I Destroyed this Camera While Wiping Out on My Bike

by Barrett

This is the story of the tragic, final mission of my trusty Canon S100 pocket camera. And I’ve even got the video to show. But after I heal, I must face a tough decision…? Should I get one of those wicked-expensive 1-inch sensor compact cameras? Or go it alone with just my iPhone?

This is the story of the tragic, final mission of my trusty Canon S100 pocket camera. And I’ve even got the video to show. But after I heal, I must face a tough decision…? Should I get one of those wicked-expensive 1-inch sensor compact cameras? Or go it alone with just my iPhone?

This sad tale falls under the category of ‘dumb daddy.’ Straight and simple. I had absolutely no business trying to videotape my six year old riding his new bicycle… while I was following him on my bike. It was an obviously dangerous stunt trying to grip my old Canon S100 camera in my right hand while steering with my left.
(They make GoPro cameras for these moments!)

I wasn’t careful to stay far enough behind my boy in case he braked hard, requiring me to do the same.

But come on… I’ve been riding bikes for decades. I could this handle this, right?


Daddy Wipes Out Big Time
So I ended up squeezing the brakes a little too hard right after my son suddenly hit his own brakes and wobbled a bit. He recovered nicely, but I felt a slight loss of balance. Then time began slowing down. My brain started screaming at me…. “Do something, you fool!”

But all of that extra ‘neuro-time’ wasn’t at all helpful to correct my new downward trajectory or prevent my ultimate wipeout. At the very last nanosecond, I remember thinking how silly this all was… that it was actually me… who couldn’t stay on his bike.


The Final Shot Tells the Whole Story
After impact, I quickly realized that I had some pretty gooey road rash across the underside of my left forearm and on the base of my right palm.
(Big ouch)

A bit dizzy, I looked around for my camera, which had been recording through until the ‘accident.’

A few feet away, I saw it on the ground, frozen in time from its final seconds of operation.
(Oh no!)

Its still extended lens was bent and mangled by the blunt force it had also received from my fall. I think this was a career-ending moment for my compact camera.

There were no signs of life…

I pulled out the SD media card from my dead camera’s underside, and the card remarkably looked undamaged.

Then, I had a thought…
Did my dying Canon successfully save its final movie file right up until the crushing end?

It did!

Wanna see?

R.I.P. Canon Camera.

So now what…?

This Camera Had Two Lives

It was so young!!!

Well, actually it wasn’t. I had it for four years already.
(Which is like 87 years in camera years)

And no, I didn’t have a service contract on the camera.

Sure, I could try to have it repaired and foot the bill myself, but I’ve gone down that road once before. It had simply fallen from my lap onto a wooden floor. That time, there was no visible damage, but it cost me over a hundred bucks to get it working again.

Two lives are enough. It was time to let my Canon S100 go…

Live Your Life in Full HD
And time for an upgrade!

Sure, I liked my Canon S100, but the biggest problem with my old point and shoot was it was stuck recording videos in a time before 1080 HD and 4K. It recorded its videos at a paltry 720P at 30 fps.
(It could only record 1080 at 24 fps.)

The HD video world has moved on!

It’s really not a good practice to compile archival family videos using yesterday’s technologies and file formats. It just makes it that much harder to future proof them.

And one day, when you want to edit together your family history video, you’re not going to be happy trying to use your puny 720P HD files along with your 1080P, 4K, 5K and 8K files.
(I expect one day, they’ll figure out how to jam 8K into a pocket cam!)

The Smartphone Solution is Good
You might be wondering why is silly Barrett even talking about getting another point and shoot camera? Can’t smartphones handle most daily family point and shoot moments these days?

And don’t they also shoot video at 1080P HD and 4K?
Well, yeah…
They do.

So where’s the method to my madness?

Your Smartphone Still Isn’t Good Enough
Two reasons:

  • iPhones have limited memory and HD video files are huge. So that solution is only going to be a short-term play… unless you’re exceptionally diligent about offloading your video files from your device. Standalone cameras can use an unlimited number of SD cards. (As many as your wallet will allow)
  • A dedicated point and shoot camera with a good zoom lens and solid low light capability still can’t be beat by any smartphone out there today.

The Sudden Evolution of the Compact Camera
And a funny thing has happened to point and shoot cameras over the past few years. Engineers gave them a secret weapon…

Large sensors!

Camera manufacturers realized that point and shoot cameras were rapidly becoming obsolete as smartphones were taking over the world. So they attempted a game changer by jamming large, 1-inch style sensors for bulky DSLR cameras into their tiny cameras.

And that little trick creates a compact camera that takes better pictures.
(Especially in low light)

Huge Price Tags
And tiny cameras that are twice as expensive!!!

Canon’s current flagship pocket camera is the Canon G7 X Mark II. It’s a beauty with its 1-inch sensor, but it sells for a whopping $649.
Even on Amazon!
Even at B&H Photo!

This Canon has a 24-100mm F1.8-F2.8 lens
And takes HD video at 1080/60p video capture


But it’s not the only game in town.
The Canon G7 X Mark II has two major competitors:

Panasonic DMC-Lumix ZS100: $699.99

  • 25-250mm equivalent F2.8-5.9 lens
  • 4K video

Sony RX100 V: $899

  • 24-70mm equivalent F1.8-2.8 lens
  • 4K video
    (The RX100 series is commonly viewed as the camera to beat.)

But among these high-end compact cameras, there’s still no perfect choice…

  • The Canon can’t shoot in 4K.
  • The Panasonic has a slower lens.
  • The Sony costs 40% more.

In Search of the Deal
Sure, there are still way-cheaper pocket cameras on the market… but the question of how they’re any better than your smartphone’s camera becomes more difficult to answer…

For me, I continue to pursue the ‘rare’ ability to capture great family moments in low light with a camera. The better your tool, the greater the chance for success.

But these are admittedly expensive tools. It would certainly help the decision-making process if you could find a sale on one of them.


The holidays are just around the corner.
That could be my ticket to the deal I’m looking for.

For the time being, I’ll struggle through with my iPhone 6 Plus and an old Canon PowerShot Elph camera I’ve still got.
(That I haven’t destroyed yet)

While I wait to find my deal on my holiday camera purchase, I’ll ponder the following questions:

  • Should I future-proof now and go all 4K video?
  • Is it smart pocketing such expensive gear?
  • Should I abandon my life-long commitment to Canon?

I welcome any suggestions out there regarding which camera to go with…

How Many Cameras Have You Destroyed?
A final thought on my ongoing (and sometimes dangerous) pursuit for the perfect family camera…

Do you recall that once upon a time, I bemoaned my questionable wisdom when I gave my son his own camera a couple years back…?
(Which he accidentally dropped and broke)

To be fair, I think it’s time to update the Lester family’s camera destruction stats:

1 broken camera- 4-year-old son
1 broken camera- Daddy
1 destroyed camera- Daddy

So I’m ahead 2 to 1!
Maybe I should really think about camera insurance for my next purchase!