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  1. #1
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    Best Camera for Front Range

    Never thought I'd start one of these....

    I'm in the market for a new camera and looking for suggestions. Not entirely off-topic as it will be attached to my camel bak and used primarily on rides and hikes. Looking for a compact or ultra-compact with budget under $300.

    Two that I'm looking at are Panasonic Lumix ZS6 and Samsung HZ30W (both on sale at costco). Curious if anyone is using these and what their impressions are? Or, other suggestions?

    Gracias.
    "Serves you right to suffer." -The Wife (after being 2 hours late)

  2. #2
    bacon! bacon! bacon!
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    Let me know what you find out as our p-n-shoot died recently...

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkaredShtles
    Let me know what you find out as our p-n-shoot died recently...
    I'm dissapointed SS--I expected to see a "use the search" reply...

    OP, try searching in Passion--cameras REALLY are not FR specific...

  4. #4
    bacon! bacon! bacon!
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    Quote Originally Posted by kristian
    I'm dissapointed SS--I expected to see a "use the search" reply...
    Damn. Opportunity wasted...

  5. #5
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    Ya - I expected a little more sarcasm myself.

    Yeah - I know cameras are not FR specific, but I've been really impressed with some of the photos displayed on this forum (Lidarman, XCGuy, Snauzers, etc). It would be helpful to know which cameras people here use, as I'm familiar with their photos.

    Quote Originally Posted by kristian
    I'm dissapointed SS--I expected to see a "use the search" reply...

    OP, try searching in Passion--cameras REALLY are not FR specific...
    "Serves you right to suffer." -The Wife (after being 2 hours late)

  6. #6
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    You know I ran searches as I am in the market for a new pocket camera my self. Searches are a pain in the arse it easier just to creat a new post.

    So whats the big deal, post a cool pic and let us know what camera you used.

    OP I was also looking at those cameras at Costco.

  7. #7
    Shinobi-Wan Kenobi Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by slcdawg
    Yeah - I know cameras are not FR specific, but I've been really impressed with some of the photos displayed on this forum (Lidarman, XCGuy, Snauzers, etc). It would be helpful to know which cameras people here use, as I'm familiar with their photos.
    Just a guess, but they aren't using "compact or ultra-compact with budget under $300."

    FWIW, I got a little Canon ELPH (the red one) as a gift and have been pretty underwhelmed by it for action photography. It has a little lag which doesn't bother me, but the picture quality doesn't compare to my Canon G7. For the extra quality, I'll continue to carry a heavier camera.

  8. #8
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    Yeah I have a G10....little more money, but way better picture quality especially if you are looking to get large prints.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by slcdawg
    Never thought I'd start one of these....

    I'm in the market for a new camera and looking for suggestions. Not entirely off-topic as it will be attached to my camel bak and used primarily on rides and hikes. Looking for a compact or ultra-compact with budget under $300.

    Two that I'm looking at are Panasonic Lumix ZS6 and Samsung HZ30W (both on sale at costco). Curious if anyone is using these and what their impressions are? Or, other suggestions?

    Gracias.

    I have the Lumix ZS1 and love it. Not the best in low light. But that is par for the course.

  10. #10
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    The Lumix series has gotten good reviews. Myself, I've got a Canon SD780 and SX100 for when I can't carry my DSLR. I really like the SX100. Small size, 10x zoom. Pretty much any camera you pick nowadays is gonna do a good job, especially if using mostly daylight.

  11. #11
    Living the High Life
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    Quote Originally Posted by slcdawg
    Ya - I expected a little more sarcasm myself.
    Go see what JeffCo is using at Apex.
    You have just been mentally Rick Roll'd. Yup you're thinking about it right now aren't you? Don't fight it.

  12. #12
    DWF
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ithnu
    Go see what JeffCo is using at Apex.
    Beat me to it!

    Great minds think alike.
    A man must have enemies and places he is not welcome. In the end we are not only defined by our friends but those against us.

  13. #13
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    Best SPY camera for the Front Range...

    http://www.reconyx.com/hyperfire.php?model=PC

    Just ask JCOS...They've chosen these particualr ones to spy on those at Apex.


