could you help me find a possibly fictional camera, please?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by nms, Dec 27, 2006.

  1. nms macrumors member


    Nov 14, 2004
    Right, it's yet another idiot (me) trying to find a new camera.

    Trouble is, i don't really know what i want.

    I've been everywhere. was one of my fave sites to check.

    I have a Sony DSC-T1, and i hate it. I bought it for its size and screen size, but it takes quite a long time to actually take a picture, and the quality seems sort of....sub-par.

    I did want that new snazzy samsung OPS camera, because it looked very, very nice ad seemed like the perfect successor - i want to start taking more photos. However, i saw some bad reviews of it, and i got put off.

    I'm a student, but i dont really have a budget as such. And i really like the look of DSLRs, they look like "proper" cameras, i like manual focus, with the focussing ring....but theyre huge! And i'm a big fan of LCD screens, and most DSLRs dont have very big screens.

    So it's the size of the cameras that puts me off, i want to take my camera everywhere with me. I did see the samsung pro815, it seemed to have a large screen, but it's quite old. Also, the new panasonic lumixe seem to be good, with their huge screen, but i've heard the Venus III engine is terrible and noisy.

    Well, i've rambled quite a lot, and i'd appreciate some help with finding a new camera - everyone seems so friendly here, but i assume no-one wants another "i cant find a camera" thread that bores you to death. And i'm probably too specific. But i'm happy to answer further questions anyone might have if they wish to help, and thanks in advance!
  2. coldrain macrumors regular

    Dec 20, 2006
    You really are not saying what you want... so advicing is a bit hard.

    What did you actually not like about the T5's image quality? The Panasonic FZ50 is noisy, that is not the processing "venus III engine" processors fault but the sensors Panasonic uses. To combat the noise the processor tries to filter, doing a really bad job at that, making higher ISO fotos smeared with a lack of detail. So this may not be the camera for you either.

    Also, you mention LCD screen size and DSLR. Are you aware of that you can not use the LCD from a DSLR to look at your subject, it is just for settings and review of photos. So, if you want to make photos looking at the LCD, no DSLR for you (there are 2 exceptions, that are so particular in their use that I will not mention them). Also, DSLRs never have a movie mode.

    What do you want. A compact camera? Or a camera that is bigger with a big zoom range? A camera that is under a certain budget constraint? A camera that does what exactly better than your T5 image quality wise?
  3. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    If all you want is a huge LCD screen and don't care much about the rest why not buy a macbook? Use the isight camera with photo booth and look at the results on a 12 inch screen.

    If image quality is more important then you do want a DSLR. The screen are smaller because DSLR users typically turn the LCD screens off because they are not needed.

    You might want to say a little about how you will use the camera. what you will shoot and what features you want and why. And what will you do with the image files. Do you make large prints, small prints or only look at them on an electronic screen.

    All camera are trade offs. You trade image quality for size. You have to decide what you want and what you can live without and have a budget.
  4. jsnoah macrumors member


    Dec 15, 2006
    Ramsey, NJ
    Digital SLRs

    I have been shooting my digital rebel since it came out(6.3MP) and love it! Live by it; blah blah blah! It is a bit cumbersome sometimes but they(DSLRs) have the biggest upside of anything. You are in complete control of everything except what you are shooting. You don't have to wait for the camera to see what it is shooting and then have the camera process. That delay usually screws up the shot. Especially if you are trying to shoot a moving target... Sports/Kids etc. SLRs can change lenes, flashes grips and have tons more settings. Canon has their new Rebel XTi out now too. It is under $1000($900 actually) and is over 10MP. It has a huge screen on the back(biggest of all the DSLRs) and is smoking fast. If you want to take more pics, you will find that a DLSR is maybe the way to go. Also, they arne't so out of reach as far as price is concerned.. At least not any more.

    Good luck!
  5. coldrain macrumors regular

    Dec 20, 2006
    It is a bit silly to think only a DSLR is capable of good image quality.
    Let the original poster explain what it is that was not good about the T5, there are many non-DSLRs with very good image quality.
  6. nms thread starter macrumors member


    Nov 14, 2004
    Wow, no i didn't know that about DSLRs actually. So is the Samsung Pro815 not a dslr because it has a live preview on its huge display? I do like the look of that camera...

