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Recommend a good pocket-sized camera for stills.

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Recommend a good pocket-sized camera for stills.

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Old 04-22-13, 12:52 PM
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Seattle Forrest
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Recommend a good pocket-sized camera for stills.

My second point and shoot died a week ago, which means that while I did a nice, scenic ride on Saturday, I have no pictures to show for it. I'm thinking about camping near the North Cascades Highway this weekend and riding over a couple of mountain passes, and I'd love to be able to bring some photos back.

I'm wondering what cameras have been working well for people in here, and also if anybody knows of anything that:
  • Has the same field of view as a 24 mm lens on 35 mm film.
  • Can shoot in a 2:3 aspect ratio.
  • Has enough tonal range not to turn the shadows black.
  • Makes for good 8x12 inch prints.
  • Is inexpensive.
I don't need a video mode. A telephoto zoom is nice, but not strictly necessary. I've got a bunch of CF and SD, so it'd be nice if it used on of those.

I can have my Sony repaired for $190, or get a new one for about the same price. It's worked pretty well for me, but I don't like the 3:4 ratio, or the lack of tonal range. I've been thinking about just buying a backpack and taking my SLR and 24 mm prime lens with me instead.

Thoughts?
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Old 04-22-13, 12:56 PM
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http://www.kenrockwell.com/

this guy keeps up with the latest and greatest so I dont have to.
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Old 04-22-13, 01:06 PM
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Lumix
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Old 04-22-13, 01:23 PM
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Here's a pretty good deal on older version of the Panasonic Lumix LX: http://www.adorama.com/IPCDMCLX3BK.h...FQNlMgodOG0ACw

I have one and it's a great camera as long as you don't need a long lens. I think it hits the rest of your criteria.
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Old 04-22-13, 02:33 PM
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The Canon S series cameras (s100 or newest s110) might meet your needs except maybe cheap. Most small cameras have multiple resolution options including a 2:3. Not sure exactly the S series but I can check mine when I get home. They take pretty good pictures and have lots of manual options. Nice point and shoot but well over $300.
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Old 04-22-13, 02:55 PM
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SF - check out the new Sony RX100. I have an S100 and while it's a good camera with plenty of features it's still a tiny sensor. The Sony has a 1/1" sensor (the S100 has a 1/1.7 sensor, which is a lot smaller). The files look great. It's a little bulkier than my S100 but not as big as say, a G15.

Spendy though.

I got an S100 on sale late last year and the tininess appeals to me. And it was dramatically less expensive than the Sony, but apparently people have trouble with the lens cover eventually failing.
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Old 04-22-13, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by bikerjp View Post
The Canon S series cameras (s100 or newest s110) might meet your needs except maybe cheap. Most small cameras have multiple resolution options including a 2:3. Not sure exactly the S series but I can check mine when I get home. They take pretty good pictures and have lots of manual options. Nice point and shoot but well over $300.
i've got the S90. The Canon S IMHO, is a great balance for a camera with full manual control, RAW Capture, good sized imaging chip, and still pocketable in a jersey.

You can get more capability, but it doesn't fit well in a jersey pocket and costs more.

You can go cheaper, but these days much less than this and use a smart phone.
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Old 04-22-13, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
SF - check out the new Sony RX100.
Looking at the specs, the larger sensor may trump the S110.

I'm so wedded to Canon, with a whole bunch of money in L Lenses, I have a bias toward staying with Canon. (using a Canon P&S is intuitive if you're used to their SLR's)
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Old 04-22-13, 05:25 PM
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I have no recommendations, but hope you find something soon and keep posting your great pics. Always enjoy them.
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Old 04-22-13, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
Looking at the specs, the larger sensor may trump the S110.

I'm so wedded to Canon, with a whole bunch of money in L Lenses, I have a bias toward staying with Canon. (using a Canon P&S is intuitive if you're used to their SLR's)
Yeah, that Sony does look nice but I've not been happy with Sony in the past so kind of left a bad taste.

Just confirmed that my S100 does in fact have a 3:2 option. I'm sure most others would too.
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Old 04-22-13, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
i've got the S90.
Me too, great camera. Vlaam4ever's link has some great info. IMO
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Old 04-22-13, 06:20 PM
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Fujiflim Finepix AX $79 Walmart.

Pic taken on the move without view finder.

http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/h...ndy2012375.jpg
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Old 04-22-13, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Fox Farm View Post
Lumix
That's what I use, love it. Fits well in the jersey pocket and takes great pictures. I bought mine at Costco for an excellent price.
http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-Sens...=panasonic+sz7
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Old 04-22-13, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
I'm so wedded to Canon, with a whole bunch of money in L Lenses
Where'd you get an adaptor to fit your L lenses on that S90?

I'm in the same boat but the files coming out of that Sony look really good, even at high ISOs. Holler if you want a sample - a guy that works for me has one. I'll order him to go take some shots.
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Old 04-22-13, 09:19 PM
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Canon S series. Look no further. Seriously (coming from a retired professional photographer).
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Old 04-23-13, 12:37 AM
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I'm assuming cycling photos are at least part of the use here

Why did your previous point and shoot die? Does the answer to this question indicate that you should consider a "ruggedised" camera (you know, waterproof and droppable from a certain height) . I have one (can't remember what it is without going upstairs to look) - it happily lives in my jersey back pocket. Part of the reason it's so good is because it is tough it is actually with me when I ride - doesn't matter how well a camera performs if you've left it at home.

