Feb 22, 2009 at 11:59 am #1234256
I would really like to get a quality point and shoot. I am seriously considering a Panasonic LX3. However, it's a spendy camera (read: a little out of my price range but I could save up if I can't find anything else that's suitable). It is also a little heavy. Does anyone have a recommendation on a camera that is lighter and less expensive than Panasonic LX3 but still a quality camera?Feb 22, 2009 at 12:16 pm #1479792
It depends on what you are going to use the pictures for. If you are just going to make small prints or use on your pc anything is fine. If you are trying to sell them you should consider a pro am cam. Let us know what your intended use is for. 1.3 mp cell phone pic
This was a disposable camera that has been reduced in quality for the internet
Nikon d40 when we used to live in our car.
All of these have had the quality drastically reduced
AliFeb 22, 2009 at 12:28 pm #1479796
You asked about my intended uses. I'm just a hobbyist and so I'll be using them for personal use but I do appreciate nicely done photos. I have been using my DSLR but I'm trying really hard to lighten my load and so I'm down sizing my camera stuff as well.Feb 22, 2009 at 12:40 pm #1479799
In that case any digital camera for about $150 will work fine. Quality will depend more on using it than what type of camera you have. I have photos published monthy from my Canon g9 but for 90% of what I use it for it is way overkill. Any camera with at least 3mp and a decent procesor will be fine. If it is water resistant or proof and very small you will be more likely to bring it. I also shoot video for resale with my g9 but it is larger than I prefer. I am thinking about switching to my cell phone for the summer. even a bad picture is worth a thousand words. You can still get great film cameras dirt cheap and I will go head to head with the best digital pro cameras in the world with my film point and shoot. AliFeb 22, 2009 at 12:50 pm #1479803
A friend of mine recently purchased a Panasonic Lumix FX37
10.1MP with 2.5" Display, 5x Optical, Image Stabilization and a really nice 25mm Wide-Angle Leica Lens for less then $200. Its small enougt to always bring it along and takes 300 pictures between charges. I've seen the pictures he's taken and was impressed with the camera and am thinking of buying one for myself.
RogerFeb 22, 2009 at 1:10 pm #1479807
@creachenLocale: East Bay
Do you no the weight Roger?? Seems like a great camera.Feb 22, 2009 at 1:16 pm #1479810
Thanks Roger. I agree, this looks like a really nice camera. I just did a side-by-side comparison of ultra compacts at dpreview.com (which was very helpful). By the way the weight is listed as 5.2 oz including batteries at dpreview.com. If you check google shopping there's a hit or two for this camera selling for $179.Feb 22, 2009 at 1:49 pm #1479817
Elizabeth, I've been using the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ5, 9.0 megapixals, 10X zoom (28 -280mm), 3" display, 8.5oz. with battery, $219.00 (6 months ago). The Leica 10X zoom is what sold me. It gives you such a wide range of shooting options (28-280mm), with such little weight gain. IMO well worth the investment.Feb 22, 2009 at 1:53 pm #1479818
te – waParticipant
overall highest rated camera under $200 from reliable sources:
amazon, $110Feb 23, 2009 at 1:35 pm #1480114
I recently deleted my Pana FX36 folder , this is a shot at I had uploaded to Photobucket. The FX36 is a shorter zoom version of the FX37 (less tele
When I tested that one most of the pictures were taken at the widest end. I love the 24-25mm angle of view.
).Apr 27, 2009 at 6:49 pm #1497402
I just went through looking for a new digital camera. One thing that I wanted was RAW mode (unprocessed image data better for processing on a PC).
The cameras that looked good to me that weren't too expensive:
shorter zoom range (5 to 8 oz):
Canon A590 (~$100)
Olympus SP-565 (or older SP570 or newer $$ SP590)
I chose the Olympus SP-565 because I liked the details of how it operates better (after reading manuals). Has a nice panoramic mode.
Some of the Panasonic models without RAW mode seemed nice:
FX35, FX37, and some of the 'travel' cameras with medium long zoom lens.
Have fun with whatever you get.
–WalterApr 27, 2009 at 10:21 pm #1497450
General question regarding cameras with lithium ion batteries (as opposed to AA batteries).
