Nov 16, 2010 at 8:04 pm #1265571
Im in the market for a nice camera for backpacking.
Im looking for minimal weight/ size, and quality of photos. I know how to work a camera pretty good and most likely will not be on the computer messing with photoshop or something like that.
These are a few of the ones I am looking at, Canon s95, Canon sd1400 IS, Panasonic TS2.
What are some pro/ cons of one over the other or if you have any other suggestions please let me know.
Thanks.Nov 16, 2010 at 8:37 pm #1665093
If you are looking for technical reviews of the most modern digital cameras, I suggest you check DPReview.
–B.G.–Nov 16, 2010 at 8:54 pm #1665099
Mark VerberBPL Member
@verberLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
What Bob said… check out dpreview. You listed three very different cameras. The Canon s95 is arguably the best pocketable camera with decent controls and a decent sensor (for a small sensor camera). I would skip the SD1400 image quality just isn't there. The TS2 is nice if you want a super durable camera. I own the TS1 and have used it when snorkeling and other water sports. I don't use it on dry land because the S95 is so much better.
If you really care about image quality you could look at some of the larger sensor cameras like the Sigma DP1/2, Leica X1, or one of the mirrorless interchangable lens cameras such as the Panasonic GF1 (I am fairly happy with the GF1 with the 20/1.7 lens).
–MarkNov 16, 2010 at 11:12 pm #1665154
Thanks for the tips, if the image quality isn't all that great with the SD1400 then I will cross that one off the list.
The cameras like the GF1 have a little to much going on for me as far as controls and what not. also larger and heavier than I wanted.
Basically want something user friendly that takes some great pics. what other cameras are comparable with the S95 that I should be looking at?Nov 16, 2010 at 11:41 pm #1665163
There are many features that some people would feel are mandatory, and other people would feel are wasted. For example, I demand a camera with an optical viewfinder. Many of the newest cameras have only a rear display which uses a lot of battery power. That's why you want to check DPReview and compare the features that you really value and not just what somebody else likes.
–B.G.–Nov 17, 2010 at 2:29 am #1665178
Fred ericBPL Member
@fre49Locale: France, vallée de la Loire
yes definitly have a look at this website
the S95 is a good compact ( i bought one not long ago as a gift for my sister when she doesnt want to bring her canon 450D )
I myself use an LX3 ( the S95 now is better ) or an olympus EP2 either with 20mm 1.7 or the 14-42 depending on the trip ( i may go for the 14-150 )
if you can go with a fixed lens nex could be an option ( the body is light but zoom are heavy if you want one) or maybe if only landscape a GF2 + 14mm ?Nov 17, 2010 at 8:50 am #1665233
I'm also a big fan of dpreview as I contemplate camera gear almost as much as camping gear. Unfortunately though, I know even less about the technical aspect of cameras/photography, so I need someone in the know to give me a push in the right direction.
You might consider looking at this review regarding compact travel zooms. The Casio EX-FH100 and the Samsung HZ35W from that review also seem worthy of consideration…
This, of course, coming from the non-photographer, photographer wanna-be. I don't have any of the cameras in that review. Currently I play either with an older Canon Rebel XTi, or a Nikon P100 superzoom, but I would also like to pare down the size, as I find that I don't carry these bigger cameras as much as I might otherwise.Nov 17, 2010 at 9:16 am #1665240
Actually makes sense
"If you are looking for technical reviews of the most modern digital cameras, I suggest you check DPReview. –B.G.–"Nov 17, 2010 at 10:59 am #1665272
Criminy, another hour+ lost forever.
That's why I should stay away from these threads. They just lead me to more and more reading, and more and more indecision.
Since Mark and Eric both mentioned the S95…any thoughts in comparison to the Nikon S8100?
Just walk away from the computer…Nov 17, 2010 at 12:39 pm #1665299
Check out photographers comments between the two.
I haven't used the Nikon S8100, but I was seriously looking at the S90 (previous version) before deciding I really wanted an interchangable lens system.
