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Recommendations Please! High-End Compact Digital

I’m after a really good compact digital camera that I can carry around with me at all times. Any recommendations? A few people have suggested the Canon S80 (8 mega pixels), the Ricoh GR Digital (8 mega pixels) or the Fuji Fine Pix E900 (9 mega pixels).

by Simon Roberts at 2005-11-17 04:07:49 UTC (ed. Mar 12 2008 ) London , United Kingdom | Bookmark | | Report spam→

I have the Canon Powershot S60 (instead of lugging around the 20D all the time), and it’s great camera. I also have an underwater housing for it. My London Underground pic on the ‘subway’ thread is taken with it. So I’d recommend the S70 or S80, definiely.

by Dave Walsh | 17 Nov 2005 05:11 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
mate….The Ricoh !! You should know better!…me and Pad’s were just checking them out the other day, get the viewfinder for it and tape over the stupid screen….!

Raw’s straight into Aperture, sorted….if you like that sort of thing…!

S

by Steve Coleman | 17 Nov 2005 07:11 | Perth, Australia | | Report spam→
The Ricoh looks sweet indeed, but you might also consider the Olympus c7070, which is also a superb and cheap little compact camera.   I think it is better built than the Canon.  Check out a review here: http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/C7070/C70A.HTM.  There has also been alot of discussion here on LS about that camera, which you can find by searching by keyword.  If I recall there was at least one thread about the Ricoh too, which was anxiously awaited by some LS members.  That may be your best bet, as I am having trouble finding any c7070s available on the usual sites — B and H et al. seem to have run out of them (due to popular demand?)  It is a really fine camera, and the only disadvantage that I can see in comparison with the Ricoh is its lack of ISO options above 400ISO — but then, how good are the Ricoh files at 800 or 1600 i wonder?   There is a slight but negligible difference in the megapixels (7.1 vs. 8), and I dont know how well the Ricoh handles Raw files, which for me would be a crucial element.  That is really where the c7070 comes up short because the write times are abominably slow.  On the other hand , you experience virtually no shutter lag, particularly if you shoot in MY MODE, which allows you to preset and fix all the options, even focusing distance, thus avoiding wasting time while the auto focus kicks in — the camera functions just like an old rangefinder set for zone focusing.  it is a neat compact camera, the best I have seen yet (not counting the Ricoh, which I havent seen)


by Jon Anderson | 17 Nov 2005 11:11 | St Domingo, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
Jon, thanks for your review of the Olympus. One question, having looked at the camera on the web it looks quite bulky for a compact. How’ve you found the size?

by Simon Roberts | 17 Nov 2005 11:11 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
no actually I dont think it is bulky at all, in fact I find it the perfect size. I have used some of the other small cameras, and they are just too small for me, they slip out of my hands, the viewfinder and monitors are useless, and they have no substance.  I like some weight there.  The Ricoh is sure to be smaller than the Olympus, but the Olympus looks deceptively large in the pix.  I believe that the review compliments the design and ergonomic feel, and if it didnt it ought to have.  Once you have it in your hand you will know what i mean; it has substance, it is solid, yet compact and grippable.  Secure yet discrete.  Better I think than most of the other cameras in this range.  Alex majoli is the photographer best known for using these cameras on assignment, and that is what led to all the threads on LS.  I recommend you find one in a store and just fool with it a bit; you will see what I mean.  But the Ricoh might be the better deal.  There is a thread on that one too, and if memory serves someone found fault wiht the camera, but I could be wrong.  I think that for the price range, these two are your best options.  The Canon is much more expensive and I really did not like the thing (though the files it renders are nice and clean).  If you shoot Raw most of these prosumer cameras are problematic; maybe the Ricoh has gotten around that problem.


by Jon Anderson | 17 Nov 2005 12:11 | St Domingo, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
Hi there, what about Olympus C8080, I heard it is a F****** good camera with a big zoom and 8 MP, read about it at dpreview.com

