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Compact family cam for serious photographer?

Discussion in 'Ask B&H Photo' started by Andrewteee, Aug 30, 2010.

  1. Andrewteee

    Andrewteee All-Pro

    Jul 8, 2010
    I recently returned from a long weekend with the family and friends. We have two young kids who are anything but passive and require lots of attention (as all young kids do). I did not want to make the trip a "photographic" trip and instead I focused entirely on family and fun. But of course we all want memories. I took the most flexible compact camera I currently own - a Ricoh GXR with the P10 unit (28-300mm) - but in fact it was not "compact" enough. It is quite dense and around my neck it flung around pretty chunkily. At a moment's notice it could be stowed in my cargo shorts pocket, but again it jostled around chunkily. Love my Ricohs but for this purpose it's not the best option.

    What can you recommend for a compact, lightweight family cam for a dad who would otherwise be taking his photography more seriously? I have a couple on my radar (both Canons, SD4000 or new S95), but I'm open to any suggestion. Waterproofness or extreme ruggedness are not critical. Just something easily manageable when kids and not cameras are the priority.

    Anyone else can chime in too. Thanks!
  2. Herman

    Herman The Image Stimulator

    Jul 11, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Hi Andrew, thanks for your thread.
    I would consider the new S from Canon and the new LX from Pan.
    I have seen the S90 and I found the size impressive: very small.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Chuck-B&H

    Chuck-B&H B&H Photo Specialist

    Aug 5, 2010
    New York

    The Sony DSC-HX5V is a compact camera with many professional features. For the new photographer, the camera has a built-in Function Guide that helps you navigate through the various functions and settings displayed on the LCD screen. The 10.2 Megapixel Exmor R CMOS chip will allow you to make big prints. The camera performs well even in low light with its High Sensitivity Mode of up to ISO 3200, Handheld Twilight Mode, and Optical SteadyShot Image Stabilization.

    Fast-moving subjects are not a problem since the camera can capture 10 frames-per-second. This, along with Motion Detection that adjusts ISO sensitivity and increases the shutter speed when motion is detected, will help ensure that you capture the decisive moment. To really see your subject in motion, the camera can shoot 1080i AVCHD HD movies.

    * 10x (25mm equivalent) Professional-Quality Optical Zoom G-Lens

    Sony DSC-HX5V Digital Camera DSCHX5V/B - B&H Photo Video

    The Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7 is a full-featured, compact digital camera with full high-definition video recording built-in. Available in 4 bold colors, the stylish ergonomic body is easy to carry and fun to use.

    The camera's 12.1 megapixel image sensor captures all of your memories with rich color and remarkable detail. An integrated GPS unit automatically records location information to image files. Whether you're shooting wide landscapes or an action-packed sporting event, the 12x Leica VARIO-ELMAR zoom lens allows you to capture your vision without compromise.

    Panasonic LUMIX DMC-ZS7 (Black) Digital Camera DMC-ZS7K - B&H

    The SD4000 and S95 both have a 3.8x (28-105mm Equivalent) Optical Zoom lens. The above 2 longer zoom range cameras would be a better choice for a family camera.
    • Like Like x 4
  4. Andrewteee

    Andrewteee All-Pro

    Jul 8, 2010
    Thanks Chuck! Will do some research.
  5. JoepLX3

    JoepLX3 Regular

    Jul 11, 2010
    LX3 (will be cheaper with LX5 announced)
  6. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 12, 2010
    Philly, Pa
    The LX5 would be my choice. The Focal Length range is perfect.
    The interface is similar to the Lumix system, very intuitive.
    Getting one will be the only issue as I think it's going to sell very fast.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    Yes, I'm very interested to hear abut this LX5 and it's possible twin, too.
  8. sonomichele

    sonomichele Regular

    Jul 6, 2010
    I think it depends on what you need. For example I have an LX3 which I love, and it is great for using indoors. But my kids are all grown and I'm not chasing them around at the park or at sporting events. I think with small active kids you might want a bit more zoom. You also have the problem that most P&S cameras take a lot of practice to shoot anything moving. Chucks suggestion of the Sony HX5V or the somewhat similar Casio FH100 might be interesting ones to look at. Clearly the LX3/5 or S95 should have the best IQ and best in low light, but you are giving up other things. If you like Ricoh you might also look at the new CX4.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Djarum

    Djarum All-Pro

    Jul 10, 2010
    Huntsville, AL
    I think if I had the choice, I'd get one of the compact ultra zooms for daytime use, and one of the faster lensed cameras for nightime/indoor.
  10. For seriously small and compact the S90 or S95 will be ideal IMO. It really is a tiny little thing and delivers high quality images.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/andywest1/4541368570/" title="Tenerife_MtTeide07_800pix by andywest1, on Flickr"> 4541368570_99a4e57e6e_o.jpg "600" height="800" alt="Tenerife_MtTeide07_800pix" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/andywest1/4543696753/" title="Tenerife_Flowers04_800pix by andywest1, on Flickr"> View attachment 29443 "800" height="600" alt="Tenerife_Flowers04_800pix" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/andywest1/4544401104/" title="Sculpture_BandW03_s90_800pix by andywest1, on Flickr"> View attachment 29444 "600" height="800" alt="Sculpture_BandW03_s90_800pix" /></a>
    • Like Like x 1

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