    Anyway, my DSC-T1 seems noisy at high ISOs and the shutter speed is slow and produces blurry pictures in anything apart from bright incandescent light.

    And i'd like something with a little bit better camera than my new MBP :p

    As for my comment about Panasonic's Venus III engine....i just read it in a review about that new camera with the 16:9 display.

    I also live in the UK, and don't want to spend more than about £700 all inclusive of everything i'd need.

    I don't want to downgrade to a smaller LCD screen, i love the screen....i think.

    As for the size....i just want to take it EVERYWHERE, without it being too cumbersome.
  7. JeffTL macrumors 6502a

    Dec 18, 2003
    If you want good performance at high ISOs you're pretty much looking at SLRs plus the Sony DSC-R1; other cameras, regardless of what their resolution may be, have comparatively quite small sensors that do not perform as well at high sensitivity settings.

    For what it's worth I've been very happy with my Nikon D50 SLR; the screen is plenty big enough for playback and settings, and if you don't mind putting your head up to the camera, nothing is ever going to beat the quality of a real optical viewfinder (parallax-free in the case of an SLR).
  8. GnarleyMarley macrumors 6502a


    Apr 23, 2006
    Atlanta, GA
  9. coldrain macrumors regular

    Dec 20, 2006
    The live preview of the E-330 and Panasonic L1 is not as easy to use as with compact cameras, that is why I did not want to mention them.

    Now to the OP, if the noise of the T5 was bugging you, then stay clear of anything Panasonic, because you will not like low light photos made by those cameras at all. Also that samsung you mention has a noise problem (more noisy than average, just like the Panasonics).

    The blur you mentioned with low light photos has to do with long exposure times to get enough light in. It is camera shake blur. There are two "solutions" to that.
    1. shorter exposure times (higher ISO setting)
    2. image stabilization that counters some camera shake

    Solution 1: There is only one brand that delivers quite good higher ISO images less noise than other cameras. That is Fuji. Two models spring to mind: quite compact metal Fuji F30. 6mp, very good in High ISO compared to other compact cameras. Bigger DSLR style Fuji S6000fd. Almost as good, gives you a zoom ring and manual focus on the lens barrel. Also 6mp.

    Solution 2: Image stabilization. Ultra compact: Canon SD700 IS, SD800 IS (wide angle lens). Compact: Canon Powershot A710 IS.
    All three perform better than comparative models with IS, like the ones from Panasonic. Ultrazoom: Sony DSC-H2 (6mp), DSC-H5 (7mp), Canon S3-IS (6mp). The Sony's give a bit better results at higher ISO settings due to more aggressive in camera noise reduction.

    Downside to solution 1: the high ISO still doesnt look as good as lower ISO, so you might want to use the flash anyway at times.

    Downside to solution 2: only gives you a limitted increase of exposure time, above that camera shake will still be a problem. Longer exposure shots will give blurry subjects if the subject moves.

    Ideal of course would be a camera with a sensor like the Fuji's and with image stabilization like Sony, Canon and Panasonic offer. But that does not exist yet.

    A DSLR with IS lens (several options on Canon and Nikon) or in camera IS (Pentax, Sony) will of course give you both, but then you will not have a movie mode, not have the LCD to frame shots, and you will very easily get over budget.
  10. nms thread starter macrumors member


    Nov 14, 2004
    but these larger options require all sorts of extras to make them better....and the smaller cameras feel "mickey-mouse" to me.

    is the live preview on the pro815 and the e330 no good?

    and i feel there are so many variants on the canon dslrs that mine will be quickly superseded...

    i think i would like a decent camera that is midway between a compact and a DSLR - with a real camera body perhaps?

    otherwise i may just have to buy a DSLR and..."grow into it"...but it's not really the thing to have permanently on your person.

    i'm such an undecisive character.
  11. atari1356 macrumors 68000


    Feb 27, 2004
    You may want to check out the new Canon G7. It has most of the manual controls you'll find in DSLR's but is much more compact - and has a zoom range of 35mm-210mm. The lens is image stabilized which helps prevent blurring from shaky hands. Plus it has a very good macro mode (something you'd need an extra lens for with a DSLR).

