Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > What Camera Should I Buy?

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Jan 11, 2005, 9:13 PM   #11
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

Ravenna wrote:
Quote:
Went to the shop today and say that they have most of the cameras that are listed under the 4 Megapixel list... (best cameras)... and now I am even more confused. Just now I am downloading all the reviews but I do feel a bit confused by all that information. One thing I was thinking as I wasskipping overthe reviews is that I would find it really helpful if there were also some drawbacks mentionned for each camera.
You'll find things like startup time, cycle time between photos, autofocus speed and realiability, image quality indoors/outdoors, viewfinder/LCD usability, etc., discussed in the review conclusion sections.

I'd pay attention to each model's specifications, too (noting things like flash range, which can be a problem on some smaller models). Most of the smaller models won't have the ability to use an external flash (unless you go with a slave flash). Many won't allow the use of external lens adapters, either (teleconverters, wide angle converter, etc.). As a general rule, the smaller the camera, the more compromises you'll be making.

Also, think about what print sizes you may want. If you're only going to use the camera for on screen viewing, resolution isn't a big deal. As far as prints, even a 3MP model can give you good looking prints at up to 8x10" (which is why I mentioned an inexpensive model like the A75 in one of my previous posts).

If you want better low light ability (i.e., photos without a flash or tripod indoors), then you'll want a model with a brighter lens that doesn't have a lot of noise as ISO speeds are increased. This rules out most models (which is why I suggested the used market), and even with a brighter lens, you may not be thrilled with the results, depending the lighting.

As far as the Canon Ixus 40 you asked about, this model is identical to the SD300 (and the Ixus 30 is the same as the SD200).
JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 14, 2005, 7:18 AM   #12
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 14
Default

Ooops...



I am ever so sorry Jim. Dear me: when I printed out your reviews I actually missed most of the part of the review!!! I thought the specs where the "end of the story"... When scanning through them I never noticed that there was MUCH more to come. So: simply ignore what I said about your reviews and assume the opposite.:-) You really made agreat effort there... I have read the parts that I had printed out over my "weekend" but I see now that I have LOTS more to read.



So I will go and do my "homework" first...



Regards, Ravenna


Ravenna is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 15, 2005, 2:25 PM   #13
isb
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1
Default

Hi Ravenna,

not really a hint on the camera you should buy, but to where: try http://www.toppreise.ch/depending on what you choose (dSLR or not) you can save some money... (Hm, well- as you're using SFR in your posts assuming you're from around here)

Cheers,

isb
isb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 18, 2005, 8:02 AM   #14
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 14
Default

Thanks for the tip isb,



yes I am in Switzerland (Basel actually)... I have already had a quick look around on that site. Looks very useful.



Jim (or anyone else who knows): Just wondered: they also have a Canon ixus i5 on offer in Media Markt: what name would that correspond to in your review???



Regards, Ravenna
Ravenna is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 18, 2005, 8:06 AM   #15
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

Ravenna wrote:
Quote:
Jim (or anyone else who knows): Just wondered: they also have a Canon ixus i5 on offer in Media Markt: what name would that correspond to in your review???
The Canon Ixus i5 is the same camera as the Canon Powershot SD20. It's a subcompact model with no optical zoom (fixed focal length lens that is equivalent to 39mm on a 35mm camera) and a 5MP CCD. Note that in addition to no optical zoom, the flash is relatively weak (2M on Auto ISO). This is one of thetradeoffs for a camera this small. ;-)

Canon Powershot SD20 Review







JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 18, 2005, 7:17 PM   #16
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 14
Default

Thanks Jim, had a look at your review for the Ixus I5 and that is not really what I want.



I think I have pretty much made up my mind but I am still dithering between the Nikon Coolpix 5200 and the Sony Cybershot DSC P93. As far as I understand these things I have the feeling that are both performing fairly well. What surprised me a bit was that you listed the Nikon on the best cameras list but somehow sounded more enthusiastic about the P93. I like about the two of them that I could use them underwater with a casing if I want to. About the Sony I like that I could swap lenses if need be but going by photos on a site which you gave as a review link I had the feeling that the photos with the Sony have a "brownish tinge" to them? Or am I wrong. I also like the option to go straight away for a black and white option which it seems you can't use with the Nikon. But then that is also quite easy to achieve later on.

About the Nikon I like the crisper looking pics (as far as I could tell from the photos I saw) and I had the feeling that the colours are lusher??? And that "white is white on the pics" The LCD seems to be better.

