Rate Your Point and Shoot – I Need Help

It’s no news that digital point-and-shoot cameras are the bees knees. Everybody loves ‘em and I’m no exception. They’re great for snaps. I’ve had many in my day but tend to break or lose them a little too easily. We still have one, although Kate is on the road with it for quite a spell, so I am again without.

So far I think I’ve had one Nikon, three Canons, and–hold your breath–one Casio. Which have I liked the best? The Casio Exilim, actually. The prime reason was the comparatively minimal shutter delay. I heard they’re all getting better in that department – which is a relief.

So now I hunger for another one, newer, better, different. And I need your advice. The nice folks over at TheOnlinePhotographer Blog have a solid list of P/S camera ratings going on. That’s a great start, but let’s build on it. If you are able to spare a couple minutes and share a quick viewpoint, a long opinion, a link to a decent review, please do. It could be a useful quick-reference to our little community if people chime in.

Heck, I’ll even send a swell T-shirt to whomever first recommends the one I end up buying.

52 Responses to Rate Your Point and Shoot – I Need Help

  1. Anonymous May 22, 2007 at 12:23 am #

    The new Leica is sweet and it shoots RAW. Pricey but can’t complain about the brand’s history of making quality stuff…

  2. Bert Stephani May 22, 2007 at 2:35 am #

    Hi Chase,

    The Fuji F30 (or one of his brothers or sisters) seems like a good choice. It’s pretty pocketable and it won some prices for it’s image quality.
    The really remarkable thing is that it actually has a usable high iso setting. And that’s very unusual for a compact.

    Good luck with your choice.

  3. CraHan May 22, 2007 at 2:49 am #

    Well I personally own a Panasonic Lumix LX2 (black version). I bought it because I wanted a point and shoot camera that also supported RAW.

    The LX2 is the Panasonic variant of the Leica D-LUX 3. Both digicams are basically the same, but they say that the JPEG processing in the Leica is better. Since I mainly use it to shoot RAW it’s a moot point. It uses SD cards as storage.

    Also a big plus for me is the widescreen sensor (16:9, although you can set it to 4:3 or 3:2 by flicking a switch). Very nice for shooting landscapes. The LX2 also sports a gorgeous 2.8″ widescreen LCD.

    Another big plus for me is the ease of changing settings like aperture, shutter speed, ISO, metering, etc… You never need to dive into a menu. You simply press a little joystick, an overlay will appear on screen, you move left/right to the setting you want and move up/down to adjust it. Very handy.

    Downsides: the lens protrudes from the body and needs a lens cap. So it’s not really *that* small. And, unfortunately, everything shot with ISO over 200 is bound to be noisy. I’m quite picky about that and sometimes it gets on my nerves, so I tend to keep the LX2 at ISO100 personally.

    As for movie recording (in case you’re interested in that): it can film at 1280×728@15fps or 848×480@30fps.

    Some links:
    Comparison shots between the LX2 and DLUX3: http://www.pbase.com/koo22/leica_dlux_3

    Review at dcresource:


  4. Anonymous May 22, 2007 at 5:52 am #

    Those people at that website don’t even test cameras. They have no objective or scientific way of evaluating the quality of these cameras.

  5. Anonymous May 22, 2007 at 6:25 am #

    I’ve got the Lumix as well… badass little camera. Low light… not so much, but actual quality 10mp RAW photos done in manual mode whenever the need arises and you don’t happen to be carrying your DSLR… that’s awesome.

  6. M May 22, 2007 at 7:39 am #



    http://www.abesofmaine.com/item.do?item=PNOW30 $241


    the Pentax Optio W20 (W30 is the updated version) is what I’ve been using. It is waterproof down to 9 feet for 2 hours- but in Hawaii, I took it to 20 feet-snapped a picture of coral, for 15 seconds, and it was ok- not bad) takes good macro closeups, 640 x480 30 frame/sec quicktime movies (hours long if you have 4 gb sd card) and takes timelapse (1000 shots, interval 10 seconds to over an hour) because it is waterproof, you can leave it on a tripod outside, on a roof, for example, and get timelapse in any conditions) it has a continuous shooting mode, where you can capture one per second or so, for a long period- makes good road trip movies) There is a waterproof olympus too, which is also great, but only has 320 x240 movie capability.

