Which digital is right for me?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by fishacura, Aug 18, 2008.

  1. fishacura

    fishacura TPF Noob!

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    Hello all. I am a novice photographer and am looking for any advice anyone has on which next camera I should purchase. The absolute most important thing to me is picture quality. I have always focused on Nikon and Canon because I was told they have the best "glass" and to stick with them versus Panasonic, Sony, etc. (not sure if this is true).

    I am currently looking at the Nikon Coolpix line (s510 or s550) abd the Canon Powershot a590 IS. Not looking for the "smallest" camera, again, just want a digital point and shoot that would produce the sharpest images. I have learned a little (for example at least now I know 10 megapixels doesn't necessarily mean it's better than 8 megapixels...has to be factored into other things like the sensor and software or something like that right :confused:.

    My price point is in the $200-$250 range and am open to other brands...again, just looking for crisp PQ.

    Anyway, would love your opinons...
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2008
  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    With so many digital P&S on the market right now, there's no way that anyone can pick one out for you. You know what you want (although truth to tell, the picture quality is going to be very similar amongst all the major brands). Head down to the local camera stores, tell the salesman what you want, and what your budget is, and pick up and play with the different cameras. You may find that one or the other doesn't work for you for a variety of reasons, comfort, ergonomics, etc, etc. If those that you've mentioned are still in the running, check out the various on-line review sites and see what they thought of them... make your decision that way. It's really a process of elimination.
     
  3. fishacura

    fishacura TPF Noob!

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    Thanks! Again, my question was really related to picture quality. You make a statement that it is very similar amongst all the major brands. I would have to disagree based on what I have read. Casio for instance gets some favorable write ups but I cannot compare their picture quality to say Nikon (IMO). Leaving ergonomics and features out of it, my question is around which companies use the best "glass". Is it truly Canon and Nikon or should I expand?
     
  4. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    There are many more factors which determine picture quality aside from just the lens. The size and quality of the sensor, the processing-algorythims built into the camera, etc, etc. I'm by no means an expert on P&S cameras, but I think you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference between an image taken with any of the major brands in an equivalent price range.
     
  5. fishacura

    fishacura TPF Noob!

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    OK Thanks! There are CLEAR differences between the quality and yes it is due to all the factors you mention. There are many sites that give their opinions and I was just looking for more from this group.
     
  6. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I would simply look into a P&S digital that has some good glass, such as the Panasonics. Anything from the Leica (or Zeiss) optics to the Nikon/Canon optics should be very crisp and true to the colors.
     
  7. photo28

    photo28 TPF Noob!

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    Before I made the decision to get an SLR I looked at this as recomended by others: Olympus SP-570 UZ, I looked at it in the stores and it does have very good macro (which I was told) and is a good camera. I'm not sure the price on this and if it would match your budget. Maybe you should save up for an SLR?
     
  8. fishacura

    fishacura TPF Noob!

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    Thanks photo28! I have considered SLRs but don't want to underutilize a good camera. I'm not quite there yet but am slowly getting my feet wet...
     
  9. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    I agree with you completely. The difference in image quality between the worst compact digital from a major brand and the best compact digital is tiny compared to the difference between the best compact digital and the cheapest DSLR. At their native ISO they'll do okay, a little higher IQ starts to deteriorate, and at ISO 400+ it's silly bad. I'll use my compact digital at ISO 400+, but the quality is like cheap, 1970s era 110 film.

    My point-n-shoot is a Canon G7, and I bought my wife a $125 Powershot. If I'm doing the shooting and processing there's no significant difference in image quality between the cameras. I like the set-up and looks of the G7 better, but the IQ is virtually the same. I installed the CHDK hack on both, and use raw. To me that's a big deal for quality. If you want to shoot raw with a digital compact you either have to buy a camera that offers it as an output option, or a Canon Powershot which you can install CHDK. All digital cameras shoot raw, it's just a matter of accessing it. Maybe someone will or already has come up with a hack for other brands, but I haven't heard of it.

    http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page

    Of course there is the Sigma DP-1, but I haven't been impressed with the reviews for the price. Where is the APS-C format Canon compact digital camera I've been dreaming of?!?

    EDIT: Another exception would be the Fuji F30fd and F31fd, but they are discontinued and going for $400+ on Ebay for used models.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2008
  10. fishacura

    fishacura TPF Noob!

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    SHOCKED to hear these types of statements. I have been reading dpreview.com and the differences in quality between Canon/Nikon and Fuji/Olympus seem to be quite large. Surprised to hear many of you comment on them as not very significant. Of course, it seems as if you are all SLR owners and experts so it's tough for you to be in my shoes. Thanks for the posts though.
     

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