Quantcast Currently Canon 540, now failing and a bit more ambitious

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  1. #1
    Uli
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    Default Currently Canon 540, now failing and a bit more ambitious

    Hi all. I have a Canon Powershot 540 still which now starts failing and I'm wondering if I shouldn't get something that allows a bit more adjustment in the picture. I had a chance around 2 years back to play a bit with a large expensive Nikon and just alone the functionality to adjust the background shadow was mind blowing. But for the majority of pictures I would prefer a P+S system.

    The pictures I take mostly are nature (scenery and close up, currently I suffer badly in weaker light) and indoors (weaker light) and sometimes shorter videos of concerts at night (that is painful with the 540 for resolution, sound and picture quality). I've been snorkeling in some reefs and tried a watertight bag but it turned out all blue with blurry shapes of yellow and white and such ... so a plus would be if I can use the camera under water and have the option of a strong enough flash and lenses that can handle that.
    Some to get an idea what I point my camera at are here:
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...4887851&type=3
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...4887851&type=3
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...4887851&type=3

    Finance wise I'm pretty well off meanwhile so I am ok spending up to $600 or so and maybe some additional stuff later.

    What matters for me is the size (Can I take that with me in a pocket?) and a certain ruggedness (Can I take that with me while hiking and maybe having a bit dust there or snow and not constantly worry myself crazy about it breaking down the next minute?).

    The company doesn't matter much.

    Ideally I can use rechargeable or normal batteries that last LONG and are easy to get replacement for. I can be away sometimes for two weeks in other countries and sometimes it is not so easy to recharge and much worse if the battery is some ultra special version that you simply can't get in this country's little shop ...

    Zoom is important, the Canon 540 zoom is ok for me though. But a better macro function would be good, the Canon needs quite some distance to take sharp pics.

    That is what I can come up with at the moment. I was wondering if the four third micro cameras make sense for me, the Olympus PEN E-PL1 for example? Or is that too much? Thanks a lot for the advice!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Currently Canon 540, now failing and a bit more ambitious

    I have the Oly PL2, whose size is nearly identical to the PL1.

    The PL2 does have good adjustments for JPG shooting. In a few regards better adjustments than my Canon 50D DSLR. However: 1- It needs the adjustments. Default or native JPG images straight out of the PL2 are not so good as my 50D. 2- These in-camera adjustments become meaningless if you are shooting RAW instead of JPG. Any RAW editor gives a lot more control. BTW, the RAW editor that comes with the PL2 is Ok, but nothing special. If you get serious about RAW with an Oly you will want to also get a better editor like Adobe's Elements.

    These Micro4/3 cameras are Ok in low light (nightime), but some of the more advanced P&S compacts (Canon S110, Sony RX100, etc) are arguably better there.

    The only way a Micro4/3 camera will fit in a pocket is with a "pancake" lens. Which means no zoom at all. With it's standard kit zoom (35mm eqv 28-84mm) my PL2 needs at least a belt pouch size bag. Still a HECK of a lot lighter in weight than my DSLR. So a fun package for casual outtings.

    I'm satisfied with the ruggedness of my PL2. This will vary with the make and model of the camera, is not meant as a blanket statement. And that is not the same thing as being rainproof. I put it in the belt pouch when it's raining.

    The company should matter. The control approach and default image characteristics for these small cameras have a greater range of differences than the different DSLR cameras.

    The only "normal" battery I know of is AA. I detest those. Micro4/3 cameras are dependent on their LCD for operation, so a spare battery is a "must have". 3rd party batteries are not expensive, so no big deal in my view. If I were stuck for several weeks in a place so remote that I could not recharge batteries, I'd simply take a film camera instead of digital.

    Standard zoom for Micro4/3 is 3X. To get more telephoto you will need to change lenses.

    I am enjoying my PL2 very much. But I'm Ok with learning the tricks needed with these rather fussy cameras. For a brain-dead camera, Micro4/3 would be a poor choice.

    Kelly Cook
    Olympus PL2, Canon EOS 50D, Fujifilm F45fd, various film dinosaurs

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Currently Canon 540, now failing and a bit more ambitious

    You'll be very pleased with the low light quality of recent P&S cameras that are equipped with a back-illuminated CMOS sensor. Rugged P&S cameras with the CMOS sensor are available, though they usually are very limited in their zoom ability. Almost all have rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that last anywhere from 150-250 shots per charge. Extra batteries are available at a reasonable price.
    Probably the best rugged camera around today is the Olympus TG-2 or its predecessor, the TG-1. Both are very rugged (can be used underwater), take good looking photos, are quick performers and have excellent battery life. They only have 4x optical zoom, though.
    For over $100 less, you can purchase an excellent non-rugged camera, the Canon SX260 HS, which has image quality that's at least as good as the Olympus cameras and has a very long 20x optical zoom.

    Here are some sample images from the Olympus TG-1 and the Canon SX260HS:
    TG-1
    olympus tg-1 - Flickr: Search

    SX260HS
    sx260 canon - Flickr: Search
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  4. #4
    Uli
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    Default Re: Currently Canon 540, now failing and a bit more ambitious

    Thanks, that is very helpful!
    Especially the waterproof Olympus TG-2 looks very interesting. I was reading a review, that claims that "Nikon aw100, Sony tx20 and Panasonic ts20" are much better in image quality than the TG-2 and waterproof on top. Any comments or experiences concerning this?

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    Uli
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    Default Re: Currently Canon 540, now failing and a bit more ambitious


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    Default Re: Currently Canon 540, now failing and a bit more ambitious

    The Panasonic TS20, Sony TX20, Nikon AW100 and Olympus TG-2 all get good reviews. But none of them have a long zoom lens.
    Are you sure you really need a rugged camera? Unless you plan to go skiing with it or take it underwater, you'd do better investing in a non-rugged point and shoot with a long zoom lens. You'd get better image quality and more features at the same price or cheaper than a rugged camera.
    My Gear:
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  7. #7
    Uli
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    Default Re: Currently Canon 540, now failing and a bit more ambitious

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Stanton View Post
    The Panasonic TS20, Sony TX20, Nikon AW100 and Olympus TG-2 all get good reviews. But none of them have a long zoom lens.
    Are you sure you really need a rugged camera? Unless you plan to go skiing with it or take it underwater, you'd do better investing in a non-rugged point and shoot with a long zoom lens. You'd get better image quality and more features at the same price or cheaper than a rugged camera.
    Well the Canon I have currently dies on me now especially because ... despite very careful handling and dust bagging it, Black Rock desert dust is simply too much. And I do under water shooting in rivers, hot springs etc. quite a lot (next time in a few weeks again actually), currently with a water tight bag, but it is a bit painful to do so (make sure there is no reflection, no water drops if on surface etc etc). And my Canon is having a 4x zoom which I find perfectly ok. Considering that the Canon has much worse specs I'm confident I will be very happy with the image quality and all too. And If I ever need more, I will go for a "serious" camera and tripod and all.
    So yes, I think the TG-2 is exactly what I need and I ordered it. If it really doesn't work out I'll give it back and come back here.

    Just one question left: The TG-2 has no lid or such it seems and isn't even having a shutter or such? Or do I miss something? If I'm right what do you recommend to protect the camera lens besides having it in a bag please?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Currently Canon 540, now failing and a bit more ambitious

    The TG-2 doesn't need a bag or a case - the waterproofing is built-in.
    My Gear:
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    Canon Elph 110 HS
    Canon A720IS (retired)

  9. #9
    Uli
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    Default Re: Currently Canon 540, now failing and a bit more ambitious

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Stanton View Post
    The TG-2 doesn't need a bag or a case - the waterproofing is built-in.
    I know that. I was wondering if there is a lid or such to protect the lens in the long run ...?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Currently Canon 540, now failing and a bit more ambitious

    Quote Originally Posted by Uli View Post
    I know that. I was wondering if there is a lid or such to protect the lens in the long run ...?
    Here's a link to the TG-2 accessory page. There are a couple of things you can buy to protect the camera - a silicone jacket (cheap) and an underwater housing (expensive).
    http://www.getolympus.com/us/en/tg-2-ihs.html
    My Gear:
    Panasonic FZ28
    Canon Elph 110 HS
    Canon A720IS (retired)

 

 

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