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Kenneth Cowan
(zeros) - F

Locale: California
CANON S95 alternatives? on 02/24/2011 13:52:31 MST Print View

For a small, pocketable point and shoot with optimal lens/sensor quality, is there any other camera i should consider for backpacking?

Any warnings from current owners?

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: CANON S95 alternatives? on 02/24/2011 14:17:05 MST Print View

Hi Kenneth,

The Panny LX5, the Oly X-Z1, the Ricoh GX200 and--if you're feeling daring--one of the Sigma DP twins all come to mind.

The S-95's biggest shortcoming is no way to fit an auxiliary finder (optical or electronic) which assures you'll be shooting blind on sunny days in a lot of situations. Mind that all those alternatives are a little larger--the S-95 is really quite tiny.

Happy shopping,

Rick

Kenneth Cowan
(zeros) - F

Locale: California
low light on 02/24/2011 15:31:27 MST Print View

Thanks for your post Rick!

The Sigma and Ricoh lens numbers seem inferior in low light,
which i'll be shooting a lot more of than bright.

The Olympus and the Panny are surely tempting but i'm actually
prioritizing compactness over features this time.



Any other ideas on that note?

Edited by zeros on 02/24/2011 15:32:11 MST.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: low light on 02/24/2011 16:01:27 MST Print View

Friends of mine around here have shown me their Canon S90 and S95 cameras, and I have been impressed by the packaging. For a backpacker looking to keep things tight, I could see going that way. Of course, for others, the top priority goes to the quality of the photos, like for instance the lack of color noise in high ISO settings.

--B.G.--

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: low light on 02/24/2011 16:07:46 MST Print View

Hi Kenneth,

No quibbles from me over the S95's smaller size and lower weight--it has no equal right now. My two further thoughts are the poor battery life (plan on carrying spares) and the 28mm eq wide angle, which is bested by the significantly wider LX5.

It's a small field (high quality compacts that shoot RAW) and we're lucky to have several to choose from. I would be happy to carry any of them.

Cheers,

Rick

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: low light on 02/24/2011 16:53:36 MST Print View

"...the 28mm eq wide angle, which is bested by the significantly wider LX5."

Well, a 24 equiv is better than a 28 equiv, but I'd don't know about 'significantly'. I will start to drool when it gets down to 20 equiv.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: low light on 02/24/2011 16:55:48 MST Print View

I wonder if any of those new compact cameras have trouble using a polarizer?

So many inexpensive compacts have that weakness.

--B.G.--

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: Filters on 02/24/2011 17:34:35 MST Print View

Hi Bob,

I don't know of any that accept a screw-on filter directly. Better models will offer an adapter for mounting a filter and hood. My LX3 and DP1s both do and the Ricohs do. I don't know about the Canon S and G series or the Nikon P series.

Cheers,

Rick

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Filters on 02/24/2011 17:42:26 MST Print View

That's what I was afraid of, Rick. I hate to find out those facts after I buy the camera. I'll stay in the world of the 32-ounce DSLR with a heavy lens.

--B.G.--

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: Melbourne
CANON S95 alternatives? on 02/24/2011 18:52:42 MST Print View

Cokin make an adaptor to use their A size filters with compact cameras. (A300)
http://www.cokin.fr/ico15-B.html
BTW, a 24mm lens has (about) a 20% larger field of view than 28mm.
Franco

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: CANON S95 alternatives? on 02/25/2011 00:56:25 MST Print View

I have the S90. I think it makes the best trade-offs if you want a camera that can fit in pants pocket. There are little annoyances like the rear dial is a bit too easy to bump and change settles, and the screen washes out in bright sunlight (but is good enough to frame the shoot). but overall it works well.

If you are talking jacket pocket, then there are a number of other decent quality small sensor cameras like the Panasonic LX-5, Olympus X-Z1, which are roughly equiv to the S90/S95. There are also some larger sensor cameras which have better sensors / image quality which fit in jacket pockets including the Panasonic GF1 + 20/1.7 lens (what I often use), Sigma DPx, Leica X1, and the soon to be released Fuji X100 which looks like a real winner.

--Mark

Kenneth Cowan
(zeros) - F

Locale: California
travelin light on 02/25/2011 09:56:35 MST Print View

"Panasonic GF1 + 20/1.7 lens (what I often use), Sigma DPx, Leica X1, and the soon to be released Fuji X100"

I'd love to walk with any of these but being on a tight budget, it seems the s95 is great bang for the buck (and so tiny!). I have the 5d2 with the 24-70 f2.8 for bigger jobs but what a heavy beast it is to lug. I was even thinking about selling the 5d2 to buy a more packable Bessa R or Mamiya 6 w/ 50mm lens... As soon as I finish this video project in May...

I feel like I've lost a lot of what I initially loved about photography by graduating from a Nikon FE, to a bulkier Nikon D100, to the bulkier Canon 5d + 5d2. I feel so conspicuous with that thing, even in wilderness environments.

JJ Cale was spot on. "Travelin' light, it's the only way to fly."

And many thanks Mark for commenting on your s90!

Cheers :)

Edited by zeros on 02/25/2011 10:45:14 MST.

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: travelin light on 02/25/2011 10:53:29 MST Print View

The "pocketable" paradigm emerges in many compact camera discussions. I've found that urban pocketable and backpacking pocketable are two distinct things. The LX3 for example (since I have one) doesn't easily fit into a jeans or shirt pocket so I generally carry it in either a belt case (nerd alert!) or jacket pocket or, in shorts weather, a cargo pocket. Hiking I either slide the carry case onto my pack's shoulder strap or put the camera in a cargo pocket, wrapped in a bandana for impact and dust protection.

If the LX3 were smaller it wouldn't make a sliver of difference hiking, but would make it simpler to tote in town. Since I can get 400+ frames per battery I don't need to tote a spare unless I'm going overnight (I seem to average about 200 shots/day).

YMMV

Rick