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Cheap "adventure" cam

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by InlawBiker, Oct 31, 2013.

  1. InlawBiker

    InlawBiker Mu-43 Veteran

    218
    Feb 1, 2012
    Seattle, WA
    Greg
    Hey all, along with my DSLR I'm looking for a cheap adventure camera to bring skiing, hiking and biking. I will likely use kit zoom lenses, almost all outdoor.

    I could go Panasonic, Olympus or a compact so long as it does HD video. Ideally the camera will fit into a jacket pocket or cargo pants pocket.

    Some of my thoughts were the E-PL3, GF3, GF2, or GX1 if I can swing it. Maybe the G3? But smaller would be better. I used a Pana G2 last year but, it's a little too big and 720p video only. Otherwise I loved it.

    The Nikon P7700 looks like a good one too but I'm a little wary of point n' shoot compacts. I have heard that Panasonic does better video than Olympus but I have no first hand experience. I would appreciate any thoughts on this!
     
  2. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    First let me say I love your handle, Mr. InLawBiker ;)

    I can't comment on the other models but I have both the G3 and several GX1s. I prefer the positive, firm feel of the buttons and dial of the GX1 over the G3, noticeably better. But the G3 has a built-in articulating LCD and a viewfinder if those are priorities. Both can be had inexpensively used now, though I thought the GX1 was the deal of the century a few months ago when they were selling them for $200 new.
     
  3. moccaman

    moccaman Mu-43 Veteran

    281
    Jan 4, 2012
    Australia
    What about an LX7? wonderful pocketable camera with a superb little lens, get the filter adapter ring off ebay, stick a nice filter on it for protection and you are good to go.
     
  4. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    True, the LX7 is a cool, powerful little camera. Just one lens but it is very fast. I like mine and have a clear filter on it too.
     
  5. mrjr

    mrjr Mu-43 Top Veteran

    518
    Sep 25, 2012
    The G3 will be very hard to squeeze into any sort of pocket, and nearly impossible with a kit lens mounted. It's a very compact cam overall, but the modest eyecup protrudes markedly from the rear. I suppose if you have huge baggy pockets, it'd go, but otherwise, I wouldn't count on it. (Also, the G3 has small, mushy controls, which might be frustrating in the cold while skiing or with gloves).

    Now, if you decide to stick with the 14mm pancake, any one of those cameras would do just fine.
     
  6. yakky

    yakky Mu-43 Top Veteran

    662
    Jul 1, 2013
    GF3 with the 14mm. You say kit zoom lenses... those are going to make the camera big unless you go with the 14-42PZ.
     
  7. InlawBiker

    InlawBiker Mu-43 Veteran

    218
    Feb 1, 2012
    Seattle, WA
    Greg
    Yeah I should have clarified, I meant pocketable with a prime lens. While skiing then I'll put it in my backpack, and wear it on a strap when in use.

    Having tried Panasonic I thought video was excellent, I'm wondering if the Olympus HD video is as good. It just seems like normally folks lean towards Panasonic for video.
     
  8. moccaman

    moccaman Mu-43 Veteran

    281
    Jan 4, 2012
    Australia
    Pocketable with a prime is not so easy, the 14mm is really the only flat prime thats affordable, the 20mm is not all that small and its going to cost you as much as a new LX7 would. I was shooting with the LX7 yesterday next to an EP3 with 45mm 1.8 lens, and I tell you the LX7 shots are very good, not a huge amount between the two at all. The LX7 gives you a heap of primes, 24mm F1.4, 28mm F1.5, 35mm F1.6, 50mm F1.9, 70mm F2.1, and 90mm F2.3!! :wink:

    The HD video is very good too especially in low light, I have shot video in the half dark and been amazed at what has come out.
     
  9. barbosas

    barbosas Mu-43 Veteran

    283
    May 7, 2013
    Lisbon
    Another vouch for the LX7.

    It's my wife travel camera and the family wide-angle :) oh and it's also a very sexy camera :p

    9722512421_0c7e4bfc6e_z.
    Dia7_6 by barbosas, on Flickr
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. madogvelkor

    madogvelkor Mu-43 Top Veteran

    937
    Feb 22, 2013
    Connecticut
    If you wear cargo pants or have similar sized pockets in your coat, the GX1 is pocketable with a pancake lens. I've done it with the 20mm, 14mm, and 14-42PZ. The GF3 is even more pocketable being smaller and lighter, however most of the controls are accessed via the LCD. If you are shooting in auto 90% of the time, the GF3 is no problem but if you want to change settings more quickly, the GX1 is better. The GX1 also has a better sensor.

