Small Fast Response Point & Shoot?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by PC, Nov 29, 2004.

  1. PC

    PC Guest

    I'm looking for a few fast response P&S digital cameras 4-6MP. I need
    to take some action shots of my pets, but would like the portability.
    I realize that I would be better served with an SLR, but I really need
    it to be small.


    PC, Nov 29, 2004
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  2. PC

    Jerry G. Guest

    I found the Canon S-60 to be very fast for the price. The larger models tend
    to be a bit slower. You should to a camera store, enquire, and try it for

    Make an agreement where you can have your camera exchanged for another
    model, in case you don't like it. Most places may charge a re-stocking fee,
    but this is a fact of life when doing this type of business.


    Jerry G.

    I'm looking for a few fast response P&S digital cameras 4-6MP. I need
    to take some action shots of my pets, but would like the portability.
    I realize that I would be better served with an SLR, but I really need
    it to be small.


    Jerry G., Nov 29, 2004
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  3. PC

    Bob Guest

    Sony DSC-P100. Quickest around.... small too.
    Bob, Nov 29, 2004
  4. PC

    Roger Guest


    I have a S60 and "fast" for me depends on situation. BTW: I really
    like this camera and I work within it's limitations. I judge fast by
    old mechanical camera principles, so fast is in milliseconds. However,
    the S60 can be tuned to be reasonably fast. The camera can like all
    P&S cameras be exceedingly slow.

    Let's start with slow: Slow is taking a picture on a dark wedding
    reception dance floor with the camera in nearly any mode. Slow is
    pressing the shutter release and holding it till the system fires and
    having an out of focus picture of slow-dancers who have now turned 180
    degrees from when you pressed the shutter. This camera is not "fast"
    in low light, but it can be tuned.

    The camera startup time is very reasonable - that's from camera-off to
    ready-to-go in daylight.

    The auto focus time in "auto" mode is reasonable in daylight - but it
    can be made faster by picking a mode other than "auto".

    The auto focus time in Av mode (aperture priority) is even faster in

    For shooting on the street, I've developed a "custom" mode. That's my
    setting up the custom mode using "M" mode as a base, with manual focus
    set on 8-10 feet, the focal-length set at 28mm (equiv) and the
    aperture at f4.0. That gives me a very quick response time with
    subjects that are reasonably close and good depth of field. It becomes
    a snapshot camera - and a darn good one at that.

    The camera is exceedingly slow (not the slowest, but slow enough to
    drive type-B personalities bonkers) in low light with the zoom at
    maximum extension. But you shouldn't expect it to work like that with
    a minimum aperture of f5.3...

    Under reasonable light, using the flash (note this helps cut down the
    exposure-measurement interval to determine shutter speed), in Av mode
    the camera can be fast enough to capture children at play. You may
    have to learn some zone focusing techniques or other short cuts.
    However, in my experience the S60 is one of the faster cameras for
    this kind of work. But it is a p&s and it does have the p&s design
    limitations and drawbacks.

    Just to reiterate, I do like this camera very much. I especially like
    the f2.8 28mm lens equivalent. I shoot it mostly at the wide-angle
    settings and rarely use the zoom. I keep the ISO on auto or 50. I
    boost it to 200 on occasion, but when doing so I know I'll have to use
    some noise removal software. Just run of the mill photo processing but
    it is not free of digital noise above ISO100 - then again it's not a

    I like the camera's size and especially the features and the abundant
    ways you can configure it to take great pictures. The 5MP allows ample
    cropping freedom for excellent 4x6 prints.

    The one thing I've found with the 28mm (equiv) lens is that when
    handing the camera to someone else to take your picture, you need to
    either zoom the lens a bit or walk them to the place you want the
    picture taken. They will normally place themselves at a comfortable
    distance which is far too distant with the wide 28mm. Then you might
    not have enough crop freedom to avoid pixelation when you crop.

    BTW: The reviews of the Canon S70 state that the S70 is a better
    upgrade to the S50 than the S60 is to the S50. I think they are
    stating that the S70 really makes better sense than the S60. I don't
    have any experience with the S70, but if the extra 2MP means anything
    to you, you might take a look. As I've stated, I've found the 5MP of
    the S60 to be very adequate for my 4x6 travel snaps. I usually take
    the S60 and at least one Nikon professional SLR kit when I travel for
    business (every other week for a week). The S60 gets a lot of work.
    The other gear, although not ready to be replaced by the S60 yet is on
    the edge for those times when I might be "weight limited" in my
    travels. I have quite carrying a strobe with me as the strobe on the
    S60 is adequate for the close up people-having-fun pictures that make
    up this kind of photography. I also use the S60 raw mode when lighting
    gets tough as it adds a bit more flexibility in working with marginal
    exposures. The are also some interesting flash exposure controls on
    the S60, while a bit fiddly I found them very much worth learning.

    Bottom Line: My S60 is a great camera and very versatile. If "speed",
    however you define it, is your main goal; I recommend that you try one
    in lighting conditions similar to your shooting environment. The
    camera's focusing performance can widely vary depending on lighting
    levels. You might be able to judge a bit in a store.

    Roger, Nov 29, 2004
  5. PC

    Jeremy Guest

    Ricoh came out with one of their Caplio models, which claims to have the
    fastest shutter response available. It is not officially imported into the
    USA by Ricoh, but I have seen them periodically offered new on eBay by
    someone in Virginia that apparently directly imports them from Japan.
    Jeremy, Dec 1, 2004
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