Where is my camera?
I think I have fairly simple criteria:.

<1" thick with no protrusions, I want to slip in pocket easily1/1.7 or larger CCD28-100+ equivalent, 28-200 would be greatOIS nice to haveManual control over aperture/shutter as well as selection of presetsZoom while recording videodecent quality lens and processing, ideally RAW or TIFF outdecent speed (startup, photo to photo ...).

A few are close but nothing hits all the marks. anything on the horizon or am I setting my marks too high?Panny TZ3 is close but too bigRicoh R7 has a smaller sensor and no manual controlFuji F31fd no wide angle, skimpy on the zoom, no OISPana LX2 has protrusioneven the newcomers don't get there 950IS, F50fd, NV15, NV20 ....

Any ideas on where to settle? I basically want a DSLR in a 1" package.Note price is not so much of a consideration...

Comments (18)

No ultracompacts I'm aware of can zoom while recording video.You don't need RAW of TIFF. Many pros don't use it on their DSLR's..

Canon SD870IS is the closest I can think of, but his limited manual. I have a Canon SD200, and it's great...

Comment #1

Ok, I'll give on the RAW or TIFF, that was low on my wish list..

What do I knock off next?.

The 870IS has the smaller CCD 1/2.5 and no manual controls, and it's on the fatter side of the minis...

Comment #2

The problem with wanting a small form factor and a "larger" sensor is that it is very difficult if not impossible to fit a wide angle lense in front of a 1/1.7" sensor. Including a larger zoom range only magnifies (no pun intended) that problem. With larger sensors come larger optics. You can skimp on the size of the optics by making a slower lense, but when you're using such a small sensor already it comes to a point of diminishing returns..

It appears as though your required small form factor and 1/1.7" sensor will come at the expense of a less than 28mm wide lense. 36mm may be the closest you'll get, with the Canon SD950IS..

IMO a wide angle lense is more important than sensor size, but that is my opinion. I'd say to not worry about the sensor size and go with OIS, a wide angle lense, and small form factor..

Are you worried about noise? If so, consider that you'll likely never print larger than an 8x10 with this camera - if you do, you'll probably want to look into a different camera.Tim'Be the change you wish to see in the world.' -Mahatma Gandhi

Comment #3

That is a hard one, bigger than 1/2.5 sensor and wide angle:check the ricoh GX100 and GX8.

A bit expensive, not really with out protusion and for 100 equivqlent you have to crop....

GX100: + 24mm equivalentGx8: + cheap, - bad movie, - small screen.

Otherwise there are some panasonics/leicas, but I bleive they are thicker.



Comment #4

Thanks Tim,.

I was wondering if there was some optics related constraint I was missing..

What is the consensus on the 'folded' lens strategy that some models use? Casio V7, Sony T200, Fuji Z10 ... I am leery simply because of the miniscule apertures, just doesn't seem right to zoom as high as some of them do with such a small aperture..

What about the Canon TX1, they get the bigger zoom by turning the lens sideways in the camera, seems to make sense but you don't see much about this camera. It doesn't fit many more of my criteria but seems like it has potential if they did a TX2?.

By the way, your advice would push me more towards the Ricoh Caplio R7, I give on sensor size and manual controls, but get the wider angle, big zoom and small form...

Comment #5

JLrock wrote:.


Any other input?.

Why not drop the 28 mm? That seems to be the main problem..

Regards, David..

Comment #6

I'm not sure what you mean by "folded lense" design, but I think you're referring to the multiple lense barrels that are stacked when the lense extends. I personally have never owned a camera that is designed like that, but I can't say it is a bad thing. Even some DSLR lenses have two segments that extend..

Regarding optics, you should look for a camera with a lense with a large maximum aperture both at wide angle and at maximum telephoto. A large maximum aperture is a "smaller" f-number. f/2.8 would be about the largest maximum aperture at wide angle as you're going to get in a P&S, and probably something around f/4 or smaller at the telephoto end. Remember that the smaller the maximum aperture at the telephoto end, the more sluggish and less accurate the AF will be (at telephoto). So generally speaking, f/4 at 500mm will perform better than f/6.3 at 500mm (equivalent)..

Again, you will run into the problem of always finding small apertures at the telephoto end of P&S cameras because it is physically easier to achieve and is much cheaper as well. The larger the maximum aperture, the larger the glass elements have to be, which means the camera will be larger and more expensive..

I don't normally follow the releases of P&S cameras since I'm not in the market for one, so I can't comment on the ones you've suggested. However, the TX1 seems to be geared more toward video recording than image recording - it may be that intermediate camera between digital cameras and digital camcorders - probably doesn't do either one extremely well, but does both much better than a camera does video or a video camera does still images.Tim'Be the change you wish to see in the world.' -Mahatma Gandhi

Comment #7

No ultracompacts I'm aware of can zoom while recording video..

The Casio Exilim EX-V7 and EX-V8 are two ultracompacts with 7x optical zoom during video recording. The zoom is silent too. ..

Comment #8

By 'folding lens' I was referring to cameras like the Casio EX-V7, the Fujifilm FinePix Z10fd, Sony DSC-T200. The lens does not extend beyond the front of the camera, it's all internal. Very small apertures but they seem to get decent reviews..

I've been looking for a detailed optical analysis of the lens technique and the plus and minus vis-a-vis the more regular telephoto, but can't seem to find anybody that has taken a look at it. (Beyond as part of a regular camera review)..

Would prefer not to give up on the 28, reason being I want the wide angle for shooting inside rooms..

