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Old 7th of March 2006 (Tue)   #1
Kevinch
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Default Another "Which Camera?" Post

Hello Folks - been a member for a little while, but this is my first post.

I'm looking for a small digital, either a compact or ultra compact. I definitely want something that will at least fit into a motorcycle jacket or vest pocket. It should be an "all around" usage camera, as it will accompany me on a 6,000 mile round trip of the USA in May of this year.

I've sort of narrowed my choices down, but still have my head spinning! Although some of these are not Canon cameras, I have seen mention of other brands within this board. Also, this site appears to have a lot of active participants that are willing to take a few moments to help someone out, so I thought I'd post here.

I'm looking for opinions to help me decide on 1 of the following:
  • CANON S80
  • CANON SD550
  • SONY T-9
  • SONY N-1
  • FUJI F10
  • CASIO EX-Z750
As I mentioned, size is really important here. Ultimately, I'd prefer a "shirt pocket" sized camera - but I'm willing to give up a little there to gain some in other areas. For instance, a broader usable ISO range (without a ton of noise - Panasonic was dropped for that reason) to accommodate both indoor & bright outdoor shots; a better flash, & maybe an optical viewfinder are some areas I might be willing to go up a little in size - but it must be able to be carried in a pocket at minimum.

I'll probably also have a laptop with me (I know - bikers with laptops - what's next?) to download from the camera for storage & to email pics from the road. Ease of downloading would also be a plus. Software included isn't too critical as I use PS Elements - unless PSE doesn't have something that I'd need for the choice made. (These are not as important as taking quality pictures!)

Finally, this camera will supplement a DSLR purchase made later in the year. Anywhere I don't wish, or want, to take a DSLR is where this camera would go.

I have roughly $400 or so to spend on a camera before buying an extra battery, high capacity cards, etc.

I just previewed this post - I hope it isn't too long! Thanks in advance for helping.
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Old 7th of March 2006 (Tue)   #2
Jethro790
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Default Re: Another "Which Camera?" Post

Hey there! From a fellow biker, I'll put my seal of approval on the SD550. I love mine, but I'm also getting a S3 IS when they arrive. The big zoom of the S3 is awesome. I also like the idea of using AA batteries rather than the rechargeable of the SD series. I always thought that the rechargeable was the way to go, but for road trips I really want a AA powered camera.

Also keep in mind that Canon is about to release the SD700IS, an image stabilizing camera capable of ISO800.

Sorry I can't comment on the others- I don't even consider a camera if it isn't a Canon. Brand loyalty for 30 years.
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Old 7th of March 2006 (Tue)   #3
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Default Re: Another "Which Camera?" Post

Forget the Casio and the Sony's, they might make good calculators and TV's, but they are still a little behind when it comes to cameras.
You can't go wrong with the other 3, it just comes to what features you need.
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Old 7th of March 2006 (Tue)   #4
RossW
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Default Re: Another "Which Camera?" Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jethro790
...I also like the idea of using AA batteries rather than the rechargeable of the SD series. I always thought that the rechargeable was the way to go, but for road trips I really want a AA powered camera.
Jethro -- I don't want to hijack the thread, but you mention AA and rechargeable batteries as if they are mutually exclusive. If the S3 is anything similar to the S2 when it comes to batteries, you will definitely want to get some AA rechargeable NiMH batteries. Standard alkalines won't last very long at all. It's very handy to be able to pick up regular AAs anywhere on the road in a pinch, but rechargeables are still the way to go.

We now return this thread to the original question about cameras for bikers.
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Old 7th of March 2006 (Tue)   #5
Diminished29
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Default Re: Another "Which Camera?" Post

Forget the megapixels and high ISOs, they're just marketing gimmicks on these small sensored point and shoots. If you want low noise and lots of megapixels, I suggest you get yourself a DSLR. Keh.com has a used 300D on their site in "excellent" condition for $465.

Otherwise I suggest you get a Powershot S2, it has a great 12x zoom with IS which will not only be decent for nature shots when coupled with a 1.5x teleconverter, but will also make getting those blurred backgrounds for portraits much easier with its longer focal lengths.
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Last edited by Diminished29 : 7th of March 2006 (Tue) at 21:47.
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Old 8th of March 2006 (Wed)   #6
Rubberhead
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Default Re: Another "Which Camera?" Post

The Sony cameras you listed are not toys and can take great pictures in the right circumstances.

