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Compact camera recommendation

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Compact camera recommendation

Old 05-24-13, 06:16 AM
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Compact camera recommendation

Looking for a compact camera to be stored in jersey pocket while riding. I haven't bought a camera in a long, long time. Lots of options out there, so looking for advice. Objective: small camera, solid pictures. Budget around $250-300. Cheers!
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Old 05-24-13, 06:23 AM
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There are acouple of threads on here that go over this that would be worth pulling up.

Personally, I like the Canon S110. A touch over your budget, but it takes great pictures, full manual control, relatively large image sensor, RAW capture, and still an easy fit in a jersey pocket.

Assuming you already have a smart phone with a camera, what I would not do is buy a very small basic camera. There just isn't enough advantage over the phone camera to justify buying cheap compact cameras any more.

Thus I'd use my phone, or look for something in the class of the S110 (i.e. larger sensor, manual controls, raw capture) from Canon, Sony, Lumix or Olympus.
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Old 05-24-13, 06:24 AM
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Lots of good choices in that price range. Do you need waterproof?

In all honesty, I've just been using my cell camera which I keep in a baggie. While it's not as good as what you're thinking of, they've really come a long way and are quite decent for most purposes.
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Old 05-24-13, 06:28 AM
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I use a Kodak m-552.
light wgt. take good pic and video.
It can be carried in a cellphone case.
for video I mount to my handle bars and can ck. on the video thru lcd screen.
http://resources.kodak.com/support/s...01208toc.shtml
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Old 05-24-13, 06:29 AM
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Here's a round up of the types of cameras I'm talking about.

http://www.dpreview.com/articles/236...ompact-cameras

The Canon S110 has the advantage of being closest to your budget, and the most pocketable.
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Old 05-24-13, 06:38 AM
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Originally Posted by skycomag View Post
I use a Kodak m-552.
light wgt. take good pic and video.
It can be carried in a cellphone case.
for video I mount to my handle bars and can ck. on the video thru lcd screen.
http://resources.kodak.com/support/s...01208toc.shtml

At the risk of being a camera snob, it's my suggestion that very small compact cameras like Kodak Easy share, (or Canon Digital Elph's or similar) don't make much sense anymore in a world with very capable smart phones. I have a very tiny Canon ELPH that stays in a drawer because it's not any better than my IPhone.

They don't offer capabilities above a good smart phone, and they have significant limitations compared to the "enthusiast's compact" class. The biggest difference is image sensor size. The very small comact cameras may offer high mexapixel counts, but they do it with much smaller image sensors, which means inferior picture qualitiy particularly in low light.

And they don't offer useful controls if you want to shoot other than in an automatic mode.

So again, if you want a basic camera, taking pictures in auto mode, use a Smartphone. If you want a more capable camera that will do more than oyur smart phone, step up a class.
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Old 05-24-13, 06:52 AM
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The biggest advantage in my opinion between a cell phone camera and an elf (at least my cell phone and my elf) is that I can take a photo with one hand easily on the fly with the elf. My cell phone camera requires two hands and a lot of fiddling.
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Old 05-24-13, 07:00 AM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
Here's a round up of the types of cameras I'm talking about.

http://www.dpreview.com/articles/236...ompact-cameras

The Canon S110 has the advantage of being closest to your budget, and the most pocketable.
Great resource. Indeed, something beyond what comes in smart phones these days. Thanks!
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Old 05-24-13, 09:33 AM
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+1 for dpreview.com

I bought a Casio Exilim <some model or other>. It has survived rain in my jersey pocket, it takes acceptable photos.

Controls and menus are simple and quick.

The door for the battery/card compartment is fiddly and looks frail. I'm careful never to leave the camera lying around with the door open - this reduces the risk of it getting broken off, but makes it slightly easier to pick up the camera forgetting that the battery is in the charger or that the chip is in one of our computers. This may apply to other models, I don't know.

The reason I prefer it to a smart phone is that smartphones don't like living in jersey pockets - they like a plastic bag at the very least - I can get the camera out without stopping. Also I think I could roll off the (mountain) bike on the camera without breaking it. Hopefully would never get to test this out though.

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Old 05-24-13, 09:56 AM
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Most all digital compact cameras from a major brand will do a good job these days, pick one in your budget. As far as camera or phone the difference is the lens, if you just want a snap shot of something either will do. If you want a real photograph I still always say use a real camera same as a video camera to me their is no one does all for either.

I use a Nikon DSLR a few in fact and a Small Sony for pocket camera and still use a video cam when needed, phone is for when I have none of those around.
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Old 05-24-13, 11:50 AM
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Beware dpreview, it's an unholy den of trolling and bickering that makes A&S look sane and polite.

Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
Assuming you already have a smart phone with a camera, what I would not do is buy a very small basic camera. There just isn't enough advantage over the phone camera to justify buying cheap compact cameras any more.
Some phones have surprisingly good cameras for what they are. But most don't. And a lot of people have a phone for different reasons that wind up having lousy cameras. Your suggestion is still best for most people, though, because a better camera is still a good thing. Just don't assume everyone has a worthwhile camera in their phone.
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Old 05-24-13, 12:16 PM
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Couple of considerations: Ease of use and screen brightness.... My cell phone screen is damn near impossible to see in bright sunlight.
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Old 05-24-13, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by JTGraphics View Post
Most all digital compact cameras from a major brand will do a good job these days, pick one in your budget. As far as camera or phone the difference is the lens, if you just want a snap shot of something either will do. If you want a real photograph I still always say use a real camera same as a video camera to me their is no one does all for either.

