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PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2014 2:29 am 
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Joined: Sat May 03, 2014 1:35 am
Posts: 6
Location: Canada
Greetings all,

I just joined this forum. Been a regular reader of Gordon's site, which is what led me here.

I'm an emphatically amateur camera enthusiast. I don't even dare call myself a photographer.
I've been using a Canon PowerShot A1000is point & shoot pocket camera.

I have mainly used it to record video of myself performing (I'm a working stand-up comedian).
After four years of almost daily use, my Canon finally died on me.
I have used Nikon as well as Sony P & S cameras, and I find them user-hostile. I find Canon cameras to be user-friendly, intuitive, and easy to use.
So, I'm going to stick with Canon.

The dilemma is: which model?

I'm looking to upgrade to something that can offer better quality pictures & video. I'm spending more time on the road, and I like to keep a photo journal of where I've been, the people I meet, etc.

I have contacted Canon Canada for suggestions as well. So far, I've been impressed with their advice & patience.

But I also want to get an unbiased & objective opinion.

I thought of getting an SLR, or a "quasi" SLR like the PowerShot SX50 HS or the PowerShot SX510 HS. However, they're a little too bulky to travel with. It's not something I'd be comfortable leaving unattended in a club while performing.

These are the criteria I'm looking for:

1) I am very accustomed to the “ring” as featured on cameras like the S120 or my deceased PowerShot A100is. To me that ring is essential. It’s one of the key features that make Canon cameras so user-friendly.
2) A durable battery life

As for video:

3) The primary use of the camera will be video. I need full HD (1080). Of course, still pictures will also be key.
4) Ability to shoot video in low-light conditions
5) Zoom that will not sacrifice picture quality in the video.
6) The ability to zoom in or out while filming.
7) The ability to shoot continuous video for at least 30-40 minutes on a single battery charge.

And for still pictures:

8. Quality pictures in low-light settings.
9. Quality macro images
10. I noticed some cameras seem to have some “fun” options: toy camera, miniature, fish-eye. I dot know if these are available on all Canon Cameras or only on some models.
While not essential, these are options I’d enjoy.


I don't know if this is an unrealistic "laundry list"

If anyone has any suggestions, I'd be very grateful. And if I end up in your part of town, the first round is on me!


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PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2014 9:32 am 
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Have you looked at the S120, the SX280HS or the SX700? They all have optical zoom and shoot 1080p video.

I would say your "laundry list" as you've called it is a little bit unrealistic as you're looking for a small camera that can perform very well in low light - such features are almost mutually exclusive so you'll have to find that compromise between portability, image quality and of course cost.

_________________
DSLRs: Canon EOS 70D, 30D
Lenses: Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM, EF 50mm f/1.8 II, EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM


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PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2014 1:41 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 03, 2014 1:35 am
Posts: 6
Location: Canada
Rorschach wrote:
Have you looked at the S120, the SX280HS or the SX700? They all have optical zoom and shoot 1080p video.


I have looked at both the S120 & the SX280HS. Haven't checked out the SX700. I will look into it.

Rorschach wrote:
I would say your "laundry list" as you've called it is a little bit unrealistic as you're looking for a small camera that can perform very well in low light - such features are almost mutually exclusive so you'll have to find that compromise between portability, image quality and of course cost.


Thanks for the feedback! I appreciate the insight. As for cost, I don't have a set budget. I'm ready to spend anywhere between $100 - $1,000.


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PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2014 6:18 pm 
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How bulky are you willing to go?

Is the Canon EOS M too bulky with a zoom lens?

_________________
DSLRs: Canon EOS 70D, 30D
Lenses: Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM, EF 50mm f/1.8 II, EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM


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PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2014 7:25 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 03, 2014 1:35 am
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Location: Canada
Rorschach wrote:
How bulky are you willing to go?

Is the Canon EOS M too bulky with a zoom lens?


Ideally, I'd prefer something that would fit in a pocket. Nothing too conspicuous.


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PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2014 7:57 pm 
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In that case, my first three suggestions are the best I can think of from the top of my head. I was going to suggest the G15 or G16 but they'd probably just fit in a coat pocket rather than one in your trousers.

_________________
DSLRs: Canon EOS 70D, 30D
Lenses: Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM, EF 50mm f/1.8 II, EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM


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PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2014 2:19 am 
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The only superzoom I'm aware of that can do well in low-light is the Panasonic FZ200, but it doesn't have the "ring" you like, nor is it pocketable.

The Panasonic LF1 is pocketable and has the "ring" you like and can do well in low-light when zoomed all the way out, but it doesn't zoom in nearly as far as the FZ200, and when zoomed in, the LF1 won't do well in low-light.

Or if you can wait a bit, you might want to see what Gordon has to say about the Sony RX100 III which should be out soon-ish, and should be pocketable, have the "ring" you like, and do well in low-light when zoomed in. Although it won't be able to zoom in nearly as much as the FZ200.