I must say, being a simple girl I really like the idea of manual controls. From what I gather with the Nikon I can focus myself but not manually set any other settings and with the Sony I can manually set shutter speed and aperture but not the focus, is that right???

Tomorrow or the day after tomorrow I want to go and have another look at the cameras in the shop but just wondered whether you had any hints regarding the two cameras to help me with the choice/correct any mistunderandings on my part???

Thank you very much, Ravenna
Ravenna is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 18, 2005, 8:59 PM   #17
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

Ravenna wrote:
Quote:
I think I have pretty much made up my mind but I am still dithering between the Nikon Coolpix 5200 and the Sony Cybershot DSC P93. As far as I understand these things I have the feeling that are both performing fairly well. What surprised me a bit was that you listed the Nikon on the best cameras list but somehow sounded more enthusiastic about the P93.
I'm only a forum moderator, so I have nothing to do with the reviews, and which cameras are selected for the best camera's list.

Sony makes a very similar model to the DSC-P93 already. It's their DSC-P100 (which is on the list under subcompacts). These two cameras are both smaller 5MP models, but the P100 has more scene modes, a slightly larger LCD, slightly smaller dimensions, Sony's Infolithium Battery System, Carl Zeiss designed lens. So, he probably thought it deserved to be on the list more (speculation on my part).

He also has the DSC-P100 replacement in the list (the new DSC-P150). Of course, the DSC-P150 is being replaced by the new DSC-P200. There are always new models coming out. ;-)

Quote:
I like about the two of them that I could use them underwater with a casing if I want to. About the Sony I like that I could swap lenses if need be but going by photos on a site which you gave as a review link I had the feeling that the photos with the Sony have a "brownish tinge" to them?
Well, you're not really "swapping" lenses. They do make some add on converter lenses (teleconverters, wide angle conversion lens). But, these are designed to be used on top of the built in lens, after you mount a lens adapter.

I'm not sure what site you're referring to. I assume you mean the link to Dave Etchells review at imaging-resource that was the "Second Opinion" link at the end of the review here. I haven't read through Dave's review on this camera (at least not lately). ;-)

I'd have to see the photos you are referring to. Lighting has a big impact on color. A Digital Camera has a function known as White Balance. With most models, you can let the camera figure out the best setting by leaving White Balance in Auto. Or, you can select a preset for Incandescent, Flourescent, Sunny, etc. Each type of light has a different color temperature, and this can impact the color of your photos tremendously. Most models do a pretty good job outdoors. But, most don't do as well in other light types -- even when using presets.

So, better cameras have the ability to set white balance for the lighting conditions you are in via a custom setting -- typically using a white card. The subcompact Sony like you're looking at doesn't have a custom option. The much better DSC-V1 does. Again, that's one of the tradeoffs of the subcompact cameras (they don't offer as much control/customization).

If you're talking about a flash photo, that's something else, too.... Even with custom white balance, it can be difficult to get colors right. That's because the custom white balance is not taking flash into consideration when measuring the light from a white card. So, if you are using a slower shutter speed with flash indoors, you can sometimes get a warm cast from the incadescent light (since it's at a different color temperature compared to the flash).

Quote:
I also like the option to go straight away for a black and white option which it seems you can't use with the Nikon. But then that is also quite easy to achieve later on.
I would advise always using color, even if a camera has a B&W mode. That way, you can decide which way to use it later, since it's easy to convert from color to B&W.

Quote:
About the Nikon I like the crisper looking pics (as far as I could tell from the photos I saw) and I had the feeling that the colours are lusher??? And that "white is white on the pics" The LCD seems to be better.
You'll need to decide which one looks better to you. None of the smaller cameras have particularly accurate color. Each manufacturer is going to have a little bit different way of processing the images, to try and make them as pleasing as possible to their buyers.

That usually means some colors are saturated more than others, etc. -- which most users think looks better than the more subdued colors you have in real life. ;-) Some models also sharpen the photosmore in camera. But, most models have some adjustments for the way the images are being processed, so you can fine tune them more to your taste. You can always use an image editor to tweak them later, too.

Quote:
I must say, being a simple girl I really like the idea of manual controls. From what I gather with the Nikon I can focus myself but not manually set any other settings and with the Sony I can manually set shutter speed and aperture but not the focus, is that right???
Again, the subcompact models really don't give you much control. A model like the Sony DSC-P93 does have a manual mode, but it's severely lacking. There is no aperture or shutter priority, only full manual exposure. Even it's of very limited value, with only 2 real aperture choices (with the values changing depending on focal length). You must select one of the two available apertures, as well as the shutter speed. You'll probably find it more trouble than it's worth in most conditions. As for manual focus, it does have some presets .5m, 1m, etc.

