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Sarah_Sunshine


Feb 25, 2010, 9:05 PM
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Good small, lightweight point-and-shoot?
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Does anyone have a recommendation for a light, small point-and-shoot? I have a big camera with lenses that I almost never take climbing as well as a cheap point-and-shoot whose photos are hit-and-miss. Don't want to spend more than $400, including tax, but preferably less. Video is not important to me. Thank you!


Storjon


Feb 26, 2010, 2:43 AM
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You can get good deals on Ricoh GRD II now as the newer GRD III is out. Might be a tad over 400 but well worth the extra money.
I would even consider getting a second hand one (Ricoh GRD series) over a new camera, they are that good.

Other options to consider are Canon s90 or panasonic lumix LX-3, although I have not used them personally. Controls seem nicer on the s90 with a control ring around the lens like an old aperture ring.


JasonsDrivingForce


Feb 26, 2010, 10:49 AM
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The Fuji F200EXR is pretty much known as the best point and shoot for dynamic range and high ISO photos. I think it is less than $300 now.

If you don't shoot in low light then the S90 is a great camera that doesn't really do video.

http://www.dpreview.com/...ews/fujifilmf200exr/




crankmas


Feb 26, 2010, 11:38 AM
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I have had good luck with my Canon G-10, I think there may well be an upgraded G-11 model now, mine followed the G-9, they can function as P & S but offer more capabilities you will appreciate as well. High pixel count leads to good quality images. Good luck and haven't used one but the Lunix has a good Leica pedigree


Jomega


Feb 26, 2010, 11:50 AM
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Canon Powershot; I LOVE this camera.. (SD1000) half the time it takes better pics than my nikon DSLR and it's the size of a pack of playing cards;

has 2.8 aperture and ISO 1600; the greatest part is it has the fastest bootup speed I've ever seen; its ready to shoot by the time you hit the power button.

best part is theyre cheap!


these arent climbing photos; just a couple of pics I shot with it.

http://www.flickr.com/.../3703013683/sizes/l/

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/...033_03c97cfba9_b.jpg


highcamp


Feb 26, 2010, 9:32 PM
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Re: [Sarah_Sunshine] Good small, lightweight point-and-shoot? [In reply to]
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First off, high pixel count does NOT lead to quality images... with point-&-shoots it usually leads to BAD images. High megapixels is all part of the marketing hype from the camera companies because they realize that the average consumer wants a "bigger" number to make comparisons easier.

Rather than megapixels, the true determinant of picture quality is the pixel density of a camera (MP/cm3), and the lower it is the better. The sensors on p&s cameras are are mostly the same size, and have been for several years. When 7 MP was the max for p&s, they captured all of those 7 MP on that one chip. Now they are cramming 15 MP onto the same chip, effectively killing the quality of the pictures. Yes you can print out a billboard poster, but it will be fuzzy and have soft focus. AND it will be fuzzy and soft focus at regular print or email sizes.

For p&s cameras, a pixel density of 40 MP/cm3 is the generally accepted upper limit allowing for quality pictures. Go above it, and picture quality deteriorates severely. If you look at the highest MP p&s cameras nowadays, they have pixel densities of 50 MP/cm3 and the pics look like utter crap. Just as a comparison, quality digital SLR's have pixel densities of around 4 MP/cm3..... yes, just 4.

So, as to recommended cameras.... avoid the ones with the highest pixel counts in the p&s families. Try to keep the pixel densities in the 35 MP/cm3 range. I currently have the Canon Powershot SD880IS (pixel density of 35 MP/cm3) and I like it a lot given it's small size and wide angle lens. [ Forgot to mention that, for climbers it's important to have a wide angle lens on the p&S... better for panoramics and just being tied into belays and such.]

