Lightweight small form factor camera for action shots?

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  • Lightweight small form factor camera for action shots?
  • Premier Icon molgrips
    Premier Icon dafoxster

    Currently I have a compact camera which I carry on bike rides but it struggles when I take action shots. I sometimes take my DSLR but it is too bulky when for most rides.

    Can anybody recommend a small and light camera for action shots? Preferably one where I can control shutter speed and aperture with simple controls on the top.

    Also if you have any good shots with your camera please post them up.

    Premier Icon DezB

    Lightweight – check
    Small – check
    Shutter speed control – check

    Canon S95/S100 (whatever is current)

    Focus was difficult as was quite far away with a lot of plants in the way, but the lake jump pics at the BBB came out pretty well

    DrP in some dark woods

    Premier Icon molgrips

    For action ideally you want phase detect autofocus, which no compact cameras have – it’s an SLR thing. The Nikon V1 is currently the only small camera to have it afaik. It apparently works well.

    Premier Icon nickjb

    Lumix LX. Good in low light, fast, loads of things to fiddle with.

    Premier Icon Alex

    The Canon S9x serial is great. I had a couple of the older ones but the pop out lenses failed (they did get very wet). Then went for a cheaper waterproof option Pentax W80 which was rugged but very slow both in terms of AF and processing. And not much good in low light.

    After much research, decided not to go with the Lumix which many like and ended up with an olympus TG-2. Really happy with this, super fast lens f/2.0 and very quick to start up. Also had an insane drive mode of about 45FPS which is pointless but fun. And an aperture mode which is useful.

    Bit chunkier than the W80, but makes up for it in performance. Bought mine off eBay (new) for £220.

    Long Mynd – WMB Classic Ride by Alex Leigh, on Flickr

    Seems good in low light as well but not many opportunities to test that.

    Premier Icon Alex

    Oh and the TG-2 has an AF lock which is pretty cool. Can set it on an object – say a MTB coming towards you and locks the focus on it as it pans by. Means you tend to get sharp shots even if your panning is a bit off.


    Got an Olympus PEN EMP-1 Mini a few months ago. Very small body and easy to throw into a rucksack. I took very bad care of it in Les Arc, just having it in my bag with very little protection and it came through unscathed and that included me having a few big stacks. Its a few years old now so it was cheap, but I’m sure there’s an updated model.

    Sample shots:

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