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looking for good cam for skiing/outdoor use

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

I have a canon powershot SD750, I would like to upgrade a bit for something that has better performance but still small enough to ski with or carry. I think the G10 might be a good choice but if there are others in the same price point and size, please let me know. If you think of a better option please let me know.

 

Shoud also have good ability for video and decent action multiple frame abilities.


Edited by Finndog - 5/22/2009 at 04:23 pm GMT
post #2 of 20

I'm also in the market.  My research so far has led me to the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS3 that was just released.  A compact frame that has an optical 12x zoom.  What I am most impressed with though, is the HD video capture (720p) quality.  The clips I've seen from it's predecessor (DMC-TZ5) are quite good in comparison to a stand alone HD video recorder (Canon HF10), but far more convenient for carrying while skiing and other casual captures.  Canon also has their new version, PowerShot SX200 IS.  Based on a couple on-line reviews, I'm leaning toward the Lumix. 

post #3 of 20

I'm a fan of smaller is better - to a  point. The one thing I just will not compromise away is an optical viewfinder. Which pretty much leaves Canon as the contender for lots of smaller cameras...

 

I currently have a SD990IS and a G9. The rest of the family has mostly DSLRs - with one other 990IS. The vast majority of of our ski pix are taken with the little powershots. The reason is simple - we are out there to ski, so any photoslutting or scenic picture taking needs to happen in a way that does not compromise mission #1. The other cameras come into play in circumstances where the emphasis is on the pictures rather than something like skiing. Some quick reactions:

 

Powershot SD990S: A great little camera. Truly fits in a pocket. Has an optical viewfinder.  Continuous shooting rate is very reasonable for  little P&S. I assume video is as good or better than it's predecessor models - which is darn good for a little camera. When it is "on", it takes great pictures. If it is confused, life sucks - 50 rapidfire frames of blurr... Still, it is tiny, light, seems to tolerate cold & snow & some amount of wet - so even with some misses, it delivers IMO.

 

G9: A great camera. Just not a great casual ski camera. Image quality can be great. It'll shoot in RAW. I like the quality across the rather nice zoom range.  But it lives in a funny place between a P&S and a DSLR (I'd imagine this applies to some of the other mid-sized cameras). It is rather too big to be really comfortable  in my ski jacket or pants pocket (although sometimes I'll push it). Continuous shooting  is way too slow (especially when compared w/ DSLRs) . I've had it get cranky on cold days. Projecting a bit --  if you are carrying a pack anyway, and your picture taking is not of the grab/shoot-a-bunch-of-frames/put-away/go - all in 60 seconds - variety, it might be worth considering the G10. The ability to play with a wide or tele adapter & with filters is nice, but I've never carried that stuff into the snow...

 

One issue I have with both the powershot & the G9 is that both have convenient little wheels for adjusting things. In a ski environment, they get bumped all over the place & require constant attention & resetting. A "lock settings" feature would be so nice...

 

 

We've also played with several of the non-Canon waterproof/resistant & shockproof P&S cameras. IMO they all suck - if for no other reason than lack of an optical viewfinder. Most have crappy color balance as well. I'd imagine the Canon one suffers the suckage problem due to no optical viewfinder as well.

 

 

Bottom line: as the old saying goes, the camera that takes the best pictures is the one you have with you and that you use. For me, that's the 990IS (or something similar). 

 

 

post #4 of 20

I have a G9, which I really like. It sits well with my 5D.

My dad just bought a G10 and loves it.

 

If I was to buy another compact it would be the 990 or the G10. If I wasn't going for a Canon, then the ZS3 would be next on the list - and not far behind the Canons at all.

post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 

excellent responses. I checked out the 9, very nice camera. one thing I like with the 10 is the 28mm lens. It seems like the 10 is a bit large I really need to go see it.

 

Question, can you put a larger lens on the 10? Seems like it has some kind of adaptor that allows this??

post #6 of 20

I'm currently agonizing over this as well.  The main contenders are the G10 and the Panasonic Lumix LX3.  The G10 takes spectacular pictures in good light.  The LX3 has a faster, wider-angle Leica lens, and takes better pictures in worse light.  It's also a bit lighter and more compact.  Higher fps as well.

 

As good as the G10 is, I'm thinking I might not bring it because of its bulkiness; or just never dig it out of my pack.  So probably going to go with the LX3, if I can find it.

post #7 of 20

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post

excellent responses. I checked out the 9, very nice camera. one thing I like with the 10 is the 28mm lens. It seems like the 10 is a bit large I really need to go see it.

 

Question, can you put a larger lens on the 10? Seems like it has some kind of adaptor that allows this??


Yes, the G series are designed to take telephoto and wide adapters (although I've not really looked to see what they have for the G10 - I'd guess only a tele).
 

It is a bulkier camera than several of it's competitors, but it has advantages - compared to the LX3 - it's got a built in flash, and compared to both LX3 and ZS3 it's got an optical viewfinder.

Personally, I wouldn't buy a camera for use in bright light if it didn't have an optical viewfinder, otherwise you'll spend half your time trying to sheild the LCD with one hand so you can see it - and if you wear polarised lenses in your glasses, then you may well have to take the glasses off to be able to see the LCD

post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 

Fox, Thanks, I typically just take my goggles off when taking shots but I haven't used a view finder in the past. I am sure its a much better way to shoot. I usually carry the camera in my chest pocket so if it's a little bukly I think I'm ok if if the results are much better and I can use my other lens's with it. I have a Rebel DLSR now but my wife and I just find it too large for carrying around and traveling. I will be selling that soon.

post #9 of 20

OK, a few examples from my G9 on snow...