    The value of having a camera that can go anywere with you, in your pocket, is very high. If you don’t have the camera with you, you cant take a picture. and swimming in the tropics, running, getting sweaty, hiking, snowboarding all those wet things, or dirty things (you can wash it in soap and water) mean that if you have a camera that can get wet, you’ll actually have it with you when the dolphins arrive, and start ballet dancing…. :)

    I have over 10,0000 photos from the recent california, nevada, arizona, hawaii trip from this camera, and 640 x480 480 movies, and some timelapse as well, if you want to see actual footage….

    I don’t see myself buying anything but a waterproof point and shoot ever again… its just so stress free to not worry about breaking the camera. if you can always leave it in your pocket, even when swimming, its harder to loose too…. now I just need a waterproof phone and car key fob to match…

    –Milo (Aerialvista)

  7. M May 22, 2007 at 7:41 am #

    timelase taken with the Pentax w20/w30


  8. Carson Blume May 22, 2007 at 7:41 am #

    I am waiting, I want a 8-10mp that is waterproof and shoots RAW!!!

  9. Carson Blume May 22, 2007 at 7:46 am #

    I don’t currently own a point and shoot, but my dad took a Canon S3 to europe last summer and it did great!

  10. Christina May 22, 2007 at 8:48 am #

    the new olympus stylus 770 SW is sweet!

    Waterproof to 33 ft, drop-proof from 5 feet, uncrushable, and is even winterized to opperate in below freezing conditions(hey, a plus when you live in the frozen wasteland of MinneSOta!).

    I love the casio too–but when I want to take great shots–I bring my D200, when I want something portable and durable, the oly is a good choice. :-)

  11. Mauricio May 22, 2007 at 10:07 am #

    I’m thinking about buying a Fuji E900…good resolution and it also shoots RAW.

  12. daviddoctorrose May 22, 2007 at 10:38 am #

    Haven’t used one, but I’ve heard several great reviews of this one:

    and depending on size, mp, etc. you’re looking for, I’d have to second the Canon Powershot S3. I advised my father to purchase one. I played with it for a while and was entirely impressed.

  13. dcrellen May 22, 2007 at 10:52 am #

    Hi Chase,
    I owned a 6mp Casio Exelim as a 2nd camera that I always carried with me (in my back pocket). I upgraded to the 10.1 mp version not only because it was consistent with the operation of its predecessor but it was fantastically versatile. Its video and audio recording features have become invaluable to me as I travel. I use 4 mbyte SD memories chips. I always carry a spare chip, wrapped in aluminum foil, in my wallet.

    I have very fond video recordings of Venice gondoliers singing to their passengers (my wife for one) and the still image quality is supberb for the physical size of the imaging chip – I believe it’s about a fourth the size of the 10mp chip in a Canon SLR).

    I have had Exelim shots exhibited in photography shows such as San Diego’s Art of Digital Photography Show. I’ve also sold prints of images taken with these cameras.

  14. Aaron May 22, 2007 at 10:56 am #

    Hey Chase,

    I’d recommend considering the Canon SD line. They are very robust little cameras, I’ve taken mine on white water rafting and ski trips. Lost one on the ski slopes and got another one without hesitating. They’re small enough to keep in the pocket, and robust enough to keep working well with daily use and abuse. Everything about them just works, and works well.

    The one I’d highly recommend is the SD800 IS, it has real image stabilization, face detection, and coolest of all, a wide angle (28mm-105mm equivalent) zoom lens.

    The canon line has very good low light capabilities, and fairly clean noise for such a high pixel density sensor.

    The only drawback with the SD800 is the wide angle lens can be a little bit soft on the corners compared to their other SDxxx cameras.

    If you’re not so interested in the wide angle lens, go for the SD900. It has a higher ISO rating available (iso 3200), faster shutter (1/2000 sec vs 1/1600 on the sd800) and faster frame rate (2.1 fps vs 1.7fps).