Find a couple of candidate cameras and look at them on dpreview.com - more information there than you could possibly want.
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Old 04-23-13, 02:11 AM
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I use a Nikon Coolpix point and shoot for my travel and on-bike photos ...
http://www.flickr.com/photos/machka-bb/sets/
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Old 04-23-13, 08:01 AM
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I've got a little 5 megapixel canon elph. But after throwing it in the jersey pocket for a couple of years without any protection, the screen began to die.
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Old 04-23-13, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by FLvector View Post
I have no recommendations, but hope you find something soon and keep posting your great pics. Always enjoy them.
Thanks!

Originally Posted by jolly_ross View Post
I'm assuming cycling photos are at least part of the use here

Why did your previous point and shoot die? Does the answer to this question indicate that you should consider a "ruggedised" camera (you know, waterproof and droppable from a certain height) . I have one (can't remember what it is without going upstairs to look) - it happily lives in my jersey back pocket. Part of the reason it's so good is because it is tough it is actually with me when I ride - doesn't matter how well a camera performs if you've left it at home.
Definitely lots of cycling photos will be the camera's job. I'll also take it hiking and climbing. Ideally it'll have enough zoom range for the mountain goats I'm going to start seeing pretty soon.

The two Sonys I've had died for the same reason, sand in the wind got blown into the lens mechanism and it won't open. They're surprisingly rugged, the most recent one fell out of my pocket a few times while riding at a good clip, and even while rappelling down a cliff. I had to sand part of the case down. I've dropped it into a snowy creek, and that wasn't an issue, either. But set it down at the belay station on a windy day ... and I need a new camera. (If I had any brains I'd be more careful, but the other side of the coin is I'm not doing this stuff with my expensive camera.)
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Old 04-23-13, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
SF - check out the new Sony RX100.
It sounds pretty nice, and the pictures look great. But the lens is 28 to 100 mm?

24 mm is a magical field of view. It's exactly right for most of the stuff I shoot. So much that I bought a 24 mm f/1.4 L mII for my 5D. I'd consider a P&S with a 28 mm lens if it wasn't possible to get one in 24 mm, but ...

Originally Posted by bikerjp View Post
Just confirmed that my S100 does in fact have a 3:2 option. I'm sure most others would too.
Thanks! I print the photos I like, sort of as a portfolio. A lot of the time, with the Sony, I'd compose the picture to fit the preview, and then I wouldn't be able to crop it to print. I've been shooting 3:2 for about ten years, and really like that shape for most photos. Sounds like I need to consider this one carefully.
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Old 04-23-13, 09:55 AM
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A few examples of pics with the S90













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Old 04-23-13, 10:41 AM
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While I'm happy with my little powershot A590 IS bought for $48, it doesn't fill your aspect ratio requirements, even with the CHDK hack. Take my enthusiasm with a grain of salt however, since I'm a bit of a Canon fanboy from way back into my film days with an old Canon TX, and an AE-1 still gathering dust in my camera bag.

I tend to be hands on (control freak), and this thing has an amazing number of options, including full manual mode, manual focus, program mode, and full auto. It even has a viewfinder for those bright days when you can't see the stupid screen anyway. It's main weakness is low-light/high ISO settings.

As a control freak, I do processing of CHDK raws with UFRaw and The Gimp by hand, so I crop the pics to whatever aspect ratio I want in software. Even without my control-freak ways, Canon does a really good job making jpg images without butchering them with over processing like some cameras at this level. I imagine that newer models probably do even better than my old surplus gem of a camera. I love being able to pull shots like these out of a cheapo camera like mine. (right-click -> View image, to see it full-sized)




With your budget, you can get solutions that will blow mine out of the water, but I'd put my vote with the Canon S- series as well, because I'm a fanboy!

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Old 04-23-13, 03:33 PM
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FWIW, most Sony cameras have a super panorama mode that is quite fabulous - it can automatically take several pictures and stitch them together. Big groups, scenic vistas, etc. Maybe others also do it, but I doubt they do it as well.
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Old 04-23-13, 07:54 PM
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Check out the edge distortion on that S90 in the first picture. My S100 also demonstrates noticeable distortion at 24mm... honestly, I'm not sure if there ARE any pocket cameras that won't at that focal length.

The native image size is a little more square than 4x6 but you can obviously crop off that offending bit from the top if you want. I suppose you can set the output size to 4x6 but I've never once thrown away pixels before having a chance to look at them on my computer, so YMMV.
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Old 04-23-13, 08:26 PM
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Doesn't appear to suit your requirements as the lens on my latest model only has a 25mm lens - but I have been extremely happy with the Sony Cybershot range. Used for the last couple of years now. Small and quite light! Perfect for the jersey pocket...



Sweep Panorama is a nice feature, though I don't find the colour as good on that setting.



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