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Photo Forum Everything on Travel Photography, from what kind of equipment to how to light a subject, moderated by Stuart (Reggie) Martindale, a pro English photographer
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  #1  
Old 20 Jan 2010
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Question Compact trip camera: size a major factor.

I have toyed with a few ideas regarding cameras over the last year.

I have a D-SLR, 2 SLRs, and a compact digital:a Canon Powershot 710 IS . Realistically, I would take both digitals on our next trip.

As a replacement for the compact, I recently thought about one of the new cameras with HD video capability, but I'd also value any input on simply physically small cameras: the "fit in the top pocket without making me look like like I have one D cup breast" type...

So: smaller the better, but musts include decent image quality, decent battery life, decent robustness. on top of that the wider the angle on the lens, the faster the lens, and the better the zoom, the better...
If it happens to have HD, fantastic!!

So suggestions?
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Last edited by Warthog; 19 Feb 2010 at 21:10.
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Old 21 Jan 2010
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Compact cameras

Hi Warthog,

We've been considering the same thing. I've already got a Nikon D40 SLR which is a great combination of size and performance, but we needed something that could fit in a top pocket, shoot high quality stills and even video (720p HD).

We settled on the Canon IXUS 120 IS. It's 12.1MP and according the marketing spiel is the most compact wide-angled (28mm) camera on the market. It has 4x optical zoom.

It takes great pictures, is really small, feels sturdy (it doesn't have the touch screen of others which on our trip would be just one more thing to go wrong) and importantly for us uses HDSC cards meaning it's interchangeable with the SLR.

Highly recommended.
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Old 21 Jan 2010
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I would check out the Panasonic LX3 and GF1, both great little cameras.
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Old 21 Jan 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motoreiter View Post
I would check out the Panasonic LX3 and GF1, both great little cameras.

Can't find the LX3 in dpreview and the GF1 looks like it costs more than my bike!!
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Old 21 Jan 2010
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I have a Nikon Coolpix S6 FS at silly price if you are interested!
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Old 21 Jan 2010
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Hey Warthog:

The LX3 whilst awesome is a little short on the long end, being 24-60mm in 35mm equivalent focal length.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 Review: 1. Introduction: Digital Photography Review

I still am thoroughly under the impression that the GF1 is the solution.
on your person with the 20mm lens and the other lenses close by, a one camera setup.

G
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Old 22 Jan 2010
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The answer to the LX3 shortcomings is the Panasonic Lumix TZ7.

I'm still getting to grips with the features but I'm really pleased so far. HD recording, wide angle with 12x zoom--25-300mm (35mm equivalent) zoom.

You would need a spare battery but you can now get compatible ones with the appropriate chip on eBay.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ7 Full Review, Digital Camera Reviews on CNET UK

Panasonic premieres ZS3 / TZ7 with AVCHD lite video: Digital Photography Review

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ7 Review - Digital Camera Reviews - TrustedReviews
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Old 22 Jan 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Cullis View Post
The answer to the LX3 shortcomings is the Panasonic Lumix TZ7.

I'm still getting to grips with the features but I'm really pleased so far. HD recording, wide angle with 12x zoom--25-300mm (35mm equivalent) zoom.

You would need a spare battery but you can now get compatible ones with the appropriate chip on eBay.
This is good to hear, as I need a camera smaller than my Nikon 35mm SLR. I had narrowed it down to the Panasonic detailed here or the Samsung wb550 see here Samsung WB550 Black

It was the battery price and longevity that put me off the Panasonic, as they could only be had from Panasonic and cost over £40. It is possible to change the cameras firmware back to the older version, these do not check the battery for the chip so allow you to use aftermarket batteries.
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Old 23 Jan 2010
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This is one I bought off eBay for £12.49 incl p&p. It has an upgraded decoding chip. It works fine and is in the camera at the moment.

Really fast delivery, it arrived the following day.
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Old 23 Jan 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Cullis View Post
This is one I bought off eBay for £12.49 incl p&p. It has an upgraded decoding chip. It works fine and is in the camera at the moment.

Really fast delivery, it arrived the following day.
Odd I replied to this hours ago, but the reply has disappeared.

Thanks for the info. I may well go down this route as i believe the lense is a good one.
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Old 28 Jan 2010
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Compacts

If you want ultra compact and rugged ... think about getting a camera that does not have a pop out lens. The "power on lens out" types (i.e. most of them) dont seal against dust or moisture very well when the going gets tough.

A more closed set up like the Sony TX1, with a non moving zoom lens, sliding metal lens cover, and HD video is something to consider. Its also just 16mm thick (about 5/8 inch)

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Old 28 Jan 2010
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Any thoughts on the Pentax W80?

Pentax Optio W80 digital camera specifications: Digital Photography Review
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Old 29 Jan 2010
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Size a major factor?

Warthog.

For someone who amongst everything else wanted to carry an axe through international borders/customs (another thread) to save buying an axe locally, I really do not understand a desire to save the amount of space offered by the very small variables of weight and size of compact digital cameras.

My best advice is to use what you have and already know how to operate.

But keep it in a waterproof container if venturing off roads into river crossings or bogs - I know:-((
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  #14  
Old 29 Jan 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony P View Post
Warthog.

For someone who amongst everything else wanted to carry an axe through international borders/customs (another thread) to save buying an axe locally, I really do not understand a desire to save the amount of space offered by the very small variables of weight and size of compact digital cameras.

My best advice is to use what you have and already know how to operate.

But keep it in a waterproof container if venturing off roads into river crossings or bogs - I know:-((
Why assume that everything I buy is geared solely to that trip to Kamchatka?

That is not the case with the axe, and would not be the case with the camera. I ceratinly hope to visit other places in the mean time, locally or otherwise, Ural or Transalp: I won't need an axe for that...

I would like a small, top-pocket camera. My existing digicam is not particularly small, tough, wideangle, HD nor waterproof. In its favour it uses AA batteries, has a reasonable zoom and a view finder, but any digicam with the features mentioned above would it very attractive to any traveller on a bike...

Neither is it only to do with space...To carry it, I need a tank bag, or to keep it in the pannier. Neither is as convenient to use as a camera in one's breast pocket.
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Old 12 Feb 2010
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DSLR quality in a compact

Other threads have mentioned the increase in quality that comes from the much larger sensor in a DSLR. There is a big difference in quality however I like to travel light and wouldn't take a DSLR with me while travelling by bike.

I have just looked at the Canon S90 and Lumix LX3 which both have a larger sensor than most compacts, and shoot raw (but the sensor is still a long way short of a DSLR). The S90 seemed a bit flimsy to me. The LX3 felt a bit more robust but still has very small buttons for people with big fingers, or gloves. In the end I went for a Sigma DP1s which has a 28mm fixed lens and DSLR sized sensor in a very compact body. Not everyones cup of tea but I thought I would give it a go. Clifton cameras have them at a very good price at the moment and offered 7 days return if I wasn't happy with it. It should arrive tomorrow. Hopefully it matches up.

Iain
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