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Which new camera to get?

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Which new camera to get?

Postby Dancesatmoonrise » Sat Aug 13, 2011 9:09 am

It's definitely time. These two poor old cameras have provided exemplary service, but the beating and abuse they take on some of these trips eventually takes its toll... :(


So... I'm thinking the Canon S95 would be a good way to go, for the f/2 lens, the fairly good high-iso performance, and small size.

Anyone using one of these? Have some samples or a TR with samples of this output?

Others I'm considering - Canon G12 (though a little larger and heavier than I'd prefer), and Canon SX210.

Also toying with the idea of having one of the new SLD cameras (Single Lens Direct, or "Mirrorless.") Mainly the Sony Nex-5. Proprietary lens mount is a big drag, though, and they only have two or three lenses for it as I understand. Anyone with experience with this camera or similar or anyone who has researched SLD's - advice appreciated.

Thanks!

Jim

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Re: Which new camera to get?

Postby kimo » Sat Aug 13, 2011 9:31 am

Hey Jim,
Just two months ago I researched, read about, and viewed hundreds of images taken with the S95, Nikon P7000, and Panasonic DMC-LX5. The P7000 made great pics but was always at the bottom of the review heap. I bought one anyway. The P7000 can shoot in Nikon RAW format and because of that the images would fit nicely into my existing non-Adobe workflow.

So now, after a thousand plus pics, I can suggest what not to buy. The reviews are spot on - the P7000 doesn't meet expectations. The photos are great, but the usability is terrible. It has some profound flaws. If I had a chance to do it again, I'd purchase an LX5. I, personally, don't like the dimunitive size of the S95. Although the Canon body is textured to maintain grip, I wanted a larger body with some kind of grip to hold. The LX5 has that. The image results I've seen from all three cameras is excellent.

I also seriously considered the SLD cameras (the Olympus PEN in particular) due to some fantastic landscapes I've seen posted but decided I didn't want to invest in another system since I'm now invested in the Nikon F-mount format with my dSLR.

Good luck in your search. Whatever you decide to invest in will obviously be put to good use.
Kimo

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Re: Which new camera to get?

Postby Tory Wells » Sat Aug 13, 2011 12:43 pm

The S95 is an amazing camera. I have the S90 and simply love it. I grew tired of lugging a DSLR around so I went searching for a compact digital that performs like a DSLR. The S90 was my choice and I couldn't be happier. It's small enough to run with in my hand (in a neoprene case) and thus perfect for fast and light days in the mountains.
"Tongue-tied and twisted, just an earthbound misfit, am I." -David Gilmour, Pink Floyd

"We knocked the bastard off." Hillary, 1953
"It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves." Hillary, 2003
Couldn't we all use 50 years of humble growth?
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Re: Which new camera to get?

Postby MonGoose » Sat Aug 13, 2011 12:51 pm

I got tired of lugging my SLR on long or technical climbs so I purchased a Canon G12. I absolutely love it!!! It shoots in RAW and JPEG mode, has an ISO from 80-3200 and allows shooting with manual settings. The only downside I can find is 1) video is only 720p and 2) no way to mount a circular polarizer. Everything else about this camera is awesome!

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Re: Which new camera to get?

Postby SkiBikeClimb99 » Sat Aug 13, 2011 2:04 pm

I highly recommend the S95, but be careful. I fooled myself into thinking that I could walk and take pictures and video. I tripped and fell forward on the camera completely destroying the lens assembly. I don't think I would have taken that chance with a DSLR. The nice thing is that Canon had it repaired in a week for about $140 (vs. $450 for a new one).

The only problem I've found with the S95 is that you can very easily change the exposure and ISO settings without knowing it. It has really pissed me off when I got home to find a few summit shots were over exposed on 1600 ISO. I thought Canon had fixed that problem with the S90, but I guess not. You just have to be really careful and double check settings.

Tom

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Re: Which new camera to get?

Postby Mark Curtis » Sat Aug 13, 2011 3:04 pm

Just to preface, I am not affiliated with this company at all......just a long time and very happy Pentax user. Although it's being ripped for its lofty price tag (likely to go down rapidly in the coming weeks) and small sensor size (approx. same size as high end point and shoot), if you really want to go VERY small and light but still have choices on lenses (and a few other DSLR-like features)......there is this:

http://www.photographyblog.com/news/pentax_q/

Pentax_Q_Worlds_Smallest_Lightest_Interchangeable_Lens_Camera_gigogadget.jpg
Pentax_Q_Worlds_Smallest_Lightest_Interchangeable_Lens_Camera_gigogadget.jpg (47.71 KiB) Viewed 1390 times


Pentax_Q_Worlds_Smallest_Lightest_Interchangeable_Lens_Camera_gigogadget-2.jpg
Pentax_Q_Worlds_Smallest_Lightest_Interchangeable_Lens_Camera_gigogadget-2.jpg (41.52 KiB) Viewed 1389 times

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Re: Which new camera to get?

Postby Carl » Sat Aug 13, 2011 3:09 pm

I bought the s95 a couple weeks ago. Heard about it first here (I'm not much into cameras, yet). Climbed mont blanc today and took a few hundred other pics earlier this week in France. Hope to have a TR up later this week, which will show what a not so experienced photographer came up with.

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Re: Which new camera to get?

