Perfect jersey-pocket digicam?

Lance Armstrong

For the last two years or so, I’ve carried a 3.1-megapixel ultracompact Casio Exilim digital camera almost everywhere I went. On rides, it got stuck into a baggy, then into a jersey pocket.

It’s really handy to always have a decent camera around. If the kids do something cute, “snap!” At a race, and the 6-time reigning Tour de France champ happens by? “Snap” - above.

I have a prosumer digital SLR, too (a Nikon D70), but it’s so big and bulky that I only use it on planned shoots – family outings, photo strolls, etc.

Recently, I had to hand off the Exilim to a coworker, and I’ve been jonesing for a replacement, so I’m looking for suggestions: What’s the current state-of-the-art for a jersey-pocket digital camera?

The three things I’ve found most frustrating about the Exilim: shutter lag, poor low-light performance, and only adequate optical zoom.

It looks like the nearest replacement for the one I’ve used is Casio’s Exilim EX-Z600, or its close sibling the Exilim EX-S600.

Reviews suggest they’re faster with better low-light performance than their 3-year-old cousin, but still only 3x zoom.

Also under consideration is the Fujifilm FinePix E900. It’s American Photo’s “Camera of the Year” among Digital Compacts, and it’s supposed to have great low-ISO performance, and 4x rather than class-standard 3x zoom.

Another candidate I’m considering is Canon’s PowerShot A620.

So does anyone have any advice, positive or negative, on compact digicams in the $250-$350 range?

Chopper time

Looking for our picture of the day, I found a couple other photos with a similar theme:

Long bikes from PedalHawg

From missingsaddle, these super-long, super-low choppers, from a new company, PedalHawg, that dispense with chainstays completely, combining a monostay with motorcycle-style fork and a chain about a half-a-mile long.

Here’s another chopper bike from the day’s Flickr stream; this one gets its length by having insane fork rake – the fork is practically horizontal:

It's all up front

My Bike, by OZAR.

Photo of the day

Are brakeless fixies illegal?

BikePortland.org | Judge finds fault with fixies

In Portland on Thursday, a judge ruled that fixed-gear bikes must be equipped with brakes.

A bike messenger named Ayla Holland was ticketed for violating Oregon’s cycling law, which like many states requires a bicycle to “be equipped with a brake that enables the operator to make the braked wheels skid on dry, level, clean pavement.”

Many fixie enthusiasts maintain that brakes are unnecessary, since the rider can slow the bike by resisting the pedals’ rotation, meeting the “skid” requirement.

Holland and her attorney argued unsuccessfully that the fixed cogset and the rider’s leg power constitute a brake, but the judge was not convinced. “If your client had a stick she could rub against her tire, you’d have a case,” he said, but the brake must be a device separate from the rider.

Nice job of reporting by BikePortland, which apparently sat in on the case, and says Holland may appeal; she has 30 days to decide.

Update: Jonathan has updated the story at BikePortland after it was linked at BoingBoing.

Bike Hugger Brown

Besides the shirts, socks, stickers and other schwag, another product we’re working on now with SchoonerExact is Bike Hugger Brown, a mellow, nut-brown style ale, brewed for cyclists on skinny tires.

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