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your choice for good camera reviews?
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USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
your choice for good camera reviews? on 01/23/2012 08:59:35 MST Print View

I think I need to replace my Kern River dunked Canon. Looking for a easy to operate PnS now. Good zoom, light, backpacking jigglingproof, I guess the pixels only have to be 6 for good quality. Under $400. Your source for good reviews, I checked last night, looking to pull the trigger soon on another camera.


Greg F
(GregF) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
DPreview on 01/23/2012 09:12:15 MST Print View

Check out DPreview. For P&S they do group tests of most of the leading cameras. I would check out the waterproof tests, the Travel zoom tests and the super zoom tests

The superzoom review is a little datad as all of the cameras would have new models by now. I think the Travel zoom test is probably what you are looking for.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: DPreview on 01/23/2012 09:14:47 MST Print View

That's where I looked a lot when searching for my camera.

Over a year ago I went with one of the travel zooms. If I were to do it again, I'd opt for a smaller zoom but better sensor.

Edited by T.L. on 01/23/2012 09:15:24 MST.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
How much zoon, zoom? on 01/23/2012 11:25:01 MST Print View

Explain the sensor part too please, I can figure out a few things reading reviews. My 2.5 year old Canon had great digital zoom, not sure I need that much now. I was looking at a couple reviews last night and I'm not sure I want a wide angle camera, seems the photo gets distorted some. I'll check tonight the mentioned site.


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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: How much zoon, zoom? on 01/23/2012 11:50:46 MST Print View

Duane, first of all you have to understand that "digital zoom" is crap. All that does is digitally crop the image to the center. Optical zoom is much more useful, and that is done by the lenses and structure of the camera.

Some cameras optically zoom from very wide to a little bit long. Others zoom from a little bit wide to very long. Those two types might have the same number for its zoom power, but you will get totally different results at the wide end and at the long end. To some extent, the broader the zoom range, the more useful a single camera/lens is. However, the broader the zoom range is, the more compromises must be made in the lens design. In other words, it isn't perfect.

The more megapixels that you have in the sensor, the more megapixels can be in the image. That just allows you to print to a larger size, like a poster. Very few people are printing large these days, so that much is kind of a non-issue. Having more megapixels allow you to crop to the center to get a long range photo of a small subject. Yes, that is about the same as digital zoom. So, some people get this done with heavier and more expensive optics. Others get it done by cropping to the center.

By getting a fairly modern camera with a fairly modern sensor design, you will probably get a sensor with cleaner "color noise." Older sensors tend to be a little rough around the edges with this. If you are not a pixel-peeper, then you may not see the difference.


Will Webster
zoom / megapixels / noise on 01/23/2012 12:29:09 MST Print View

Another thing to keep in mind is that (all else being equal) for a given number of megapixels, a physically smaller sensor will suffer from more digital noise. The corollary to this is that for a given sensor size, more megapixels means more noise. DPReview includes sensor size in their reviews and their comparison tables. Last time I checked, all the superzooms used very small sensors. 12x zoom may sound good, but unless you're limiting yourself to shooting in bright light and displaying on the web you may not be satisfied with the image quality.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: How much zoon, zoom? on 01/23/2012 12:30:50 MST Print View

What Bob and Will said.

My camera has a 14x optical zoom and some kind of digital zoom. The digital zoom is so crappy that I've turned off the feature so I'm not tempted to use it or accidentally zoom into digital range.

The 14x zoom has been nice a few times, but as you zoom you lose image stability unless you have a tripod. I'm not carrying one in the backcountry (some people are very happy to do so) so if I zoom in a lot, often I get a degradation of picture quality because I can't hold the camera still enough. It's also not the best in low light.

More often I've wanted a camera that can produce a nicer picture than one that can zoom in on a distant object. I realize that a lot of photography has to do with the user, but a good quality camera can't hurt.

I think the numbers behind zoom and MP are two areas where camera marketers get a lot of their sales from.

Edited by T.L. on 01/23/2012 12:32:14 MST.

Will Webster
zoom and MP on 01/23/2012 15:25:45 MST Print View

"I think the numbers behind zoom and MP are two areas where camera marketers get a lot of their sales from."

