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Thread: Professional Cameras for the Bike

  1. #1
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    Default Professional Cameras for the Bike

    So, I am very honored. For Christmas my wife created a book of my bike riding pictures and sent it to some of our family members. Turns out one of the books fell into the hands of someone in publishing who wants to make a real book. However, my camera is not pro ready. I need a professional camera which has excellent resolution, I don't know the tech terms. Basically, I need a

    small camera which fits into a bike bag
    that is point and shoot
    shoots in raw
    does not distort around the edges
    and is coffee table book resolution good.


    Would the Sony RX1R II work?
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    Default Re: Professional Cameras for the Bike

    Needing a new camera because out of the blue you will be a published photographer is one of life's problems.

    Congats. Your stuff here always looks great.
     

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    Default Re: Professional Cameras for the Bike

    Sure. That's basically your favorite camera with a full-sized sensor stuffed into it and some more professional controls added on. The lens is fixed but so what its a great lens, so if 35mm is wide enough for you, then that's all that matters. I've shot one and I thought it was nice, but I didn't shoot with it for any length of time so I had to keep fiddling to figure out where everything was. But you are probably a pro at the Sony way of menu design by now.

    Look at one of the Sony Alpha 7 camera bodies too. The Sony Alpha 7RII is about as high and small as you can get in terms of image quality and size respectively (I am always surprised how small they are in person,) plus it has a very bright SLR-type viewfinder and interchangeable lenses. Add one of their wide FE prime lenses and you'll have quite a tidy package. I think there is a 28mm f2 and a Zeiss-designed 35mm f2.8 that are well regarded.

    But if you have someone who already thinks your images are great, don't change if you don't need to. Just get a new RX100 and shoot the heck out of that. But if you were encouraged to increase the quality of the images for reproduction purposes or if they said get a better camera, then staying within the Sony universe makes a lot of sense from a learning curve perspective with menus and settings and so forth. And it wouldn't be like you'd be sacrificing image quality. Quite the reverse.

    re: point and shoot - any camera is point & shoot once you get it set up for your still of shooting. My Canon 5D is the best point and shoot I have. It just isn't very compact.
    Jorn Ake
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    Default Re: Professional Cameras for the Bike

    I haven't used one but the specs look very promising. Seems to use a lot of stuff from the A7R II. The CMOS chips Sony uses are quite good.

    I've found that Sony auto focus is slow and un-awesome, the battery life on their smaller cameras isn't great and the smaller cameras tend to be sluggish when shooting RAW. There always seems to be a delay when powering up -- real PITA when you see something awesome and you only have a few seconds to capture it.

    I'd be a little annoyed with a fixed lens on my bike. I always want to get closer with wider-than-normal-but-not-quite-wide lenses. 28-40mm sits in this category for me.

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    Default Re: Professional Cameras for the Bike

    Quote Originally Posted by j44ke View Post
    Sure. That's basically your favorite camera with a full-sized sensor stuffed into it and some more professional controls added on. The lens is fixed but so what its a great lens, so if 35mm is wide enough for you, then that's all that matters. I've shot one and I thought it was nice, but I didn't shoot with it for any length of time so I had to keep fiddling to figure out where everything was. But you are probably a pro at the Sony way of menu design by now.

    Look at one of the Sony Alpha 7 camera bodies too. The Sony Alpha 7RII is about as high and small as you can get in terms of image quality and size respectively (I am always surprised how small they are in person,) plus it has a very bright SLR-type viewfinder and interchangeable lenses. Add one of their wide FE prime lenses and you'll have quite a tidy package. I think there is a 28mm f2 and a Zeiss-designed 35mm f2.8 that are well regarded.

    But if you have someone who already thinks your images are great, don't change if you don't need to. Just get a new RX100 and shoot the heck out of that. But if you were encouraged to increase the quality of the images for reproduction purposes or if they said get a better camera, then staying within the Sony universe makes a lot of sense from a learning curve perspective with menus and settings and so forth. And it wouldn't be like you'd be sacrificing image quality. Quite the reverse.

    re: point and shoot - any camera is point & shoot once you get it set up for your still of shooting. My Canon 5D is the best point and shoot I have. It just isn't very compact.
    John at the radavist was given an Alpha7 by Sony to shoot with - may be worth reading his impressions if you are considering that route.
     

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    Default Re: Professional Cameras for the Bike

    Quote Originally Posted by false_aesthetic View Post
    I haven't used one but the specs look very promising. Seems to use a lot of stuff from the A7R II. The CMOS chips Sony uses are quite good.

    I've found that Sony auto focus is slow and un-awesome, the battery life on their smaller cameras isn't great and the smaller cameras tend to be sluggish when shooting RAW. There always seems to be a delay when powering up -- real PITA when you see something awesome and you only have a few seconds to capture it.

    I'd be a little annoyed with a fixed lens on my bike. I always want to get closer with wider-than-normal-but-not-quite-wide lenses. 28-40mm sits in this category for me.
    Landscapes don't go anywhere fast. And full frame gives you the ability to get closer by cropping. Just shoot accordingly.
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    Default Re: Professional Cameras for the Bike

    Yes they do, well, I do. I take a lot of my pictures while riding. I give up a ton of great photos because I simply ride past them. I simply remember and try and capture the next time. I think this is a good technique in a zen sort of way

    Quote Originally Posted by j44ke View Post
    Landscapes don't go anywhere fast. And full frame gives you the ability to get closer by cropping. Just shoot accordingly.
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    Default Re: Professional Cameras for the Bike

    I would ask this publisher to provide you with the specs you need before you go crazy (unless you want to go crazy…)
    Coffee table books ought to be printable with a 1” sensor like your current Sony.