    The Fujifilm F30 is a good option too, but after reading several reviews I decided against it because it has trouble getting exposures well in bright sunlight.

    A cool trick once you get that P&S;:
    If you want to trigger your studio strobes without using the built in flash, take a piece of unexposed slide film and develop it. The slide should be black – take a cutout and tape it over your cameras built in flash. This will only let infrared light escape, which is sufficient to trigger studio slave units, but won’t effect the image :)

    links to reviews:
    dpreview (conclusion page):

    imaging-resource (lens-optics page):

    newegg.com (awesome retailer, plus free 1gb sd card)

  15. ed mcculloch May 22, 2007 at 10:59 am #

    Hey Chase-

    My buddy just did a blog post on his Sony. It’s a pretty sweet set up, the only problem is it doesn’t shoot raw.

    Check it out here:

    As for me I’m shooting the new nikon p5000 10mp. The shutter lag in my opinion is the best feature, by far the shortest lag of any P&S; I’ve ever used.

  16. Chase Jarvis May 22, 2007 at 3:38 pm #

    crahan: I LOVE the 16:9 format too on the Leica and Panasonic… A good friend of mine has the Leica and sent me a raw file shot at 200 – I too was disappointed with the noise…

    Lens stick out isn’t really an issue for me since it feels tiny compared to D2x or H2D!

  17. Chase Jarvis May 22, 2007 at 3:41 pm #

    milo: killer timelapse. thanks for sharing…and I like the “tough” factor. I tend to smash up these little buggers…

  18. Chase Jarvis May 22, 2007 at 3:41 pm #

    Carson: If you wait for technology, you’ll always be waiting ;)

  19. Chase Jarvis May 22, 2007 at 4:12 pm #

    Anybody else big on Fuji or Olympus? Stina and Mauricio seem into it…

  20. Chase Jarvis May 22, 2007 at 4:16 pm #

    Nice moves Aaron Scott. Cool trick with the slide over the flash. Some Houdini shiznit.

    FWIW, I might be feeling the Canon SD series… What about the SD 1000? Any personal experiences with that anyone?

  21. Daniella May 22, 2007 at 8:29 pm #

    Hi Chase,

    I shot with a Canon PowerShot S70 for about 3 years before upgrading to a 30D. Other than the occasional purple fringing, it’s actually an impressively versatile little P/S that takes clean, sharp photos.

    (Great speaking with you today — I’ll keep you updated on the story.)


  22. Carson Blume May 22, 2007 at 11:24 pm #

    Well I am actually waiting to afford a point and shoot, sounds silly, I have to companies, but I feel guilty getting one right now, lol, maybe after my trial next month for the lady that hit me on my bike 2 years ago.

    If I had to chose it would be the PowerShot S5 cause I really like the image quality from my dads S3.

  23. Nick May 23, 2007 at 8:20 am #

    I own a Canon PowerShot SD800 IS
    (Digital IXUS 850 IS to us europeans) and its the best camera i’ve come across in my limited experience. Its got a wide angle lense, its compact, takes excellent pictures, even with moving objects, its robust and has enough manual settings to satisfy all but the most fussy photographers. I coupled mine with an ultra fast SD card and its never let me down yet. It’s not the cheapest camera, but like anything in life, you get what yo pay for.

    Have fun choosing :D

  24. Chad May 23, 2007 at 10:01 am #

    Go for the Ricoh GRD. It’s small, has immediate shutter response (especially when set to snap focus), and is a solid brick of a camera. The control dials can be configured to what you’re used to (mine is setup to function like my D200). The macro mode is stellar and again I can not overemphasize the controls. All of the major changes can be made with the touch of 1 button WB, ISO, focus, and others are programable.There is a caveat … one focal length, and its 28mm 2.4. Okay, two caveats noise above ISO200 but convert it to B+W and it looks like film grain.


