I did a lot of searching last night & there are a dizzying array of choices, just looking at Canon! Sometimes, I wonder if the picture quality & stabilization are all similar, with the differences being features. Found the G11, SD950IS, SD990IS with viewfinder & the SX130 IS without...
Thoughts not so far expressed here:
1. Most of the Panasonic Lumix PnS's have a slider-type on/off switch rather than a button - this is a very glove friendly feature. I'm not aware of any other brands that have these slider switches.
2. The optical view finders, when you can still find them, don't generally show the full photo frame - so what you see is not what you get.
3. Even though the LCD's are very difficult to see in bright daylight, they show enough to allow "rough" framing based only on whatever elements do remain visible. So, I find that an optical viewfinder, therefore, is not really necessary.
4. It's not difficult, after a little practice, to shoot while with your gloved left hand while riding. You will need to be able to operate your on/off switch and compose your shot without even seeing the LCD (not as difficult as it may seem). The camera should be tethered somehow to you or the bike. This doesn't mean you can't occasionally stop and compose some shots more thoughtfully - but sometimes stopping is not really possible.
5. Nowadays, all cameras come with some kind of photo editing software. Or you already have it on your computer. This is why you can set your camera to "automatic" and only approximate your framing - "post processing" is the motorcyclist's friend!
6. Batteries: I like the AA-powered cameras, but camera-specific batteries do allow improved camera performance and more compact bodies.
Last edited by Sailorlite; 11-05-2010 at 04:19 PM.
Priors: '13 K1600GT, '08 R1200RT, '04 R1150RT, '05 R1200GS, '73 R75/5.
And check the location of a mode dial if the camera has one. My biggest complaint with my P&S is that the mode dial can be bumped in normal handling which means I have to actually glance at the camera to see it is still set up the way I want. If I don't glance I may find that I took a video of whatever the camera was pointing at while dangling from its tether.
On a non rangefinder camera, I picked up a Delkin stick on shade for the lcd screen at Wallyworld. It only cost a few bucks and greatly helps seeing the screen in sunlight and folds almost flat on the camera when not in use.
Al From Chgo Burbs
BETTERMENT THROUGH BADGERMENT
I've bought a few digicams over the years for home and work. Steve's Digicams and DP Review are great resources, if a little too detailed. For a $100-200 camera I would check the reviews at Amazon or Newegg.
The last camera I bought for work was a Canon SD1300. It has a proprietary Li-Ion battery. We have an extra battery so that one is always charged. It also has image stabilization. This is worth its weight in gold in low light situations.
The last camera I bought for myself is a Panasonic Lumix. I picked it up on clearance at WalMart during the West Bend rally. The Canon PowerShot I brought to the rally crapped out (again). So I went looking for a cheap camera. At $100 for the camera, batteries and two SD cards, I was set. Some times cheap is good.
The camera I'm using the most now is in my iPhone 4. It does a decent job for snap shots. Plus I can email pix right from it. Any current smartphone can do this.
Robert Peterson | Cary, NC | 68820
cat herder and pixel pusher
While all the compact point and shoot cameras from the major brands are all neck and neck in terms of quality and features, the Panasonic Lumix series has a larger Lieca lens for high quality photos. The Panasonic ZS7 adds a GPS which can help when using a program such as iPhoto which can show all the locations of the photos.
As far as the original question: Fits easily in the pocket, easy to work controls, and takes high def 720p movies.
Random comments as to cameras:
1. I have a Olympus Camedia C-50 that takes every bit as good of pictures as my newer tiny Nikon Coolpix-that said the older camera is same size ,twice as thick.FWIW, both camers will fit in the same pockets on any clothing I wear.The old camera would bring $5 on ebay, the newer ones are far more$$$!
2. If you depend on reading glasses the newer cameras with so called "larger screens" and no view finder are sort of useless! There are hardly any view finder compacts on the market.Most require the move up to a "better camera".The comment as to what "the camera sees"-you need to learn whats in the picture after you snap-thats easy with a digital!
3. This past summer I took a picture of Denali (in fullshow!) while standing beside a Swiss guy with a very expensive large format camera-I'm talking it being a several K camera! and asked him to email me his photo, thinking whay not have a really good one when the mtn is showing so well. He did, and I defy you to tell them apart.
4. Look for deals online(ebay) from sources like Murphy Camera that sell stuff with a warranty you can take to the bank and for much less than MSRP or Best Buy retail stores. Wally world also sells out the older models cheap.Some are camera store display or simply last years model.
5. I have read comments from (I know some camera freak will shoot this one down) experts to disregard the pixel race and go for the features you really need. An example of features that really matter: Bikes go fast and don't like shutter lag-for me the frustration with shutter lag(having used-lugged around- a very good 35mm for years)is in trying to capture a grandchilds facial expresion,etc., with my Coolpix and its lag time! Can be impossible if not frustrating.
6. Before I'd get confused on camera choice, I'd buy a cheapie on ebay that seems to fill the bill and if you don't like it,relist it and try another.
I went to Best Buy yesterday & felt & smelt a few cameras... I really dig that Panasonic Lumix ZS7, well, they had the ZS5 for the same price online retailers are selling the 7 for, but the FEEL of that model was great. Image stabilization worked great at low light in the store. The Canons & picked up fared OK, the SX130 seemed to shake more & the buttons were not as easy to find/use. The Canon S30 or something was nice, but too big for a pocket...
I'm usually a Canon guy for my cameras, but I think I'm going with the Panasonic this time...
A review and another reason to LOVE the Panasonic:
And the ZS7 has:New "Happy Mode" (only in Japan...) optimizes color, saturation, and brightness to make photos stand out
And, it come in RED!New "Sonic Speed AF" promises much faster focus times and less shutter lag
We're Lumix fans in our family, and I have been borrowing my wife's ZS5 for touring.
I like to carry it in one of my suit chest pockets, and found it just a tad heavy, so I got the "baby brother" model, a ZR1, which weighs just 4.8 ounces.
The ZR1 also fits in a Lowepro camera case, which the ZS5 won't.
And yes, Voni, I got a red one.
This is one of the pics I took on my first trip with it (re-post):
"When you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there."
The Panasonic Lumixs, in general, have what photographers call "wide" lenses - making them especially well suited for scenery shots. You get more in your frame, which for motorcycle touring is more useful than big telephoto power.
Last edited by Sailorlite; 11-09-2010 at 12:48 AM.
Priors: '13 K1600GT, '08 R1200RT, '04 R1150RT, '05 R1200GS, '73 R75/5.