  14. #14
    DWF
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    Quote Originally Posted by enduroslrider
    http://www.reconyx.com/hyperfire.php?model=PC

    Just ask JCOS...They've chosen these particualr ones to spy on those at Apex.

    Ha. I had my picture taken by one of those recently and it wasn't at Apex. They're not completely silent.
    A man must have enemies and places he is not welcome. In the end we are not only defined by our friends but those against us.

  15. #15
    The MTB Lab
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    Canon Powershot S90

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by pastajet
    Canon Powershot S90


    I have one of those, it's a very nice camera... same sensor as the G12 and it shoots RAW, but in a much more compact body. It has comparable image quality to my Lumix LX-3, but much easier to carrier around with the fully retractable lens.

    For a bit less money I'd also recommend the Canon SD960 IS and the SD940 IS... compact, 28mm wide lens and great images.

  17. #17
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    I've heard good things about the S90 as well. It looks great on paper.

    I just wish someone would come out with a 16-something lens on a P&S. While carrying my DSLR I find I use my 16-35 A LOT, especially when out hiking, and having manufacturers confine me to 35 or 28mm really SUCKS. I'd love a Gx with a 16-105 lens or something similar.

  18. #18
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    S90:

    http://www.kenrockwell.com/canon/s90.htm

    There are many factors that go into what makes a satisfactory point and shoot. Read Rockwell's review of the S90, then read this:

    http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Pa..._DMC_TZ10_ZS7/

    just to give you expert reviewers' opinions of these cameras. I haven't bought a point and shoot for awhile, being a Nikon DSLR geek these days, but my Panny TZ5 still brings it and even my very first Canon, an SD550. It's kinda liberating taking them out, just pointing and shooting without worrying too much.

    The longer zoom of the Panasonic is pretty cool, the manual control of the S90 is really cool. I'm more of a wide angle guy these days so the 25mm wide of the Panasonic really appeals to me AND you get a 12x optical zoom. The 28mm wide of the S90 (absolute minimum wide for me these days) is adequate but only a 4x optical zoom, but almost best in class as far as IQ. BTW, I never shoot video or indoors with point and shoots so if low light photography (indoors) or videos is your focus I have no idea what to tell you. I shoot stills indoors with DSLRs and multiple off-camera flashes in my business.

    No camera brings it all, each has its niche and I'm not going to recommend anything 'cause I'm sort of out of touch with recent point and shoots. Good shopping!
    So it seems to me to be, this thing that I think I see.

  19. #19
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    xcguy

    Greetings,
    Pedal pushers states you may have some Push Industries rockers you may part with. Please contact me @ dbarenburg@hotmail.com Thanks. Doug

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by xcguy
    BTW, I never shoot video or indoors with point and shoots so if low light photography (indoors) or videos is your focus I have no idea what to tell you. I shoot stills indoors with DSLRs and multiple off-camera flashes in my business.
    Get a DSLR or be dissapointed...

    Most of them are barely usable at 800 ISO and the cameras that go to 1600+ are pitiful at that ISO.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by big0mike
    Get a DSLR or be dissapointed...

    Most of them are barely usable at 800 ISO and the cameras that go to 1600+ are pitiful at that ISO.
    That is true. However, I come from a point and shoot background, shooting ride pics for years. I never shot indoors. For my purposes I was completely satisfied with what I got from my Canons and Panasonics. Only now that I shoot with DSLRs do I know their "limitations" (as DSLR peeps are more than willing to point out). I'm trying not to give advice to someone wanting a decent point and shoot from the perspective of a DSLR user. I use them because my business demands them. My TZ5 or Canon SD880 take great ride shots, outdoors in good light. That's all that mattered to me once upon a time and, probably, to the majority of casual photographers out there. Talking about "barely usable at ISO 800" doesn't really mean much to somebody who might be only shooting outdoors, as I solely did for years and years.
    So it seems to me to be, this thing that I think I see.

  22. #22
    Yappy little dog!
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    Right up my alley!

