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Frustrated with trade off's in choosing a camera

Discussion in 'Help Team' started by gordonramsey, Aug 1, 2010.

  1. gordonramsey

    gordonramsey Active Member

    Yes you are correct I have confused the way in which zoom's are specified from traditional 35mm cameras to modern digital. I have been looking at sites which review cameras and have referred to the wrong figure and as you say I am looking for a lens which will zoom to 280mm on 35mm!

    Just as a side point whilst I was in a store I had a quick play with another compact... the Panasonic LX3 which gets great reviews. I set up a shot inside the store and found it's limited 24mm wide X2.5 zoom would be useless For my requirements of shooting tourist attractions often at a distance.

    So the GF1 compared to the G2 and Sony NEX with the right lens...
     
  2. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    But I'd really like to know what you have in your mind as what you'd like to see as the results. If something like you see in the papers, then whatever you choose under about £7k for body and (massive) lens, you are likely to be disappointed. The kit the pros use is massive and expensive because it has to be to do what they do: stop fast action on high ISO and with the background totally fuzzy. If it could do what they need, they'd have Micro 4/3 too and save future spinal problems.
     
  3. gordonramsey

    gordonramsey Active Member

    lol... no I don't expect to be taking on the likes of Getty images with a micro four thirds! The tennis is a one off event and more looking for a model which I'll be using freguently to shoot tourist attractions from 50 - 80M. This is where the obsession with zoom came from. With the better/ uprated specifications in Micro 4/3rds and SLR's and dedicated lenses, even in auto mode I'm curious to see the results from better cameras which I can grow into using manual settings.

    Do you have a view about which of the 3 cameras short listed would be my best option?
     
  4. P_Stoddart

    P_Stoddart Well-Known Member

  5. P_Stoddart

    P_Stoddart Well-Known Member

    One other thought occurred to me which might be a issue. The TZ5 you have has a mode control dial like most camera. The Sony NEX don't have this they rely on the menu system. Myself I don't like this on cameras. You also have not looked at the Olympus stuff. Both the GF1 and G2 have the old style mode control (which I like) instead of pushing the user onto the menus.

    Here is the Olympus

    http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/eng/Cam...brand2)/Olympus
     
  6. gordonramsey

    gordonramsey Active Member

    Yes...thanks it did! One thing it didn't explain in words is why the Sony NEX 5 scored 69 and the Panasonic GF1 53. A recent post on this site in the Digital Capture section had this to say about the Sony which dumb's down the quality due to the sensor so I'm a little confused how the NEX can be the answer even though it beats the others short listed...



    It seems to suggest the increase in the size of the sensor compromises the image quality... is this correct or not?

    Is it possible to reply with specifics in relation to comparing the performance of the image quality of the models short listed (the G2, GF1 and NEX model) because the general technical arguments go some way to explain some things but just leave me asking 'Ok so which camera is best'.

    From the short list you say the NEX would beat the G2 as the NEX is newer and was designed to beat the specs of the G2. Then the NEX beats the performance of the GF1 and Pentax PEN by a whopping 13 points (although where it beats it in the real world I'm not sure) We have narrowed the options to a Micro 4/3rds and then a post on here dumbs down the fundamentals of the sensor in the NEX which was the best of the 3 ???

    :D
     
  7. P_Stoddart

    P_Stoddart Well-Known Member

    Slightly out of context. What the member was pointing out is that when the sensor size goes up you get better noise handling. But the catch is the lens has to scale up as well. So until small sensor can produce better results at higher ISO the only fix is to increase the size of the sensor. The NEX beats the Panasonic offering because. First they are brand new technology with a new noise handling engine. Second the APS-D sensor is bigger than four thirds.
    But because the sensor is smaller than the APS-D sensor the lens are abit smaller as well on the Panasonic range.

    So:

    Compact/bridge have small sensor so small lenses but bad noise at higher settings.

    Four thirds bigger sensor but not as big as dSLR and NEX therefore smaller lenses but better noise handling than a compact.

    NEX lighter because no live viewfinder but the lenses are bigger because of sensor but the noise handling is even better.

    You are going to see way better results with the four thirds compared to your TZ5. But you need to play with a NEX. It is a new concept and some photographer have questioned the heavy lens on a thin body approach.

    Just wondering but how comes you still have not posted what you do with your image? eg printing, online etc. :)

    I taking you don't have time for cropping or other touch up work on you computer?
     
  8. gordonramsey

    gordonramsey Active Member

    Another review on the NEX had more scepticism...

