I've had my tough-tg6 for about 6 months now, I've really enjoyed the experience and have managed to snap some satisfying pics. I've also discovered I enjoy taking photos and have learned a bit about photography along the way. I'm excited to give it a go next time I'm kayaking in the alps, we've never had anything but go pros with us which always make everything look tiny. Should be interesting!
I love the tg6 but am also constantly frustrated by it! It's hard to get the photos I want out of it - the autofocus is slow and has trouble picking out a climber (my friends rx100 is amazing in comparison), the weird purple fringes, poor low-light performance, low pixel count makes cropping hard, etc. It also just doesn't seem to turn out high quality or sharp images.
So I'm after a new camera. I want something small that I can take out for a day cragging (will save the tg6 for multipitching). The panasonic gx80 is at the top of my list at the moment for its size and cost second hand, will only 16mp be an issue? It doesn't seem like much of an upgrade over the tg6's 12mp.
I originally bought the tg6 on the recommendation of a bunch of forum posts here, so I was hoping UKC's collective knowledge would be able to offer some advice. I'd like to keep costs under £350 to start, with room to grow over the years as I get more into it
I can thoroughly recommend the Panasonic TZ100 - 25-250 lens, 20mp, RAW, high-quality images and around £300 at the mo. I submit loads of shots to Alamy taken with it and never fail QC.
> I can thoroughly recommend the Panasonic TZ100 - 25-250 lens, 20mp, RAW, high-quality images and around £300 at the mo. I submit loads of shots to Alamy taken with it and never fail QC.
Second vote for this. I'm no expert but I got one on the advice of a friend who is and haven't been disappointed.
I think the GX80 is a good start - but then I've always liked Lumix cameras. 16Mp is more than enough - if you find you need to crop a lot frequently, then I would suggest you have a think about the lens you get. The 12-32 will get you inside your budget (used), but but it's a wide-angle zoom. If you want a longer focal length ('zoom in more') then you probably need to look at a different lens - perhaps the 12-60 f3.5-5.6 (although that's going to bust your budget a little bit). Need to zoom in more? The 45-150 seems to get decent review and is available used for a good price, but is probably not right (too long) for a first lens. Worthy addition though.
Top Tip, ignore the Pixel Count of a sensor.
Its a marketing ploy to differentiate "wafer-thin" differences between cameras brands and their feature sets. The quality of the sensor build combined with glass in front of the sensor is what's important. Too many pixels crammed onto a sensor to win a marketing war can and does have negative consequences that can degrade an image.
I'd say that the Panasonic GX80 would be a fine choice of camera, if you are going for a budget, bang-for-buck camera.
This camera can go toe-to-toe with Panasonic's last gen Flagship camera GH4.
The GH4, still has specs that many modern cameras don't possess, and its a seven year old camera.
I’m looking to sell my Sony A5100 with the kit 16-55 lens and a ThinkTank Mirrorless 5 case, if you’re interested?
> Top Tip, ignore the Pixel Count of a sensor.
> Its a marketing ploy to differentiate "wafer-thin" differences between cameras brands and their feature sets.
Here's a YouTube episode pitching a 12MP full frame camera against a 102MP medium format camera.
It was guesswork to spot the 102MP images.
To see what a little Sony RX100 can do, have a look at Wee Jamie's current contributions in the latest photo section.
I've always been (and still am) in the 'megapixels are irrelevant' camp, but I think tests like this are rather pointless - you really are not comparing like with like. Different sensor (obviously), but also different optics, different captures. When my wife got the G9 I was curious to try its 'high resolution' mode where it moves the sensor 1/2 pixel between a burst of images and then synthesises a double resolution image (80Mpx). It saves both the enhanced image and a single normal image (20Mpx) from the same capture. i was pretty certain it was just a marketing feature and would be essentially invisible. Give the smallish M4/3 sensor, I assumed the resolution would be optics limited rather than sensor limited. I was wrong. There was a very obvious difference in how much detail was resolved in the 80Mpx image compared to the 20Mpx one. So in the context of my 'home lab' environment (kitchen) silly megapixels are definately 'better'. Having said that, I've never bothered using it outdoors or for that matter in any 'non-lab' situation. It's not that 80Mpx isn't sharper than 20Mpx, it's just that sharpness is not that big an issue. It's not a problem that need solving. I still have big prints on my wall from a 3Mpx image and they still look good - as long as you don't put you nose up to the wall.