Shalom,

Diego

by Diego Jaitt | 17 Nov 2005 13:11 | Israel, Israel | | Report spam→
and much more expensive than the c7070.  Plus now I htink it is hard to find too.


by Jon Anderson | 17 Nov 2005 13:11 | St Domingo, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
Hard to find I dont know, here I can find it without problem (Israel) and the price (USA) is about  700 $, Is that too much ?
What about Nikon 8800 ?

by Diego Jaitt | 17 Nov 2005 13:11 (ed. Nov 17 2005) | Israel, Israel | | Report spam→
Thanks for your comments guys. I’ll have a play with a few in store and see which feels best. I’ll let you know my verdict.

best.

by Simon Roberts | 17 Nov 2005 14:11 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Hi Simon,


I am for a long time am engaged in searches of the suitable cameras for myself, many compact cameras have tried. For today I think that there is only one variant is Oly 8080. It is not absolutely compact, but quality of his picture shakes, not without reason Alex Majoly writes about that that details in a picture from this camera above than from it him Leica plus Kodak TRI-X 400. I even probably with this statement am almost ready to agree. The camera for today unique which has adequate zoom 28-140 and the size of a matrix 2/3 " – against 1/1.8" which already becomes the standard for 8 MP chambers and is real certainly it worse!!! I compared 8080 with E300 (the given model uses sympathy at Magnum photographers) and in my opinion the first is much better rather than the second with budgetary zoom 14-45. Perfectly itself conducts 8080 and on a format 30Ñ…40 centimeters.
 A successful choice!




by Alexey Aistov | 17 Nov 2005 15:11 | Moscow, Russia | | Report spam→
Look into Fujifilm F11


by Wayne Huang | 18 Nov 2005 07:11 | New York City, United States | | Report spam→
Here is the Galbraith article about Majoli’s use of the Olympus cameras. Good read if you haven’t seen it before.

http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/multi_page.asp?cid=7-6468-7844

W


by Wayne E. Yang | 18 Nov 2005 08:11 | New York, United States | | Report spam→
The problem is that I can’t seem to buy a 7070 anywhere in the US. Been searching. If anyone has a line on one, please let me know.

by James J. Lee | 19 Nov 2005 08:11 | Washington, DC, United States | | Report spam→
If anyone is interested in an 8080, after a lot searching, I found a refurbished one with a warranty direct from Olympus and got it a couple of weeks ago.  It is truly wonderful. 
I never did find a 7070 —  Olympus has been selling those refurbished on Ebay and they have been going for up to $600.  However, I see they have some more 8080s for sale on www.ubid.com for $550.  That’s where I got mine.


by perri pivovar | 19 Nov 2005 10:11 | New York, United States | | Report spam→
It is odd but it appears that the c7070 has disappeared.  I guess the price has gone up too — I got mine for 375US.  Not bad.  I consider myself lucky.  The c8080 is nice too, but bulkier, not so compact, which is one of the things that Simon is looking for, and one strike against this otherwise fine camera is the electronic viewfinder.  For me that automatically disqualifies it.  If you cant find the c7070, then the Ricoh is probably the way to go.


by Jon Anderson | 19 Nov 2005 15:11 | St Domingo, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
I would like to add my two cents. Just recently I had the opportunity to play with a Canon 350D. All along I thought this camera was a run down plastic version of the 20D. However, once in my hand I found the Camera to be quite solid and petite. Its light weight is compensated by the addition of almost any EOS lens to form a solid piece in your hands. The RAW mode is quite quick too. The only flaw I felt was the control features slow use as compared to a 20D and the small auto focus points. Beyond that I found the Camera to be a mini 20D. Other than that it has almost the same resolution as the 20D using the same sensro I believe. I could also add that the Poweshot G5 also by Canon gave excellent results and is much smalle than the Olympus.