Postby prestone818 » Sat Aug 13, 2011 3:37 pm

If your looking for a hq p&s I vote s95

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Re: Which new camera to get?

Postby Dancesatmoonrise » Sat Aug 13, 2011 9:50 pm

Mark Curtis wrote:Just to preface, I am not affiliated with this company at all......just a long time and very happy Pentax user. Although it's being ripped for its lofty price tag (likely to go down rapidly in the coming weeks) and small sensor size (approx. same size as high end point and shoot), if you really want to go VERY small and light but still have choices on lenses (and a few other DSLR-like features)......there is this:

http://www.photographyblog.com/news/pentax_q/

Pentax_Q_Worlds_Smallest_Lightest_Interchangeable_Lens_Camera_gigogadget.jpg


Pentax_Q_Worlds_Smallest_Lightest_Interchangeable_Lens_Camera_gigogadget-2.jpg



Mark, this is interesting.

Here is what IR had to say about their prototype:

http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/PENTAXQ/PENTAXQA.HTM


It is basically the "missing link" we may have been waiting for - a compact with interchangeable lenses.
It sounds like the fit and finish is superb. However, it's also interesting that they were unable to comment on image quality with the prototype unit.

It ships this fall - perhaps they will have a std prod model to test and we can get a sense of IQ from this unique unit.

I like the fact that the kit lens is essentially a normal prime - 47mm equivalent at f/1.9. That's hot. And 8.3 oz for body and prime lens - that's even hotter. But the proof of the pudding will be in the image quality - that, I want to see!

They also have a modest zoom lens for the unit.


Ironically, this camera reminds me of something from my childhood. I grew up in Tucson - we used to go across the border to Old Mexico and they had all kinds of interesting toys and curios - among them, this tiny miniature camera, that looked like a then-current 35mm film camera (we're talking 1960's...) only it fit in the palm of your hand. This new Q brings back those memories. But can it hold its own as a serious tool in the photographer's armamentarium? That's the question which remains. I'm curious! And thanks for the heads up on this. We'll have to await the results from current production.

FWIW - I had a G9 and didn't think the slightly increased sensor size really resulted in a significant difference in image quality. So while I want to see the output - I'm hopeful.

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Re: Which new camera to get?

Postby Mark Curtis » Sun Aug 14, 2011 4:04 am

Evidently the sticking point for this camera is the IQ, particularly with noise at high ISO. Sensor size is always a factor in this, and most of the reactions from the photographer world about this camera stemmed from that and why it was so small. Part of the reason was the total size and weight, but they still could have used a bigger sensor and compromised a bit on this. Perhaps just to completely stand out from the rest for the pocketable size and make it seem more like a novelty, who knows. Pentax struggles in the market (despite their quality products) against Canon and Nikon......and viewed the Q as an opportunity perhaps to compete in the mirrorless but interchangeable lens arena with Sony, Panasonic, and Olympus. Most people seem to think it will be an epic fail here in the US....maybe appealing more to the Japanese consumers. Time will tell and the competition is fierce. It doesn't help that Pentax is in the midst of a ownership transition by the more copier known company Ricoh because of the lack of stability perception.

I do not know that much about the backlit technology on the smaller sensor and how much that will aid in the IQ area. I have seen some sample photos and they look as good or better than the best point and shoots. Beyond that, I think it's all a matter of taste and standards. For the price they are asking right now, it will no doubt be a failure in the states with the economy as it is. But as the price goes down and the unique benefits of this camera are bandied about, who knows how it will be received. The K-x was a landmark camera for Pentax (for its sensor and high ISO capabilities) and one of their best sellers in the DSLR field.....but it took a little while for it to be noticed because of the poor distribution and lack of marketing strategies by the aristocratic Pentax powers that be.

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Re: Which new camera to get?

Postby PMurray » Sun Aug 14, 2011 6:34 pm

Purchased a Canon S95 after reading earlier threads here on 14ers.com, including this review ((http://www.kenrockwell.com/canon/s95.htm), which may be more helpful to beyond novice users. I'm a novice, so far using only the P&S features after reviewing the Quick Start instructions. I've been pleased, but assume my pictures may not do the camera justice either. A few examples, hopefully posted correctly:
Copy of Apex Meadow.JPG
Hiking in Grand Teton NP, July 2011
Copy of Apex Meadow.JPG (289.9 KiB) Viewed 1016 times
Attachments
Resized Copy of Democrat Summit.JPG
First 14er, Democrat, July 2011
Resized Copy of Democrat Summit.JPG (225.13 KiB) Viewed 987 times
Last edited by PMurray on Sun Aug 14, 2011 6:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Which new camera to get?

Postby RocksAreNeat » Sun Aug 14, 2011 6:38 pm

If you'd like something with 'near' DSLR quality, but without the mirror and less bulk, look into the Micro 4/3's format cameras. I bought the Olympus PEN E-PL2 a bit before our Rainier trip and for me it has been completely worth the size/weight. The 14-42mm kit lens is great but I also bought a 20mm f/1.7 Panasonic Lumix lens for something low profile that really shines in low light conditions (har har). I'm a complete amateur with photography, but here are some of my trip albums:

Chicago Basin
El Diente/Wilson Peak (Ryan's finisher)

Most of the time I'm pretty comfortable just slinging the camera over my shoulder but for tougher scrambles I found a case that fits the camera really well and just clip it to a shoulder strap. Barely notice it's there.

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