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treebeard


Jun 8, 2009, 12:34 AM
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FPS question
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I'm finally looking to change out my 35mm film for a digital slr and was wondering if anyone had any opinions on Frames Per Second. What is the minimum frames per second you find usable for action sports? I would mostly be using the camera for rock climbing photography but I also dabble in mtn biking and other fast paced outdoor sports. My budget isnt unlimited, looking to spend around $1000 max but if the camera is good enough I could come up with a bit more. Any suggestions?


JasonsDrivingForce


Jun 8, 2009, 6:21 AM
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Re: [treebeard] FPS question [In reply to]
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The FPS for pictures isn’t as important as the shutter speed for still pictures. Who cares if you can take 60 pictures in 1 second if all of them are dark and blurry. For example, I could use a 1/60 shutter speed and take 60 pictures in a second. However, 1/60 shutter speed is definitely not usable for any type of movement.

I would concentrate on what you want to use the camera for and where you want to use it. If you are going to be moving around a lot or climbing with a camera you probably want a small one. Something like the Panasonic DMC-LX3 is perfect. It is a semi pro compact camera that can shoot up to 6 FPS.

If you need the best quality and you don’t care about size then any of the newer ~$1000 DSLRs will work perfectly.

Have you thought about shooting video instead of stills for high speed action? There are some very nice 1080p cameras on the market now and they work much better for high speed action than most sub $1000 still cameras.


wes_allen


Jun 8, 2009, 6:46 AM
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Re: [JasonsDrivingForce] FPS question [In reply to]
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Jason, you are dumb. I am sorry that I had to be the one to tell you this, but you don't know jack about photography, and even less about climbing photography. You don't even what it is you don't know, and that makes you a very poor source of information. Period.

Now, as for the original question, 1,000 will get you a very capable body. But, not much in the way of a body and good glass. I would look at a used body like canon 40d or nikon d200/300, and try to come up with enough money for a decent lens - you can get an OK fast prime or two, or a third party 2.8 zoom (tamron 28-75 2.8 is nice).


JasonsDrivingForce


Jun 8, 2009, 7:08 AM
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Re: [wes_allen] FPS question [In reply to]
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I gave him a great suggestion for a small compact camera in case he hadn’t thought about how big the DSLRs can be. Also that camera can be had for well under his budget.

I mentioned video because video can be very useful for mountain biking where the subject is coming through your field of view quickly. With climbing it wouldn’t be as important but I still think it can be used.

I said that if he doesn’t have a problem with size then there are plenty of sub $1000 DSLRs now. How is that wrong?


wes_allen


Jun 8, 2009, 7:29 AM
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Re: [JasonsDrivingForce] FPS question [In reply to]
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Your entire post is misguided info. First, FPS for slrs is not the same as fps for video. So, 4-5 fps is usually considered baseline minimum for sports, though you can get great images with less if your timing is good. You shutter can be as fast as you want, regardless of how many fps you are shooting, as long as it is at least fast enough to get the number of frames in - you can't shoot 10 fps is 1/2 sec, but I can shoot 10fps at 1/8000 if I want.

Second paragraph is you trying to push the same camera as in every other post, which sounds nice, but it isn't what they were asking about.

Third is pretty good, but for sports, I would pick and older, mid range dslr over the new entry level ones, since AF and FPS are going to probably be better. So, a used 30d would be a better sports camera then the newest digital rebel.

Last part isn't really in a lot of ways - capturing stills from pro video isn't as good as shooting stills (yet), plus unless you can control the shutter speed on your video camera, you are going to end up with some motion blur.

So, really, you just need to open your mind a bit, read, shoot, and get out a bit more before giving advice.

JasonsDrivingForce wrote:
The FPS for pictures isn’t as important as the shutter speed for still pictures. Who cares if you can take 60 pictures in 1 second if all of them are dark and blurry. For example, I could use a 1/60 shutter speed and take 60 pictures in a second. However, 1/60 shutter speed is definitely not usable for any type of movement.

I would concentrate on what you want to use the camera for and where you want to use it. If you are going to be moving around a lot or climbing with a camera you probably want a small one. Something like the Panasonic DMC-LX3 is perfect. It is a semi pro compact camera that can shoot up to 6 FPS.

If you need the best quality and you don’t care about size then any of the newer ~$1000 DSLRs will work perfectly.

Have you thought about shooting video instead of stills for high speed action? There are some very nice 1080p cameras on the market now and they work much better for high speed action than most sub $1000 still cameras.