HTH - Mark


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 Post subject: Canon PowerShot S120
PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2014 9:15 pm 
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You can rule out the Canon SX280 HS if you need low-light support. However, it does have a superzoom at x20 optical zoom.

If you're okay with a zoom that isn't a superzoom, I would recommend the Canon PowerShot S120. With a 12,800 ISO and fast f/1.8 aperture it'll be impressive in low-light situations, like clubs. The zoom is x5 optical, x4 digital, which is not super. The "ring" is programmable, meaning you can assign just about anything to it, like zoom, aperture, shutter speed, ISO, exposure compensation, etc. It does 1080 HD video in either 30 or 60 fps. At 60 fps you can achieve in-camera slow motion video. It has a great macro focus range of 3 cm (1.18″).

The bad news is that when you go maximum zoom, all of these camera's lenses have a maximum aperture of >f/5.6. In the case of the S120, you're losing 3-1/2 f-stops. So long to the advantage of a fast lens. All of the recommended point-and-shoots will suffer from this problem.

The interesting thing happens when you compare the SX700 HS to the S120 for light sensativity at zoom. At full zoom, you lose a lot of light, but the SX700 is < 2/3 a stop slower than the S120, which isn't a lot. But, the SX700 at full zoom is x30 compared to the S120 at x5. So, if you were to compare them both at x5, the SX700 would most likely achieve f/4 which is one stop faster. Given the SX700's ISO is a little more than 2 stop slower than the S120, that's only a one stop difference (darker/slower).

So, the bottom line question is: Do you need low-light sensitivity at full zoom? If so, your clear answer is the SX700 HS; it's just 1 stop darker. But remember, the S120 not zoomed is nearly 4 stops brighter.

And both cameras are small enough to keep in your pocket while on stage and too expensive to leave lying around backstage to grow legs.

One way to tell the amount of zoom you will require is to use a company that has a rent-to-own program. I'm not sure, but [url]borrowlenses.com[/url] may do this. I just sent out a message to a photography friend that recommended a few rental companies; I'll add those when he gets back to me.

Hope this helps.

_________________
-=- PalaDolphin
http://www.PalaDolphin.com
My equipment are:
Canon Rebel T4i / EOS 650D
lens: EF-S 18-135mm 1:3.5-5.6 IS STM
lens: EF-S 55-250mm 1:4-5.6 IS II
lens: Tamron SP 60mm F/2 Di II 1:1 Macro
Canon Speedlite 380EX flash
Canon PowerShot G12
Canon AE-1 Programmable w/55mm, 200mm, & 24mm lenses
bag: Lowepro® SlingShot 202AW


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 Post subject: Re: Canon PowerShot S120
PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2014 10:38 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 03, 2014 1:35 am
Posts: 6
Location: Canada
PalaDolphin wrote:
You can rule out the Canon SX280 HS if you need low-light support. However, it does have a superzoom at x20 optical zoom.

If you're okay with a zoom that isn't a superzoom, I would recommend the Canon PowerShot S120. With a 12,800 ISO and fast f/1.8 aperture it'll be impressive in low-light situations, like clubs. The zoom is x5 optical, x4 digital, which is not super. The "ring" is programmable, meaning you can assign just about anything to it, like zoom, aperture, shutter speed, ISO, exposure compensation, etc. It does 1080 HD video in either 30 or 60 fps. At 60 fps you can achieve in-camera slow motion video. It has a great macro focus range of 3 cm (1.18″).

The bad news is that when you go maximum zoom, all of these camera's lenses have a maximum aperture of >f/5.6. In the case of the S120, you're losing 3-1/2 f-stops. So long to the advantage of a fast lens. All of the recommended point-and-shoots will suffer from this problem.

The interesting thing happens when you compare the SX700 HS to the S120 for light sensativity at zoom. At full zoom, you lose a lot of light, but the SX700 is < 2/3 a stop slower than the S120, which isn't a lot. But, the SX700 at full zoom is x30 compared to the S120 at x5. So, if you were to compare them both at x5, the SX700 would most likely achieve f/4 which is one stop faster. Given the SX700's ISO is a little more than 2 stop slower than the S120, that's only a one stop difference (darker/slower).

So, the bottom line question is: Do you need low-light sensitivity at full zoom? If so, your clear answer is the SX700 HS; it's just 1 stop darker. But remember, the S120 not zoomed is nearly 4 stops brighter.

And both cameras are small enough to keep in your pocket while on stage and too expensive to leave lying around backstage to grow legs.

One way to tell the amount of zoom you will require is to use a company that has a rent-to-own program. I'm not sure, but [url]borrowlenses.com[/url] may do this. I just sent out a message to a photography friend that recommended a few rental companies; I'll add those when he gets back to me.

Hope this helps.


It does. A lot. Thank you! This has been a very enlightening couple of days. I am very grateful to all that have chimed in with suggestions!


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