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May 2016
 

The Bellinghman
Date: 2010-05-12 10:52
Subject: AKICOLJ
Security: Public
My 5 year old Casio Excilim has died. Rather, its lens is not zooming properly, graunching in and out and not actually zooming properly.

So I'm looking for a new camera, one that can fit in a (possibly large) pocket as opposed to a full DSLR. I'm also looking at the possibility of something that I can take down under instead of lugging my DSLR all that way, so a bridge camera of some sort seems indicated. Oh, and the Canon G11, though very nice looking, is more than I'm looking to spend.

So, small, light, decent sensor, good optics, good digital zoom (to go from macro all the way out to telephoto equivalent). GPS tagging looks like a cute idea. Movie clips nice, but not required. Weirdo memory cards disliked (Sony, I'm looking at you) but not a deal-breaker.

Suggestions? Recommendations? Warnings? Digital cameras killed the film industry, you insensitive clod?
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Sarcasticia Nitpickerson
User: tisiphone
Date: 2010-05-12 10:12 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I am greatly in love with my Panasonic Lumix LX3, which fulfils all those requirements except the zoom. However, it is possible to purchase a zoom lens from Opteka for it (which I have not yet done).

(I should note that it does have a macro setting and, I think, 2.5x optical zoom. So it's not that it doesn't zoom at all, just not very much for distance.)

Edited at 2010-05-12 10:13 am (UTC)
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nojay
User: nojay
Date: 2010-05-12 11:03 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Echo this... they are available second-hand on Fleabay for about 2/3 new list price, about 200-250 quid. A lot of pros carry an LX3 as their pocket camera.

Good points:

They're made in Japan and I've always had a high opinion of Panasonic engineering, preferring substance over style.

The low-light capability of a large (by compact camera standards) sensor plus the F2.0 Leica lens makes it a great convention indoor camera when a flash would be intrusive. The 24mm wide-angle capability is a bonus in that sort of situation too. Image stabilisation is built-in. I didn't find the different image formats option (3:2, 4:3 or 16:9) that much use.

Movie mode includes a 720p capability, something I used a lot more than I had planned to do on my recent trip to Japan. The good performance in low light helps here too. It's worth pointing out the 720p movie option only works if you select 16:9 format otherwise it defaults to 640x480 VGA mode.

It can produce RAW files as well as regular JPGs if you're doing technical shooting and plan to hack on the images in Photoshop afterwards.

Light, compact, fits easily into a pocket.

Intelligent flash hotshoe.

Bad points:

The lenscap is very easy to lose and after being used to an automatic lens cover in most compacts you might find that a pain. There is an aftermarket auto-lenscap available that doesn't cost much; most people I've seen with an LX3 have one fitted.

There is no optical viewfinder and the LCD can get washed out in sunlight. The LCD is also fixed, not on a swivel to make framing a shot in awkward situations easier.

It uses a proprietary battery pack, not AA cells. Cheap third-party packs are readily available from Fleabay suppliers, also spare chargers.

The pop-up flash is very small; if you do need flash it's not that much help.
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Sarcasticia Nitpickerson
User: tisiphone
Date: 2010-05-12 11:10 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Mine (3 months old) came with a tether for the lens cap that attaches to one of the strap attachment points. Also came with a decent neck strap, which I promptly set on fire. This is unfortunate, because the strap attachment points are very, very small (it is a twee little thing, isn't it?) and I haven't been able to replace it with another neck strap, but only a wrist strap, which I don't prefer.
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The Magician
User: the_magician
Date: 2010-05-12 17:04 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
It may be a stupidly obvious thing to suggest, but perhaps you could find a friend that's into fishing who could give you some fishing line to make loops that will go through the attachment points on the camera and give you a larger "hole" for a regular strap to connect to?

A touch of glue on the knot of the fishing line will help reassure you it's not going to undo and drop the camera unexpectedly.
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Autopope
User: autopope
Date: 2010-05-12 10:12 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
If the G11 is too expensive, look at the Canon S90. I had one in Japan, took just shy of a thousand snaps with it, and it's now feorag's compact. (Best compact I ever owned, but I wanted something rather more powerful, and when I got home I found micro-4/3 had finally dropped into my price range, so I acquired an Olympus E-PL1. Which is pricier and bulkier than the G11, but crams an entry-level DSLR into a smaller package.)

Disadvantages: the S90 doesn't have the same zoom range as the G11, doesn't have an optical viewfinder, and doesn't have the tilt/swivel display. Otherwise, it's the same CCD and same processor as the G11, in a compact body.

Alternatively, you might want to scope out the Panasonic Lumix LX3. I believe nojay has good things to say about his.

Edited at 2010-05-12 10:13 am (UTC)
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The Bellinghman
User: bellinghman
Date: 2010-05-12 12:56 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'm definitely getting tempted by that LX3. Pop a lens adaptor on the front, and it gets most of the way there with the zoom too.
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Jos Dingjan
User: happydisciple
Date: 2010-05-12 20:22 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I've got an S90, and it am fab.

Looked at the Lumix LX3, but rejected it because of, err, can't remember anymore. Reviews comparing the two have interesting points, with the vast majority preferring the S90 over the LX3.

My main hesitation before buying the S90 was the UI, and specifically the (reportedly) rather free-turning control wheel on the back. But then I found a simple hardware hack that would fix that should it be a problem, went ahead and bought an S90 and... didn't find the control ring a problem at all. Mileage may vary.
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User: pir
Date: 2010-05-12 12:17 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I've got a G9 and haven't yet seen any reason to upgrade further to a G10 or G11. Older versions might be fine for you and cheaper.
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The Bellinghman
User: bellinghman
Date: 2010-05-12 12:42 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
A good point - looking at the specs, if I had the G9 there'd be little advantage to changing to the G11.
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ewx
User: ewx
Date: 2010-05-12 18:03 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I’ve been sticking with second-hand for my non-DSLR camera.
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