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'[EE] Looking for decent but small camera'
2012\05\18@170427 by Dwayne Reid

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Good day to all.

I just spent the morning on-site at a customer's location and was thinking that it really was too bad that I wasn't documenting my work with pictures.  We do that all the time in my shop and I used to do so on-site with my Sony Mavica CD-1000 camera.  That camera took GREAT pictures but its just too darned big to pack around anymore.

So: I'm looking for a small camera that has a decent macro mode and reasonable zoom range - 5:1 would be great.  Great battery life from rechargeable "AA" cells would be a bonus.

This doesn't have to be the cheapest camera available - I don't mind spending extra money for extra performance.

Do note that I'm NOT looking for a professional or semi-pro camera like Canon's high-end stuff.

I should also mention that I live in Canada and would prefer to purchase from somewhere in North America.

Any suggestions gratefully accepted.

Many thanks!

dwayne

-- Dwayne Reid   <spam_OUTdwaynerTakeThisOuTspamplanet.eon.net>
Trinity Electronics Systems Ltd    Edmonton, AB, CANADA
(780) 489-3199 voice          (780) 487-6397 fax
http://www.trinity-electronics.com
Custom Electronics Design and Manufacturing

2012\05\18@171325 by Bob Blick

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On Fri, May 18, 2012, at 03:04 PM, Dwayne Reid wrote:

> So: I'm looking for a small camera that has a decent macro mode and
> reasonable zoom range - 5:1 would be great.  Great battery life from
> rechargeable "AA" cells would be a bonus.

Hi Dwayne,

I've owned several brands of point'n'shoot cameras, here is my
subjective review, in order.

1. Canon. Fast, most consistent focus.
2. Panasonic Lumix. Huge zoom range. Unpredictable battery life. Random
focus. Internal lens elements sensitive to vibration.
3. Kodak. Good color and battery life.
4. Fuji. Lousy color.
5. Olympus. Good pictures but bad user interface.
Bob


-- http://www.fastmail.fm - Access your email from home and the web

2012\05\18@172924 by Dave Tweed

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Dwayne Reid wrote:
> So: I'm looking for a small camera that has a decent macro mode and reasonable
> zoom range - 5:1 would be great. Great battery life from rechargeable "AA"
> cells would be a bonus.

I have a Canon Powershot A495 that I like very much. Nice optical zoom
(to 3.3x, electronic zoom beyond that) and a very good macro mode. Good
life from two AA alkaline batteries; I haven't tried it with rechargables.

It was recommended to me for its macro mode by a friend who uses one to take
extreme close-up pictures of flower parts.

-- Dave Twee

2012\05\18@182634 by Vinicius

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Take a look at the Ken Rockwell site, in Recommended Cameras (compact and people cameras):

http://www.kenrockwell.com/

Vinicius

Em 18-05-2012 18:04, Dwayne Reid escreveu:
{Quote hidden}

>

2012\05\18@192024 by Spehro Pefhany

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At 05:04 PM 5/18/2012, you wrote:
>Good day to all.
>
>I just spent the morning on-site at a customer's location and was
>thinking that it really was too bad that I wasn't documenting my work
>with pictures.

Along with "big gun" DSLRs, I have both a Nikon  S8100 and a Lumix DMC-ZS7
(very similar point-and-shoot cameras), bought expressly for documenting projects,
procedures, and business visits to remote locations.

I prefer the Lumix-- battery life is good (though you can't recharge the battery
in the camera), it has built-in GPS and 12x optical zoom (with true aperture, not
just a neutral density filter). The Nikon is similar (10x zoom) but a bit flimsy-feeling doors
and the on/off switch is too easily accidentally activated. Both have good video and
are quite compact.

That said, by the time anyone much real-life experience with these little point and shoot
cameras, they're probably obsolete (neither of those models are current!).

BTW, they're much better than either the cameras in an iPad3,  but of course that is better than
nothing.

--sp

2012\05\21@062727 by Walter Banks

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Bob Blick wrote:

{Quote hidden}

It is worth paying for the rechargeable version of Canon camera's.
My experience is the ones with 2 AA's do not work well with
rechargeable AA's the ones with rechargeable factory batteries
(I have three Canon cameras an old powershot and more
recent one one with factory rechargeable one AA's  and a
DSLR whose factory rechargeable works great )

I was disappointed with Kodak the optics are good but the
JPEG compression leaves soft images when shooting something for technical
content.

w..

