Author Topic: A serious simple cycle friendly camera without all the crap?  (Read 2921 times)

slope

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Does anyone know if or what comes close to my dream camera?

I is totally confused by what's out there these days ::-)

I've been out of the loop for a few years and still use a Canon 450D with big heavy zoom lenses (downgraded on purpose from a 5D) = a pain to ride with when bulk shopping and carrying all sorts (don't have a car rely on bicycles) - my shopping trips of at least 30 miles in Snowdonia miss all sorts of photogenics :-[

What I think I want is something smaller and probably just a 28mm prime lens (or equivalent in modern speak)

I only ever need manual or aperture priority and only require RAW

But can't cope with an old fashioned rangefinder viewfinder - and equally not just some LCD screen. I need a camera that I can hold up to my one good eye

Don't need no video or wi-fi (don't know what that means with regard a camera anyway)

Absolutely abhor electronic zooms if a zoom lens was a possibility.

Obviously less of the toggle switches and more for the clicky dials

What's an 'electronic' viewfinder?

Can anyone help an old man with money to burn and a simple need ;D




Kim

  • An appetite for the epic, but no real stamina
Re: A serious cycle friendly camera without all the crap?
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2016, 05:55:54 pm »
Don't need no video or wi-fi (don't know what that means with regard a camera anyway)

Video is usually a basic function of the image processing chipset - driving an LCD or electronic viewfinder with a realtime image is effectively capturing video - but you can safely ignore it.

WiFi can streamline transfer of images from the camera to your computer, a printer or somewhere on the internet, which is extremely useful to many people, so it's understandable that manufacturers are adding it.  Again, it's not going to be compulsory.


Quote
Absolutely abhor electronic zooms if a zoom lens was a possibility.

Electronic zoom is cropping by another name, and where appropriate, it's best done after the fact with the aid of a proper screen.  It's a feature that tends to be added to make the magnification factor bigger on the marketing blurb, though I've yet to meet a decent camera where it couldn't be turned off.


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Obviously less of the toggle switches and more for the clicky dials

Can't argue with that.


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What's an 'electronic' viewfinder?

An LCD screen with a lens that you put your eye to.  The advantage is that you see a rendering of the image that the camera is actually taking, without the problems of using an LCD in strong sunlight.  The disadvantage is that you're limited by the capabilities of the viewfinder's screen, and that it's generally an annoying way to interact with camera settings or playback stored images.
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slope

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Re: A serious cycle friendly camera without all the crap?
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2016, 06:10:40 pm »
Firstly thank you Kim for your response :)

By electronic zoom, I meant not manually manipulating the lens - ie: there's a toggle bloody switch on the camera that actually move the lens in and out - but irks me terribly. Maybe things have moved on since my Canon G5 days?





Absolutely abhor electronic zooms if a zoom lens was a possibility.

Electronic zoom is cropping by another name, and where appropriate, it's best done after the fact with the aid of a proper screen.  It's a feature that tends to be added to make the magnification factor bigger on the marketing blurb, though I've yet to meet a decent camera where it couldn't be turned off.
Quote


Kim

  • An appetite for the epic, but no real stamina
Re: A serious cycle friendly camera without all the crap?
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2016, 06:22:59 pm »
By electronic zoom, I meant not manually manipulating the lens - ie: there's a toggle bloody switch on the camera that actually move the lens in and out - but irks me terribly. Maybe things have moved on since my Canon G5 days?

Ah.  I'd probably describe that as 'motorised zoom' - 'electronic' or 'digital' zoom will generally mean cropping the image.  A motorised zoom is desirable in a camera that can be used for shooting video, as manually manipulating the lens tends to give a jerky action, which is horrible when you do it 'live'.  If they omit the physical lens control it can make things a bit more compact, too, so I suspect a physical zoom control will tend to be a thing of SLR lenses for the foreseeable future.
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Karla

  • car(e) free
Re: A serious simple cycle friendly camera without all the crap?
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2016, 06:49:59 pm »
A Fuji X100 ticks most of your boxes.
Latest tour journal: Bucharest to Berlin

Re: A serious simple cycle friendly camera without all the crap?
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2016, 07:21:52 pm »
I use a Nikon Coolpix A for my bike rides.

It ticks a lot of your boxes, apart from the viewfinder requirement.

