Yet Another Cycling Forum

Random Musings => Gallery => Phototalk => Topic started by: slope on June 21, 2016, 05:38:29 pm

Title: A serious simple cycle friendly camera without all the crap?
Post by: slope on June 21, 2016, 05:38:29 pm
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



Title: Re: A serious cycle friendly camera without all the crap?
Post by: Kim 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.


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

Can't argue with that.


Quote
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.
Title: Re: A serious cycle friendly camera without all the crap?
Post by: slope 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

Title: Re: A serious cycle friendly camera without all the crap?
Post by: Kim 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.
Title: Re: A serious simple cycle friendly camera without all the crap?
Post by: Karla on June 21, 2016, 06:49:59 pm
A Fuji X100 ticks most of your boxes.
Title: Re: A serious simple cycle friendly camera without all the crap?
Post by: hazeyblue 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.
Title: Re: A serious simple cycle friendly camera without all the crap?
Post by: LEE 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.
Title: Re: A serious simple cycle friendly camera without all the crap?
Post by: rogerzilla 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.
Title: Re: A serious simple cycle friendly camera without all the crap?
Post by: slope 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

Title: Re: A serious simple cycle friendly camera without all the crap?
Post by: hellymedic 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.
Title: Re: A serious simple cycle friendly camera without all the crap?
Post by: hazeyblue 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.
Title: Re: A serious cycle friendly camera without all the crap?
Post by: fuaran 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.
Title: Re: A serious simple cycle friendly camera without all the crap?
Post by: fuaran 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.
Title: Re: A serious simple cycle friendly camera without all the crap?
Post by: sojournermike 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.
Title: Re: A serious simple cycle friendly camera without all the crap?
Post by: slope 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

Title: Re: A serious simple cycle friendly camera without all the crap?
Post by: T42 on June 22, 2016, 08:36:42 am
If someone were to give me an X70 I should be very happy.  Just sayin'
Title: Re: A serious simple cycle friendly camera without all the crap?
Post by: Karla on June 22, 2016, 10:17:47 am
I'd forgotten about the GR Digital but yes, that would be a good choice.
Title: Re: A serious simple cycle friendly camera without all the crap?
Post by: T42 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.
Title: Re: A serious simple cycle friendly camera without all the crap?
Post by: Pickled Onion 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

Quote
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.
Title: Re: A serious simple cycle friendly camera without all the crap?
Post by: mike 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. 
Title: Re: A serious simple cycle friendly camera without all the crap?
Post by: LEE 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.
Title: Re: A serious simple cycle friendly camera without all the crap?
Post by: Woofage 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.
Title: Re: A serious simple cycle friendly camera without all the crap?
Post by: LEE 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.
Title: Re: A serious simple cycle friendly camera without all the crap?
Post by: Woofage 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)
Title: Re: A serious simple cycle friendly camera without all the crap?
Post by: T42 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.
Title: Re: A serious simple cycle friendly camera without all the crap?
Post by: slope on June 22, 2016, 06:15:56 pm
Many thanks again everyone. It really does help to get advice and recommendations based on experience and be able to sharpen the search in what is a bewildering market ::-) Not to mention learning lots if a very short space of time/posts :)

Trouble is one (me that is) starts out with wished for/imagined criteria and then gets tempted by further stuff :hand: And as we all know there is never no ONE camera.

If the Fuji X100 was 28mm equivalent, it would be a no brainer (I think?) - to start off with any road up. Maybe it's just a matter of adapting to a 35mm (equivalent) focal length lens?

Still going through all the suggestions and doing the cons and pros weighing + changing minds etc

(Anyone want to buy a mint, boxed Contax 167MT - bought new in the 90s and probably only had half a dozen rolls of film through it?)

Title: Re: A serious simple cycle friendly camera without all the crap?
Post by: sg37409 on June 23, 2016, 11:07:32 am
I'm happy with my S120 but the Canon G16 is available

Is the S120 still available ?  If its been superseded, what has replaced it ?
Title: Re: A serious simple cycle friendly camera without all the crap?
Post by: LEE on June 23, 2016, 12:46:55 pm
The G7X I think (I'm a bit out of touch) but it's very expensive imo.
I'd be happy to get a used S120, they are built very well (solid metal body) for around the £100 mark.
New they were >£400

As anyone looking for a camera knows, it's a world of compromise.  The best image quality always seems to come with a crappy menu system or poor battery life.

Here are some recent S120 images for perusal (I really am very happy with it, it's basically a pocket-sized Canon G16).
It's dealt well with some tricky lighting situations*

https://flic.kr/p/Jijypb (https://flic.kr/p/Jijypb)

https://flic.kr/p/HqgyaU (https://flic.kr/p/HqgyaU)

https://flic.kr/p/JeQF1B (https://flic.kr/p/JeQF1B)

https://flic.kr/p/HqqeLw (https://flic.kr/p/HqqeLw)

https://flic.kr/p/JmT4pc (https://flic.kr/p/JmT4pc)

*All images post-processed in Camera RAW & PS.
Title: Re: A serious simple cycle friendly camera without all the crap?
Post by: fuaran on June 23, 2016, 01:10:02 pm
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.
The optical viewfinder on the G12 is a bit rubbish IME. Its too small to see much through it. It doesn't show the full image you will actually get. Plus has the usual parallax errors.
Don't know if the newer models are any better.
Title: Re: A serious simple cycle friendly camera without all the crap?
Post by: Woofage on June 23, 2016, 01:59:15 pm
^ I never actually use it. Most of my use of the camera has been to take to gigs where the flippy screen comes in handy.