You need to go to the next models up in the Sony line to get more control (DSC-V1, DSC-V3). These have a custom white balance you can use, aperture prority (with finer control of aperture), shutter priority, full manual exposure, hot shoe for external flash, etc.). You're not going to find this level of control in the smaller subcompact models.

You'll need to decide what is best for you.I was steering you towards one of the less expensive models like a 3MP Canon A75 (which would be fine for 8x10" prints, less expensive, and more manual control than you have in the models you're looking at). I guess in Europe, you use the "A" sizes, so I'd probably go with something like this if you're not planning to print at anything larger than A4.

Or, if you want to be able to take existing light photos without a flash, perhaps one of the used models I mentioned earlier to keep costs down.

None of the current models we're discussing would really be good enough for existing light photos without a flash or tripod. So, unless you're planning to print at larger sizes, you may want to save a little money. Chances are, a 3MP model will give you just as good or better prints at sizes most people use, compared to the more expensive 5MP models. ;-)

Each user will have their own likes and dislikes about a given model. I'd try them out in a store, and see which model you're more comfortable with.

As a general rule, the larger cameras give you a bit more features/functionality (manual modes, etc.). If you like taking photos at family gatherings, etc., you may also want to consider a model that can use an external flash (since the range of the built in flash in most models is very limited, and redeye with a built in flash can also be a problem). But, these are generally a little more expensive compared to the smaller cameras, too.

Basically, there is no one perfect camera, and the smaller you go, the more you usually give up. But, the convenienceof a smaller model can be nice, too -- since many users tend to leave larger cameras at home. For example, I have a pocketable camera that I take with me everywhere in a pocket, so I take more photos that way.




JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 19, 2005, 7:55 PM   #18
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 14
Default

JimC wrote:
Quote:
I'm only a forum moderator, so I have nothing to do with the reviews, and which cameras are selected for the best camera's list.

ONLY??? Whateveer your position you really seem toknow your cameras... :-)
Quote:
Sony makes a very similar model to the DSC-P93 already. It's their DSC-P100 (which is on the list under subcompacts). These two cameras are both smaller 5MP models, but the P100 has more scene modes, a slightly larger LCD, slightly smaller dimensions, Sony's Infolithium Battery System, Carl Zeiss designed lens. So, he probably thought it deserved to be on the list more (speculation on my part).

He also has the DSC-P100 replacement in the list (the new DSC-P150). Of course, the DSC-P150 is being replaced by the new DSC-P200. There are always new models coming out. ;-)

Are you trying to say that you feel those new models would be much better to use than the older one or are they "just" newer???

Quote:
I'd have to see the photos you are referring to.
The site is here: http://www.imaging-resource.com/IMCOMP/COMPS01.HTMyou have to put in the names of the two cameras. I liked that the pics seemed fairly standardized.

Quote:
Chances are, a 3MP model will give you just as good or better prints at sizes most people use, compared to the more expensive 5MP models. ;-)
So do you feel the 3MP Canon A75 is superior to the ones I was looking at picture-wise or were you thinking more about the panasonic cameras you recommeded ???(which also look very tempting with the great zoom they have and the leica lens and it does seem to have more manual controls. Though from what you said that I something I won't keep as a priority... still have my SLR for that) They just looked a tad bulky though I have't seen them in real life yet and I quite like the idea of having a camera that I could stick into a container for underwater photography...

The reason I started looking at the 5MP models is that a) I thought that I acutally might want to use a 5MPas I was considering taking photos, "playing" with them and using them to make pics in a book for my niece. This means that I might need more than DIN A4 or that I might want to blow up details. I don't know how much I would use it but I just felt that I would kick myself if I could have got a good camera which can do that for the price of one that can't and didn't get it.The other reason was that the Nikon 5200 with 5MP is just as expensive as the Canon Powershot 89 which just had 4MP but was also "tempting"...

The reason I haven't been looking at the used models is simply that I want the camera for this weekend if possible as I start my bonsai course and I thought it would be nice if I could take some pics to keep track of the pruning process etc...

Well, I guess I will have to try to finally make up my mind tomorrow... will be interesting to see whether I manage... :-)

Regards, Ravenna
Ravenna is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 20, 2005, 7:26 AM   #19
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

Ravenna wrote:
Quote:
Are you trying to say that you feel those new models would be much better to use than the older one or are they "just" newer???


