Seeking advice on a replacement camera

In 2013 I bought a Canon Powershot S95 on very short notice, with no time to review and compare, as a small, light pocketable addition to my Nikon D300 – which was neither light nor small. I was very impressed with the S95, even given its obvious limitations. By 2017 I wanted something that would address some of those limitations; I chose a Canon Powershot G7 X Mk II and have been equally satisfied with it. Now I want to ‘upgrade’ the G7 X.

I would like to get a wider telephoto range, improved sharpness, less noise, more pixels and a faster ‘engine’. I want to have extensive manual control, much like the 35mm film cameras of the 70s and 80s and as found to a large degree on the Powershot G5 X and G7 X. Video performance is not important; I shoot mostly landscapes, architecture and macro subjects. I will probably buy used because new camera prices are too high now.

The Canon EOS M50 Mk II seemed attractive, aside from its size and weight, until I read a comment in DPReview that it is ‘an entry level mirror-less camera’. The Canon EOS M6 II looks good, but I am put off by Canon’s withdrawal of the EF-M range of lenses. The Powershot G5 X Mk II seems like a very good match, but prices, even used, are unacceptable. The same goes for the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 range…

I have quickly looked at the Panasonic range of mirror-less cameras but am quite confused because of the huge number of models and the far from informative model naming scheme. Perhaps others with deeper understanding of Panasonic could make a recommendation? Similarly for OM. Nikon does not appear to have an offering in the ‘enthusiast, mirror-less’ camera sector. Fuji’s X100 range price reflects current demand, making them unwise buy.

Any comments or recommendations?


At this point burst stacking on mobile phones has improved to the point where the point-and-shoot market is basically dead. Anything smaller than APS-C is seeing little to no development nowadays, especially for stills. Of course this is partly because we’ve basically been at the limits of performance per unit area from sensors since 2015 or so. The next frontiers are readout rate and throughput, which only help a stills shooter if burst stacking is involved, and mobile phones are so far ahead in that regard that they outperform anything until you have a sensor larger than APS-C unless you’re taking action/high-movement shots.

Yes, I am aware of the remarkable performance of the mobile phone. Using one as a camera is a non-starter, in my hands. Jobs’ comment of ‘you’re holding it wrong’ was voiced to reflect my approach… Any way, I got my first proper camera in the early 1960s and have been addicted to that style of ergonomic since then.

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Hmm. Interesting question.

Most of that you’ll get by going to a camera with interchangeable lenses, if you do, the telephoto bit is going to need either a separate lens or a possibly bulky and compromised superzoom…

As has been said, there’s not very many ‘simple’ or low-end cameras on the market now, due to the ‘phoney’ takeover (hehe!). I don’t have anything against phones, but they’re certainly not appropriate for everything. Far from it.

I don’t know that I’m in a situation to give the input you want, as all my current kit is approaching 10 years old, most of it I bought second hand.

Are you open to buying used?

For a small yet fully featured camera, I rather like my old Sony Nex5r - current descendant would be the A6100, but that’s maybe a little expensive. The older A6000 could be good.

You mentioned the Fujifilm X100V, but have you considered their ILC (interchangeable lens camera) range - some of the less fashionable ones are relatively affordable - XE-2 springs to mind.

I have an Olympus OM-D EM5 mark II, which I like using but am not that impressed with image quality. I usually have mine paired with a 14-150mm (equivalent to 28-300mm on the m43 sensor) which doesn’t help the quality but is very convenient and light/compact for the versatility.

Methinks the problem (my problem!) is that your options are too open… when I want a new camera I’m usually restricted by the lenses and stuff that I already have.

By the way, when looking at manufacturer’s ranges, it helps to sort by price - some of the nameing schemes are confusing, but $ never lies… :wink:

panasonic g9 and g9mk2 are more photo centric cameras, gx80 is quite old now but a nice one, I like the gh5s, some people have found gh6 dissapointing because of shadow noise

you can use the micro four thirds lenses from olympus (now OM system) with these as well

then panasonics full frame models are s5, then s5 mk2 with phase detection AF, the s5mk2 x is more video centric, there are some others like s1, s1h etc, but bigger and heavier


I had a similar scenario, where I had a Canon Powershot SD790 IS and a Nikon D7000. The D7000 never came on vacations because I felt it was big and conspicuous. So I picked up a wee Fuji X-T20 with the 18-55 kit lens, which isn’t as good as their top glass, but much better than Nikon’s kit lens. Since then, I’ve added some other Fuji lenses (that don’t go on vacations). The X-T20 is now my regular camera as well as my vacation camera, and the D7000 gets a lot of rest.

I previously used to recommend the Canon M50 as a great small camera that had the image quality of a D-SLR. However, that camera has the M mount which Canon seems to have abandoned for the R mount. For that reason alone I would be careful about buying any M mount series camera. However, you can buy a EF to M adaptor and you can buy an EF to R adaptor which allows you to buy EF lenses and use them on any of the Canon bodies. There is no adaptor for a M to an R mount so if you buy a M mount lens it will only every work on the M mount cameras and in the future may become a doorstop or paper weight.