Just for completeness, here's a screen shot of the 20/80Mpx images (zoomed in 400%/200%) to show the difference: https://photos.app.goo.gl/BCHgXtiTcfVgsAyW7
I was using the Panasonic 12-60mm @ ~25mm, f5.6, ISO 100, mechanical shutter, 2s shutter delay, tripod mounted, pin-point autofocus. I probably should have used manual focus and a remote trigger with electronic shutter to limit vibration (3.2s exposure) a bit more, but it was just a quick test. It's a damn good lens! I was also surprised to see that the advantage was still clear near the top edge of the picture, not just in the center.
I think the only thing that would persuade me to replace my RX100 is something with a noticably wider apeture or if I required a bigger zoom. I find it intuitive, quick to handle, light and very compact.
Oh and one final point - to actually see the difference between the 20 and 80Mpx images in a print I reckon the prints would need to be at least 6 feet wide and even then I'd probably need a loupe to see the difference at 180dpi.
So the difference is demonstrably there (despite what the video suggests), but it's completely pointless in practice.
> Oh and one final point - to actually see the difference between the 20 and 80Mpx images in a print I reckon the prints would need to be at least 6 feet wide and even then I'd probably need a loupe to see the difference at 180dpi.
So does anyone make a medium format camera with only about 20Mpx? Presumably it would be fantastic in low light with such huge pixels and lower noise than having silly numbers of pixels.
> So does anyone make a medium format camera with only about 20Mpx? Presumably it would be fantastic in low light with such huge pixels and lower noise than having silly numbers of pixels.
Not sure - I'm not that interested in medium format stuff (too expensive!). 50Mpx seem typical, so I guess pixel sizes are about the same as for full frame DSLRs - just more of them. At the end of the day you can argue that that picture quality is (potentially) a function of sensor size rather than pixel size since more small pixels just give you more leeway in post-processing (e.g., Bayer interpolation, noise reduction, smoothing...). I'm guessing - real world effects like quantisation noise, read noise may undermine the above argument. I might be interesting to speculate about a hypothetical pixel-less sensor (infinite Mpx) which simply records the XY coordinate and energy (floating point of course) of every photon impact. How would that affect all our preconception about what you need for a good camera sensor?
I appreciate the info and discussion guys! I've just ordered my GX80. £250 with the 12-35mm lense and a bag. Can't wait for it to arrive Excited to see what it's like.
On a side note, if anyone has any tips for climbing photography, I'd love to hear them! There don't seem to be a lot of resources online about it. I do enjoy going through the ukc gallery to try and figure out what makes the good photos good.
Well, when you've figured that out, let us know. We're all struggling with that one!
Maybe time to start a climbing photography thread ready for the season
Now, who do we know that takes the occasional climbing piccie... 🤔 Any ideas?
If you're interested in a decent low-light camera with large pixel size (13.6um) then this article has a nicely accessible description: https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1086/680687
Good choice. I have a GX something-or-other with that lens ( chosen for its ability to go in your pocket)
Get a spare battery, one full charge can’t guarantee you a full day out. And get a padded waterproof bag for it, they’re not very good at rain & snow. My lens has been falling to bits for a while and has now stopped focussing. I’m regarding that as an excuse to get a wee pancake lens, though.
> Good choice. I have a GX something-or-other with that lens ( chosen for its ability to go in your pocket)
> Get a spare battery, one full charge can’t guarantee you a full day out. And get a padded waterproof bag for it, they’re not very good at rain & snow. My lens has been falling to bits for a while and has now stopped focussing. I’m regarding that as an excuse to get a wee pancake lens, though.
The GX80 can be charged by USB, so instead of a spare battery I have a power bank in my camera bag that charges the camera when I don't actively use it.
Yes, I've noticed the battery drains a lot faster than the tg-6. I've already ordered a couple of spare batteries bundled with a usb charger for them. So I will keep that in my bag with a power bank to charge the batteries whilst out and about.
The camera came with a nice bag that has a waterproof covering you can take out and put around it.
> Maybe I need to think about upgrading....
The Panasonic 12-60mm is a stunningly good lens but you know the saying ("small, cheap or light - no, it's a Leica, you can't have any of them.")
And in parallel you can charge your phone, GPS, ereader and so on from the same device.
Using multiple batteries on top gives of course even more safety at the expense of additional weight and cost. I have never exhausted my battery this way, but other people shoot much more per hour than me.
Anyway, USB charging is really useful in my opinion.