Friend’s advice

My good friend was visiting my son’s birthday party and we had time for short camera discussion (we usually do). He has been lately twice in vacation (in Spain and Turkey) with his family and I asked him which kind of camera gear he had with him. I also wanted to know if there were some camera features he was really missing during the vacations.

First of all he had Sony RX100 and Nikon D300s (with 18-55mm zoom) cameras with him at both vacations. The following things he pointed out:

– He said that he took most of the photos with the RX100 because of its small size. So, that is one big point here. You do not want to lug big equipment with you.

– He stated that a zoom lens is a must.

– He was missing a viewfinder a lot when using the RX100. The heavy sunshine made the LCD useless in many occasions.

– In-camera ND filter would have been great many times. He was not able to use wide apertures that much in outdoor shooting because of extreme light.


And here are my thoughts on those comments based on the cameras I have:

– My cameras in size order (from the smallest to the biggest): Ricoh GR, Nikon 1 V1, Fuji X-Pro1 and Leica Digilux 2 (these last two are actually equal in size). So, one point for Ricoh GR.

– I have only one zoom lens. It is the 10-30mm/3.5-5.6 for Nikon 1 V1. And of course Leica Digilux 2 has a fixed 28-90mm zoom. One point for Nikon and Leica.

– All my cameras except Ricoh GR have viewfinders. One point for X-Pro1, V1, and Digilux 2.

– Only my Ricoh GR has an in-camera ND filter. Nikon 1 V1 has, however, shutter speed option of 1/16000s which should be fast enough in strong light. So, I will give one point to Ricoh GR and Nikon 1 V1.


Now, let’s count the points. Fuji X-Pro1 = 1 point. Leica Digilux 2 = 2 points. Ricoh GR = 2 points. Nikon 1 V1 = 3 points.

So, Nikon 1 V1 seems to be a winner here per my friend’s advice.


  1. It’s all good advice. However, I’d go further and say when traveling you need a backup camera as well. So maybe the GR as that and one of the others as primary. No need to look a this as primary and secondary but you get what I mean. If one fails or is stolen you have the other. I think it’s unnecessarily contrived to force a single camera for travel when you have many to choose from. Choose two, one being the small GR and you’re covered.

  2. Sounds like a nice analytic approach, of course, your personal bias and beliefs will have a say in this as well. Imagine you are with your family on vacation and you have one camera to grab to capture a wide range of scenes, which camera when you dive into your bag do you pull out?

  3. Jeremiah, that’s good thinking. The most funny thing here is that I would pull out Fuji X-Pro1 first. 🙂 Beautiful manual controls and great IQ are decisive. In the above post I just kind of answered to my friend’s thoughts.

    For example that zoom thing (again). After I bought 18.5mm prime (50mm equiv.) for my Nikon 1 V1 I have not even touched the 10-30mm zoom lens.

    The IQ question was not included in the above post. The IQ is best in Fuji X-Pro1 followed by Ricoh GR IMHO.

  4. The camera of choice for me during my 2010 5-month stay in Asia was D-lux 4. Small size, zoom lens, decent IQ and a joy to use. I think the GR would be the logical choice for you due to size and IQ, but fixed lens is somewhat limited when traveling. I have to agree with your point system here 🙂

  5. Thanks, Jesse! I think the portability counts here quite much. I want to have as small camera I could and at the moment it will be the GR. It has a fixed prime lens but I think I will learn a lot by using it. Not all situations are covered but so be it.

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