July 22, 2014, 10:34:58 PM

Author Topic: Compact cameras - do everything but good fotos  (Read 1844 times)

stephan

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Compact cameras - do everything but good fotos
« on: March 25, 2014, 10:13:36 AM »
My GF's getting a compact digital camera (sub 250€) for travelling, as she doesn't want to take her 550D/50 f1.8. When reading reviews, I made a mistake by trying to duplicate the noise level in some review's test shots with my 6D and comparing the ISO difference. Result: I didn't have enough ISO on the 6D to go beyond 200/400 ISO on the compact camera.

Why is there no inexpensive compact camera with OK image quality? Is the low-end compact camera market dying because of cellphones, or because it's filled with crap trying to pack more megapixels & zoom just for the sales pitch? They seem to be in a downward spiral, trying to differentiate themselves from cellphones with more zoom & megapixels, but becoming crappier in the process and letting people take better photos with that phone.
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Compact cameras - do everything but good fotos
« on: March 25, 2014, 10:13:36 AM »

bseitz234

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Re: Compact cameras - do everything but good fotos
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2014, 11:41:53 AM »
two words: sensor size.

Compacts have tiny little sensors, I think usually 1/2.3", which gather much less light than even APS-C, let alone your 6d. If ISO is an issue, go for the biggest sensor you can... I've contemplated an M to fill the small-pocket camera niche, but I'm afraid that with a lens, I'd just as soon bring a 7d and have the AF and controls I'm used to. I'm not familiar enough with the true compact offerings to know any models to recommend, but if you can find a compact with an APS-C sensor, or at least MFT, then I think you'd be much happier...
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Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Compact cameras - do everything but good fotos
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2014, 11:56:24 AM »
As noted, its mostly related to sensor size.  Larger sensors cost a little more, but they also require larger lenses, which cost a lot more.  With larger sensors and larger lenses, everything gets bigger, so the idea of a tiny compact camera is also lost, and the price is higher.
 
A camera with a larger sensor like the G1X costs a lot more, but is still smaller than a DSLR.   
 
Price levels are also greatly related to marketing, it might cost $75 more to make a camera that sells for $500 more.  camera manufacturers want to set tiers of prices, and those who want the top tier are the ones who make profits for the manufacturers, while the entry level cameras may be losing money or making just a buck or two each.
 
« Last Edit: March 25, 2014, 12:06:50 PM by Mt Spokane Photography »

NWPhil

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Re: Compact cameras - do everything but good fotos
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2014, 12:09:02 PM »
My GF's getting a compact digital camera (sub 250€) for travelling, as she doesn't want to take her 550D/50 f1.8. When reading reviews, I made a mistake by trying to duplicate the noise level in some review's test shots with my 6D and comparing the ISO difference. Result: I didn't have enough ISO on the 6D to go beyond 200/400 ISO on the compact camera.

Why is there no inexpensive compact camera with OK image quality? Is the low-end compact camera market dying because of cellphones, or because it's filled with crap trying to pack more megapixels & zoom just for the sales pitch? They seem to be in a downward spiral, trying to differentiate themselves from cellphones with more zoom & megapixels, but becoming crappier in the process and letting people take better photos with that phone.

9 of 10 times, you get what you pay for - yes, compact cameras are a compromise, as one has to give out some features in order to get others.
So, is the 550D combo a size/weight issue, or simply wants something easy and cheaper to ease fears of damage and loss?
Maybe the Sony rx100 mk1 or the canons G15/ G16. Seems that they will be whithin her budget - in the used market.
Panasonic's lx series are great, but have smaller sensors too - anything above 800 iso is a waste and probably not great to large prints either
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Solar B

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Re: Compact cameras - do everything but good fotos
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2014, 12:25:28 PM »
I was surprised at the image quality of the Canon S series "premium compact" cameras.  They have a slightly larger sensor than normal compacts.  The S110 might be in your price range.

Although I don't want to promote non Canon cameras here, have a look at the NX100.

privatebydesign

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Re: Compact cameras - do everything but good fotos
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2014, 02:08:47 PM »
The EOS-M is the biggest sensor for the buck I believe, it certainly gives iso performance like the APS-C Canon DSLR's, because it has the same sensor.

Kit with 18-55 and 90EX (which you can sell for $60) is $399 or less in the USA. €379 (Amazon Germany) is well worth the premium over much smaller sensors at €250.
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stephan

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Re: Compact cameras - do everything but good fotos
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2014, 02:10:54 PM »
The s110 would have been a good choise - if the big electronics store would carry it. But no - they have to have duplicates of 20MP 20x Zoom cameras, and the few ones that are better are either not in stock now or they don't carry them at all. The best they had was the Ixus 255 hs (which she just bought). Unfortunately there was no time even for amazon prime delivery.

