best pocket camera for DSLR user?

Discussion in 'Digital SLR' started by HankB, Nov 25, 2007.

  1. HankB

    HankB Guest

    What's a good camera to supplement use of a DSLR for the times I want
    something that fits in a pocket. (No, bigger pockets aren't a good
    solution. ;)

    There are so many! It doesn't have to be a one of those really small
    ones. I think there would be excessive compromise on sensor and optics
    to gain that small size. Nor does it require a lot of features because
    when I need features, I'll go through the trouble to bring the DSLR.

    Neither should it be expensive. That's reserved for DSLR
    accessories. :D

    The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3 looks good. 10x optical zoom starting at
    28mm equivalent (and I'm a wide angle fan) And it has MEGA OIS, not
    just IS!

    Any thoughts on that or a better alternative?

    Don't bother to suggest a P&S replacement for my DSLR. That's simply
    not in my plans.

    HankB, Nov 25, 2007
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  2. HankB wrote:

    I have both the Panasonic TZ3 and the Ricoh R5. The Ricoh is quite a bit
    smaller with a 28 - 200mm IS lens, but the image quality isn't as good.
    The IS on the Panasonic is optical rather than sensor-shift, and works
    very well (as on most Panasonic cameras), Both are reasonable
    ergonomically. I would now take the TZ3 when my DSLR was inappropriate
    (and I'm keeping the R5 as a backup), and of course they do simple movies
    as well. I'm a fan of wide-angle and IS.

    David J Taylor, Nov 25, 2007
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  3. Panasonic = noise

    Can you afford a Canon G9 ?
    Yvon Travailler, Nov 25, 2007
  4. I'd be inclined to buy a compact camera of the same brand as my DSLR,
    unless some other brand really floats your boat.
    John McWilliams, Nov 25, 2007
  5. HankB

    HankB Guest

    Bit more than I hoped to spend and it only goes to 35mm equiv on the
    far end.

    HankB, Nov 26, 2007
  6. HankB

    Doug Jewell Guest

    The Pana TZ2/TZ3 are quite good cameras, but personally I'd
    consider a Canon A6xx series camera. The older 630/640 are
    still readily available (in Australia anyway), and are quite
    cheap, while the newer 650 adds optical IS. The 6xx series
    have a 1/1.7" sensor which is the same size as the G7/G9 -
    quite a bit larger than most other P&S.
    They also offer a comprehensive array of manual controls, so
    for someone who likes the level of control of a DSLR, they
    make a reasonable alternative.
    They feature an optical viewfinder (not TTL of course), in
    addition to a tilt-swivel screen. The tilt-swivel screen is
    quite handy for self-portraits, macros, shooting over
    crowds, etc.
    The lens quality is quite good, and the photos are quite
    sharp for a compact camera (although I found the 6MP K100D
    still trumps the 10MP A640 for overall image quality,
    especially when ISO is above 400).
    The 6xx are a quite bit smaller than the G7/G9, but are
    still one of the larger compact cams, so may not quite be
    what you'd call pocket size. The zoom ratio is only 4x or 6x
    depending on model, and it isn't a wide zoom.
    Doug Jewell, Nov 26, 2007
  7. HankB

    Doug Jewell Guest

    Every ultra-compact big-zoom camera equals noise because of
    their small sensors. The Pana's aren't significantly worse
    than any other similar camera.
    It's hardly a "Pocket" camera. I'd consider a Canon A6xx
    series a better buy for someone looking for pocket size -
    the A6xx are still bigger than what I'd call pocket-size,
    but considerably smaller than the G9. They share the same
    size sensor as the G9 though which is a plus.
    Doug Jewell, Nov 26, 2007
  8. HankB

    m II Guest

    Olympus Stylus Epic 35mm, non zoom. Please read the reviews: meant DIGITAL!

    Something in the Fujifilm Finepix series. Excellent shots and far less
    noise than most if not all Panasonics. If I were Leica, I'd be mad for
    what sensors they stick behind the great glass.

    m II, Nov 26, 2007
  9. HankB

    Tom from WI Guest

    Have you looked at the Kodak Z812. It has a great zoom (12X), 8.2 MP, Image
    stabilization. I have an earlier model along with my Canon Rebel XT. Very
    handy to have.
    Tom from WI, Nov 26, 2007
  10. HankB

    Tom from WI Guest

    Forgot to add: The Z812 is $240 at Costco this week (mail order only). Free
    shipping and a 2GB SD card included.
    Tom from WI, Nov 26, 2007
  11. Yvon Travailler wrote:
    Panasonic and Canon take different approaches in their software. Among
    the differences, the Panasonic delivers sharper, less smoothed, images,
    which will therefore have more visible noise. Which you find better is a
    matter of personal preference. For me, I would rather not have the
    excessive smoothing of the Canon, and I prefer the better Leica lens of
    the Panasonic.

    David J Taylor, Nov 26, 2007
  12. Doug Jewell wrote:
    But none of the Canon cameras you suggest offer the wide-angle (28mm)
    which appeals to Hank.

    David J Taylor, Nov 26, 2007
  13. HankB

    Doug Jewell Guest

    Which was what I said as the last sentence of my post, under
    the "drawbacks" of the 6xx series. No matter what camera you
    choose there will be some drawbacks and some advantages - it
    is a matter of choosing which drawbacks are deal-breakers
    and which advantages are the ones you need. Hank asked for
    suggestions, so I offered my opinion of what I would see as
    a camera that wouldn't be frustrating for a typical SLR user.

    The TZ2/TZ3 have a very handy 28-280 equiv zoom range, but
    they also only have the rear screen viewfinder, don't offer
    much control other than full-auto and scene modes, and
    although their noise isn't much worse than other similar
    cameras, it is quite a bit worse than the A6xx series.

    Hank likes wide angle, but may find as he compares other
    cameras that other features are more important to him.

    For me personally, I love wide angle too - 28mm isn't really
    wide enough for some of the shots I like, but given the
    choice between a cam with wide-angle, or a cam with a
    viewfinder that allows you to see in bright daylight and
    with some manual controls, I would give up the wide-angle.
    Doug Jewell, Nov 26, 2007
  14. HankB

    RichA Guest

    A Nikon D40, a 50mm f1.8 prime lens and a belt pouch.
    RichA, Nov 27, 2007
  15. Dunno if it's "a better alternative," but Nikon's new Coolpix P50 has a
    28-102mm (equiv.) lens which makes it interesting to me (I like wide angle
    too) and is only $187 right now from with free shipping. Runs
    on AA cells, which some consider a plus and others don't. Has Vibration
    Reduction, but unfortunately it's the electronic kind rather than optical.

    It's just out so I doubt there are any product reviews on it yet.

    Neil Harrington, Nov 28, 2007
  16. HankB

    GeoffH Guest

    Hello Hank,
    Been there, done that.
    Own Pentax DSLRs but found that I didn't always wanted to haul them
    around with me every day so . .
    I bought a Lumix TZ3 and love it. All the manual controls I need for
    such a camera, and then . .
    Got tired of lugging my Canon HV20 camcorder around as well so . .
    I bought a Sanyo Xacti CG65EX camcorder/camera.
    I love this one and if goes with me everywhere.
    I now have a choice of using it as a camcorder or as a still camera.
    It's small enough to fit into one of the man bags that are becoming
    fashionable now.
    Wish I had bought one much earlier.
    One of the best gadgets I've bought in years!

    (The Pirate)
    Norfolk - UK not VA
    GeoffH, Nov 29, 2007
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