Point and Shoot - Hard Time Deciding

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by stockcerts, Dec 1, 2013.

  1. stockcerts macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #1
    For the past several years I've been using my iPhone as my camera. Recently I had a business trip to the UK and borrowed a friends Panasonic Lumix. I got some excellent pictures and I enjoyed the zoom capabilities which you can't get out of an iPhone.

    After doing some research I bought the Sony DSC-HX50/V. This particular model is kind of bulky, but that's mostly due to the 30X optical zoom. I decided it was a fair trade off. I used the Sony for about a week and returned it yesterday. The quality of the indoor pictures was less than my iPhone. The Sony was expensive for a point and shoot, so I had expectations of reasonable quality indoor pictures. The zoom capabilities of the Sony are awesome, but sometimes you need to be able to take indoor pictures with reasonable results.

    At this point I don't know which camera I'm going to buy. I'd like something with a smaller footprint than the Sony, and I'd be willing to go with a little less zoom. I've been reading the reviews on some of the Canon models, but thought I'd ask here for recommendations.

    In the mean time I've also been learning Adobe Lightroom, which I'm enjoying. So much more power and options than using iPhoto. I may purchase the license when my 30 day trial expires.
     
  2. Ish macrumors 68000

    Ish

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    What kind of budget do you have? I used to have a Canon S95 and the IQ of that was quite good for a p&s. I think the latest update of this is the Canon S120. There's also the Fuji X10 which has great IQ but is quite a bit bigger and more expensive. Not many suggestions I'm afraid but these are the only two I know about
     
  3. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #3

    What you've found is that a long lens is not so useful for general photography. What matters for low-light levels are two things:
    1) The "speed" of the lens, the widest f-stop available. You's like at least f/2.8 but f/1.8 would be even better but f/2.8 is common and available. Also check that the lens is FIXED at f/2.8 even when you zoom in. Or just accept that indoor, low light photos will always be done as a wide angle shot. So, look for an f/2.8 lens that remains at f/2.8

    2) the other thing is the physical size of the image sensor. This is way the SLR will always win, the "full frame" SLR has a 36mm x 24mm sensor size. That mens it is about 1.5 inches wide. Such a sensor can't fit into a phone and will not fit into a tiny Point and Shoot camera but you can still look at sensor size as it is a very good predictor of a camera's low light ability.

    I don't want to recommend a camera without knowing your budget and how large you can go. The low-end SLRs are ideal but maybe to large for you.
     
  4. stockcerts thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #5
    Thanks for all the good input, and I'll check out the link for the Pansonic. My budget for a point and shoot is about $300-. I'd like to have a decent P&S, and possibly in the next year purchase a DSLR.

    Thanks again!
     
  5. david78 macrumors newbie

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    Jun 26, 2013
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    Las Vegas, NV
    #6
  6. mcdj macrumors 604

    mcdj

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Location:
    NYC
    #7
    For the best of both worlds; the quality of larger format interchangeable lens cameras (like the NEX) and the portability of pocket sized point and shoots like the excellent Canon S95/100/110/120, or LX Series Panasonics, check out the Sony RX100.

    With a sensor considerably large than the aforementioned Canons, and nominally smaller than M43, the RX100 is a best in class camera 2 years running, and is more or less in a class by itself.

    Fast German glass. A big fat low light munching sensor. Solid build. It will cost you a bit more than your budget, but it will be the last point and shoot you need for a very long time.
     
  7. twitch31 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2013
    #8
    Sony RX100 is the best pocket camera available. Swallow the price and you will be happy :)

    I've clocked mine (10,000+ photos) and love it. It's the first pocket camera I've owned that has acceptable IQ, and yes it's a lot better than my iphone 5 and a Canon S90 I owned.

    Here's a few of my RX100 pics: http://www.flickr.com/photos/twitchphoto/sets/72157630996596478/
     
  8. PhillyAnt macrumors regular

    PhillyAnt

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    Jan 5, 2013
    Location:
    Philly
    #9
    Totally agree! I have the RX100ii and I absolutely love it. Spend the money!
     
  9. stockcerts thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #10
    Thanks for the suggestions. I just read some of the reviews on the RX100 II and it does appear to be an amazing point and shoot camera. Amazon has it for $748- (ouch).

    I have a few hesitations with this camera, the price, and the zoom. I am going to sleep on it for a while as for this price I can get a good start with an SLR, although I love the portability of a point and shoot. I wish the zoom was at least 10X optical, but maybe that's not possible with the existing amazing specs...?
     
  10. twitch31 macrumors regular

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    Feb 12, 2013
    #11
    The original RX100 is under $500 now and has 98% of the IQ of the new II version.
     
  11. leighonigar macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    #12
    Another option I'm always keen to mention is the Nikon 1 series. Big enough sensors, small lenses. Potentially good pricing.

    Larger sensors make lenses with wide zoom ranges expensive and difficult to make. And the results are large too. Hence, small sensor compacts have crazy zoom ratios while larger ones have to make do with something more modest.
     
  12. PhillyAnt macrumors regular

    PhillyAnt

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    Jan 5, 2013
    Location:
    Philly
    #13
    The zoom is a little disappointing, I agree. If this camera had a better zoom as well as the ability to shoot some very high speed video, this would possibly be the perfect camera for me. You can save a good amount of money by purchasing the original RX100 which is still an incredible camera. I love that the RX100M2 has the screen that can tilt. VERY USEFUL feature. I can shoot a child without having to bend down to their level or I can raise the camera well over my head and still get the perfect shot. I also like having the wifi feature that allows me to send the pictures over to my iPad so that I can view them in a larger format or it also allows me to control the camera remotely from my iPhone. The quality of the video that this camera takes is also very impressive. The fact that this camera can do all these things, and do them very well, and still fit in your pocket, makes this a winner in my opinion.

    The price is steep but I think it is worth it. I ordered mine from Amazon and lucky for me they messed up on my shipping and I ended up getting the camera for $628 instead of $750. Heck yeah!
     
  13. stockcerts thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #14
    I've been doing some research and have come across the Panasonic Lumix LX7. The zoom isn't amazing, but better than the RX100 and much more affordable. It's just over $300. I know the RX100 is amazing, but the lack of zoom is a deal breaker for me.

    Does anyone have experience with the Panasonic? Thanks!
     
  14. PhillyAnt macrumors regular

    PhillyAnt

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2013
    Location:
    Philly
    #15
    Here is a quick comparison I found of the two cameras. The Lumix is nice but but you could probably crop the pictures on the RX100 and get the same zoom effect.

    http://snapsort.com/compare/Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-LX7-vs-Sony-Cyber-shot-RX100-II

    But yes, the Lumix is probably the best camera you can buy for that price. Its a big jump going to the RX100II, but even the original RX100 is a great camera and much cheaper so I would consider that too.
     
  15. stockcerts thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Jun 29, 2007
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #16
    Thank you...I'm thinking for half the cost the Lumix may be the better choice for me, and still get good quality pictures. Not ready to chose yet, but I'm getting close!
     

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