Thursday, May 8, 2008

Digital cameras for motorcycles


Digital Single Lens Reflex
Offers the most flexibility primarily because of interchangeable lenses. Advantages include high image quality, easy image exposure control, and most allow shooting in RAW image format for greatest post processing flexibility. Disadvantages include bulk, carrying extra lenses, and complexity of use.

The DSLR I use is the older Canon 10D generally with a 24-85mm zoom lens. I almost always use aperture-priority mode and spot metering. I shoot in RAW format and don't hesitate doing post-shot image processing using the GIMP.

Advanced Point & Shoot
When a DSLR is too much camera to carry or when its complexity is undesired, a high end point & shoot camera is nearly as good. These cameras typically offer a zoom lens, manual, semi-automatic, and pre-set shooting modes, and some have RAW image format capability. Their advantages include relative small size, range of shooting modes, and an ability to use other equipment like hot-shoe flash.

I use the Canon G9. Because it's so versatile, many times it's the only camera I take on rides. I shoot in RAW mode almost exclusively. This is the primary differentiator between this camera and the one below.

Point & Shoot
These are the ubiquitous small sized cameras used everywhere. These cameras are designed to be very easy to operate. Most can be set in a full automatic mode requiring only a shutter push for a good photograph. Their primary advantage is small size and are excellent for recording events during a motorcycle trip. These cameras generally do not have a RAW image mode.

The PS camera I use is the Canon SD750. This camera fits in my shirt pocket and I have it with me nearly always.

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