Can you recharge these through the USB connector from your PC?
CheersApr 27, 2009 at 10:25 pm #1497451
depends on the camera, my olympus stylus 1050sw can't, it drains the battery while hooked up to the USB.May 27, 2009 at 8:50 pm #1504015
@iancraeLocale: North Cascades
Can you recharge any cameras from a USB port? This would be a big advantage for me.May 27, 2009 at 11:04 pm #1504035
> Can you recharge these through the USB connector from your PC?
I have been advised that the answer is generally no.
CheersMay 28, 2009 at 11:01 am #1504118
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
Recently bought a Cannon PowerShot SD1200IS camera for under $200. 5.1 oz with battery. 10mp. Has a REAL view finder. Uses standard SD cards.
I wanted to replace my Sony Cybershot, which does not have a view finder and weighs 6.6 oz and uses expensive Sony proprietary cards.
Regarding charging. The Sony has a charging/USB base. So I assumed these cameras charge on USB, just like by Blackberry.
I charged the new Cannon battery in the included charger. Then hooked it to the powered USB hub on my computer system, to test the downloading and other functions. The next morning when I got to the trail head, the battery was dead. I figured the USB drained it, which irritated me, since the Sony charges on USB. When I got home, I saw the Sony charger had a 110V cable and USB (I forgot)… so generally, no you cannot charge with USB. But… so far I am thrilled with the weight and small size of the Cannon.May 28, 2009 at 12:54 pm #1504141
@halfturboLocale: Northernish California
Right, it takes mains current to charge any digicam I've ever used. To emphasize the point, they always loudly advise ensuring the battery is "FULLY CHARGED" prior to a firmware update when hooked up to a PC, because evil things could happen if power were lost during the process.
I suspect the reality is a digicam potentially draws far more current than devices such as ipods that can be charged via USB and thus, have batteries sufficiently large to render it impractical. Either that or they're too cost-conscious to include the needed circuitry to perform the trick.
RickMay 28, 2009 at 3:17 pm #1504178
Fortunately my Canon A95 has an external power input socket. No, this won't recharge the batteries (4*AA), but at least I can and do power the camera from the mains while downloading pics. Yes, as noted, the USB connection eats power!
Looks like two battery packs (swap over) and a solar charger are the answer. It may have to be a custom solar charger system though, as I haven't found any good light portable ones so far. And it will depend on whether the battery pack is 3.7 V or 7.4 V too.
CheersMay 28, 2009 at 3:35 pm #1504184
Not the cheapest or lightest – but as the proud owner of this camera, bought after seeing the stunning results from this camera and brilliant HD videos I can only suggest, leave something else behind and sell something….it is amazing and well worth every penny/once!!!Oct 5, 2009 at 11:23 am #1533141
@backpackerchickLocale: Planet Earth
I just got the LX3. Much smaller than it looks!Oct 25, 2009 at 1:09 pm #1539529
I am awaiting delivery of a Canon s90. I was originally going to but a LX3, but wanted something smaller. Ability to shoot RAW and a wide and fast lens were all things I wanted. I also do a lot of surf photography, usually with a DSLR and a BIG lens, but Canon makes underwater housing for the s90, so I'm looking forward to getting some in-water shots (probably next season).Oct 25, 2009 at 3:48 pm #1539581
@verberLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
I have a LX3, a S90, and the Panasonic GF1. The GF1 wins on image quality but is it 2x the weight and cost. The S90 is the only one that fits in a normal size pocket. The LX3 has better resolution than the S90 and the lens goes wider. It all depends on what you are looking for which is "best"
The Panasonic LX3 has the widest angle lens (24-60) which has a maximum aperture which ranges between 2-2.8 and the sharpest lens of the compacts with a zoom lens. I found the LX3 to be a little large for my pants and shirt pockets. It does fit my my side cargo pockets but feel heavy their… so it travels around my neck or in the pocket of my backpack which is reachable without removing the pack. I found image quality good to ISO 200, decent to ISO 400 with some processing, and usable with post processing to ISO 800. The "lock" is in a good locking and can be focus, exposure, or both; one time or sticky. The LX3 is the most photographer friendly camera when it comes to the menu system and settings. The combination of the quick menu joystick and dedicated buttons makes adjusting most settings quick and easy. I just wish they had two dials rather than using the joystick to adjust exposure: up/down changes values, side to side switched between aperture/speed and EV comp. I also wish the "Play" was a soft button rather than a switch. I have periodically pulled out the LX3 to take a picture and accidentally put it into play model. By the time I realized what I did I lost the picture. I like the ability to set a maximum value used by auto-ISO. The LCD display is not usable in bright light. You will be shooting pretty much blind unless you use an external optical viewfinder.
