Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: Does ANYTHING Out There Fit This Pretty Tight Bill?

  1. #1

    Does ANYTHING Out There Fit This Pretty Tight Bill?


    Have been shooting for many, many years; started with a Minolta SRT-101 when dinosaurs roamed the earth.
    I currently use an aging Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28, whose best features are its 18x optical zoom and image stabilization. It's not a bad camera, BUT as I get more and more into 'fine-art photography' I am seeing its limitations. First, I CANNOT get a narrow depth-of-field no matter how large my aperture. Second, it has a 1/2.33" CCD Sensor, which literally becomes useless in a less-than-bright room.

    YES, YES, ...GO DSLR, eh! PROBLEM IS, I HAVE A PHYSICAL HANDICAP WHICH MAKES HOLDING EVEN MY WIFE'S CANON T2i FOR A PROTRACTED TIME DIFFICULT...AND AS FOR CHANGING LENSES, ... WELL, AS WE YANKS HERE IN NYC SAY, 'FUHGEDDABOUTDIT'!

    So the camera for which I am looking must:
    1) weigh 16 - 18 ounces (453.6 - 520.3 g) or so
    2) HAVE A REAL VIEWFINDER (EVF okay)
    3) Have a SENSOR THAT CAN WORK IN DIM LIGHT WITHOUT BUMPING ISO UP TO 6k...an APS-C would be nice
    4)Have decent image stabilization AND a really good optical zoom (18x minimum)
    5) ALLOW ME TO ADJUST DEPTH OF FIELD AND EVEN (gasp!) TO PREVIEW DEPTH OF FIELD SHOULD I CHOOSE

    I've considered (and basically rejected) the Nikon Coolpix P500 and the Panasonic DMC-FZ100 BECAUSE THEIR SENSORS ARE STILL 1/2.33"...ALTHOUGH THE NIKON'S IS A CMOS SENSOR...WOULD THAT BE AN IMPROVEMENT??

    I've been anticipating the new Panasonic G3...but am willing to bet its sensor will still be small.

    SO, OPEN TO SUGGESTIONS. Oh, yeah...would like to stay around $600-$800 USD.

    Thanks to anyone who cares to answer!

    ta

  2. #2
    rpcrowe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Southern California, USA
    Posts
    12,984
    Real Name
    Richard

    Re: Does ANYTHING Out There Fit This Pretty Tight Bill?

    I am thinking that a bridge camera might fit your needs...

    I have not used a bridge camera but, I would look at the Canon S5 IS ( http://www.amazon.com/Canon-PowerSho...8624871&sr=8-1 ) if I wanted one.

    It weighs less than a pound and seems to have the bells and whistles you are needing (it has a 12x zoom, not 18X - 18x might be a bit hard to find) and the price doesn't seem at all bad. Additionally, it gets pretty high marks on the Amazon reviews.

    BTW: I don't know about your physical needs but, here is a wrist strap that might make it easier for some photographers to hold the camera:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Pro-Camera-Hand-...item3eedcc9407

    I have arthritis but, luckily it has not attacked my wrists (YET!). If I had problems holding a camera, I would seriously consider trying one of these straps.
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 21st June 2011 at 03:20 AM.

  3. #3
    jiro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Manila, Philippines
    Posts
    3,804
    Real Name
    Willie or Jiro is fine by me.

    Re: Does ANYTHING Out There Fit This Pretty Tight Bill?

    I don't have this camera with me but have read more than a handful 5 star praises for its speed and versatility: the Canon power shot S95 premium compact camera. If you want to extend your budget further, I would definitely recommend the new Fuji X100 (although this one does not have a zoom lens to it). Even professional photographers are flabbergasted as to how amazing this small camera performs, not to mention its retro-styling!

  4. #4
    Black Pearl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Whitburn, Sunderland
    Posts
    2,293
    Real Name
    Robin

    Re: Does ANYTHING Out There Fit This Pretty Tight Bill?

    You've got a Bridge Camera so another one isn't going to help.

    You need to be looking at a Compact System Camera. Don't worry about an EVF they aren't important these days just adding bulk and weight.

