What small, high quality camera for touring and riding?

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  • What small, high quality camera for touring and riding?
  • SkillWill
    Member

    I have a Canon S100 that fits a lot of the above. There is an updated model now, S110 I think? Highly recommended.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Olympus TG-2. Good camera, if it gets dirty you just rinse it off under a tap, or in a stream.

    marczr
    Member

    Highly recommend a Nikon V1, should be able to find it at good compact prices. Small light, 10mp of quality pixels, evf, good lenses. They were bad mouthed a lot, but at the prices you can get them now they’re a steal.
    Don’t play well with flash though, and manual focus sucks. but the dedicated lenses focus much faster than most dslrs
    Expect to pay about £320 with a bit of hunting, for the body and 10-30 kit lens. Not f2.8, fast primes are available though.

    alpine girl
    Member

    I’ve been really impressed with my Panasonic Lumix LX3. No optical view finder.

    Some of the best shots (all taken on automatic mode)here:

    TG1 would be my recommendation. Excellent quality, bombproof, simple USB charging.

    redpanda
    Member

    The Lumix 3 pics are excellent; show what the camera can do more than printed specifications. Would really like an optical viewfinder though.

    Nikon V1 is a ‘system’ camera, which I’m trying to avoid. Add a good zoom and it becomes a lot bulkier.

    Really like the style of the Fuji x100, but it’s only got a fixed lens. Something like that with a good zoom would be perfect.

    shermer75
    Member

    VERY happy with my Canon Powershot SX210 IS

    Premier Icon nickjb
    Subscriber

    I really like my LX3. Loads of settings to play with and takes great pics in a wide range of light. You can get an optical viewfinder that sits in the flash shoe if it is a deal breaker.

    Premier Icon Baldysquirt
    Subscriber

    I have a Canon S95 (now up to S110 as mentioned above). Fantastic little camera which produces great IQ in most light conditions. The control ring round the lense is a stroke of genius. A very short zoom and lack of viewfinder are its main limitations, but neither are a deal breaker for me.

    shermer75
    Member

    No optical viewfinder tho, and no faster than 3.1, so pretty sh1tty suggestion all round really…

    akak
    Member

    I don’t think they make the camera you want, get the cheapest crop sensor dslr in the same system as your main camera and keep it in a handlebar bag?

    robj20
    Member

    Sony RX100, very nice camera, i replaced my DSLR with it.

    redpanda
    Member

    akak; any DSLR is simply too big. I want something that’s pocketable or near enough.

    Premier Icon SimonR
    Subscriber

    I like my Olympus XZ-1 – relatively compact with a nice fast lens. Very happy with the results so far.

    It replaced a Canon G10 which I also really liked. XZ-1 image quality is up there with the G10 but in a much smaller package. Response times of the G10 (start up, focus and flash charge) were noticeably quicker though and battery life was much better.

    jp-t853
    Member

    Is a Canon G15 too big?

    It meets your spec list

    grum
    Member

    RX100 is the best if budget allows. Olympus XZ-2 is worth a look as well.

    lex
    Member

    I have an LX3 as well (I also have a 7D DSLR) and it is amazing. I actually find it too small. Its a bit fiddly to operate in manual mode.

    Have been looking lustfully at the Sony RX100ii. Had a play in the shop and it’s next on my list, very nice camera, built like a tank. Not cheap though.

    redpanda
    Member

    I’m after something that I can take everywhere with me, as my DSLR and lenses is just too big and bulky to cart about. I’ll be cycling in Spain for a couple of weeks soon, so would like something for then really.

    Requirements are; excellent low-light capability, high quality lens, easy to use from switching on, fast shutter response and preferably an optical viewfinder. Going from a full frame DSLR, I know I’ll have to compromise, but as little as possible really. Ability to shoot RAW is essential. Don’t really need a massive zoom range; something like 24/28-80/100mm is good. An f2.8 lens or faster is also essential.

    Any recommendations, based on actual use rather than manufacturers’ spiel?

    Thanks.

    redpanda
    Member

    “Is a Canon G15 too big?”

    No, it’s just small enough. As is the Nikon P7700. Or the Fuji X10/20. The Nikon lacks the optical viewfinder though, but is cheaper than the Canon. Seems that there’s a small group of cameras of this type that would probably serve my needs best. The Sony RX100 has a huge sensor for a compact, but the lens drops down to f4.9 at the long end which is a shame. And it’s not cheap.

    Narrowing things down though. Thanks for the input.

    lornholio
    Member

    Canon S90/S95/S100/S110 as suggested above. No optical viewfinder, yes, and a slower lens that you’re looking for, but very worthwhile compromises for the small and light package.

    Premier Icon beanum
    Subscriber

    The Sony RX100 really is amazing, it’s so configurable. The low light ability of it is fantastic, especially with the Dynamic Range or HDR modes.
    Having said that, if you have the space for a G15 etc that sort of camera might be better suited to being chucked into a cycling pannier or dropped/rained on…

    messiah
    Member

    I have a Panasonic Lumix GF2 which I’ve had for a few years and really like (Linky).

    With the Pancake lens on I can take it everywhere, and with the 14-42 its a bit more versatile for pics of the kids etc. No optical viewfinder but I now find myself confuddled when I use a normal SLR 😐

    Far more camera than I probably need but it takes good pictures.

