Leica D-Lux Series Cameras
The biggest problem I have when working on new content to shoot and explore for solifestyle isn't finding it, it's making sure I have the proper equipment for any scenario I might run into. I've been a very happy Nikon DSLR user since the good ol' D70S from 2005 until my current D7000 but I was never able to find a point and shoot camera that I was happy with until this year when I bought a used Leica D-Lux 4.
Not only is the Leica incredibly compact (perfect for appearing to be an innocent tourist) but the photos it produces, especially at low ISO settings, can give a digital SLR a run for its money. The D-Lux 4 and the newer and even better D-Lux 5 have a nice big f2.0 aperture and an amazing image processor that captures vivid colors and sharp details. Even in black and white mode, which is something I usually quickly disregard, the D-Lux produces an image that looked shockingly similar to the photos I used to print myself in the dark room. Check out some sample photos below.
If you're having trouble finding a super high performance compact- this or it's Panasonic cousin the LX5 (both cameras are produced by Panasonic using Leica components) are a great buy.