    "The thing that's immediately apparent about both NEX cameras is how small they are. Despite having sensors 50% larger than the Micro Four Thirds format, the cameras are smaller and thinner than either the Panasonic GF1.

    Three E-mount lenses are being announced alongside the cameras - an 16mm F2.8 pancake, a standard 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 stabilized kit zoom and a stabilized 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 superzoom. Although the company talks a great deal about shallow depth-of-field, none of the lenses initially offered will offer a great deal of control in that respect. Being based around an APS-C sensor as used in the majority of DSLRs, the NEX cameras are subject to the same 1.5x 'crop factor' as them, so a 16mm lens will give the same field of view as a 24mm lens would on a 35mm film cameras.

    Three kits are available: the 'snap' kits which include the 18-55mm zoom, the 'go out with me' kits that feature the 16mm prime lens and the 'go out and snap' kits that include both. And, while we think a 24mm equivalent prime lens will make sense to somebody and are quite able to look beyond the comedy potential of calling a product 'go out with me,' we cannot make any sense of the decision to bundle such a potentially challenging lens with what we're told are point-and-shoot cameras.

    The majority of people walking into camera shops will be very badly served if they leave with a camera and nothing but an ultrawide angle lens. And, still more disappointingly, despite its F2.8 maximum aperture, the 16mm lens will not offer much scope for blurring backgrounds, so shouldn't be sold on that basis either."

    www.dpreview.com/reviews/SonyNex5Nex3/


    It's still being touted as a point and shoot which for all the negative comparisons to how it will perform next to an SLR it may turn out to be good at what I want which is a better performing point and shoot in Auto Mode. If the NEX has a 50% bigger sensor than a micro 4/3rds does that mean it has the capacity to perform better in auto mode than the smaller sensored micro 4/3rds?

    Ultimately I want an optimally performing point and shoot in auto mode with the ability to zoom to something close to the TZ5 which was 280mm. I'm also not sure whether the Sony NEX is designed to only accept the 3 lenses discussed with it's launch or whether it is compatible with all the other lenses like SLR's?
     
  9. gordonramsey

    gordonramsey Active Member

    Sorry, Some photos I love will be printed to A4/5 and sent to family to document my travels but in the main they will be on the LCD photo/ picture frames.
    Is this even in auto mode? My point is that a micro 4/3 is a step up in manual control and spec. Are you saying even though a Micro 4/3 isn't a 'point and shoot' it will produce better results than a TZ5 by the fact the specs are better and therefore even in auto it will be better than a TZ5?

    With that in mind I understand the NEX isn't a micro 4/3 but another format and is branded more as a point and shoot. Assuming the handling is ok do you feel the NEX is more what I'm after or i should be looking at the GF1 or G2 for my requirements even though the NEX scores higher
     
  10. P_Stoddart

    P_Stoddart Well-Known Member

    I would say yes, but no auto system is perfect. Because it does not know (yet) what you are taking a image of. So it plays safe to avoid the basic problems like camera shake etc. But like a business suite of the cloth is better the suite is better. The auto system has a better set of technology to work with. Better lens more processing power better sensor more processing memory.

    I give a simple example of auto possibly making a questionable decision. Indoors in single bulb room the auto system will play very safe and increase the ISO until the shutter speed is high enough to avoid camera shake. Because it will not know you have put the camera on a tripod or secured it in some other way. Also you might be very good at holding the camera at low shutter speeds (I am :) ). So you end up with noiser image than you need. Take it off auto and set the shutter speed and ISO yourself hold the camera really steady and you get a higher quality shot with a few tries.

    Yes, you can get low light shots with your TZ5 but again the auto will increase the ISO to do this which really hurts on a small sensor camera.

    I have a walk around camera that fits in my pocket the Olympus SP570. It has small sensor. But I know this so I never use it on auto in low-light I know I can hold it steady at very low shutter speeds. So I can get it to produce really good shots that can be enlarged up to A3.

    Also I carry a mini-tripod/clamp. So I can take long exposure at night. Again I am working with the limitation of the camera because I know them.

    Does this help?

    I suspect if you got the GF1 with a lens that is similar to the zoom range of your TZ5. You would be blown away at the quality compared to your TZ5. Especially when the ISO has to creep up in low-light.

    Here is another comparison

    http://dxomark.com/index.php/eng/Camera-...and2)/Panasonic

    The FZ28 on the right has the same size sensor as your TZ5.
    But look it's noise handling starts having trouble at 79 ISO. But the GF1 keeps going right upto 498 ISO. From my experience on printing at A3 you can double both so that means prints made from a image at 800 ISO will look really good. Where the TZ5 at the same setting of 800 ISO will not be as good. That does not even factor in the better lens sitting on the GF1 compared to a compact lens.
     
  11. gordonramsey

    gordonramsey Active Member

    Ok all good examples and are you saying I'd be even more blown away by the NEX as it scores 69 - GF1's 53 but where it really scores in real world terms I'm not sure as much of my shooting is done in good light. Again, assuming the handling of the NEX was ok do you think this is better than the GF1 and it is inter-changable with other lenses other than the 3 the E mount it's been launched with.
     
  12. MickLL

    MickLL Well-Known Member

    I promised myself that I wouldn't enter this thread again but the above has drawn me in once more. I am intending to be helpful -as in all my posts but I invite you, Mr. Ramsay, to completely ignore this post, especially if your inclination is to be rude again.

    The photo frame use is more or less the lowest quality display method that you could choose and any modern camera will produce good prints up to A4.

    All auto modes are pretty well as good as each other and any difference comes from the skill of the operator in knowing when to over-ride auto.

    My point is that, given your intended display method, you are heading for disappointment if you think that a different camera will give noticeably better results.

    MickLL
     
  13. P_Stoddart

    P_Stoddart Well-Known Member

    Yes, at the moment LCD picture frames are no where near printing a image 10x8. But things change, technology gets better. 10 years from now we could see screens of 6MP or even higher. Therefore you want to capture you images at the best when balancing portability against quality and in some cases prices. NEX is the best at this time in this type of design. But it might be abit too bulky with it's lens on that give you the same as your TZ5. All three cameras will give much better performance than the TZ5. But the GF1 and the Olympus PENs will be abit more compact because they give 2x on a lens so you can use a smaller zoom.

    Finally the low-light thing can occur on a cloudy day. To get reasonable settings a camera's auto might easily head toward 200 ISO. That means the TZ5 is starting to introduce noise on a cloudy day. The GF1 etc would never get near noise problems until the sun was below the horizon. Even then it would very slight. So you might already have images from the TZ5 that have noise.

    Have you looked at the EXIF data? If your using XP and above on your computer you can right click on a image file select properties and then select summary. It will tell everything about that image.

    The TZ5 should also under it's display button show you what settings it worked out.
     
  14. ermintrude

    ermintrude Hinkypuff

    Personally I still think he's going to be disappointed. For his uses I think a good compact/bridge is perfectly adequate, he's not suddenly going to get amazingly better pictures.
     
  15. P_Stoddart

    P_Stoddart Well-Known Member

    I beg to differ. If he gets a GF1 with the 14-140mm lens the camera will be 84mm deeper than the TZ5 he has at this time. It will also be 745g which is 527g more than the TZ5. But the quality of the image files will be alot better. In addition the AUTO will be much more powerful at working out the best setting for the shot. It will maintain quality across more light condition than the TZ5 and he will probably find the GF1 is fimilar having come from the same makers as the TZ5.
     
  16. gordonramsey

    gordonramsey Active Member

    Although smaller and more compact does 'they give 2x on a lens' mean there is a compromise in quality of image? I'm sure I read this in one of the comparisons and trade off's. Is this why you say the NEX will produce better images but is bulkier due to the fact it's lenses are bigger?

    Although the current display method for myself is not the best I will always have the images on file to do other things with like tweeking with photo shop etc, enlarging and printing.
     
  17. gordonramsey

    gordonramsey Active Member

    unless I have taken this out of context again P_Stoddart appears to suggest this here...

     
  18. ermintrude

    ermintrude Hinkypuff

    Why not take your own memory card and go and try the camera out in a shop somewhere and see what you think of the quality of the picture at the zoom you are likely to be using. Test it at different ISOs, apertures etc. Use it inside the shop in dark areas so you know it can deal with indoor light etc.

    You can zoom in and view picture in-camera or bring the memory card home to see what the quality is like and decide for yourself if it is 'better'/adequate, as well as whether the camera itself is easy enough to use, not too big, not too plasticky etc etc etc. There's only so much you can find out by comparing data online.
     
  19. gordonramsey

    gordonramsey Active Member

    Does the GF1 use X2 converter lenses which affects the quality of the image and exposure issues or have I taken this out of context?
     
  20. Fen

    Fen Well-Known Member

    All X2 Converters affect quality/exposure, no matter what they are attached to
     

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