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Old 05-04-2013, 08:14 AM   #31
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Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Santa Barbara
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I had been using a little Pentax waterproof camera, but was frustrated with the poor image quality. I went to a Panasonic LX-5 which was a huge improvement in quality and versatility, but much more vulnerable. I recently got a Pentax K-30 with the 18-135 mm lens and will try that on my next motorcycle trip. Like Skierd mentioned it is reasonably weatherproof which the LX-5 was not, so I won't be afraid to take it out in marginal weather and won't worry about getting a cover on the tank bag as soon as we get a bit of rain. The K-30 is certainly bigger than the P&S cameras but smaller than most DSLRs.

I would not consider bolting any DSLR to the handlebars because I don't think any mechanism with precision moving parts would survive hours of vibration.
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Old 05-06-2013, 07:48 AM   #32
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A few on-line stores are closing out the Panasonic GX1. 42nd St has the best price right now at $240

Not too bad when you realize it was $700 when it came out about a year and a half ago.

The Sony compact is a damn fine camera. I just like the increased subject isolation a bigger sensor can give you. Combined the bigger sensor with a fast, longer prime, and the bokeh effect you get is better than a compact.
"When in doubt, gas it out. It may not solve the problem, but it will definitely end the suspense."
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Old 05-06-2013, 08:31 AM   #33
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I am by no means a pro photog but a couple of years ago when I decided I need a new P&S I ended up buying a Sony DSC-TX5. I carry it in my left front pocket on a neck lanyard so that I can shoot while riding.

Things I like about it:

- Small and slim
- Waterproof to 10 feet
- Drop-proof/shock-resistant to some extent
- Has lots and lots of different shooting modes
- Front of it slides down so it's easy to turn on with gloves on vs. the tiny power button of my prior Canon P&S
- Automatically does panorama shots with no need to take multiple pictures and stitch them together later - just sweep the camera while shooting and it does all of the processing internally
- Only a 4X optical zoom but it is internal so there is no lens extension mechanism to break
- I built a mount for it behind the windscreen on one of my bikes and can shoot HD vid with it (kind of a battery drainer since that's not its primary function but I carry an extra battery that I can charge in my electrified tank bag)
- Aside from shooting vid the battery life is very good
- Good in low light conditions

Things I don't like about it:

- Lens is in upper corner of it so need to be careful to keep fingers/gloves out of the picture
- Touch screen menu driven so need to be careful not to touch the back of it when shooting while riding
- No optical viewfinder and sometimes the screen viewfinder is hard to see in bright daylight

Still happy with it but I'm sure there's probably something better out there now since it is a couple of years old.
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Old 05-06-2013, 09:06 AM   #34
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So, it looks like I have to decide whether I can hack having an extra 4.67 oz in my pocket, if I retire my Lumix and go with an RX100.

But that looks like a hell of a camera, and nice shots, Lost Rider.
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Old 05-06-2013, 11:56 AM   #35
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There are always trade offs with cameras.. we all know that.. small cameras take more pictures because they fit in our pockets.. weather/shock proof cameras can reside around our neck or on the bike exposed and ready to go.. but lack the sensor size and features a serious photographer wants... it is a conundrum and can make your head explode Lostrider's shots are stunning and represent the amazing picture quality you can get from just a palm sized camera when it is packed with a great sensor, and in the hands of a skilled photographer. But they are clearly not snap shots, he got off the bike and set up those shots. Properly exposing them, using a polarizing filter in at least one, and a tripod?? or other stabalizing device in the lowlight shots. So if you are going to get off the bike and set up your shot, why not a larger camera... a 4/3's or mirrorless. I know why LR doesnt,, because he travels long distances completely self sufficient on a relatively small bike. I think the RX100 is the perfect camera for that scenario....BUT.. if you can spare a bit more space you can still get a camera with more versatility and functionality...and image quality.

