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Digital 'Still' Camera Recommendations

Discussion in 'Tech Talk - Gadgets, Gizmos and Technology' started by fluffybear, Nov 14, 2010.

  1. Dec 1, 2010 #61 of 128
    Mike Bertelson

    Mike Bertelson 6EQUJ5 WOW! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Then I did misunderstand. Sorry.

    Mike
     
  2. Dec 3, 2010 #62 of 128
    TBlazer07

    TBlazer07 Grumpy Grampy

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    Right, the discussion was how a DSLR is many times faster then a P&S which allows it to do what you are describing, so yes, you are confirming what I said.

    HDTVFAN was saying how a P&S can do what a DSLR can and I was disputing that "just because" a P&S can do multi-shots there is no way it can keep up with the speed of a DSLR.

    I'm in the process of eBaying my Nikon D60 kit (tired of lugging around a DSLR) and am looking for the "fastest" P&S and from what I have found nothing comes close (but they are getting better, as the new Panasonic LX5 is at about .4 sec for lag time compared to .15 for an average DSLR where most of the Cannon P&S's are at about .65+. Fortunately my grandkids are older and don't move around as much any more which was the purpose of the DSLR! :lol:
     
  3. Dec 3, 2010 #63 of 128
    hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

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    Not at all what I stated.....

    My point was that some P&S cameras can do much of what a DSLR can do - not everything. In some cases, their manual modes even emulate the very same settings you can adjust with $3000 DSLR's, like white balance, F stop, shutter speed, etc.

    Doing all this with a unit 1/5 the size and weight of many DSLR's is quite appealing to many...in fact...many of the professional expert reviews make reference tot he fact that their preference is to use the latest advanced P&S units in stead of toting around their bulky / heavy DLSR's for most purposes.
     
  4. Dec 4, 2010 #64 of 128
    Steve

    Steve Well-Known Member

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    Agree. The folks I know who own pro-quality DSLR's also own a good point & shoot for situations where they don't want to schlep around a large camera.

    Pretty much any camera out there over $99 (P&S or DSLR) will allow you to adjust those manual settings. The most important difference between DSLR's and P&S's is the physical size of the image sensor (NOT the megapixel count), which allows the camera to capture more light per pixel with less image noise than the smaller, higher-density sensors used in the P&S's. This results in sharper, clearer pictures, suitable for wedding album blowups, e.g., or other high quality reproduction needs. "Pro" image-quality (not build-quality) cameras can now be had for $600-$800.

    And of course for sports or action photography, you can add DSLR autofocusing speed to the list of differences, as well as the ability to use interchangeable lenses, which are generally sharper and have the ability to capture more available light than compact camera zoom lenses.
     
  5. Dec 4, 2010 #65 of 128
    hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely right Steve - the most important info to consider with the P&S cameras (or any camera for that matter) in the digital world.

    There's so my over-hype around "X" number of megapixels, but that is secondary to the image sensor size and quality of lens.

    A number of P&S cameras have plastic lens units and 2,3,4 or 5 megapixel sensor counts. Result - noisy images, especially indoors. They may look good on a 2" - 3" preview LCD on the camera itself...but try blowing them up to 5X7, 8X10, or larger...the shortcomings show up.

    My P&S (Canon Powershot S95) is very rare with a 10.1 megapixel sensor - unheard of in most point and shoot cameras today, and much more common in the bigger and more expensive DSLR units. For that reason, it has the capacity to take stunning indoor flash-free and flash images with exponentially less noise and much better image quality than most other P&S cameras. It's also a reason why it carries a heftier price tag. :D

    Thanks Steve, for articulating the most critical points for camera shoppers. Generally, the retail stores won't share those details as they try to sell someone that "$179 P&S camera on sale".
     
  6. Dec 4, 2010 #66 of 128
    harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    Physics dictates that the only way to gather more light is to use a bigger lens. If anything, you're spreading the same light over a larger area.
     
  7. Dec 4, 2010 #67 of 128
    Mike Bertelson

    Mike Bertelson 6EQUJ5 WOW! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Larger sensors allow for larger lenses for the same angular view on a smaller sensor. As you've already pointed out, a larger lens gets you more light gathering capabilities.

    Mike
     
  8. Dec 4, 2010 #68 of 128
    harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    While 10.1 as a count might be rare, Kodak offers 11 P&S camera models in excess of 10.1MP; five are rated at 14MP.

    All but one camera in the current Olympus consumer product line is rated 12MP or better. The odd man out is rated at 10MP (the X-560WP is their waterproof model).

    The S95 may well take better pictures than all of them, but that only proves that pixel count is a fairly lousy metric.
     
