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Old Feb 9, 2010, 9:25 AM   #1
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Default Mountain biker needs help choosing digicam!

My old point 'n shoot digital camera (a pentax optio something, can't even find it right now..) frustrates me completely due to issues like lag time and accidentally changed settings. I'm ready for something new but mind-boggled by the choices. I'm hoping for direction from the experts. Can anyone help me narrow things down a bit?

Here is my wish list:
1) Great performance outdoors in all lighting conditions-- shade/mixed shade/bright sun, fog, dusk, etc.
2) Vibrant color saturation & landscapes. As we travel to different mountain biking meccas, I hope to create beautiful outdoor images and panoramas.
3) The ability to zoom in and capture the occasional interesting bug or flower with clarity. Or capture a bear from a safe distance! My old optio always FAILED at such tasks.
4) Fast response time (because my buddies fly by quickly!)
5) A large, bright view screen.
6) Big "goof-proof" controls for sweaty, possibly numb, possibly glove-clad fingers.
7) I admire "layered multi-image photos", want 'em.
8) Ideally, some kind of "grippy" exterior coating on the camera.
9) Price range ~$200-300.

Impact resistance is good, but my new camera need not be waterproof. Portable is also good but there is such a thing as too small-- we carry expandable packs and there's always room for a camera.

If anyone can think of a somewhat impact resistant digicam of manageable proportions with a "grippy" exterior coating that fits most of my above criteria, that would probably be the ticket.

As you can tell, I'm not a professional photographer. I barely even know the terminology. But I do recognize good photos when I see them and I want my results to look nice. Thank you for taking the time to read my post.
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Old Feb 9, 2010, 10:39 AM   #2
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spiderkat-

Welcome to the Forum. We're very glad you dropped by.

You have done well with your post, but none the lees, I am sorry to say we need a few more details.

(1) You mentioning zooming in on an insect which is essentially a close-up. How about zooming in the outward direction? Do you have a need to bring things, like panoramas in closer to you?

(2) Your first reference to impact resistance is of it being a lesser priority. You then finish with impact resistance again, mentioning "manageable proportions." Is impact a #1 priority, or 3rd or 4th? that will make a big difference in camera selection.

(3) The grippy exterior quality, could that be accomplished by fitting add-on exterior grips?

(4) What are "Layered, Multi image" photos. That actually appears to be something done in the post processing cycle, rather than in the camera itself.

(5) Size: I would think that size and a case might be the solution of impact resistance and allow you a much better selection of camera and feature sets in those cameras.

My initial and preliminary suggestion would be the Samsung SL-420 with the proper case. It has 5X optical zoom. It sells for about $110 and if need be additional gripping material could be added to the exterior case of the camera.

Have a great day. We will look for your answer.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Feb 9, 2010, 12:53 PM   #3
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Sarah Joyce- Thanks for your kind response. I guess it's relatively rare the times I've tried and failed to photograph a butterfly (vs. all the time I've spent shooting landscapes and people riding by on trails) -- but in a perfect world I'd like to be able to do both. But yes, it's absolutely more important to me to be able to manipulate panoramas and middle-range type outdoor shots.... with superb image quality. Hey, up my price range to do it. I'm willing to pay upwards of ~300.

As for the "grippy exterior"-- if there's something I can add, or apply, to any camera to make it easier to hold onto when my hands are sweaty, well that changes everything! Lead me to it!!!

Multi-image photos. Maybe that's not the right name.. Anyway those are surely manipulated later but I believe I also need to be able to shoot a rapid succession of images to do this. If you can see the pics in this link (I hope you can) than this is what I mean. My current camera takes forEEEVER to take just one picture. These type of images-- it's just a fun type of action image I aspire to be able to create.

As for impact resistance, my boyfriend and I are generally careful riders. We don't crash much anymore (knock on wood!). I don't think we've ever dropped the optio, not even once. There is always that potential-- it could get dropped in dust, sand, dirt. But as long as we can hold onto it, we're good (hence the need for a grippy exterior). Therefore actual camera performance far outweighs the need for impact resistance.

Our numb, sweaty, begloved fingers have had real problems with tiny controls. We have accidentally changed settings and couldn't figure out how to change them back. Ack. So I am looking for relatively bigger "easy" controls-- at least not microscopically small ones.

Short video capability a bonus but not essential.

Thank you for your patience. Does the Samsung still sound like a good camera for my needs? Please keep advising me. I sure appreciate it.

Spiderkat
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Old Feb 9, 2010, 3:07 PM   #4
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spiderkat-

Searching www.google.com I found rolls of giptape at K-Mart for $2.99. That makes that modification fairly inexpensive. The next issue is simply the size of the camera controls. I don't know how small is small to you.

Regarding the photo collage. It is something done outside the camera with photo editing, and it is dependent on the editor's photoshopping skills.

Therefore I believe that a shopping trip is your next step. That way you can handle the cameras and check out camera and control size. My suggestion of the Samsung SL420 was based on the fact that it is a good value that produces pretty good image quality in the around $100 price niche.

Sarah Joyce

Last edited by mtclimber; Feb 9, 2010 at 3:10 PM.
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Old Feb 9, 2010, 6:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtclimber View Post
Regarding the photo collage. It is something done outside the camera with photo editing, and it is dependent on the editor's photoshopping skills.
Sarah,
I think op is wanting a camera with a reasonable continuous mode... so she can capture a succession of pics that can later be photoshopped.. can't photoshop if you don't have the pics... OP please correct me if I misunderstood.
Stick with Sarah.. she is great at guiding camera purchases.
Good luck.
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Old Feb 9, 2010, 7:29 PM   #6
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Default Casio EX-FC150

The Casio EX-FC150 might do some of the things that you want such as combining, say, 5 images of motorcyclist zooming by into a single image.
Look at Steve's recent review of the camera for details. I have the Casio FH20, a superzoom, and it can do this. However, I am not sure if this is the super durable camera you are looking for.
The older brother of the FC150 is the FC100. This might be able to combine images of a moving object in a similar way. It is cheaper.

Last edited by robbo; Feb 9, 2010 at 7:33 PM.
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Old Feb 9, 2010, 9:58 PM   #7
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spiderkat-

Thanks to my many friends who are willing to join into the helping process, it appears that I went for an old fashioned solution, that could be better solved by a camera like the Casio FC-100 or FC-150 models that can take rapid shot were quickly. So many thanks and a tip of the hat to both Robbo and Nech for bringing up a better solution.

The FC-100 is currently on sale at B & H Photo-Video at $195.00 which is still within your budget. Here is a link to a professional review on the FC-100:

http://www.trustedreviews.com/digita...im-EX-FC100/p1

I hope that helps.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Feb 10, 2010, 5:10 AM   #8
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Casio High-Speed Exilim EX-FC100
This one!
You guys are awesome!!!
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Old Feb 10, 2010, 7:39 AM   #9
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That's the Camera, Spiderkat-

Sarah Joyce
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