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Thread: Point 'n Shoot Recommendations

  1. #1
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Point 'n Shoot Recommendations

    Hi, I'm thinking about getting a decent P&S for those times when I need quick access to a camera or my DSLR is not handy. The criteria I "think" would be valuable is:
    1. Flat enought to fit in a shirt pocket or clip to a belt like a cell phone. I have a Sony DSC-H1 (12X zoom) but it won't fit in a pocket.
    2. Shoots RAW.
    3. Has a wide zoom range.
    4. A good 'all around' camera to address the unexpected opportunities.
    The problem is getting the first three in the same camera. The few pocket sized cameras I've seen that shoot RAW usually have a fairly narrow zoom. If I need to sacrifice, what works best in your experience, RAW and crop or JPG and zoom? Which camera would you recommended and why?
    Thank you for considering this issue.

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    Re: Point 'n Shoot Recommendations

    You need to examine in what sort of situation you expect to use this camera. As you notice, it is to some extent a tradeoff between reach in terms of zoom length vs. reach in terms of low/difficult light situations, where RAW makes the biggest difference.

    I thought I needed a wide-angle zoom lens for my Nikon d5000, until I examined the EXIF data of my existing shots, and realized that I never touched the 18mm low end of my "standard" 18-105 zoom, but often pushed against the upper 105 mm limit..

    That said, I am very happy with my Canon s95 "quick access" camera, and take it anywhere I go..

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    Re: Point 'n Shoot Recommendations

    I don't have much to add other than I am looking to buy a new point and shoot and agree with Lennart and plan to buy a Canon S95 as well. I have heard nothing but very good things about the camera.

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    Re: Point 'n Shoot Recommendations

    Hi Frank,

    I am delighted with the compactness of the S95. Sure, it has its limitations, but I am delighted with results like these:

    (All mine)
    Point 'n Shoot Recommendations

    (Rob's edit of my raw material)
    Point 'n Shoot Recommendations

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    Clactonian's Avatar
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    Re: Point 'n Shoot Recommendations

    Olympus XZ1

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    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: Point 'n Shoot Recommendations

    Hi Lennart, thank you for the feedback! It appears that you favor the Canon S95 which has the reputation and does shoot RAW. You indicate that you often shoot at the telephoto end of your Nikon 5000's 18-105mm lens. Do you feel that the telephoto ability of the Canon S95 is adequate for your shooting or do you favor the Canon for other reasons that are more important to your requirements?

    Other than the limited zoom, the S95 appears to have everything else that I might want in a pocket-sized camera.

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    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: Point 'n Shoot Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by PhotomanJohn View Post
    I don't have much to add other than I am looking to buy a new point and shoot and agree with Lennart and plan to buy a Canon S95 as well. I have heard nothing but very good things about the camera.
    Hi John, thank you for responding. I have heard the same about the Canon S95. It's just the zoom range that makes me be a bit concerned and, of course, Canon is really proud of that model and prices it accordingly!

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    Re: Point 'n Shoot Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by purplehaze View Post
    Hi Frank,

    I am delighted with the compactness of the S95. Sure, it has its limitations, but I am delighted with results like these:
    Hi Janis, thank you for replying and posting some of your S95 shots. Those pictures are well worth being proud of. I like the reflection in the car roof! It adds interest to the scene. I miss the Canadian snow on Christmas Eve, mostly just on Christmas eve. LOL

    For your needs, what do you feel the limitations are that concern you the most?

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    Re: Point 'n Shoot Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by Clactonian View Post
    Olympus XZ1
    Hi Mike, thanks for posting. The Olympus XZ1 appears to be a bit thicker than most. Does it fit in your pocket or do you use some kind of a clip? What makes it work really well for you as a P&S? Thanks!

  10. #10
    purplehaze's Avatar
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    Re: Point 'n Shoot Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by FrankMi View Post
    Hi Janis, thank you for replying and posting some of your S95 shots. Those pictures are well worth being proud of. I like the reflection in the car roof! It adds interest to the scene.
    Thank you, Frank. That is one of the first shots I took with the S95 and I suppose I exaggerate in calling it "all mine" as I let the camera expose it for me. I did bracket, though!

    I miss the Canadian snow on Christmas Eve, mostly just on Christmas eve. LOL
    I guess that this would be the wrong time to post my end-of-winter shots from the lake, then.

    For your needs, what do you feel the limitations are that concern you the most?
    As a matter of fact, I gave the S95 a bit of a workout while I was out walking the dog this weekend. I am happy enough with the shots up to ISO 400, but the evening landscapes shot at ISO 800 get pretty noisy for me. I haven't yet learned how to reduce noise in post-processing, so I am not the best critic on that point, but you might want to use it as a point of comparison with other cameras in its class. I will see if I have an example or two to post.

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    purplehaze's Avatar
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    Re: Point 'n Shoot Recommendations

    Hi again,

    This is a partially processed photo taken with the S95 at sunset. I think it has promise but my processing skills (and tools, perhaps) are not currently sophisticated enough to make the most of it. I have not applied noise reduction or sharpening and the noise is enough to make me wish I had taken along the D90 instead.

    ISO 800, f/8, 1/15 (braced on a railing)
    Point 'n Shoot Recommendations

    This is my biggest complaint but, again, I don't know how the S95 compares with other pocket-sized cameras, and I may well be demanding too much for the current state of technology.

