Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 28
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: azokie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    219

    Good Compact Trail Camera - Need Advice

    Some of you guys and gals take incredible trail photos and I am looking to upgrade to a "real" camera. I need something that is compact, light, and durable, but above all capable of producing some nice photos (without breaking the bank). I have a little Sony Cybershot 12.1MP and it takes nice photos, but is quite limited. I did a quick web search and came up with the Nikon D3200 or Canon Rebel SL1...I'm pretty much a camera noob, so any advice or direction would be appreciated. Thx

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    550
    I just picked up a Canon S110. The newer S120 runs around $459 but the S110 is only a year old and can be had for $199. Excellent little camera for its size. I attach it to the front strap of my camelback and barely notice it. You can check out the specs on dpreview for yourself. Added benefit is it can shoot raw files. Pretty rare for a small point and shoot. Another great point and shoot is the Sony RX100. Bigger sensor but also a much bigger price. I personally wouldn't like dragging a DSLR around on the trail and wouldn't feel comfortable because of the chance of damaging it.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: woahey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    1,290
    I have a Canon S95 that I like a lot. It does more than I need it to. Also, I've had Canon G Series that are pretty good- all the adjustability of SLR with the almost point'n'shoot sized body. Here's a couple of shots with the S95...I think it's a pretty versatile camera...

    Good Compact Trail Camera - Need Advice-img_0962.jpgGood Compact Trail Camera - Need Advice-img_1281.jpgGood Compact Trail Camera - Need Advice-img_0222.jpgGood Compact Trail Camera - Need Advice-img_1275.jpg
    The secret to mountain biking is pretty simple. The slower you go the more likely it is you’ll crash.
    - Julie Furtado

  4. #4
    Pivotal figure
    Reputation: kenbentit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    5,668
    I've been a big fan of Panasonic Lumix cameras for years now. My latest one is the ZS25: 16.1MP, 20x Optical zoom w Leica lens, simple to use auto and filter features, nice range of manual controls. Price was $250 at Costco so it's pretty much perfect for me. Takes great shots, fits nicely in my pack, won't hurt too much if I wreck it.
    Desert Sunset Calls/Upward, Pain, Perseverance/Welcome Solitude

  5. #5
    Pivotal figure
    Reputation: kenbentit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    5,668
    Here are some shots with the Panasonic. The night shot was done using the star filter...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Good Compact Trail Camera - Need Advice-pana1.jpg  

    Good Compact Trail Camera - Need Advice-pana2.jpg  

    Good Compact Trail Camera - Need Advice-pana3.jpg  

    Desert Sunset Calls/Upward, Pain, Perseverance/Welcome Solitude

  6. #6
    Give it a crank
    Reputation: Mtn-Rider's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    2,917
    DSLR's are pretty cumbersome while mountain biking, a good compact camera is easier to carry and will still deliver quality photos. That translates into getting a lot more photos with a compact camera since you don't waste as much time getting to it.

  7. #7
    No Clue Crew
    Reputation: big0mike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    3,426
    Quote Originally Posted by kenbentit View Post
    I've been a big fan of Panasonic Lumix cameras for years now. My latest one is the ZS25: 16.1MP, 20x Optical zoom w Leica lens, simple to use auto and filter features, nice range of manual controls. Price was $250 at Costco so it's pretty much perfect for me. Takes great shots, fits nicely in my pack, won't hurt too much if I wreck it.
    I've got thousands of dollars in Canon gear and am super brand loyal and I opted for a Panasonic because it was cheaper, just as good if not better photos, and more features for the dollar. Liked it so much I got the Mrs one for Christmas last year.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation: ECEGatorTuro's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    474
    I'm a big Canon fan for their high end DSLRs but the best camera for the trails I've had these last two years is a Panasonic Lumix TS5. It's waterproof, shockproof (to a degree), freezeproof, etc.. It's taken a beating over the last two years but still performs great. It's a small P&S so it fits in your pocket and you can easily take it out while you're riding around. I've also used it while skiing, canyoneering, and snorkeling so I can attest to the waterproof feature.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    379
    I'm also a big fan of the panasonic Lumix series. However, the iPhone 5s has such a good camera I rarely carry anything else.

  10. #10
    No Clue Crew
    Reputation: big0mike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    3,426
    I've not been a fan of the waterproof cameras so far simply because I haven't seen one with a decent zoom on them. They all seem to be in the 5x range.