The Canon S90 is the smallest option were I don't cringe at the image quality. The S90 seems to have a very fast start-up. This is my favorite every moment carry camera because it actually fits into my pants or shirt pocket. A downside of the size is that the S90 feels a bit awkward in my hand… the shutter release doesn't feel quite right and I would prefer the thumb wheel to be higher. I don't like the menu system for the S90 as much as I like the LX3. It's too easy to accidentally change a setting. One advantage over the LX3 is that the custom setting and manual are completely independent of the P/T/A. With the LX3 there are some values which are global across all of these settings. I found that the S90 controls noise better than the LX3. Good to ISO 400, decent to ISO 800 with processing, manageable at 1600 with post processing on the raw images. At the short end of the lens this camera has the same minimum aperture as the LX3 giving the S90 a 1-2 stop advantage in low light, but it loses that advantage at maximum zoom. I found the lens/sensor doesn't seem to have the same resolution as the LX3. If you turn up the brightness of the LCD you can see the screen even in the worse lighting conditions.
The Panasonic GF1 is in no way pocketable… unless you are talking about a coat pocket and it's significantly heavier and more expensive. In low light you get 1-2 stops over the it's smaller sensor cousins but doesn't compare to the higher end DSLRs. Resolution (with a sharp lens like the 20/1.7 or leica glass mounted in an adaptor is significantly better than the compact cameras. At low ISO levels I found image quality to approach good DSLRs. Higher levels the DSLR pull ahead. I haven't done head to head comparisons with the Leica M8.2 but there was a comparison on Reid Reviews where the G1 (very similar to the to the GF1) had close to the same resolution at the center of the frame, but then clearly fell behind on the edges. Not too bad that is a factor of 10 less expensive. The LCD display is marginally usable in bad lighting conditions… not as good as the S90, but better than the LX3.
There are lots of good reviews (much more completely than above). Several offer tools to compare images taken by each of these cameras to each other.
–markOct 25, 2009 at 7:41 pm #1539646
@backpackerchickLocale: Planet Earth
There are a few. Among them:
And of course your phone cam.
USB port has very low current output.
BTW, I love the wide angle of the LX3. COOL. Limited zoom though. I'm a real amateur and I'm really satisfied. Yes, viewfinder and retractable lens cover would be sweet.Oct 26, 2009 at 9:06 am #1539797
Thanks for a great mini-review. You certainly answered most of my questions. But I do have one other….
Did the G11 ever enter into your mix of considerations, and if so, what moved the S90 to the top of the list?
Thanks.Oct 26, 2009 at 10:30 am #1539822
@verberLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
> Did the G11 ever enter into your mix
No. I picked up the S90 to be a every day carry (can go into my pocket) and to be used on backpacking trips that weren't about capturing images. IMHO, the G11 is too big and heavy for those applications. If I am going to carry something the size and weight of the G11 I want better performance… those are the times I use the GF1. [The GF1 lives on my courier sack which is often, but no always with me.]
Besides compared to the G11 the S90 was cheaper, smaller, and lighter with a max aperture of 2.0 rather than 2.8 with the same sensor. The zoom is shorter, but I rarely want more than 85mm (35m equiv) on a small camera so the 105mm -vs- 140mm isn't an issue. For backpacking I think it's a no brainer.
That's not to say that the S90 is superior in all ways to the G11. Maybe people will prefer the G11 ergonomics and the G11's swivel screen can be quite useful. Finally, the G11 likely has a better lens… though I haven't see a detailed analysis comparing the quality of the lens of the G11 and the S90… this is just a guess on my part.
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