has always been a perennial problem, as compact usually meant inferior quality as well.

Just recently though almost all compact ranges seem to have gone up-market and whichever of them suits will no doubt be excellent. They do tend to be over-sharpened and over saturated, but that's to make the images more print ready for those who don't use Photoshop.

I use a W90 and these days it's mainly used for anything under water and for letting the grandchildren join in on trips out. They won't break it easily and they have a great time whilst producing amazingly good images. The WG-4 is better and I quite fancy having one. They are very compact and quality is esceptional close up, although only good to very good for more distant subjects.

The MX-1 is definitely an exceptional all-rounder. We all seem to like it, the price is great, so I'd say don't hesitate and get one while you can. It's a little bit more bulky than I'd really like but it still fits a jacket pocket and I put up with the size as it's so good.
Best regards, John


Link Posted 21/05/2014 - 09:26
Have the Q - lovely, and incredibly 'diddy', but often the image quality is just so far behind the K5/K5iis that I'd rather carry the dSLR. With the prime the Q is pretty good.

But the MX-1 is in a different league. It's the only compact where I'd leave the K5iis kit at home. The Chatham Historic Dockyard trip was its first real outing, and I am hugely impressed at the IQ, usability, and form factor. As John says, it's a little bulkier than I'd like (and I would have preferred manual zoom control), but battery life is significantly better than the Q too. The lens is very versatile at f/1.8 with 1cm macro mode!

Sorry that I'm dilly-dallying over the LR profiles... need a little more time, and hope to get these off to Adobe for general consumption soon!

(For gallery, tips and links)


Link Posted 21/05/2014 - 09:32
The Q7 though has the same sized sensor as the MX-1 so should be more comparable in terms of IQ.

If you buy a Pentax in the UK be careful over the warranty. The warranty seems to vary between Pro Centres depending on retailer. Avoid Park Cameras for example.
You can see some of my photos here if you are so inclined


Link Posted 21/05/2014 - 09:42
Thanks for your comments so far. Matt, macro has been a longtime interest of mine and I'm tending towards the WG-4 at the moment. It has a larger sensor, both physically and MP's, and it has built in lighting.

Any thoughts/users?
Peter E Smith

My flickr Photostream


Link Posted 21/05/2014 - 09:46
I purchased an MX-1 for my wife and so really likes it. She was not sure that she needed a new camera but the image quality of the MX-1 is so far ahead of her previous compact, which was three years old.

From my limited experience, I think the lens is outstanding and as Matt says the 1cm Macro mode is very good.

My only gripe is the processing speed. I guess I have been spoilt with the latitude that shooting RAW on a K5 provides. The MX-1 is quite slow, when it comes to saving RAW files. For that reason the camera is set-up for best quality JPG and personally I struggle to get exposure and composition right without the aid of a good viewfinder.

Regards - Steve


Link Posted 21/05/2014 - 09:57
Picking up the point about the Q7, that has the same sensor size as the MX-1 and I'd be hopeful that it has the same fine qualities. That's my plan, to eventually replace the Q with the Q7, and I've continued to expand my Q lens selection in anticipation.

Having said that, the original Q is not half bad in itself, it's just the MX-1 is obviously better in IQ.

As for macro, all these cameras are superb at macro shooting, much easier to use very close than any DSLR system, and at a fraction of the cost. However, I'm not convinced the macro lights add very much to macro shooting. I've not found the W90 lights to be helpful. The WG-4 has more lights, but the positioning still will give hot spots and the same bland front lighting.
Best regards, John


Link Posted 21/05/2014 - 13:06
Good point about the lights.

I'm not ruling out other makes at this stage so if anybody has any non-Pentax/Ricoh recommendations please PM me as they will be unwelcome in the forum.
Peter E Smith

My flickr Photostream


Link Posted 21/05/2014 - 13:14
For me the perfect pocket camera would combine the charm and functionality of the Pentax MX-1, with the DSLR-like image quality of the Sony RX100.

Both of these cameras have their pluses and minuses but both would be great for stowing away on city breaks etc. Blunty breaks it down: Pentax MX-1 Review - Worlds Best Value Compact? (Go to 12.30 for the comparison)....
Last Edited by Pentaxophile on 21/05/2014 - 13:18


Link Posted 21/05/2014 - 21:16
My sister had a Fuji F810 and I was always surprised at how good the images were!

I have a Canon S95 and would think about the most up to date version S120.
It fits in a pocket, easily.

Next on my list would be a Fuji X20. Doesn't quite fit in a pocket.

Thirdly would be the Sony RX100 as per above (there are a couple of versions). Might make your trousers bulge a little

However if a deal popped up for the MX-1 it would be hard to resist.
Lurking is shirking.!


Link Posted 21/05/2014 - 21:43
As unofficial head of the MX-1 Fan Club I was going to suggest the MX-1.

The sheer pleasure of holding this gem is just an appetiser for the joy of using it's carefully considered, quality crafted dials, and buttons. There is also the immense beauty of a camera designed as an homage to those classic 35mm film cameras of the 70's and that inspired touch of using brass plates makes it the difference between dining with B & M cutlery or getting out the best silver.

Added to that, the fully programmable, adjustable and of course familiar operating system which you will use to bring out the most eye popping images this side of a grand master oil painting.

Of course, I'm no name dropper, although I do draw the line at carrying a camera with Fujifilm or Panasonic written on it. Times may change but standards must be maintained you know.

But, if you're considering other makes, it would probably be wasted on you.


Sometimes I'm serious and sometimes not, but I consider sarcasm an artform. Which is it today?


Link Posted 21/05/2014 - 21:52
I had a play with the MX-1 during a recent visit to SRS, I didn't like it at all. Bring on the hate mail . I really disliked the feel of the left hand side of the body because of the bulkiness of the articulated mirror and it was much bigger than I though necessary or desirable. On the plus side the build quality and overall feel of the moving bits was very good.
“We must avoid however, snapping away, shooting quickly and without thought, overloading ourselves with unnecessary images that clutter our memory and diminish the clarity of the whole.” - Henri Cartier-Bresson -


Link Posted 21/05/2014 - 22:02
20 years ago my response to Ken could have featured on a main-stream tv comedy show and been considered humorous. Alas modern times require me to shut up

Sometimes I'm serious and sometimes not, but I consider sarcasm an artform. Which is it today?


Link Posted 22/05/2014 - 13:48
I thought I'd let Google help me find my next camera. I searched for "best digital compact camera" and was presented with a fair number of various reviewers opinions.

To my dismay, none has even reviewed anything from Pentax, only the usual suspects, Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Sony, Panasonic, etc, but no Pentax.
Peter E Smith

My flickr Photostream
Last Edited by Mannesty on 22/05/2014 - 13:49


Link Posted 22/05/2014 - 14:22
If you have lots of primes why not get a used k-01 all the qualities of the k-5 in a smaller package.
PPG Wedding photography Flickr
Concert photography

Currently on a Pentax hiatus until an FF Pentax is released
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