2012\05\23@161228 by Dwayne Reid

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I very much appreciate the camera suggestions.  Thanks, especially, to everyone who pointed out shortcomings of the various cameras that others suggested.

I've purchased a Canon S100 that I can play with for 14 days before I'm stuck with it.  This choice was based on visiting Ken Rockwell's site as suggested below.

Its more money than I had intended to spend but I tend to take good care of my stuff and it should last me until it becomes completely obsolete.  That's what happened to my last expensive camera purchase: its a Sony Mavica CD-1000 that still works very well (and takes *gorgeous* pictures) - but is just too darned huge to pack everywhere.  I still use it in the shop, though.

Now I've got to learn how to take pictures again - its been a LONG time since I packed the Mavica camera with me everywhere.  I've never been a good photographer but the law of averages says that if you take LOTS of pictures, once in a while you will get a good one.  And I have gotten some decent pictures over the years.

What prompted the search for a new camera was being at a customer's site and wishing that I could permanently document some work that I was doing.  The Mavica used to do that for me before I got tired of packing it everywhere.  This new camera should be able to do most everything that the Mavica could do, just in a much smaller package.  I do plan to purchase the Canon belt case that Ken Rockwell suggests and I'll start carrying it with me on my belt - and see if is unobtrusive enough to stay there over the long term.

I'm sure that I'll miss that huge but gorgeous lens that the Mavica has - I'm absolutely convinced that it is that lens that enabled the Mavica to take such great pictures.  But I'll try to adapt <grin>.  This new camera also has less zoom range: 5x instead of 10x.

For what its worth, I purchased the demo unit from my favorite Future Shop store here in Edmonton (Canada) - it was the only unit that store had available.  I could have waited a couple of weeks for new stock to arrive or drive 30 klicks to a distant store that did have new units in stock but I quite liked the 10% discount that they offered for the demo unit.  I also purchased their 4 year extended warranty - I usually regard those extended warranties as rip-off items but I'll begrudgingly pony up the money for expensive items.

The camera wound up costing Can $370 ($449 list) after they added in some other discounts, plus another Can $120 for the 4-year extended warranty.  They also sold me a 32GB class 10 SD card for $30, which seemed reasonable.  I may or may not keep the warranty, though.

By way of comparison, my Sony Mavica CD-1000 cost something like $1600 when I purchased it more than a decade ago.  That was after trading in my Mavica FD-88 (floppy-disc camera) for credit.

Anyway, thanks again!

dwayne


At 04:26 PM 5/18/2012, Vinicius wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2012\05\24@001727 by William \Chops\ Westfield

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On May 23, 2012, at 1:12 PM, Dwayne Reid wrote:

> Canon S100

I'm a big believer in pocket cameras.  We've had reasonable luck with Nikons,
starting with the Nikon S1 that I got for my wife after having an interesting conversation with the camera-store salesman (he pointed out that one of the biggest failure modes of such cameras is lens motors, and the recessed lens of these cameras helps prevent that.)  We progressed to an S51 (daughter) and an S70 (wife's S1 replacement.  I now carry around the S1 with my wallet.)

(It's pretty rare to get a 5x zoom in really tiny cameras like that, though..  Also, I personally don't like not having an eye-level viewfinder.)

BillW

2012\05\24@075047 by Mark Hanchey

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On 5/23/2012 4:12 PM, Dwayne Reid wrote:
>
> I've purchased a Canon S100 that I can play with for 14 days before
> I'm stuck with it.  This choice was based on visiting Ken Rockwell's
> site as suggested below.
>

I purchased a canon S150is last year and have been very happy with it. One of the cool things about canon cameras
is that it is possible to load alternative firmware using chdk. It doesn't replace the cameras firmware , it is placed on the card and the camera will load it and run it as long as the power is on, when powered off and the card removed the camera will revert to its main firmware. It adds a lot of features like the ability to save pics as RAW, exposure settings, bracketing, longer exposure times, etc.

http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/CHDK

Mark

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