  25. Anonymous May 24, 2007 at 7:08 am #


    I’m a Nikon shooter but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed fiddling around with my Canon G7. It just “feels” like a camera (an old rangefinder, actually). I hang it around my neck, use the optical viewfinder, and shoot family and vacation shots to my heart’s content. In fact, I shot a few frames with it along with my D2x a couple of assignments ago, and they were published full-sized and glossy. Not bad for a 10MP jpeg-only camera.

    Good luck and enjoy.

    Dave Manning

  26. Carson Blume May 24, 2007 at 9:12 am #

    I like the G6 over the G7 because the G6 shoots RAW

  27. Anonymous May 24, 2007 at 11:54 am #

    From a purely high ISO noise perspective, I think this article is pretty telling:


    I’ve been using the F30 recently and it isn’t as capable as say the G7 but it has a great sensor.

  28. Chase Jarvis May 24, 2007 at 4:27 pm #

    On further reflection, the Pentax that Milo (AerialVista) is talking about sounds interesting too… Waterproof 7.1mp with 3x zoom and 3.3 aperture? Seems to pack quite a nice little punch…

  29. John Harrington May 25, 2007 at 7:24 am #

    Chase –

    Check out my blog entry about my own digital PS aquisition:


    I bought it because of the WiFi capability that’s seamless and AMAZING. IF not for the WiFi, I would have gotten the Leica because it shoots RAW, but I hear there is noise in there.


  30. Aaron May 27, 2007 at 9:51 am #

    Hey Chase,

    Yea I think Milo’s recommendation of the W30 is a good one. You can take it anywhere, in any conditions, that’s pretty sweet. Image quality might not be 100% on par with other P&S; in it’s price range, but that go-anywhere ability is hard to pass up.

    You may have already seen it, but here’s a good review, including ISO comparison and other things.


    The main drawback with this camera is the “Anti-Shake” technology is just an ISO boost. And the lcd screen leaves a bit to be desired – and the default shooting mode is set to ISO 400? Weird, but you can probably override this.

  31. Chase Jarvis May 28, 2007 at 4:49 pm #

    Brief Summary:

    Milo’s camera is cool, but I don’t know if it’s THE answer.

    John Harrinton, Nick, Dave and others are pushing their Canon’s.

    Dave Manning likes the wi-fi Nikon.

    Where to go from here…

    I’m going to look into Milo’s underwater go-anywhere camera because of it’s size/durability. I don’t really need pro quality images here, i just need images. quality is nice, but truthfully none of the point and shoots are there yet IMHO (even though a couple friends here have said they sneaked a few into some editorial assignments – nice!!!)

    BUT, that said, the Canon G’s and S’s look really solid.

    Nikon is doing a great job on their entry level dslr’s, but I’m not sold Dave, mostly because- even as techy as I like to be- I probably won’t mess with the wi-fi.

    So I’m kinda looking at Canon and the little Pentax. Since the price is not out of the world, might be able to swing TWO! ;)

    Getting down to the nitty gritty here…

  32. Chase Jarvis May 28, 2007 at 4:51 pm #

    Oh ya, got to speak out on a couple items…

    Noise in the Leica. Massive noise. Not even tolerable. Yahoo for RAW, but that’s all cancelled out by too much noise – even though I want to love it.

    I’m still looking for any other thoughts on Chad’s Rioch DRG? Initially, my thoughts are: noise at ISO200 = ouch.

  33. colin lenton May 28, 2007 at 10:16 pm #

    Chase, I used to be the sales manager at a great little shop in Philly (recently) -

    Straight up… Canon and Casio make the only truly nice point and shoot cameras in my book.

    A lot of good advice out there.. but when it comes down to it the Casio Exilm has the absolute best looking image there is, that I have EVER seen in a point and shoot. Their “Best Shot” modes, as amateur as they may seem at first, truly will rock your face off – and here is why – At least for me, I’m whipping out the Point and Shoot when I’m a little bit on the inebriated side, and I really don’t feel like messing around with ISO’s, or color temperatures, or focusing.. the Casio does it all for me, and does it all so very well. Skin tones are awesome to boot.

  34. Carson Blume May 29, 2007 at 10:03 am #

    Yeah I third the Leicca noise issue, I can’t deal. I would go with the Canon G if I had to choose, it is a bit more solid than the S’s and there is an underwater housing for the G.

