What do Which? members think of compact system cameras?
Compact system cameras – Which? members have their say
Compact system cameras (CSC) are a relatively new type of camera. They’re designed to have similar performance and features to digital SLRs, but in a body size more akin to a compact camera or super-zoom bridge camera. You can read our compact system cameras explained guide for more, but here we’re taking a look at what Which? members think of them in customer views.
The customer views page in each review lets owners share their thoughts and experiences – the things they love, hate and wish they’d known before they’d parted with their cash. To let other people know how you feel about your SLR or CSC , find your model in the digital SLR reviews and add your own comments and rating under the ‘customer views’ tab.
You could be in with a chance of winning £600 of vouchers in our monthly draw – have a look at our customer views advice page for more details.
Panasonic Lumix G2 – like an SLR but smaller and lighter
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 is one of the most popular CSCs around, and most members that have bought one have nothing but good things to say about it.
Stephen170 calls his G2 a ‘Quality camera!’:
‘Hard to fault this camera.Easy to use and great quality images and at the time of writing is £200 at Tesco, which is an absolute bargain (thanks to Which? price comparison). The quality of the images are so much better than any bridge or compact camera Ii have owned and it feels very well made. Very pleased with my purchase.’
Sharing views on the same camera, discriminator advises to ‘buy a guide book or stick to iAuto!’:
‘There is a mind-numbing (to all but experts) number of ways to use the camera and exploit its technology! The good news is that the intelligent auto seems to work well in most circumstances and so the camera can be used as a point and shoot in fully automatic mode for pictures and video.’
discriminator also thinks the unofficial guide book for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 is a must-have:
‘it is vital to buy the Unofficial Quintessential Guide book (well written by professional photographers and clearly laid out – although some useful information is not in the book it is on a free website, some not as well set out as in the book.’
Sony NEX5N – a compact alternative
If you want something a little more compact, another popular camera is the Sony NEX-5N. Despite its compact camera-like dimensions, it’s got an image sensor that’s the same size as a digital SLR – a bigger sensor typically means better photos. What do Which? members think?
An anonymous member says the image quality is ‘superb’ compared with their previous camera, Panasonic’s GF1:
‘[It's] very lightweight. Excellent picture quality – even at high ISOs – 3200 is surprisingly good. Above that, things do go downhill with more noise – but still usable in an emergency… Initially it was tricky to use but once I had the soft buttons set to the functions I most commonly use it got a lot easier… Quality is good – though not outstanding. Excellent photos at f5.6 and f8 but soft in the corners outside that range. Lots of genuinely useful features, such as sweep panorama and auto HDR… For its size it’s the best all-round image quality available. And while not a pocket camera its certainly more pleasant to carry around than a heavy DSLR.’
The same member also warns of problems with early Sony NEX-5Ns:
‘One warning is that earlier batches of this camera had issues with clicking noises while videoing – this has been fixed for the latest cameras.’
Panasonic Lumix GF3 – another ‘compact’ style camera
Sony isn’t alone in having a more compact alternative – Panasonic has the Lumix GF3. Here’s what Which? members have to say about it.
HughStJust says he’s bought a pancake lens to ‘make the unit pocketable. He adds:
‘Overall I am very pleased with the end results – in high light levels I would expect the sole use of the screen to change settings to be impossible – still then I would probably be using the excellent autofocus anyway! Excellent results but not a camera for purists.’
And if you’re interested in what’s replacing the GF3 soon, take a look at our Panasonic Lumix-GF5 first look video, where we look at what’s new and share our first impressions.
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