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Apologies that they are all slightly skewed, click on each for it to open in a new windo correctly. If you want to see the full size originals, just let me know!)

post #10 of 20

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wear The Fox Hat View Post

It is a bulkier camera than several of it's competitors, but it has advantages - compared to the LX3 - it's got a built in flash, and compared to both LX3 and ZS3 it's got an optical viewfinder.

Personally, I wouldn't buy a camera for use in bright light if it didn't have an optical viewfinder, otherwise you'll spend half your time trying to sheild the LCD with one hand so you can see it - and if you wear polarised lenses in your glasses, then you may well have to take the glasses off to be able to see the LCD

 

The LX3 has an internal flash, or at least that's what all the spec sheets say.  It also has a hot shoe for an external flash or an optional optical viewfinder.

 

But from what I've read, the LCD screen on the LX3 is very good, with adjustable brightness.  I haven't seen any complaints about it with respect to bright light shooting.   I was hoping someone here might have it, though.

 

Gorgeous pictures with the G9.

post #11 of 20

Ah, you're right - I just looked at the main image of it and saw no flash - I guess their marketing department took over from their photographers department to make the flash pop up so the front of it looks sleeker.

post #12 of 20
Thread Starter 

OK so looked at different cameras this weekend.  Really liked the Lumix ZS3 http://reviews.cnet.com/digital-cameras/panasonic-lumix-dmc-zs3/4505-6501_7-33543456.html?tag=contentMain;contentBody  I also looked at the canon 200. Nice camera but the Vid zoom is locked when shooting. Also, the ZS3 shoots at 1.9 FPS.vs. .9 on burst.  Both have 28mm lens.

 

before I buy, is there anything else on the horizon or something I missed?

post #13 of 20

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post

OK so looked at different cameras this weekend.  Really liked the Lumix ZS3 http://reviews.cnet.com/digital-cameras/panasonic-lumix-dmc-zs3/4505-6501_7-33543456.html?tag=contentMain;contentBody


Finn,

I have the predecessor to the Lumix ZS3 which is the TZ5. I like the camera very much for a small easy to use PnS. It is a little slow, but that's an issue of most similar cameras. The video feature of allowing  zoom is a plus, but, the high zoom produces very bouncy video and auto-focus is very slow when trying to capture skiing. My thinking is that if video is critical, bring a dedicated video camera. I do like the feature of being able to capture single images from video.

Hmmm selling the Rebel, maybe we can do a transaction.

Mike

post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 

Thanks Mike, I think the Zs3 solved some of the video issues and now has stabilization and shoots in 720i HD. Burst is now 1.9fps which for a small cam is pretty quick.  We can discuss the Rebel. i don't know what it's worth and has a very nice lens with it too!

post #15 of 20

Finn,

Like you, I needed an updated point and shoot and overall I'm very pleased with the Lumix as a still camera, video less so. I was seduced by the extended zoom and video capabilities coupled with stabilization. Taking pics and video at max zoom changes everything due to operator inability to hold the camera steady, it's just the nature of the beast. This is compounded by slow auto focus. The review indicates mild improvement, but, when a small point and shoot solves these issues, they will be walking out of stores. Does the new model have a viewfinder other than the LCD screen?

 

The second issue is operator knowledge, or, perhaps better said, operator error. Ya just need to use the advanced features on a regular basis so that they can be applied especially if the intent to capture moving skiers. I spent some time with my Lumix last night as a result of this thread just reviewing it's capabilities like the "Burst" feature. A common friend tried to use my camera to capture skiing video, and, it did not work out because it's a little more complicated than point and shoot with a fixed lens.

 

A final comment is that when using video, at high resolution you create some very large files for a few seconds of video to the point where uploading can't be accomplished via normal net transfer. The trick is to find the balance between acceptable resolution and file size.

 

post #16 of 20

 Costco. You have 3 months to return it. So, a 3 month trial period. 

post #17 of 20

Does anyone use a waterproof digital camera/

I've spent a couple of days reading specs and reviews of all waterproof digital cameras.  Every time I think I've found the winner, I find a review that says something negative about that particular camera.
 

Is it worth the added price (and possibly loss of feature set) to buy a waterproof digital camera? 

post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by skibum4ever View Post

Does anyone use a waterproof digital camera/

I've spent a couple of days reading specs and reviews of all waterproof digital cameras.  Every time I think I've found the winner, I find a review that says something negative about that particular camera.
 

Is it worth the added price (and possibly loss of feature set) to buy a waterproof digital camera? 


I think it is worth it, just so you don't have to think about keeping it dry.  I've had the old Pentax water resistent optio for many years, and like it.  One day last summer I had it in my pocket when I waded out into the lake to help someone, and it spent 15 minutes underwater -- it was fine.  Nice not to accidentally ruin an expensive item.    One other nice feature is they are spec'ed to work to cold temperatures, unlike most cameras.

It takes good pictures in bright light, and reasonable ones inside (not quite as good as my "big" camera, but pretty good).

I am thinking of upgrading to the new "waterproof" one, which is smaller and takes better video than my old one.
post #19 of 20
 Hello,
Any normal digital camera will take good pictures for your skiing album. What matters is
1) waterproofness
2) size ( I still feel my rib after falling on Canon A710 in January )
If you are looking forward to take videos maybe you should think of helmet camera ;)
post #20 of 20
I have been using the Panny Lumix TZ1 for a few years now. It has been the best P&S I have had so far. The 10X optical zoom is a minumum must IMO for shooting skiers. The Leica lens can't be beat in a P&S.

I actually bought the camera for my wife and like it so much more than my Olympus Stylus that I borrow it whenever possible. I'm looking at the TZ5 now to replace my Olympus.
Edited by MattL - 9/27/09 at 4:14pm
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