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Aaron Lastname
(Cloudveil9) - F
New Camera on 03/13/2009 08:56:50 MDT Print View

Alright, not sure if anyone can help me with a new camera selection. I'm used to a Nikon D80. I love it. It's just a bit heavy of course. I've been looking at getting a P&S to lighten up. (I have only ever owned SLR's and DSLR's) I just can't seem to find one with the features I desire, and am not sure if one exists. Might have to stick with the D80.

Here is what I want in no particular order:

1) Lightweight
2) Manual Control of SS and AP
3) At least 10 MP
4) Decent Optical Zoom and wide angle
5) SD/SDHC is a must
6) Image stabilization
7) Good ISO and manual ISO control
8) Manual flash control


1) Waterproof
2) AA Batteries
3) Viewfinder not just LCD
4) Video / HD Video

Also, can someone explain to me why I can't seem to find a P&S that has a decent aperture range? They all seem to only go from a whopping 3-5 or so. Can any get down to 18-20 and still go back that low? It doesn't seem like 3-5 would be that great for depth of field at all...

I might just have to continue to lug my DSLR...But any help would really be appreciated! Let me know if you have any ideas.

Edited by Cloudveil9 on 03/13/2009 08:58:36 MDT.

Jeremy Gus
(gustafsj) - MLife

Locale: Minneapolis
RE: New Camera on 03/13/2009 09:15:37 MDT Print View

My wife is a photographer, so I live a photographers life vicariously through her and thus think I know more about photography than I really do. She has a couple Canon 30d cameras with various lens.

Our p&s is a Canon sd1100 which is what I bring backpacking and I have been fairly happy with it.

However, I would really like to get a Canon Powershot G10. It shoots in raw which is a big bonus for me as this is the only p&s that I know of that shoots in RAW.

Here's in response to with your features:

1) Lightweight 12.3 oz light enough? Our SD1100 is 4.1oz
2) Manual Control of SS and AP Yep, see below
3) At least 10 MP 14.7 MP*
4) Decent Optical Zoom and wide angle *5x Optical/4x Digital/20x Combined Zoom
5) SD/SDHC is a must Yep
6) Image stabilization Optical Image Stabilizer System
7) Good ISO and manual ISO control Auto, High ISO Auto, ISO 80/100/200/400/800/1600 equivalent
8) Manual flash control Yep


1) Waterproof Nope
2) AA Batteries Nope could always get an extra battery or a little solar panel to recharge the LiIon battery
3) Viewfinder not just LCD Both
4) Video / HD Video Yep

Maximum Aperture f/2.8 (W) - f/4.5 (T)
Shutter Speed 15-1/4000 sec. (settable in Tv and M)

Edited by gustafsj on 03/13/2009 09:58:52 MDT.

Aaron Lastname
(Cloudveil9) - F
Nice on 03/13/2009 09:34:16 MDT Print View

Thanks Jeremy, the G10 is about as heavy as I would want to go but it looks nice! The only drawbacks I can really see are the weight, and it looks be kinda slow in the FPS dept.

I guess my question about aperture was what the minimum aperture is on these cameras...Mostly they just list the maximum I think. From what I can tell the G10 has a maximum of 8.

Edited by Cloudveil9 on 03/13/2009 09:38:00 MDT.

Misfit Mystic

Locale: "Grand Canyon of the East"
RE: New Camera on 03/13/2009 09:36:26 MDT Print View

Time is short, so I can't leave a long post but ... check out the Panasonic Lumix LX3. Meets your requirements, and the lens is like nothing else out there for P&S; it's a Leica Summicron 24-60 equiv. with a max F2.0-2.9! Shoots in RAW, full manual control. Check out Ricoh as well, though they can be hard to find.

Misfit Mystic

Locale: "Grand Canyon of the East"
RE: Apertures on 03/13/2009 09:38:58 MDT Print View

Remember too that beyond F8, maybe F11, defraction will become a major obstacle to image quality.

Aaron Lastname
(Cloudveil9) - F
Aps on 03/13/2009 09:54:18 MDT Print View

Good point Scott...