The Pentax (I am a 35 year Pentax fanboy in all fairness) K-01 is weather and dust sealed, has in body image stabalization that has been proven over the last 10 years to give you 2/3 of the IS capability of the in lens Nikon/Cannon systems, it can use the thousands of lenses produced over the last 50 years for the pentax K mounting bodies, and it has a DSLR sensor that rivals the class leading Pentax K-5 sensor for low light capabilities. Now it is substantially larger than the RX100 (nearly the size of a DSLR) so if size is a leading factor in your decision then the K-01 is not for you.. but if image quality and lens selection is.. the K-01 should be considered.. IMHO YMMV
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Old 05-06-2013, 01:21 PM   #36
Jim K.
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It ought to be noted that almost all of us have a point & shoot built into our phones. The optics & sensors on smart phones are getting better exponentially, with each generation. Since the phone is always on my belt for low res quick shots, I think the need for a pocket P & S decreases as time goes by. The latest mirrorless, big sensor, cameras aren't that much bigger than P & S cams but produce enormously better image quality, for more serious photography.
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Old 05-06-2013, 11:48 PM   #37
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Hopfully if all goes well, will be on the Continental Divide this year.

Was planning on taking my Nikon DSLR (LowPro Backpack mounted on pillion seat - 23 lbs of camera gear!). It being my first offroad adventure ride, opting to leave it behind on this trip (know I'll be kicking myself later as the scenery passes by...).

I do like the Canon G-series (like the manual settings and RAW format). Last time I was looking at the Canon was around the G-12 era though (highly recomended). A bit bulkier than a point-and-shoot, but shouldn't be an issue. Don't know much about the G-15, but was playing around with it this past week - still seams like a great camera.

Since I have a point-and-shoot that still works that I can take (no manual or RAW), I been thinking about venturing towards a GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition with a chest mount. From the videos I've seen on Youtube, it takes great video on HD, even with changing light sources. Ultra-wide lens.

Also read the GoPro Hero3 has the ability of taking still shots. Controllable thru the App on the iPhone or Droid style phones (already mounted on my handlebars). Just started reseaching this option. It would be great to have a shots while riding and not having to fumble with a camera with your left hand.

I'm more of a Landscape / Portrait photographer, but after watching all the videos from Rawhyde, R1200GS, and the Continental Divide, I think the GoPro may be the way to go on a motorcycle adventure, at least for myself. Taking my point-and-shoot with me too.

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Old 05-07-2013, 10:03 AM   #38
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A good amount of thoughtful discussions happening here.

Like I said, there' no right or wrong and it's a good time to be wanting to buy a camera with all the excellent options in size, features and IQ for anyone to find what compromises they want to make.

I do travel a lot on a small bike, and I also do take the time to setup photos, (yes the night time photos are using a mini tabletop tripod), but I also have traveled and still do on much larger bikes where packing size is no issue. I've BTDT with carrying around a DSLR kit with an assortment of glass while traveling, and undoubtably in challenging lighting situations a DSLR will perform better or you can have more options with lenses, though 90% of the time I had larger cameras I shot with a 35mm prime lens because I like that focal length and the no compromise IQ and speed a prime gives.
Granted all of my gear, including some bikes in the garage has been getting smaller over the years as I find more enjoyment with less weight, bulk and responsibly than goes with traveling with cameras that don't fit easily in at least a jacket pocket, especially when out of the country, not to mention more enjoyment in the actual act of riding on a lighter bike.
It's also hard to get candid shots or not stick out when you have a big camera around your neck or shoulder, or stick a huge lens in someones face.
I think the OP already came to the conclusion of not carrying a DSLR for his own reasons though.

We all have different tastes in what makes us happy and there's pro's and cons to everything.
I've had some of the best cameras & glass that money can buy thinking that ultimate IQ somehow mattered and carried them on bikes for many miles, and for me, for my personal use and internet display I'm very content with the IQ the RX100 produces while taking into consideration the convenience it's size allows both on and off the bike. It's serious enough for me.

I agree about the smartphone comment, most of us have one and in good lighting conditions it's amazing what they can do and how they are improving, but the files don't hold up to any cropping plus once lighting isn't perfect the IQ turns to garbage and there's no manual control either.

I do however disagree about the MILC being that much if any better in IQ in most conditions, I haven't seen any photos that back up the comment about "cameras aren't that much bigger than P&S [size] cams but produce enormously better image quality, for more serious photography". Of course "better" is always subjective, but pocketability is not.
While I had the APS-C sensor Leica X1 and RX100 at the same time I did many side by side comparisons and there wasn't enough of a difference in IQ to justify keeping it or consider making the switch to any APS-C or 4/3 MILC camera.
The only "larger" camera that interests me is the Sony RX1, but that's a pricey Full Frame camera in my favorite focal length and makes images on par with a Leica M9, but still would fit in a jacket pocket.
One can only dream...

