Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner

1 - 20 of 32 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
743 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm interested in documenting my bikepacking routes for submission to Bikpacking.com. Their submission requirements vaguely ask for "better than cell phone" quality pictures.

I'm not ready to spend a ton of money on a heavy, complicated camera/lens combo and spend years honing "the craft."

Would I get better quality pictures from a $200 point-and-shoot in auto mode? I'm questioning something like the Canon Elph 360 or the Canon Powershot SX620.

For the sake of argument, let's assume I'm good with subject and framing. Are the $200 P&S cameras better than a stock Android cell phone? Criteria would include crispness/graininess, focus (background and/or foreground), lighting, motion (both subject and/or background), color, etc...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
426 Posts
If I had to go for a P&S model, and honestly I've thought about one for certain cases where I just can't bring myself to lug the real camera gear, then it'd have to be the Canon G7 (current version is the Mark III it seems.)

IQ is top notch, and in auto mode, very easy to use... with the added ability to take manual control if you want to delve deeper down the photography rabbit hole.

That said, I'd probably even scrap that in favor of something like the Canon M6 MkII or Sony's A6x00 models. Again, fantastic image quality that's easy to use in full auto mode, but a LOT more capability, larger sensors, lens options, etc. down the road. And far better resale value down the road if it isn't to your liking.

As far as a $200 P&S vs a cell phone? That really depends on the cell phone. The top end models from Samsung and Apple are getting scary good (still **** compared to 'real' cameras, but 99.99999% would have a hard time telling a difference at social media resolutions/display.) https://www.dxomark.com/ has a lot of detailed ratings if you wanna dig into them. I'd put my S20 Ultra up against any $200 P&S and expect better results.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
426 Posts
Another thought, one that I have no experience with but do see referenced often, is the Sony RX100 camera series. Supposed to be quite the performer, much like the Canon G7/G9 models. Main thing in common among them is 1in sensor sizes. Anything less is gonna be marginal vs. a good phone camera.

Larger sensor is going to also help keep noise levels lower, allow you to get that sharp subject/blurry background effect naturally (if the lens is up to it), and handle low light far better.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
971 Posts
I don't know how dated the bikepacking recommendation might be, but phone cameras have come a long ways in the last few years. I have an elph 360 and it really only beats my iphone 10s if I want to zoom in a fair bit. The above recommendations seem good to me if you want to step it up. I just picked up an M50 and kit lens for when I want better than phone pix and don't want to haul my dslr around. I hope I like it.
 

·
WillWorkForTrail
Joined
·
4,989 Posts
Coming from a guy with some reasonably nice gear - I did a little international traveling last year and didn't want to be burdened with a lot of camera gear, and wanted something more reliable (and yes, better) than my phone for pictures, because who knew how the battery on my phone would hold up under international data or whatever? So I picked up a Canon ELPH 180 that I could just stick in my pocket. I took a ton of pictures with that, and they ARE better than cell phone pictures. So I imagine any higher form of ELPH would be a great choice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
743 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks all!

I followed up on ALL of the suggestions with online reading. Indeed - I see mention of the RX100, Canon G7, and Sony A6x00 everywhere. But I struggle to find them for sale under $200 - even used. (Ebay and some of the online exchanges.)

I've got the Canon Elph 360 in my Amazon cart and will ponder the purchase for a day...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
519 Posts
Are the $200 P&S cameras better than a stock Android cell phone? Criteria would include crispness/graininess, focus (background and/or foreground), lighting, motion (both subject and/or background), color, etc...
Current phones are pretty good -- and most will significantly outperform a $200 P&S camera or anything with a 1/2.3" sensor. So you might want to consider a "flagship" phone despite the cost because it does more than just take pictures.

Already mentioned was the Sony RX100. It's not cheap -- but Sony is still selling older versions of the camera at a lower cost. It's small, can be put in a pocket (well, a large pocket) and has very good image quality. I think you will find the best solution to your question in the 1" sensor cameras.

-db-
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
743 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I've got a Samsung Note 9. Pretty good phone.

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,707 Posts
I have a Sony RX100 IV which I bought when it was current but I think for $200 you'd be hard pressed to beat a phone. Camera makers seem like they are abandoning the smaller sensors. I mean what's the point when a phone can do it more easily?
I bought an A6600 recently but there's no way I'm jamming that in my Camelbak. I have G7 which was a little cheaper than the Sony.
But a phone will do most things well until you start to push it, low light, lack of optical zoom etc.

