Contributors to this thread:
Favorite pocket camera?
I went backpacking last weekend - 4 high-school seniors and 2 other dads. Beautiful alpine scenery. And I have almost no pics, because I was carrying my phone (turned off to save battery) in my pack.
So to take a picture, I had to stop, drop the pack, dig out the phone, boot it up.... And packing with a group is way more fun when you’re not constantly trying to catch up, you know?
So I’m thinking to add a little camera that will fit in the hip-belt pocket of my Osprey.
Looking for something pretty rugged, with a good optical zoom. Beyond that? The functionality of the camera in my phone is all I need and more, though better slo-mo video would be kinda cool.
I have no intention of filming any hunts, so those types of considerations can be let go.
So I’m thinking that this should be doable at fairly low cost without having to buy junk.
Phone cameras are pretty good nowadays and you have the pics on there to share. I'd get a solar charger for the phone and call it good.
Why couldn't you carry your phone in your pocket? Why pack? And it's tough to beat the new phones for pics. As mentioned, solar charger or one of the portable battery pack chargers.
FWIW....I have an older Droid phone with a 42x zoom and it takes great pics and vids. I got a pocket sized power bank that will recharge the phone twice. You can get those off of EBay fairly cheap that will charge more than that. Plus the solar charger would work too.
Something like a Canon SX620 might be a choice. Not sure about slow mo but small, 24x optical zoom and not too pricey. I'm looking as well. Phones are great these days but cameras still have their place if high quality photos are important. I've had photos printed in books and magazines taken with older versions of this one. Phones pics work amazing or on screen applications but printing shows their limitations.
Once again, Don gets it.
My wife is a graphic designer with a background in Print. She actually used to be the design department for Summit Sentinel & Schuss magazine.... then she moved on to high-end stuff.
I suppose if you don’t know the difference, you can’t tell the difference... but an optical zoom is a big deal.
I’ll second what Glunt said. Phones work for screen and photos can look spectacular but you go to print and they don’t work quite as well. Learned this through work trying to print brochures from some great shots off my phone. It was almost hard to imagine how much the quality seemed to “drop” when it went to print. Print shop said this was a very common problem for them nowadays as a majority of pics come off phones.
Having said all that, majority of photo usage now is NOT in print
I carry my 90D and 70-200mm F2.8 around but that weighs about 6 pounds. But it takes great pics and 4k video if I want.
That sounds like exactly the camera you would want when you are going out for the express purpose of taking photographs. I just need a little buddy there in my pocket, sort of like one of those .380 pocket pistols that a guy might have on him JIC... probably not the one you really want to have, but the one you are most likely to have on you…
Last week we were on the AT in New Hampshire and got to the shelter which was FAR, FAR above its capacity, and had to improvise. It rained a little bit that night when it wasn’t supposed to, and the boys (who were all sleeping on a slope of about 30°) were up, packed and ready to roll out at 0400. So we rolled....
Don’t suppose I need to explain to anybody here about sunrises above timberline, so I’m just hoping that the panoramic video that one of the guys shot turned out OK.
Kind of kicking myself now for not having stopped to take the photo, but that’s the whole point, isn’t it?
“ It was almost hard to imagine how much the quality seemed to ‘drop’ when it went to print. ”
That’s because screens are low-res; I don’t know what they are in the age of hi-def, but they used to be 72 DPI. Print Quality starts at 300.
And digital zoom is no zoom at all, really; about all it does is reduce the resolution.
Good luck in your camera search, but keeping your phone in airplane mode all day will burn a fraction of its battery in 24 hrs.
I have a Fuji XP 130, totally waterproof and I’d say pretty tough since it still works. Also can send pics to your phone wirelessly and there’s a nice app with a remote that works well and I’ve used quite a bit. I bought it for canoe trips where we don’t have service anyway and it’s way more convenient in that situation than pulling my phone out of a dry bag and firing it up.
A few years old but works great . Quarter for size comparison Ed
Nikon Coolpix AW120. I carry one everywhere, all the time. Drop proof, waterproof, auto focus available, video with sound and many other features that you may never get around to. I especially use the macro mode for flowers and fungi. I have a spare battery and charger, but the batteries are long life between changes. A usb patch cord allows you to download to your computer.
I bought mine used on ebay for around $100.00.
Nikon Coolpix AW120. I forgot to mention, ZOOM TOO.
AND, if you want to beef up for rugged carry, it fits nicely in a Pelican 1020. That's how I pack it in to my treestand.
Point taken, Ike - though a couple of the boys did that and their phones crapped out pretty quickly anyway.
But that still doesn’t deliver the optical zoom and other camera-specific stuff.
I’m going to look into the ones mentioned here. Grubby’s suggestion sounds pretty spot-on, as does Bill’s....
Nikon Coolpix S9900 Camera. Offers wide angle and 30X zoom lens.
4 1/4" long; 2 1/2" high; 1 1/8" width. It fits in a cloth carry case that fits in a waterproof box I bought at Walmart. The waterproof box holds camera in cloth case, extra battery and charger. I have the option of carrying the waterproof box with contents or just the camera in the cloth carry case. A win-win situation.
