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Old May 10, 2005, 4:34 AM   #1
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Hi!

I'm wondering about this every time I read reviews of compact digital cameras (meaning all the non-DSLR, all-in-one type, not just the pocket type; is there a better term for this?). Which "compact" digital cameras compare best to digital DSLRs in terms of technical capabilities (with average AUTO settings with no speed tuning - in terms of operation timings, shutter speed, cycle times, etc.; not image quality)? Do any even match them?

Thanks!
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Old May 10, 2005, 6:03 AM   #2
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It's hard to generalise and only someone like Steve who has reviewed 100s of cameras can really know the answer. As a D70 owner who has also used and owned compacts nothing comes close to the speed of autofocus and overallresponsiveness.

However depending on your photography it maybe that a compact suits you better. They later models do seem to be faster, they have the advantage of portabilityand they tend to be better suited to fully auto photography. DSLRs do tend to require you tto take more control during the picture taking and post processing to deliver their best.
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Old May 10, 2005, 8:15 AM   #3
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Nagasaki wrote:
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... As a D70 owner who has also used and owned compacts nothing comes close to the speed of autofocus and overall responsiveness.
Thanks for answering, Nagasaki. I'll take this opportunity to clear any misunderstandings for other posters.
What Nagasaki answered was not exactly what I'm wondering. Almost :G, but I'm really wondering whether any (and which) compacts come as close as possible to a D-SLR, not so much if any are even with them. That's just a "bonus" question. And I'm wondering about this out of sheer curiosity, not for advice on buying a particular model.
Hope you don't mind using your post as an example, Nagasaki.
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Old May 10, 2005, 10:09 AM   #4
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One camera which recently came out, the Fuji FinePix F10, seems to close to DSLR's in terms of low light ability (i.e. its high ISO pictures are decentl). However, it doesn't have many of the manual settings of some of the prosumers. Some people are waiting impatiently for the successor to the Fuji S7000, which they hope will have the same sensor as the F10, but better optical zoom, and many, many more user adjustable settings.

I think you will get more specific, more helpful answers if you narrow your question down into different categories:

shots per second(for how long, and then how many after the buffer is filled)

start up time

shutter lag

low light performance (both ISO and max F setting at different zoom lengths)

I know your post implies all these, but wonder if the first reaction of most readers is as was Nagasaki's: "there aren't any cameras that can approach that performance". Also, are you implying a comparison to the entry level DSLR's like the Digital Rebels (300 and 350), the Pentax *ist DS, the Nikon D-70, or to their more expensive older brothers? There are differences.






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Old May 10, 2005, 3:42 PM   #5
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The main advantage of a D-SLR is the ability to exchange lenses, which offers more photographic versatility.

The vendors tend to put better sensors in the D-SLR's which result in less digital noise. They tend to have larger buffers, faster processors which results in a more responsive photographic experience.

Not to say that the compact cameras won't catch up. But expect that the higher level, more expensive D-SLR'sto have the most state of the art features first, with the compact models catching up much later (maybe years).

-- Terry
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Old May 11, 2005, 4:40 AM   #6
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robbo wrote:
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... I think you will get more specific, more helpful answers if you narrow your question down into different categories...
Hm, point taken. Since I'm not an expert, I can't be specific, but from what I read in reviews, the thing I'm asking about is Nagasaki's "overall responsivness". So let's say, IF I understand the terms correctly, that I'm looking for as-close-as-possible to a D-SLR shutter lag, cycle times and autofocusing. That doesn't help much, does it? :lol:

Quote:
Also, are you implying a comparison to the entry level DSLR's like the Digital Rebels (300 and 350), the Pentax *ist DS, the Nikon D-70, or to their more expensive older brothers? There are differences.
Another point well taken. Definitely the entry level, but rather compared to the likes of Canon Rebel XT and Nikon D70.






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Old May 11, 2005, 12:50 PM   #7
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All cameras have benefits, advantages and:X limitations. Some of which can be fixed by PhotoShop . There are very inherent differences in the various levels of cameras. It all depends on your needs, wants and budget :-?. I used various cameras over the years from the early 1.2MP Kodaks to my current Maxxum 7D. At the time they all did what I wanted and for the most part needed from them. Would I go back to them - NO!!!

Remember, the camera is only as good as the photographer . Just decide what you need, what you want and go for it. Don''t try to emulate something that you don't need or want.


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Old May 11, 2005, 2:21 PM   #8
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At the risk of being cut to pieces, I'll answer your question. In my limited experience, my Panasonic Lumix FZ-10 (I don't have the 20) comes as close to a DSLR as you'll get. There may be many others as well-I don't know. If you set it to a high ISO-- yes even 400, you have a 2.8 lens and a good zoom. There is noise- I tend to like some noise so it doesn't bother me that much. I am somewhat amused by all the people who must avoid noise at all costs.

Oh I also think it is much smaller and lighter than a dslr with an equivalent zoom lens. If that is not correct then somebody correct me.

SLK
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Old May 11, 2005, 8:06 PM   #9
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As a wedding photographer I've seen the transition many of the guests have gone through in the past years. Before, most guests were bringing along small point and shoots. Later on I saw a move towards the higher end compacts that have big zoom lenses in smalish bodies. Nowadays I see a lot of guests, mostly men I might add, bringing DRebels, D70's, *istD's, I even once saw a guy bring a D2h! Ladies always bring more compact cameras, and I've seen them gradually improve their performance too. What usually took almost an eternity to get the compacts to focus, now takes half an eternity. Sony's F828 uses a holographic AF assist beam that is really helpful, beating all other guests when it came to AF :lol: I guess guys just naturally have a lust for newer/better/faster stuff :G I know I do :-) All kidding aside, compacts can and DO a fine job, but when push comes to shove, a DSLR can really haul @ss compared to compacts. Robbo touched on the different grades of DSLR's, and he's right. The top of the line DSLR's will smoke the mid grade in terms of sheer performance, but as 42stew mentioned, your equipment is as good as the photographer behind it. Like that guest with the D2h I mentioned :-)
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Old May 13, 2005, 9:03 PM   #10
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One of my favorite things about the Fuji E550 I bought is it's speed. If you look at Steve's review, he states that most of it's operations are faster than many dSLRs. Pre-auto Focused shutter delay is .05 seconds, with auto focus is about .3 seconds, start up is about one second, it has fast burst modes, and quick processing. It's only slow spot is flash recharge, which is understandable becuase it only uses 2 AAs, but the flash is pretty bright. My friend has a Fuji S7000, kind of a dSLR, and it is much slower in all respects but flash. It's main advantages are more adjustments, easier on the fly adjustments, more zoom, CF as well as XD, and other dSLR benefits. But my e550 has a similar superCCD sensor, but it is a newer revision, IV versus III. And for some reason, the S7000 doesn't go below ISO200, but mine goes down to 80, still going up to 800.

I know what you mean, though. Most compacts are slow and feel clumbsy, but the E550 has pleased me with it's snappyness. The lens literaly flies out, and it's ready to take a picture. Really nice pictures, too. The bigger lenses do generally help picture quality, and help reduce artifacts such as purple fringing, so I like to look for digital compacts with as big lenses as possible. I don't trust small lenses...It is weird though that my E550 has more purple fringing than my old Fuji 2650.
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