The camera that I am saving up for, and the one that is getting all the big press from profession photographers reviewing it, is the Canon s90. It has a wide angle lens and the pixel density is, get this, just 23 MP/cm3. This is because rather than using a standard p&s sensor, they put a much larger sensor in there - so rather than trying to cram 10 MP on a size small sensor, they are spreading them onto a size medium sensor. HUGE difference. I have camera envy and can't wait until I get one.

Here are two site worth looking into. The first is a camera review site, but unlike most sites, it lists pixel densities for each camera:

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/specs/Canon/

This second site is from a pro photographer who provides camera recommendations (he's not loyal to any one brand), and he has phenomenal educational articles on how to shoot better pictures with p&s cameras:

http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/recommended-cameras.htm

hope the above helps, and good luck to you.


maldaly


Feb 26, 2010, 10:12 PM
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High Camp, You stole my words. I now shoot my SD 880 more than I shoot my D200 with lenses. Pics are phenomenal.

Sarah_Sunshine, there are tons of threads on this very subject on this site. Do a forum search and you'll uncover tons of great info. P&S cameras turn over all the time so the SD880, for instance, is no longer available. If I was to buy today, I would get the S90 for sure. G9, 10, and 11 are fine cameras but they are not shirt-pocket cameras. Get one if you need all that manual control but otherwise, S90 all the way. You might be able to find a re-furbished SD880 at Adorama or Amazon.

Getting back to High Camp's comments, The best thing I ever did for my photography was to learn from Ken Rockwell's Tip and Tricks. There's and amazing wealth of great info there: http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech.htm He's opinionated and abrasive but the info is good.

Post up when you get some shots.
Mal


Sarah_Sunshine


Feb 26, 2010, 10:18 PM
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Thank you ever so much for the informative replies. I really appreciate the time it took for the explanations of what to look for and links. Highcamp, I had no idea about the pixel count. Jomega, I like your photos a lot. Were they taken in San Francisco?
What are anyone's thoughts about waterproof cameras?


jeepnphreak


Feb 28, 2010, 9:36 AM
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I have one of these, it take really good pics
its dust proof
shock resistant up 9 feet
water resistant to 9 feet
full metal case
I am really pleased with the camera so far, I had owned it for about a year.

http://www2.panasonic.com/..._7000000000000005702


swaghole


Feb 28, 2010, 10:36 AM
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Sarah_Sunshine wrote:
Does anyone have a recommendation for a light, small point-and-shoot? I have a big camera with lenses that I almost never take climbing as well as a cheap point-and-shoot whose photos are hit-and-miss. Don't want to spend more than $400, including tax, but preferably less. Video is not important to me. Thank you!

I would recommend the Canon D10. Tough, drop-proof and water-proof. I keep it clipped right on my harness without a protective case. I don't worry about it getting banged up or wet/damp. Taking pictures while hanging from a belay is easier when you don't have to fiddle with taking the camera out of a case. I've also used the camera a lot when padling white-water. I don't keep it in a case - i just clip it inside the canoe so taking pictures is much easier. The picture quality is excellent and so far, durability is amazing. When you don't have to worry about keeping the camera in a case, you end up taking a lot more pictures.


Jomega


Mar 2, 2010, 3:49 PM
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thanks Sarah; that would indeed be the amazing city of SF (when lugging around my SLR was a pain in the ass)

Sarah_Sunshine wrote:
Thank you ever so much for the informative replies. I really appreciate the time it took for the explanations of what to look for and links. Highcamp, I had no idea about the pixel count. Jomega, I like your photos a lot. Were they taken in San Francisco?
What are anyone's thoughts about waterproof cameras?


irregularpanda


Mar 2, 2010, 4:27 PM
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Sarah_Sunshine wrote:
Does anyone have a recommendation for a light, small point-and-shoot? I have a big camera with lenses that I almost never take climbing as well as a cheap point-and-shoot whose photos are hit-and-miss. Don't want to spend more than $400, including tax, but preferably less. Video is not important to me. Thank you!