I would like to ask another question. Of those of you working or experimenting with these Compacts, which one of do you feel works most efficiently in terms of speed and recording time, when working in the RAW mode?

by Cazalis | 20 Nov 2005 05:11 | Seville, Spain | | Report spam→
I got my C-8080 for $525 in brand new condition on e-Bay a month ago. . . There were many others listed as well. . .

by Davin Ellicson | 20 Nov 2005 18:11 | | Report spam→
I’m sure the S80 would be excellent. I’ve had the Canon S70 for about a year now and I love it. The S70 will shoot RAW files, a feature they eliminated in the S80.  They both allow a manual white balance setting. Both cameras have a 28mm equivalent on the wide end.  I’ve had the S70 out in zero fahrenheit weather many times and it’s still going strong. I love the movie feature on it too.  Very fun. 
Also, I’ve had a number of images sold/published from this camera which I never would have taken if I hadn’t been able to bring along a smaller camera for space and weight saving reasons. 



by Alden Pellett | 21 Nov 2005 06:11 | Vermont, United States | | Report spam→
simon. try the sony cybershot DSC-P150 or 200. They are v small, Zeiss lens, quiet and fast. Only drawback is the lens is 38mm. I used them for this story in Thailand ,6 out of the 10 are with the cybershot. http://www.motherjones.com/news/feature/2005/11/sea_change.html

by [former member] | 21 Nov 2005 14:11 (ed. Nov 21 2005) | New York, United States | | Report spam→
Andrew, forget the camera — let’s hear it for the eye of the photographer.  Great story, that.  Camera certainly performed well too.


by Jon Anderson | 21 Nov 2005 14:11 | St Domingo, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
Congrats Andrew!!! I saw this printed in Foto 8 and talked to Jon Levy about it all. It looked great on paper. Just goes to show its not the camera that makes the man!.

by Cazalis | 21 Nov 2005 15:11 | Seville, Spain | | Report spam→

I join to Jon – Fine photo story!!
Once again I am convinced of the bias to a choice of a camera..




by Alexey Aistov | 21 Nov 2005 15:11 | Moscow, Russia | | Report spam→
Andrew great work! Ii too saw this in foto 8 as well as on the Panos site and loved it. Def shows its not about the camera.

by James Brickwood | 21 Nov 2005 15:11 | Sydney, Australia | | Report spam→
thanks y’all. appreciate the comments

by [former member] | 21 Nov 2005 18:11 | New York, United States | | Report spam→
Andrew I also saw the pics in Sunday Times Mag this weekend. looked very nice.
question- did you provide the mag with prints or digital files? if digital, were there any issues with the small-ish size of the files? what size do you get from the sony cybershot?
cheers mate.
simon.

by Simon Roberts | 23 Nov 2005 19:11 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Does anybody know the difference between the Ricoh GX8 and the GR? And is the GR even available in North America? I checked the B & H site, and they don’t even have Ricoh listed int he P&S section.

Perhaps the GR is the European model number – anybody have some info on this? It looks like a sweet little camera.

by [former member] | 23 Nov 2005 21:11 | Toronto, Canada | | Report spam→
I dont think Ricoh sells digital cameras in the US anymore, youll probably need to order one from Canada/Europe/Japan/HongKong but it shouldnt be too hard.

by David Sperry | 23 Nov 2005 23:11 | brooklyn, United States | | Report spam→
problem with the Ricoh is that its a fixed lens 24mm. its probably beautiful, but…

so Simon have you picked one? after doing some research it really seems like the olympuses are the way to go. good luck.

by Roey Yohai | 24 Nov 2005 04:11 | Washington DC, United States | | Report spam→
Simon. I gave them digi files and scans. I haven’t seen it yet, but I know the opening spread was from neg. They didn’t raise any issue about the size of the dig files, which surprised me, because a lot of magazines do. Maybe they have had more experience working with digital. With the cybershot, if you have it set to 3:2 ratio so it gives you 35mm shape, you end up with an 18 megabyte file. I haven’t seen the Ricoh yet, but it looks sweet. The problem with the Olympus is that they are just that bit too big to slip in your pocket, they also have more shutter lag. Cheers. Andrew

by [former member] | 24 Nov 2005 07:11 | New York, United States | | Report spam→
Roey- I haven’t made my mind up yet. The Ricoh arrived in the shops today in the UK so I will take a look. I thought from the literature I read that the camera had a 4x digital zoom. Maybe I’m wrong? I’ll find out soon enough.

