2/14/2009

Which Point And Shoot?

Okay, so if I do decide to go with a Point and Shoot camera now, which one?

First off, it's important to remember that my iPhone's camera, while shitty, is ALWAYS with me and that fact alone makes it way better than any of these others sitting on a shelf...

Canon G9  $?? (used probably - the G10 has replaced it but has been poorly received)
-cheaper if used??
-6x zoom
-good video

Probably the best budget option and respectable all around, (assuming they can be found cheaply enough used - this could be very hard actually, apparently they're still in high demand).

Canon G10 $400?
-despite people's complaints, it is still a very nice camera with a very good lens
-may be cheaper since poorly-recieved?
-video is poorer than the G9, but for me that's not important

Sure, it's not as well-liked at the G9, but that's in large part because the G9 was so popular and the G10 didn't live up to the expectations.  Still, for me, I think it would be a great camera.

Panasonic LX3  $450
-no optical viewfinder!! - this is an issue when shooting in daylight (there is an expensive optional viewfinder that sits in the flash hotshoe)
-somewhat bulky and less pocketable (esp with that hotshoe viewfinder!)
-AMAZING low-light performance and outstanding pictures! (Better than most DSLRs)
-better performance than many DSLR cameras even - you could use this camera professionally

A strange camera, and it could definitely serve as a respectable DSLR stand-in, though it's poor zoom would be a real issue railfanning.  Too awkward to be an ideal pocket cam but much more convenient than my current camera.  This is perhaps an ideal compromise between pocket-camera and DSLR? 
 
FujiFilm F200EXR  $400
-not yet available so hasn't been reviewed
-AMAZING-looking low-light performance!!!!!!  (better than most DSLRs)
-5x zoom and nice wide-angle (great for both indoor and railfanning)
-no optical viewfinder. period. umm... that could be bad when light's reflecting off the lcd...

This camera looks great, but without being reviewed yet I'm a little hesitant.  Very versatile - great for both indoor, low-light shooting, and nice, high-resolution outdoor shooting, though I do worry about the lack of viewfinder since I always use the viewfinder on my other cameras.

Nikon P6000  $400
-good ergonomics (important when shooting regularly)
-battery hog
-slow (important when shooting trains that are MOVING)
-very pocket-able
-built in GPS geotagging (cool!)

Hmm, hard to say, not blown away by this one but the ergonomics factor is enticing.

Sadly, I'm pretty sure that none of these take standard AA batteries - I understand why they go with custom batteries, but I HATE custom batteries...  All of these are expensive for pocket cams though - this much money could buy you a solid zoom lens and put me half-way towards a nice DSLR setup (if I go DSLR, my first lens will be a nice Zoom!!).  Would a $100-200 pocket cam suffice instead?  I'm seeing this as a longish-term investment, so I'd honestly rather save my money than settle for a cheaper consumer camera since I already have a decent Ultra-zoom camera that can still take respectable pictures.  Still, I'm not sure that I could choose between these cameras - they would all serve me quite well.

If you're looking at the G10, LX3, or P6000, I recommend Andy Ihnatko's review of them at TWIP:

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