JasonsDrivingForce


Jun 8, 2009, 7:44 AM
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Re: [wes_allen] FPS question [In reply to]
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Wes,

I think part of the problem is that we are at different ends of the spectrum. I see from your amazing shots that you are a talented professional photographer. However, I doubt the original poster is going for the same thing based on his budget of a “max of $1000”.

He can definitely get into a DSLR for $1000 but I doubt he would be able to get more than one lens for that. It all depends on what he wants to shoot, how he wants to shoot it, and how much he is really willing to spend.

Just because we didn’t spend thousands of dollars doesn’t mean we can’t take some decent shots. I think that it is more important to let people know what all of their options are instead of just telling them what works best for you.


wes_allen


Jun 8, 2009, 7:55 AM
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If you are not buying new, you can get a pretty solid body and lens combo for under 1,000 easy. I know canon, but you can do pretty much the same with nikon, pentex, etc. If sport and climbing is what you want - a used 30d sells for around 400 these days. Add a used tamron 28-75 2.8 for 250ish, and a 50 1.4 or 85 1.8 for 300ish. That would get you a lot of great images. You don't have really WA or long lenses, but it will get you started for sure. Add a 70-200 f4 or 200 2.8 for some reach, or a ef-s WA zoom for another $500 and you have stuff that can produce solid action images. Much, much more solid the any P/S will do under those conditions.

Truthfully, if climbing and sports was my primary goal, and I could scrape together a bit more cash, a used 1d Mark II can be found for right around the 1,000 range, have seen a couple at 900 - and that gives you pro fps, pro AF, built in battery grip, etc. *Only* 8mp, but there are 1,000's of images from that model in SI, time, climbing, r and i, etc.

Don't forget that if you need some long glass, you can always rent!


JasonsDrivingForce


Jun 8, 2009, 8:10 AM
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Re: [wes_allen] FPS question [In reply to]
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wes_allen wrote:
Much, much more solid the any P/S will do under those conditions.

The Panasonic DMC-LX3 is not a point and shoot camera. Yes it is a compact camera but it offers full manual controls along with some nice glass for around $400.


wes_allen


Jun 8, 2009, 8:23 AM
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JasonsDrivingForce wrote:
wes_allen wrote:
Much, much more solid the any P/S will do under those conditions.

The Panasonic DMC-LX3 is not a point and shoot camera. Yes it is a compact camera but it offers full manual controls along with some nice glass for around $400.

No, it IS a point and shoot, though a very nice one. I would love to own something like that - might even get one to carry around instead of the G10 I was thinking about. But, it is not an slr, it is not nearly as capable of a sports camera as even a 20d. It is a great camera for what it is, and it might even make a very nice climbing camera but don't try to make it into something it isn't. .


JasonsDrivingForce


Jun 8, 2009, 8:39 AM
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Re: [wes_allen] FPS question [In reply to]
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wes_allen wrote:
JasonsDrivingForce wrote:
wes_allen wrote:
Much, much more solid the any P/S will do under those conditions.

The Panasonic DMC-LX3 is not a point and shoot camera. Yes it is a compact camera but it offers full manual controls along with some nice glass for around $400.

No, it IS a point and shoot, though a very nice one. I would love to own something like that - might even get one to carry around instead of the G10 I was thinking about. But, it is not an slr, it is not nearly as capable of a sports camera as even a 20d. It is a great camera for what it is, and it might even make a very nice climbing camera but don't try to make it into something it isn't. .

What is your definition of a point and shoot?

I didn’t say it was an SLR. I said it can take excellent low light photos and photos at fast shutter speeds without direct sunlight. That is my definition of a pro-sumer camera and that is what it is generally classified as.

There is a huge difference between a point and shoot and a pro-sumer camera. The point and shoot can take decent photos in bright light. However, it is virtually impossible to take a good shot in low light with a moving subject with those cameras. The pro-sumer cameras can take those fast low light shots up to a certain point. For everything else there are DSLRs at about 2.5 times the price and up.


wes_allen


Jun 8, 2009, 9:00 AM
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Not sure why you are so defensive about it - it is a great camera for what it is. But, anything that isn't an SLR = Point and shoot. Nothing at all wrong with being a point and shoot. Really. Have you ever even shot with even a mid range dslr? Shutter lag, max shutter speed, frame buffers, and a whole bunch of things are in another league, even if they look kinda the same on paper.


dynosore


Jun 8, 2009, 9:12 AM
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Re: [wes_allen] FPS question [In reply to]
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wes_allen wrote:
Not sure why you are so defensive about it -

Maybe it's because you're an arrogant jerk who brings out the best in people?

