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Noob Friendly Camera Questions

Old 11-11-19, 08:34 PM
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linus
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Noob Friendly Camera Questions

I'm looking for a camera that I can handle. A simple Point-And-Shoot will do since I'm a terrible shooter. My friend suggested Sony RX100 MK7 or Canon G7X MK3 since I will record videos as well. Will these fit in my jersey or Toptube(aka Bento) bag? Are these significantly better than my Note 9 Smartphone?

I usually don't stop when I take photos so I want to make sure I can easily take it out and take photos with one hand. At the same time, improved photo quality and well-focused shots are my goals.
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Old 11-12-19, 02:21 AM
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Originally Posted by linus View Post
I'm looking for a camera that I can handle. A simple Point-And-Shoot will do since I'm a terrible shooter. My friend suggested Sony RX100 MK7 or Canon G7X MK3 since I will record videos as well. Will these fit in my jersey or Toptube(aka Bento) bag? Are these significantly better than my Note 9 Smartphone?

I usually don't stop when I take photos so I want to make sure I can easily take it out and take photos with one hand. At the same time, improved photo quality and well-focused shots are my goals.
I love my Canon PowerShot SX120 IS.The IS stands for Image Stabilization. I can very easily put it in my jersey pocket, pull it out, turn it on, take an image, turn it off and then put it back in my jersey pocket all without stopping the bicycle.

Cheers
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Old 11-12-19, 07:07 AM
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I am not familiar with Samsung Note phones but as one of the the flagship phones from one of the lead manufacturers it should have a good camera and more importantly software. So my advice is to stich with your smartphone and forget the point and shoot. Get a case and a waterproof bag for it. I would've given the opposite advice 2 years ago but situation is flipped.

I have pixel 3a and it outperforms my 5+ point and shoot collection in all the situations except when 5x+ large zoom is required. I practically stopped using my Nixon SLR as well. The convenience of editing on the fly and sharing with friends and family in nearly real time is an added bonus.

Before I started paying attention to it, I didn't realize how much "computational photography" ( Google the term for a few nice reviews of the trends) is as much of a game changer vs conventional digital photography as digital was vs analogue. Basically ability of your phone camera to take many images before and after the actual photo and incredibly powerful CPU/algorithms can more than adequately compensate for the hardware deficiency.
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Old 11-12-19, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by linus View Post
I'm looking ...
Sony a6000 is a pretty good camera, and it'll likely be $100 cheaper (or more) for Black Friday sale. It's better than most any P&S, with interchangeable lens capability, while not much heavier or larger, depending on lens.
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Old 11-12-19, 03:04 PM
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My friends are professionals, but they don't bike so they just gave a couple of feedback based on what I told them.

They explained focal length blah blah, depth blah blah, and aperture blah blah. LOL. To be honest, I'm not happy with my camera work so I thought maybe I can throw some $$$ at it and it might improved my picture quality.

Both SX120 and A6000 seem bulky though.
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Old 11-12-19, 03:22 PM
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The Sony RX100-series are great cameras. I’m quite familiar with the RX100 IV, it’s small so I think it will fit in your jersey pocket. The buttons are rather small so I will advice you to try to use the camera with one hand before you buy one.
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Old 11-12-19, 03:28 PM
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So definitely worth carrying PointAndShoot camera if I have RX100?

Thanks
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Old 11-12-19, 03:46 PM
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I have a Sony RX 100 II that I still take on tours. Loved it until I didn't. Took great photos--until the lens froze up after maybe 3-4 month of being treated with kid gloves. The warranty repair place I had to send it to in the states (CT, because I am on the east coast) was terrible. I later looked at Yelp! and could understand all the bad reviews. I finally got it back. After a few weeks, the O ring around the lens started came partially lose, so I had to send it back again.

Since the lens repairs, the pictures don't seem as crisp as they originally were. It's definitely not easy to shoot with while riding because of the small buttons and its size and shape. In fact, the body can be slippery. When I was researching it there were some comments on B&H's web site advising the purchase of a little stick on grip for the front of the unit. I followed that advice and am glad I did. Also, the zoom in not very strong, and it is slow to focus in low lighting conditions. Compare the XS 120's 10x optical zoon to the 3.6x of the RX 100 II. Unfortunately, I didn't pay attention to the zoom capability when I bought my Sony. Bought it in a hurry to replace a cheapo camera that had bought after I dropped my good Cannon P&S into a cup of water on the first night of a tour.
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Old 11-12-19, 11:30 PM
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The Sony a6000 series cameras are pretty amazing. They are durable, produce excellent pictures, interchangeable lenses, versatile, and relatively compact. The primary reason I chose this camera is that it has an excellent electronic eye level view finder and a rear screen. The majority of my pictures are of people, and for me the eye level viewfinder is much better than using the rear screen, My wife and I use 3 of them; one is a backup. If you are not going to make poster sized prints, the a6000 may be overkill.