Scott Burrows
(2Dive4) - F

Locale: Austin, TX
Canon G9 / G10 on 04/30/2009 18:07:23 MDT Print View

I don't know if this helps but I am also a long time SLR/DSLR user and an undewater photographer. Mt UW gear (aluminum housing, lense ports, extensions, gears, 2 DSLR bodies, 3 strobes, strobe arms, 3 lenses, O-rings and misc. stuff)take up a Pelican 1610 and a Lowepro roller carry-on case (total weight 84 lbs). I was looking for something similar to your description for an upcoming Grand Canyon river trip that I could also use later as a dive camera. The G9 had been out for a few months and it fit the bill along with it's compact polycarbonate underwater housing.

It shoots RAW, RAW+JPEG, manual exposure, exposure compensation, flash compensation, ISO 80-1600, f/2.8 - 8, 1/1600. It uses a proprietary battery but I shot 600+ RAW+JPEG over 6 days on 2-1/2 batteries. I had 4 available.

I have subsequently used it on a dive trip to Cozumel and have been impressed with it for underwater also. It is causing me to take a hard look at the expense and hassle of travelling with all my DSLR gear. I assume the G10 is pretty close to the G9 since they were released within barely a year.

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: Canon G9 / G10 on 05/01/2009 00:22:46 MDT Print View

The only disappointing thing about the G10 for me is that it doesn't have HD video. Pretty lame for a high-spec P&S camera these days. I'm sure the next version G11 will have it. For now you're stuck with 640x480.

Scott Burrows
(2Dive4) - F

Locale: Austin, TX
Re: Re: Canon G9 / G10 on 05/01/2009 05:44:45 MDT Print View

I'm not sure what is considered HD, and I can't vouch for the G10, but the G9 shoots High Resolution @1024 x 768.

Mark Mendell
(mmendell) - M

Locale: Midwest
Camera on 05/01/2009 06:33:54 MDT Print View

I am also looking to update my camera, an old and faithful Canon G3.

Right now, I'm leaning very heavily to the Ricoh GX200. It is lightweight, shoots raw images, and doesn't use proprietary batteries.

The G10 for its extra weight, is using a pretty small sensor. There was a great thread a while back discussing these matters.

Joseph Reeves

Locale: Southeast Alaska
Lumix LX3 on 05/01/2009 09:00:15 MDT Print View

I'll throw my support to the Lumix LX3. I've used it for travel and hiking the past few months and am impressed. It shoots in RAW, HD video, full manual mode and has a fast lens that works well in low light. I noticed that long distance walker Andrew Skurka uses the LX3, so it must pass the "light" test.

I was reluctant to go with the 24-60 mm lens, but have found that it has worked well for hiking and street photography. I've also gotten over the lack of an optical viewfinder since I can simply turn off the lcd and look over the hotshoe for almost the entire range of the lens. I did buy an inexpensive Helios viewfinder but haven't really felt the need to use it since I live in a rain forest and we don't have a problem with glare from the sun on the screen.

Take a look at Digital Camera Review's summary of the prosumer category

the LX3 comes out on top. They are a bit hard to find in black, but available in silver.

Aaron Lastname
(Cloudveil9) - F
G9 on 05/01/2009 09:32:11 MDT Print View

Hmmm, the G9 looks awesome.

This has really turned into a mind-boggling exercise.

I weighed my Nikon D80 with the battery and lens last night ready to go and it's just under 3lbs. I love the camera but it's a beast for backpacking.

The LX3 looks really good but no viewfinder and seems to be falling a bit behind the MP curve.

I'm also looking at the Nikon P90... 24x Optical Wide-Angle (26-624mm) Zoom-NIKKOR ED Glass Lens f2.8-f5. I'm a Nikon fan...Looks like it weighs right at 1 pound. It says it has movie modes...But no HD. The G9 is as bit lighter.

Misfit Mystic

Locale: "Grand Canyon of the East"
RE: Megapixels on 05/01/2009 11:41:56 MDT Print View

I wouldn't worry about megapixel count too much; to me, the LX3's lower MP is an advantage and a selling point. On the smaller sensor pitches of P&S cameras, increased MP count is getting a little out of hand, to detriment of image quality. I've never felt I needed more pixels with a Canon 5D, which has a relatively low MP density given it's sensor size.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
New Camera on 05/01/2009 15:55:16 MDT Print View

Scott is right about the megapixels.
The LX 3 is at the other end of the spectrum from the P80. You would buy the Pana because you are after the highest image quality and great low light performance from a tiny package, sacrificing the tele end to get that. The Nikon will appeal to those that are prepared to sacrifice image quality/low light performance/weight to get the huge zoom range.
I have not see any digital camera with a greater than 12x zoom that can take crisp , detailed shots over the zoom range.