What about GoPro? I've never used mine to take photos but they are bulletproof.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
854 Posts
I have a Sony RX100 IV which I bought when it was current but I think for $200 you'd be hard pressed to beat a phone. Camera makers seem like they are abandoning the smaller sensors. I mean what's the point when a phone can do it more easily?
I bought an A6600 recently but there's no way I'm jamming that in my Camelbak. I have G7 which was a little cheaper than the Sony.
But a phone will do most things well until you start to push it, low light, lack of optical zoom etc.

What about GoPro? I've never used mine to take photos but they are bulletproof.
I wouldnt want to use a gopro for most stills, challenging to frame and very wide angle.
A less than $200 P&S though is prob goint to be challenged to better a good cell phone. Its advantages age is you can pull it out and have it ready to take a pic in a split second and if it has an optical zoom that will beat most current phones. If you go for one of the ruggedized one like Olympus TGs tyen theres advantage of not risking your phone i deluge/dirt/mud/sand. Also not using up phones battery.
And yes, a lot of companies are dropping much of low end P&S because of phone cameras, they cant compete anymore.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Also would say most new phone cameras will outperform most P&S cameras. It's possible to find a gen 1 or 2 RX100 for that budget, so I would either look for that, or go with the phone. Alternatively, I have an old Canon G10 that takes nice landscape and portrait shots, and offers full manual control and raw capture, but it's terrible for action shooting. You can find a Sony a6000 for near that budget, and that takes excellent shots though it is a little bigger.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,034 Posts
What about a used Micro 4/3s? I am just trying to learn how to take photos and I am starting out learning tbh but I was able to get a starting setup for sub-$200.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
386 Posts
Why the $200 budget? A $200 cellphone is going to take photos with quality ranging somewhere between absolute garbage, & utter [email protected] Unless you're in perfect sunlight, with no shadows around.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
743 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
My budget was ~$200 because I already have a "nice" camera and decent cell phone. I won't take my nice DSLR into the bush to get ruined. Wanted a P&S that was nice enough to take better pictures but cheap enough to abuse. I also wanted a P&S to keep it simple...

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
386 Posts
I think the budget is for a camera, not a phone...
That was my point. Why is a $200 camera supposed to be superior to a $200 phone? I'd expand the budget a bit, and look at 2nd hand mirrorless or DSLR cameras. Micro 4/3 probably has the best range of cheaper large aperture lenses at reasonable prices, Fujifilm would be next. Panasonic has the excellent little 14mm f/2.5, which is about the same field of view as a smartphone, and the 25mm f/1.7 for the "traditional" standard type lens. Olympus has similar lenses also. But $200 is very very limiting, whatever form factor you look at. There's been some great deals going around on the Panasonic GX80/85, which is a great little camera. Small, light, compact. For a daylight zoom lens, the Panasonic Lumix 12-32 is an excellent budget choice, punching will above it's price point.
The thing you really need to do though, is to learn a little bit about the exposure triangle, and the settings/functions available on the camera. A bit like the same rider riding a $500 bike, or a $3000 bike. The results will be much the same, unless the rider puts in a bit of effort, to take advantage of the increased capabilities.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,707 Posts
That was my point. Why is a $200 camera supposed to be superior to a $200 phone?
I guess because you can possibly buy a used one inch sensor P&S for $200? Which is going to be better than any cellphone. Which the OP already has.



The thing you really need to do though, is to learn a little bit about the exposure triangle, and the settings/functions available on the camera.
I don't think the OP needs to learn the exposure triangle...

My budget was ~$200 because I already have a "nice" camera and decent cell phone. I won't take my nice DSLR into the bush to get ruined.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
386 Posts
I guess because you can possibly buy a used one inch sensor P&S for $200? Which is going to be better than any cellphone. Which the OP already has.





I don't think the OP needs to learn the exposure triangle...
Well, the OP is not making much sense. In the first post he says he doesn't want to buy nice gear and learn the craft, then all of a sudden he had nice gear, but doesn't want to take it on the bike with him. Does not compute. Perhaps he just needs to buy a nice robust m4/3 camera, where you can change lenses to suit subject/environment, and learn to use it. I drag my m4/3 and mirrorless gear around the world, on motorcycles, on mountain bikes, without a second thought. Survived a head on with a ute/pickup that put me in hospital with a busted hip and wrecked knee, survived a decent high side that put me in hospital again, with bleeds on the brain, and busted collarbone. When I get near a computer, I'll post up a pic or two of my transportation setup
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
386 Posts
Here's what I use for camera & lens transportation. Nothing fancy, the lens pouches are about $10 each on the eBay, can't remember what I paid for the camera cover. 4 or 5mm thick waterproof Neoprene, soft furry lining, brilliant. I only wish I fared as well as my camera gear in my big crashes
protection.jpg
It just gets chucked into whatever bag/backpack I happen to be using at the time, & basically forgotten about. No special treatment.
 
1 - 20 of 32 Posts
Top