In reply to:
Jason, you are dumb


wes_allen


Jun 8, 2009, 9:16 AM
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dynosore wrote:
wes_allen wrote:
Not sure why you are so defensive about it -

Maybe it's because you're an arrogant jerk who brings out the best in people?

In reply to:
Jason, you are dumb

I hope I bring out something in people, I don't post to be liked, just to be as truthful as I can be. He is wrong, and dumb. Sorry if that isn't PC and touchy feely enough for you, but you are probably dumb too...


dynosore


Jun 8, 2009, 9:48 AM
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Re: [wes_allen] FPS question [In reply to]
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wes_allen wrote:
dynosore wrote:
wes_allen wrote:
Not sure why you are so defensive about it -

Maybe it's because you're an arrogant jerk who brings out the best in people?

In reply to:
Jason, you are dumb

I hope I bring out something in people, I don't post to be liked, just to be as truthful as I can be. He is wrong, and dumb. Sorry if that isn't PC and touchy feely enough for you, but you are probably dumb too...

No one wants to take advice from someone when you start the conversation by telling them they are dumb, even if you know what you're talking about. I hope you don't have kids.

PS, I looked at your website and your pictures are nothing special, so get over yourself, Mr. Expert.

....and yes, I'm just a dumb polymer chemist, not a brilliant semi-pro photog like you.


wes_allen


Jun 8, 2009, 10:00 AM
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dynosore wrote:
wes_allen wrote:
dynosore wrote:
wes_allen wrote:
Not sure why you are so defensive about it -

Maybe it's because you're an arrogant jerk who brings out the best in people?

In reply to:
Jason, you are dumb

I hope I bring out something in people, I don't post to be liked, just to be as truthful as I can be. He is wrong, and dumb. Sorry if that isn't PC and touchy feely enough for you, but you are probably dumb too...

No one wants to take advice from someone when you start the conversation by telling them they are dumb, even if you know what you're talking about. I hope you don't have kids.

PS, I looked at your website and your pictures are nothing special, so get over yourself, Mr. Expert.

....and yes, I'm just a dumb polymer chemist, not a brilliant semi-pro photog like you.

One, Jason wasn't the one asking for advice - he just gave a misinformed answer that I was trying to correct.

I don't have kids, just dogs, so I don't feel bad when I kick them for not doing what I tell them too.

And my photos are nothing special, no doubt. In fact, there isn't a single image on my page that I can't point out at least 4-5 things that are wrong or could be better. I am just an average photographer, and I am just fine with that, though I do work to get better.

My advice and posts are what they are - take them or leave them or flame them, I don't care. Seriously.


chanceboarder


Jun 8, 2009, 10:20 AM
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Wow, what was the original question again?

Couldn't agree more with Wes on the subject as its drifted. The LX3 is a nice camera for what it is, a point and shoot. It's an advanced one with a lot of nice features above your average p&s but it's still a p&s. There is a huge difference between even an entry level DSLR and the something like the LX3. I'd correct you too if I came across misinformation like that.

Back the the original post. Treebear, so you're switching over from a film slr system to a DSLR system? Looks like you may already have some lens you may want to use on the new system? What kind of gear you got now? Nikon, Canon, Pentax, something else? Are you looking to buy a body and some glass or just need a body? It will make a big difference if your budget is just for a body or glass as well.

For sports shooting I prefer the fastest camera I can get my hands on. I'm a Nikon shooter and use a D300 and a D700. Both get 5 fps normally and with the optional battery grip and batteries I get 8 fps. I've shot climbing photography, white water kayaking, track and field, etc. and find 5 fps is often enough to get by for what I want. A lot of it is just timing for me but being able to bump up to a full 8 fps is really nice when things speed up. Both cameras are out of the price range your looking at although I've seen D300's floating around for pretty close.

In the mid range you've got the D90 which you can pick up within your price range that is getting nearly 5 fps. An older Nikon D200 can be found well within your price range and will burst 5 fps. I think one of the biggest things with DSLR's and fps is how many shots the camera can buffer and how fast is can write them to a good memory card. I had problems with the D200 reaching the buffer capacity when shooting and having to wait for the camera to catch up so I could continue shooting. This could be a problem when shooting action stuff since you don't get a second chance to capture that play or that fall.

