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October 17, 2010 @ 18:01

Best prosumer (non-SLR) digital camera of 2010/2011 ?

I’m looking for a new digital camera, I had Olympus C-8080 with 28-140mm F2.4-3.5 lens and 2/3″ (0.58 cm²) sensor as my primary camera for last 6 years, it had great lens and quite bigger sensor than current compact cameras. During diving on this year’s holiday underwater case gave in an screw for flash cable broke and let water in :(
So I’m looking for a new camera to replace old and trustworthy Olympus C-8080. I’m looking for a camera that would have bigger than average sensor; most cameras have sensor that is 0.3-0.4 cm2 and Olympus C-8080 had 0.6 cm2 sensor. I’m looking for great image quality camera but don’t want to have big bag only for camera so no SLR for me, and also prices of SLR lenses are too high for amateur photographers like me.
What would be my ideal camera? Camera with fixed fast F/2.0 lens, fast focus, 4/3 or APS-C size sensor, 28-200 mm zoom range and rain/waterproof case. Call it anyway you want, it could be called Olympus C-9090, Sony DSC-R2, Canon SXG10, Canon GX1 – I don’t care ;)
There are few different lens systems out there, one of more popular ones is Micro Four Thirds. Some manufactures have started releasing cameras with bigger APS-C size sensor.

So let’s see what is currently out there…
Fuji X100

  • 1000$ price tag
  • classic camera look – a big plus
  • probably superb image quality
  • fast F/2.0 lens
  • EXR technology for high dynamic range (automatic HDR) photos
  • fixed lens with no zoom :(

First i thought that if only it has some zoom or interchangeable lenses this would probably be the winner for me, but as I take most of my photos without any zoom via iPhone I realized that this camera could actually be the one.

Samsung NX100

  • really compact camera with full size SLR sensor!
  • faster focus than Olympus PEN series
  • meriocre kit lens (30-75mm F3.5-5.6) :(
  • no viewfinder by default :(
  • no image stabilization :(

Sony NEX3 / NEX5

  • full size SLR sensor!
  • Auto HDR feature
  • No viewfinder :(
  • Overexposure (firmware fix?) :(
  • RAW capture
  • great magnesium alloy body
  • not so good UI (firmware fix?)
  • operates more like point&shoot camera not giving away control :(

Panasonic DMC-GH2

Olympus Pen EP-2 vs Panasonic GF1

  • Olympus PEN E-P2 with 14-42mm F/3.5-5.6 lens – 780$
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 with 14-45mm F/3.5-5.6 lens – 650$
  • Olympus has in body motion compensation
  • Panasonic cheaper and better than EP-1
  • Comparison article and JPEG engine comparison


If you have any good recommendation for any of the cameras on the list or have suggestion for some other that isn’t on the list please say so in the comments.


Filed under english, gadgets


  1. Posted by Adam Williamson

    October 18, 2010 @ 0:49

    All the non-SLR interchangeable lens cameras on the list are still considerably larger than a compact once you actually stick a zoom lens on them. If size is a big consideration it’s worth considering something like the Canon S95 – a high-end compact with a better lens and bigger sensor than typical compacts have. It still won’t be close to an SLR (I have the previous model Canon, S90, and it really can’t get usable pics past ISO 800) but it’ll be significantly better than a typical compact.

  2. Posted by valent

    October 19, 2010 @ 10:56

    Look like Fuji X100 isn’t due till march-may 2011 so I can wait or buy some 4/3 camera.

    This video shows that there are quality lenses that are cheap so I have some hope:

  3. Posted by Nice High Definition Tv photos | Shopping For TVs net

    October 20, 2010 @ 22:41

    [...] Best prosumer (non-SLR) – /kernel_reloaded/ [...]

  4. Posted by Michael-Patrick

    January 18, 2011 @ 2:52

    Hello hello hello

    I have just purchased two cameras for the house one for me and one for the lady of the house. She got the Olympus Pen PL2 and Ep2 for me. I have been a Nikon guy for a long time, the last one the D80, but we have seveal versions of the Coolpix and the D70 too. But, to the point I wanted something we could stick in a purse or small backpack (OK I have a murse on weekends!) anyway, the favored Coolpix was dead and I was so tired of “should i take my camera”.
    We love our Pen series cameras! and are simply blown away by the quality, beats all the Nikons, sure there are new ones but I have always wanted to try the Olympus. Some years back I saw that they were not limiting themselves to cameras that would work with the full lens line. I can understand the loyalty to your arsenal, but digital is a new way of doing things and it finally seems we are getting there. I use the pancake lens with mine and she the 14-140? I have always been a portrait shooter so I will need a lens that allows me to do some of that without the wideangle distortion. The Fuji is exciting me but i think i have found a great compromise for the time being. One of the things I like is that any accessories I get can be used by the boss lady AND if I decide to bail on Olympus I will bequeath her my Olympus stuff.
    Here are the things I do not like about my Ep2:
    why a new kind of USB connector? Really? What a load of crap that decisions is.
    The electronic viewer is $300 and you cannot use flash and viewer at same time.
    The viewer that comes with the pancake lens is bs too.
    But,what I DO like is how it works in low light! It is magic and one of the things I most wanted.
    Any of the other Prosumers have that talent?

  5. Posted by Squeaker

    June 16, 2011 @ 8:53


    Not sure if you are still watching this thread but my 8080 was stolen. As a replacement I tried the Olympus Pen but wasn’t too crazy about the image quality. I ended up buying a perfectly good used 8080 from eBay for ~$150 after agonizing about spending nearly ten times that to upgrade to a dSLR.

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