DX format camera with a fixed 18.5mm (28mm equivalent) lens. Solid body in quite a compact, modest looking package but it produces great Raw files and the lens is very sharp. Built in flash also should you need it along the way.

I previously used a Fuji X-E1 and 18mm lens (great files) but swapped it out for the Nikon to save some bulk. As mentioned, the X100 range are great cameras, I just prefer to have 28mm lens.

Edit: Instagram @bluemcardle for a few example pics.
instagram / twitter: @bluemcardle

LEE

  • "Shut Up Jens" - Legs.
Re: A serious simple cycle friendly camera without all the crap?
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2016, 08:17:21 pm »
Optical viewfinder narrows it down a lot.

Hard to see beyond Fuji really although the X100T is by no means a trouser-pocket compact.

My Canon S120 lacks the optical viewfinder but that's all (It's worth noting that I've set my S120, in Custom mode, to start up at 35mm zoom (and some other settings which replicate my old Olympus XA2).  It now starts up as a 35mm lens, 1/500th sec shutter-priority compact (but will start up however you customise it).
Mine is customised to grab a decent shot of fellow cyclists while I'm cycling along.

But it's an LCD display only.

I'd go and fondle an X100T or perhaps take a look at the Canon 24mm f/2.8 STM lens for your 450D.  It's a "pancake lens" with fantastic sharpness. Gives a 35mm equivalent on a crop sensor.
Some people say I'm self-obsessed but that's enough about them.

Re: A serious simple cycle friendly camera without all the crap?
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2016, 08:24:03 pm »
An older digicam is probably the best bet - pick one up on fleaBay for peanuts.  Canon used optical viewfinders on theirs for ages.  They have enough resolution unless you want to make prints larger than 10 x 8.  If you view photos on a computer screen or HDTV then (surprisingly) you only see about 2MP anyway.  Not much use for minimal DOF or low light, though.
Never tell me the odds.

slope

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Re: A serious simple cycle friendly camera without all the crap?
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2016, 08:38:32 pm »
Thanks folks - what a brill forum this is :)

Within a very short time I have several specific things to consider - which would otherwise have taken me endless angsts

Especially as I was asking a kinda impossible to answer question :-[

But it seems you know what I mean ;)

Basically anything smaller than a Canon 450D - which I use with a heavy glass laden stiff big f2.8 24-70 Sigma, and a very slow 10-20 Sigma


hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: A serious simple cycle friendly camera without all the crap?
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2016, 08:54:00 pm »
I love my Canon IXUS 70 with its optical viewfinder. As rz says, you can probably get one for peanuts on fleabay.

Re: A serious simple cycle friendly camera without all the crap?
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2016, 08:59:51 pm »
Thanks folks - what a brill forum this is :)

Within a very short time I have several specific things to consider - which would otherwise have taken me endless angsts

Especially as I was asking a kinda impossible to answer question :-[

But it seems you know what I mean ;)

Basically anything smaller than a Canon 450D - which I use with a heavy glass laden stiff big f2.8 24-70 Sigma, and a very slow 10-20 Sigma

I'd geek out the Fuji X-E1 / 18mm lens combo. Great files, the digital viewfinder is actually very good and you have a selection of nice, fast lenses to choose from. Reasonably priced as well.
instagram / twitter: @bluemcardle

fuaran

  • rothair gasta
Re: A serious cycle friendly camera without all the crap?
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2016, 10:48:08 pm »
By electronic zoom, I meant not manually manipulating the lens - ie: there's a toggle bloody switch on the camera that actually move the lens in and out - but irks me terribly. Maybe things have moved on since my Canon G5 days?

Ah.  I'd probably describe that as 'motorised zoom' - 'electronic' or 'digital' zoom will generally mean cropping the image.  A motorised zoom is desirable in a camera that can be used for shooting video, as manually manipulating the lens tends to give a jerky action, which is horrible when you do it 'live'.  If they omit the physical lens control it can make things a bit more compact, too, so I suspect a physical zoom control will tend to be a thing of SLR lenses for the foreseeable future.
Often known as 'power zoom'. Yes, still fairly rare on interchangeable lenses.
Though some of the more compact mirrorless lenses use it, eg Panasonic 14-42 X. Or lenses designed for video.

fuaran

  • rothair gasta
Re: A serious simple cycle friendly camera without all the crap?
« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2016, 11:00:07 pm »
I think its worth looking at mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. Some of the electronic viewfinders are very good, a lot bigger and brighter than the optical viewfinder on most compact cameras. Plus it will show the image you are actually going to get.

