Small quality digital camera

Discussion in 'Equipment Discussions' started by mtnwrunner, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. mtnwrunner

    mtnwrunner Well-Known Member

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    Anyone out there got a favortie small digital camera they've used with good success??
    I'd like to find a small compact digital that takes good photos but has a fairly good optical zoom---maybe 10X or greater??

    Thanks,

    Randy
     
  2. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    a lot of that has to do with what your budgit is. The two best small frame cameras are the Lieca and the new Fuji, but your also looking at about $1,000 or more. The Samsung NV series (and NX series) are very good little cameras and can be bought well under $300. Samsung has the best quality glass of all camera brands (Schnider [sp]). Another good one to look at is the Olympus ELP series. If your going to use the camera on hunting and fishing trips, Pentax sells a shock proof and water proof small frame camers that a lot of folks seem to like. I've never used one, so can't say much about picture quality. I have used the Olympus, Fuji's, and the Lieca, and you really have to spend $3,000 to get much better. Of the small frame cameras the Fuji has the largest sensor. You can get three different lenses with the Olympus ELP, but most folks are not changing lenses. The Samsung NV series has the optical zoom your after and is a 10 meg camera. There are no plastic parts in that camera. I have not used the NX1000 Samsung, but on paper it looks a winner. If you shoot a lot of color, the Fuji will have the best color by far. The Fuji also is one of the very few cameras that actually shoots true black & white instead of a grey scale. None of the small frame cameras have a good flash system. Most are only good for about 12 to 15 feet. Software wise the Fuji is the best by a long shot (it's pretty much an S5 Pro made into a small framed camera). Fuji has the best sensor for colors and actually does whites and blacks. I love the feel of the Lieca, but that new Fuji is about the same size and has a similar feel.

    I'm going to buy a new Fuji or the Olympus this spring, as it's about 99% of the Lieca for about 50% of the price. And I have all the software options down pat on the Fuji. The Olympus is a learning curve all over again. but still a very fine camera.
    gary
     

  3. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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  4. mtnwrunner

    mtnwrunner Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Gary and Jeff.
    So, Gary, which model of the Fuji are you thinking???
    I really don't mind having a little larger camera than the minis but i do not want an slr.
    I like to have my camera on my waist belt so that i can take it out and take photos.
    My brother who is a semi pro photographer is hell bent on Canons.
    He has sent me all these reveiws and of course, they are confusing as heck.
    I currently have a older smaller Nikon coolpix and it has been a great camera but the LCD is like way small. And now that I am over 54 years of age, i can't see squat---although i can still see deer and elk 20 miles away.......................
    So, i guess, what i would like to get is a smaller, larger sensor camera with a optical zoom larger than 5---my nikon has a 3.5 on it and its been okay but i would really like to go bigger.

    Thanks for the input.

    Randy
     
  5. Browninglover1

    Browninglover1 Well-Known Member

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    The Panasonic Lumix cameras with the 10x optical zooms are awesome. I've amazed at how good the pictures turn out since they're just a compact camera and the 10x optical zoom is really nice. I have an older model that is a 10x zoom with a wide angle feature as well and I've really liked it.

    DMC-SZ7/DMC-SZ1 | PRODUCTS | LUMIX | Digital Camera | Panasonic Global
     
  6. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    it's called an X10. They list for about $599. It's got one down fall in your wants, as it's a 4x optical. But on the otherhand is a true range finder camera, and that's as close to an SLR as it gets. It's slightly larger than the Olympus ELP2, but a hundred dollars less. Uses what looks like the same sensor as the older S5 Pro, and is rated at 12.0 meg. I shot about a dozen pics thru one awhile back at night outdoors, and the shots were amazing for what it was. I'd say it's 3"x5"x1.25", and just feels solid when you hold it to your eye. On the otherhand my Samsung is only slightly larger than a pack of smokes. That Lieca retails for about $1600, and the Fuji is 98% of it, but at less than half the price. I'd also recommend you take a good look at the Olympus ELP2 (or one). Both are very nice cameras, but the Fuji has an eyepiece making it a much steadier camera to use (like the Lieca)
    gary
     
  7. sp6x6

    sp6x6 Well-Known Member

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    I have a Olypius point and shoot and what I love about it is it is some what waterproof as advertised. It has road in my hunting fanny pack for 3-4 yrs. I even squawshed it and used pocket knife to open lens cover, hers a pict from wolf hunt last week
     

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  8. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    I've owned or still own five or six digital cameras. Most were Fujis, but that little Samsung always seems to astound me with picture quality. Photos won't blow up as well as the S5 Pro for sure, and the flash leaves a lot to be desired if that matters. What it does better than 90% of the others is when shooting over water or snow on a bright day. I get very little flare in the lense, and this is why Schnider glass is well known to be the finest lenses on the planet. They also do that one in a wide angle and now they seem to have replaced it with the NX1000. Lots of megapixels, but most goto waste in small sensor cameras.