    The downsides with it are: images in low light will be noisier than they are with most DSLR's, you won't have as much control over depth of field due to the small sensor size (and the fact that at the telephoto end the largest aperture is f/4.8)

    I currently use both a DSLR (for portraits, and other situations where I want a shallow depth of field - and for low light) - and a Canon G7 (for when I want the portability, and for macros - since I don't have a macro lens for my DSLR).
  12. wHo_tHe macrumors regular

    Jan 2, 2002
    :: :: All bay, all day.
    Fuji, Fuji, Fuji. From the F30 to the 9100 you won't be disappointed. Dual pixel technology and high ISO ratings give these cameras unrivaled dynamic range and exposure flexibility. My highest recommendation.
  13. sjl macrumors 6502


    Sep 15, 2004
    Melbourne, Australia
    No, that's not what defines a DSLR. SLR stands for "Single Lens Reflex". D (naturally) stands for Digital. With an SLR camera, you look through a viewfinder, which directs your vision through a pentaprism, and then through the lens - the exact same lens that focuses the image on the sensor (or film) to take the photograph. So you're looking through a viewfinder at the scene you will be photographing.

    This has massive advantages over using an LCD to line up the shot - the major one is that you can see exactly what's in focus and what's not to a much finer degree than any modern day LCD can show you.

    All DSLRs available today have interchangeable lenses, so you can pick the lens appropriate for your needs (eg: one lens for macro work, one for portrait, one for landscapes, one for wildlife ...) They don't have to, though; there's no reason why you couldn't make a DSLR with a single built-in, unchangeable lens (although such a beast would never make it in the market.)

    If a DSLR lets you display the image you're taking on the LCD as you're lining up, that's an additional feature - it doesn't disqualify it from being a DSLR.

    Typically, a DSLR will have a bigger sensor, and more care taken in reducing noise from that sensor, than a point-and-shoot pocket camera. However, the single biggest factor in making a good shot is the person behind the camera, not the camera itself. (Although I wouldn't even try to take a high quality photograph with a camera phone ... :p) Which basically means: get the camera you feel fits your needs the best, and learn how to exploit it for all it's worth. You'll take better photos for the learning than somebody who just points the camera blindly and presses the button.
  14. cgratti macrumors 6502a


    Dec 28, 2004
    Central Pennsylvania, USA
    If you want to get deep into Photography dont limit yourself with a camera that you can change lenses with.

    Go Canon, Nikon, Olympus, or Pentax. They are bigger cameras but you will be able to do much more with the DSLR than a point and shoot.

    I shoot Canon because of the top notch lenses they offer, but the other camera makers have other good things to offer that Canon bodies don't. I feel when your buying a camera your buying into the lens system offered, not the bodies.
  15. wmmk macrumors 68020


    Mar 28, 2006
    The Library.
    if you care so much about an LCD, get a point and shoot. any real DSLR user will barely ever look at their LCD. all that matters is the viewfinder. you seem to be manual, which is available on some P&Ss. if you can afford it, get a Canon G7. It's definitely a proper camera;)
    BTW, this is coming from someone who'd never say nice things about a canon product unless he really thought it was an amazingly good camera.
  16. nms thread starter macrumors member


    Nov 14, 2004
    i seem to have narrowed my search somewhat - if you're all still with me!

    Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX2
    huge screen, trendy proper camera body, manual focus...somewhere between what i had and a dslr

    Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T10
    an upgrade from my T1, apparently now very good, tiny.

    Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ7
    larger, but noisy?
  17. coldrain macrumors regular

    Dec 20, 2006
    I'm getting a bit tired of this thread, it is like you do not read anything that we type.
    WHAT do you not like about your T1?