Canon has some nice R mount cameras. I bought the Canon R7 for wildlife, travel and video use when travelling. The crop sensor brings the most out of my telephoto lenses. The high pixel density allows great post shooting crops to get even more out of my telephoto lenses. The downside is that the small individual pixel size compared to a full frame camera means the ISO is limited to 32000 unless extended which is not recommended. A full frame would be advantageous to a landscape or architectural photographer who wants to get the most out of their wide angle lenses and astro-photographers who want both wide angle and high ISO with minimal noise.

BTW, I describe the Fuji cameras as my favourite camera which I don’t own. They are nice.

The G7X II was of the last generation of compact cameras. Development just stopped after that. So there’s no clear upgrade path.

Given that you said you’re mostly shooting landscapes, and are interested in higher resolution photos, yet remain as compact as possible, I’d recommend a recent Olympus body with hand-held high-res shooting. Pair that with a good landscape lens like the 12-45, and you have a great landscape kit.

The Canon M system may be a great bargain, given that it’s discontinued. And you already know the Canon files and UI logic from your G7X. But lens selection is pretty limited, and nothing really screams “landscape” in the existing lineup.

Personally, I use Fujifilm. But there’s nothing comparable to the G7X in my system, it’s relatively bulky. And I optimize my shooting for people pictures, not landscapes, and focus on good-looking bokeh instead of sharpness. For your stated purpose, Olympus seems a better fit.

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I’ve recommended the GX9 in the past, fwiw. The tiny kit zooms (12-34mm, 35-100mm 2x crop) and primes are relatively cheap (the zooms are pretty slow but fine in decent light).

The predecessor rangefinder style camera, the GX7, would be cheaper with fewer megapixels and other missing features. Panasonic also made a GX8 that confusingly switched to SLR style.

There’s also the GX80 that should be cheaper than the GX9. I’ve never held one but there’s a comparison by someone who has here:


I was of this opinion for years, until I was planning a trip to Disney World - I didn’t want to lug around an APS-C camera. I went from buying cheapo phones to buying a Pixel 4 XL. Absolutely no regrets, burst stacking has completely changed the game. My only complaint with the 4XL is that their raws were generated using their previous-generation stacking algorithm while the JPEGs were generated using MFSR. I need to check to see if that’s still the case for my 7 Pro…

MFT cameras as people have recommended aren’t that much more compact than APS-C.

The Sony RX100 family has the same size sensor as your G7XII - the only advantage is that it’s stacked BSI (less rolling shutter) which is of no benefit for your stated use cases (static scenes/subjects). There’s no known image quality difference.

The Fuji X100 series have negligible advantages over a Sony A6xxx with a pancake lens attached.

At this point in the game, your only options are:

  • Be happy with your G7XII, there’s not really any upgrade on the market for your use cases that won’t be physically larger if you’re dead set against a phone
  • Modern phone - a Pixel or iPhone - I don’t trust the stacking algorithms from the likes of Samsung, etc
  • Replace the D300 with APS-C mirrorless (Sony A6xxx for example). I think Canon now has RF-mount APS-C also. Don’t touch EF-M - it’s a dead mount. All future development is RF. Removing the mirror will allow you to get the size significantly down for some lens configurations, but nowhere near as small as your G7XII.

Keep in mind that sensor development in terms of dynamic range per unit area has been at a plateau since 2015 or so, we’re basically at the theoretical limits of what Bayer-on-silicon can do. The only future frontiers are in terms of readout rate and throughput - which don’t benefit you at all unless burst stacking comes into play, and there’s no evidence whatsoever of any camera OEM being even remotely close to implementing anything that even competes with what Google was doing 8 years ago with , let alone more recent implementations such as [1905.03277] Handheld Multi-Frame Super-Resolution

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That made for some interesting reading but a rather depressing conclusion in terms of the 3 options you mention. The last one (replace D300 with APS-C mirrorless) was implemented some years ago anyway, following the catastrophic loss of the D300. I switched to Fuji X-trans but have not been able to assimilate the knowledge required to adequately use my X-T30. It’s just too complicated, too difficult to figure out what I changed last time I used it. I spend more time hunting through menus and figuring out what custom button settings do and why the camera behaves the way it does, than I do actually taking photos. That’s pointless.

Given that, plus the fact the once I have a couple of lenses in the bag, my camera package is greater in bulk or in-convenience than the D300, means that I haven’t advanced much with that solution. Riding a bike off-road with the X-T30 plus long lens strung around my neck (as I do with the Canon almost every time I’m on a bike) is not at all advisable. Result: I use the Canon for 90% of my photography, leaving the much larger investment in the (better) Fuji kit in the back of the cupboard.

