is now

Aug 30, 2014 - 11:47 AM - by Amin Sabet

When I started SeriousCompacts in early 2007, smaller digital compacts weren't being taken seriously. To the industry and in the public eye, pro and enthusiast photography meant big DSLRs. A group of us understood that smaller cameras could produce seriously good images, and the site was born.

Now in 2014, the rest of the world has caught up. For 4-5 years now, it seems hardly a month has gone by where some prominent magazine or blogger wasn't proclaiming that it might be time to drop the DSLR and go mirrorless. These days, those posts read a lot like "Time to Get a Smartphone?" — late to the game.

As a group, our DNA is still very much that of small camera afficionados; however, many of us enjoy larger cameras as well. To some of us, the site name "Serious Compacts" has become an unnecessary limitation. A barrier to sharing with the community what we shoot with larger cameras. And let's face it, we're not a very serious group at all. On the contrary, the relaxed atmosphere is something we all cherish.

So with that, I'm happy to announce that Serious Compacts is now Photographers' Lounge. Nothing much has changed except that it is now explicit that we welcome discussion about and photos from all sorts of gear from phone cameras to medium format film and everything in between.

Please note the new address:
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59 Replies | 1,753 Views

Featured: 'North Cascades and Olympic National Parks' by Tilman Paulin

Aug 14, 2014 - 3:01 PM - by Tilman Paulin

We did a 10 day trip in northern Washington in July. Day hikes in North Cascades National Park and a few days in Olympic National Park on our way back home to Oregon.

Wonderful places... took way too many photos :) Gear-wise I kept it "fairly minimal": Olympus EM-1 with the 14-54mm and the 75-300mm. And a hiking pole with small ballhead as monopod.

Sauk Mountain: after some miles on a steep gravel road and a fairly short (but steep) hike you get rewarded with views like these:

Sauk Mountain by tilman paulin, on Flickr

Mt Baker Wilderness (Artist Point): at first we were disappointed when we heard that there was still way too much snow to hike, but we still had a fun day up there.

Mount Baker by tilman paulin, on Flickr

Untitled by tilman paulin, on Flickr

... [Read More]
my flickr photostream:
10 Replies | 1,316 Views

Featured: 'Herons (some BIF) with Nikon V3 and 70-300CX' by The Smoking Camera

Jul 15, 2014 - 4:46 AM - by The Smoking Camera
A few images of black crowned night herons on the edge of a marsh here in Hawaii. Used the Nikon V3 and recently released 70-300CX lens (189-810mm equivalent). The setup weighs less than two pounds so I was able to handhold for a couple of hours. Burst rate is 20fps with continuous focusing and the camera does a reasonable job of tracking. Hope you enjoy these.

Joe, The Smoking Camera
42 Replies | 4,072 Views

Featured: 'Sigma DP2 Quattro Test Shoot Pics and First Impressions' by ggibson

Jul 11, 2014 - 2:51 PM - by ggibson
My test shoot DP2 Quattro arrived the other day and I've played around with it and grabbed some shots--enough to give a first-look impression of the camera and the images it can produce.

The camera itself is a strange, modern design, that much is plainly obvious from just looking at it. I think Sigma wanted this camera to look as different on the outside as they feel it is on the inside! Ergonomically, the design is pretty poor, in my opinion. The "grip" does not really fit the hand well, and is shorter than I would really like it to be to get a firm hold on it. It's usable enough, but don't imagine that it conforms to your hand in some unforseen way. On the plus side, the dials are relatively accessible with one hand (more the front dial than the rear) and operate with nice clicks. In fact, despite the awkward shape, the camera feels extremely well-made. The material has a coarse, but high-quality feel to it, and the camera has a nice heft to it. Unfortunately, the weight of the Quattro combined with the unstable grip means it's pretty difficult to operate one-handed. That's fine though, since this is not a run & gun camera...