    Lumix DMC-LX3

    There is no substitute for p&s quality.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by xcguy
    Talking about "barely usable at ISO 800" doesn't really mean much to somebody who might be only shooting outdoors, as I solely did for years and years.
    That's why I quoted your line about only shooting indoors and not in low light. For most daylight situations and many indoor situations any P&S will be perfect. Once the light starts to go so does the picture quality...

  24. #24
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    For a bike/hike camera, I'm a big fan of the panasonic waterproof/sandproof/shockproof
    DMC-ts2 (we have the ts-1 and the ts-2 is supposed to be more durable), ought to last a lot longer in those conditions. Being crash prone I keep mine in a Pelican case anyway, but nice to be able to take it out and not worry about dirt or rain, and the 720p video is pretty fun. Like several have said, the really beatiful FR pics I've seen here are largely with SLR setups. You can take pretty good pics with a point and shoot if you know what you are doing and the conditions are good, but even a cheap used starter vintage Nikon d50 and the kit lens ought to be around 300$ used now or less, and can take awesome pics

  25. #25
    killin clear creek
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    As a photographer, I'm pretty snobby about IQ on my images.
    I shoot a 7D with L glass & rarely compromise when it comes to cameras. If I was to need to carry a camera in my pocket, it would be a G series (newest that you can afford) the difference in IQ between an S series & a G is disgusting. Not a big size difference, not a HUGE price difference, but a monster quality difference. The only other P&S cams that are in the class with the G are much more $$.

    I'd say get a DSLR... but you look REALLY silly riding with a 5DmkII with a 28-200 in your pocket!
    Quote Originally Posted by thump View Post
    How about we take the "let it burn approach" with the rotting cesspool of the Denver metro?

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by backcountryislife
    As a photographer, I'm pretty snobby about IQ on my images.
    I shoot a 7D with L glass & rarely compromise when it comes to cameras. If I was to need to carry a camera in my pocket, it would be a G series (newest that you can afford) the difference in IQ between an S series & a G is disgusting. Not a big size difference, not a HUGE price difference, but a monster quality difference. The only other P&S cams that are in the class with the G are much more $$.

    I'd say get a DSLR... but you look REALLY silly riding with a 5DmkII with a 28-200 in your pocket!
    So you take your 7D on your rides? AND L glass? Dude!
    So it seems to me to be, this thing that I think I see.

  27. #27
    killin clear creek
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    Quote Originally Posted by xcguy
    So you take your 7D on your rides? AND L glass? Dude!

    OF COURSE!!! It fits PERFECT in my pocket on my shorts!!

    Btw, they sell a small waterproof (peli-like) container at wallyworld, that if you put some padding in it (use spray glue to put some type of foam in it), you've got a great way to carry a P&S around. I shoot a river & I velcro the box to the bottom of my boat behind my seat to hold a spare camera in case I ADD & forget my card, batteries, brain..., if it can handle running class V in my playboat, it can handle sitting in a backpack. (the boxes are like $4 or 6, and they work great)

    btw, interesting tidbit on how the G stacks up compared to a real camera...
    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/kidding.shtml
    Quote Originally Posted by thump View Post
    How about we take the "let it burn approach" with the rotting cesspool of the Denver metro?

  28. #28
    Got single track/speed?
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    Quote Originally Posted by backcountryislife
    As a photographer, I'm pretty snobby about IQ on my images.
    I shoot a 7D with L glass & rarely compromise when it comes to cameras. If I was to need to carry a camera in my pocket, it would be a G series (newest that you can afford) the difference in IQ between an S series & a G is disgusting. Not a big size difference, not a HUGE price difference, but a monster quality difference. The only other P&S cams that are in the class with the G are much more $$.

    I'd say get a DSLR... but you look REALLY silly riding with a 5DmkII with a 28-200 in your pocket!
    I have the S90 and am pretty satisfied. The G11 and S90 have the same image sensor and produce comparable images. I don't have the G11, but here's one website that says that you really can't tell the difference in IQ between the S90 and G11. Practically no difference.

