Need best lightweight P&S

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Raphael Bustin, Aug 24, 2006.

  1. I'm looking to "upgrade" a four year old Canon G2 which
    is still going strong. Since the G2 was in the $700 range
    (in 2002) let's say that's the limiting (street) price.

    I have these criteria:

    1. Image quality must meet or exceed the G2.
    2. Light!!! The G2 is 18 oz. I'd like something half
    that weight or less.
    3. Good battery life.

    Hopefully, tech specs would meet or exceed G2:
    * 1/1.8 sensor, 4 Mpix
    * f2.0-2.5, 3x optical zoom
    * RAW output

    I've seen lots of lightweight P&S cameras of 5, 6,
    or 8 Mpix. Almost always they have 1/2.5" sensors
    which feels to me like a *downgrade* from the G2.

    I've done a bunch of prowling around and have
    found nothing. Any ideas?

    There seems to be a *strong* correlation between
    sensor size and camera weight, which is a bit
    surprising.


    rafe b
    www.terrapinphoto.com
     
    Raphael Bustin, Aug 24, 2006
    #1
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  2. On Thu, 24 Aug 2006 08:52:36 -0400, Raphael Bustin <> wrote:
    >
    > I'm looking to "upgrade" a four year old Canon G2 which
    > is still going strong. Since the G2 was in the $700 range
    > (in 2002) let's say that's the limiting (street) price.
    >
    > I have these criteria:
    >
    > 1. Image quality must meet or exceed the G2.
    > 2. Light!!! The G2 is 18 oz. I'd like something half
    > that weight or less.
    > 3. Good battery life.
    >
    > Hopefully, tech specs would meet or exceed G2:
    > * 1/1.8 sensor, 4 Mpix
    > * f2.0-2.5, 3x optical zoom
    > * RAW output
    >
    > I've seen lots of lightweight P&S cameras of 5, 6,
    > or 8 Mpix. Almost always they have 1/2.5" sensors
    > which feels to me like a *downgrade* from the G2.


    How about a Panasonic LX1 (or the soon-to-be-released LX2)?
    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/panasoniclx1/
    8 megapixels on a 1/1.65" sensor, 4x optical zoom. The lens is slower,
    though, than your G2 (it's f/2.8-4.9). On the flip side, you do get an
    optical image stabilizer. RAW output is supported.

    Weight is around 8 ounces, and street price seems to be $450-500.

    -dms
     
    Daniel Silevitch, Aug 24, 2006
    #2
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  3. "Raphael Bustin" <> wrote:
    > I'm looking to "upgrade" a four year old Canon G2 which
    > is still going strong. Since the G2 was in the $700 range
    > (in 2002) let's say that's the limiting (street) price.
    >
    > I have these criteria:
    >
    > 1. Image quality must meet or exceed the G2.


    You lose.

    > I've seen lots of lightweight P&S cameras of 5, 6,
    > or 8 Mpix. Almost always they have 1/2.5" sensors
    > which feels to me like a *downgrade* from the G2.


    Yep.

    > There seems to be a *strong* correlation between
    > sensor size and camera weight, which is a bit
    > surprising.


    There isn't a market for a quality 3 or 4MP P&S camera, so there isn't one.

    Get the new 400D + 35/2.0.

    David J. Littleboy
    Tokyo, Japan
     
    David J. Littleboy, Aug 24, 2006
    #3
  4. Raphael Bustin wrote:
    []
    > There seems to be a *strong* correlation between
    > sensor size and camera weight, which is a bit
    > surprising.
    >
    >
    > rafe b
    > www.terrapinphoto.com


    Hardly surprising - camera dimensions will scale with the linear dimension
    of the sensor, and mass scales as the cube of the linear dimension (other
    things being equal).

    David
     
    David J Taylor, Aug 24, 2006
    #4
  5. Raphael Bustin

    rafe b Guest

    "David J Taylor" <-this-bit.nor-this-part.uk>
    wrote in message news:S5iHg.8112$...
    > Raphael Bustin wrote:
    > []
    >> There seems to be a *strong* correlation between
    >> sensor size and camera weight, which is a bit
    >> surprising.
    >>
    >>
    >> rafe b
    >> www.terrapinphoto.com

    >
    > Hardly surprising - camera dimensions will scale with the linear dimension
    > of the sensor, and mass scales as the cube of the linear dimension (other
    > things being equal).



