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Best point and shoot

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  #11  
Old 02-27-2010, 09:42 PM
Quantum3 Quantum3 is offline
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Re: Best point and shoot

Pavel nailed it.

Will write here some kind of "must know before buying" thing.

The most important paramater to keep in mind when buying a camera is the noise (besides the inclusion of RAW format), not the bigger amount of megapixels, all the opposite. The less amount of sensor pixels, the less static (noise). This is not a paradigm, but when the sensor size was built to hold X number of pixels, surpassing that amount overwhelms the pixels capacity to hold the electric discharge of the photons when these touch the sensor pixels, producing much more noise than needed. In few words: more pixels = more noise. Then: the more pixels the more bigger the sensor should be in order to keep the pixels size enough big to hold enough data without the pixels getting overwhelmed by the photons discharge = less noise. So, never buy a camera with tons of megapixels inside of pretty small sensors. There is a new technology, I haven't seen yet, which covers the sensor with a kind of gel (some silicon stuff) which diminishes the static quite a lot, but haven't seen nothing with that technology yet.

Now, what's the advantage of having the less noise possible?

The advantage is that you get more tonal values, which means having more useful data to play with. For example, a good width of tonal values produce more softer transitions, specially good for gray scaled (BW) images.

Hope this help,

Mart
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  #12  
Old 02-28-2010, 12:58 AM
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Nasturtium Nasturtium is offline
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Re: Best point and shoot

I have a smaller version of the Panasonic and yeah, I have to set the ISO at max 400 or it's too noisy. But I love the quick presets and the wide lens. It's great for travel. Add one of those tiny tripods and you're in business

There is a learning curve switching from Canon to Panasonic-as the bells and whistles (auto bracket, changing from face recognition to different focus areas) are in different places but ultimately the Panasonic controls are easier to access and more logical - to me anyway.
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  #13  
Old 03-02-2010, 09:27 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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Re: Best point and shoot

i'd choose one from this page: http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/comp...age=1&remove=2

these are the point and shoot super-zooms or megazooms. the one thing you're going to miss most by not using the slr is telephoto. so, use a super-zoom. i think any one of these could be worn on the belt (in a proper case) and you'd always have it with you. you can have the best camera in the world, but if you dont have it with you... lost shots.

the super-zooms start at around 15x optical, though i always throw away those in side by side comparisons. i wouldnt get anything less than an 18x optical and there's now one with a 30x optical.

several of these do shoot in raw and all are 12 megapixels or above. ALL have manual focus. that is one thing you MUST have, for as philbach pointed out, the autofocus, especially on close-ups, sucks on all point and shoots. sorry, but they suck. it's quite hard to get that bee on the flower in focus with autofocus. so, that's a must for point and shoots. (trust me on this one. i've got dozens of wasted pics where the focus is just slightly off despite taking my time, being steady and all the rest)

one thing i do miss with point and shoots is that there's no manual zoom. i dont think any of them have it. the zooms on the compacts are electric. this wastes battery juice and is fairly inaccurate as the drives dont stop where you want them. there's always a little travel beyond where you remove your finger from the zoom trigger. this is a design flaw in all the point and shoots. i dont care if the lens collapses into the body. give me manual zoom for accuracy and save the battery!

RAW is not quite as important to me as some other things. yes, if you're going to do hdri get RAW, but with the sophistication of computer programs now, RAW has become a secondary issue with me. still, if you can get it, why not?

as for the noise issue, the folks have covered this pretty well already. i'll just add a note to this. if you like long shutter exposures, like at night and such, make sure you look at the minimum shutter times on those cameras. some are quite short and this may not be enough for night time shots. also, my little kodak does remarkably well at night, in the dark, no flash, just long exposures. i was quite surprised. so, +1 for kodak on this point.

frankly, i'd like to see cameras 'smartened' up again. right now, especially in the point and shoots, they've been dumbed down quite a bit. i like manual settings, not automatic. i'd like point and shoot that wasnt so much point and shoot but made you know how a camera works. what aperture setting, lighting, focus, zoom, good glass, good sensor and with a viewfinder. a lot of the lcd screens are unviewable in certain lighting situations.

i have yet to find the point and shoot that does all i'd like it to do. just a quick for instance, the new nikon offers time lapse capability. brilliant! but everyone else seems to have forgotten this wonderful photographic technique.