Briefly, back to the 8 year old Google article: both the Canon and Fuji cameras can deliver a reasonable burst of images (perhaps not quite so good as a modern iPhone, but good enough). The trouble is, what do I do with them? Perhaps I can fuse them together in GIMP or ImageMagik to get the noise/sharpness benefits, but for the ghosting issue. So, I would really like to see this Google ‘cell-phone’ functionality implemented in something like darktable, but that seems unlikely. Perhaps I could then get ‘better’ (meaning undefined) HDR images.

As of today the best method I have personally found to achieve this is to use Photomatix with a bracketed set of photos. That gives results which I find passably acceptable about 10% of the time, with ghosting being the main issue. Photomatix is marginally effective; darkatble has no de-ghosting functionality at all - as far as I know.

Fujifilm has a software product Fujifilm X Acquire that, among other things, can backup and restore your camera’s settings.

Menu hell is real, at least on any camera I’ve had. What I find helpful is getting the things I change often “closer to the surface”. I’ve customized the functions assigned to some buttons so that they are just a button press away, and added some other functions to the “My” menu so they are handy as well. I’ve rearranged the “Q” menu a bit to get at almost everything else reasonably easy to get to.

I think my mind used to have a memory, but I’ve misplaced it. So, I keep track, in a document, what setup changes I make to the camera, and I have a written cross-reference of the fastest way to get to each setting I use, taking into consideration the customization I’ve done. It does take a bit of time and self-discipline, but it really helps me remember what I did with setting ABC two years ago. I hope to get out today for the first time in six weeks, and I’ll be reviewing that document before I go out (if I remember :wink: ).

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I think a lot of the bursting @Entropy512 is talking about is the automated processing of burst images to get the final computational image. I took shot the other night on a walk with my pixel 8. It was a crescent moon to the naked eye. When I got home and pulled up the image the whole shadow of the entire moon was captured even though I hadn’t even noticed it when looking at it… At this point in time if I had to rely on full blown camera kit I suspect I would miss about 90 percent of the photos I currently take. Maybe when I have more time in life zi can shift that ratio😁

Not at all good enough to do what phones do, I’m afraid. A phone can capture hundreds of frames per second without blackout. It can therefore substitute many short exposures for a single longer one, even for very short integration times.

There are situations where this doesn’t matter, and you can absolutely use camera bursts in those situations. For example, HDR stacks, focus stacks, long exposures.

But for day-to-day photography, cameras are not fast enough to use stacks routinely. That said, phone-like stacking has downsides, too: phones these days use rather unusually long integration times to get their noise under control. The result is terrible shutter lag, and sometimes stitching artifacts. Much of that trickery is simply not necessary in a camera, as the bigger sensors and lenses capture enough information in a single exposure to not need digital trickery to make a reasonable image.


Not sure if you have come across his channel but Maarten does great reviews and does in-depth coverage of menus and settings… you might get some inspiration to take your X-T30 out :slight_smile:

I don’t understand the need to complicate the process of taking photos in a regular environment. There’s 100 features but in the end, after autofocus or manual focus is setup (and fuji can easily switch between those) plus all the base settings that are set once, all a person needs to do is turn the camera on, adjust exposure, focus and shoot. Dpad (or swipe) can quickly show the 4 most used settings like film sim, white balance, level, and whatever else might be important(Such as drive to quickly switch to burst shooting, since the XT-30 doesn’t seem to have a dial for this).

The cameras have depth and additional confusion to them, that is true, but only if the user succumbs to them. They can as easily function as simpler cameras if people use them like so.


I’ve been checking on second-hand offers on the Canon G1 X Mk iii: below 400 g, APS-C, limited but useful zoom, sealed against weather and dust.

Gordon Laing writes:

Don’t underestimate the appeal of squeezing the photo and movie quality of the EOS 80D into a compact weatherproof body weighing less than 400g either. The G1X Mark III may have some annoying omissions for movie shooters, but remains one of Canon’s most compelling compacts appealing as a standalone camera or a companion to larger DSLRs.
(Canon G1X Mark III review | Cameralabs)

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Thanks for this. No, I was not aware of this channel so I will look at it in detail - it might help to ‘burn off’ the sense of guilt I have about having spent so much money on Fuji (X-E1, X-E2, X-T10, X-T20 and finally X-T30 plus half a dozen lenses) but use it all so little. And it is well above
entry-level quality photographic gear.

As the saying goes: “All the gear, and no idea…”

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Interesting. Thank you. I had completely overlooked this model. I quite enjoy Gordon Laing’s reviews, so I look forward to following this up later this evening.

I just checked on the valuation of G5 X Mk II here in UK. Could find only 2 available - at MPB, the cheaper one being at 879 UK Pounds. That’s probably more than it was when new. How come it is valued so (relatively) highly?

Maarten has lots of Fuji content and maybe after a breeze through some of it you can revisit your gear and set it as you would need it so you don’t need to be deep in menu’s when you go to shoot…