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    Clactonian's Avatar
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    Re: Point 'n Shoot Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by FrankMi View Post
    The Olympus XZ1 appears to be a bit thicker than most. Does it fit in your pocket or do you use some kind of a clip? What makes it work really well for you as a P&S? Thanks!
    It is may be a tad bigger than some but for my large hands that helps. It is well contsructed and weighty too which I like. Excellent rear screen, although it can still be a problem in bright light. I bought it because of the ability to take RAW and the fast f1.8 lens, which is a cracker.
    I always carry it in a small belt belt pack. I've dropped my phone too many times to risk it in my pocket, although it does fit (just). There are a couple of pics in THIS thread.

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    Re: Point 'n Shoot Recommendations

    "Do you feel that the telephoto ability of the Canon S95 is adequate for your shooting or do you favor the Canon for other reasons that are more important to your requirements?"

    Some of the competitors were not available at the time: RAW was an important issue and the choice was really between the s95 and its big brother, the G12, and here size decided the issue for me. I seem to take different photos with the s95 so the telephoto range does not bother me.

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    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: Point 'n Shoot Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by purplehaze View Post
    Hi again,

    This is a partially processed photo taken with the S95 at sunset. I think it has promise but my processing skills (and tools, perhaps) are not currently sophisticated enough to make the most of it. I have not applied noise reduction or sharpening and the noise is enough to make me wish I had taken along the D90 instead.
    ISO 800, f/8, 1/15 (braced on a railing)

    This is my biggest complaint but, again, I don't know how the S95 compares with other pocket-sized cameras, and I may well be demanding too much for the current state of technology.
    Hi Janis, Most cameras will start to introduce noise at about ISO 400-800. I rarely boost the ISO if I can avoid it and prefer to use a tripod, if at all possible. If I do boost the ISO to 800, I try to get 3-4 identical shots and reduce the noise by blending the layers with a technique called 'Layer Averaging' http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tut...ging-noise.htm in PS if there is no action in the scene.

    If I were specifically out looking for a sunset, I would definitely have the DSLR along, but if I happened on one without the DSLR, I would have done exactly what you did. That's one reason to use noise reduction techniques or software.

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    Re: Point 'n Shoot Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by Clactonian View Post
    It is may be a tad bigger than some but for my large hands that helps. It is well contsructed and weighty too which I like. Excellent rear screen, although it can still be a problem in bright light. I bought it because of the ability to take RAW and the fast f1.8 lens, which is a cracker.
    I always carry it in a small belt belt pack. I've dropped my phone too many times to risk it in my pocket, although it does fit (just). There are a couple of pics in THIS thread.
    Hi Mike, nice shots! Shooting RAW is preferred and the fast lens is a plus. Still limited on the zoom. Although I feel the ability to shoot RAW may outweigh the limited zoom, it really limits the P&S camera choices! Good to know that the Olympus XZ1 has these features. Thanks!

  16. #16
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: Point 'n Shoot Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by lenelg View Post
    "Do you feel that the telephoto ability of the Canon S95 is adequate for your shooting or do you favor the Canon for other reasons that are more important to your requirements?"

    Some of the competitors were not available at the time: RAW was an important issue and the choice was really between the s95 and its big brother, the G12, and here size decided the issue for me. I seem to take different photos with the s95 so the telephoto range does not bother me.
    Hi Lennart, most folks that have responded seem to prefer the ability to shoot RAW over the zoom and the S95 seems to be the P&S of choice. I may have to rethink the lack of decent zoom. It may not be as important in a pocket camera. I guess I'm spoiled in that my Sony DSC-H1 has a better zoom range than my DSLR setup! Thanks for the feedback!

  17. #17
    Clactonian's Avatar
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    Re: Point 'n Shoot Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by FrankMi View Post
    I may have to rethink the lack of decent zoom.
    I seriously considered a fixed focal length alternative, as I often go out with just a 35mm prime on my DSLR. The exercise gained in trying to frame a shot is allegedly good for me!!

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    Re: Point 'n Shoot Recommendations

    The S95 is nice but have you considered the Samsung EX1.

    SAMSUNG I hear you cry - you must be joking.

    Nope. Give it a Once Over and you'll see what I mean. Lovely f1.8 lens, shoots RAW and has a flip-out AMOLED screen which beats anything - and I mean anything - that you will find on other cameras, its well made and from the play I've had the results are excellent.

  19. #19
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    Re: Point 'n Shoot Recommendations

    It's not surprising, considering their market share, that the Canon gets a mention here - and it is a great camera. However, do also consider the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5.

    This inside shot of Tring Church (difficult natural lighting) was taken hand-held, and the next picture is an unaltered 100% crop of the centre-left of the first. It was taken at ISO 400 (I haven't yet used any higher than that), 1/30s, f2.0, f=5mm (24mm wide-angle on a 35mm camera).

    Point 'n Shoot Recommendations

    Point 'n Shoot Recommendations

    The LX5 has a bigger sensor than most compacts, and it can be set anywhere from fully-auto to fully-manual control. If you decrease res. from 10meg to 6.5meg it will zoom from 24 to 143mm (ref. 35mm camera). It is a bit bigger than other compacts, but it fits in my pockets, and it is a lot more capable than most. And it does have a Leica lens.

    Philip
    Last edited by MrB; 24th June 2011 at 07:44 PM.

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    Re: Point 'n Shoot Recommendations

    S95 tested against the LX5 - http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/Q420...dcompactgroup/

    As a matter of interest the LX5 has a lens with a Leica badge on it and not a Leica lens. It is a Panasonic lens that Leica have licensed - possibly designed for them - but it is not a genuine Leica optic. Leica only make one current compact with a genuine Leica lens - the X1 - it costs about 1400 and its a fixed design made by Leica in the German plant.

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