Here's a few examples:
https://flic.kr/p/wfzG4T
https://flic.kr/p/wg23wc
https://flic.kr/p/vXXT1o
https://flic.kr/p/Jow3Pf
Title: Re: A serious simple cycle friendly camera without all the crap?
Post by: LEE on June 23, 2016, 03:56:58 pm
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.
The optical viewfinder on the G12 is a bit rubbish IME. Its too small to see much through it. It doesn't show the full image you will actually get. Plus has the usual parallax errors.
Don't know if the newer models are any better.

My Canon S70 had a similar optical viewfinder, no improvement on my Mum's 1970's 110 film camera.

I saw it as an emergency Battery Saver, so I could shut down the LCD, and no more.
Title: Re: A serious simple cycle friendly camera without all the crap?
Post by: slope on October 03, 2016, 04:58:41 pm
So what did I end up buying, unseen? A feature packed, all singing, all dancing Canon GX5 ::-)

Arrived today from John Lewis. Battery in the separate mains charger* as I tap tap away.

Who knows whether we will fall in love? But it's passed its first important test - it fits my hand beautifully and even though I can't see through the centrally positioned EVF until the battery has charged, I'm excited and provisionally turned on :P Vaguely reminds me of happy days with only slightly larger Pentax MX and Olympus OM2. There's even a clicky ring around the lens :thumbsup:

* a feature I like

Title: Re: A serious simple cycle friendly camera without all the crap?
Post by: Samuel D on October 03, 2016, 07:06:31 pm
So what did I end up buying, unseen? A feature packed, all singing, all dancing Canon GX5 ::-)

Already?! Only joking. I take about as long to make an important life decision such as this.

Let us know how you like it. It’s an intriguing camera on paper.
Title: Re: A serious simple cycle friendly camera without all the crap?
Post by: LEE on October 04, 2016, 02:36:05 pm
G5X looks great and gets good reviews so you should be happy with it.

It should be a good camera though, it's not cheap.

I've owned Canon cameras for the longest time now, I just like them. 
Despite them rarely being the best at anything they generally feel better then the sum of their parts.

They always like to throw in a weird "WTF were you thinking Canon?" though.  With the G5X it's "Where's the microphone input?".
It's a crazy (unforgivable?) omission on a camera of this price and hailed as a travel "Vlogging" camera (Travel Vlogs and internal Mics just mean Wind-noise)
I can live without 4K but Canon is very late to 4K across the board and it rules out this camera for many users.

They drive you crazy in their attempts to protect other products in their line. 
Even when they DO provide 4K (5D Mk4) they implement it in such a way as to piss off all the Pro and semi-pro videographers.

As a stills camera the G5X will no doubt blow your socks off though.
Title: Re: A serious simple cycle friendly camera without all the crap?
Post by: slope on October 05, 2016, 11:21:33 am
As a stills camera the G5X will no doubt blow your socks off though.

I hope so, if I can get to see the results - My 2010 Mac Mini running OSX 10.8.5 Mountain Lion with Photoshop CS5 can't read the Canon CR2 RAW files :-[

And the Adobe DNG Converter required to process the CR2 RAW files won't work with Mountain Lion. Drats!
Title: Re: A serious simple cycle friendly camera without all the crap?
Post by: Samuel D on October 05, 2016, 11:31:04 am
Are you sure? Adobe says support for the PowerShot G5 X was added in DNG Converter 9.3 (https://www.adobe.com/support/downloads/detail.jsp?ftpID=5994), which only needs OS X 10.7 Lion.

It looks like you could run Adobe DNG Converter 9.5.1 (https://www.adobe.com/support/downloads/detail.jsp?ftpID=6044) though not 9.6 (https://www.adobe.com/support/downloads/detail.jsp?ftpID=6067) or later.
Title: Re: A serious simple cycle friendly camera without all the crap?
Post by: slope on October 05, 2016, 12:08:17 pm
Are you sure? Adobe says support for the PowerShot G5 X was added in DNG Converter 9.3 (https://www.adobe.com/support/downloads/detail.jsp?ftpID=5994), which only needs OS X 10.7 Lion.

It looks like you could run Adobe DNG Converter 9.5.1 (https://www.adobe.com/support/downloads/detail.jsp?ftpID=6044) though not 9.6 (https://www.adobe.com/support/downloads/detail.jsp?ftpID=6067) or later.

I thought I was sure until I just checked your link

 :-[ :-[ :-[ Thanks Samuel D :thumbsup: