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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Feb 20, 2005, 10:29 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 12
Default

Hi guys, im looking for a new digital camera.

what i need is:
- not a TOO big a size (my current camera is a optio s4)
- takes daylight pictures easily with no noise
- able to take decent pics in night

what do i look for when buying a camera, when i bought the s4, all i looked at was megapixels....
lookign at camera specs and i see alot of stuff i aint got a clue about, can i get some help plz what specs are important when choosign a camera?

edmundli is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Feb 20, 2005, 10:35 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
pianoplayer88key's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 405
Default

the ratio of sensor size to megapixels is one of many.

For example, 5 megapixels on a 1/2.7" sensor would be noisier than 5 megapixels on a 2/3" sensor. Also 8 megapixels on a 2/3" sensor is noisier than 5 megapixels on a 2/3" sensor.

One recent exception to the "denser is worse" criteria is 7 megapixels on a 1/1.8" sensor - it seems to be cleaner than (or at least as clean as) 5 megapixels on the same 1/1.8" size sensor.

If you get an ultrazoom, you're stuck with a sensor of 1/2.5" or smaller.

If you really want good image quality, stick with large sensors, like 22.5x15.0mm (6 or 8 megapixels) or even 36x24mm (11, 14, or 16 megapixels). (a 2/3" sensor is 8.8x6.6mm for example).
pianoplayer88key is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 20, 2005, 11:03 AM   #3
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 12
Default

my pictures come out like this atm:
http://edli.liquidhost.biz/photos/mydesk.JPG

which is just poor tbh. any suggestions for somethign better?
noise just pisses me off!!!!
dont think i will need a camera over 5mp, as i will never use those xtra pixels...

so i how do i judge what would be a good ratio?
what is a ultra zoom?
any recommendations?

thanks :-)




edmundli is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 20, 2005, 11:38 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 838
Default

edmundli wrote:
Quote:
- not a TOO big a size (my current camera is a optio s4)
Pentax S4 is what I would call ultra-compact. My favourite ultra-compacts are the Sony SD300 and the Panasonic FX7. New models are being announced so check them out too (eg. Canon has SD400 and SD500 now).

If you go for something a bit bigger (what I would call 'compact'), you will generally get better features (like manual shutter/aperature controls, better flash etc) but the size is bigger and won't fit in your pocket.

Quote:
- takes daylight pictures easily with no noise
Nearly all cameras can take daylight pics without noise...

Quote:
- able to take decent pics in night
This is tough... very few cameras can take night pics without noise. I don't think you'll see much difference between the various ultra-compacts in this regard. The camera with the lowest noise is generally the camera with the largest sensor for a given amount of megapixels (as the poster above describes). So if you have a list of 3 cameras and all of them have the same megapixels, the one with the largest sensor will have less noise (I shouuld note that this depends on generation of technology and noise reduction within the camera too).

My recommendation is to shoot all short range night pics with the flash. This will result in overpowering the ambient light but that's the only way IMO. This also means that you should try to get a camera with a strong flash. For example, an ultra-compact like the Sony T1 is worse than say the Canon SD300 when it comes to flash.

Quote:
what do i look for when buying a camera, when i bought the s4, all i looked at was megapixels....
lookign at camera specs and i see alot of stuff i aint got a clue about, can i get some help plz what specs are important when choosign a camera?
The camera that you bought is actually pretty decent. I don't think you'll see THAT big of a difference with the modern cameras except for hte following (perhaps): faster focusing/time to take pics, better flash and red-eye reduction, larger LCD, lower cost for a given feature.