    Premier Icon kiwijohn
    Subscriber

    I really like my Fuji X10. I use the viewfinder a lot during the day when the screen can be hard to see. The new X20 would be better though.
    F2.0 – 2.8 at full zoom.
    Not too big or too small. The RX100 felt too small & fiddly to me.

    Premier Icon sweaman2
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    Another Canon S100 user here – all I really use now.

    Premier Icon brassneck
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    I have a Panasonic Lumix GF2 which I’ve had for a few years and really like (Linky).

    With the Pancake lens on I can take it everywhere, and with the 14-42 its a bit more versatile for pics of the kids etc. No optical viewfinder but I now find myself confuddled when I use a normal SLR

    Can echo all of that really, especially it being more camera than I need!

    Picked one up as an end of line in Currys for £180 with the 14-42 lens, just need to find the pancake lens cheap now

    mangatank
    Member

    Another for the Sony RX100. The Tirpitz of compact cameras.

    Here’s the brilliant ‘Chinese Jeremy Clarkson’ with a review 😉

    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmEbcxNUY6U[/video]

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    I would always go tough for my biking camera.

    daftvader
    Member

    Ive just been through this for the last few months. My needs were similar to yours with a view finder (I have shakey hands and need the extra controll) tough, small, good functions and tunability and fast af/lense speed and I finally went for the canon g15. .. picking it up today and really looking forward to using it.

    Although I own an Olympus TG2 and it’s great for outdoorsy stuff, I don’t think it quite meets the requirements set out in the OP.

    Takes decent enough pics and has a fast’ish lens, but little in the way of manual control etc

    However, a couple of examples of it’s versatility..


    Sunset3 by davetheblade, on Flickr


    Fishy by davetheblade, on Flickr


    Me2 by davetheblade, on Flickr


    ScubaMe by davetheblade, on Flickr

    core
    Member

    You won’t go far wrong with a Fuji Finepix bridge camera, they’ve got very good optical zoom, photo quality is excellent, fairly compact, and cheap as chips.

    I had a really old Fuji S602 Zoom Fuji Link for my first attempt at photography, lasted me a couple of years, and I still think I took better photo’s with it than I do with my Canon dslr a lot of the time, plus not having to lug multiple lenses means you’re more likely to use it!

    You wouldn’t get further away from the OP’s requirements with a Fuji Bridge more like.

    Bridge cameras fall short in so many areas, not least, being no less bulky than my Sony Alpha DSLT camera.

    stumpy01
    Member

    TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsSTR – are those underwater pics manipulated at all?

    I ask as I took a Nikon ‘tough’ camera on honeymoon and the underwater pics are in serious need of some processing. Visibility wasn’t great as the wind and rain kept getting up in the afternoon which apparently churned the water up a bit, but even so I was quite disappointed with the results.
    Even in ‘underwater’ scene mode, there was a strong colour cast, lack of contrast and muted colours.

    Back to the OP, I’d be getting a feel for what you really want. As I see it, there are 3 groups;
    – the proper compact cameras like the Canon S110, Sony RX100 etc. that are up to the job,
    – the ‘advanced compacts like the Canon G15/Nikon P7700 (P7800 just announced now with EVF)
    – mirrorless compact.

    I compromised on quality over compact-ness and went for a Nikon P300 (no RAW, so no good for you) instead of a P7100. But almost sold it and bought a P7700, as the P300 is OK for what it is, but chalk & cheese compared to my d80.
    We’ve got a Nikon 1 at work (J1) and it’s really good. Possibly a bit too reliant on menu’s for me though.

    TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsSTR – are those underwater pics manipulated at all?

    Not really – maybe a quick adjustment in Picasa, but no more. Gives pretty pleasing results SOOC

    Premier Icon scandal42
    Subscriber

    From your brief I would honestly say the Fuji X10 smashes all the boxes wide open.

    Excellent camera Imo, I went from DSLR to the X10 and it was a pleasure to use. Image quality is fantastic, as is the low light capability.

    Useful zoom range and a viewfinder, albeit a little like a range finder with an obstructed view at the widest focal point.

    I would suggest the lens is of excellent quality.

    Premier Icon phinbob
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    I have been stunned by the low light performance of my wife’s RX100 mk2. She replaced a G10 (which went a bit odd but now seems to be working fine).

    It’s a bit wee though and I liked the handling of the G10 more.

    mangatank
    Member

    the Fuji X10 smashes all the boxes wide ope

    I ditched the X10 for the RX100. The X10 is a lovely camera to hold and operate, but the picture quality is lightyears behind the RX100.

    Premier Icon scandal42
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    mangatank

    I suppose it really depends how much the op wants to spend, if it was me and I was using it for biking etc I would not be overly keen on spending that much on a compact.

    I too would be tempted by the RX100 – for touring, with a little care, I’m sure it would be fine.

    For mtb action use, I’d want something tougher

    redpanda
    Member

    So far, the shortlist is:

    Fuji X10
    Canon G15
    Nikon P7700

    Any others that should go in this list? Need to be comparable in terms of max aperture at long end of zoom, ISO, shutter response etc. And those 3 are ‘older’ models so a fair bit cheaper than current equivalents.

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