Andrew- I did a commission for them recently (which was in the same issue as your pics) and they requested only digital files. I shot it on Canon 1DS with 33mb files as I was worried that they wouldn’t take any file smaller than that. Obviously I was wrong!

If people are interested, there’s an article in today’s Guardian newspaper here in the UK looking at the digital camera revolution, especially in amateur/compact cameras regarding phenomena of ‘citizen journalism’ -

http://technology.guardian.co.uk/weekly/story/0,16376,1648837,00.html

by Simon Roberts | 24 Nov 2005 08:11 | Oxted (with newly born baby), United Kingdom | | Report spam→
I’ve been following this debate closely because I too wanted a small camera. That article in the Guardian is enlightening and petrifying! Its no longer the shot that matters its the story!

But back to the cameras. I looked over the Olympus C8080, the Sony DSC-V3 (10 sec. recording lag on RAW!!!!) yuck, the Canon Sure Shots and finally this new Ricoh GR. I vote for the Ricoh!. Sure its a fixed 28mm, but hey get in a little closer for that classic 35mm. Looks to me like the quality is grandiose!

As for file size, I’ve taken some small 5Mpixel files and blown them up to 30MB files, no problem. Of course they were RAW files. However! Back in 1998 I took one of my first digital files for AFP on a Papal visit to Mexico. Small files back then on a Canon EOS 1D but it was 4Mpixel and I shot it on JPEG and Im positive it had some compression due to deadline. Well that pic was used this year for a high gloss book cover 10×11. Mind you the picture went all the way around the book, front and back covers, so they blew it up even further. http://www.powerhousebooks.com/titlesf05/popejohnpaul.html

So….you guys know the drill its all possible/…now, where can I order that Ricoh online?

by Cazalis | 24 Nov 2005 10:11 (ed. Nov 24 2005) | Seville, Spain | | Report spam→
I went to a camera shop here in Toronto and they had the Ricoh GX8 which was quite similar to the GR, but had a zoom (28 – 35? I forget) and a viewfinder, which the GR does not. It’s also an 8MP camera, and seemedquite similar to the GR – the camera guy had no idea what I was talking aboutin regards to the GR – he’snever heard of it. It also had ISO from 64 – 1600, fully manual operation, including focus, so I presume you could zone focus,and supports the RAW format, but took a pretty longtime to write – I’d say 5 seconds, but then they had a slow card in the camera. That’s all I can remember… So, does anybody know anything about the GX8?

by [former member] | 24 Nov 2005 10:11 | Toronto, Canada | | Report spam→


by Alexey Aistov | 24 Nov 2005 12:11 (ed. Nov 24 2005) | Moscow, Russia | | Report spam→
Donald:
http://www.dpreview.com/news/0504/05042601ricoh_gx8.asp
http://www.letsgodigital.org/en/ricoh_caplio_gx8/review.html
http://www.letsgodigital.org/en/ricoh_caplio_gx/review.html

by Alexey Aistov | 24 Nov 2005 12:11 (ed. Nov 24 2005) | Moscow, Russia | | Report spam→
Sample with Ricoh GR:
http://www.ricoh.co.jp/dc/gr/digital/point/point_03.html - Full Screen sight..


by Alexey Aistov | 24 Nov 2005 12:11 | Moscow, Russia | | Report spam→
Well can I get a second opinion? I dowloaded the only image they Ricoh page highlights in their sample gallery as 400 ISO, and it looks pretty noise to me. Mind you it’s also the only image in BW. Nice way to hide noise? All the other images are at 64 or 100 ISO.