  35. SamTheMan June 4, 2007 at 6:41 pm #

    Here’s a couple of links to a really great little p/s that’s hard to find – the Fuji F10. The images are top notch, long battery life, low noise and great flash performance. You can read an extensive review at dpreview:


    And, you can pick one up here:


    To view everyday results using this camera, check out:


    Finally, if you’re interested in a great film p/s I highly recommend an Olympus Stylus Epic (fixed lens version). Fast glass (2.8 zuiko), small body, compact size and water resistent. I picked one up on ebay for $20. You can also view everyday images using this camera here:


    I hope this helps. Be blessed and keep shooting!

  36. Carson Blume June 4, 2007 at 8:49 pm #

    Yeah I love that little Olympus Stylus Epic, its what I keep on me.

  37. Chase Jarvis June 6, 2007 at 11:12 pm #

    Dang, this discussion rocks. I’m learning so much and reading ALL your suggested links and posts. Thanks so much.

    Now, I’ve got to come correct on several points:

    1. I’m getting a Canon SD800is. Best size/cost/feature/image combo, I think. Shirt goes to Aaron Scott. Aaron – email me your addy and size…go check out the merch page on my site. Let me know (btw, the shirts fit snugly…)

    2. Shirt also goes to Milo. I think the picture is kinda noisy, and i had the ergonomics, but the W3 is small, and having a waterproof camera is nice. I’m getting one (with lower expectations). So Milo, same with you – send me your shirt pref.

    3. I have learned that I’m now addicted to point and shoots. (see above). Given my line of work, however, how cool is it to have a small fleet of relatively cheap ones in lots of different spots (in your car, at home, at work, in briefcase, etc). I’m a nerd and i’m hooked.

    4. I love the Canon G7 BUUTTTT, it’s too damn big. If I want to carry that around for 10mp, I’d rather carry my D2x around. Bummer, but she’s laaarrrge. (truth).

    5. Lastly, for all my friends here who recommended the Casio Exlim: you have to remember that we already have one of these – it’s just that kate is on the road with it (returning sooonnn, finally). I STILL love this camera. And here’s a quick story that will make YOU love it even more. I was recently with Kate (wife/producer/best friend) last week in Hawaii – when Kate accidentally dropped the Casio 55 feet from a 6th floor hotel room window on the a stone covered roof! Ouch. Seriously, 55-60 feet, kersplat. Know what? that little sucker still works perfectly! She’s got a dent (not kate, although….)and the front element cover popped clean off, but it works like new. Crazy. So if anyone has any stories to top that one, send ‘em here.

    Thanks to everyone for such great advice! I’m obviously not going to stop buying point and shoots, so keep adding to this forum! I’ll still send t’s out to anyone who suggests something I buy.

  38. markus June 18, 2007 at 9:49 am #

    whenever someone asks me for a p&s; i say go have a look if u can live with ricoh’s caplio R(6 currecntly me thinks) image quality.. it’s a cute cam, only drawback that that ricoh’s chips and software isn’t really up to date.. but improving. haven’t looked closely at the current model, but quite sure i’ll take one again (had an R4 once) .. i mean.. what else should one whish for – fast 28-200, VR, 1cm macro focus range, instant shutter release, small in size, ok.. lack of orientation-sensor sucks big time.. but great deal for the money..


  39. Anonymous June 21, 2007 at 10:18 pm #


    Given your predilection for being outside, you might like the new olympus waterproff camera.


    Imasked my wife for one for father’s day and she said no. Go figure.

    This is too late I suppose, but next time, when you break or lose this one.


    Alex Hayden
    Alex Hayden Photography

  40. Chase Jarvis June 21, 2007 at 10:45 pm #

    Markus: Chad above likes the Riochs too… But I think I want better image quality. Noise issues again, right?

  41. Chase Jarvis June 21, 2007 at 10:46 pm #

    Kayak Surfer Rob: milo said it best – it doesn’t matter what kind of camera you have if you don’t have it with you ;) Waterproof is nice.

  42. kimages June 21, 2007 at 11:45 pm #

    Chase, the best camera in the world is the one you have with you when the moment arrives……

    I chose the W30, have used it for a few weeks, including sending it on a teen’s trip to CO from WA. noisy at 800ISO….(surprise????!!!!)….otherwise a convenient, ok-picture-quality, priced-right, surprisingly power-stingy little camera.

    Suggestion…..stay with the H2O-proof, and pick the one you find most natural to use.

  43. ShaolinTiger August 6, 2007 at 6:25 am #

    As an SLR photographer the biggest annoyance for me in compacts is the Noise problem.

    Body and feature wise the Panasonic cameras are way ahead of the pack, especially those like he TZ-3. But when zoomed I can’t stand the water colour like renditions.

    I was tempted by the Canon Powershot A710IS, with its 6x optical zoom and decent picture quality along with full manual settings.

    Finally I just bought my new compact though (about 2 weeks ago).

    I went for the Fuji f31d, it’s amazing useable up to ISO1600! It’s sharp, good colours and contrast, solid metal case, has an underwater casing and has manual settings.

    I have an Exilim too, great camera in all respects, especially for people that like to post, but can’t beat the Fuji out of the camera.

    Check out this recent party pic at ISO1600:


    For a compact the images blow me away!

  44. Aaron August 6, 2007 at 8:47 am #

    Nice! Thanks a lot for the t-shirt Chase! You totally rock man. Now that you have multiple p&s; cameras, it’ll be cool to hear what you think of ‘em.

    Wow, your wifes Exlim sure took a beating! I can’t believe it still works.

    Wasn’t sure what email address to use, so I sent in an order from your merchandise page – hope that works?


  45. Colin Lenton August 7, 2007 at 12:50 pm #

    Both my girlfriend and my sister have dropped and broke their Casio’s in the same manner that your wife has (though from not nearly the same height). Casio was great about repairing the camera for free. With shipping there and back, the repair only took a week.

  46. Anonymous November 17, 2007 at 11:23 pm #

    Chase – what did you end up getting??

    -Jeff Scholl

  47. Chase Jarvis November 17, 2007 at 11:24 pm #

    @ Jeff (anon): Got the Canon Powershot 800 IS. Love it. Small, mellow, good snaps and video. Actually bought two.

    And still have the Casio (although it’s getting pretty beat up).

    I’m in Chile right now and one of my staff compadres, Scott, just got the Canon G9. Pictures look great – it’s versatile too. It’s big and Adobe doesn’t yet support the RAW format for it, but seem like a good substitute for a dSLR at 12 mp for smart people who know better ;)

  48. Chase Jarvis November 17, 2007 at 11:31 pm #

    Update: Just ordered the Canon G9. For a hookup on ‘in stock’ availablity and a discount, visit my buddy Strobist’s site. Act before December 3rd, and get a free 2gb SD card and free shipping.

  49. Chase Jarvis December 8, 2007 at 7:17 pm #

    Update – LOVING the G9, especially now that the Adobe CS3 suite plays nicely with the the G9 RAW files – get the update here: Adobe Camera Raw 4.3.1.

  50. Neilson Eney August 21, 2009 at 10:23 am #

    Late to the party, so rather than recommend one, I'll recommend that everyone just get one. I've only had a handful of pictures published or win photo comps, but so far a majority of them were shot with my point and shoot. Why? Because I had it with me. Therefore I totally agree that small and in your pocket is good.

    Macro, widest lens I can get and best low light with OK video are what I values the most. I never zoomed it in. Basically wore my Casio EX-Z750 out.

    Oh the other feature I values was auto focus override, meaning it would snap a picture whether it was in focus or not. That's the primary cause of annoying shutter lag and the Casio's (and now others) have that feature.

  51. mua qua tang June 19, 2013 at 7:07 pm #

    I do believe all the ideas you have introduced on your post. They’re very convincing and will certainly work. Nonetheless, the posts are too quick for newbies. May just you please extend them a bit from subsequent time? Thanks for the post.


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