  9. Dec 4, 2010 #69 of 128
    hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

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    You obviously are confused about how they measure light sensors...by their size....that's just how folks get confused about the megapixel hype too.

    Based on the sensor and lens sizes...an "8 megapixel camera" can actually take digitial images with less noise and better quality overall than a "14 megapixel camera".
     
  10. Dec 4, 2010 #70 of 128
    harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    The newer cameras typically aren't coming with "faster" lenses and the average zoom rating is now >4x so your point is largely missed.
     
  11. Dec 4, 2010 #71 of 128
    harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    I was trying to discount pixel count as opposed to promoting it.

    I wasn't speaking to pickup size at all as you seemed to be advancing the theory that the 10.1MP rating on your S95 was why it was so wonderful.
     
  12. Dec 4, 2010 #72 of 128
    hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

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    That's not the way it read...if that's the case...then we're on the same page where sensor size is a key factor.
     
  13. Dec 4, 2010 #73 of 128
    Mike Bertelson

    Mike Bertelson 6EQUJ5 WOW! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    A fast lens has nothing to do with zoom. "Fast" means the apature is wide enough to allow a higher shutter speed for proper exposure. IOW, the wider the f-stop the "faster" the lens.

    A 50mm, f1.2 lens is "faster" than a 50mm f2.8. Therefor a larger sensor will allow for a "faster" lens than a smaller sensor of the same resolution/pixel count/mega-pixels (or whatever marketing term you want to use).

    Mike
     
  14. Dec 4, 2010 #74 of 128
    Steve

    Steve Well-Known Member

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    Of course the "lens" is bigger. The "image receptors" on pro cameras are larger than those found on P&S's, much like 1080p picture elements on a 65" display are physically larger than 1080p picture elements on a 40" display.

    Most "pro" DSLR image sensors measure between ~ 16x24mm and 24x36mm. Sensors found in today's highest quality P&S cameras, like the Canon G12, are either 1.1/7" or 1.1/8", or ~ 6x8mm at best. So imagine how small 10 million image receptors have to be to fit on the G12's 48 sq mm of surface area, compared to to the size they can be when enlarged to fit 384 sq mm to 864 sq mm. Not even close.
     
  15. Dec 4, 2010 #75 of 128
    harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    Lens speed is dependent on zoom ratio and most people use some level of optical zoom, so it has a lot to do with zoom.

    My eight year old 4x zoom digital camera has a F rating of 1:3-3.6 on its 1/1.8" CCD where the Powershot S95 (for example) has a F rating of 1:2-4.9 on its 1/1.7" CCD. While the Canon's "wide out" F rating is higher, the bigger zooms bring markedly less light.


    Why do they feel the need to use these inverted fractions when referring to F rating and pickup size?
     
  16. Dec 4, 2010 #76 of 128
    Mike Bertelson

    Mike Bertelson 6EQUJ5 WOW! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Lens speed has ZERO to do with zoom ratio (whatever that is). It has solely to do with lens opening. The minimum f-stop (the ratio of lens opening to focal length) is the key here. A wider aperture allows more light and thus a “faster” shutter speed. Thus, a wider aperture allowed by a larger senser allows for the use of higher shutter speeds. Wider aperture is "faster".

    This is completely independent of zoom (other than the minimum f-stop usually goes up as you zoom in making the lens "slower").

    Mike
     
  17. Dec 4, 2010 #77 of 128
    harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    Given that the F rating of a lens is independent of pickup size, I'm not sure where you're going.
     
  18. Dec 4, 2010 #78 of 128
    Steve

    Steve Well-Known Member

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    I think what Harsh means here is that the minimum aperture of a lens will change, depending on where it's zoomed. That's why a zoom lens aperture ratio is quoted as "3.5-5.6", e.g. "3.5" refers to the amount of light a lens can capture at its widest angle, and "5.6" when zoomed to maximum telephoto.
     
  19. Dec 4, 2010 #79 of 128
    Steve

    Steve Well-Known Member

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    This has nothing to do with how much light the camera lens lets through.

    It has all to do with how much of that light coming through those 10 million sensor lenses can pick up without electronic amplification, which is how the P&S's compensate for having to make the pixels so tiny.
     
  20. Dec 4, 2010 #80 of 128
    harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    You say it is completely independent and then parenthetically offer that it is indeed dependent. Which is it? Given the example that I offered, zoom may play a significant role in the effective F rating of a lens. With the larger lenses, the effective F rating is less dependent on the zoom ratio.

    Many photographers use optical zoom at one time or another, so its impact on performance shouldn't be dismissed.
     

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