    Ah but the sensor is a tiny piece of silicon weighing less
    than a gram in either case:

    1/1.8" = 14.11 mm diagonal
    1/25 = 10.16 mm diagonal

    That's not nearly enough to explain the difference between
    an 18-32 oz. camera and a 6-9 oz. camera.

    The sensor occupies a tiny portion of the weight or the
    volume of the camera. We're talking about a 3 mm
    difference in the sensor diagonal.

    But empirically -- based on what I'm finding -- you are
    correct. The only way to get (say) a 2/3 sensor or larger...
    is in a camera that's at least as heavy as the G2.


    rafe b
    www.terrapinphoto.com
     
    rafe b, Aug 24, 2006
    #5
  6. Raphael Bustin

    rafe b Guest

    "David J. Littleboy" <> wrote in message
    news:eckah3$aa1$...
    >
    > "Raphael Bustin" <> wrote:
    >> I'm looking to "upgrade" a four year old Canon G2 which
    >> is still going strong. Since the G2 was in the $700 range
    >> (in 2002) let's say that's the limiting (street) price.
    >>
    >> I have these criteria:
    >>
    >> 1. Image quality must meet or exceed the G2.

    >
    > You lose.
    >
    >> I've seen lots of lightweight P&S cameras of 5, 6,
    >> or 8 Mpix. Almost always they have 1/2.5" sensors
    >> which feels to me like a *downgrade* from the G2.

    >
    > Yep.
    >
    >> There seems to be a *strong* correlation between
    >> sensor size and camera weight, which is a bit
    >> surprising.

    >
    > There isn't a market for a quality 3 or 4MP P&S camera, so there isn't
    > one.


    Four Mpix was the minimum. Obviously I'd prefer more.

    > Get the new 400D + 35/2.0.



    a) 400D? it doesn't seem to exist
    b) probably violates both the weight and cost criteria
    (if it's a successor to the 350D.)

    The idea is a hiking or lightweight travel camera,
    one that I could take deep into the backwoods.
    That also means to some extent, "expendable."

    If weight is removed as a criteria, there are lots of
    choices, including 2/3 and even 4/3 sensors.


    rafe b
    www.terrapinphoto.com
     
    rafe b, Aug 24, 2006
    #6
  7. Raphael Bustin

    Philippe Guest

    rafe b wrote:
    > "David J Taylor" <-this-bit.nor-this-part.uk>
    > wrote in message news:S5iHg.8112$...
    >
    >>Raphael Bustin wrote:
    >>[]
    >>
    >>>There seems to be a *strong* correlation between
    >>>sensor size and camera weight, which is a bit
    >>>surprising.
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>rafe b
    >>>www.terrapinphoto.com

    >>
    >>Hardly surprising - camera dimensions will scale with the linear dimension
    >>of the sensor, and mass scales as the cube of the linear dimension (other
    >>things being equal).

    >
    >
    >
    > Ah but the sensor is a tiny piece of silicon weighing less
    > than a gram in either case:
    >
    > 1/1.8" = 14.11 mm diagonal
    > 1/25 = 10.16 mm diagonal
    >
    > That's not nearly enough to explain the difference between
    > an 18-32 oz. camera and a 6-9 oz. camera.
    >
    > The sensor occupies a tiny portion of the weight or the
    > volume of the camera. We're talking about a 3 mm
    > difference in the sensor diagonal.
    >
    > But empirically -- based on what I'm finding -- you are
    > correct. The only way to get (say) a 2/3 sensor or larger...
    > is in a camera that's at least as heavy as the G2.
    >
    >
    > rafe b
    > www.terrapinphoto.com
    >
    >

    I dunno.. I *like* my G2 and I find the weight somewhat handy (feels
    like you're handling a camera, not a toy..).

    Add that to the fact that I likely won't get much better image without
    hitting a serious cash jump (you can get a G2 for about $150 right now)
    and you get a nice comfort feeling about where I am photographically.
    ;)

    P.
    (waiting for Sept when all the 'new' models will come out and drive the
    old models into basement $ :) )

    --
    I do *NOT* have a short attention sp...(Oooh!! shiny!!)
     