It's a little bit too expensive, and maybe a little bit too big, but the Pnasonic DMC LX3 is an amazing camera. It takes great shots, and the lens is very high quality, especially for wide angle shots.


tradrenn


Mar 2, 2010, 6:00 PM
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Casio Exilim EX-V7

7.2 MP

For under $150.

V.


chaingang


Mar 2, 2010, 8:35 PM
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I have a Canon D10 as well. It's very durable and the photos are quite good. They are always sharp and the color is great. I've shot a lot of video with it as well. The videos are decent, but lack detail. I've taken it climbing, caving, kayaking, etc. Dropped it a number of times and submerged it as well. Keeps on ticking. Darn good camera for the money.


HelenOster


Mar 3, 2010, 5:41 AM
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Sarah_Sunshine wrote:
Does anyone have a recommendation for a light, small point-and-shoot? I have a big camera with lenses that I almost never take climbing as well as a cheap point-and-shoot whose photos are hit-and-miss. Don't want to spend more than $400, including tax, but preferably less. Video is not important to me. Thank you!

Have you ever taken a look at the articles at the Adorama Learning Center?

for example:

http://www.adorama.com/alc/article/Buying-Guide-The-best-system-compact-digital-cameras-right-now


guangzhou


Mar 6, 2010, 7:35 PM
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In reply to:
This second site is from a pro photographer who provides camera recommendations (he's not loyal to any one brand), and he has phenomenal educational articles on how to shoot better pictures with p&s cameras:

http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/recommended-cameras.htm

hope the above helps, and good luck to you.

Ken, not loyal to anyone brand. Yikes, have you been drinking Ken's kool aid.


altelis


Mar 6, 2010, 8:11 PM
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seriously. that was just a rundown of cannon's P&S and nikons DSLRs.

THATS IT.

not a SINGLE non canon P&S on there. bullshit.


pico23


Mar 10, 2010, 11:21 PM
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Re: [highcamp] Good small, lightweight point-and-shoot? [In reply to]
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highcamp wrote:
This second site is from a pro photographer who provides camera recommendations (he's not loyal to any one brand), and he has phenomenal educational articles on how to shoot better pictures with p&s cameras:

http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/recommended-cameras.htm

No offense but Ken Rockwell is a borderline idiot.

Not saying he doesn't occasionally spew some actual information, but most of his nonsense is designed on getting people to view his site so he can sell ads, also I get tired of "click a link and buy something so I can feed my kids."

Nothing wrong with making a living off selling ads on a website, but don't confuse that with someone who can be totally trusted.

As far as the pixel count I agree ...to a point.

If you were shooting the G10 at ISO 50 or 100 (whatever the native base ISO of the sensor is) the images are neither soft nor noisy.

The issue is when you create high pixel densities and you "gain up" the sensor sensitivity by shooting more current into the photosites you create noise very quickly.

So high pixel density (within reason) isn't terrible but it creates a camera with a very small usable range of ISO.

Since most people these days didn't grow up on Velvia 50, K64, and Provia 100F, sticking to base ISOs and being a happy camper is a bit tough. Even those who did (myself) being confined to ISO 100 when the guy next to me is shooting 400 seems limiting. Back in the days of film we all had the same choices no matter what camera we used, so this wasn't a major issue.

Personally, I think the sweet spot for digital compacts was probably 4-6MP, accounting for advances in sensor design, probably 8MP is ideal these days. It's too bad more compacts didn't offer RAW output for slightly more headroom in DR and color gamut, as well as other things (such as sharpening and noise reduction).


(This post was edited by pico23 on Mar 10, 2010, 11:21 PM)


highcamp


Mar 11, 2010, 7:22 AM
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Well, I must be on Kool-Aid then, I guess, because I swear when I look at Ken's site I see raving reviews about Nikons, Canons, Leicas, hell even Mamiya gets a nod, all of which to me defines the statement, "not loyal to any ONE brand." I'd welcome your definition of it.