EDIT: Short synopis-
"Reasons to consider the Canon S95
Much wider aperture f/2.0 vs f/3.5
Much larger sensor 1/1.7" 7x5mm vs 1/2.5" 6x4mm
Shoots RAW Yes vs No
Has boost ISO 12,800 ISO vs None
Better wide-angle 28 mm vs 30 mm
Smaller 99x58x29 mm vs 104x60x30 mm
Lighter 193 g vs 209 g
Longer exposures 15s vs 4s
Reasons to consider the Nikon S8100
Higher resolution movies 1080p @ 30fps vs 720p @ 24fps
Significantly more zoom 10x vs 3.8x
Much higher resolution screen 921k dots vs 461k dots
Has a CMOS-family sensor CMOS vs CCD
Shoots significantly faster 10 fps vs 1.9 fps
Significantly better macro capability 1 cm vs 5 cm
Much faster max shutter speed 1/4000s vs 1/1600s
Cheaper Around $285.00 vs $380.00 Range"Nov 17, 2010 at 7:53 pm #1665518
Thanks for all the help and comments guys, it really is helping.
I was looking at the dpreview site right now. Is there a section of the top rated ones? Its kind of hard to find the good cameras unless I browse all the brands/ models. I dont really know what ones are good and where to start looking.Nov 17, 2010 at 8:52 pm #1665533
Check the menu for buying guide. Then check for side-by-side comparisons or else feature search. Do that for the ones mentioned in this thread.
–B.G.–Nov 17, 2010 at 9:59 pm #1665553
Thanks Eric for summarizing the differences between the S95 and the S8100. But this is information I had already seen at the the respective manufacturer websites and the side-by-side comparison on dpreview.
I guess what I was looking for, and did not appropriately ask, was what do these differences mean in practical terms when using the two cameras?
How much difference does the sensor (CMOS vs CCD and the size) make to the non-professional photographer? While I understand that a 28mm lens gives a wider angle of view than a 30mm one, how much of a difference is that? Is the difference in macro between 1cm and 5 cm really significant?
In general, I would be looking for a small camera that has good image quality, mostly outdoors, in some low light situations. I am not a movie guy (yet), I do like the ability to zoom in on occasion (especially for wildlife), and I like to play with the exposure to some degree to learn what effects it makes on the picture. I have not played with RAW image processing, and have never really felt that I needed to.
With those things in mind, is there a reason, beyond what the specs say as one might choose one over the other?
Ps: Sorry Paul, I seem to be causing drift from your OP.Nov 17, 2010 at 10:09 pm #1665555
@umnakLocale: Southeast Alaska
Yes, DP review is a great site, though they are playing catch-up since having moved from London to Seattle. Another more narrative blog is The Online Photographer http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/blog_index.html
A recent post asked readers to identify their favorite ( loved) small camera. There were a lot of responses and might be worth a look before you plunge in to a purchase.
I have a LX3 and a GF1. They are great cameras and make good images, though no better than I can compose.Nov 17, 2010 at 11:06 pm #1665566
Rick MBPL Member
delNov 18, 2010 at 7:24 am #1665613
I tried both the S95 and the LX5 for a weekend. Even in manual control, boith produced almost identical pictures. If you want a true 'pocket' camera, the S95 would be a better choice. However, the LX5 kicks it's rear in the HD video department. Both of these cameras, like any pocket camera, produce poor low light pictures. You can play with the ISO all you want but then the picture looks artificial.
