I'm thinking about getting a CSC camera as a good compromise between the quality of an SLR and a small, lightweight camera. What I'd like is:
A decent sensor which gives low noise at high ISO.
A good range of lenses available - I'd probably get a reasonable zoom and a wide angle fixed focus to start with. I'd also like to be able to have a reasonably wide aperture such as f2.8.
Perhaps a small lens that would allow it to be taken on climbs instead of a compact.
Now obviously there must be some compromises over an SLR so I'd be interested to hear anyone's experiences and recommendations. I've only started to think about it so would like to find out the options available and then I can work out what might suit me best.
Just got an x-20 to take out ice climbing instead of my SLR and am amazed by it, although I have used the X-E1 and its an incredible camera for the size and maybe more versatile with interchangeable lenses
I love my Olympus pen camera and recently upgraded to the touch screen EPL5, absolutely cracking little camera.
Also I highly recommend the TriggerTrap remote system, it has some unique features that can prove useful. Bulb exposure, sound trigger, shock trigger, distance, time warp time lapse. It's great and only £20.
In reply to El Greyo: Olympus and Panasonic have a good collection of lenses for the m4/3 system. They have a head start over the other systems in that respect by virtue of having launched before everyone else. Probably a broader range of camera body styles between them as well. The Panasonic 20mm F1.7 and Olympus 45mm F1.8 lenses are favourites for me and both very compact. I also like the Panasonic 45-175 zoom lens that I picked up on impulse in the airport last summer but that's not so small.
Well thanks again everyone, I've been leafing through the links everyone has posted and I'm beginning to get an idea of what might suit me best. I would like a light, small body but I think a viewfinder is necessary so that discounts some of the smaller options. Any opinions?
I haven't been to a shop and actually held any yet, which will be a key decider, but I'm currently favouring a Fuji X-E1 as it does seem very well regarded and has a good range of lenses (pockets not quite deep enough for a X-E2). Also possibly Panasonic GX7 as I like the range of lenses available and is fractionally smaller; Olympus OMD look out of my budget and a bit bigger than I'd like and PEN don't have a viewfinder.
One thing Id like to know is how practical it is to take it on a holiday where I'm unlikely to be able to charge the battery. Would a fully charged battery (with no more than one spare) last for two weeks with a reasonable number of shots?
I use an X-E1. Wouldn't say there is enough of a difference between that an the X-E2 to warrant an upgrade. The X-E1 is fabulous in low light.
On the battery front I got close to 600 shots on a gig shoot I did recently for some mates. Way above what I was expecting. Not taken it out in the cold for extended period though. My £6 generic battery seems to be every bit as good as the original.
I love the handling of my X-E1 and the image quality is very good. I haven't used it climbing yet, partly because it's been so wet, but it works OK with (thin) gloves and the principal controls are readily accessible without having to dig deep into the main menu. I haven't used it much in program mode, but the results so far seem OK, so that bodes well for climbing use when circumstances don't allow (semi-) manual use.
X-E1 or X-E2? The firmware updates make the E1 a good alternative to the E2, especially if the budget is tight.
Batteries? Depending on how you use the camera and how you set it up, 2 batteries for 2 weeks would be cutting it fine, I think. And the battery use indicator doesn't work in the user's favour either.
Just to update everyone who kindly offered advice: I took the plunge and bought an X-E1 earlier this week. And so far I am very impressed - light, relatively easy to use and the image quality is superb even in low light and high ISO.
I've immediately started thinking about more lenses and there appears to be a good choice available. but I'm going to have to restrain myself for a while because I could quite easily splash out on three more straight away.