Does Ken recommend Nikon for DSLRs and Canon forr p&s? Yup. Is there good reason for this? Yup, again. Nikon is clearly producing the best 35mm-based format DSLRs and Canon is clearly producing the best non-premium targeted p&s. Sure there are DSLRs that are a quarter point on a 10-point scale behind behind Nikon, but most reviews give the edge to Nikon. Same for Canon and the consumer p&s in terms of features available at a given combo of price point, size, and quality. Sony's, on the whole, come closest (and it's a shame he doesn't review them), and the Lumix line is up there, but they both have issues that knock them down a notch - be it usability, noise reduction, whatever.

If you want a shockproof camera, yes there are better ones than Canon. If you want super wide angle, or super telephoto, yes there are ones better than Canon. But those are niches, whereas my assumption of the OP's request was that they were looking for an all around great p&s.

I too grew up on film - first Agfapan 25 and Ilford PanF, and later when I could finally afford it Velvia and Provia - and I agree it's a different mindset having once been locked to an ISO (or should we use ASA?) and now having all this range available. One key difference that you didn't touch upon in your post, however, is the relation of lens speed to the native ISO of current p&s's. Back when we were shooting film, we typically had fixed lenses that shot around f/1.4-1.8, which offered us a lot of room to work with. The glass on modern p&s is slow in comparison, and as a result their 'native' ISO has to be higher to allow for greater range/combos of aperture and SS. So while almost all p&s have options for ISO 80 and 100, very few can shoot at them under most conditions (without either blur from slow SS or a depth of field 2 inches deep). The result is that many bounce to 200 as a 'native' ISO and additionally shoot at relatively fast shutter speeds to minimize shake, with again the victim being DOF. Combine this with over pixelization of the censor, and you get soft images. I'm one of those dork pixel counters, I see that stuff and it bothers me, so I recommend for cameras that avoid high densities and have relatively fast glass.

I agree with you that the sweet spot for most p&s cameras is 6-8MPs. Huge difference in quality over the 14MPs currently being sold. But 6-8MPs typically are older, and they lack some of the technological advances for auto shooters that modern cameras have. The still have slow glass, but the low pixel density semi cancels that out. The S90, however, succeeds in both those areas, which is why I recommended it.

And for 99% of the folks out there, RAW is useless, as they don't have the post-production know-how (or time) to bring the image to life without making it look blatantly photoshop'd.


JasonsDrivingForce


Mar 11, 2010, 10:15 AM
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pico23 wrote:
Personally, I think the sweet spot for digital compacts was probably 4-6MP, accounting for advances in sensor design, probably 8MP is ideal these days. It's too bad more compacts didn't offer RAW output for slightly more headroom in DR and color gamut, as well as other things (such as sharpening and noise reduction).

I really wish they would just go back and take the Canon G6 body and lens and update it with today's sensor(same 7 megapixels though), today's software, and HD video.

The G6 had a 7 megapixel 1/1.8" sensor and a 35mm-140mm F2.0-F2.8 lens. I would love it to be wider. However, I wouldn't give up the F2.0-F2.8 for the extra wide angle.

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canong6/




(This post was edited by JasonsDrivingForce on Mar 11, 2010, 10:21 AM)


pico23


Mar 15, 2010, 3:43 AM
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My old G3 (virtually identical to the G5 both in design and IQ), is a sweet camera. I never updated it because nothing really fits the bill. The lens is fast, the controls are well laid out, the view finder (optical) is sufficient, the custom settings are sweet. I set mine to 35mm equiv and hyperfocal at f/4. Really cool, just turn it to C1 and shoot anything from XXft to infinity in focus instantly.

As posted above, the S90 is a nice camera, and it got me the closest to dropping $400 on a camera I will be unhappy with.

This isn't to say 99% of the people shooting the S90 won't love it's output but I generally want SLR type results most of the time, and sure enough there is a thing called an SLR.