So what's it like in use? Pretty much like all Sigma cameras have been, in my experience (I had a DP1X at one time). Slow to focus and slow to take the shot, and slow to take the next one. In practice just for walking around, the shot-to-shot is fine, but compared to anything else on the market this camera doesn't know what "burst rate" is. Make no mistake, this camera will dissappoint you many times if your subject is moving around at all. Like all Sigma cameras, this camera asks if you would please slow down and just take your time?

If you do move at Sigma's pace however, the camera will reward you with what can only be described as stunning image quality. Rich colors, amazing details, and creamy "bokeh"! The 30mm f2.8 lens on this camera is incredibly sharp and provides nice... [Read More]
10 Replies | 5,215 Views

Tutorial: Add the SC Mobile Version Shortcut to Your Phone / iPod Homescreen

Jun 22, 2014 - 8:17 PM - by Amin Sabet
We are phasing out the site app in favor of a mobile site version, which is the default site version when visiting from a phone or iPod.

To add a link to your phone or iPod homescreen so that the mobile site can be launched like an app, follow the directions below.

For Android phones:

1) Visit in your browser (I am using Chrome here) and tap on the menu button. Mine is circled in red; yours may look slightly different in a different browser / phone.

2. Tap on "Add to homescreen"

3.1. Change title to something short like "SC"

3.2. Tap on "Add"

4. All done. Your shortcut appears on the homescreen, where you can move it or add to a folder.

For iPhone / iPod:

1. Visit in your browser (Safari) and then tap the icon shown below:

2. Tap on "Add to Home Screen"

3.1. Change the name to something short like "SC"

3.2. Tap on "Add"

4. All done. Your shortcut appears on the homescreen, where you can move it or add to a folder.

... [Read More]
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4 Replies | 2,627 Views

Panasonic Announces Lumix DMC-FZ1000 Digital Camera

Jun 12, 2014 - 7:35 AM - by Amin Sabet
Today Panasonic announced the FZ1000, the latest in their long, well-respected line of megazoom cameras. It is the second megazoom with a 1" sensor and costs far less. Compared to the Sony RX10, the Panasonic has a much longer zoom (25-400e vs 24-200e), significantly slower lens (2.8-4 vs 2.8 constant), and lower price ($899 vs $1299)

  • 20.1MP 1" High Sensitivity MOS Sensor
  • Leica DC Vario-Elmarit 16x Zoom Lens
  • 25-400mm f/2.8-4 (35mm Equivalent)
  • 4K QFHD Video Recording at 30 fps
  • 0.39" 2,359k-Dot OLED Live View Finder
  • 3.0" 921k-Dot Free-Angle LCD Monitor
  • Built-In Wi-Fi Connectivity with NFC
  • HYBRID O.I.S. 5-Axis Image Stabilization
  • Light Speed AF with LUMIX DFD Focus
  • ISO 25600 and 50 fps Continuous Shooting

Panasonic DFD Focus is making very strong impressions with the GH4. You can read more about DFD at Imaging Resource:

For a long time I've been thinking of picking up a megazoom to complement something like my E-M5 plus Pana Leica 25/1.4 or Leica M plus 35/1.4. A two-camera bag that can pretty well do it all without lens changing. The FZ1000 certainly has my interest.

Pre-order links:
Adorama: ... [Read More]
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26 Replies | 5,260 Views

Featured: 'Vivid Sydney with the GR' by nickthetasmaniac

May 24, 2014 - 3:32 AM - by nickthetasmaniac
Hi everyone, it's been a while...

Here's a collection from last night's opening for Vivid Sydney, all shot with the GR and Gitzo tripod.

Please check out my blog for the rest: http://peopleandotherstrangecreature...d-sydney-2014/

We abandon them daily in the wasteland of the past. Because even though I have told you that I am walking to remember, this isn’t completely true - we must embark also on journeys of forgetting. - Paul Salopek

EM5 with Lumix, m.ZD and Voigtländer glass | Ricoh GR | Pentax MX with SMC-M 50/f1.4
walking | photography | travel
an exploration of place - 365 days with the Ricoh GR
16 Replies | 2,264 Views

Refocusing: Could Software Solve the Depth of Field Problem on Small Sensors?