Yup. Just like "bombproof" sells packs and tents. So there's a lot of junk out there aimed at people who dabble. Unfortunately there aren't a lot of cottage industry folks making little cameras.

The good news is that things may be changing; there are some exciting products coming out in the mirrorless camera market. Not UL by any means but a lot lighter than and just as capable as a DSLR.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: zoom / megapixels / noise on 01/23/2012 15:42:45 MST Print View

Superzoom is fine, just make sure you're satisfied with how bright it is at the short end. A 3X zoom is never going to catch wildlife pictures on the other side of a canyon. It just doesn't put enough pixels on the target like a longer zoom can. You might have to find a way to stabilize your camera, but at least it's possible.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
SX10 on 01/23/2012 19:09:40 MST Print View

I have the Canon SX10. Zoom, I have the better one, I was thinking the digital zoom was the better one. Its been almost three years since I did my research for a camera for my Alaska trip back in 2009. I'll do some reading tonight.


Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Re: How much zoon, zoom? - Travis on 01/23/2012 19:11:17 MST Print View

"The 14x zoom has been nice a few times, but as you zoom you lose image stability unless you have a tripod."

Travis, you don't use trekking poles?

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: your choice for good camera reviews? on 01/23/2012 19:16:18 MST Print View

Duane, are you only looking for new? I've got a Canon Powershot A710IS (review here: that I no longer use. Good shape. I'm happy to sell it for $200.

Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: London, UK
compact hiking camera on 01/23/2012 21:36:18 MST Print View


Edited by rmjapan on 06/19/2015 07:30:48 MDT.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Used? on 01/23/2012 22:49:31 MST Print View

Doug, let me ask the shop, Im headed there this week to ask about a S95, Elph 100, SX230HS. What is bad about the A710IS shutting the LCD down to recharge after a flash? I would rarely use a flash, just wondered about that.

Update, when to Gordon's and they somehow got my camera to work a little better. Not sure if exposure to temps in the 30's and lower cause it to act up some, still takes good pics. I'll test it some more. They also mentioned it may still have some moisture in it from my dunk in the river. I'll see what I can do to remove more moisture. Thank you for the help.


Edited by hikerduane on 01/24/2012 18:50:51 MST.

Aaron Reichow

Locale: Northern Minnesota
Re: your choice for good camera reviews? on 01/25/2012 10:02:01 MST Print View

I've been in the market for a new camera for the last few months, wanting to replace my Canon SD1000 with something that allowed for a bit more manual control. Having had good luck with Canons, I initially constrained my search to Canon. The main option for that from Canon were the Canon SX220HS and SX230HS. I started looking elsewhere after reading about the SX2x0HS's poor battery life.

I ended up deciding on a Nikon P300, which is a nice little compact with manual control. Only 4.3x zoom, but I rarely used the 3x zoom on old Canon and would rather have a bright lens than a zoom I don't really use and can't use effectively without a tripod. Nice 24mm f/1.8 wide angle lens. Just received it last week, and I'm quite happy so far.

The cameras I encountered in my search worth checking out are:

High Zoom
- Canon SX220HS (w/o GPS)
- Canon SX230HS (w/ GPS)
- Nikon S8200
- Sony DSC-HX7V
- Sony DSC-HX9V
- Panasonic ZS8
- Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5

Low Zoom
- Nikon P300
- Canon S95
- Samsung TL350
- Samsung TL500

All the above are under $400 have high average of reviews on Amazon (4-4.5 stars). I ended up with the Nikon P300 at $240, but if money was no object I'd probably have gone with the Canon S95 (~$350) or Panasonic LX5 (~$350).

Edited by areichow on 01/25/2012 10:26:34 MST.

Brian Austin
(footeab) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: your choice for good camera reviews? on 01/25/2012 17:04:27 MST Print View

You are better off getting a 1 or 2 year old camera that was top of the line PnS at that time then a lower grade camera today.

Ebay/Craigslist. You will get twice the camera for half the same money spent.

Only thing that devalues faster than a camera is a wedding dress.

On dpreview search older reviews. Go to reviews and scroll down the list. Get reviews from starting 2 years ago.

Save yourself a bunch of money and the images will still be the same.