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Old 05-22-08, 06:16 AM   #1
doctor j
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n+1 = Camera?

As I got a new bike in '07, I'm thinking that n+1 for me this year may be a new camera. The current "kodak" is a 2.1 megapixel model with 3x optical zoom, poor auto focus, and a huge appetite for batteries. I've been looking at two Canon Powershots, the A590 IS and the A720 IS. Each is 8 megapixels and has a variety of exposure modes like my old Canon A1. The 590 has 4x optical zoom, and the 720 has 6x. Each appears that it will fit in a jersey pocket or bike bag. Each appears to have good battery life, and each appears to have decent macro capabilities. Each has a view finder.

This group has posted some nice pix this year. Based on your experience, I'd like to get some advice on a new camera.
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Old 05-22-08, 06:53 AM   #2
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Here is a good place to get information about digital cameras -
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Old 05-22-08, 07:00 AM   #3
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Fuji Finepix FD31
Not the most pixels, but the best in low light without a flash. No viewfiner, but small enough for your jersey.
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Old 05-22-08, 07:28 AM   #4
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I bought my wife a new Canon SD800 last October. In December we were on a walk in the woods (on snowshoes), she was using the new camera, I was using a Canonnet 35mm camera (vintage 1972). Her camera died during the hike, and when we returned it to Canon for warranty repair, we were told that it had gotten moisture inside which killed the camera, and that this was considered abuse, so it was not covered under warranty. I had never had an issue with my older Canon, so I never had an occasion to learn how bad their customer service was - I won't buy another Canon product.
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Old 05-22-08, 07:56 AM   #5
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Panasonic in partnership with Leica makes a nice line of cameras as well.
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Old 05-22-08, 07:56 AM   #6
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There are SOOOOOO many options.

If it helps at all my last camera (still got it) is a Canon A75. Love it. For my very recent trip to Europe I opted to buy a new camera. Got myself a Panasonic TZ3. 7 Mp plus really nice movie modes and a very nice display screen. Best of all it's got a built in 28-280 equivalent 10x zoom range yet is very compact. The buttons tend to fall under my clumsy fingers occasionally when taking it in and out of the case but other than that I love it. Pictures so far look fantastic and I really enjoy the wider focal length.

Then out came a TZ5 version that goes down to 24 mm equiv..... grrrrrrrr......... As you can tell I value the wide angle side of things. If you're into your photography a lot the wider angle option can give you some fun and interesting ways to play with perspective and to incorporate a wider depth of field into your pictures.
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Old 05-22-08, 08:07 AM   #7
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Yeah, a slimline point and shoot is ideal for biking. I usually carry a Topeak bag on my back rack so I have plenty of room. I got a Canon G9 - the nearest thing I could find to a DSLR without going whole hog with the extra lenses and bulk of an SLR. But the G9 is a bit bigger than the slimline models.
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Old 05-22-08, 08:44 AM   #8
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I've been learning on a Canon Power Shot A540 and I love it. Of course it's
old technology already but it serves me well. 4X optical zoom and 12X digital
can get me very close to nature without being disruptive.

Whatever you choose, look into Ray-O-Vac rechargable hybrid batteries. You
just put them in the camera and forget about them. I've been using them for
about a year and a half and I've never, never suffered from low battery.
I keep a spare pair with me (they hold a charge on the shelf for over six months)
but I've never needed to use the spares. I do charge prior to big events of

Good luck and enjoy the shopping experience.
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Old 05-22-08, 08:52 AM   #9
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I agree with donheff, the G9 is a nice compact, as is the Nikon P5100. The again, what would I know, I still shoot with film most of the time.
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Old 05-22-08, 09:30 AM   #10
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I just bit the bullet and ventured into Digital SLR land... I bought a Sony Alpha 200

I plan to buy a phone with a PDA and camera for my point and shoot and use the DSLR for real photos, the difference is amazing.

I have only taken a few pictures so far, but I feel like a professional. Pictures of my cats with the flash, and their eyes aren't bright white spots.

Crisp, clear images that make my former Olympus Stylus 710 shots look like a crappy phone camera.

Yes, it is big compares to the Stylus, but I really found that I beat the heck out of small cameras by jamming them in my pocket and any where else they will fit, so I will just get a camera on my next phone (which I am due for anyway) and I went for a real camera for the first time in my life... I will carry it in a trunk bag on the top of the Jandd extreme front rack on my Schwinn Voyageur and have it available for any shots that are worth stopping and taking... While true, I might miss a few shots that might have been possible by whipping a Point and Shoot out of my jersey pocket, I may have my camera phone there for that...

Just another possibility to add to your thought process.

Of course, I have never been one to worry about packing light when I go for a ride.
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Old 05-22-08, 11:07 AM   #11
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I've been very happy with my Fuji F10. Much better in low light without flash than most small cameras I've used. We've always been happy with a few Canon digital cameras we've had. My wife has one now that she loves. Can't remember the model, but it's very thin.

But you still need another bike. Cameras don't satisfy the N+1 requirement for bicycles.
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Old 05-22-08, 03:15 PM   #12
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Recently I purchased the Panasonic TZ5, mentioned above. I bought it just to take with me when I'm on my bike.

The long end of the lens is awesome, and it can reach even farther with an option to step down from 9 to 3 megapixels. With 3 megapixels, there's more than enough information to create a large print or view a photo on a monitor, and upscaling with a program like Photoshop, to allow for some cropping or an even larger print, is easy.

As BCRider mentioned, the new version of the camera boasts a 24mm lens - that's only in the 16:9 ratio, though, which means cropping off the top and the bottom of what the other formats allow (4:3 and 3:2). There's also a slight reduction in the pixel count. But it's a cleaver feature.

The reason I don't like most point and shoot cameras is the relatively short reach of their optics. It's difficult to bring in mountain vistas, for example, or separate a rider from the pack. Not that a long lens is necessary to bring back great photographs from a bike ride. But the long reach of the TZ5 (and the other versions of the camera, like the TZ3 and 4) offers more choice in the way to make a photograph.
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Old 05-22-08, 04:08 PM   #13
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OK I am a Canon person and have loved their Powershots. I have two (long story - I thought I lost one so bought another and the lost one showed up). They are simple to use, take awesome photos, quality and price are outstanding; are highly recommended by amateurs and professionals. I think you are making good choices.

BTW my Powershot A540 has travelled across the country with me. No worries. Easily fits in a jersey pocket, Bento Box, bike bag whatever. I use a Camelback and got a small Canon case so I string the camera right onto the Camelback front strap. The camera is right there for quick use.

Private docent led mountain bike rides through Limestone Canyon. Go to and register today! Also available: hikes, equestrian rides and family events as well as trail maintenance and science study.

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Old 05-22-08, 08:06 PM   #14
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I love my Canon digital elph (SD800). It is small and light and goes everywhere with me.
It is very easy to use - I've even taken pictures and movies one-handed while biking.
I'm quite happy with the photos it takes.

For what it is worth - I have and use 3 other cameras, incuding a Digital SLR and a film SLR, but the S800 is the only one I carry every single day.
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