That being said, the S80 is the only camera (of the Canons and Sonys) that you listed that has Tv, Av, and M modes.
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Old 8th of March 2006 (Wed)   #7
Jethro790
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Default Re: Another "Which Camera?" Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by RossW
Jethro -- I don't want to hijack the thread, but you mention AA and rechargeable batteries as if they are mutually exclusive. If the S3 is anything similar to the S2 when it comes to batteries, you will definitely want to get some AA rechargeable NiMH batteries. Standard alkalines won't last very long at all. It's very handy to be able to pick up regular AAs anywhere on the road in a pinch, but rechargeables are still the way to go.
I use those lithium batteries from Radio Shack. They last a long time in my GPS, even when it's below zero outside. Recharging doesn't work for me on the motorcycle, becasue when I road trip I usually camp. The lithiums are $$$, but not an issue. My buddy uses the standard alkalines in his S2, and he is very happy.

Sorry for the second hyjack!
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Old 8th of March 2006 (Wed)   #8
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Default Re: Another "Which Camera?" Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubberhead
The Sony cameras you listed are not toys and can take great pictures in the right circumstances.

That being said, the S80 is the only camera (of the Canons and Sonys) that you listed that has Tv, Av, and M modes.
good point. the s80 also has RAW capability, not sure about all the others.
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Old 8th of March 2006 (Wed)   #9
Kevinch
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Default Re: Another "Which Camera?" Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jethro790
....but I'm also getting a S3 IS when they arrive. The big zoom of the S3 is awesome. I also like the idea of using AA batteries rather than the rechargeable of the SD series. I always thought that the rechargeable was the way to go, but for road trips I really want a AA powered camera.
I saw the SD700 on Canon's site, but it's not scheduled to be available until April & I'm leaving in May. If their timing is off, it might not be out in time. Also, I need to stay around $400 or so - maybe $450, I'm not sure what the SD700 will be selling for. The S3, even if it was available, is just way too big. I'll be with a group & we'll be in hotels every evening (sharing the room cost with 1 friend, possibly 2), so recharging shouldn't be an issue.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Diminished 29
....If you want low noise and lots of megapixels, I suggest you get yourself a DSLR.
Otherwise I suggest you get a Powershot S2, it has a great 12x zoom with IS which will not only be decent for nature shots when coupled with a 1.5x teleconverter, but will also make getting those blurred backgrounds for portraits much easier with its longer focal lengths.
I couldn't agree more on the DSLR, & I will be making that purchase in the not-too-distant-future! But again, at the risk of being redundant, this camera will have to be at least a compact. Anything larger will become a nuisance, and subsequently locked & stowed away, & I won't have it on my person as much. I understand that you can do a lot more with a larger camera in a different format, but I have to make that compromise here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubberhead
The Sony cameras you listed are not toys and can take great pictures in the right circumstances.

That being said, the S80 is the only camera (of the Canons and Sonys) that you listed that has Tv, Av, and M modes.
What attracted me to the S80 was the wide angle lens & I believe the flash is stronger than the others I have listed - is that correct? The extra amount of manual control is nice too. It's a little bigger than the others; I went to the local Best Buy last night hoping to handle one but they didn't have any in stock.

Thanks for all the input & suggestions - but I guess the question I'm asking is:
If you found youself requiring a digital camera that can be pocket carried (normal sized jacket pocket as the biggest size) for general, overall use which of these - or another that might not be listed here - would you buy? Please don't consider existing storage media or other equipment you might already have - just based on the camera itself.

Last edited by Kevinch : 8th of March 2006 (Wed) at 10:39.
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Old 8th of March 2006 (Wed)   #10
Diminished29
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Default Re: Another "Which Camera?" Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by spencer87
good point. the s80 also has RAW capability, not sure about all the others.
They actually took that away with the S80, unfornately, the S70 is the last to come with RAW capabilities.
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Old 8th of March 2006 (Wed)   #11
Rubberhead
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Default Re: Another "Which Camera?" Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevinch
If you found youself requiring a digital camera that can be pocket carried (normal sized jacket pocket as the biggest size) for general, overall use which of these - or another that might not be listed here - would you buy? Please don't consider existing storage media or other equipment you might already have - just based on the camera itself.
That's exactly where I was and I ended up with a Sony DSC-P200 with no regrets. It has 7.2 Mega Pixels and a Carl Zeiss lenes.
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Old 9th of March 2006 (Thu)   #12
Kevinch
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Default Re: Another "Which Camera?" Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubberhead
That's exactly where I was and I ended up with a Sony DSC-P200 with no regrets. It has 7.2 Mega Pixels and a Carl Zeiss lenes.
Ironic that you mentioned the P200. It was my first choice; in fact I have a friend who works at Sony here & I inquired of him what he might be able to get on for at the Sony Employee store. He came back that the camera is being discontinued & they won't be getting anymore in. Then I started looking around the internet & saw some postings concerning internal dust issues with the P series cameras. They are still availabe for around $250 & I was strongly considering a purchase. However, the reported dust problems & Sony's decision to discontinue the P series entirely has me considering the above list. I was dissapointed; other than a weak flash it seemed the P200 was close to ideal & if not for Sony's reputation for terrible Customer Service after the purchase, I'd probably have rolled the dice on one.
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