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Have some cameras picked, help me choose one
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Paul A
(paul_arc) - F
Have some cameras picked, help me choose one on 11/16/2010 21:04:39 MST Print View

Im in the market for a nice camera for backpacking.
Im looking for minimal weight/ size, and quality of photos. I know how to work a camera pretty good and most likely will not be on the computer messing with photoshop or something like that.
These are a few of the ones I am looking at, Canon s95, Canon sd1400 IS, Panasonic TS2.
What are some pro/ cons of one over the other or if you have any other suggestions please let me know.
Thanks.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Have some cameras picked, help me choose one on 11/16/2010 21:37:47 MST Print View

If you are looking for technical reviews of the most modern digital cameras, I suggest you check DPReview.

--B.G.--

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Have some cameras picked, help me choose one on 11/16/2010 21:54:40 MST Print View

What Bob said... check out dpreview. You listed three very different cameras. The Canon s95 is arguably the best pocketable camera with decent controls and a decent sensor (for a small sensor camera). I would skip the SD1400 image quality just isn't there. The TS2 is nice if you want a super durable camera. I own the TS1 and have used it when snorkeling and other water sports. I don't use it on dry land because the S95 is so much better.

If you really care about image quality you could look at some of the larger sensor cameras like the Sigma DP1/2, Leica X1, or one of the mirrorless interchangable lens cameras such as the Panasonic GF1 (I am fairly happy with the GF1 with the 20/1.7 lens).

--Mark

Paul A
(paul_arc) - F
Re: Re: Have some cameras picked, help me choose one on 11/17/2010 00:12:02 MST Print View

Thanks for the tips, if the image quality isn't all that great with the SD1400 then I will cross that one off the list.
The cameras like the GF1 have a little to much going on for me as far as controls and what not. also larger and heavier than I wanted.
Basically want something user friendly that takes some great pics. what other cameras are comparable with the S95 that I should be looking at?

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Have some cameras picked, help me choose one on 11/17/2010 00:41:44 MST Print View

There are many features that some people would feel are mandatory, and other people would feel are wasted. For example, I demand a camera with an optical viewfinder. Many of the newest cameras have only a rear display which uses a lot of battery power. That's why you want to check DPReview and compare the features that you really value and not just what somebody else likes.

--B.G.--

Fred eric
(Fre49) - MLife

Locale: France, vallée de la Loire
dpreview on 11/17/2010 03:29:45 MST Print View

yes definitly have a look at this website

the S95 is a good compact ( i bought one not long ago as a gift for my sister when she doesnt want to bring her canon 450D )
I myself use an LX3 ( the S95 now is better ) or an olympus EP2 either with 20mm 1.7 or the 14-42 depending on the trip ( i may go for the 14-150 )

if you can go with a fixed lens nex could be an option ( the body is light but zoom are heavy if you want one) or maybe if only landscape a GF2 + 14mm ?

BER ---
(BER) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
dpreview on 11/17/2010 09:50:58 MST Print View

I'm also a big fan of dpreview as I contemplate camera gear almost as much as camping gear. Unfortunately though, I know even less about the technical aspect of cameras/photography, so I need someone in the know to give me a push in the right direction.

You might consider looking at this review regarding compact travel zooms. The Casio EX-FH100 and the Samsung HZ35W from that review also seem worthy of consideration...

This, of course, coming from the non-photographer, photographer wanna-be. I don't have any of the cameras in that review. Currently I play either with an older Canon Rebel XTi, or a Nikon P100 superzoom, but I would also like to pare down the size, as I find that I don't carry these bigger cameras as much as I might otherwise.

Edited by BER on 11/17/2010 10:04:59 MST.

A Wallace
(AdamWallace) - F
Camera Review on 11/17/2010 10:16:34 MST Print View

Actually makes sense

"If you are looking for technical reviews of the most modern digital cameras, I suggest you check DPReview. --B.G.--"

Edited by AdamWallace on 11/17/2010 14:19:23 MST.