*I* think one should look for hte following when deciding on a camera (assuming that you already decided on size and cost):

* sensor size and megapixels: It's not easy to figure out the sensor size but if you read hte specs you'll find it. Usually see something like 1/2.5" or 1/1.8" or 2/3" or whatever. For a given amount of megapixels, the bigger the sensor, the lowe the noise. Sensor technology improves over time, so a newer sensor may be better than an older one, but roughly what I said stands (i.e. larger sensor for a given megapixel the better)

* optical lens (zoom): There are a couple of things you need to look for here. First of all, you need to figure out if the camera has the optical zoom (ignore digital zoom) that you want. The zoom is usually indicated in 35mm equivalent such as 38mm-380mm (10x zoom). The lowest number is the lens at wide-angle and the highest number is the lens at telephoto (max zoom). With ultra-compacts you really don't have a choice (you are stuck around 3x/4x zoom) but generally you would have choices if you went with a bigger camera....

* optics (wide angle): Although this is somewhat minor, you may also want to see if the wide-angle (min zoom) is what you want. Having a really low focal length means that more will fit into a picture. This is useful if you want to take pics in tight spaces (eg. indoors) or if you want to capture landscapes (eg. want to take as much of the horizon as possible). So a camera with 28mm wide-angle can fit more into the picture than another with say 38mm... I should note that the downside to having a high wide-angle is that your telephoto will be "closer". That is, if you start out at 28mm and if you zoom is 3x then you will "magnify less" than if you started out at 38mm and had 3x zoom. So this is a tradeoff. Most people prefer bigger wide-angle to higher telephoto because indoor pics are easier with it.

* optics (aperature): This is actually very important. You should look to see what the aperature is for the camera. This is usually marked on the lens and given in the specs. The aperature is labelled as something like F2.8:3.1 or F2.8-3.1 or whatever. These are the numbers that you see on many of the camera lenses. The first number (lower one) is the aperature at wide-angle (lowest zoom) and the highest number is the aperature at telephoto (max zoom). The lower the aperature ratio, the more light that is let it (this is good). So a camera with F2.0 is better than one at F4.8. Your Penatx goes from F2.6 (min zoom) to F4.8 (max zoom), which is pretty good at wide-angle but not so good at telephoto (but most cameras are like this: as you zoom, less light comes it and it is harder to take a good pic).

* Manual controls: This doesn't apply to ultra-compacts since they generally have no manual controls, but for larger cameras, you would want to see if they have manual controls that let you control the focus, shutter speed and aperature.

* LCD: For ultra-compacts, you want to check out the size of the LCD (nowadays it's around 2" diagonal) and the number of pixels contained in them. Given two LCDs of the same size, the one with more pixels will be sharper and look much better. The best LCDs are generally found on Sonys... For larger size cameras, you may want to also check to see if you are ok with the optical viewfinder (ultra-compacts generally don't have viewfinders or they are next to useless becaus the camera is too small).

* cost factors: There are some little things that you can look for (these are minor) to reduce costs. AA batteries tend to be cheaper and more convenient than proprietary ones... SD and Compact Flash is cheaper than MemoryStick or xD.

* speed/performance: You have to read reviews to figure this out but obviously you want the camera with fastest shooting times, startup times, etc...

So to sum up, I think the key things for a camera are the sensor/megapixels and the optics/lens. Nearly all manufacturers use the same sensors so there isn't much difference there. However, the optics differ greatly. Companies like Nikon, Fuji, Panasonic, Canon, Sony, etc have high quality lens compared to say a no-name brand--this is what seperates the no-name really cheap cameras from the Canon/Sony/whatever.

Hope that helps... :|
Sivaram Velauthapillai is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 20, 2005, 12:06 PM   #5
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 12
Default

i posted in a other thread asking how to take better pictures; you say the s4 is decent, but i cant get it to take half decent shots.
heres a example:
http://edli.liquidhost.biz/photos/mydesk.JPG
edmundli is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 20, 2005, 12:15 PM   #6
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 12
Default

if i woudl settle for a compact camera, soemthing larger than the tiny s4, any suggesttions?
edmundli is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 21, 2005, 12:54 AM   #7
KSV
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 248
Default

Look at Canon A-series - A75, A80, A85.
KSV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 21, 2005, 10:10 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 838
Default

The newly announced Panasonic LC1 and LC2 look like killer compacts--at least on paper... wait for reviews to come out I guess...
Sivaram Velauthapillai 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 1:08 PM.