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Old Dec 14, 2009, 5:11 PM   #1
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Default Have older digicams, is it worth upgrading?

I have a Canon A70 (3x optical zoom and 3 megapixels) and a Kodak DX7440 (4x optical, 4 megapixels).

I'm a very casual photographer (think holiday events, neighbor's dogs, and family trips). I also like taking twilight and constellation photos--and also bird pictures through a spotting scope or via remote control.

These are old cameras now and both have developed some LCD issues.

I'm toying with the idea of getting a new camera, and have been captivated by the new features that have come in the past several years (especially image stabilization).

So, I'm wondering if it would be worthwhile to upgrade!

Would there be a qualitative difference in my photos? I'm not a very good photographer and I know that's the weakest link!
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Old Dec 14, 2009, 7:18 PM   #2
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astroman-

That decision is really a personal judgment. However, is very easy to see that most of the new cameras are 10mp or 12mp, which is a big improvement. Camera today also generally have image stabilization which is a valuable feature. However, we are also seeing fewer cameras on the market today that feature optical viewfinders.

So it is your decision.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Dec 14, 2009, 7:21 PM   #3
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I would say going from that generation of p&s to the current generation will give you a measurable difference in image quality.
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Old Dec 15, 2009, 8:47 PM   #4
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Quote:
... twilight and constellation photos ...
That can be a tricky bit, as many of today's compacts are limited to a 15 sec shutter time, or less. Panasonic is a conspicuous exception, most of their compacts will go 60 sec. But for more serious control you will need a SLR-like ultracompact, which will be over $300 USD.

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Old Dec 24, 2009, 9:59 AM   #5
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Thanks for the responses so far! It's helpful. I realized today that our cameras are 7-10 years old! It's hard to believe that digicams have been around that long.

Yeah, the 15 second limit is an issue, although too long an exposure can produce noise probs.

Does the CDHK software fix work on any of the recent Canon point and shoots? That supposedly permits longer exposures, up to 65 seconds.

But, shy of that, are any of the new P & S's noticeably better at low light photography? Less noise with higher ISOs? That would help with twilight, constellations pictures.
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Old Dec 25, 2009, 11:43 PM   #6
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Here is a link to another thread for ideas -

http://forums.steves-digicams.com//showthread.php?t=163600&referrerid=110399

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Old Dec 26, 2009, 5:25 AM   #7
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Default What Camera Should I Buy ?

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Originally Posted by astroman007 View Post
I have a Canon A70 (3x optical zoom and 3 megapixels) and a Kodak DX7440 (4x optical, 4 megapixels).

I'm a very casual photographer (think holiday events, neighbor's dogs, and family trips). I also like taking twilight and constellation photos--and also bird pictures through a spotting scope or via remote control.

These are old cameras now and both have developed some LCD issues.

I'm toying with the idea of getting a new camera, and have been captivated by the new features that have come in the past several years (especially image stabilization).

So, I'm wondering if it would be worthwhile to upgrade!

Would there be a qualitative difference in my photos? I'm not a very good photographer and I know that's the weakest link!

Hi astroman007,
I assume you would still be looking for a compact camera as opposed to some chunky clunky DSLRs. For compact cameras, the first thing that I would suggest is to look for the lowest possible megapixel count. Contrary to what all the camera manufacturers would have all of us believe, going for the highest pixel count is definitely not going to give you the best picture quality. That is the biggest lie in the history of mankind. Most of not all of the compacts today have small sensors around 1/2.5inch or 0.4inch in diagonal size. For that size, 6MP is about the maximum that should be packed in. Beyond that, picture quality declines rapidly.

Alas, today, one cannot find anything that is less than 9MP (even then, these are disappearing). Probably 10MP is the least. Don't go for the 12MP.

Next criteria is the sensor size, or to be more precise, pixel density. Obviously 10MP on a 1/1.67inch sensor is going to be much better than 10MP on a 1/2.5inch sensor. Unfortunately, probably Panasonic Lumix LX3 is the only one that has that "low" a density.

Sony used to be clever in that respect 6 years ago. It used put 5MP into a 1/1.8inch sensor in the DSC V1 and that camera is still the very best of anything that any manufacturer has developed, in terms of picture sharpness, dynamic range and absence of noise. But later Sony succumbed to the megapixel cancer and simply cranked out generation after generation of crap - the megapixel count simply shot up from 5 to 6, to 7,8,9,10,12....while the sensor got reduced to 1/2.6inch.

Use these 2 criteria in your search. Other features can be taken for granted,ie., image stabilization, face detection,etc. For your habits, I believe you would not need more than 3X zoom.

Just my two cents,
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Old Dec 26, 2009, 5:31 AM   #8
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Default Low light photography

Quote:
Originally Posted by astroman007 View Post
Thanks for the responses so far! It's helpful. I realized today that our cameras are 7-10 years old! It's hard to believe that digicams have been around that long.

Yeah, the 15 second limit is an issue, although too long an exposure can produce noise probs.

Does the CDHK software fix work on any of the recent Canon point and shoots? That supposedly permits longer exposures, up to 65 seconds.

But, shy of that, are any of the new P & S's noticeably better at low light photography? Less noise with higher ISOs? That would help with twilight, constellations pictures.
yes, try Lumix LX3 or Fujifilm F200EXR (but need to set to Low Noise high S/N mode in EXR) - they are far better than any others
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Old Dec 26, 2009, 5:38 AM   #9
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Default optical viewfinders

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Originally Posted by mtclimber View Post
astroman-

That decision is really a personal judgment. However, is very easy to see that most of the new cameras are 10mp or 12mp, which is a big improvement. Camera today also generally have image stabilization which is a valuable feature. However, we are also seeing fewer cameras on the market today that feature optical viewfinders.

So it is your decision.

Sarah Joyce
IMHO, in this digital age, optical view finders are redundant and do not serve any real purpose otherwise than putting back some nostalgic appeal. It will soon go the way of dinosaurs. Ditto the reflex mirror in today's DLSR. In the days before digital, SLRs need the mirror in order to work. These days,...., more like an expensive appendage that serves to increase the costs and complexity.

So, Panasonic and Olympus are the really sensible people today. Their Gs, GHs, GF, PEN-1, PEN2.................these are the heralders of the new digital camera age. And a few more steps in going GREEN by eliminating not-so-useful pieces of hardware.

cheers,
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Old Dec 26, 2009, 5:46 AM   #10
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Default Picture Quality of compacts

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I would say going from that generation of p&s to the current generation will give you a measurable difference in image quality.
2005 was the watershed year and a sad one indeed for the development of digital photography. Pixel count took on a geometric progression and picture quality went down the drain. Picture quality peaked at 5MP with a 1/2.5inch sensor. Don't be taken in by wild claims of ISO3200 or even 6400 - those were achieved merely by adding a couple of zeroes to what was really achievable.

This is is queer facet of our history when our product quality went backwards through sheer folly.

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