Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 49
  1. #1
    Sock Monkey
    Guest

    Good cameras for the bike trail

    OK, here is my dilemna. I have two cameras, essentially, and neither are good for mountain biking. I need something that is digital, good resolution, can focus up-close, and that doesn't weigh a ton. Ability to zoom to decent focal length would be good too.

    I cant haul my Nikon D80 and interchangeable lenses around on my back, well I could, but you see the problem. It takes great pictures, close up, etc. Just too heavy and bulky and wouldn't want to damage it on the trail. And cell phone cameras are just a little sucky and awkward and don't flocus up close, so no good pictures of bike parts, animals, bugs, flowers, beer cans, etc.

    Anyone have a recommendation on a camera for the trail?

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    857
    I went through the same issue recently. I'm not willing to bring my D300 and lenses on the bike...wanted something rugged, good quality pics, possible video capability (not critical, but fluff), good durability. I also wanted waterproof, so I didn't have to worry about sweat or occasionally getting caught in a rain shower. I also wanted small enough for a jersey pocket.

    I ended up ordering a Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3. Great reviews, and from a good company. Haven't gotten it yet, so no photo reports firsthand. But I did a ton of reading on my various hobby sites (photography, biking, skiing, hiking, off-road vehicles) and found a lot of happy campers.

    Amazon.com: Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3 12.1 MP Rugged/Waterproof Digital Camera with 4.6x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 2.7-Inch LCD (Silver): Camera & Photo

  3. #3
    mtbr dismember
    Reputation: Wherewolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    6,424

    Canon G12

    Canon G12.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    48
    What's your budget?

    What features are really critical to you?

    Optical zoom--how much?
    Or is wide angle more important? (It would be for me, for a pocket trail camera.)
    Low light performance... are you under canopy all the time or baking in the bright sun?
    HD video?
    Raw files?
    Ruggedness/waterproof?

    Unfortunately I have had a hard time finding inexpensive compact cameras that do both HD video and raw shooting. I went through a similar search a while back for a scuba camera. Things may have improved by now though.

    (FWIW the camera on my Android phone has a totally reasonable macro mode. It's obviously a craptacular camera compared to a real camera, but the macro performance was a nice surprise.)

    I'm still rockin' the D80 too btw.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    118
    The Canon S95 will do raw and HD video.

  6. #6
    banned
    Reputation: KidRawkz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    49
    ^word. i love my Canon S90. it's the older version of the S95, without the HD vid. it's wicked easy to pack, fits in a cycling jersey pocket, easily. it's about the size of the palm of my hand. the HD vid is making me want to upgrade.

    i took this shot last Friday, with my S90.
    East Burke, VT

  7. #7
    Sweat is just fat crying.
    Reputation: Finch Platte's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    9,422
    Camera Reviews, Digital Camera Reviews & Photography

    Photography Review, MTBR's sister site.
    Mountain Biking Is Not A Crime stickers, free! (You pay postage. PM me for details.)

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    48
    Quote Originally Posted by waltermitty View Post
    The Canon S95 will do raw and HD video.
    Yep and it would be a pretty good choice. A friend of mine got it for a trail camera and he's been really happy with it.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation: fatmark25's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    27
    Hi everybody!!!!!!... i'm new in this forum, so... i really don't know how to use it!... Let's Ride!

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    93
    I have this one and it is great, even underwater if you ever desired.

    Sony DSC-TX10/B Cyber-shot 16 Megapixel Waterproof Digital Camera - Black

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    1,281
    I have a D80 too and hear ya.

    I can say right off the bat that I like the S95 because it doesn't use AAs which seems to be terrible with cameras. Maybe lithium AAs versions are a lot better but in genera my AA P&S camera experience has always been abysmal (even with rechargeables). And yes i have previously owned two different P&S cameras with proprietary batteries and they have always worked well.

    One of the important things i learned to look at with point and shoot cameras other than battery type is the ergonomics/usability/speed of it. I've used some point and shoots before that have had really frustrating ergonomics and usability so make sure you are happy with the way it works, not just what it can do and how good the photo quality is.