Wes gave you a couple good options for cameras if you're shooting Canon and I'm sure if you're looking for a Pentax deal Pico will drop in and give you some advice there.

In reply to:
....and yes, I'm just a dumb polymer chemist, not a brilliant semi-pro photog like you.
Well I think that about sums it up then.


JasonsDrivingForce


Jun 8, 2009, 11:00 AM
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Re: [chanceboarder] FPS question [In reply to]
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Ok enough of the bickering back and forth. That isn’t going anywhere.

Let’s just sum up what fits the original question best. Is it the used 30D with a couple of lens? I saw that same package for $999 on ebay. That sounds like a steal for a competent DSLR to me. And that definitely fits the original question’s requirements.


dlintz


Jun 8, 2009, 11:22 AM
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For climbing photography I used to think high PFS was mandatory. I couldn't afford a 1D series so I bought a used 40D. It worked great and I got around 6 PFS but I quickly realized (as Wes alluded to) that being prepared for the action was more important than spraying frames and hoping I caught a good pic in there.

Since then I've upgraded bodies (1Ds II) but have less PFS...that's fine with me as learning when to hit the shutter button rather than how long to hold it down is much more important.

That said if you still need those high PFS for other subject matter you'd do well with Wes' advice on a 30D/40D, Nikon Dx00, or similar models from Pentax or Olympus.

d.


pico23


Jun 8, 2009, 1:58 PM
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treebeard wrote:
I'm finally looking to change out my 35mm film for a digital slr and was wondering if anyone had any opinions on Frames Per Second. What is the minimum frames per second you find usable for action sports? I would mostly be using the camera for rock climbing photography but I also dabble in mtn biking and other fast paced outdoor sports. My budget isnt unlimited, looking to spend around $1000 max but if the camera is good enough I could come up with a bit more. Any suggestions?

Minimum I find useful is 1fps...

No seriously, I often fire in single shot, and a lot of pro sports photogs do as well.

That said, I find 5fps the minimum (and about correct) when I am shooting a new sport for the first time. My timing is usually off and 5fps gives me a little leeway.

Over that and you'll have a ton of photos to edit out. If you need 10fps, just shoot HD video and extract the stills, you are no longer a still photographer.

However, I've covered AHL hockey, dog agility, and minor league baseball using 3fps cameras, and I covered Div 1 (South Eastern Conference) college sports using a hand crank camera as well as a 4.5FPS 35mm film camera. Believe me, SEC players are about the best athletes in college sports, if you can shoot them with less than 5fps, you can shoot just about any non pro sport!

The bottom line is if you know the sport, you can get buy with less FPS, if you are ignorant, or a poor photographer, you will need more FPS.


pico23


Jun 8, 2009, 2:08 PM
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Oh and as long as we've moved on to fanboyism.

Take a hard look at the Pentax K7. Not only in specs, but also in build. Sealing on par with the E3 and actually better than the 1Ds or D300/D3/D700 ect. Whether you care about sealing or not, there is ABSOLUTELY NO DOUBT that a sealed camera is a better built camera than a non sealed camera. Seals mean tighter tolerances in build and better construction. So even if your camera will never see a rain drop, a sandstorm or a dust cloud, you have confidence knowing you aren't toting around a $1000 toy!

It's $1299 on release next month, but should drop to about $1000 within 2-3 months. Also, with the camera Pentax is including rebates for lots of accessories.

Featurewise, it's ground breaking for the price point just like the K10D was.

Since I effectively shoot 3 systems I'm much less a fanboy than some of these guys. I just like well built cameras, that work, and companies that don't screw me for being loyal (or simply buying piece of equipment).

It's shoots 5.2FPS and has 30fps full HD (2:3 apect) or 720P 16x9 aspect at 30FPS. It has stereo sound, manual aperture control for video, and built in image stabilization. Auto horizon level, sensor shift for fine tuning tripod shots without moving tripod.

Also, it's very compact, 20% smaller than a 50D or D300. It's lighter, and IMO, better suited for adventure photography. Even Galen Rowell preferred compact SLRs over the big boys, and he was arguably the best adventure photographer in the world. Thus, no argument will sway my belief that a 1D is simply to big to tote around! I don't shoot much climbing, but I do tote my camera with me on almost every adventure I take, and I just don't see the benefit of Medium Format sized DSLRs. If I'm going to tote medium format sized cameras I will tote my 645 system. Thats the bottom line!

I posted a link to the video from it on the 5D thread.