For the price of these two, especially the LX5, you can get into an entry level DSLR, which will take far superior pictures as the expense of size. The S95 and LX5 are kind of like the 'do it all camera' but are not small enough to be truly pocketable and do not have the sensor size or quality to produce truly amazing pictures.Nov 18, 2010 at 8:09 am #1665620
The new micro systems/micro four thirds cameras that are smaller and lighter than DSLRs but have the same sized sensors are well worth considering. I have a Sony NEX 5 and the images have a better dynamic range (important for landscapes – it's the range of light a sensor can capture)and better high ISO quality than my Canon 450D DSLR. The NEX 5 with 18-55mm lens isn't pocket-size but it is noticeably smaller than a DSLR.Nov 18, 2010 at 11:15 am #1665659
@erdferkelLocale: S. California
This is another useful website, though they tend to lean towards really high end medium format:
The Luminous Landscape
I would second looking at the Sony Nex-3 and Nex-5. You can choose the lens and it's a APS-C size sensor for much higher image quality.Nov 18, 2010 at 11:22 am #1665661
Greg MihalikBPL Member
OP states "Im looking for minimal weight/ size, and quality of photos."
While the NEX-5 is a sweet rig, when you go with a 18-55 it is no longer small or light. (or inexpensive…)Nov 18, 2010 at 11:43 am #1665671
Back to the OP's desire for a lighter/smaller/quality photo camera, I would recommend the S90/S95. If you require some video goodness then the S95 is your choice, if price is an issue and you don't require HD video then the S90 is your choice. The f2.0 lens is great for low light conditions such as predawn and sunset. If you're not looking to reproduce the images at large sizes and only for sharing on the web and with family you can open up your favorite photo editor and crop "zoom" for your wildlife subjects. Even though I feel that the quality is better in a NEX, it's a different beast and the size and weight doesn't fit the bill here.Nov 18, 2010 at 12:07 pm #1665677
The OP did also say "quality of photos". I think the NEX 5 is the smallest, lightest camera that can be used with a zoom lens and that will produce DSLR quality images. Of course there are plenty of lighter, smaller cameras but these will not produce as good images.Nov 18, 2010 at 12:29 pm #1665684
Rick DreherBPL Member
@halfturboLocale: Northernish California
I agree that no small-chip compact will approach the new "EVIL" cameras–such as the NXs and µ4/3 models–in image quality, much less offer their flexibility. I'll add that the E-PL1 has been on sale lately for $400 with zoom, an astonishing deal.
The newly announced Panny GF2 is the smallest and lightest µ4/3 yet. Reviews are beginning to trickle out.
So many choices….
RickNov 18, 2010 at 12:49 pm #1665694
The NEX is an interesting camera but from the reviews I have read, suffers the poor 'shot to shot' issues that most compacts endure. There is no way to override exposure settings in the auto mode – meaning over exposed pictures in bright light. Apparently battery life is not great either, meaning you would have to bring an additional battery on a longer trip. Even the accessory lenses aren't available yet.
A screw on flash? $699 with the 18 – 55mm lens? Wow.Nov 18, 2010 at 12:59 pm #1665700
There's no poor "shot to shot" issue with the NEX 5 that I've noticed. Exposure compensation is available in the Program mode but not the iAuto mode – the whole point of the latter is that it's a point and shoot mode (which is why I don't use it). But as there's PASM modes it's hardly a problem.
Battery life isn't as good as the Canon 450D but much better than the Sigma DP1
The NEX 5 comes with a small flash unit. I haven't used this except to check it works yet as I'd rather use high ISO speeds – and these are usable on the NEX 5 unlike small sensor compacts.
I did a great deal of research on cameras before buying the NEX 5. I wanted the same image quality as the Canon 450D in a smaller, lighter camera. In fact I've got better image quality so I'm very pleased.Nov 18, 2010 at 2:11 pm #1665730
I have the experiences with the NEX5, but for the sake of the thread, if video is not your bag the NEX3 (slightly cheaper) is identical in terms of photo quality and performance. I also have not used the flash other than to see if it worked because of the great quality of images at high ISO. I accidentally took photos on my last trip at ISO 12,800 by mistake and a majority of them (sans self shots) were usable for web. From what I've read online at photo blogs is that it is better to shoot slightly overexposed and recapture details through software like Lightroom.
My ISO 12800 sample, oops. Guess I should always check my settings before getting all trigger happy.
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.