Recommendations for cheap/simple point 'n shoot cameras?

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tjZ06

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Hey, I'm hoping the photogs in here might have some suggestions for a cheap/simple point 'n shoot that's well suited for Overlanding, outdoor and action photography. After most of my trips I always regret not getting more pictures (or vids). I have a Samsung S21 Ultra for my phone, and it's cameras are actually pretty darn good, but I find I usually leave it in the Jeep with whatever nav program I'm using up. I imagine a dedicated camera without the limitations of a phone's form-factor has to be better (despite how good the S21 Ultra is) and I figure if I keep something in my pocket I might actually take more pics.

Thanks,
TJ
 

AtlasBound

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Depending on your budget, one of the Sony RX100 models may suit you well. It will also shoot in RAW if you have the capability to process that (Lightroom/Photoshop) and it'll shoot in 4k video as well. It's a nice little camera.
 

Cypress

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For a waterproof durable camera that I can carry in my pocket when hiking and swimming, and operate one-handed, I use a Nikon AW120. It shoots very good pictures and video and I don't have to worry about killing it in a sudden rainstorm or river crossing. Mine is 5-6 years old and I think they are up to AW130 or AW140 now. You can pick up the AW120 for under $200 used on Amazon.

Aw120 image. High Falls, on the border of Minnesota and Canada.



It also shoots pretty good video.

High Falls

Francher Falls, TN

I also carry a Sony A7ii. I use it when I'm out to take pictures. I used the AW120 when I'm out doing other things that could break an expensive camera or phone.
 

ScottE

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Your phone? Add an attachment lens if you want to spend extra. I've found if you have a late model phone you should be able to get just as good a shot than spending extra on a cheap camera.
 

tjZ06

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Your phone? Add an attachment lens if you want to spend extra. I've found if you have a late model phone you should be able to get just as good a shot than spending extra on a cheap camera.
I get what you're saying, but I suppose you didn't actually read why I want a point 'n shoot? I have a S21 Ultra which is prob the best current camera phone, with several different lenses and optical zooms (plus digital of course).


Anyway, thanks for the suggestions everyone.

-TJ
 

OverlandRS

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I had a Nikon CoolPix (I think it was a A100 or similar) point and shoot for years till I dropped it and the retractable lens got dinged and would not deploy. They wanted more for repair than a new one so I use my iPhone5S for everything now. I plan to get a new iPhone12 soon but will keep the old one as my bikepacking/hiking camera. I also use to use a GoPro for allot of things but handed that down to my X-GF with the broken Nikon Coolpix, and my Sony Handicam.
 
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There are so many older AWESOME point and shoot cameras. My handle on a couple of sites is the point and shoot pro. I am also working on a blog/youtube channel to document my travels becoming a paid photographer using ONLY point and shoot cameras. What is your price range and what feature set are you looking for in a camera. I can "point" you in the right direction then!
 

kwill

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I think it is hard to buy a bad one these days but I'm partial to the Canon G series, especially the G9 X.
 
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tjZ06

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There are so many older AWESOME point and shoot cameras. My handle on a couple of sites is the point and shoot pro. I am also working on a blog/youtube channel to document my travels becoming a paid photographer using ONLY point and shoot cameras. What is your price range and what feature set are you looking for in a camera. I can "point" you in the right direction then!
Wow, looks like I found the perfect person to talk to! Budget, IDK I was thinking $300-ish but I'm willing to go higher i fit's justified by the end result. As far as features, honestly I don't know - I'm not a photog at all. I guess I want something well suited to outdoor/nature photography, but if it's also good for action shots that's a plus. In the winter I do a lot in the sand dunes, so something that can manage the unique challenges of photography in sand (similar challenges to snow, I'd imagine) would be great too. Beyond that, smaller is better (I figure if I keep it in my pocket I'll actually use it) and definitely the more rugged, the better (which I recognize often makes them bigger/bulkier, so some of my priorities are conflicting). I have no idea in terms of things like lens features, how many megapixels, etc. etc. etc.

Thanks!

-TJ
 

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Wow, looks like I found the perfect person to talk to! Budget, IDK I was thinking $300-ish but I'm willing to go higher i fit's justified by the end result. As far as features, honestly I don't know - I'm not a photog at all. I guess I want something well suited to outdoor/nature photography, but if it's also good for action shots that's a plus. In the winter I do a lot in the sand dunes, so something that can manage the unique challenges of photography in sand (similar challenges to snow, I'd imagine) would be great too. Beyond that, smaller is better (I figure if I keep it in my pocket I'll actually use it) and definitely the more rugged, the better (which I recognize often makes them bigger/bulkier, so some of my priorities are conflicting). I have no idea in terms of things like lens features, how many megapixels, etc. etc. etc.