    I have the G5 as well, which is about the same size as the G3. There's no way you could pocket it. It's smaller than DSLRs, but the grip and flash/viewfinder make it too bulky even with a pancake lens. However, you could fit it into a backpack easily. I usually take it with me when I'm hiking, while my GX1 is more for street shooting and parties.
     
  11. lakemcd

    lakemcd Mu-43 Regular

    176
    May 27, 2013
    Montana
    Gary
    I recently picked up a Nikon P330 for an adventure cam. Very Very pocketable, beautiful lens. Have not used it much but the UI is a bit slow. Amazing image stabilization. Here are a few pics from a recent Dave Mathews concert. User error on the iso so ended up accidentally shooting at iso 80 at night :/ and was shocked at what I got when I finally uploaded the images.

    f/4 iso80 1/10
    9706723980_c013a4de61_b.
    DSCN0838 by lakemcd83, on Flickr


    f/1.8 iso80 1/15
    9703495705_3a7f974579_b.
    DSCN0808 by lakemcd83, on Flickr

    f/8 iso80 1/200
    9703501101_20172eb8ed_b.
    DSCN0752 by lakemcd83, on Flickr
     
  12. InlawBiker

    InlawBiker Mu-43 Veteran

    218
    Feb 1, 2012
    Seattle, WA
    Greg
    Ha, those pics look like they're from the Gorge. I have seen DM Band right there, it was a great show.

    There are a ton of small point n' shoots that would work. I think if I get one though it'll need to zoom out to 200mm at least. So that's why the P7700 was on my list. However while skiing I don't mind having a 40-200mm on a small body because I can tuck it inside my coat and ski, just hoping I don't crash and land on it :)
     
  13. moccaman

    moccaman Mu-43 Veteran

    281
    Jan 4, 2012
    Australia
    The Panasonic LF1 zooms out that far doesnt it? Was looking at the specs, not bad, F2-5.9 is ok for the amount of zoom, just wondering if anyone knows how quickly it stops down as you zoom out to 50-90mm range. The fact it has an actual EVF built in is a big plus for stabilisation and bright areas, like in the snow :biggrin::wink:
     
  14. lakemcd

    lakemcd Mu-43 Regular

    176
    May 27, 2013
    Montana
    Gary
    Yeah, it's the gorge this labor day weekend. Man, does that band put on a show. The 7700 and the 330 share the same sensor. I was drawn to the size and weight of the camera as I really wanted something that was sized substantially smaller than what I could get with a epm1 and pancakes. The 330 is only 7oz, almost half the weight of the 7700 and fits easily into the front pocket of my jeans and I don't notice it at all in a small pouch attached to the shoulder straps of my pack, pocket of my fishing vest, pocket of fanny type waist pack that holds a water bottle while I skate ski. I thought I would be disappointed with the slow lens at the long end but the VR works so well that for non movement low light shots I don't notice too much.

    Best of luck

    oh yeah, long live DMB
     
  15. InlawBiker

    InlawBiker Mu-43 Veteran

    218
    Feb 1, 2012
    Seattle, WA
    Greg
    Alright here's my final update, I went with a red E-PL3 with kit 14-42 ($199 Newegg), 40-150 and 17mm 2.8 (bought used). All told it was $400, which I'm pretty happy with. I'll use it for...

    1. Skiing, stills & video.
    2. Home movies
    3. Kids sports movies
    4. Street / travel (with pancake lens)

    The Nikon P7700 was a very close 2nd. The video was outstanding, plus it has an external mic jack. There is no finer camera this size with a 28-200 range. But in the end, the slow write speed an general "lag" of a point n' shoot would get to me sooner than later.

    I'll have to pick up the external Olympus mic jack too. Once skiing is here I'll post back some of my shots. I ended up with some great shots last year with the G2 but left it behind sometimes. I think a PL3 with fit in my jacket pocket so there's no excuse to not bring it.
     
  16. battleaxe

    battleaxe Mu-43 Top Veteran

    If you don't mind the wider angle, I would suggest swapping/trading the 17mm for the 14mm, as it's a bit sharper and faster. I have it permanently attached to my GF3 and it's pretty amazing(and you can do some decent cropping even from the older 12mp sensors). But, most of all just enjoy how good the quality is for a camera that small.
     
  17. InlawBiker

    InlawBiker Mu-43 Veteran

    218
    Feb 1, 2012
    Seattle, WA
    Greg
    I think the 14mm gets nothing but high marks but, I have never been comfortable with wide angle. I know 17mm is also wide but, the wider the lens the more difficult composition gets for me. That's just a skill I have not yet acquired but I look forward to tackling some day.
     
  18. battleaxe

    battleaxe Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Yeah, I also find the 14mm to be sometimes too wide, also, which has me looking at another prime, but the 14mm is just simply a good lens.