    I shot pics one afternoon with the Olympus Pen ELP1 last spring, and really do like it. Yet it has one draw back, and that is that it a live view camera only. You just cannot hold one as steady as an SLR or range finder where you seat the camera body against your face. Otherwise it's a great little camera with three interchangable lenses (85% of the people never change a lense)

    I like Canons, but doubt I'll own one. Their sensors don't do color well unless you good with Photoshop. Plus they don't do whites or true blacks (I know they claim they do). Canon is known for it's SLR's, and when you dump $10K in one it'd better be a good one. Sadly they have a software problem they refuse to recognize, and will not fix. (the famous error 99) Side by side shooting, I see little if any difference between the $10K Canon and the bigger DX series Nikons (also in that price range). The one advantage the bigger Canons and the DX Nikons have is that they use a full sized sensor, but the only thing 98% of us would see is that a 55mm lense is actually a 55mm lense with a full size sensor. IOW no serious advantage here. What the Fujis do best is reds and greens in color. No washed out appearence, and very little if any flares. Their B&W is true B&W, and that's why the are the number one camera for weddings. But they also are a little slow in operation when compaired to a Canon. Means little unless you are doing a basketball game up close. One thing I like about the Olympus is the tilt LCD screen. If your doing macro, this is a serious aid. Most of us will never do that, but I do.

    Now I use Photoshop and a couple other programs, and I hate working with them! I used to do all that RAW stuff and then build the photo on the PC. Now I shoot 95% in JPEG. Nearly 100% of the photos you'll see in a magazine are done with Photoshop to correct flares and clor saturation problems. I'm from the school that says if you have to do this, then it's time to relearn the game. I might add here that the Optical zoom is a nice feature, but also can create problems. You can blow up photos on a PC to just about anything you want, and even go so far as to pick out individual pixels that offend you.
    gary
     
  9. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    just a note:

    I was over at Best Buys last night, and stopped by their camera display. They had the Olympus Pen for $449, and Canon range finder (looked nice) for about the same price. They had a new Nikon range finder for $559. Liked the way the Canon was setup, but the Olympus was just as nice. None of them are even close to that Fuji, but the Fuji is a little more money.
    gary
     
  10. Scot E

    Scot E Well-Known Member

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  11. sp6x6

    sp6x6 Well-Known Member

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    Thats what I have to have, waterproof.I was crossing creek one day and spun like a discuss throw and lauched pack, it hit a branch and landed in creek, floating away. So much for the last 3 miles of having dry boots
     
  12. Scot E

    Scot E Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. And the shockproof and crushproof properties that come with the waterproof cameras are very nice also. I don't have to worry about where the camera is in my pack or how hard I may lean on it while glassing, etc.

    Scot E.
     
  13. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

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    Lots of difference between waterproof and water resistant. Typically waterproof cameras are mose expensive becaues everything is 'o' ringed.

    However, a camera that meets the IP54 satandard will be water resistant or able to take a quick dunk and still function.

    I like the Fuji's myself. I have 2.

    There is true optical zoom and interpolated zoom. Interpolated is the camera artificially enhancing the distance whereas optical is the actual lens set changing focal length. Both of my Fuji's have both with a stop in between gradients so you know when the camera is in mechanical and interpolated.

    Finally, on higher zoom capability look for Image Stabilization (something the would be nice on sport optics and riflescopes) that takes the shake out of long distance shots without the need for a tripod.

    I have a Fuji Finepix pocket camera and a Fuji Finepix S1000FD which I don't think is made anymore. The S1000 is a hybrid SLR (fixed lens) with 10X optical and 5X interpolated zoom with movie capability with sound and full manual or auto operation and image stabilization. It's been to hell and back on bike trips, hunt trips, camping, fishing, family outings, just about everywhere and it works just like new plus Fuji bundles some real nice imaging software with their cameras and for having a large preview screen and built in flash, it's gentle on batteries. I change 'em yearly and use the camera all the time.

    I like the little bit bigger cameras better. My little pocket Fuji is hard to manipulate with cold hands or gloves on whereas the little bit larger camera isn't. Something to consider....
     
  14. Scot E

    Scot E Well-Known Member

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    The cameras listed in the review are not the cameras you speak of, only able to take a quick dunk. I think the best camera in the review is rated waterproof down to 39 feet, plenty good enough for a hunting and fishing camera. The Panasonic is waterproof to 39 feet, shockproof for a 6.5 foot drop, freezeproof down to 14 degrees, and dustproof. They also take very good pictures in my experience. Likely not as good as a camera purely designed for picture quality only but very, very good none-the-less. As good as my compact Canon and sometimes gets very close to my SLR.

    I have used a number of these cameras and they are fully functional for even fully underwater use. I believe most are IPX8 certified.

    Scot E.