**Celebrating ‘Pinhead’ Sensor Bridge Cameras**

Started 9 months ago | Discussions thread
Cyril Catt Veteran Member • Posts: 5,200
Re: **Celebrating ‘Pinhead’ Sensor Bridge Cameras**

In 2008 I found the diminutive Canon TX1 filled most of my needs. Only the size of a standard pack of cards, its smooth all-metal case with rounded edges, and a lens that retracts fully into the body, protected by a metal cover when switched off. It was the perfect pocket camera.

With a 1/ 2.5” 7.1MP sensor, in SuperMacro mode it can focus right down to the front of the lens…

This computer screen has about 3.72 dots per mm, so this picture is a 27.9 x magnification on my screen. Canon TX1 Super Macro mode

Notodontid (?) moth caterpillars on Eucalyptus leucoxylon. The caterpillars are about 20 mm long. Canon TX1

.. and its 39 to 390mm zoom can be increased 1.9x to 74 -741mm by an internal lens shift with minimal reduction in quality,,…

Statue of Christ on roof of Notre Dame de Paris (before fire) Right hand was missing. This is a crop of about 1/8th of the area of the original shot from a Canon TX1 still

Stockholm's Stadhuset (Town Hall) tower, with the golden triple crown emblem is about 2.4 km distant. The Riddarholmskyrkan (Knight's Islet Church) unusual filigree spire is about 1.6 km away. Canon TX1

Stockholm's Stadhuset (Town Hall) tower, with the golden triple crown emblem. Canon TX1

…whilst an additional x4 digital zoom can get everything in the frame at 1560mm without further deterioration from later cropping. Optical image stabilization is helpful for hand held shots at long zoom settings. Stills and videos at 16:9 or 4:3 ratio, and video with stereo sound, from which individual frames could easily be retrieved for stills. And it can also be used just as a sound recorder.

A frame from a Canon TX1 video clip. Shot from centre of the sideline

The articulated screen, though small (1.8”, 115,000 dots), and of low resolution, is useful for aiming above the heads of a crowd, around corners, or in crevices which an arm can get into - useful for examining parts of machinery that are otherwise out of sight. The 25 mm lens tube is also small enough to poke through the mesh of the chain link fences around sports fields, where larger cameras can’t go.

I modified a small slide viewer to fit over the screen to simulate a convenient eye level EVF, eliminating glare from washing out the screen, whilst the hand supporting the camera can steady it against my forehead.

Slide viewer slipped over LCD screen to provide a virtual EVF for eye level viewing with Canon TX1

Barquentine in Freemantle harbour 6 Mar2012 8.21pm. Canon TX1, 1/200s F4.5 ISO80 130mm equiv. ppd

Mdina, Malta, from Ta'Qali, 1.2km from nearest wall. 31 Oct.2010  Canon TX1.1/1500s F5.6 ISO320 741mm

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However, by 2015, the TX1 was being outclassed by several other, albeit somewhat larger, small cameras, and a Lumix TZ60 replaced the TX1 - only for a few months, before being stolen! Unable to afford another TZ60 so soon, at Erik Ohlson’s suggestion I looked for a Casio, and bought an EX-ZR800 as a stop gap. Its remarkable versatility soon made it my go-to camera. With only a 1/ 1.7” 16MP sensor, its 25-450mm lens is both wider and has a longer reach than the TX1’s. A ClearViewer attachment which folds against the LCD when not in use, gives me the equivalent of an eye-level EVF.

Artificial forest in Singapore, handheld from 275 metres @ 25mm equivalent zoom setting with a Casio ZR800

Handheld candid photo of man seated on the walkway near the middle of the above picture at 275 metres (crop from a 2125 mm equivalent jpg. ) Casio ZR800

whilst its twin processors allow the merging of short bursts, either to extend its useable zoom reach, or, in company with its remarkable sensor-shift image stabilization, to provide excellent stability for hand-held shots from moving vehicles.

This timelapse from a taxi shows the variety of remarkable juxtapositions of activities often found in Japanese streets: family homes, market gardens, luxury car saleyards, office buildings, apartments, all in close proximity. Casio ZR800

A very fast frame rates, up to 1000 per second, can be used to slow down fast action (to analyse your golf swing?). Slower rates (from 1/10 seconds to 60 minutes between frames, can appear to speed up actions (so normal crowds appear to race about like demented penguins, or the sun completes a journey across the sky in just a minute or so) can be used for special effects.

Sidesaddle pillion rider. Xi'an , China

Family eBike Xi'an, China

It also permits merging of bursts in dim light to yield brighter images.

Water lilies and rustic footbridge. Open air theatre restaurant,Ho Chi Minh City 3/10s F3.5 ISO800 EV2

Closeup of distant stage performer playing a tune on a leaf 450mm, 1/10s, F5.9, ISO200

View of the stage over seated diners 25mm 1/8s, F3.5, ISO320

To have a second camera with a faster, wider, lens, for dimmer interiors, I had paired the TX1 with an LX3 and 18mm accessory lens, and the ZR800 with an LX7 and 18mm accessory lens. But in each case the combined bulk of the Lumix cameras an accessory lenses, added to different batteries and menus made the pairs awkward to use together.

So in 2019 I complemented the ZR800 with a Casio ZR5100, with similar size, battery, and menu as the ZR800, but a wider and faster 19-95mm F2.7-6.4 lens, and a slightly larger 1/ 7" sensor, better suited to easy travelling and rapid depolyment. A couple of its shots are shown below.

Mural of an Aboriginal youth. The new Beresford St. interchange station is built in the vicinity of an Aboriginal Corroboree site used until less than 200 years ago. Casio ZR5100

Station viewed from north west

So far as my needs go, these cameras have been most adequate, and far smaller, but also far more versatile than the kit I went about with sixty years ago! Casio 5100


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