The Sony RX 100 series cameras are also nice cameras, and they will fit in your jersey pocket. Figure out what you want to do with your camera, and get one that will meet your present and anticipated needs.

A full frame picture of the Berlin Wall with no post processing work.


An enlargement of a small section of the photo above, and you can still see individual strands of the young woman's hair.


I do shoot some while on my bike, but the pictures are usually of other riders I'm with. My landscape photos suck anyway, so I always stop to take scenery pictures. My wife takes amazing landscape photos, so when we are touring I cover the people, and she takes care of the lanscapes

This shot was taken while riding behind my wife.

Last edited by Doug64; 01-13-20 at 12:24 PM.
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Old 11-13-19, 12:38 AM
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I'll add the Olympus Tough series to the mix. I have the TG - 4 but the TG - 5 is now out.

I chose it for it's waterproof and impact resistant design as an adventure camera. Helps when riding in the rain and using it one handed on a bike. You can add lens and it shoots RAW which is good if you like post processing. One drawback is the lack of zoom but it's macro is amazing. I recently discovered it can also shoot slo mo HD video too.
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Old 11-13-19, 07:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
I'll add the Olympus Tough series to the mix. I have the TG - 4 but the TG - 5 is now out.
too.
Just looked them up. There is now a TG-6. Looks interesting.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...al_camera.html

I am rough on stuff so this could be a good fit for me. I also like the double pane glass to help prevent fogging and condensation. I have experienced that when carrying my camera in my jersey pocket.
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Old 11-13-19, 09:58 AM
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That Olympus is an interesting option. Thanks.
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Old 11-13-19, 10:46 PM
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Originally Posted by linus View Post
I'm looking for a camera that I can handle. A simple Point-And-Shoot will do since I'm a terrible shooter. My friend suggested Sony RX100 MK7 or Canon G7X MK3 since I will record videos as well. Will these fit in my jersey or Toptube(aka Bento) bag? Are these significantly better than my Note 9 Smartphone?

I usually don't stop when I take photos so I want to make sure I can easily take it out and take photos with one hand. At the same time, improved photo quality and well-focused shots are my goals.
Canon G9X MK II
Very small, great photo quality and it can do manual functions for when you learn a little more about photography. Your photog friends may be impressed as well.
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Old 11-14-19, 03:03 AM
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Originally Posted by linus View Post
My friends are professionals, but they don't bike so they just gave a couple of feedback based on what I told them.

They explained focal length blah blah, depth blah blah, and aperture blah blah. LOL. To be honest, I'm not happy with my camera work so I thought maybe I can throw some $$$ at it and it might improved my picture quality.

Both SX120 and A6000 seem bulky though.
I don't see where a Canon PowerShot SX120 IS camera that fits easily into a bicycling jersey pocet, and can be used one-handed whilst riding can be considered bulky. It also has a 10x zoom and up to 40x zoom. I've used that 40x as a telescope to see what a road sign far ahead says. It also has many other settings including manual and video.

It suits my needs perfectly. YMMV

Cheers
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Old 11-14-19, 09:46 AM
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Back to photo quality for a second. Once you get beyond a certain level of camera it's almost all about seeing potential pictures in the landscape, composition and understanding light. I hang out with photogs that have crazy systems and, while I can't get some of their telephoto shots, I sometimes pull off equally good pics with my TG 4.

If there is one benefit to buying a better camera it's that one becomes more invested in taking pictures and learning what makes a good shot.

Last edited by Happy Feet; 11-14-19 at 09:50 AM.
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Old 11-14-19, 09:49 AM
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I have not looked at the cameras mentioned above but which ever camera you select, I would highly recommend a waterproof camera. It removes a lot of worry and or care needed since it will see such extensive outdoor use. jmo
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Old 11-14-19, 10:58 AM
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I originally bought my TG4 for diving, it being waterproof to 50' (and below 200' with a case for $250). It turned out to be a good overall fit for me.
I trail run with it in hand, loop it to my PFD when kayaking and keep it in a jersey pocket or a feedbag on the bars when cycling. The crux is having a camera that can take good pics but also small and robust enough to carry on trips where the good shots are.

One thing I like is it does not have an expanding/retractable lens and/or cover. In the past those have fouled with sand or grit and become inoperable. The lens does have a bayonet fitting to allow for an LED light, telephoto or fisheye lens to be mounted. As I said, the one failing of the camera is a weak telephoto capability so that is a bonus. Investing in lens for a P&S is odd but as they fit future series it's not so bad.