I like the Micro 4/3 system. I'd look at something like the Lumix GX7. It is fairly small, and has an electronic viewfinder (which can tilt upwards), as well as a tilting screen. And quite a few buttons and dials etc.
You could use it with a pancake prime 14mm or 20mm lens, and it should be almost pocket sized.

Re: A serious simple cycle friendly camera without all the crap?
« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2016, 01:20:42 am »
If you only want 28mm equivalent I'd look at the Ricoh GR Digital and Fuji X70. If you want an eye finder then I'd just add a 28mm clip on finder - ebay or ffordes are your friends.

If you can live with 35mm then a Fuji X100 - there are several versions -  would also be great.

Interchangeable lens means either micro 4/3 (Olympus or Panasonic) or the slightly larger APS-C sensor in  a mirrorless body. I currently have a Fuji X-Pro2, but this is probably a bit  big for you and there are other bodies that may work better.

slope

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Re: A serious simple cycle friendly camera without all the crap?
« Reply #14 on: June 22, 2016, 08:26:53 am »
More thanks to more folks :) Will spend time doin' some FBI/007 type investigatin' with the recommendations :thumbsup:

As per Dr John - How Come My Dog Don't Bark (When You Come Around)

https://youtu.be/z0U_UxoFPOQ


T42

  • Old fool in a hurry
Re: A serious simple cycle friendly camera without all the crap?
« Reply #15 on: June 22, 2016, 08:36:42 am »
If someone were to give me an X70 I should be very happy.  Just sayin'
I dare eat all that may become a man.

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Karla

  • car(e) free
Re: A serious simple cycle friendly camera without all the crap?
« Reply #16 on: June 22, 2016, 10:17:47 am »
I'd forgotten about the GR Digital but yes, that would be a good choice.
Latest tour journal: Bucharest to Berlin

T42

  • Old fool in a hurry
Re: A serious simple cycle friendly camera without all the crap?
« Reply #17 on: June 22, 2016, 10:34:59 am »
Of the GR II, DP Review says "Expensive for such a short list of upgrades from its predecessor" so the straight GR is probably better value.  Better optics than the X70 too, they say.
I dare eat all that may become a man.

But hold the oysters.

Re: A serious simple cycle friendly camera without all the crap?
« Reply #18 on: June 22, 2016, 01:06:22 pm »
A Fuji X100 ticks most of your boxes.

Very highly recommended and almost perfectly matches the requirements.

Good condition they are around 200 pounds on ebay, or

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Can anyone help an old man with money to burn and a simple need ;D

The X100T is even better. I don't regret spunking the cash on one.

It has dials for aperture, shutter speed and 1/3 stop over/under exposure compensation, and a focus ring if you want to manually focus. The screen on the back can be switched off and stays off. It just about fits in the back pocket of a YACF jersey.
The viewfinder is a thing of beauty: the thing on the front of the camera that looks like a shutter delay timer switches between rangefinder and electronic. The rangefinder outline moves to show actual crop, plus you can click the knob in the opposite direction to add an electronic  close-up in the corner where the lens shows in the viewfinder. Electronic is brilliant, it's like TTL but in addition you can see the exposure and depth of field before you shoot, and it's modified by any film emulation (velvia, chorme, b+w + filter, etc). Oh, and it has dioptre adjustment.

Yes, it has a million settings, but once you've chosen the ones you like you can ignore them and just take photos. Lastly, and most of all, the pictures are excellent.
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Re: A serious simple cycle friendly camera without all the crap?
« Reply #19 on: June 22, 2016, 01:49:43 pm »
I like the Micro 4/3 system. I'd look at something like the Lumix GX7. It is fairly small, and has an electronic viewfinder (which can tilt upwards), as well as a tilting screen. And quite a few buttons and dials etc.
You could use it with a pancake prime 14mm or 20mm lens, and it should be almost pocket sized.

I have a GM5 which is the tiny one with the same sensor as the gx7. It's a great camera with the 20mm prime on it, but probably fails the Slope test because it's got too many buttons. 

LEE

  • "Shut Up Jens" - Legs.
Re: A serious simple cycle friendly camera without all the crap?
« Reply #20 on: June 22, 2016, 02:00:45 pm »
Having a rethink about this.