    Just this weekend I framed and hung a 16x20” print of an iPhone (5?) snapshot from our Italy trip. From any distance further out than 12” or so, you’d never guess it was a phone camera.

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    Default Re: Professional Cameras for the Bike

    Quote Originally Posted by joosttx View Post
    Yes they do, well, I do. I take a lot of my pictures while riding. I give up a ton of great photos because I simply ride past them. I simply remember and try and capture the next time. I think this is a good technique in a zen sort of way
    Oh well, then that suggests that there may be features of the RX100 - small enough to shoot while riding - that may be absent with even a slightly larger camera and thereby shift your aesthetic a bit. Can you really not produce what is needed for book production with an RX100? That's a pretty spiffy sensor in that box.

    edit: What Matt says. You should be able to print RX100 with little problem.
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    Default Re: Professional Cameras for the Bike

    Yeah...the RX is plenty printable in book format.

    Of course, if you wanted to go the AC route, you could just get a Leica M10.
    NK / AC

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    Default Re: Professional Cameras for the Bike

    purdy

    Quote Originally Posted by Heisenberg View Post
    Yeah...the RX is plenty printable in book format.

    Of course, if you wanted to go the AC route, you could just get a Leica M10.
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    Default Re: Professional Cameras for the Bike

    Coffee table books have been printed with images captured by some pretty appalling hardware. I think getting into sync with what the prospective publisher needs/wants is the best way to avoid both excessive costs and unexpected issues down the road... Staying with a system you know, at the output quality level needed for the project will get you happy fastest.
    Guy Washburn

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    Default Re: Professional Cameras for the Bike

    I wouldn't consider myself a good photographer by any means but I really like my Panasonic Lumix GM5. It's one of the smallest (if not the smallest) micro 4/3rd cameras on the market. It would definitely fit in a handlebar bag, maybe even a jersey pocket if you wear a larger jersey I wear XS/S jerseys so my pockets are too small). Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5 Review: Digital Photography Review
     

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    Default Re: Professional Cameras for the Bike

    I have an older canon g10.
    decent size sensor... will shoot raw... raw files run around 13-15mg.. plenty of info there.
    you can get very good prints, has a zoom lens.
    fits in a pocket... snug but ok.

    I use a d slr also but it sure isn't pocketable.
     

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    Default Re: Professional Cameras for the Bike

    All of the versions of the RX100 are astonishingly good. If someone saw your book and had reservations about resolution I bet that's because of whatever processing was done to make the book, not the limitations of the camera. From what you've written before about your shooting process I get the sense that you are more concerned with grabbing the shot than with pampering the camera. Would you be happy to do the same when it cost 4x, as the RX1R II does?
     

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    Default Re: Professional Cameras for the Bike

    Quote Originally Posted by pmac View Post
    All of the versions of the RX100 are astonishingly good. If someone saw your book and had reservations about resolution I bet that's because of whatever processing was done to make the book, not the limitations of the camera. From what you've written before about your shooting process I get the sense that you are more concerned with grabbing the shot than with pampering the camera. Would you be happy to do the same when it cost 4x, as the RX1R II does?
    This is a good point. I've yet to see one of the file upload book publishing projects (Apple Photos, Shutterfly, Flickr, MilkBooks, Blurb) that were actual publishing quality. They are good enough to show off nice photos and night & day better than than they used to be, but not the quality of printing in a David Alan Harvey or Alex Webb book for sure.
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    Default Re: Professional Cameras for the Bike

    This guy The Soiled Chamois writes a lot about photography on the bike. I think he has a separate photo page.
     

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    Default Re: Professional Cameras for the Bike

    First of all, congratulations! Why do you think you need a higher end camera? You take great pictures and you have developed your own style of shooting and processing and I think that is what must have attracted the publisher. So I would just stick to what you have and know.

    I get photos published in magazines from my Ricoh GRDIV and 9 year old Ricoh GX100, sometimes photos from those cameras are even chosen over similar photos I took with my Canon 5D. A sharp lens and good light is all you need.
    Mark Koghee

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    Default Re: Professional Cameras for the Bike

    Quote Originally Posted by markrides View Post
    First of all, congratulations! Why do you think you need a higher end camera? You take great pictures and you have developed your own style of shooting and processing and I think that is what must have attracted the publisher. So I would just stick to what you have and know.

    I get photos published in magazines from my Ricoh GRDIV and 9 year old Ricoh GX100, sometimes photos from those cameras are even chosen over similar photos I took with my Canon 5D. A sharp lens and good light is all you need.
    Thank you. I get distortion at the edges of my photos. I did not really care but now I think I should.


    I am going to talk to the group next tuesday I will hear what they have to say. I am doing to do my best Bill Cummingham less the french workman coat.
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    Default Re: Professional Cameras for the Bike

    Quote Originally Posted by joosttx View Post
    I did not really care but now I think I should.
    I don't think it matters really, especially if you are shooting from the seat of your bicycle without stopping. Plus it hasn't hurt the appeal of your photographs up to now.

    If I was an editor, I'd view it as a marketing angle in fact. Probably put a small photo of your most battered camera somewhere in the afterwords. Emphasize in the forward that for you, the camera is a tool and the lens is no more than that. The goal is the moment and the image of that moment.

    Sell like hotcakes.

    But if you want a new camera, by all means go get one!
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