BER ---
(BER) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
More time lost on 11/17/2010 11:59:06 MST Print View

Criminy, another hour+ lost forever.

That's why I should stay away from these threads. They just lead me to more and more reading, and more and more indecision.

Since Mark and Eric both mentioned the S95...any thoughts in comparison to the Nikon S8100?

Just walk away from the computer...

Eric Lundquist
(cobberman) - F - M

Locale: Northern Colorado
Re: More time lost on 11/17/2010 13:39:05 MST Print View

Check out photographers comments between the two.

http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=954114

I haven't used the Nikon S8100, but I was seriously looking at the S90 (previous version) before deciding I really wanted an interchangable lens system.

EDIT: Short synopis-

"Reasons to consider the Canon S95

Much wider aperture f/2.0 vs f/3.5
Much larger sensor 1/1.7" 7x5mm vs 1/2.5" 6x4mm
Shoots RAW Yes vs No
Has boost ISO 12,800 ISO vs None
Better wide-angle 28 mm vs 30 mm
Smaller 99x58x29 mm vs 104x60x30 mm
Lighter 193 g vs 209 g
Longer exposures 15s vs 4s


Reasons to consider the Nikon S8100

Higher resolution movies 1080p @ 30fps vs 720p @ 24fps
Significantly more zoom 10x vs 3.8x
Much higher resolution screen 921k dots vs 461k dots
Has a CMOS-family sensor CMOS vs CCD
Shoots significantly faster 10 fps vs 1.9 fps
Significantly better macro capability 1 cm vs 5 cm
Much faster max shutter speed 1/4000s vs 1/1600s
Cheaper Around $285.00 vs $380.00 Range"

Edited by cobberman on 11/17/2010 13:41:26 MST.

Paul A
(paul_arc) - F
dpreview on 11/17/2010 20:53:48 MST Print View

Thanks for all the help and comments guys, it really is helping.
I was looking at the dpreview site right now. Is there a section of the top rated ones? Its kind of hard to find the good cameras unless I browse all the brands/ models. I dont really know what ones are good and where to start looking.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: dpreview on 11/17/2010 21:52:44 MST Print View

Check the menu for buying guide. Then check for side-by-side comparisons or else feature search. Do that for the ones mentioned in this thread.

--B.G.--

BER ---
(BER) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Cameras on 11/17/2010 22:59:48 MST Print View

Thanks Eric for summarizing the differences between the S95 and the S8100. But this is information I had already seen at the the respective manufacturer websites and the side-by-side comparison on dpreview.

I guess what I was looking for, and did not appropriately ask, was what do these differences mean in practical terms when using the two cameras?
How much difference does the sensor (CMOS vs CCD and the size) make to the non-professional photographer? While I understand that a 28mm lens gives a wider angle of view than a 30mm one, how much of a difference is that? Is the difference in macro between 1cm and 5 cm really significant?

In general, I would be looking for a small camera that has good image quality, mostly outdoors, in some low light situations. I am not a movie guy (yet), I do like the ability to zoom in on occasion (especially for wildlife), and I like to play with the exposure to some degree to learn what effects it makes on the picture. I have not played with RAW image processing, and have never really felt that I needed to.

With those things in mind, is there a reason, beyond what the specs say as one might choose one over the other?

Ps: Sorry Paul, I seem to be causing drift from your OP.

Edited by BER on 11/17/2010 23:23:09 MST.

Joseph Reeves
(Umnak)

Locale: Southeast Alaska
Re: Have some cameras picked, help me choose one on 11/17/2010 23:09:14 MST Print View

Yes, DP review is a great site, though they are playing catch-up since having moved from London to Seattle. Another more narrative blog is The Online Photographer http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/blog_index.html

A recent post asked readers to identify their favorite ( loved) small camera. There were a lot of responses and might be worth a look before you plunge in to a purchase.

