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Old 07-16-09, 03:41 AM   #1
gbcb
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Another camera thread

Hey, all
I've got a holiday coming up in two months that I'm really looking forward to, and have just realised that my digital camera is not going to be up to the job. I have a Sony Cybershot DSC-V1, which is about 6 years old and is down to about 5 minutes of battery life per charge (battery life was always pretty terrible).

I plan to be somewhat off the beaten path and while I'll probably never be too far from an outlet, I'd like to have the option. Here's what I need:

- Good quality (of course)
- Reasonably small (I'd love the photo quality of a DSLR, but don't want the size)
- Good battery life
- Manual controls. I don't care so much about manual focus, but would like control over things like shutter speed, aperture and ISO setting
- No more than about US$750, though I'd really like to spend less than that if possible (since I know I'll probably have to buy a new one in a few years' time).

I haven't looked into digital cameras for years, so I really have no idea what's out there. Any clever sugestions?

I've been reasonably happy with the DSC-V1, although it's slightly too chunky to be the kind of thing I take with me everywhere. Also, as I said, the battery life sucks and always has. An additional minor annoyance is the power brick I have to carry around to charge it. Something with a more elegant charging cable would be nice.
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Old 07-16-09, 04:26 AM   #2
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canon G10.
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Old 07-16-09, 04:28 AM   #3
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any AA digital w/7MP or more here's a list with links to reviews
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Old 07-16-09, 05:22 AM   #4
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G10 looks intriguing -- would like to go and see it in real life to get an idea of its size. l_a: what is AA?
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Old 07-16-09, 05:36 AM   #5
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it's not super compact, but it's not very big either.

http://photography-on-the.net/forum/...46&postcount=1



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Old 07-16-09, 10:17 AM   #6
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Interesting. It seems slightly narrower than my Sony, which is good, though the overall size is about the same. The G10 seems to get a lot of comparisons to the Lumix LX-3 - anyone have experience with that?
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Old 07-16-09, 10:34 AM   #7
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I think "AA" means "a camera that takes 2 AA batteries." In other words, good battery life and you can always carry more batteries since you can't carry a power outlet.
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Old 07-16-09, 11:26 AM   #8
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canon G10.
Other than low-light performance and way too much resolution crammed onto a small sensor (something shared with almost all modern cameras, to be fair), these are supposed to be great cameras. I love all the features taken out of menus and put back onto physical controls where they belong.

Canon makes great cameras at all price levels, actually. I have a slightly-above-entry-level Powershot A570IS from a few years back as a second camera, and it's especially impressive for a $130-ish camera. It even has full-manual controls (including focus), though admittedly they're a bit tough to use on a point-n-shoot style camera.

If you want to see what's out there, check out Digital Camera Resource Page and Digital Photography Review. Both very useful, informative sites.
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Old 07-16-09, 11:42 AM   #9
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Canon makes great cameras at all price levels, actually. I have a slightly-above-entry-level Powershot A570IS from a few years back as a second camera, and it's especially impressive for a $130-ish camera.
Yup. we have the A630. I think my wife paid $150, tops, 2 or 3 yrs ago. It's a very nice little camera. I'm sure the G series is nicer but you get a lot of bang/buck with the As - at least, we did.
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Old 07-16-09, 11:59 AM   #10
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G10 is a great camera. Was my first thought after reading your wishlist.

If you are fairly computer savvy... I use a Canon SD1100 loaded with CHDK (http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/CHDK). $150 camera -- small, compact, durable, and great for traveling. Takes pretty decent pictures for a compact digital. CHDK is a hack which allows full manual control of the Powershot cameras, including other features such as RAW, bracketing, etc. It is really, really slick.

For my use it has been the perfect compromise between a small digital camera and a bulky DSLR. The G10 was too expensive for me to risk damaging on a backcountry trip. The SD1100 still uses a rechargeable battery, which might be a hindrance if you're in the bush for extended periods. The charger is rather sleek, though.
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Old 07-16-09, 05:09 PM   #11
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See this review, http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/Q408enthusiastgroup/

If manual exposure is important to you then only the top end compacts have it these days. Manual controls have been removed from all the mid range compacts now.

