The Lens


Best Camera to Bring into Festivals?


Stephen Carroll from the Weakerthans

Festival season is coming and I need some advice on picking up a second camera.

Most festivals have pretty vague rules about what constitutes a 'pro' camera, but it usually means

-No interchangeable lenses

-No zoom lenses

-Nothing more than 3" long

Without all this, I'd bring my Gx7 and 20mm F/1.7 (and maybe the 35-100/2.8 that I've resisted buying so far). Use the zoom to get the bands, use the prime to get the people, costumes, and the general atmosphere of the place. I used a gx1 and 20/1.7 last year and it mostly worked, but it was a hassle and I almost got it taken away more than once. It'll only be harder with a GX7 and I don't want to pair it with a GM1 or EP-M2 and get the exact same camera in a slightly worse body that still isn't technically allowed in.


Rather than breaking these rules, i might as well make some kind of attempt to adhere to them. In that vein I'm looking for a fixed lens compact that either has a prime lens or a manual zoom (power zoom just feels icky to use) and decent low-light performance. My phone is not up to the task in the slightest.

Empire of the Silhouette

My two main contenders are the Sony RX1 and the Fuji X100s. They both have 35mm lenses (I wish they were 50mm, but whatever), are both small, quiet, good-looking and have excellent image quality. Neither is inexpensive, but the RX1 is almost exactly double the cost of the X100s. Neither of these is going to be as fast in operation as my GX7, very few cameras are and I can deal with that. The sony works better with Lightroom and the extra pixels give a little more room for cropping tighter on musicians.

Both of these offer larger sensors than I'm used to, and there's a risk that I'll become addicted to the image quality. That's something I'll have to risk, though Fuji's X system is a lot more mature than Sony's Nex system, particularly for FE.

Toro Y Moi Fans

The Ricoh GR and Nikon Coolpix A are both out because I don't like 28mm. A sigma DP doesn't have the low-light performance I'd prefer. The OG X100 can be had used for cheap but its slow and 12 mpx is not a lot of headroom, I've heard over and over that the X100s is worth the extra cost.

Has anyone shot both x100s and RX1? Is there a magical unicorn fixed-lens compact I don't know about?