    Philippe, Aug 24, 2006
    #7
  8. Raphael Bustin

    ASAAR Guest

    On Thu, 24 Aug 2006 22:44:58 +0900, David J. Littleboy, reverting to
    troll mode wrote:

    >> I have these criteria:
    >>
    >> 1. Image quality must meet or exceed the G2.

    >
    > You lose.
    > . . .
    >
    > There isn't a market for a quality 3 or 4MP P&S camera, so there isn't one.


    No, it's your answer that's the loser. You simply don't know how
    to read. Even Canon's not so recent G6 provides image quality that
    far surpasses that of the G2, and it's not a 3 or 4MP camera. But
    there's a reason why you answered as you did.


    > Get the new 400D + 35/2.0.


    You conveniently forgot to consider the request for a camera at
    least 1/2 the weight of the G2. That indicates a camera that weighs
    9 ounces or less. The 400D is unlikely to weigh less than the 350D,
    which even without a lens attached weighs more than double the
    desired weight (19 ounces), slightly heavier than the G2.

    Canon's new A710 meets the requirements (210g / 7.4 oz minus
    batteries) or close to 9 ounces with batteries. The A700 has
    excellent battery life, whether alkalines or NiMH batteries are
    used. The A710 should do as well or better.

    [RB:]
    > Hopefully, tech specs would meet or exceed G2:
    > * 1/1.8 sensor, 4 Mpix
    > * f2.0-2.5, 3x optical zoom
    > * RAW output
    >
    > I've seen lots of lightweight P&S cameras of 5, 6,
    > or 8 Mpix. Almost always they have 1/2.5" sensors
    > which feels to me like a *downgrade* from the G2.


    It may "feel" like a downgrade, but in practice the images should
    be much better than those produced by the G2. The G2 may have been
    good for its time, but it's completely outclassed by today's P&S
    cameras, even by many using smaller sensors. If a 1/1.8" sensor is
    a must, Canon's new 8mp A630 and 10mp A640 use 1/1.8" sensors.

    The A710 has a 7.1MP 1/2.5" sensor, and an f/2.8 lens with 6x
    optical zoom. No RAW output AFAICT. Just the ticket for
    conveniently taking high DOF shots! :) As an added bonus, it's
    Canon's first A series camera to use optical image stabilization.
     
    ASAAR, Aug 24, 2006
    #8
  9. On Thu, 24 Aug 2006 13:32:59 GMT, Daniel Silevitch
    <> wrote:

    >On Thu, 24 Aug 2006 08:52:36 -0400, Raphael Bustin <> wrote:
    >>
    >> I'm looking to "upgrade" a four year old Canon G2 which
    >> is still going strong. Since the G2 was in the $700 range
    >> (in 2002) let's say that's the limiting (street) price.
    >>
    >> I have these criteria:
    >>
    >> 1. Image quality must meet or exceed the G2.
    >> 2. Light!!! The G2 is 18 oz. I'd like something half
    >> that weight or less.
    >> 3. Good battery life.
    >>
    >> Hopefully, tech specs would meet or exceed G2:
    >> * 1/1.8 sensor, 4 Mpix
    >> * f2.0-2.5, 3x optical zoom
    >> * RAW output
    >>
    >> I've seen lots of lightweight P&S cameras of 5, 6,
    >> or 8 Mpix. Almost always they have 1/2.5" sensors
    >> which feels to me like a *downgrade* from the G2.

    >
    >How about a Panasonic LX1 (or the soon-to-be-released LX2)?
    >http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/panasoniclx1/
    >8 megapixels on a 1/1.65" sensor, 4x optical zoom. The lens is slower,
    >though, than your G2 (it's f/2.8-4.9). On the flip side, you do get an
    >optical image stabilizer. RAW output is supported.
    >
    >Weight is around 8 ounces, and street price seems to be $450-500.