    My current P&S is a Panasonic Lumix, not an expensive one just a basic one. Other than AA batteries I've been pretty impressed with how usable it has been (ergonomics etc.).

    To be honest though I haven't really used it because the iPhone4 I have generally does a pretty pleasing job and it is always with me (even though the Lumix beats it).

  12. #12
    Team Chilidog!
    Reputation: Stripes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    7,152
    Quote Originally Posted by waltermitty View Post
    The Canon S95 will do raw and HD video.
    Also does good low light photos for those of us who ride in the shade
    MTB4Her.com: mountain bike site for women, by women

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    569
    I just have some cheapy nikon coolpix s210. It's a couple years old, but even then it was only like $80. If it breaks, its not that big of a deal.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    210
    If you're looking for a camera camera (not a helmet mounted camcorder), I would also say the s95. It's the current top "dslr compliment" camera, shoots raw, full manual controls, f2.0 lens (at wide angle at least), etc etc etc and it fits in a jeans pocket.

    It's one drawback for what you're asking about is that it's macro focusing distance is 5cm, there are other cameras that do 1cm.

    I was at REI yesterday, I wanted to bring it with me but I also don't want to risk falling on it and breaking it in a crash. I believe this case is the Pelican 1015 case (haven't used it yet though so I can't say for sure). The case actually fits in the bottom part of my Specialized underseat bag, with my spare tube, patches, etc in the top half of the bag...unfortunately for me I have to use that space to carry my phone (in that case rather than the camera) so I have to use a Camelback if I want to bring it with me.

    There are also some other options that aren't as small, but are more g12-sized, but you give up zoom. Like the Fuji x100 with it's dslr-sized sensor is pretty cool, but not only is it $1200 it's also a fixed 35mm-equivalent lens (no zooming). And I think it has a reputation for being rather soft at macro focussing distances. Or there's a 43rds camera with the f1.7 pancake lens...though again, there's no zooming and it's not cheap.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Good cameras for the bike trail-s95-pelican-case.jpg  


  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    210
    ...though honestly...well maybe you're going on a long day trip or multiday trips? I could see it if you're doing a whole vacation of mountain biking.

    But I was riding last night as saw a whole bunch of cool things - I flipped spectacularly (haha), I saw a cool looking small owl, I saw these weird birds that just sat on the trail until I practically ran them over...even if I kept my camera on a should strap where I could reach it, I wouldn't have been able to take a pic of any of these things because I was biking when they happened.

    If I was going to buy a camera for mountain biking right now, I'd buy a helmet video camera. I mean seriously, 95% of the stuff I want a picture/video of in my regular mountain biking happens when I'm on the bike, moving, need both hands on the bars, and even if I could somehow magically levitate the bike wouldn't have the time to turn the camera on in time to get the picture...for everyday biking I think the helmet camera would be the best. If you're really biking to places with great views I can see bringing something better like an s95.

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    192
    Quote Originally Posted by lawfarm View Post
    I went through the same issue recently. I'm not willing to bring my D300 and lenses on the bike...wanted something rugged, good quality pics, possible video capability (not critical, but fluff), good durability. I also wanted waterproof, so I didn't have to worry about sweat or occasionally getting caught in a rain shower. I also wanted small enough for a jersey pocket.

    I ended up ordering a Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3. Great reviews, and from a good company. Haven't gotten it yet, so no photo reports firsthand. But I did a ton of reading on my various hobby sites (photography, biking, skiing, hiking, off-road vehicles) and found a lot of happy campers.

    Amazon.com: Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3 12.1 MP Rugged/Waterproof Digital Camera with 4.6x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 2.7-Inch LCD (Silver): Camera & Photo
    I was also thinking Jersey pocket and have just about decided on the DMC-TS3. It's a camera that can take some abuse and I like that it has GPS locating. I think I'd take alot more trail photos if I didn't have to keep the camera in a case, and hopefully the TS3 could handle it.

    I read a recent group test of waterproof/rugged P&S cameras and it came out on top for image quality as well. I'll probably go pick one up sometime this week.

  17. #17
    mtbr dismember
    Reputation: Wherewolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    6,424

    What?