Thanks!

-TJ
Megapixel count is not a big deal IMO. My two main cameras, Fuji X10 and X-S1 have 12mp sensors. They take amazing images and I can blow them up for print no issue. If you are doing sand dunes etc, no camera will survive sand for very long. You have to be very careful with your equipment. I would suggest the Panasonic FZ300 for you. It's 649 cdn, so about 499 American. It is water resistant, has a great zoom lens, can record 4k video and has lots of features. It's a little larger than a compact point and shoot but well worth it for the vast feature set. If you want super small pocketability, something like the Fujifilm XQ2 or X30 if you can find one on ebay. Both take amazing images.
 

Chuckem12

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Check out Offerup or Let Go for your area. You'd be amazed how often people are trying to sell older cameras. I sold one Megapixel about a year ago which I bought when 12MB was big resolution. Sold it for $5 and used it, probably, all of 3-4 times. Sony has some nice pocket cameras.
 

OutdoorsBen

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First you have to figure out what you want in a camera. Do you want it to be weather sealed? Do you want it to be super small? Are you going to blow up the pictures and print them?

Now what I will say is that if you aren't taking pictures with your cell phone that is in your pocket you likely won't take pictures with a dedicated camera. It's another piece of gear to carry. Generally speaking you move away from cell phone pics if you want better pictures, not to start taking pictures.

I don't know what your budget is but the GR series of digital camera's are very good and under $1000. Fixed focal length for a wide view and has a larger aps-c sensor. 1" sensor offerings are probably best from Sony with the RX100 line but they are a bit pricey new.

The tough pocket cameras would only be slightly better than your cell phone. They will likely have a better optical zoom but the sensor size would be the same as your cell phone.
 

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I have to agree with "Cypress". I've had my Nikon AW130 for years. It takes great pics and video (I've taken excellent video of caught fish under water).
I use this when I don't want to (or can't) bring my DSLRs (fly fishing/hunting). You can purchase the Nikon floating strap, in case you drop it in the water (it will keep it afloat so you may retrieve it).

Love this camera.
 

tjZ06

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First you have to figure out what you want in a camera. Do you want it to be weather sealed? Do you want it to be super small? Are you going to blow up the pictures and print them?

Now what I will say is that if you aren't taking pictures with your cell phone that is in your pocket you likely won't take pictures with a dedicated camera. It's another piece of gear to carry. Generally speaking you move away from cell phone pics if you want better pictures, not to start taking pictures.

I don't know what your budget is but the GR series of digital camera's are very good and under $1000. Fixed focal length for a wide view and has a larger aps-c sensor. 1" sensor offerings are probably best from Sony with the RX100 line but they are a bit pricey new.

The tough pocket cameras would only be slightly better than your cell phone. They will likely have a better optical zoom but the sensor size would be the same as your cell phone.
  1. Weather-sealed: if possible yes
  2. Super small: maybe not "super" but I'd like to keep it in a pocket so I actually use it more
  3. Blow up pics and print: no, I don't see that happening
Fair point about the cell phone, and I have an S21 Ultra which is supposed to have some of the best cameras (it has like 93 lenses on it ;) :p ) for a phone right now. But when I'm out on the trail I tend to just have it mounted for trail-guidance, tunes, etc. in the Jeep and when I get out I don't take it with me. So I end up walking around and taking in the view and the phone is back in the Jeep and I don't take a pic. I know, I know... there's a fix for that: take my phone with me when I get out. But I guess I'm saying I just know I don't do that, so if I have a camera that stays in a pocket (like a bigger loose pocket on a pair of cargo-type pants) and I'm not mounting back on my dash for guidance and music I might actually use it more.

I suppose I could go the other way and buy a small tablet to mount and use for tunes and maps, then just leave the phone in my pocket...

-TJ
 

static

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I suppose I could go the other way and buy a small tablet to mount and use for tunes and maps, then just leave the phone in my pocket...

-TJ
This is the approach I’ve settled on. If you have a modern smartphone you're going to have a hard time finding a better point and shoot, at least in terms of a balance of quality and utility. A camera is another piece of gear to pack and possibly forget or misplace. I don’t know about you, but I *never* forget my phone :)

On top of that, the extra screen size of a tablet for nav seems like a win too…

Kris