I was only speculatingas to why some models were in theBest Cameras Listversus others. This is an evolving list. So, what Steve feels offers the best value one week, may not be the same for the next week, as newer models come out. Prices vary a lot between different areas. So, you'll need to decide what gives you the most for you money and shooting requirements.

Quote:
The site is here: http://www.imaging-resource.com/IMCOMP/COMPS01.HTMyou have to put in the names of the two cameras. I liked that the pics seemed fairly standardized.

If you read Dave's comments on his photos in the reviews, thecolor cast you're seeing is from incandescent lighting. Most models don't do very well in this lighting, even using the Incadescent White Balance preset. That's what I was explaining to you in my previouspost. Some of the models you're looking at don't have a custom white balance feature. This type of feature allows youto set the white balanceto thecolor temperature of the lighting you are shooting in (bytaking a photo of a white card in the same light you'll be shooting in).

See the page where Dave explainsthese photos here. The photos with a cast were taken at slower shutter speeds (using a tripod). This means that incadescent (tungsten) lighting was contributing more to the exposure, compared to using a flash alone.

http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/P93/P93PICS.HTM



Quote:
So do you feel the 3MP Canon A75 is superior to the ones I was looking at picture-wise or were you thinking more about the panasonic cameras you recommeded ???(which also look very tempting with the great zoom they have and the leica lens and it does seem to have more manual controls. Though from what you said that I something I won't keep as a priority... still have my SLR for that)
It depends on what you're going to be shooting, and in what conditions. Imentioned a model like the A75 since it's less expensive, and gives you more control compared to the Sony models you're looking at (custom white balance feature, aperture priority, shutter priority, etc.).

The Panasonic models are very good cameras, with lenses that are quite sharp. For example, the DMC-FZ3 can resolve more detail on a resolution chart compared to some of the 4MP "Ultra Zoom" models.

Quote:
The reason I started looking at the 5MP models is that a) I thought that I acutally might want to use a 5MPas I was considering taking photos, "playing" with them and using them to make pics in a book for my niece. This means that I might need more than DIN A4 or that I might want to blow up details. I don't know how much I would use it but I just felt that I would kick myself if I could have got a good camera which can do that for the price of one that can't and didn't get it.The other reason was that the Nikon 5200 with 5MP is just as expensive as the Canon Powershot 89 which just had 4MP but was also "tempting"...
You'll need to decide how much resolution you really need. Each model will have strengths and weaknesses. I assume you mean the Powershot A80 or A85 in the 4MP category. These are similar but different models. The A80 would be my choice between these two, because it's 4MP 1/1.8" CCD Sensor is less dense (even though the A85 is newer with more features).

Quote:
The reason I haven't been looking at the used models is simply that I want the camera for this weekend if possible as I start my bonsai course and I thought it would be nice if I could take some pics to keep track of the pruning process etc...
My younger brother (in his 40's now), owns and operates a Nursery (Harry's Greenhouse in Cottageville, SC). One of his hobbies is Bonzai. He's the only one with a "green thumb" inour family. They would probably die under my care. :-)

Quote:
Well, I guess I will have to try to finally make up my mind tomorrow... will be interesting to see whether I manage...
Good Luck with your decision. No one camera is perfect for all conditions, and each user will have different requirements and preferences. So, you have to make tradeoffs -- deciding what features are more important to you.

JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 20, 2005, 1:10 PM   #20
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 14
Default

Dear Jim,



just wanted to let you know the outcome of my "shopping-spree" today. In the end I did decide to get the Nikon Coolpix 5200 :|after all. I had another look at the other cameras but the Canon A75 was hardly any cheaper and the Canon A85 was just as expensive as the Nikon. The Panasonic FZ3 which they had was nearly twice as expensive as the Nikon and so way past what I wanted to spend on a digital camera.

The only other option would have been a Konica Minolta which may even have been better (6.3 Megapixels) and according to the salesman more manual controls and the possibility adapt the white balance manually. Still I took the Nikon partially because the other one doesn't have the possibility of getting a case for underwater photos and partially--- sheer exhaustion...:-)



Good know that your brother has a nursery... any chance of a special offer???? :-)Well, thank you very much for your help with this. I was glad to be able to badger someone with all those questions and I am now all set for my bonsai-weekend.



Kind regards, Ravenna
Ravenna is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 3:50 PM.