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Old Jul 2, 2011, 11:28 PM   #1
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Default Which OLDER Point-and-shoot should i buy?

After working in an electronics store for years, with hands on experience with old and new cameras ranging from $200-1K. I got to say the older cameras with lower MP and better sensors are MUCH better. The newer higher MP/crap sensor cameras always adds this disgusting distortion/noise/warping to every pic where as the older ones do not.


what older camera would you recommend with a good sensor and preferably with HD Video as well, for under $180? i don't mind ebaying and getting used/refurb.

I don't need a lot of zoom or Mega pixels, usually just taking pics of family, not much out door use. Just want good clear facial/portrait shots, and taking videos. Thanks for any recommendations!

Last edited by mudkip; Jul 3, 2011 at 12:15 AM.
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Old Jul 2, 2011, 11:46 PM   #2
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The CCD sensors used today aren't bad per say, but agreed that they have too many MP crammed on there which results in excessive noise. Any distortion is the result of the lens and not the sensor and the reason we see more of that now is b/c they are cramming crazy zooms into tiny cams.

Anyway, see if you can find the FujiF30. The Canon A series with similarly sized sensors would be good also (think that was early 2000s w/ the larger sensor). Also check out the Canon SD870 - still have mine and it's still a great cam (though my LCD is busted). It has the smaller 1/2.3" sensor but still takes good pics.

For current models, S95, LX5, etc. are all excellent choices but way outside your budget. Unfortunately, they seem to be the only ones left that didn't join the MP battle.
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Old Jul 3, 2011, 12:13 AM   #3
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The CCD sensors used today aren't bad per say, but agreed that they have too many MP crammed on there which results in excessive noise. Any distortion is the result of the lens and not the sensor and the reason we see more of that now is b/c they are cramming crazy zooms into tiny cams.

Anyway, see if you can find the FujiF30. The Canon A series with similarly sized sensors would be good also (think that was early 2000s w/ the larger sensor). Also check out the Canon SD870 - still have mine and it's still a great cam (though my LCD is busted). It has the smaller 1/2.3" sensor but still takes good pics.

For current models, S95, LX5, etc. are all excellent choices but way outside your budget. Unfortunately, they seem to be the only ones left that didn't join the MP battle.
Thanks i'm considering the Canon SD870 as you mention, the FujiF30 is way too much $.

any more recommendations?
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Old Jul 3, 2011, 3:58 AM   #4
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Canon A650IS has a 1/1.7" sensor.

If you want HD video btw, you're mostly looking at newer models with smaller sensors, more MP, and thus the increase in noise you're trying to avoid.
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Old Jul 4, 2011, 4:54 PM   #5
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Canon A650IS has a 1/1.7" sensor.

If you want HD video btw, you're mostly looking at newer models with smaller sensors, more MP, and thus the increase in noise you're trying to avoid.
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Old Jul 5, 2011, 3:47 PM   #6
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You are laboring under a misapprehension. The older cameras are not better if you down-res the higher resolution modern sensors.
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Old Jul 6, 2011, 5:59 PM   #7
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I love my "old" point and shoot, which is the Canon SD790IS. It takes wonderful pictures and the features are great!
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Old Jul 7, 2011, 1:24 AM   #8
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You are laboring under a misapprehension. The older cameras are not better if you down-res the higher resolution modern sensors.
but isnt it true that older cameras used to take better pictures in low light (without flash) compare to the new megazoom and megapixel camera? or i am misinformed?
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Old Jul 7, 2011, 2:55 AM   #9
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It is not true in general terms. Sensors have in general been improving slightly in terms of all of their capabilities.

However, people have become accustomed to viewing images at 100% magnification when judging noise. For a sensor of a given size, when resolution is increased, viewing at 100% is effectively increasing the magnification.

If a modern high-rez sensor's images are down-scaled to the resolution of the older sensors, then usually the "extra" noise disappears.

This is not to say that at any given level of technology it's not possible to go too far. Clearly it is, and there may be an optimum pixel size beyond which it is best not to venture. However most of the time the camera manufacturers are very conscious of this, and it is rare that they overshoot by much if at all.

There are two articles on DXOMark worth reading on this subject:

http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/en/...s-offset-noise!

http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/en/...tion-over-time

The latter article in particular shows that over the last few years, whilst resolution has doubled on average, Signal-to-Noise-Ratio has actually decreased slightly. Now their testing concentrates on DSLR cameras, but I believe the picture to be broadly similar with smaller sensor cameras.

If you compare an 8x12 print with one of the older cameras with a print of the same size from a newer camera, you will generally find a significant improvement in resolution, but no significant deterioration in noise.

However, it is also certainly the case that there is a trade-off between resolution and noise, and that many manufacturers are realising that instead of higher resolution and the same amount of noise, many people would prefer the resolution remain fixed and noise characteristics be improved. This has been evident in the fact that some of the latest generation of smaller sensor cameras aimed at the top end of the market (like the Canon G series for example) have reversed out previous resolution increases in order to make significant gains in noise - because the market was telling them that 10Mp or so is enough for most requirements and people like taking photos in the dark.

This is not to say that it may not be possible to take camera X of 2008 and compare it to camera Y of 2011 and find that X had better noise control. I'm sure there are such cases. It is just not true in general terms.
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Old Jul 7, 2011, 5:23 AM   #10
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It is not true in general terms. Sensors have in general been improving slightly.....................
thanks for a good explanation peripatetic... but one more thing, what if we were to limit the budget <180$ as the op asked for. i dont know if there is any camera released in last 2 year under 180$ which can perform good in lowlight. sure there are no older camera with mrp of 180$ that can produce good result in lowlight, but some good deals can be found in second hand cam market.
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