Camera rant: The quest for a decent compact camera

Sometimes I wonder what the engineers and marketing people of the big camera companies are drinking. Paint thinner?
I mean, come on! I want a compact pocket able camera with a good lens and a DX sensor.
I don’t want to haul a big DSLR and big lenses around every day, but maybe I want to take some pictures on my way home, or if I find a new Stolperstein for my little project.

And what are the offerings from the land of the rising sun? Little shiny boxes with tiny sensors and slow 10x zooms, pathetic viewfinders at best, or only screens I have to hold at arms lengths that are useless in the sun. Do they offer RAW capabilities? No.
Sure, this things have their place in the market, but are useless to me! Can you give me a real camera, please?

Am I a spoiled gear head? Maybe. Do I spend too much money for my camera gear? For sure! Am I the only one with a craving for a quality compact digital camera? Definitely not! They would sell millions!
Does anybody in Japan had realized how Apple came back from the grave and went to own the top of the market with their iPod, iPhone, iPad and Notebooks? I really doubt that. (hint: Apple does not produce cheap “me too” products)

What is Nikon offering? Crap. A lot of “me too” cameras that struggle to compete with the competition from last year.
Canon? The G series is interesting, probably the best of the bunch, but still fails in the lens and sensor department for me.
Panasonic? Some years ago I bought a Lumix DMC-TZ5 for my Mom. But its nothing for me.
Sony? Hmm, Sony as a whole is on my “no-buy” list. But nothing tempting there anyway.
Olympus? m4/3? Too small sensor.
Leica? Close. DX sensor, good lens, but no viewfinder and a sluggish AF in the X1.

Then there is Fuji with the new Fuji X100. With a 23mm/2 lens, DX sensor, hybrid viewfinder and a adorable body design. That is actually the first non DSLR digital camera that looks interesting to me (apart from the M9 with a 35mm lens, of course).

Even if the Fuji X100 is not the real deal in the end (like the Sigma DP1/DP2 kind of missed it), I really hope it will be some kind of wakeup call for the other guys in Japan, who are missing a whole camera category with a €800-1000,- sticker on every unit.

Even if nobody reads this, I feel much better now! 🙂

Little update:
First Impressions of the Finepix X100 from a rangefinder shooter by Pieter Franken over at Steve Huffs Blog

Update September 2019:
I’ve bought a used Fuji X30. It doesn’t have a DX sensor, but a fast 2-2.8/28-105mm zoom lens, is still relatively compact, shoots RAW and got a (good enough) view finder. The auto focus can’t cope with fast moving objects, though. Doesn’t matter.
20 years ago, I would have killed to get a compact camera of this quality level. I have no idea why I overlooked this little gem, when Fuji introduced it a couple of years ago.

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