Phone cameras are nice but slipping it out of a pocket, going to camera mode, zooming then hitting the "shutter" or switching to video all with one hand while the other holds a bow is impossible for me using a phone. I'll take a small point and shoot every time to catch a quick pic. I like Lumix or Sony
An I phone on airplane mode that is on all day and shut off at night will last about 3-4 days
Did I mention that I REALLY want a by-God CAMERA??
Lol then maybe ask for a good camera phone
I have a little Canon super zoom pocket.... not sure of the model #, but it has at least a 20x optical zoom, and smaller than a rangefinder. Definitely has it's place over a phone. Some people still actually print pictures, believe it or not. If you're going to make enlargements, it's a much better way to go than a cell phone. If you only send em via text, or post to Facebook., the cell is probably fine.
I have a Sony rx-100, might be a tad bigger than you’re looking for but easily fits a belt pouch and takes amazing pictures with plenty of zoom. The lens telescopes when you turn it on, and you can put a polarizing lens cover on it. $250 is a steal compared to what I paid.
What's your budget? $100 gets you 'ok', $200 gets you a lot better. I like a *good* camera, but in compact shirt-pocket size, so I spent a fair bit on a really good one - https://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/canon-g9x/canon-g9xA.HTM
The pix I get are suitable for cropping heavily so the limited optical zoom is not a huge problem.
I have a Panosonic Lumix pocket camera (4" X 2-1/2" X 1") with a Leica lens that was recommended by a well known photographer on this site. Served me well until I upgraded cell phones. Now, it sits on the shelf. If cell phone battery life is a concern, I put the phone in airplane mode and carry an Anker pocket charger. That will charge the phone three times. I rarely print a picture these days....but when I do, my eyes must not be good enough to spot the differences.
I carry the Lumix TS25, or a TS30, both are good quality, 4x Optical zoom, and waterproof. Gets more use in the raft than hunting. And it has taken its share of abuse and still works fine.
Had the TS25 for years but lost it so bought a TS30, then found the TS25 a year or so later in a boot. Ugh. But kind of nice to have a couple of them.
We get our field crews at work Nikon Coolpixs. They take great pics, compact, won't break the bank and are pretty durable (our guys are notoriously hard on equipment).
Pav - it’s probably your printer more than your eyes - if you were to take your card to a shop with a high-end digital printer, you might start to notice the differences, especially if you were to have them run some enlargements. If you take an 8X10 up to poster size (say 24X30) you need 9X the data in the image file to produce the same result.
I’m primarily interested in the digital zoom for wildlife & birds, because digital zoom is worthless for anything other than on-screen and even then often comes up short.
I just don’t see a lot of upside in buying and carrying a charger for the phone when there’s zero phone service and a camera requires a lot less cost and weight in terms of batteries and takes a hell of a lot better pictures.
You are not going to get great wildlife and bird pics with any point and shoot unless you are very close. Even with my 200 mm lens that equates to a 9x zoom with a APS-C sensor you need to be relatively close. Even at 32.5 MP you can crop some but it not the end all be all. But for kill shots or landscapes a cell phone will do plenty well as long as you have a newer cell phone and not a crappy old one. Cells phone cameras have come longways over the last few years. If you are wanting to take photos to blow up to poster size, you better pony up and buy a good DSLR or mirrorless camera with some good quality lens. There a reason lots of people shell out the cash and lug around a big heavy camera and not a point and shoot. There also a reason you don't see near as many point and shoots and you use to, because cells are almost as good. I really think your perspective on this is out date by a number of years. If you don't have cell service you should be able to put phone in airplane mode and last all day if only using for a camera. If your phone is old put the money you were going to spend on a point and shoot towards a new phone. If you are like most folks you won't will get more for your money than a good cell phone.
I guess some people carry bear spray, some carry a Casull and some carry a 5-shot .357 or .38+P...
We have family, friends & suppliers who are professional photographers, so I get the difference between a pocket camera and an SLR. I REALLY do.
But just as I might be willing to pack a .44Mag/.480/Casull in Griz Country, I would be willing to pack the SLR if photography were the point of the exercise. Can’t pick off a coyote with bear spray.
But back to photography... I wouldn’t be asking about a point&shoot if I hadn’t recognized some shortcomings with phone pics.
Maybe it’s just that most guys respond to the OP without reading other responses, but I gotta admit that I’m getting a little tired of being talked out of what it is that I’m interested....
You guys are worse than my FAMILY!!
Like others have said......learn to use airplane mode on your phone. It’ll last days. Phones today take great pics! I have 1000’s of pics of my hunting adventures, all taken with my phone. I’m not looking to enter a photography contest or send them to National Geographic. I just want something to remember and relive the good times!