So far I have been using the panorama function to get wide angle shots but it's a bit hit or miss and sometimes I need a couple of tries to get the images stitched together decently. I have been reading about using a fisheye for wide angle and will probably buy one ($139) to experiment with. In tutorials they line the horizon up in a way that limits distortion.
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Old 11-14-19, 02:29 PM
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I now use a Canon G9X. It is a bit heavy compared to a Smartphone, but is much easier to hold truly steady for video vs. a smartphone. I also use my iPhone, but the Canon images are usually a bit sharper which I attribute to a more secure hold (NOTE: from a static rest, the iPhone will perform equally), but the Canon also supports RAW format.

I have also had great Olympus P&S in the past, but our Stylus Tough wasn't, and began giving soft and low contrast images. THe one great thing, was as prior poster noted, it does not have an expanding zoom lens which is better for water and dust proofing, but can compromise image quality on digital zoom vs. hardware zoom.

On a no load photo specific trip, I have carried my Canon 5D-III with an 85mm, but that is a bit large.
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Old 11-14-19, 11:37 PM
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I still can't make up my mind. I guess I can try one and see how it goes.

It bothers me since I try not to carry any tool that has a single duty.
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Old 11-15-19, 05:53 AM
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Originally Posted by linus View Post
I still can't make up my mind. I guess I can try one and see how it goes.

It bothers me since I try not to carry any tool that has a single duty.
Here are a some images I took with my Canon PowerShot SX120 IS point and shoot camera.

A group of riders where the image was take whilst I was RIDING my bicycle.



Another image take shortly after.



Sunrise without built in flash.



Sunrise with built in flash.



Sunrise with no flash.



and a bit later.




A duck.



All those were taken with the Auto setting. Like I said I really like this camera.

Cheers
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Old 11-15-19, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by riceowls View Post

Before I started paying attention to it, I didn't realize how much "computational photography" ( Google the term for a few nice reviews of the trends) is as much of a game changer vs conventional digital photography as digital was vs analogue. Basically ability of your phone camera to take many images before and after the actual photo and incredibly powerful CPU/algorithms can more than adequately compensate for the hardware deficiency.
I have a rough idea what you mean, and I still need to get my head around it better.

I'm still using an old iphone 6s, so not a "great" camera, probably. But since iOS 13 came out, the software does some weird stuff like that, and I just wind up confused. 🤔😁 The still pics sometimes show 3 or 4 pics, of the same pic, so you can pick which one to keep. And sometimes, the still pics move, like you were filming it. It's more than an old dummy like me can handle, for now. 🙄😉
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Old 11-15-19, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by stardognine View Post
And sometimes, the still pics move, like you were filming it. It's more than an old dummy like me can handle, for now. 🙄😉
Those fluid pics are great, I was a bit puzzled by them but now love these especially for cycling where things are quite dynamic. You can always turn it off in setting or convert to static but I am sure you'll love these eventually. What I was talking is the extension of this. You phone camera start collecting light and saving/buffering images as soon as you open the app and can use that buffered images to improve on the image taken when you press that red button. Point and shoot don't do it and as a result compact point and shoot are getting left behind...
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Old 11-15-19, 08:08 PM
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Interesting graph. I wonder how that breaks down between cheap cameras and higher quality ones.

My sense is that phone cameras are great for average pics or pics in relatively benign settings. That has been my experience as even my older Samsung 5 takes an awesome pic. But when I wanted a tool for more adventurous activities I sought a dedicated P&S so I wouldn't risk breaking my phone or wearing the battery down on my emergency communication device. At the same time, I didn't want to buy a camera that took worse pics than my phone, and wanted some other features like RAW and manual settings so I looked at the upper tier choices. So I could see phones wiping out the lower tier camera market that way.

Some might wonder why not a full DSLR camera for great pictures but those come with some down sides for outdoor pursuits. They are usually too heavy to run with, somewhat delicate and waterproof housings cost thousands instead of hundreds.
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Old 11-15-19, 11:36 PM
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This Sony mirrorless is about half the size as our DSLRs, and it will do as much or more as a DSLR. I'll also bet a beer that I can get my Sony out of my barbag while riding, faster than most folks can get a smaller point and shoot out of their jersey pocket.


In the early days of digital, the DSLR was about the only way to get high resolution pictures, but there is definitely a weight and size trade-off. We have not used our DSLRs very much in the last 5 years. As noted above, even Sony sized cameras are too large for some activities. I have been tempted to try a waterproof camera, but have resisted so far

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Old 11-19-19, 05:23 AM
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I'd be listening to your friends who are pro photographers. Sony's RX100 series are brilliant for the size.
I travel with a DSLR camera with a pro quality 24-70 2.8 lens which takes great shots but lacks the convenience of the pocket sized RX100 and weighs a lot more
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