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Old Feb 15, 2010, 12:19 AM   #1
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Default Are small cameras getting better?

Hi All,
Question for you: with small cameras having a larger lens size, are they getting close to the image quality of some bigger prosumer cameras?

I currently have a Canon S5 IS. It has been "OK" for me. I am, by no means, a real photographer. The features are great, but its size and the 8 megapixel quality seems to disappoint me (maybe wrongfully so). Also, the colours aren't as great as my old Olympus C5060 5MP.

Now I am looking at the Canon SX120. The lens is pretty big considering the camera's size. After having owned two prosumer "bulky" cameras, I realize that I don't really like the size of the camera and want a smaller one that I can take with me more easily. This SX120 seems like it fits the bill.

But, will it still be an entry level camera? Or will I be able to get some print quality shots from it?

Cheers,
marco.
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Old Feb 15, 2010, 2:01 AM   #2
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The problem with digicams is there sensor size. In order to get quality photo's and enlargements from these cameras, shoot at base ISO. When you start moving above the ISO 200 mark, noise will become an issue. This may force you to use a tripod in some situations, but that is a good thing. Of course this all depends on what type of photography that you are doing.

In my opinion, there are better cameras out there then the SX120. In that price range, I would take a Panny ZR1, or a Fuji 70EXR over the Cannon. Read the reviews and then decide which camera fits your needs. Good luck...
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Old Feb 15, 2010, 3:25 AM   #3
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You're shooting at a moving target. While small cameras are getting better, so are the bigger cameras.

You can get high quality prints from any camera in the right circumstances. Years ago, I took a photo with a Nikon CoolPix 880 (3MP) of my wife competing in a Dressage competition. I cropped it to about 67%, printed it at 8X10, and have it hanging in my dining room. You need an eye loupe to see the pixelation.
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Old Feb 15, 2010, 2:53 PM   #4
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My sister uses a Canon A540, and prints from it are excellent. The camera store she has do her printing saw one of her shots of her granddaughter and wanted to use it as a poster to advertise the store. She agreed, in return for a framed poster for herself. It is very good even at that size. I have seen some amazing looking photos from the S5 IS as well.
If you are trying to get low light shots w/o flash, that is a problem for any camera, and even for DSLR owners, requires expensive lenses.

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Old Feb 15, 2010, 5:18 PM   #5
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My Sigma DP2 matches the quality of sSLR's, but then again it doesn't have a small sensor.

Dave
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Old Feb 15, 2010, 10:07 PM   #6
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thanks for the ideas guys. googling your suggestions now.
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Old Feb 17, 2010, 11:57 AM   #7
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Marco-

Small cameras are getting progressively better. But keep in mind there are a number of "trial balloon" cameras as well, that were as good ideas, but that do not work out as well as they were projected to work in everyday shooting. Among them are the Fuji F-70EXR which requires many small adjustments to keep up with changing light conditions and a hopeless auto exposure mode, and the Panasonic ZR-1 whose indoor image quality was adversely affected by a very tiny, weak built-in flash unit and wildly escalating ISO settings.

There are still more new cameras to come as we approach the PMA show beginning in just 4 days, on 21 February.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Feb 17, 2010, 7:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtclimber View Post
Marco-

Small cameras are getting progressively better. But keep in mind there are a number of "trial balloon" cameras as well, that were as good ideas, but that do not work out as well as they were projected to work in everyday shooting. Among them are the Fuji F-70EXR which requires many small adjustments to keep up with changing light conditions and a hopeless auto exposure mode, and the Panasonic ZR-1 whose indoor image quality was adversely affected by a very tiny, weak built-in flash unit and wildly escalating ISO settings.

There are still more new cameras to come as we approach the PMA show beginning in just 4 days, on 21 February.

Sarah Joyce
Sigmas DP2 was obsolete when it first came out. Really pathetic. All it can do is take awesome pictures, allow the user to shoot fully automatic or fully manual, or any stage inbetween.

No zoom, small sized video, just great pictures. No wonder people don't want it.

Dave
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Old Feb 19, 2010, 5:05 PM   #9
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The Canon SX120 is good if you really need and are going to use full, complete manual controls. Depending on discounts, you might also look at the SX200. But, I've used both of these a bit and didn't come away from them too impressed, really.

I wouldn't get a digicam with a big, stupid, telephoto zoom if it was me, no matter what make of camera it is... unless you really have a need to take pictures of your kid in the outfield or a chipmunk in the park. Way too many lens compromises on those, plus they encourage poor composition by finger press instead of by foot.

A wider angle zoom is really much more useful to a creative photographer, and so is a fast lens. Neither of these Canon superzooms can be said to have a fast lens, and with the SX120, you don't even really get a wide angle. I would find that too limiting.

Yes, compact digicams can be pretty good, if you use them for what they are good at. But they aren't quite a replacement for a DSLR with a bigger sensor, if that's what you mean.
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