I bought my 1st IPhone the other day after my old Samsung died. I think it's an 11 Pro? I had it on this last elk hunt & used it with onX on airplane mode most of the time. After partially breaking done the bull I hiked out in the dark by following a track I made earlier. Went to a place that had cell service & called my wife & some relatives that were headed my way but were lost. After 3 hours we finally headed back to the bull to finish the butchering & packing & again followed a track in. After taking a couple flash photos the battery on the iPhone died. I always pack an old Canon SD 960 & have used it from Alaska to Mexico. I took a bunch of photos with it & then it was time to hike out but the phone was dead & no track to follow. Luckily I had the track on an old GPS unit to get us off the mountain. I like a small camera that is just a camera. Fits on a tripod & has a self timer. I take photos with my phone but always have a small camera in my pack. Going to upgrade now because I think the old Canon burned up in this fire. Looking at a Canon 190 or 180 to replace the old camera.
I like a point and shoot.
Most of my wildlife photos are surprise encounters or in a treestand while holding a bow in my left hand and were shot with a point and shoot camera in my right. The photo opportunities require some zoom with minimal movement to not spook the critter.
With ONE HAND I cannot get a phone from my pocket, hit the camera app, zoom in and hit the shutter button. Or possibly switch to video. I'm sure there are experienced phone folks who can do those things with one hand but in those situations, for me, the point and shoot takes advantage of the opportunity that would be missed with a phone. Hero pics, panoramic landscape photos? Yes, the phone is great but I like having a point and shoot. I've been a pleased Lumix user but have heard good things about the Sony HX80 which I'm looking at because I got a big scratch on the 8 year old Lumix lens.
Do a google search of camera phone vs a point and shoot. If you research it objectively I think you will come to the same conclusion. However I think you want to buy a point and shoot and really just wanting people to tell you to do. Attached is first article I clicked on.
Paper maps are going out of style too because of phone apps but I still carry a hard copy; I guess because I'm hard headed.
With a phone you still need something to attach it to a tripod. I take photos with my phone but most of the photos after a critter is down is with a small camera. Don't really care what internet research says because I know what works best for me. I guess phone photos are easier to send to family & friends & post on internet sites like Facebook. I just want something that will work when I need it to. A dead phone battery ain't much fun & especially if you need it for other things. Like making a call or following a track line!
I'd suggest googling 'best pocket camera under $xxx' to see what reviewers elsewhere are saying. (And it doesn't hurt to set that number a bit higher than what you think you want to spend ;-) )
I just got a reco on the Panasonic LUMIX TZ100, which is the UK model designation, so will take a look at that one...
Not a Pocket Camera but the best camera. The Nikon D7200 is an upgrade from the D7100 with a great body and an APS-C sized processor. It has some similarities with its predecessor though this is packed with fantastic upgrades. The buffer depths on this entry-level DSLR camera are increased. It takes two to three times more shots in a continuous burst. You can get discount on Nikon D7200 black Friday deals.
I carry a point and shoot in my cargo pocket at all times while hunting or fishing. The easiest thing to grab and use. It works real well for me.
i have a Samsung s20 ultra. it will shoot 108MP photos 100x zoom
and 8k video.
It quality is unbelievable - and its a phone
I have a couple of the Canon SX series cameras. They work great . I think both are discontinued models so they we less than $100 each. I have learned that an accessible point and shoot camera takes far better pictures than a high end camera packed away.
Yup. I just want something handy with a solid, optical zoom. And something that will run for a month on a dollar’s worth of disposable batteries sounds pretty good, too....
Kinda funny how a bunch of guys who covet $2000 binoculars will insist that a cell phone has all the optical quality you could ever ask for......
GF - Take a closer look at Buffalo1's recommendation. He takes plenty of high quality pictures with that camera.
Nikon Coolpix AW 100.....I've carried the thing for about 10 years hunting and fishing as well as business trips before I retired (Photos were needed to document facilities). Totally water proof (Hold it under water for some fish pictures) and great quality photos as well as good video. There may be new models by now, haven't looked, but the AW100 has done everything I've needed.
Thanks, Chief - that was one of the most helpful responses I got...
We have 3 small cameras. Nikon, Canon, and cant remember the other. All 3 are very good. Get one that has high megapixel and as high of an optical zoom as you can afford. When zooming, a phone camera cant come close to the quality of a camera. When you zoom on your phone (or an device with a digital zoom) all it does is make the picture resolution worse and when you print it will be pixelated.
GF, your original post is looking for 'good optical zoom', 'rugged' and 'low cost'. Respectfully, you're probably going to have to give up one of the three.
As an addendum to what WYelkhunter said, you *can* get good results from digital zooming IF you have a *larger* sensor in the camera. (Also, larger _optical_ zoom equals bulkier cameras.)
That’s just the way life is, isn’t it? Seems like with just about everything there are always three desirable attributes, and you always have to pick two.
But “budget” is kinda relative; I’d be happy with something I’m the same range as a decent pair of binocs....
That is one of the better reviews sites I’ve come across. I think I’m still coming down on the Lumix with the 30X Leica zoom lens, but I have to admit that there’s some appeal to the ones that are designed to be submersible and relatively shock-proof!