by Cazalis | 24 Nov 2005 13:11 (ed. Nov 24 2005) | Seville, Spain | | Report spam→
Looking spread sample from compact cameras and comparing with my received results I at times come to known opinion that for presentation of new model of a camera frequently the sample is selected from several. Probably many remember clause about objectives Hasselblad (I do not beg advantages of this optics!) and APO Mamiya-Sekor, the person testing samples then insisted on sale of these objectives by firm to itself. For me a sample of quality remains – 8080 – but it really big and at it the electronic view-finder, still I shall agree with a long delay of lag at cameras Olympus. But the size of a matrix in 2/3 gives huge has touched on "extension" of a target file. Last time I and check some camera interpolation up to 30Ñ…40 and I look at noise and color failures. As it is strange, but I liked Olympus E300 when I have prepared a file for printing 30Ñ…40 cm, and it seems to me that in it the merit of a matrix from Kodak which there stands, if that is possible so to be expressed it – equal on brightnesses RGB (that that such as balanced Leica), but is the camera some other class. By the way Paolo Pellegrin removes on this camera (E300), I saw it when we have fleetingly got acquainted in Moscow. As to Ricoh GR I nevertheless think that the basic cost of the camera makes brand (old and premium, we we shall recollect GR 35mm), its weight and pretentious execution. The optics is good! But not so that the consumer camera would cost 520-570 (in Moscow – 650-700!!) dollars. Especially, as to me it is thought and by sample, qualitative break on ISO 400 - is not present (In many compact, switching and this). Though certainly, it is necessary to try..
Sorry my bad english.

by Alexey Aistov | 24 Nov 2005 15:11 (ed. Nov 25 2005) | Moscow, Russia | | Report spam→
Alexey,
it seems interesting. Only aquestion: what do you mean when you say “chamber”? For example "By the way Paolo Pellegrin removes on this chamber, " ?
Agree about 8080, I had one but I sold because it was too big. So I’m interested in Ricoh GR-D. I was also interested in 35mm GR, but new one costs about 480€ !

Ken

by [former member] | 25 Nov 2005 02:11 | Milano, Italy | | Report spam→
Thanks Ken, I by mistake of the "chamber" named photo camera…. I meant that Pellegrin shooting on E300. Alas my English wishes to be the best…((
In Russia such new phototechnic appear on the average for 20-30 percent more dearly than in the Europe. The severe validity of the prices for phototechnics in Russia..


by Alexey Aistov | 25 Nov 2005 15:11 | Moscow, Russia | | Report spam→
Thanks for the reply Alex,
in italian too camera means chamber (room) :))
Bye,

Ken

by [former member] | 26 Nov 2005 14:11 | Milano, Italy | | Report spam→

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Participants

Simon Roberts, Photographer Simon Roberts
Photographer
Brighton , United Kingdom
Dave Walsh, Writer, photographer Dave Walsh
Writer, photographer
(Energy and Environment)
Wexford , Ireland
Steve Coleman, BookDesigner|Photographer Steve Coleman
BookDesigner|Photographer
Bangkok , Thailand
Jon Anderson, Photographer & Writer Jon Anderson
Photographer & Writer
Ocala Florida , United States
Diego Jaitt, Photographer / Designer Diego Jaitt
Photographer / Designer
Israel , Israel
Alexey Aistov, Freelance Photgrapher Alexey Aistov
Freelance Photgrapher
Moscow , Russia
Wayne Huang, Wayne Huang
Los Angeles , United States ( LAX )
Wayne E. Yang, Writer/Photographer Wayne E. Yang
Writer/Photographer
Kaoshiung , Taiwan
James J. Lee, Photojournalist James J. Lee
Photojournalist
(www.jamesjlee.com)
Myrtle Beach , United States
perri pivovar, perri pivovar
New York, New York , United States
Cazalis, Documentary Photographer Cazalis
Documentary Photographer
Mexico City , Mexico
Davin Ellicson, Photographer Davin Ellicson
Photographer
New York , United States
Alden Pellett, Photojournalist Alden Pellett
Photojournalist
Vermont , United States
James Brickwood, Photographer James Brickwood
Photographer
Sydney , Australia
David Sperry, Photographer David Sperry
Photographer
Gaza , Occupied Palestinian Territory
Roey Yohai, Photographer Roey Yohai
Photographer
New York City , United States


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