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
    If you're looking for a camera camera (not a helmet mounted camcorder), I would also say the s95. It's the current top "dslr compliment" camera...
    What? The G12 is quite a step up from the S95. And no need for a fancy expensive case. My case cost about $5 at Walmart and it is attached to my Camelbak chest strap. If the camera isn't easily accessible you won't use it much. And nobody falls more than me.

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    41
    My wife and I have an Olympus 1050SW. Shock resistant, waterproof, and very slow. Forget action shots, it ain't gonna happen. Video is very poor in low light situations.

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    107
    Slightly larger than I would prefer but I use the Panasonic Lumix zs7.

    It has a 16x zoom, and GPS locater so that I can always go back and see exactly where I took a certain picture.

    Battery doesn't last as long as I would like, but I found a place on eBay that sells the OEM battery for something like $10, so I bought 3 spares.

    Good camera, good pics and I really like the GPS function.

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    210
    Quote Originally Posted by Wherewolf View Post
    What? The G12 is quite a step up from the S95.
    The g12 and s95 use the same sensor, the s95 is smaller, and the s95 has a better lens (at wide angle) than the g12 for low light. The g12 has some additional "features" but since they use the same sensor and are both Canon cameras the photos themselves are pretty much identical.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wherewolf View Post
    And no need for a fancy expensive case.
    Your reply is ridiculous, the case I mentioned cost less than $20.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wherewolf View Post
    My case cost about $5 at Walmart and it is attached to my Camelbak chest strap. If the camera isn't easily accessible you won't use it much. And nobody falls more than me.
    I agree with you 100% that you won't use an easily accessible camera as much. Like I said though...in my experience most of the photos I want while mountain biking can't be taken with a camera and only a helmet cam would get them. Obviously taking one hand off the bars is often (though certainly not always) a very bad idea while mountain biking. Other times things happen at a such a fast rate that the photo op is over before I could even get my hand to the camera. Things like interesting wildlife at night, people bailing on their bikes, etc could only be captured on a helmet camcorder. It's cool if you can get good shots with what you're doing, I've been thinking about it and haven't been able to figure out how it would work for me though...maybe if my trails were more scenic.

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    7,880
    Panasonic LX5. I'm not much of a telephoto guy, I want wide angle and a fast lens for deep in the woods.
    A blind man searches in a dark room for a black hat that isn't there. Dashiell Hammett

  22. #22
    Your Best Friend
    Reputation: Silentfoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    2,807
    This Pentax has moved to the top of my list. Seems tailor made for mountain biking.

    Digital Cameras and Accessories - Official PENTAX Imaging Web Site

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    857
    I got my Panasonic Lumix DSC-TS3. I'm amazed by the photo quality. I haven't dunked or dropped it yet to test its durability, but it is a great jersey pocket addition.

    In comparison to the Pentax identified above, it is 12MP instead of 14MP (which I don't really think would be noticeable), but is 1080p versus 720p on video...which is definitely noticeable.

    I give the TS3 2 thumbs up so far.

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    122
    Recently bought a Canon S95. Needed a new camera for work and it had high enough resolution to do the job. It's a great size for outdoor sports (almost too small) and easy to use. I found a Lowe padded belt case (perfect size for camera & extra battery) and it's been on 2 backpacking trips already. A few bike day trips too. The Lumix LX5 was another good contender - a little bit larger and a few mm wider angle. Neither is waterproof but I have another camera for that. The only downside to the S95 is battery life only lasts one busy day. I carry a spare. Great camera and highly recommended.

  25. #25
    mtbr member
    Reputation: OmaHaq's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    620
    - The only thing that keeps me on a bike is happiness.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Trail Cameras and Cost
    By HardRockCop in forum Passion
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 08-01-2008, 08:11 PM
  2. Good trail bike
    By mynameisgeorgel in forum Bike and Frame discussion
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 07-21-2007, 11:23 PM
  3. Good MTB video cameras?
    By robdamanii in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 12-29-2006, 11:30 AM
  4. cameras and the trail
    By Bsktball55 in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 23
    Last Post: 04-19-2005, 09:19 AM
  5. A good trail bike!!
    By sonny73 in forum Bike and Frame discussion
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 03-23-2004, 09:16 AM

Posting Permissions

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