I don't know why she doesn't feel comfortable taking the camera without the camera bag (which is one too much to take). I would not give up my 6D - even if the risk of damage or theft ist higher than leaving it at home.


I think I'm venting my frustration with the physical stores here a little as well. My expectation was not that I could come near the 6Ds quality, but being unable to reproduce even the compact cameras 800 ISO image without maxing out my 6Ds ISO range did hit me quite a bit. On the bright side: makes me realize just how awesome the 6D is.

EOS-M (& other mirrorless large-sensors cameras) are just too big. The last sub-400€ compact camera to surprise me with image quality was the panasonic TZ10. Small sensor cameras are not bad per-se, too high of a pixel density is.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2014, 02:28:22 PM by stephan »
6D | 60D | 300D | 24 f1.4 L II | 50 f1.4 | 70-200 2.8 L IS  | 17-55 2.8 IS
Kodak Retina Reflex S | Schneider-Kreuznach Xenar 50mm f2.8 | Schneider-Kreuznach Xenar 135mm f4

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Re: Compact cameras - do everything but good fotos
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2014, 02:10:54 PM »

privatebydesign

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Re: Compact cameras - do everything but good fotos
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2014, 02:57:12 PM »
Pixel density being a reason for poor image quality is a complete myth, the Canon S series P&S's out performed any other camera sensor of any size for iso noise for many years on a per area basis. The noise problem is down to sensor size alone, once you stop blaming camera stores and manufacturers for not fitting big things into smaller things you will stop feeling your frustration.

Do the maths on area and do your comparisons there, crop the 6D images to the same area as the P&S's you are lambasting and you will start to feel differently, the P&S lenses are spectacular works of optical engineering too, just consider the resolution they are resolving it is far higher than anything you can put on your 6D.
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EdB

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Re: Compact cameras - do everything but good fotos
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2014, 09:34:44 PM »
When are people going to learn it's the 12 inches behind the camera and NOT THE CAMERA.

Markus D

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Re: Compact cameras - do everything but good fotos
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2014, 09:51:47 PM »
If it were just the 12 inches behind the camera, and not the camera, then why are there so many different cameras made? Yes, the  person behind the camera does need to have a knowledge of what they are doing, and of the effects of different sensor sizes, but the camera also makes a difference. There is no way in the world that two cameras, one with a 5 x zoom and another with a 10 times zoom can produce equal pictures, just as one with a 12mp sensor cannot produce the same as one with 20mp. There will be good but different pictures each could take that cannot be replicated by the other.
So, one should consider one's own capabilities and knowledge, together with the purpose, together with the budget, prior to making claims about 12 inches, or sensor sizes, or number of megapixels that would produce the better shots.
Cheers, and happy clicking. 8)
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tolusina

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Re: Compact cameras - do everything but good fotos
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2014, 12:36:22 AM »
When are people going to learn it's the 12 inches behind the camera and NOT THE CAMERA.
About the same time they learn that there's no difference in driving experience between a Prius and a Boxster.
 
You can play the same chords, the same song on a Rogue RA-090 as on a Martin 15 Series. Which would you rather listen to?
 
I doubt that Ansel Adams meant that statement to compare results with a Pinhole or Brownie Box camera to those with with a view camera, a Hasselblad or even a Polaroid.
 
There's a huge difference in the effectiveness of the 12" behind if that 12" is inside the car shooting through windows or on a platform on top of the car with a tripod.
 
Gear does matter. More expensive gear matters more.
Good gear used well satisfies the artist and the viewer.
 
 
 
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funkboy

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Re: Compact cameras - do everything but good fotos
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2014, 06:56:42 AM »
My attitude on "electronics" in general (phone, tablet, gps, small camera, etc etc etc) is that I really have a hard time spending more than about $300 on something that has a good likelyhood of getting smashed, dunked, lost, or stolen in the not-too-distant future.

I got my mom a refurb S110 for Pagan Winter Gift-Giving Festival this year for about $200:
http://www.canonpricewatch.com/product/04037/Canon-PowerShot-S110-Black-price.html

Great little camera for the money.  Keep it with you all the time, & get a big SD card for it & a couple of extra batteries.  Use it & be happy with the shots you get if they're well-composed & well-exposed; don't worry so much about the noise.

When you kill it, go get another one for $200 and be happy again.  Hopefully it won't get lost or stolen so you can recover the images on the SD card you hadn't backed up yet, but remember that it's likely going to disappear at some point if you're using it as much as you want to be using it & back it up often.

verysimplejason

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Re: Compact cameras - do everything but good fotos
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2014, 04:58:28 AM »
2 years ago, I bought a second-hand G11.  Today even with my 6d, it's still finding a lot of use.  From a handy belt camera to a quite capable underwater camera.  I still can't imagine myself without one.  With good light it is still quite a capable camera, if you know how to use it properly.

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Re: Compact cameras - do everything but good fotos
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2014, 04:58:28 AM »