    A LX2 is as noisy or MORE noisy than your T1, especially in low light. it is NOTHING like a DSLR, who why do you say that.
    A Canon S80 is a better camera, a Canon G7 is more DSLR like in controls (and also better than that LX2).
    You do not have to spend that much anyway, on a camera like that. The Canon A620 and A640 give the same manual controls and image quality for a lower price. The Fuji F30 and S6000fd are best noise wise.

    The FZ7 is quite a noise monster, and the cameras i mentioned above (Sony H2/H5, Canon S3 IS) all are better in lower light.

    Maybe you read it this time. Why do you ask for advice when you disregard all posts?

    The ONLY thing that makes a DSLR a DSLR is that you look through the lens, that they have exchangable lenses, and they all have bigger sensors than teh compact digitals, making them less noisy at higher ISO settings.
  18. nms thread starter macrumors member


    Nov 14, 2004
    Sorry, i kept looking at other websites and reviews and my brain sort of exploded with ideas.

    Noise, and low light quality of photos were my main concern, as well as a degree of portability. Also, (don't shout at me) I wanted to keep a large LCD for live previews as well.

    Anyway, i think the Canon PowerShot S3 IS looks very good, but looking at its form factor, i was wondering whether i might as well spring for a DSLR, as some sort of expandability is available.
  19. coldrain macrumors regular

    Dec 20, 2006
    Low noise low light photos. Can be done with ANY camera, a still subject and a tripod. If the subject is moving, you need shorter shutter speeds to not have subject motion blur.

    This a very simple. Shorter shutter speeds = flash or higher ISO settings.

    For compact cameras, the Fuji F30 is the BEST in low noise performance at high ISO settings.

    For DSLR form factor style all in one digital camera with movie mode, preview on LCD: Fuji S6000fd.

    Without the movie mode, the Sony R1 (bigger and heavier) also is good in the noise area.

    If you want a camera that has bigger zoom range AND image stabilization, the best choice is NOT the Canon S3 IS, in low noise. That is the Sony H5.

    A DSLR with lenses that make it actually perform good will be more expensive than above cameras. If you REALLY want to jump into the world of DSLRs you should understand more about photography and what means what, for now I would not recommend that step for now. And advice about DSLRs is also more complicated. So... I would advice you to think about what you actually need to camera to do (again: what sort of things does your T1 let you down in. Moving subjects? Crap flash range? Or just noise, lack of contrast in lower light shots?
  20. nms thread starter macrumors member


    Nov 14, 2004
    (noisy low light shots, crap flash and slow shutter speed)

    coldrain, you've been a fantastic help and not only that, you certainly know what you're talking about!

    i do like the fuji s6000fd a lot, and i like its feature set and manual focus ring. However looking at some photos, it's quite noisy in low light.
  21. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004

    So I guess one should be careful about going for the F31fd instead of the F30.
  22. coldrain macrumors regular

    Dec 20, 2006
    I didn't say you will not have noise at low light... just quite a lot less than almost all other compact cameras, especially Panasonic cameras and that 815 thing from Samsung.
    Fuji s6500fd, then Sony H2, then Panasonic LX2, all at ISO 400:

    As you can see, the Sony removes noise to try and keep up, losing detail. The Panasonic messes things up a lot with its aggressive noise reduction, losing colour, detail and making it look like the colours are running.

    So, as you can see... not perfect, that S6000fd, but better than other compact cameras. Its small compact brother, f30, performs a bit better at still higher ISO settings.
  23. 840quadra Moderator


    Staff Member

    Feb 1, 2005
    Twin Cities Minnesota
    How about something like a Canon S3 IS, or an older used (you can sometimes find them new) Powershot Pro1.

    Both will give you good image quality, a large enough display for live preview, and a handy list of manual features that will make a later transition into a DSLR (especially Canon) ;) really easy to do!
  24. coldrain macrumors regular

    Dec 20, 2006
    Another example, now nightshots, again at ISO 400.
    The good (Fuji S6000fd), the bad (Sony H5) and the ugly (Panasonic LX2).
    The S3 IS is less blotchy but more noisy than what the H5 shows.



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