I have a LX3 and a GF1. They are great cameras and make good images, though no better than I can compose.

here is a recent example from the GF1 in low Alaska light.
Eve at the fire

Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: London, UK
What's important on 11/18/2010 00:06:53 MST Print View

All current digital cameras can produce excellent images in good light in Full Auto mode so it is almost impossible now to make a poor choice. But if you want to improve your skills and learn the art of photography, you should pick a camera that offers P-S-A-M exposure modes, aka Program, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority, and full Manual.

The SINGLE most important technical feature of a camera you should consider is the focal length and "speed" of the lens. EVERYTHING ELSE is secondary. In the case of small pocket cameras, the longer the zoom range of the lens the more flexibility you will have in composing your image. The 24mm-300mm range is the bread-n-butter focal lengths for most photography. Given the choice, I would choose a camera that goes longer rather than wider.

The SECOND most important feature is the overall ergonomics and user interface. A "pocket" camera that doesn't fit your hands or pocket, or is too heavy or with a screen too hard to see, or with menus/buttons too confusing will force you to work too hard for your art. I would choose a camera with the largest/brightest/highest rez LCD that offers quick buttons/dials/soft menu shortcuts for changing shooting mode and exposure settings. A hotshoe for an external flash option would also be a big plus but is pretty MIA on all current pocket cams except the Panasonic LX5. I like the Samsung HZ35W and Ricoh CX4.

Edited by rmjapan on 11/18/2010 00:19:51 MST.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Cameras on 11/18/2010 08:24:41 MST Print View

I tried both the S95 and the LX5 for a weekend. Even in manual control, boith produced almost identical pictures. If you want a true 'pocket' camera, the S95 would be a better choice. However, the LX5 kicks it's rear in the HD video department. Both of these cameras, like any pocket camera, produce poor low light pictures. You can play with the ISO all you want but then the picture looks artificial.

For the price of these two, especially the LX5, you can get into an entry level DSLR, which will take far superior pictures as the expense of size. The S95 and LX5 are kind of like the 'do it all camera' but are not small enough to be truly pocketable and do not have the sensor size or quality to produce truly amazing pictures.

Chris Townsend
(Christownsend) - MLife

Locale: Cairngorms National Park
Have some cameras picked, help me choose one on 11/18/2010 09:09:00 MST Print View

The new micro systems/micro four thirds cameras that are smaller and lighter than DSLRs but have the same sized sensors are well worth considering. I have a Sony NEX 5 and the images have a better dynamic range (important for landscapes - it's the range of light a sensor can capture)and better high ISO quality than my Canon 450D DSLR. The NEX 5 with 18-55mm lens isn't pocket-size but it is noticeably smaller than a DSLR.

Tohru Ohnuki
(erdferkel) - F

Locale: S. California
Re: Have some cameras picked, help me choose one on 11/18/2010 12:15:12 MST Print View

This is another useful website, though they tend to lean towards really high end medium format:
The Luminous Landscape

I would second looking at the Sony Nex-3 and Nex-5. You can choose the lens and it's a APS-C size sensor for much higher image quality.

Edited by erdferkel on 11/18/2010 12:17:04 MST.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Have some cameras picked, help me choose one on 11/18/2010 12:22:37 MST Print View

OP states "Im looking for minimal weight/ size, and quality of photos."

While the NEX-5 is a sweet rig, when you go with a 18-55 it is no longer small or light. (or inexpensive...)

Eric Lundquist
(cobberman) - F - M

Locale: Northern Colorado
Re: Have some cameras picked, help me choose one on 11/18/2010 12:43:56 MST Print View

Back to the OP's desire for a lighter/smaller/quality photo camera, I would recommend the S90/S95. If you require some video goodness then the S95 is your choice, if price is an issue and you don't require HD video then the S90 is your choice. The f2.0 lens is great for low light conditions such as predawn and sunset. If you're not looking to reproduce the images at large sizes and only for sharing on the web and with family you can open up your favorite photo editor and crop "zoom" for your wildlife subjects. Even though I feel that the quality is better in a NEX, it's a different beast and the size and weight doesn't fit the bill here.

Edited by cobberman on 11/18/2010 12:45:17 MST.