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Old 10-21-07, 11:54 AM   #1
JustMe
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Recommendations for P&S digital pocket cameras

Several times I have found myself in places on rides where I wished I had a camera to take pictures, but the smallest camera I have is too big to slip in a jersey pocket. I know many of you carry compact digital cameras on rides, and thaought the benefit of your experience and research would be helpful in selecting an appropriate pocket digital. I'm thinking something between 5 to 8 mp would be more than adequate. What features and/or cameras would you recommend?
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Old 10-21-07, 12:02 PM   #2
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There are so many out there that almost any of them are suitable for cycling. I currently use a slightly over a year old Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX01. I chose this camera primarily for its wider than normal wide angle lens. I'm not too concerned with the degree of optical zoom on these tiny cameras. 99% of my shots are shot at its default wide lens setting anyway..... A fixed lens also would suit me just fine.

Last edited by roadfix; 10-21-07 at 12:26 PM.
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Old 10-21-07, 12:03 PM   #3
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There is a class of compact cameras, with a huge view screen. I found that most of them are of the same quality, and user interface is the only difference. Most of the newer cameras are from 7-10 mp.
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Old 10-21-07, 12:20 PM   #4
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I have a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX7, it's well over two years old, so NLA, but there are successor models in the DMC-FX** series. It's very solidly made, easy to use menus and controls, good battery life and makes excellent quality pictures. It is very happy living in my jersey pocket with no case, ziploc bag or any other protection. It is conveniently small, but not so much that it becomes annoyingly tiny and the lens retracts fully into the body, so it's almost flat when turned off.
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Old 10-21-07, 12:34 PM   #5
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Some of the Canon model have image stabilization which is nice when shooting while riding, especially for those of us who have shaky hands anyway
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Old 10-21-07, 12:38 PM   #6
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The Canon SD800 has the wide angle 28mm equivalent lens, and a one second startup and shutdown. So I can power off, and the lens retracts flush to the body in one second. It has image stabilization, which should help when shooting while riding, but I haven't actually tested it with stabilization turned off to see if it makes any difference.

It's amazing to me how many pictures fit on one flash chip now, and how long the battery lasts. So I shoot a lot of pictures if I bring the camera, many of the ones taken while riding are blurry or not aimed well. When riding, I rarely look at the screen, I just roughly aim and fire away.

For rides, I attach the wrist strap to a longer cord loop around my neck, so I can put it in my back pocket, but don't worry about dropping it.

Here's some selected pictures from the BF Blue Ridge ride

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Old 10-21-07, 01:11 PM   #7
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For rides, I attach the wrist strap to a longer cord loop around my neck, so I can put it in my back pocket, but don't worry about dropping it.

Excellent idea! thanks
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Old 10-21-07, 02:06 PM   #8
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I like Canon. I have an A560. It's not the super tiny type, but it fits in the jersey pocket fine.
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Old 10-21-07, 02:10 PM   #9
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I have the Olympus 770 SW which is 7.1mp, and is shock resistant (5 foot drop) and water proof to 33 feet.
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Old 10-21-07, 02:24 PM   #10
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Canon SD700IS here - great little camera, and takes pretty damn good pics. Big LCD screen too for ease of use.
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Old 10-21-07, 03:44 PM   #11
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SD800IS here. I prefer IS so less risk blurry pics when using it on a bike. The wide(r) angle 28mm is quite nice.
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Old 10-22-07, 09:50 AM   #12
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Thanks for everyones input. I'm partial to wide angle lenses, and the image stabilization now available on pocket cameras is a plus. Casio, and some others make some very light and thin models, but I think I've narrowed the field to Olympus and Cannon. The light weight, relatively thin design, and weather resistance of the Olympus Stylus720IS are attractive, but the optics and use of standard SD memory cards on the Cannon SD850IS are advantages. Maybe I'll have a new camera next time out.
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Old 10-22-07, 11:14 PM   #13
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Costco has a deal online for the Canon SD800is with a 2 gb SD card for $319.99, and there are some other good deals on it out there. The SD850is doesn't have the wide angle lens (something like a 35 vs 28 mm effective aperture on the low end, but better telephoto on the high). The SD 870is is the successor to the 800. Advantage of the 800 vs. the 870 is that the 800 has an optical viewfinder on top of the lcd, so if your batteries start going you can shift to a non-lcd mode to get a few more pictures. The 870 is a little better ergonomically, but runs $399 without the SD card, and since it just came out there aren't as good deals available on it. Picture quality between the two is about equal. FWIW, Canons also have an error mode that effects a small percentage of their SD cameras where the lens gets stuck in the open position and your camera becomes an unusable hunk of metal as a result. Think about getting the extended warranty if you buy one. According to folks who know a whole lot more about photo equipment than me, however, the Canons take better pictures than Olympics.