    And camera phones... Jeez. I haven't seen one yet that is worth a sh|t. Sure, in bright daylight with a perfectly front lit subject they are great. Anything else (which is just about everything else) they are worthless. I try to use mine every once in a while and EVERY time I wind up swearing at it.

  11. #11
    mtbr dismember
    Reputation: Wherewolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    6,427

    Canon PowerShot G series

    Quote Originally Posted by azokie View Post
    ...compact, light, and durable, but above all capable of producing some nice photos (without breaking the bank). ...Nikon D3200 or Canon Rebel SL1...I'm pretty much a camera noob, so any advice or direction would be appreciated. Thx
    Neither of those fit your requirements. The are too big and bulky to take on the trail for everyday use. If the camera isn't easily accessible you won't use it. The Canon G series is in between a P&S and a DSLR. Canon PowerShot G16 is the latest model. But you could buy an older model cheaper. The fill flash is especially great for biking photography. All the biking trip photos on my photo site for the past three years were taken with a G12.




  12. #12
    No Clue Crew
    Reputation: big0mike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    3,426
    Wherewolf is right. Canon's G series is about as close as you'll get to an SLR in the P&S form factor. And anything bigger than a P&S is unlikely to be used unless you are on a photo trip that happens to utilize a bike for transportation.

    And back to my camera phone assault...

    This shot could be taken by a camera phone. Good, even lighting with no highlights or shadows to lose.


    This shot would never be achieved with a camera phone. Tons of highlights in the water to blow out (even his G12 lost a lot) and if it happens to meter for the water you'll lose most or all of the detail in the darker areas of the photo.

  13. #13
    mtbr dismember
    Reputation: Wherewolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    6,427

    Fill flash

    I suppose I should have included an example of the great fill flash capabilities of the G12. If you can't tell it was used then it is doing a good job. Faces are usually in the shadows on such shots. I should mention that the Lake Tahoe one above was taken using in camera stitching. It does a pretty good job with those too.


  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    352
    Panasonic Lumix -- has been a great little camera and panaramic mode is awesome.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Good Compact Trail Camera - Need Advice-br_03.jpg  

    Good Compact Trail Camera - Need Advice-mtbr2.jpg  

    Good Compact Trail Camera - Need Advice-br_05.jpg  

    26FS & 29Rigid... best of both worlds

  15. #15
    dirt visionary
    Reputation: clockwork's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    6,221
    Here is the new one I picked up just for mtbing ,hiking ect. Weatherproof and tons of settings options ect. So far I have found it to be the best small point and shoot I have owned . Amazon.com: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX200V 18.2 MP Waterproof Digital Camera with 5x Optical Zoom and 3.3-inch OLED (Silver) (2012 Model): Camera & Photo I scored mine brand new during BF online for $144
    Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of
    arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body.

  16. #16
    A plethora of pinatas
    Reputation: mcoplea's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    1,168
    Iphone 5s...

    Good Compact Trail Camera - Need Advice-photo-65-.jpg
    Marty

  17. #17
    dirt visionary
    Reputation: clockwork's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    6,221
    Sorry but I wouldn't consider any phone camera for anything more than FB and other interweb uses . That pic is an example of what a poor camera shot is .
    Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of
    arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body.

  18. #18
    No Clue Crew
    Reputation: big0mike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    3,426
    Quote Originally Posted by Wherewolf View Post
    I suppose I should have included an example of the great fill flash capabilities of the G12. If you can't tell it was used then it is doing a good job. Faces are usually in the shadows on such shots. I should mention that the Lake Tahoe one above was taken using in camera stitching. It does a pretty good job with those too.

    Yes, that is an awesome fill flash. If you know lighting you can tell it was filled but it's not obvious as in the face is brighter than everything else. The tree branches are but that's not the subject. I've always wanted a G but they are not cheap and I don't feel like dropping that kind of money on a camera that will be obsolete in a year or two and likely be destroyed while on a ride anyway...

    Quote Originally Posted by clockwork View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by mcoplea View Post
    Iphone 5s...

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	photo (65).JPG 
Views:	48 
Size:	122.8 KB 
ID:	854071
    Sorry but I wouldn't consider any phone camera for anything more than FB and other interweb uses . That pic is an example of what a poor camera shot is .
    I agree about the camera phone usage but can't blame that shot solely on the camera phone. No camera could meter that scene and produce an image that doesn't have any blown highlights or filled shadows.