Unfortunately, there are times when lugging an SLR is a pain, and then it comes down to camera or no camera. This is where something in between would be sweet. Despite my negativity to micro 4/3s in a different post, I am really hoping it improves and sort of erases bridge cameras like the G11.

Definitely wasn't busting on the S90 though, just saying it has enough flaws to make me question the $400 cash drop. However, I really do want an upgrade to our most modern P&S, my wifes Panasonic FX01. Really nice little camera that back in the day was the widest compact available, but the IQ is just not great even at base ISO in less than perfect light. It's actually the shadows that suffer from noise, mids and highs are good.I suppose the S90 would replace that camera incredibly well and justify the price.

BTW, glad to see someone else grew up on that stuff called film. I think it does give us a better perspective of exactly how awesome things are in the digital age, but also how much they have to improve as well.


(This post was edited by pico23 on Mar 15, 2010, 3:45 AM)


JasonsDrivingForce


Mar 15, 2010, 5:57 AM
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Yea I was dissapointed that they didn't release a Panasonic LX4 last week. That really would be my ideal camera. I don't have to have a very shallow depth of field. I just want to be able to take a decent low light photo at a reasonable shutter speed.

The S90 comes closest to that but they left out HD video. I am sure that for most people that is a non issue. However, it is a big deal for a few people. Almost every other digital camera has HD video now so Canon needs to figure a way to put it in the S90 and I am bet they would sell more of them. I would buy one then.


kachoong


Mar 15, 2010, 8:48 AM
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I know it's been mentioned but what do you guys think of the LX3K?

It seems to have a decent sensor (1/1.63-inch CCD) with a 24-60mm equivalent lens. 80-6400 ISO. 1/2000 to 60sec exposure. 2.5 frames/sec. Can shoot in RAW. Video is HD 720p. 10mp.

Zoom seems to be one of the only drawbacks, but is made up for by the nice wide angle and low light quality. Seems a little bulkier than some P&S.


JasonsDrivingForce


Mar 15, 2010, 10:38 AM
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kachoong wrote:
I know it's been mentioned but what do you guys think of the LX3K?

It seems to have a decent sensor (1/1.63-inch CCD) with a 24-60mm equivalent lens. 80-6400 ISO. 1/2000 to 60sec exposure. 2.5 frames/sec. Can shoot in RAW. Video is HD 720p. 10mp.

Zoom seems to be one of the only drawbacks, but is made up for by the nice wide angle and low light quality. Seems a little bulkier than some P&S.

The LX3 is a fantastic camera that used to sell for 20-30% more than msrp. I think the biggest complaints about it are that it is bigger than it looks in pictures and it does not offer the zoom range people are used to.

I think the major reason that the LX4/LX5 has not been released is that it would cannibalize GF1 sales. There are rumors that Panasonic could produce an m4/3s lens that would offer similar specs to what is in the LX3. If that happens we might never see another LXx camera again.


pico23


Mar 15, 2010, 12:40 PM
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As noted, from a SLR shooters perspective I haven't found a camera I find worthy of spending the money on, but the LX3 is a really nice camera. It does have many quirks (so I understand), and having played with it enough to get a slight feel for it, I don't love the layout, but it's typical panasonic which isn't necessarily bad.

Currently for people really interested in IQ throughout the ISO range on a compact, plus lots of manual control, it comes down to 3 cameras:

LX3, S90, G11 in no particular order.

The LX3 seems very good though, especially shooting RAW. Plus it has HD video.

As far as the video, it doesn't bother me, but at the same time for the price of the G11 and S90, they should have 720 video. I shoot video rarely, but why not have it available when I want it.

BTW, the LX3 zoom is a bit short, but the lens is excellent and it does have a nice wide perspective vs the 28mm equivalents. Generally speaking I'd take a little wider lens over a few more mm of telephoto. And the lens is fast.


(This post was edited by pico23 on Mar 15, 2010, 12:41 PM)


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