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High Quality Point and Shoot Camera With Optical Viewfinder

Charles Becker , Aug 21, 2011; 07:00 p.m.

My P7000 is back at Nikon for the second time due to mechanical problems and I am getting disillusioned with this camera and am looking for alternatives. I like the Canon S95 but it doesn't have an optical viewfinder so I am considering their G12. Just wondering if anyone can recommend another high quality point and shoot that has an optical viewfinder. This would be for those times I don't feel like carrying my dslr around. Thanks! cb

Responses

Ilkka , Aug 21, 2011; 09:41 p.m.

Fuji X100? Unfortunately all of the built in viewfinders in small sensor digicams are pretty miserable. Better than nothing, maybe, but not much better. Small, distorting tubes that show only a small percentage of the actual image. If you don't need a zoom, I would strongly recommend at least taking a look at the new breed of larger sensor cameras that can take a separate optical finder in the hot shoe. Cameras like Sigma DP1 and 2, Ricoh GXR, Leica X1, Olympus pen series or Panasonic GF series with a fixed focal length lens of your choice (the Lumix 1.7/20 is especially sweet). And yes, the x100 has a good optical finder built in, only one of it's kind on the market now.

Rob Bernhard , Aug 21, 2011; 10:00 p.m.

There are only 7 recent point and shoots with optical finders. 6 are Canon's and 1 is the P7000 you already have. The Canon G12 is the only one that offers a similar feature set.

Ian Gordon Bilson , Aug 22, 2011; 06:39 a.m.

Canon persisted with the optical viewfinder long after most makers gave up on them. Or,when the accountants said " give up on the VF" - Canon said no -some users will find them useful.
Nikons answer was not much of a response, just a catchup camera. The G12, which is very impressive,is not the only game in town -but, it has made the G11 more affordable.

Charles Becker , Aug 22, 2011; 09:07 a.m.

thanks all-it looks to me that if I replace my P7000, it will be with the Canon G12. thanks again. cb :-)

Les Lammers , Aug 24, 2011; 04:26 a.m.

I am using a Panny LX5 with the EVF and Chinese $8 filter tube/holder and have no complaints.
I had a G11 and actually preferred the size of it but prefer the EVF on the Panny. All 'small' cameras are a compromise.

Brad - , Aug 24, 2011; 10:27 a.m.

How small does it need to be?

I'd look at a Panasonic G3. Micro 4/3, and a great built-in (not an add-on) electronic viewfinder as well as a swivel LCD...

Dave Lee , Aug 24, 2011; 11:54 a.m.

Charles, can you share with us what kind of mechanical troubles you've been having with your P7000? The P7000 is my third Nikon compact digital and I've had no trouble with any of them. The P7000 lens blinds did fail to open fully one time, but otherwise it's been a great camera for me. The new P7100 is interesting but unless image quality is improved, I'm sticking with the P7000.

Charles Becker , Aug 24, 2011; 02:32 p.m.

Hi Dave-the first time was a problem with the focus; I was losing about 1 in 4 pictures due to improper focus. Nikon took the lens apart and rebuilt it. It is now back with Nikon (4 weeks today) due to 3 problems; (1) sticky lens blinds, (2) the camera freezing up on me a few times (fully charged battery each time), and (3) grinding noises from the lens while zooming!
I have had this camera for about 10-1/2 months of which 2 months it has been in the hands of Nikon and this is not what I expect of a Nikon product. If I have any more problems once I get it back, I am going to raise a fuss.

I agree that the 7100 looks interesting but, as a Nikon man since 1984, I think Canon is the better choice for point and shoot cameras and I am beginning to regret not having bought the G12 which was what I was going to do until the P7000 was released.

regards! cb :-)

S. Prior , Sep 05, 2011; 07:24 a.m.

The main difference between the Nikon P7100 and the P7000 is that the P7100 writes faster and has better AF. I think the P7100 also has a pivoting LCD. Everything else is the same between the two cameras so image quality won't be different. The faster response of the P7100 makes it a very viable alternative to the Canon G12 especially considering that the Nikon goes to 200mm and the Canon to 120mm. I have the P7000 and find the image quality to be terrific. It is frustarting though to use because it is slow in writing to the card and the AF isn't fast. I wish Nikon had a trade-in program for P7000 users as I would definitely get the P7100.

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