(This post was edited by pico23 on Jun 8, 2009, 2:12 PM)


JoshCaple


Jun 25, 2009, 12:34 PM
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For the original questions- I like to have about 4-5 fps to play with for dynamic climbing stuff, but generally I will only shoot 1-2 shots of a move because I know in my head the exact moment I want to frame & I'd rather focus on getting that right than creating more throw away shots for myself to edit.
Having said that there are times I really like 4-5 fps such as for big falling shots or really cool dynamic sequence but I wouldnt be making it a major factor in your camera choice if you're only shooting climbing.
For other action sports I guess it depends on your shooting style but I like to stick up around 8fps.

I don't know what kind of price they're sitting at in the US these days but I think you'd be very happy something like the Nikon D90, 12-24 f4, 35 or 50mm prime & 70-300 kit lens.


theguy


Jun 25, 2009, 1:58 PM
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Re: [JasonsDrivingForce] FPS question [In reply to]
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JasonsDrivingForce wrote:
Panasonic DMC-LX3 is perfect. It is a semi pro compact camera

As casual hobby photographer, I don't understand why a semi pro would buy a camera without a viewfinder for outdoor photography.

And the flickering of the little electronic viewfinder on the G1 just about gave me an epileptic fit when I tried it in the store.

Without a real viewfinder, a camera is by definition a point and shoot. Do semi pros know something I don't?


JasonsDrivingForce


Jun 25, 2009, 2:18 PM
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theguy wrote:
JasonsDrivingForce wrote:
Panasonic DMC-LX3 is perfect. It is a semi pro compact camera

As casual hobby photographer, I don't understand why a semi pro would buy a camera without a viewfinder for outdoor photography.

And the flickering of the little electronic viewfinder on the G1 just about gave me an epileptic fit when I tried it in the store.

Without a real viewfinder, a camera is by definition a point and shoot. Do semi pros know something I don't?

Can you explain why you use the view finder instead of the LCD screen? Is it because of bright sun light? That is the only reason I have ever seen to have the view finder and that can be remedied with screen protectors or by adjusting the screen properties.

Have you used any of Panasonics newest cameras? Did you find those screens hard to see in normal light?

I still don’t understand the love affair with a viewfinder. It offers me nothing over what my nice 3 inch screen offers.

Here is the definition of a “point and shoot” camera from the dictionary. It has nothing to do with a view finder or not. It has everything to do with whether the focus and shutter speed can be adjusted manually. The Panasonic DMC-LX3 has those capabilities and my Panasonic DMC-ZS3 does not. Therefore, my ZS3 is a point and shoot and the LX3 is a semi-pro camera.

“having or using preset or automatically adjusted controls (as for focus or shutter speed) <a point–and–shoot camera>”

http://www.merriam-webster.com/...%93and%E2%80%93shoot


theguy


Jun 25, 2009, 2:59 PM
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JasonsDrivingForce wrote:
Can you explain why you use the view finder instead of the LCD screen? Is it because of bright sun light?
Yes; I also find framing/composition problematic on a screen vs. a viewfinder.

JasonsDrivingForce wrote:
Have you used any of Panasonics newest cameras?
Only the G1 in the store.

JasonsDrivingForce wrote:
Here is the definition of a “point and shoot” camera from the dictionary.
Thanks, very helpful, truly ;)

Let's see, "having or using preset or automatically adjusted controls (as for focus or shutter speed)":

Nikon D3X DSLR:
- Auto-focus tracking by color
- Auto-focus calibration
- Scene Recognition System

Turns out an $8000 DSLR is actually a point and shoot; who knew?!

You're partly right though: a non-viewfinder camera with enough manual controls is more of a point and fiddle than a point and shoot.

A cheaper M8 or R-D1 is more along the lines of what I'm interested in for action photography:
- small, light, viewfinder

Probably wouldn't meet the OP's requirements re. FPS though.


trenchdigger


Jun 25, 2009, 3:49 PM
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Re: [treebeard] FPS question [In reply to]
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Wes - Harsh, but right on the money. Sometimes you just have to tell it like it is.

Chanceboarder - Couldn't agree more about FPS. It's relatively unimportant for climbing. I just upgraded from a 20D to a 5D. The 20D wasn't exactly fast, and the 5D is notably slower. Still I find no issue with it. Other features are FAR more important than FPS.

I have a Panasonic LX1 and love it. And yes, it, just like it's younger sibling the LX3, is nothing more than a fancy Point-and-Shoot.

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