    Take a look at the Sony NEX5 - large sensor, very small, fast, great quality and with the twin lens kit you get their 16mm pancake which is awesome, you'll get your tiny depth of field to. If you're into 'tech' then the Sony does Sweep Panorama, 3D and with an adapter you can use their Alpha lenses so you can expand the system should you wish.

    Or

    How about the Olympus PEN EPL1. Again it has a much larger sensor than a bridge camera so the quality and low light performance is better, plus you'll get your narrow DoF. It's light, has a good range of lenses available including large aperture ones.....all the panasonic 4/3 lenses fit as the two brands designed the system together.....ooo....it's cool too.

    Or

    Last but not least there is the Samsung NX100. All of the above plus their brilliant i-function button on the lens. Basically the focus ring doubles as a control dial with the function being selected by pushing the button. It has a AMOLED screen which is simply jaw-dropping in quality.

    If you have to have an EVF then I'd go with the Samsung NX11. Looks like a DSLR, feels like a DSLR but is tiny and light by comparison. The back screen is the same AMOLED one the NX100 has and it has the same i-function.


    All are great cameras, all have fantastic quality, all fit your budget. You're going to loose out on high zoom - keep your Panasonic for that as small DoF and low light performance are less of an issue in these situations - but the rest of the capabilities will blow you away. The Olympus and Samsung handle quite similarly where as the Sony is a bit different and might feel odd at first, try it though, it might just win your heart.
    Last edited by Black Pearl; 21st June 2011 at 06:23 AM.

  5. #5
    Snarkbyte's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Tucson, AZ USA
    Posts
    468
    Real Name
    Al

    Re: Does ANYTHING Out There Fit This Pretty Tight Bill?

    It looks like the killer requirement on your list is #3: a larger sensor for better low-light sensitivity. All the major manufacturers (Nikon, Canon, Panasonic, Pentax, Leica, etc...) have models that fit your other requirements, but they all have 1/2.3" sensors. On the other hand, there are bridge cameras like the Canon G12 that have larger sensors, but fail requirement #4 for the minimum optical zoom. I've looked at the test images for "super-zoom" cameras, and frankly, the image quality of the super-zooms at the extremes of their focal length ranges is somewhat lacking (I consider anything over 10x optical power to qualify as "super-zoom"). Making a lens with good image quality throughout that kind of range is very difficult at any price, so it's really no surprise that compact super-zooms fall short in this respect. I suspect you will have to choose between requirement #3 and requirement #4.

    If you choose to keep requirement #4 for the higher optical zoom, consider available apertures through the full range of focal length, and you will need some PP software that can handle the noise at ISO 1600, as well as correct some of the image problems at extreme minimum and maximum focal lengths (CA is typically an obvious problem at these limits).

    If you opt to keep requirement #3 and sacrifice the optical super-zoom, you will get better images, better low-light performance with the larger sensors, and the need for correcting problems in PP is considerably reduced. Some manufacturers have optional focal length extenders for the non-super-zoom bridge cameras, but if you have difficulty with changing lenses on a DSLR, I doubt these would be of much use, and the extenders are generally 2x or less, which still may not be enough to meet the 18x requirement (apparently there are also problems fitting filters on some of the extenders).

    In case you haven't guessed yet, my own personal prejudice would be to sacrifice the super-zoom in favor of higher quality images. Yes, you will miss some shots, but the shots you do get will be better, and require less correction in post-processing (with the inevitable loss of sharpness and detail, at least to some extent), and I'm guessing you would be disappointed in the quality of the extreme focal length shots from a super-zoom, anyway (even after PP). Obviously, you know your requirements, interests, and limitations better than I do, but I would start looking at the available trade-offs, because I doubt a camera that meets both #3 and #4 will be appearing soon. Good luck with whatever you decide

  6. #6
    rob marshall

    Re: Does ANYTHING Out There Fit This Pretty Tight Bill?

    I have a Panasonic G1, and I'm constantly amazed at how good the shots are from it. The new G3 is even smaller and lighter, and has more MP. EVF works really well on these cameras. Weight is 326g for the camera body (lenses extra). There is DOF preview. The sensor is almost the size of an APS-C sensor and works well in low light. It's a very sexy camera - I've had more people stop and ask me about it than I have for my Canon 5D. It's a joy to use.

    http://www.dpreview.com/products/pan...anasonic_dmcg3

    What more do you want?