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Old 07-16-09, 07:20 PM   #12
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My DSLR is Nikon D40...it's awesome.
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Old 07-16-09, 08:17 PM   #13
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Since you want manual perhaps think about a small film camera. The Nikon Fm2n and a Nikkor 50 ais and 28 ais lens in really excellent condition will cost you at most around $450 to $500.
I really like that idea. I loved my old (mid-70s) Pentax SLR, though the thing weighed a ton. Might be tricky to track something like that down, though. If I'm going the film route, I wonder if something like a Seagull TLR would be fun. Not sure what the options are for converting medium format negatives to digital.

On the digital side, a lot of websites seem to suggest the Lumix LX-3 is almost as good as the G10 in a number of areas, and better in others (low light and high ISOs). Hope to be able to give them both a look this weekend.
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Old 07-16-09, 08:31 PM   #14
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I bought a cheap Nikon Coolpix L18 and its a piece of crap. Always loved Nikon's film cameras/SLRs, but this L18 is a disaster. It worked great for a few outings, then started having problems like a sticking shutter, exposure problems, download problems, etc. I switched back to my film camera for now and I'm looking for another point-an-shoot digital (don't need an SLR). I've used a Canon A530(?) at work the past few years and its been a really reliable workhorse. Only minor problem is it uses four AA batteries and it sucks those 'dry' pretty quick, but that's not a functional issue at work. I'm seriously thinking about one of those or the most recent Canon equivalent.
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Old 07-17-09, 03:27 AM   #15
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I've used a Canon A530(?) at work the past few years and its been a really reliable workhorse. Only minor problem is it uses four AA batteries and it sucks those 'dry' pretty quick, but that's not a functional issue at work. I'm seriously thinking about one of those or the most recent Canon equivalent.
It's all relative - our A630 gets a lot of use out of 4 AAs. My fuji digital from 2000 eats up 4 AAs in about 2-3 shooting sessions. That's with a 64mb media card! I'm pretty happy with the newer Canon - I can get several weeks out of the batteries.
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Old 07-17-09, 05:39 AM   #16
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We went with a Canon S3 IS a couple years ago, its in the category called "super zoom" where those have most of the features of a DSLR but are ot quite a DSLR. It will take ~500 shots before we have to swap batteries, I use Sanyo Eneloop AA's. The only downside is its close in size to a DSLR, i.e. a little large. I'm looking for something smaller now that runs on AA's to carry on bike rides.
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Old 07-17-09, 07:02 AM   #17
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I have a lx3 - image quality is amazing:



Image quality is supposed to be quite a bit better than the G10, especially at higher film speeds. I have personally taken it up pretty high and the noise looks a lot like high speed film grain. Things I like about the G10 though are the telephoto on the zoom - the lx3 is a tad short IMO. Also the macro on the G10 is much better. I like the controls on the G10 a little better. Another very compelling camera about to hit the shelves is the Olympus EP1. It's a compact that uses their DSLR sensor AND has interchangeable lenses. With an adapter you can even use all Olympus SLR lenses. That's pretty freakin' cool if the image quality is there.
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Old 07-19-09, 11:04 PM   #18
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Have gone with an LX-3 -- thanks for all the suggestions! I was seriously considering the G10, but the size and low-light perfomance of the LX-3 were the main deciding factors.

kaotikgrl, I was also looking seriously at an Fm2n-ish Nikon (not the same, but something very similar). I loved the idea, but I think this time around a digital was what I was looking for. The prices of the manual SLRs were pretty reasonable, though... might go back and look at one as a second camera!
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Old 07-20-09, 07:15 AM   #19
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congrats on the LX3 - let us know how you like it. Did you get the black or silver version?
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Old 07-20-09, 09:44 AM   #20
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Thanks! Black. Haven't had much of a chance to use it yet, but really what I've seen so far.
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