    The review says it's a noisy beast...


    rafe b
    www.terrapinphoto.com
     
    Raphael Bustin, Aug 25, 2006
    #9
  10. Raphael Bustin

    VK Guest

    VK, Aug 25, 2006
    #10
  11. On Thu, 24 Aug 2006 22:04:51 -0400, Raphael Bustin <> wrote:
    > On Thu, 24 Aug 2006 13:32:59 GMT, Daniel Silevitch
    ><> wrote:
    >
    >>On Thu, 24 Aug 2006 08:52:36 -0400, Raphael Bustin <> wrote:
    >>>
    >>> I'm looking to "upgrade" a four year old Canon G2 which
    >>> is still going strong. Since the G2 was in the $700 range
    >>> (in 2002) let's say that's the limiting (street) price.
    >>>
    >>> I have these criteria:
    >>>
    >>> 1. Image quality must meet or exceed the G2.
    >>> 2. Light!!! The G2 is 18 oz. I'd like something half
    >>> that weight or less.
    >>> 3. Good battery life.
    >>>
    >>> Hopefully, tech specs would meet or exceed G2:
    >>> * 1/1.8 sensor, 4 Mpix
    >>> * f2.0-2.5, 3x optical zoom
    >>> * RAW output
    >>>
    >>> I've seen lots of lightweight P&S cameras of 5, 6,
    >>> or 8 Mpix. Almost always they have 1/2.5" sensors
    >>> which feels to me like a *downgrade* from the G2.

    >>
    >>How about a Panasonic LX1 (or the soon-to-be-released LX2)?
    >>http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/panasoniclx1/
    >>8 megapixels on a 1/1.65" sensor, 4x optical zoom. The lens is slower,
    >>though, than your G2 (it's f/2.8-4.9). On the flip side, you do get an
    >>optical image stabilizer. RAW output is supported.
    >>
    >>Weight is around 8 ounces, and street price seems to be $450-500.

    >
    >
    > The review says it's a noisy beast...


    Well, I don't actually own one, so I can't (usefully) comment on how bad
    the noise is in the real world. I know there are some LX1 people posting
    to this group, so there are probably some informed opinions out there.

    -dms
     
    Daniel Silevitch, Aug 25, 2006
    #11
  12. On Fri, 25 Aug 2006 11:26:53 GMT, Daniel Silevitch <> wrote:
    >> The review says it's a noisy beast...

    >
    > Well, I don't actually own one, so I can't (usefully) comment on how bad
    > the noise is in the real world. I know there are some LX1 people posting
    > to this group, so there are probably some informed opinions out there.


    Now that my morning coffee has kicked in, I remember that there was a
    fairly detailed field report of what the LX-1 was like to use, and how
    bad the noise was in actual use. A brief bit of Googling coughed up
    this:
    http://luminous-landscape.com/reviews/cameras/lx1.shtml

    The section on the noise:

    "Panasonic has a reputation of producing sensors and cameras that
    produce images which are not as silky smooth as those from some others.
    This is likely a consequence of less aggressive (or less sophisticated)
    noise reduction in camera. For those shooting JPGs this is a fact of
    life that will have to be lived with. And since pocket digicams are
    usually used in JPG mode, one has to accept this and make a choice. But
    since the LX-1 can shoot in RAW mode the photographer can apply
    appropriate noise reduction strategies in post processing, in which case
    the LX1 doesn't suffer anywhere near as much as it does by comparison
    with its peers when shooting JPG.

    My evaluation is that even without any aggressive NR efforts, the LX1 is
    perfectly acceptable noise-wise at ISO 80 and 100. ISO 200 needs help,
    and ISO 400 is frankly unacceptable without processing by a program such
    as Noise Ninja. Fortunately the noise is primarily chroma, so it cleans
    up quite nicely.

    So, while the good news is that shooting in RAW mode allows the LX-1 to
    perform at its best, the RAW software provided by Panasonic is simply
    dreadful. Fugedaboutit. Fortunately the latest version of Adobe's Camera
    Raw for both Photoshop CS2 and Elements 4 already supports the LX-1, and
    does so very well. Combine the LX1 in RAW mode with Camera Raw, and the
    image quality will more than please you. JPG files, or RAW files
    processed with Panasonic's PhotoFunStudio may disappoint."

    -dms
     
    Daniel Silevitch, Aug 25, 2006
    #12
  13. Raphael Bustin

    Paul Rubin Guest

    "rafe b" <> writes:
    > But empirically -- based on what I'm finding -- you are
    > correct. The only way to get (say) a 2/3 sensor or larger...
    > is in a camera that's at least as heavy as the G2.


    The A610 is much lighter than the G2 and has 1/1.8 which is pretty
    close to 2/3.
     
    Paul Rubin, Aug 28, 2006
    #13
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