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Compact Camera Design - Advances, and Problems

Discussion in 'General Equipment Chat & Advice' started by smike2, Feb 28, 2008.

  1. smike2

    smike2 New Member

    Compact cameras are evolving fast, and some of the inovatons are highly desireable - smaller, lighter, bigger screens, anti-shake among them.

    However, and it's a big however, some of this change is for the worse.

    First - the megapixel race - Current CCDs are very small, the largest in general use is a 1/1.7, and the majority use the even smaller 1/2.5. These are simply incapable of supporting resolutions of more than 6 or 5 megapixels respectively, without severe loss of tonal range, sensitivity, and the introduction of noise. None of the tst photos for the current crop of cameras are as technically good as those of 2 years ago.

    Second - Viewfinders - Screens may in time improve sufficiently to make these redundant, but currently they cannot be used in direct sunlight, so viewfinders should not be disapearing just yet.

    Third - field of view - A cheap compact can be forgiven an inexpensive 35mm equivalen widest field of view, but the purchaser of a more advanced camera has the right to expect a 28mm equivalent so that landscape and interiors etc can be accomodated. It is inexcusible that most advanced compacts including such flagship models as the Canon G9 start at 35mm.

    Bridge Cameras - These have most of the bulk and cost of a SLR. To justify their existance they absolutely should have a near DSLR sized CCD. The 4/3 used By Olympus would be ideal.
    Such a camera, equiped with a 28 - 200 lens would offer a logical choice for someone wanting the facilities of a proper SLR, without the hastle of carrying extra lenses around. As they are, the bridge cameras make little sense and with the falling prices of DSLRs have no future.

    What do you think? And are there any manufacturers out there who might like to comment?

  2. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    I think if you were to look through posts on similar subjects, you would more than likely find close to 100% agreement with much of that from most people here. All I would say is that decent wideangles are becoming more popular on compacts, thankfully.

    KENSKI New Member

    Very true comments

    Having a Canon G9 myself I am surprised that Canon did not take the opportunity to produce the ultimate compact ie 28mm lense, greater optical zoom, stereo video sound as on IS S5. Having used the G2, G3 in the past, in fact the G3 has a greater aperture range and in my mind produces sharper images than the G9 I am beginning to wonder that the whole megapixel thing is just a publicity gimmick on comacts.
  4. Lounge Lizard

    Lounge Lizard Well-Known Member

    I must admit that my G3 can turn in some pretty decent images. :cool:
  5. aquatarkus

    aquatarkus Member

    Prehaps you should take a look at the Sigma DP1
  6. Hotblack

    Hotblack Dead Horse Flogger

    That is something discussed and generally agreed upon many times here.
  7. El_Sid

    El_Sid Well-Known Member

    Don't think you're going to get many arguments around here.

    Oh and my compact does have a 28mm equivalent wide angle... :rolleyes:

    It's got too many pixels though...
  8. nspur

    nspur Well-Known Member

    If the Sigma DP1 had a zoom lens of 135-equivalent 24-70mm and cost less than £500 it would be a MUST for all enthusiasts and pros.
  9. aquatarkus

    aquatarkus Member

    agree about the price but will wait and see what happens when it actually hits the shelves
    But PLEASE read up on why it is impossible to have a zoom lens on the DP1, perhaps then people will understand the design challenge that Sigma was up against.
  10. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    The best compact camera that I ever had was a Rollei B35. Unfortuneately the shutter no longer works. I would prefer a replacement to be digital, but my Canon 710 IS doesn't have the quality although it is small. The DP1 focal length is abit short and f4.0 at 16mm will not allow differential focus. I am hoping for a DP2 with a focal length of about 28mm (42mm 135 equiv)and better or equal to f2.8. Of course Nikon may also have something in the pipline; they were canvassing their DSLR customers about an upmarket compact about a year ago. Being practical I think that a zoom lens is out of the question. The B35 didn't have a zoom lens and that was not a problem.
  11. IvorETower

    IvorETower Little Buttercup

    What will follow the megapixel race? It's just not really sensible (or possible?) to squeeze more than 14 megapixels onto the tiny sensors used in most compacts, so will the next piece of progress be to larger sensors? The current fad seems to be to offer the camera in a number of different colours, but I don't see that as true progress.
    Better low light performance (higher ISO) would be a good step forward too and that should follow a move to larger sensor sizes.
    Wider angle zooms should be another thing to consider; most compacts still start at 35 to 38mm (equivalent) and there is still a very limited choice if you want 28mm
  12. beejaybee

    beejaybee Marvin

    Hopefully the Campaign for Real Viewfinders... And flashes that require user intervention to turn them on!
  13. daft_biker

    daft_biker Action Man!

    I disagree with that. I suspect many here have never used a Casio EX-S770 which IMO does have a perfectly useable screen in direct sunlight....I do however agree the screens on many compacts isn't as good for brightness and often they have jerky refreshes too, just not all of them.

    I think this shot taken at the smallest aperture my compact has at the wide end (f/4.3) and at 1/1600th just short of the fastest 1/2000th sutter speed shows that compacts without optical viewfinders can be perfectly useable on bright days :cool: If anything I could have done with a faster shutter speed here as some highlight detail is lacking in the shin pads and sock :eek:

    If it was any brighter I would have had to zoom in and step back to use the smaller apertures avalable at the long end of the zoom (f/8.3 at the long end). Maybe if the fastest shutter speed goes up a brighter screen will be needed but until then I'm quite happy without a 80-something-% dark, dust filled optical viewfinder :)
  14. Footloose

    Footloose Well-Known Member

    I'm looking for a compact camera to carry around instead of my DSLR, and I have 4 complaints;
    1, Many are too small, (I do not have big hands) which means that manipulating the control buttons quickly is a considerable annoyance.

    2, The wide angle is not wide enough, (but this may be because the equivelent of 28mm on 35mm format for a DSLR is difficult and expensive to manufacture.)

    3, The flash output is miserable, I want at least 18ft range, on the 100 ASA speed setting.

    4, Why oh why is their a dearth of compacts with APS-C sized sensors?

    I'd like to see a 'compact', about the size of the old screw-mounted Leica.

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