  7. #7
    hoddo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Yorkshire
    Posts
    22
    Real Name
    Paul

    Re: Does ANYTHING Out There Fit This Pretty Tight Bill?

    The G3 that you mention will weigh in at Approx. 544 g (19.2 oz) according to the DPReview website. Given that this is a camera you'd consider then I'm going to suggest a similar weight camera that more than matches your needs and with weight similar to the G3.

    Have a look at the Nikon D5100. According to the following review, http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond5100/ , the sensor is the same as the D7000 that performs great at high iso. The only negative may be that it's slightly more than your budget but you do say 'would like' which I took to mean for the right camera you'd stretch a little further.

  8. #8

    Re: Does ANYTHING Out There Fit This Pretty Tight Bill?

    "Have a SENSOR THAT CAN WORK IN DIM LIGHT WITHOUT BUMPING ISO UP TO 6k...an APS-C would be nice"

    Huh? ISO is one of the 3 parameters that determine the exposure of a given image. Were you under the impression that for a given lighting situation, 2 cameras with the same ISO, aperture and shutter speed setting will produce different exposures? This is not the case, well, at least not in an idealised situation.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    South Coast, UK
    Posts
    405
    Real Name
    Nick

    Re: Does ANYTHING Out There Fit This Pretty Tight Bill?

    Try taking a look at this:-
    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/re...1_review.shtml
    With the add on evf it may offer a good compromise for you.
    HTH

    Regards,

    Nick.

  10. #10
    rpcrowe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Southern California, USA
    Posts
    12,984
    Real Name
    Richard

    I will not have a camera which doesn't have eye level viewing capability

    Regarding the need or lack of need for EVF... Using an eye level viewfinder or composing on the camera LCD is a personal choice.

    I will not have a camera which doesn't have eye level viewfinder capability. I use that for the vast majority of my shoooting. I absolutely HATE using the LCD for composing my shots. Even when I am FORCED to use the darn thing, as in when I am shooting video with my 7D; I will use a Hoodman Viewer which essentially converts the LCD into an eye level viewfinder. It's a PITA to use but, at least I don't have to view the shot on the LCD. Even when using a stabilizer which can make use of an articulating LCD, I would find the DSLR LCD too small with which to comfortable work.

    There are times, very few times, that I will use the LCD as my viewfinder but, I could be absolutely happy using a camera which doesn't have live view. My wife has a little FLIP video camera which doesn't have an eye level viewfinder. I really dislike using it for that reason.I have jury rigged the Hoodman Viewer (which is darn near the size of the FLIP) so I can use the camera with eye level viewing.

    Additionally, using an accessory EVF like those that are sold (at enormous prices for some of them) is to me like using the accessory turn signal devices which were sold in the 1940's and 1950's for cars without factory equipped integral turn signals. Maybe better than nothing but a darn site leass handy than an built in device for something that I would use all the time.

    If I were doing a lot of video work with a DSLR, especially if I were using a Steadi-Cam type of device, I would use an accessory monitor like the professional Steadi-Cam I used with Arriflex 16mm motion picture cameras.
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 21st June 2011 at 02:12 PM.

  11. #11

    Re: Does ANYTHING Out There Fit This Pretty Tight Bill?

    THANK YOU! I will copy-and-save your answer and use it to make a decision.
    This was my first query on the site; I am impressed by the level of quality in the replies!
    Again, thanks!

  12. #12
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Windsor, Berks, UK
    Posts
    16,232
    Real Name
    Dave Humphries :)

    Re: Does ANYTHING Out There Fit This Pretty Tight Bill?

    Quote Originally Posted by UpperWestSider View Post
    THANK YOU! I will copy-and-save your answer and use it to make a decision.
    This was my first query on the site; I am impressed by the level of quality in the replies!
    Again, thanks!
    Hi there,

    Good, hopefully you'll come back for more

    Could you do us a favour, we prefer to work on first name terms - could you edit your profile and insert a first name into the Real Name field please? Adding your Location helps too, if we need to talk money, it may make the currency discussion more relevant to you. I might guess at US, as you talk of "ounces" in the first post

    Welcome to the CiC forums from ....

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •