Open thread: What’s the best point-and-shoot camera that shoots RAW?

Even professional photographers sometimes eschew their digital SLR and other high-end camera(s) and carry a point-and-shoot.

Smaller size, easier to pocket, less obtrusive, lightweight, risky terrain… there are many reasons why even pros like to have a good point-and-shoot camera available at all times.

For those with experience, what’s the best point-and-shoot camera that also shoots RAW and why? If you’d like to prove links to images you’ve taken (on SmugMug, flickr, personal website, etc.), please do!

44 Comments

  1. I’m partial to Canon point and shoot cameras and Canon SLRs. For SLRs it’s really a toss up between Canon and Nikon as regards how comfortable you feel with a particular brand and accessories like lenses and flash. I prefer Canon for its warmer colors and more accurate rendition of palettes but it’s a personal preference. I like the way the Canon SLR body is shaped and to me lightness without sacrificing picture quality. I hate toting a complex SLR around that shoots incredible pictures but weighs a ton.

  2. I recently went through a review to get a great quality camera for the wife. We chose the Canon S95 camera. It consistently gets top ratings, is built really well, small and takes amazing shots. I know some Pros who use it as a backup or testing camera before they get out the big and bulky pro camera.

    1. After a thorough review of pocketable cameras, I chose the Canon S95 as well. It’s nice that I can leave my digital SLR at home and still get really good results shooting RAW. It’s a very capable little camera.

      I know the new S100 has a different sensor than the S95 so, for that reason, I can’t vouch for it. I don’t think there are enough reviews in yet to make an informed decision. It’s best to read multiple reviews and not rely on just one, as there’s always the possibility for bias.

  3. although it’s from a small company, I hear great things about the new Ricoh GXR w/the APS-C sensor module, right up there with Leica X1 (also APS-C).

    smaller sensor cameras like Canon G12, Leica D-Lux5, etc cannot compare in dynamic range, lowlight capability, and detail to new larger-sensor point and shoot models.

  4. I’d suggest the Fuji X100. Large ASP-C sensor custom mated to a very sharp fixed focal length length lens, it has become a very popular carry camera with professional photographers because of the excellent high ISO performance and tack sharp lens and images. The build quality and looks rivaling old range finder cameras as well as modern Leica’s don’t hurt either.

  5. I agree with the others: the best point and shoot is the Leica d-lux 5, no question. The X1 is perhaps better, but it’s no longer point and shoot, at least not in terms of price!

  6. I use my iPhone for pictures and video. Great outside but not as good in low light. I understand the iPhone 4S is better than my iPhone 4 is. When I get one later this year, I will find out.

    The iPhone is always with me and the new jump to photo on start up is great. 2 pushes on the home button and a touch on the icon and you are ready to shoot.

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