nyker wrote:Which Canon models have you used? I was actually looking for a P&S to use in a digiscoping setup, where an SLR is not very practical.
I think it was the 790 that I really loved - got rid of it and wishing I hadn't - couldn't find another one; not current production.
It's replacement for me is the 1200. The 1200 has a lot of issues - but at 4 oz, it's my #1 candidate for winter 14ers. It will also shoot when nothing else will - like in 5 degrees and 50 mph winds.
Lag is an issue germaine to the variety - some better than others, but most all P&S cameras will far underperform SLRs in this department. Auto-focus issues have not been too bad in reasonably low light with the Canons.
The "better" camera is the SX 110. It has the older Digic III which offers a more lteral rendering than the new Digic IV processor - the latter being a little more painter-like - but you won't see the differences except at very high crop ratios. The SX 110 and it's newer counterparts have long tele lengths (10x - 36-360mm equivalent for the SX 110) which is impressive. We were out at the garden today, and went over to look at a route I retro'd in 97. It was late, but not last light, and with the full zoom I was able to get some great zoomed images where we could see the condition of the hardware 100' off the deck - even on the 3" viewer. The camera also sports full manual mode, and uses a pair of AA batteries - handy because you can sub the lithiums for lighter weight and more shots. Total weight is about 9 oz. It's still compact enough to fit in the hip-belt pocket of the pack for 14ers.
I had a G9 for a while - great camera. Quite a bit heavier. Lots of flexibility and capabilities the others don't have. However, the lens, if I recall, was not great, and really no better if even as good as the SX 110 lens. All of these will demonstrate chromatic aberration and most have a significant degree of barrel distortion at wide angle. That darned 1200 has some serious vignetting in one of the corners - though pretty repairable in PS.
Overall the best camera for the weight that I've used has probably been the SX 110.
My favorite SLR lens for the Canon is a Tamron 28-75/2.8. It's not very expensive but tack-sharp across most settings. It doesn't have IS (like VR on the Nikons) and I thought this might be a problem with handheld shots - 95% of my shooting - but it really hasn't been an issue. It's a great low-light performer. I'll probably get a prime in the f/2 or better range, perhaps in the 50-100 mm focal length range. There are several relatively inexpensive choices from Canon.
I haven't tried any of that new variety that Panasonic and Olympus have been pioneering - The concept sounds great for SLR quality at much lower weight and size - though the lack of a large assortment of good lenses (and the high price) have kept me away for now. If I had to get one, it would be the Panasonic. Can't recall the model, but it's the micro-four-thirds format. If it catches on and Canon or Nikon get into it, it could be something to consider for the future. Google "micro four thirds" for more info. Looks promising. But I haven't had one in hand.