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Old Mar 18, 2010, 3:36 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by JM667 View Post
So for example, if I use a P&S and a DSLR to take a shot of something or someone outdoors in great light with no action and using auto mode in both, the DSLR will not take any better of a picture and could possibly be worse? But if I do the same thing of a little kid running around inside the house with poor light, the P&S might not even be able to capture that shot? Am I on the right track here?
Yes, exactly.

In auto mode the DSLR will be able to take some pictures that your P&S won't. But the auto mode of the P&S, where the conditions are not challenging may well look better to you than the DSLR.

In particular the focus and sharpness that is achieved on a P&S camera with its very short focal length and small sensor is extremely forgiving. It's actually quite hard to get your subject out of focus, even if you want to. The same is not true of a DSLR where it's actually fairly easy to get the focus wrong.

Colour, contrast and sharpening of the final image are also likely to be far punchier in the P&S by default. This is because those extreme settings generally look very nice to most people, but under closer examination can introduce processing artifacts that cannot easily be corrected. The DSLR however will have those parameters set much less aggressive by default, because you can always add more in post-processing to taste, but the artifacts are often impossible to remove.

We don't want to scare you away from a better camera, but just warn you that as you make the step up you are going to have to take a lot more responsibility for how the images turn out. With the extra potential for great images comes the potential for poor images too.

People often get angry when they spend lots of money and their pictures don't get any better and think there must be something wrong with the camera. We just don't want that to happen to you.
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Old Mar 18, 2010, 4:29 PM   #12
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Excellent post, Craig-

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Old Mar 24, 2010, 2:31 PM   #13
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I appreciate all the responses and the good advice. Perhaps I should have been a little more clear with my original post.

I want a P&S camera that I can throw in a pocket and carry with me most places. It will probably be used by my mom as well so a P&S is a must. If I'm doing an activity such as a long hike or a dirt bike ride, the P&S is the perfect camera to throw in a backpack.

I am familiar with ISO, aperture and shutter settings so the idea of the DSLR was simply to get more creative and fine-tune my skills. I'm not going to pull it out, put it in Auto mode and shoot away. The thought of the DSLR was that, for example, if I was going to a birthday party, I could take the DSLR and "practice" and get better with various settings, lighting, etc.

So, all that aside, let's just get down to a single point here and that's a P&S, again for the primary reason is I need something to throw in a pocket (for long hikes, bike rides, etc) and that my mom can easily use.

Three camera's I have my eye on right now are the Nikon S8000, Sony DSC-HX5 and the Panasonic ZS3. All are comparable but the Sony and Nikon are still new and reviews are far and few between. For you experts out there, has anyone had any real-world experience with these cameras and might have some thoughts/opinions as to which one might be better? I did try the Nikon S8000 in the store and wasn't impressed with the amount of time it took to auto-focus and take a picture.

Last edited by aznative75; Mar 24, 2010 at 2:38 PM.
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Old Mar 24, 2010, 4:58 PM   #14
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I too HX-5 is new and there are reviews at Imaging Rescource and Cameralabs.



We also have an ongoing user review of the HX-5 in the Sony P+S folder. The Zs3 is really a "best buy" right now as it is at its lowest price right now. The ZS3 is a larger, thicker camera, but it has 12X optical zoom and an excellent HD video mode.

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Last edited by mtclimber; Mar 24, 2010 at 5:01 PM.
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