May 20, 2014 - 3:03 AM - by napilopez
Refocusing: Could Software Solve the Depth of Field Problem on Small Sensors?

This was shot on 4 megapixel cellphone camera.

Cameras get better. Every generation, features are added. Every two or three generations, sensors improve dramatically. Resolution, noise levels, dynamic range, and color fidelity have reached a point that many photographers feel they don't need a large sensor to get image quality that's "good enough" for their uses. But there's one area photography has refused to budge on: depth of field. Unfortunately, physics is stubborn; the wider your field of view and further your subject, the bigger your sensor or the brighter your lens needs to be if you want to have any sort of shallow depth field.

But maybe it doesn’t have to be this way. After all, virtually every recent compact camera and mirrorless system incorporates some type of software correction to compensate for the physical limitations of its optics: chromatic aberrations, distortion, vignetting, etc. Perhaps a related technology could be used to not just correct flaws, but actually enhance a sensor and lens combination.

Of course, adding bokeh in post isn’t a new idea. Before I bought my first real camera, I was using Photoshop plugins to imitate a shallow depth of field look on my cellphone pictures. Sometimes, the effect would turn out surprisingly realistic—indeed, I still sometimes add just... [Read More]
-Napier Lopez
31 Replies | 8,607 Views

Sony RX100 III Announced and Available for Pre-Order

May 16, 2014 - 3:08 AM - by napilopez

Today Sony announced the third iteration of its RX100 series, and it seems like they have a winner on hand. While the older RX100 II was a just minor upgrade to the already excellent original model, the new RX100 III brings a host of new features that are sure to make fixed-lens compact camera shooters excited. Heck, interchangeable lens users too. All this, without significantly increasing the camera's volume.

First and most obvious: that's not a second flash you see up there, that's a pop-up viewfinder. At an 800x600 resolution (1.44 million dots, but that's an unhelpful unit) and a magnification of 0.59x, the EVF is nearly identical in size and resolution to those on the Olympus E-M5 and E-M10. Once again, you have to commend Sony's engineers for being able to pack a ton of features into tiny bodies.

Furthermore, and arguably more importantly, Sony has also changed the Zeiss lens from a 28-100mm F1.8-F4.9 to an impressive 24-70mm F1.8-F2.8. While some users will lament the lack of reach on the new glass, I think most will appreciate the added brightness and wider minimum focal length. After all, you can always crop, and the faster tele end of the new lens should compensate for DoF differences in portraiture.

Other notable new features include the ability for the LCD to flip 180 degrees to photograph or film yourself, a 3 stop ND filter for lowering shutter speed in bright daylight or video, 50Mbps XAVCD recording, clean HDMI output, and more.

The RX100 III is available for ... [Read More]
-Napier Lopez
43 Replies | 9,408 Views

Choose Your Own Max Image Viewing Size in the Serious Compacts Forums

May 04, 2014 - 5:57 PM - by Amin Sabet
You can now choose your own maximum image viewing dimensions by selecting the corresponding forum style from the drop-down menu in the far bottom left corner of any forum page.

If you choose one of the default/standards styles, then any image posted at greater than 1024px size will automatically be resized to 1024px for your viewing. This has been the case for some time now. However, now there are two other options. The options marked "for H-Res displays" will only resize images for viewing if they are larger than 2048px, whereas those designated "for smaller displays" will display images only to a maximum dimension of 512px.

The idea is for everyone to be able to view images as high-res as possible without having to do horizontal scrolling to read forum posts. I'm planning to embed my Flickr photos at the 1600px size going forward.

Hope you enjoy this change!
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10 Replies | 4,420 Views

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