I use a Nikon DSLR a few in fact and a Small Sony for pocket camera and still use a video cam when needed, phone is for when I have none of those around.
Obviously a smart phone camera is not a replacement for DSLR; its not a replacement for a small Sony if that small Sony is an RX100.

However an IPhone 5 camera compares very favorable to a small point and shoot digital camera. Add in that you don't have to buy, or carry a second device, and the case for an IPhone 5 camera over a point and shoot is very compelling.

I'd much rather put $200-300 toward a smartphone, than buy a small point and shoot digital camera with a tiny chip and a crap lens.

And I'm pretty sure that enough of the market agrees with me, that small, inexpensive, digital cameras are going to largely diasappear.

http://www.businessweek.com/articles...hardly-knew-ye

Hence, the recoomendation to go a bit up market, or just get a smartphone with a good camera.
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Old 05-24-13, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by CrankAndYank View Post
Couple of considerations: Ease of use and screen brightness.... My cell phone screen is damn near impossible to see in bright sunlight.
Unfortunately, its getting harder and harder to find a compact digital camera with an optical viewfinder, so they'll have the same problem.

It's the 1 thing I don't like about my S90 (precursor to the S110).
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Old 05-24-13, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
Unfortunately, its getting harder and harder to find a compact digital camera with an optical viewfinder, so they'll have the same problem.

It's the 1 thing I don't like about my S90 (precursor to the S110).
Back in the day I have an 8 x 10 hand-held "point and shoot".
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Old 05-24-13, 12:53 PM
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dpreview is to cameras what bf is to bikes, with one exception - dpreview has reliable information!

for compact's I also think that http://www.steves-digicams.com/ has good reviews.

I had a pocket Panasonic Limux LX-5. I ended up selling it because it's just not that much better than the camera in my iPhone, and the iPhone is always with me. When I want to go out to take photos, I take the DSLR. So, I echo the comments on a cheap camera being redundant in the days of smartphones.

If you want something that'll provide a telephoto zoom (something you can't do with an iPhone), then I guess I can see carrying a separate camera on my bike. The review that merlin linked to is a good starting point, although most of the cameras there aren't going to give you a ton of reach.
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Old 05-24-13, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
Obviously a smart phone camera is not a replacement for DSLR; its not a replacement for a small Sony if that small Sony is an RX100.

However an IPhone 5 camera compares very favorable to a small point and shoot digital camera. Add in that you don't have to buy, or carry a second device, and the case for an IPhone 5 camera over a point and shoot is very compelling.

I'd much rather put $200-300 toward a smartphone, than buy a small point and shoot digital camera with a tiny chip and a crap lens.

And I'm pretty sure that enough of the market agrees with me, that small, inexpensive, digital cameras are going to largely diasappear.

http://www.businessweek.com/articles...hardly-knew-ye

Hence, the recoomendation to go a bit up market, or just get a smartphone with a good camera.
I'll agree that new phones like the IPhone5 do take good pictures but with a very limited range.
The zoom feature is nothing more than cropping a photo so quality is very degraded, that's the difference between a good camera is the fact that the zooming is done by optical means and not digital, by cropping that should be one of the main point when looking for any compact camera if you are looking for a camera that is going to zoom, optical zoom will always give a better sharper photo.
Even a DSLR body with a cheap lens may not (will not) be as good as a mid range compact point and shoot camera, if the image doesn't go in it's not going to come out!
Ok back to cycling Some resources here for you.
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Old 05-24-13, 12:56 PM
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Just bought the Canon S110. Battery is charging... test pictures coming soon :-) Cheers!
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Old 05-24-13, 12:56 PM
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^^ I'm not suggesting that a smart phone camera is a panacea. I'm suggesting that if you want a seperate camera, it makes sense to step up in price a bit to get something clearly more capable than the smart phone camera.
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Old 05-24-13, 01:24 PM
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I use my smart phone for pics most of the time but if I'm riding somewhere scenic I'll pack my S100. The picture quality is noticeably superior to both my phone (Galaxy note 2) and my wife's iphone 5. And I can use it one handed while riding.

I have to admit that I'll put it in a little bento box when i plan on using it. I just don't want to sweat all over it. my phone is always in a ziploc in my jersey so it's a hassle to get out while riding and I would cry bloody rivers if I dropped it and broke it while riding. Cameras are cheaper, usually sturdier and also lack a contract.
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Old 05-24-13, 01:45 PM
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I've been using waterproof cameras for about 5 years. My current one is a Pentax bought about a year ago, but the way companies are always bringing out new models there could easily be a better choice today.

I like the waterproof because I can just keep it in my back jersey pocket, pull it out and shoot pictures or video whenever I want. At this point I know it's buttons by feel and barely have to look at it much to take basic pictures. Sweat, rain or splashes from puddles and creeks (mtn biking) don't bother it. I even dropped one while riding about 15mph and it just bounced twice on the pavement and got a scuff on some plastic. It does not take spectacular pictures; there is a trade-off made to enclose the lens behind waterproofing. But it does take good pictures. My Samsung Galaxy SIII actually takes better pictures but I can't pull that out of my pocket at 17 mph on a rainy day.
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Old 05-24-13, 02:58 PM
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I put my S90 in a jersey pocket, no problem. (turn the lense away from my back to keep sweat from clouding it.

Can take it out and shoot while riding.

This was taken descending in Spain:










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