I'm happy with my S120 but the Canon G16 is available on Ebay for a snip (relatively) and it has an optical viewfinder.

You can probably customise it, like the S120 to boot up into any "fixed focal length" setting you like and then ignore the zoom buttons.

Lens is f/1.8 - f/2.8 which is better than the S120.
Some people say I'm self-obsessed but that's enough about them.

Woofage

  • Ain't no hooves on my bike.
Re: A serious simple cycle friendly camera without all the crap?
« Reply #21 on: June 22, 2016, 02:48:17 pm »
I have a GM5 which is the tiny one with the same sensor as the gx7. It's a great camera with the 20mm prime on it, but probably fails the Slope test because it's got too many buttons.

Any micro 4/3rds body with a 20mm or 14mm (40 and 28mm equivalent respectively) pancake would be an excellent choice. Only a few (like the Lumix GX7) have viewfinders though and these will always be electronic rather than optical. Older bodies can be had s/h for £50-£100 but expect to pay upwards of £150 for a good used lens. I currently have a GF1, a GF2 and a G6 (the latter is like a mini SLR).

I'm happy with my S120 but the Canon G16 is available on Ebay for a snip (relatively) and it has an optical viewfinder.

You can probably customise it, like the S120 to boot up into any "fixed focal length" setting you like and then ignore the zoom buttons.

Lens is f/1.8 - f/2.8 which is better than the S120.

I've got the older Canon G12 (which I picked up for almost nothing at auction). It's an excellent camera and capable of great results in either full auto or PASM modes. It also has an optical VF but fails on the zoom control. I've never tried setting the focal length in a custom mode as LEE suggested but this seems a great idea. I would hope that the G16 is more compact and lighter as the G12 is a bit of a brick. Reassuringly solid though.
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LEE

  • "Shut Up Jens" - Legs.
Re: A serious simple cycle friendly camera without all the crap?
« Reply #22 on: June 22, 2016, 03:57:56 pm »
I've never tried setting the focal length in a custom mode as LEE suggested but this seems a great idea.

On a couple of my S-series cameras you simply set up your camera how you want it, let's say you put it in Tv (Shutter speed) = 1/500 and iso = AUTO then zoom to the focal length of your choice.

Finally, when you have it all tuned how you like, go into the Menu and find the "Save Settings" option.  What this actually does is save it to your Custom option on the Mode dial.

Turn camera off, set Mode to C (Custom) and power on.  You should hear it zoom slightly as it zooms to your saved settings. 

Now you only need remember to leave your camera in Mode C and it will power on how you most like it.......like my old Olympus XA2 perhaps.

This saves me the hassle of, for some unexplained reason, my camera always being set how I really didn't want it at that precise moment.

Example - "Shit! I didn't realise I only had it set to iso 80"

Example - "Shit! 1/25th of a second!!! "

Example - "Shit! I didn't have it set to RAW" (Yes, it even saves the file type to your Custom mode)

As I mentioned it's currently set to take 1/500th of a second cycling photos in RAW (and I let the camera choose the iso... grainy is better than blurry).

If I were going to a sunny BBQ and was shooting portraits of friends I'd most likely set the focal length a bit longer, so it zoomed to,say, 85mm and iso 100 at start up.
Some people say I'm self-obsessed but that's enough about them.

Woofage

  • Ain't no hooves on my bike.
Re: A serious simple cycle friendly camera without all the crap?
« Reply #23 on: June 22, 2016, 05:09:21 pm »
Thanks. I'm going to have to RTFM to see what options I have.

Back to the OP: have you considered a smaller, lighter and simpler Canon SLR? Check the link below. I gather the Rebel SL1 is called the 100D here and I read somewhere that it's probably the smallest "traditional" DSLR currently available.
http://camerasize.com/compare/#331,448
(Review here: http://www.dpreview.com/products/canon/slrs/canon_eos100d)
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T42

  • Old fool in a hurry
Re: A serious simple cycle friendly camera without all the crap?
« Reply #24 on: June 22, 2016, 05:22:05 pm »
I would hope that the G16 is more compact and lighter as the G12 is a bit of a brick. Reassuringly solid though.

I was fond of mine, but the weight meant that I usually carried something else so eventually I sold it.  I miss the fold-out LCD, though.
I dare eat all that may become a man.

But hold the oysters.