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?


I’ve got the Exilim 600 and love it. It’s a great camera and i got it as a costco special

Cellphones with good cameras are finally starting to show up.  I’m hoping we’ll see cameras like the N73 come to the states and be offered affordably from a carrier.  I’d much rather marry two devices with than carry both.  Not necessarily for weight but for pocket real estate.  The 3MP quality of a the N73 would be adequate for my point and shoot needs while on a bike.

I know this won’t suit your needs or be helpful at all, but a cousin of mine always rides with a disposable 35mm camera in his jersey pocket.  That way, whenever he wants to snap a picture, he can do so without fear that he’ll lose it (after an untimely collision with a bump or a senior citizen), and protecting it from weather’s never an issue.  If it’s gone or ruined, it’s gone or ruined, and he’s only out a couple shots and a few bucks.

I’m just saying, but I wish this was, y’know, actually helpful.

Jarrett — yeah, I used to do the disposable 35 thing, as well, with pretty good results. Knock on wood, I’ve never lost anything out of a jersey pocket, and have found the ziploc (Zip-Loc(tm)?) baggy provides adequate weather protection, and since most of my pictures are destined for the web, it saves a lot of work to capture digitally.

Richard/rlotz, I agree that will eventually happen, but the lenses on the cellphone-cams don’t compare at all with what’s on the dedicated cameras, and the flash, if available, is still kind of a joke. It still looks to me like they only qualify as “good cameras” when you compare them to the cameras on phones like my Nokia 3650; even a 10-year-old digital camera works better as a camera.

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