    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canons90/page12.asp

    I can tell you that the S90 has a F/2.0 lens and is really great in low light. You can get these around $330 these days. For the IQ, size, and lens, it's a smoking value. The only downside is the thumb wheel on the back that is way to easy to turn and accidentally change your exposure compensation.

    If you can't compromise on quality, a DSLR is the only choice. But, having your camera accessible is the key. Taking off your pack to get to you camera during a ride is slow and a lot of wasted effort. I have a chest harness/bag for my DSLR, but it's a little bulky and I certainly don't want to carry it on every ride.

    My opinion is the the G11 is too big. The Panasonic LX3 and Canon S90 pack the best IQ and lenses of all of reasonably priced compacts.

    -Chuck

    P.S. I attached a sample shot from my S90 of a flower I saw during a Gold Bar Rim ride.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Best Camera for Front Range-moabgoldbarride.jpg  


  29. #29
    killin clear creek
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckjoga
    I have the S90 and am pretty satisfied. The G11 and S90 have the same image sensor and produce comparable images.
    Ok, the S has come a VERY long way since the last one I owned then, at the time it was a HUGE difference between them. The biggest difference then would be control, the G is more "slr like" in the control you have over how you want your images to look. If you really like control & are a photo ****** (really? they asterisk out dooche? wtf?)... the G is irreplaceable & can be used as a primary camera that is also intended to put attachment lenses on to get more effects from. If you want a good pic, but aren't super picky (like 99.9% of people) the S is a good cam.

    The S has an underwater housing that you can get cheap, likely the cheapest housing that you'll ever find & it works very well. If you spend time in the water, that could be a deciding factor as well.

    btw, nice pic!
    Last edited by backcountryislife; 06-20-2010 at 06:31 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by thump View Post
    How about we take the "let it burn approach" with the rotting cesspool of the Denver metro?

  30. #30
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    Thanks for all the input, guys! Decided to pull the trigger on the Lumix ZS6 - I think it fits my needs. If I'm not happy, may return it for the Canon SD4000 or S90.
    "Serves you right to suffer." -The Wife (after being 2 hours late)

  31. #31
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    The reality is that "most" point-n-shoot cameras are capable of far higher quality images than the skill of the person using them will allow... and I'm definitely in that camp.

    Looking through the images for specific cameras on Flickr and I'm just amazed by what some people are capable of, even with cameras that are supposedly out of date or poorly reviewed (and without a bunch of editing in post).


    edit... point being, I wouldn't get too wrapped around the axle with regards to camera choice. pick something that's easy to carry and use, something that other people have had good success with without any glaring faults, as well as something you're not going to freak out about if you crash or get caught in an afternoon shower.
    Last edited by topmounter; 06-23-2010 at 09:05 AM.

  32. #32
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    If you decide you're not happy, you might want to read this article from MTBR's sister site, photographyreview.com: http://reviews.photographyreview.com...eras-pma-2010/

  33. #33
    Tossin the salad.
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    So much a fan of the Panasonic series camera.

    I own an older FX50, which I about crushed when ramming my chest into a tree. The camera bag with the camera probably saved me BTW.

    I do notice when I use a full optical zoom, there is a little particle on the top right of all prictures. I looked at the lens and notice a small crack. As long as I do-not use over 4x zoom, it's like not even there in the pics.

    Some snappers:


























  34. #34
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    Yep - agree 100%.

    Quote Originally Posted by topmounter
    edit... point being, I wouldn't get too wrapped around the axle with regards to camera choice. pick something that's easy to carry and use, something that other people have had good success with without any glaring faults, as well as something you're not going to freak out about if you crash or get caught in an afternoon shower.
    "Serves you right to suffer." -The Wife (after being 2 hours late)

  35. #35
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    Love the last shot - the dog days of summer.

    Quote Originally Posted by TX_Shifter
    "Serves you right to suffer." -The Wife (after being 2 hours late)

  36. #36
    post-ride specialist
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    Quote Originally Posted by TX_Shifter
    ...

    ...
    That place looks awesome. They let ya swim in that?
    Since when did Need have anything to do with this?

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by TX_Shifter






    Where DID you find all those tiny little lobsters???

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by TX_Shifter





    Man, I hate the desert...

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