I've been researching a camera to fill essentially the same role, only I'm more concerned with getting a smaller/lighter model to replace my pro-sumer camera for backpacking. Cycling use would be a plus.
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Old 10-23-07, 08:20 AM   #14
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Most all compact digital cameras are close in image quality these days. The thing that I would consider most is shutter lag time, here some are very slow which in turn makes shooting any type of action impossible or at best a hit and miss take 5 get 1 good one.
My main camera is a DSLR way to big to carry around so I have a little Sony Cyber Shot DSC W55 very small & thin 7.2-megapixel camera for around $250 or less if you look.
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Old 10-23-07, 08:47 AM   #15
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Yogi - thanx for the input. None of the reviews mentioned the lens sticking problem. They did give a slight preference to the lens quality, particularly edge sharpness, for the Canon optics. One of the factors I considered in regard to the SD850IS is the existence of the optical view finder, which, as you say, helps save power, a benefit for extended backpacking trips. I pretty much ignored what I considered to be a minor difference in the 28 vs 35 mm equiv. focal length wide angle for this particular use. The 850 is an oz. or 2 heavier, and bulkier than others available, but it has a tripod socket directly under the convergence point of the lens which is great for quick panoramas and sphericals.

If I recall correctly, the 870 has a 3" LCD. I've found it difficult to keep my fingers off the 2.5" screen, so I don't particularly consider that an advantage.

I should correct my previous post to reflect that the Olympus model I have looked at is the Stylus 820, not 720, and there are many others available that have a slimmer profile and are lighter than the Canon line.

Good luck in your search.
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Old 10-23-07, 08:58 AM   #16
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Thanx JT. I agree, shutter lag is a major concern. I've tried carrying larger cameras using compact bags or packs, but have found the inconvenience of having the additional weight/baggage unacceptable. So I'm looking for a more appropriate camera for the application.
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Old 10-23-07, 09:22 AM   #17
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+1 on the Canon Powershot models. My wife swears by them, which is a lot coming from someone who used them to get through grphic design and architecture school. She had a 2mp model that took better shots than my 3.1mp with professional lenses attached to them! Now she has a 4mp model and it's even better. She takes close-up pics of flowers and prints them out to hang up and gets compliments on them all the time. I can only imagine how nice the pics are on the 7-12mp models!
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Old 10-23-07, 09:31 AM   #18
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I just purchased the Canon SD870IS for the wide angle lens, it should arrive today! One new feature on this particular model has a time lapse movie feature. I remember someone posted a video that was shot at 1 minute intervals. It was very interesting and this new camera has that option. Can't wait to try it out.

I looked at other manufactures and models but many of them do not use the SD memory and I didn't want to invest in another memory card. I have lots of SD cards laying around, I wanted something that can be shared by my other cameras.
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Old 10-23-07, 10:11 AM   #19
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i just got the canon powershot SD850 IS and love it. it's small and light and takes great pics.
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Old 10-23-07, 12:48 PM   #20
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its pretty much been covered.. but im a big tech geek.. and for just simple point-and-shoot cams... CANON is just a tank... it feels sturdy... controls are easy... quality of shots are great ... ive seen friends drop their sonys once and have them break... canons just seem so sturdy and alot of people still have their old ones because they still work fine..

go with canon.. im sure you wont regret it at all
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Old 10-23-07, 01:56 PM   #21
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Anyone want to share how they carry these? Or does everybody just do the jersey pocket?

(BTW, thanks for the info. Based on my own previous research, I had already decided to go Canon, just wasn't sure which one. I'll definitely look at the 850 or 870 IS's.)
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Old 10-23-07, 01:59 PM   #22
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I carry mine bare in my jersey pocket.
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Old 10-23-07, 02:10 PM   #23
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Anyone want to share how they carry these? Or does everybody just do the jersey pocket?

(BTW, thanks for the info. Based on my own previous research, I had already decided to go Canon, just wasn't sure which one. I'll definitely look at the 850 or 870 IS's.)
Bento Box. I love my bento box.
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Old 10-23-07, 02:21 PM   #24
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Anyone want to share how they carry these? Or does everybody just do the jersey pocket?

(BTW, thanks for the info. Based on my own previous research, I had already decided to go Canon, just wasn't sure which one. I'll definitely look at the 850 or 870 IS's.)

nice grippy silicone case.. nice long strap hanging off... center back jersey pocket...
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Old 10-23-07, 03:24 PM   #25
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I have this:
http://www.circuitcity.com/ssm/Icon-...oductDetail.do

It has a big fixed, closed loop on the back that you can strap it to a belt. For me, I use the stem straps of my bento box to hold it in place.

The flip closing mechanism is magnetic though, and this may not be that good. I had a big fall once, and the camera flew out of it. Something that you may want to look into when you're getting a camera bag (i.e. will it be too easy for the flip cover to open in case of a fall/accident?).
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