    If you meter for the mountains and cactus the sky will have a boatload of white and if you meter properly for the sky the mountains and cactus would be blacker than they already are.

    That's an ideal situation for bracketed shots and an HDR blend.

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation: azokie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    219
    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn-Rider View Post
    DSLR's are pretty cumbersome while mountain biking, a good compact camera is easier to carry and will still deliver quality photos. That translates into getting a lot more photos with a compact camera since you don't waste as much time getting to it.
    You are correct, I just went and looked at the Rebel and the Nikon D3200 and they are way too big. Def need something mor compact.

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation: azokie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    219
    Thanks so much for all th input so far...I quickly realized the DSLR cameras are way too big and bulky...I like the photo examples of the Panasonic Lumix, I'll check it and the G12 out for sure. Any more input is welcome.

  21. #21
    mtbr dismember
    Reputation: Wherewolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    6,427

    Ridiculous statement

    Quote Originally Posted by big0mike View Post
    ...I've always wanted a G but they are not cheap and I don't feel like dropping that kind of money on a camera that will be obsolete in a year or two and likely be destroyed while on a ride anyway...
    My G12 is a lot more than two years old. All of a sudden the camera becomes obsolete and stops taking good photos? Few people take a camera on as many all day rides, and on such rugged trails as me. I carry it in a $5 Walmart bag and I fall and drop the camera more than just about anybody. Either take good photos or don't take any at all is my philosophy.


  22. #22
    parenting for gnarness
    Reputation: chollaball's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    5,640
    Quote Originally Posted by azokie View Post
    Thanks so much for all th input so far...I quickly realized the DSLR cameras are way too big and bulky...I like the photo examples of the Panasonic Lumix, I'll check it and the G12 out for sure. Any more input is welcome.
    thanks for this thread. good info.
    I had Canon Elfs for years, and they varied in quality. They also never impressed me with durability, but they were cheap, easy to use and good size.

    Last year my wife bought us a nice SLR. To be honest, i still dont know how to really use it and i read the manual 2x. I PREFER a simpler camera that does the thinking for me, I'm just not into the photography aspect as much as others to the point where I want to study how it works. Combined with the size, most of my pics are phone pics now simply for convenience.

  23. #23
    No Clue Crew
    Reputation: big0mike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    3,426
    Quote Originally Posted by Wherewolf View Post
    My G12 is a lot more than two years old. All of a sudden the camera becomes obsolete and stops taking good photos?
    I was talking about the turnaround time in camera bodies. The G5 was the first "good" G I remember. We're at 15 now 10 years later. That's a new camera every year. Certainly, they'll take great pictures far longer than Canon would have us believe. Especially, these newer bodies.

    But, the Gs are still far more than I wanna spend on a P&S camera that will not be handled delicately.

  24. #24
    mtbr dismember
    Reputation: Wherewolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    6,427
    Quote Originally Posted by big0mike View Post
    I was talking about the turnaround time in camera bodies. ...But, the Gs are still far more than I wanna spend on a P&S camera that will not be handled delicately.
    How does camera body turn around time affect the quality of my photos? There will always be a newer version of everything. So why buy anything? By your logic you should never buy a bike. Nobody treats their cameras less delicately than I do. It is meant to be used. I often don't even put it back into my $5 case.

  25. #25
    No Clue Crew
    Reputation: big0mike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    3,426
    Quote Originally Posted by Wherewolf View Post
    How does camera body turn around time affect the quality of my photos? There will always be a newer version of everything. So why buy anything? By your logic you should never buy a bike. Nobody treats their cameras less delicately than I do. It is meant to be used. I often don't even put it back into my $5 case.
    You are correct. I apologize for speaking.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Good trail helmet to mount a Contour camera on its left or right side?
    By trailrider24 in forum Apparel and Protection
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 02-05-2013, 11:36 AM
  2. Cold Weather Camera Advice
    By wrkgstiff in forum Photography for mountain bikers
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 01-22-2013, 03:03 AM
  3. Advice for an amateur with a cheap digital camera
    By michael1 in forum Photography for mountain bikers
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 05-05-2012, 04:03 PM
  4. GoPro vs a waterproof compact still/video camera
    By pursuiter in forum Videos and POV Cameras
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 12-16-2011, 01:25 PM
  5. Suggestions for a Compact Digital Camera
    By Jnthomps08 in forum Photography for mountain bikers
    Replies: 30
    Last Post: 07-03-2011, 02:49 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •