Indiana Jones' Camera!

I’m looking at getting a fun and vacation Camera. I’d like to get something like an old 35mm, but I’m not sure what price points are out there. Ideally this thing could take a bit of a licking and keep on ticking. I’m talking about eventually taking it on hikes lord knows where.

I’m looking for an “Adventure” camera, does that mean I stay away from the fancier ones, or does that mean those are exactly what I am looking for? My wife and I want to take more trips and I want this thing to sit on my shelf and beg me to take it places to take pictures of things.

The initial impetus here is a cruise we’re taking in March, but I also want to take it camping and whatever else I can get away with. I know there are tons of camera nerds on here and I know nothing.

So…digital or film? I’m not clear.

In the digital realm, all of the “rugged” cameras are packed full of compromises. Unless you really go nuts and jump into the Nikon AW1

I too am looking into a new camera (compact P&S, digital) for an upcoming cruise and am probably going to settle into the Canon SX2x0 series. GPS & WiFi built in, good zoom range, good size. It’s not ruggedized but I don’t want to give up what I’d have to give up by getting one of those. I have an A2000IS but have never liked it - in fact, its various shortcomings were the final straw that pushed me into the SLR world.

Digital, and maybe almost rugged. Something I don’t want to drop 6 feet, but throwing it on the hotel bed or it bouncing around in it’s case in a pack or in my car.

One like this?

I think my dad still has his old Canon camera with half a dozen lenses. I’d like to be able to use those if I could.

I know this sounds like me talking about the cup holder on my PC, but that’s where I am on cameras.

That is one of the cameras I’m looking at, yes. The 270 or 260 is rated a little better though, IIRC.

Depending on how old your dad’s Canon gear is, there might not be much you can do with it. Regardless, it won’t work on this camera - you’ll need an SLR. If the lenses are pre-EOS (so pre-1990 or thereabouts), they’re an FD mount and will require an FD to EF adapter. You might not get auto-focus though. If they’re EOS lenses, they’ll work on any current Canon SLR.

I bought an Olympus back in '08. Mostly point-and-shoot, but it’s got a metric crapload of special modes, including super close up, video, night, panorama, etc.

What really sold me, though, was the fact that it’s waterproof. As in, take pictures and video while underwater-proof. They even tell you to open and close the lens cover while holding it under running water to clear sand or saltwater off the lens. I took it on the Maid of the Mist while in Niagra, and shot pictures the whole freakin’ time. I couldn’t even see from water on my glasses, but I kept shootin’!
It’ll take short drops onto concrete, too.

Not as many feature as the Canon you listed, but a whole of of satisfaction for me on vacations and trips.

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Ok, I’m looking at the SX510 Canon camera. Everywhere I’ve looked it comes in just ahead or behind the SX280.

I don’t care about GPS, and I like the additional optical zoom capability. Is there a reason I shouldn’t pull the trigger on this one? It looks like a camera that is a bit beyond me right now, but I can grow into for a while, and still be useful later if I decide to get an SLR.

/me says I don’t know exasperatedly

That’s not directed at you personally - I’m going through the same analysis paralysis myself, although not with that particular camera. I’m down to the Canon SX260 & SX280 and the Panasonic ZS-30 and ZS-40. I think. Maybe. I dunno. I’ve got only a couple weeks left to make my decision (2, really) and I’m feeling stuck.

For you, @Woodman, I would think real hard about whether you need a 30X zoom over 20X and if that difference merits getting a DIGIC processor that’s 2 versions behind current-gen. Or is the extra reach of the built-in flash on the 510 more important for you.

If you can, get a copy of each in your hands and see how they handle (this is where I head down to Best Buy to try them out, and then walk out to buy from Adorama, B&H or Amazon). With both being Canons they’ll be similar, but size & button arrangements may make a big difference for you. The 510 is also a quarter pound heavier and isn’t pocketable - this is a big deal for me, as I want to be able to drop my travel camera in a pocket (backpack or cargo shorts) easily.

One objection, and it’s silly. The 280 and 260 just don’t look like “fancy” cameras. The 510 does…

But that’s stupid isn’t it. I’m buying a “pretty” computer if I do that.I have a $200ish budget, and now that I think of it a pocketable camera works.

Oh, and I need to order today.

So, the reason I like the 510, it’s chunky and “SLR” looking, could actually be a disadvantage. I thought the controls on top of the camera might be easier, but not to start with I guess. I hadn’t thought of that before. Looking at the 260 and 280, the only thing I see is the 260 has a panoramic mode.

I might be in for a 280 then.

Look at the 260 too if you’re looking at the 280. From what I’ve heard, the 260 was reviewed better. The 250 & 270 are almost identical to the 260 & 280 respectively, minus one or two features (GPS being one, I think).

As for the form factor of the 510: I think there’s two things at work. On the one hand I do think Canon was going for a certain aesthetic, the same one that’s drawing you in. It looks like an SLR. And I could even be OK with the design if it had an optical viewfinder. Except it doesn’t. OTOH, I think they needed that design to fit the optics of the 30X zoom while keeping a reasonable aperture at the long end…

As for control placement, I think it matters a lot more on cameras that hold true to SLR conventions. I can operate my XSi with my eye to the viewfinder - switch modes, change aperture & shutter speed, ISO & focus points all with just my right thumb and index finger, without looking - it’s 2 wheels & I think 3 buttons (maybe only 2) - the settings appear in the viewfinder so I never take my eye off the shot. With so much of the P&S camera’s settings behind buttons & menus that you have to look at, any SLR-like control wheels/devices are at least as much for show as they are functional.

Good point, this thing isn’t going on my face much. With no viewfinder there is no point.

One more gander at Amazon and I think I’m pulling the trigger on the 260 or 280.

I started to look into all this more and then th eNikon L820, and the XF1, and all these other cameras come into it. I’m not going to start all over. These two seem to have a ton of fans, take good pictures, and are reasonably easy to use.

I bought the 280, a couple extra batteries, a case, and a couple sd cards.

We’ll see tomorrow

So @Woodman, what’s the verdict on the SX280? I’m into crunch time on my camera decision and I’m still waffling. Analysis Paralysis FTW!

I used it on vacation for a week. Sharp pics, good movies, looks like the battery light issue is fixed. I took 500 pictures. 90% of them are sharp and clean, and the other 10% are user error. The optical zoom is crisp and clear and the digital is grainy, but at that point I’m having issues keeping the camera on target anyway.

I proved that I don’t know how to take a picture of a sunset. But I think it’s a pretty awesome camera.

Be careful taking pictures of sun/sunset with a point and shoot. My dad burned an image sensor that way. He didn’t have his SLR handy, for which he has a filter that should have been enough to prevent damage.

Hunh, it did come up with a sun shaped icon when I had it on auto. Maybe that’s in the instructions somewhere.

I suppose I should read those.

Cool! Maybe it has a feature to protect the sensor.
And to be honest, I barely skimmed the manuals on the last 2 cameras I bought. “What’s this face recognition thingy? Psh, don’t need it.”

The SLR doesn’t really have a filter, it’s just got the mirror blocking the sensor until you snap the shutter. You run the same risk with the “live view” feature. A P&S always has the sensor exposed, so it’s real easy to cook it that way.

Well, that could be an issue, haven’t noticed anything yet.

Ahh, ok, thanks. That makes sense. Dad has a bunch of accessories, so I assumed that was the difference… forgot about the mechanical part. I’m not the shutterbug in the family.