i'd also like to see shutter release cables brought back. i dont like using a timer for this. give me a manual cable that i can go 'click!' when i want!

lol. sorry, i'm writing a book again, arent i ok, maybe i'll start a camera wishlist thread
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  #14  
Old 03-02-2010, 09:56 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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Re: Best point and shoot

but here's my new favorite in the point and shoot super-zooms. it's not quite on the market yet, but coming in april, according to kodak. this puppy is HOT!

http://store.kodak.com/store/ekconsu...specifications

there's a LOT of bang for the buck there and i'm probably going to get this one!
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  #15  
Old 03-02-2010, 10:26 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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Re: Best point and shoot

well, i ordered it from the kodak store online! hehe, i'll hate the wait, but i think i'm going to love the camera!
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  #16  
Old 03-02-2010, 11:49 PM
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Nasturtium Nasturtium is offline
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Re: Best point and shoot

Craig,

Congratulations! I really appreciate how much research you put into choosing your camera. And I am looking forward to the thread where you put it through it's paces and tell us all about it.

- Nancy
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  #17  
Old 03-03-2010, 05:51 AM
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Michael 4c Michael 4c is offline
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Re: Best point and shoot

I have a G 9 and love it.Have you considered a G 11, I hear they are better with low light.
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  #18  
Old 03-03-2010, 07:26 PM
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bobmata bobmata is offline
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Re: Best point and shoot

Panasonic Lumix FZ38 has a built -in Leica lens. I Considered it to be a superzoom LX3. It can record HD with stereo audio while zooming or adjusting exposures manually.

Last edited by bobmata; 03-03-2010 at 07:27 PM. Reason: edit text
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  #19  
Old 03-03-2010, 10:45 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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Re: Best point and shoot

hi nancy,

yes, i'll most likely post a write-up on it once i get it in april. it's not going to ship till the 9th, so all i can do is drool for now

bobmata,

i looked at the panasonic fz18, fz28, and now the fz35(38) and i was VERY tempted. it's an 18x optical, isnt a dslr but does have interchangeable lenses, has a lens thread, which almost nobody else in this class has, shoots in raw, has manual focus, a good minimum shutter, and does the things which you stated. i almost went for it... until i saw the kodak z981
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  #20  
Old 04-02-2010, 10:22 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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Re: Best point and shoot

well, i got the kodak z981 today. i got two emails from kodak saying they were shipping earlier than the 9th and also gave me a tracking number and link on the UPS shipping site so i could follow where it was. arrived today a little after noon!

it's quite a bit bigger than my other little point and shoot, the kodak z885, but i think i'll still be able to rig something up on my belt. again, here's the link to the kodak site: http://store.kodak.com/store/ekconsu...ctID.169236500 .

i've already tried out the 26x optical zoom. all i can say is SWEET! ok, that's not all i can say it's the equivalent of a 676mm telephoto lens. and the megapixels are 14. i did a quick test comparison by shooting a cat laying in the grass a good 50 yards from me. at the 26x zoomed all the way in, the cat comes up almost full frame! and zoomed out i can barely see him in the grass.

the camera will shoot in RAW, but havent figured all that out yet. it does have a complete manual shoot mode for setting iso, shutter speed and f-stop. very slick and a handy little 'jog wheel' for setting each of those. most of the other buttons i'm somewhat familiar with already, review, menu setup and so on.

one particularly nice feature is that you dont have to use the 3" lcd screen. you can push another button on the body and use the electronic viewfinder. this was almost a must for me since i shoot a lot outdoors and those lcd's become almost useless in bright light.

it has a popup flash with 3 different modes to it.

and it has the standard wheel for setting those preset settings like 'outdoors', 'sports', 'closeup' and so on. plus, it can shoot video in, i think it's 1080 x 720. great for youtube and that sort of thing.

kodak has also added a 'share' button to make it easier to directly upload from the camera to sites like facebook and youtube. i'm not real crazy about that since i tend to edit everything first, but it could be quite handy for some.

it also has another little button that took me a while to figure out. it's a second shutter release button, but this one is positioned on the body of the camera for vertical shooting, you know, holding the camera on edge and shooting that way. there is actually a second shutter release button for shooting that way. also not a big seller for me, but some may appreciate it.

all in all i havent really put it through its paces yet. most likely i'll do that tomorrow out at the farm. ah, those geese are going to suddenly get closer so, more on this later
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