A fun side by side comparison of a 5DII vs RX100.

The most honest review I've seen based on my own feelings about the RX100 that's also fun to watch for us camera geeks.
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Old 05-07-2013, 10:37 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by alaninsea View Post
Hopfully if all goes well, will be on the Continental Divide this year.

I'm more of a Landscape / Portrait photographer...Taking my point-and-shoot with me too.

Ya might want to look through this thread...yah it's long, but...
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Old 05-07-2013, 12:30 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by SpeedyK View Post
Ya might want to look through this thread...yah it's long, but...
So now you want to expand the discussion from sensor size to Foveon vs Bayer... great
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Old 05-07-2013, 01:05 PM   #41
Lost Rider
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Originally Posted by mrt10x View Post
So now you want to expand the discussion from sensor size to Foveon vs Bayer... great

I was always intrigued by the Simga cameras, the IQ looks great. The new Ricoh GR also has very impressive IQ, neither are quite as small as I want though personally, I already had equal IQ and camera size in the X1.

It's a great time with all the new tech to be a photographer, there's something for everyone.
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Old 05-08-2013, 07:36 AM   #42
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I shoot with a DSLR (D300,200) and my Panasonic DMC-ZS10 PS which continues to amaze me, I have done 3 foot wide prints with it under the right conditions (and using Perfect Resize). What I don't like about small cameras is not being able to really control depth of field like I can with the Nikons and i hate composing looking at a screen. But I always have the PS with me. Also are you shooting for prints or will your photos never leave computer?
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Old 05-08-2013, 12:55 PM   #43
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Does it feel like a camera?

Since starting this thread, I've continued to go back and forth between different options. There's been lots of good discussion. On paper, the RX100 has everything that I want. Everything except maybe a viewfinder. But I've found myself reluctant to go that direction for some reason.

In looking at the MILC's, I think I've figured out my reluctance. Every digital camera I've used, except for my DSLR's, I've disliked. P&S cameras generally don't feel like a camera should in my hands. Taking pictures with them seems like just an analytical exercise in pushing buttons on a plastic box. Some of the MILC's seem the same way, but others feel a bit more like a camera. The Olympus E-P3 and the Panasonic GX1 look like a camera and to a small extent feel like a camera. Their form factor isn't ideal, but with a pancake prime lens or two, they aren't that much bigger than a P&S. They would at least fit in a jacket pocket and only take up part of my tank bag.

I know this is straying from my original question and has little to do with image quality or results. But it's a bit of an epiphany for me. Part of what I enjoy about photography is playing around with a camera and taking pictures, not just the end result. Some cameras add to the enjoyment and some take away from it. I think part of my search will be about finding not just the camera that gives the best results, but one that can also provide some of that tactile enjoyment while still being reasonably compact and efficient to use.

Am I the only one that this is an issue for? Lost Rider--while you've obviously achieved great results with the RX100, do you enjoy taking pictures with it? Thanks for your input and discussion everyone...very helpful!

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Old 05-08-2013, 01:43 PM   #44
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I feel exactly the same way and you raise a great point. That's why I enjoy the 6D more than the RX100 even though the RX takes great images. Like you, I realized that I like the operation and feel of the 6D, which makes it more enjoyable for me. Definitely something to consider.
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Old 05-08-2013, 10:11 PM   #45
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To me it feels like a camera. I shoot manual with it. That's how I've been using it.

I set the shutter speed, aperture and ISO myself, I can also move the focus point, and it even lets you do manual focus if you want to, just like an SLR or DSLR. The built-in flash can be used in auto, fill mode slow sync and rear sync.. and it can be bounced to have soft lighting.

So it still allow you to be creative, just like shooting with an SLR. The only difference is the rX100 doesn't have a viewfinder, and it's small.

I never used pocket camera until I bought Canon s90 about 3 years ago. I bought it cause it has Manual mode. That's important to me, cause even when I shoot with my DSLR, I always set it to Manual ... and I also prefer manual lens, my favorite lens is ZE35 distagon. The reason I picked rx100, when I lost my S90, was because it allows me to shoot in Manual mode.
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