At the rate these cameras are being released it's hard to keep up with the latest offerings...

Comment #9

Why not just look at the list of "Highly Recommended" and so on and then pick the nearest?.

Without NASA funding you won't get exactly what you want and, like that pen they designed to write upside down that cost millions, cheaper items exist that do the same thing (I'm thinking of pencils because they work upside down - ask any carpenter)..

And reality tells me that the perfect specification doesn't always produce the perfect solution..

BTW the list of "Highly Recommended" etc is here:.


One more point (based on bitter experience) cameras that are easy to slip into a pocket are also easy to drop out of your pocket and fiddly to use. That sentence was based on hundreds of pounds worth of experience and repair bills. .

Regards, David..

Comment #10

C'mon, what fun would picking from a list be?.

It's much better to agonize over every little spec and trade-off until you've locked yourself into complete indecision. (You save a lot of money that way plus you get to spend hours pouring over reviews and spec sheets, unfortunately you don't get many pictures)..

Comment #11

Your camera is a Fuji S6000, except for the IS and the size, and the closest thing to it is the F30/F31fd..

If your priorities are wide angle and good zoom in a compact size, drop everything else and get the TZ3..

If not, keep waiting..

'Practice doesnt make perfect, perfect practice doesnt make perfect. Practice makes improvements and improvements lead to excellence!'Just practice!.

Fujifilm Finepix E550 and F20Pentax K100d..

Comment #12

Nice article. I think I lucked out with my Samsung A7. After reading all this stuff it was just luck, not research, that made me get this camera. The Samsung does have a 1/1.8 sensor. Too bad the zoom is only 3x.

"b) If you want to try for a bit better image quality, look additionally for a 1/1.8" sensor,".

JLrock wrote:.

Interesting article around IQ and sensor size..


Comment #13

In many respects the Panasonic LX2 meets your requirements..

JLrock wrote:.

<1" thick with no protrusions, I want to slip in pocket easily.

Even the flat, no protrusions, pocket cameras do not fit all that well into pockets. I have a Minolta X50, and I prefer to carry it rather than put it into a pocket. It is too heavy for a shirt pocket and too bulky and rigid for a pants pocket (unless your pocket is VERY big). Unlike a wallet, which is bendable and does not mind pressure, the camera is not bendable and will not like excessive pressure..

1/1.7 or larger CCD.

Not sure what size the LX2 CCD is..

28-100+ equivalent, 28-200 would be great.

It covers the 28mm to about 100mm zoom range..

OIS nice to have.

Has OIS.

Manual control over aperture/shutter as well as selection of presets.

Full manual control and well implemented too..

Zoom while recording video.

Don't use video on my still cameras (I have good HDV camcorders for that), so I don't know about this..

Decent quality lens and processing, ideally RAW or TIFF out.

Good quality Leica lens AND it does RAW too (allbeit slowly!!).

Decent speed (startup, photo to photo ...).

Fair. Haven't timed it, but fast enough. Slower with raw (only a one shot buffer)..

I know it has that 'protrusion' on the front, but it really is not all that big, and if you do not put it in a pocket, it will not matter. All of these cameras need to kept in a case of some kind to protect the LCD screen from scratches anyway, so this really becomes a moot point, especially as most of these cameras, once in a protective case (no matter how tight fitting), no longer becomes pocket friendly..

The only real complaint I have is that the sensor is noisy, even at base ISO (that's compared to my DSLR). So using ISO's above base is really not all that practical (for me at least). However, with a well lit and exposed scene, it will make very nice 8x10 prints..

The greatest of mankind's criminals are those who delude themselves into thinking they have done 'the right thing.'- Rayna Butler..

Comment #14

Really looked hard at the TZ3, size is a bit of a pain though..

Seriously looking at the LX2, sort of holding for the LX3 which seems from a time perspective like it should almost be here. Hopefully Panasonic doesn't simply jack up the megapixels to 12.2 and call it an upgrade..

Thanks for all the input, have to decide where to compromise, doesn't appear that my ultimate wish list is out there yet. Pocketability is really important to me, I want to carry it like a cell phone, all the time, I'm thinking I'll get those tear-off LCD protectors and try to protect the screen as well as possible...

Comment #15

If carrying it in your pocket is most important then look at the skinny little Sony T series but don't forget that the camera size to hand size ratio is important..

Many people think the LX2, which is "largish" is far too small in relation to the buttons etc on the back which are easily covered/pushed by the thumb whether you want to or not. IMO, the LX2 would be improved by having a longer body and more room for the thumb and, perhaps, something to get a grip on to the left of the screen (and, as I've said, a bigger battery and an optical viewfinder): something Leica might have done to give visible proof of extra alue for the extra price..

Regards, David..

Comment #16

Let me reiterate my recommendation of the Canon SD series. Great image quality, small size, and good ergonomics. Some have 28mm equiv on the wide end. And, they even have tiny leather cases for them...

Comment #17

Maybe Fuji F50fd.

Has:<1" thick with no protrusions, I want to slip in pocket easily1/1.7 or larger CCD (######although they piled on far to many pixels)OIS nice to haveManual control over aperture/shutter as well as selection of presetsdecent quality lens and processingdecent speed (startup, photo to photo ...).

Doesnt have:28-100+ equivalent, 28-200 would be great (######has 35-105)ideally RAW or TIFF out.

Don't know:Zoom while recording video.

So I give on the wide angle, the zoom, and the RAW and get most everything else...

Comment #18

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