View Full Version : P&S Cameras with Best Macro AND Best HD Video

2010-04-09, 22:42
I really love my Casio Exilim camera's video mode... it delivers beautiful 1280x720 video and I always hear the question "What did you shoot that video on??"


It has a shitty, shitty, shitty macro mode.

My trusy old Canon SD400 would let you practically put the lens on top of a subject and come away with a great photo.

The Casio makes you stay over 10 centimeters away, and by then how "macro" is it really?

So I'd like to hear some advice about my NEXT take-along camera!!!

Cue Dorian in 3..... 2..... 1......


Dorian Gray
2010-04-11, 06:51
Hmm. Sony Cyber-shot HX5V (http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10551&storeId=10151&langId=-1&productId=8198552921666077169)? This camera focuses to 5 cm, so not as close as some from the past, but better than your Casio (however look into this in more detail because I don't know how good the macro is). It has a Full HD AVCHD video mode at 60i, or 720p MP4 at 30 fps. It also has a wide-angle, optically stabilised, 10x zoom lens that's probably better than your Casio's, and a back-illuminated CMOS sensor ("Exmor R") that's certainly much better. The HX5V also has a huge range of cutting-edge features including full-resolution stills at 10 fps, a GPS and compass (with location metadata embedded in the images), HDMI connectivity, tons of "smart" features, a 3-inch LCD, and much more. It certainly looks good on paper.

I have a Panasonic LX3 (http://panasonic.net/avc/lumix/popup/lx3_interview/), which does 720p video and has a 1 cm macro mode. I haven't tested either, but the functionality is there.

Super-close macro functionality has been dropped from most compact cameras in the drive to cut costs in a cut-throat market. Close macro modes require more expensive lenses, and lenses are one of the most expensive parts of a good compact camera. So the lenses are an easy target for cutting costs.

2010-04-11, 12:13
Thanks Dorian, these are good leads.

I wonder how well the Sonys play with Macs these days.
Better than ever, one would hope.

I see that the Sony allows you to use SD cards (holy cow, about time).

I'll have to see if I can look at one of these up close.


Dorian Gray
2010-08-15, 07:26
Maybe you got a new camera or maybe you decided to stick with your Casio with great video, but regardless you might have a look at the Panasonic LX5 (http://panasonic.net/avc/lumix/compact/lx5/index.html), successor to the LX3 I mentioned above (the "LX4" model name was skipped for superstitious reasons).

The LX5, due to ship in a few days, seems to have most of the great features of the groundbreaking LX3, along with a slightly longer reach (zooms to 90 mm equivalent), slightly improved sensor (less noise), and AVCHD Lite video with Dolby Digital Creator (?) audio. Looks good to me, at least.

2010-08-15, 09:52
Thanks Dorian, these are good leads.

I wonder how well the Sonys play with Macs these days.
Better than ever, one would hope.

Do you mean in terms of being recognized and automatically launching/importing into iPhoto (or Aperture)?

I can honestly say in all the "switches" I've overseen the past 3-4 years (and, by extension, all the setups and training I've performed as part of it), I've yet to encounter a digital camera from any maker that iPhoto didn't launch for/recognize/import. In fact, that's always one of my favorite things to demo because I think people expect they have to install some proprietary software that came on a disk in their camera's packaging (or, at the very least, some sort of camera-specific driver that iPhoto uses to "see" their camera). But I always say "just plug it in and watch that iPhoto icon in your dock...it'll bounce in a few seconds and launch the program." They're always impressed at how easy and "it just works" it all is.

"Hey, there they are!" :)

On an older camera, it might've taken a little longer than expected. But it's always worked.

I can specifically remember dealing with the following brands (several on more than one occasion): Kodak, Sony, Canon, Fuji, Nikon and Olympus (there may have been others, but those are the six I can recall and pair with particular people). I would think, at this point, any modern major brand camera is going to be recognized by OS X/iPhoto/Aperture. I know they put those updates out from time to time too, adding support for the latest models.