/ Multi-pitch camera: S95/S100, S9100 or P310?

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Coel Hellier - on 04 Jul 2012
Can people recommend a camera primarily for carrying on multi-pitch climbs, so size/portability are crucial (I have a D90 dSLR as my main camera)? Been thinking about a Canon S95/S100 or a Nikon P310 or S9100, but I'd welcome advice from anyone who has one of these or can recommend something similar.

Also, any opinions on a 200-g camera (S95?) v a 400-g class (G12?) (I realise it's a trade off of capability v weight).

Things I care about: weight/compactness, image quality, lens zoom range, especially wide-angle shots, some degree of manual control.

Things I don't care about: video, GPS, flash, shooting indoors, vastly more pixels than my computer monitor.

Not sure whether I care: RAW format, sensor size, panoramic stitching, low-light/high-ISO ability, battery life.

Thanks for any help.
davidbeynon - on 04 Jul 2012
In reply to Coel Hellier:

You certainly don't want to care about panorama stitching. Software can do as good or better job.

If you don't care about raw, sensor size and low light/high iso then you don't really need a particularly expensive camera.
dek - on 04 Jul 2012
In reply to Coel Hellier:

If it was 'me' choosing a truly pocket camera, it would be the S100 every time. Astonishing image quality from a tiny package.
The Raw function can save you Images, you might otherwise have lost due to being too busy doing something else, such as belaying!
David Ponting on 04 Jul 2012
In reply to dek: Seconded with a caution - you can probably get an S95 for about half the price! (AFAIK the main difference is that you go from a 24-120 (~16-85 on your D90) on the S100 to a 28-105 (~18-70) on the S95; so how critical are those 4mm to you?). I use an S95 as a small camera and am very happy with it!
Chalk - on 05 Jul 2012
In reply to Coel Hellier: Another vote for the S95. Hard to tell the difference in image quality from my S95 and DSLR.
matthewtraver - on 05 Jul 2012
In reply to Coel Hellier:

Lumix LX5 maybe? I'm considering that one myself.
myserable old git - on 05 Jul 2012
In reply to Coel Hellier: S9100 fits in my pocket or spare chalk bag and never disappoints.
mrchewy - on 05 Jul 2012
In reply to Coel Hellier: I just bought a S95, with three batteries and an 8gb card for 250 - not had a chance to use it much yet but it was considerably smaller than an LX5 and the extras the S100 brings to the party, I just didn't need.
It's utterly beyond me at the moment but I'm looking forward to growing into it. It's a jeans pocket camera rather than a jacket pocket one... that mattered when thinking about climbing.
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The Lemming - on 05 Jul 2012
In reply to Coel Hellier:

I can only go off pe3rsonal experience of my choice of compact camera. Before I waffle on I'd like to say that any compact camera that you buy, which is pocket sized will give you excellent results.

Now for the waffle, I can highly recommend the Canon S series of cameras as I personally own the S90 the forerunner of the S95 and S100. I bought my S90 second hand from a member of this very forum and have never looked back on my purchase.

I can only speak for the older S90 camera but it is like a bar of soap and fits perfectly into a shirt pocket. I even have a lanyard attached to it for climbing so that I can take quick shots while on route.

The image quality is exactly the same as the Canon G12 series, well it is to my untrained eye. And the camera fares favourably well when compared with the images of my Nikon dSLR. Its not as good but exceptionally close to keep me content.

In fact my mate used the Canon S90 to film his son's entire wedding from the ceremony to the last drunkard leaving the evening reception. You'd have sworn that the footage was taken with a purpose made video camera.

I can not speak for any other compacts that you mentioned but I am sure that they will all give you excellent results no matter which one you choose. In fact I have had excellent results from a discontinued line Nikon compact which I got at half price for 45 from ASDA.

If you can, and are willing to, splash out 'top dollar' on a compact choose one of the Big Boy brands with the best lens that they throw in.

Personally I don't bother with RAW images. Life is just far too short, especially when the RAW images are only going to be converted to JPEGS anyway. I'm just not that much of a pixel peeper to worry about it all.

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