Simple, cheap but high-res camera.
Replies: 36 - Last Post: May 4, 2012 2:46 AM Last Post By: tools4fools
Apr 12, 2012 6:02 PM
Simple, cheap but high-res camera.An amateurish question so apologies for that.
I want a simple, cheap camera that takes pictures of a high enough resolution to be published.
I currently have a 6 megapixel camera and it’s just good enough to take photos for books and magazines but only if I hold it very, very still and the photos appear quite small on the page.
The photography I do is really very simple. Auto-bracket is one of the few features I actually use. An SLR would be nice however as I like to shoot from the hip sometimes.
Any suggestions for a new camera appreciated!
Apr 12, 2012 7:36 PM
Apr 12, 2012 8:46 PM
Apr 13, 2012 10:33 AM
3It's possible that your existing camera is fine and you just don't know about all of it's features. 6mp should be fine for decent size pictures if you are using it correctly. What photo size and resolution do you have your camera set for? Does it have image stabilization and do you have it turned on? Most cameras have choices for different scene types - are you using these? Do some types work better than others?
If you are serious about being published, there is no substitute for being serious about learning what all these features are and how they work. This takes time and that's why people who make a hobby of it and invest the time tend to take better pictures. There are loads of resources on the web for free. If you just want good quality pictures, forget publishing and look at reviews on cnet.com.
Apr 13, 2012 1:38 PM
Apr 13, 2012 5:26 PM
Apr 13, 2012 7:01 PM
Apr 13, 2012 7:23 PM
7Sorry - hope I didn't sound condescending. It's hard to know people's level of knowledge sometimes from their initial posts. What are your autobracket results telling you? It sounds like you should be getting better results than you are:
It's not just about how many megapixels. Other things to consider in a new camera: sensor size - perhaps the most important if you're after sharper images; a faster lens would allow faster shutter speeds and lower ISO settings - both should improve image quality. Megazooms are nice, but you lose lens speed.
Apr 14, 2012 12:39 AM
8Canon s95 or the newer s100. Sensor is one step up in size from standard compact cameras and gives better image quality. Look for second hands as your budget is really low.
Of look for a second hand dSLR. Nikon D40x or D80. Or even a D70 - it has 'only' 6MP but the image quality still is much superior to any compact due to its much larger sensor.
Or anyh other dSLR brand of course.
Apr 14, 2012 1:45 AM
9Regarding the comments about the Canon S-range, just bear in mind - some of the models are a few years old now, compared to (say) the Olympus SZ range, which is a lot cheaper (and much nice looking) - and has far more built in features as standard, compared to both the Nikon and Canons P&S's.
Also note, that whereas Canon and Nikon are still dragging their feet with the some of their P&S's, Olympus and Pentax are updating their models much more frequently - and staying ahead of the rest at a cheaper price.
All down to choice though.
Apr 14, 2012 3:24 AM
10The Olympus SZ range uses the standard small 1/2.3" sensor crammed with way too many pixels.
The one in the Canon S95/S100 is no real biggie either but it is about twice as large. This results in much better image quality even at low sensitivity/ISO - and higher price of the camera itself.
This has nothing to do with Canon or Olympus or any other brand in fact, if you compare a small sensor size Canon it results will be similar.
Samples from the Comparometer (http://www.imaging-resource.com/IMCOMP/COMPS01.HTM):
The first camera is the Canon S95, the second the Olympus SZ-30, image at 200 ISO:
As pizwat says, it's not about megapixels and the biggest zoom when it comes to image quality, but much more about sensor capability (and how a company extracts the info and converts it to an actual image).
The short rule is the bigger the sensor the better the image (of course the lens in front of that sensor needs to be good too, but that's not the problem on those compact cameras these days, the sensor is usually more the limiting factor on compacts).
Here is the S95 vs the D90, a dSLR from 2008:
If there is less light available, not sunny bright conditions, and you need to crank up the sensitivity the difference starts showing even more. Here the Olympus SZ-30 vs the Nikon D90 at 800 ISO:
So if you are looking for improved image quality go for a second hand dSLR, if not something like a Canon S95 which uses the larger 1/1.7" size sensor.
Most dSLR's use the APS-C size in this illustration, btw.
When it comes down from converting the data collected by the sensor into an image Canon uses very effective algorithms, Olympus does quite well too, but others aren't.
I don't own a compact camera btw, I prefer the vastly superior image quality of dSLR's, Nikon in my case. However if I would buy any compact I would go for one of the S-series Canons, saw a second hand S90 for 170$ recently and have to say I was tempted - didn't go for it as I know I would not have been happy with it in the long run as even if it is good for a compact it still is a big step down from the dSLR I'm used too.
As said, make up your own mind, samples of differences in image quality are all there, head over to comparometer and check out various cameras.
Dpreview has a comparing section too:
If you want an Olympus a comparable model would be the XZ-1 - which comes once more with a "large size compact" 1/1.6" size sensor - and a price tag as well.
Apr 14, 2012 6:31 AM
11Beautiful camera the SZ - though, even though it'll be upgraded soon.
The S-90 is still plodding along nicely, 4 years on. That says a lot about it - huh?
Much nicer looking than the Canon (very 70's looking) - a packet cheaper too.
Many more features.
And of course, many photo clean up software kits, take care of lacking features nowadays.
Couldn't be without the 'Panoramic' and '3D' on the Olympus - either. They're lush.
And of course, OP is asking about a 'Cheap' camera.
Olympus wins that one - too.
Good to choose though.
Read what the experts say....
Good reviews for both - and sure, pro's and cons for both.
Apr 14, 2012 6:55 AM
124 years on? That's the Nikon D90.
The Canon S90 is 3yrs (2009), the S95 is 2yrs (2010) and the S100 is less than 1yrs (December 2011).
And yes, all of them beat a small sensor camera like the SZ series (even the newest one) in terms of image quality.
A second hand S95 might be better for OP because of budget limits.
No "photo clean up" software can put back detail into a picture which the sensor failed to capture.
The "many more features' will not give you a single improvement in basic image quality delivered by the sensor.
And OP is looking exactly for that one thing - image quality.
Looks? Now that's a rather personal thing; I much prefer simple (retro) designs than those spaceship looking ones.
However has nothing to do with image quality at the end.
Apr 14, 2012 6:56 AM
13No "photo clean up" software can put back detail into a picture which the sensor failed to capture
Why is that?
Retro indeed - that, the Canon certainly is.
OP is looking also for 'Cheap', as mentioned in OP.
Gimme the extra Olympus features (including a proper optical zoom) any day.
Close call, I'll give you that....
Until prices and all the Olympus's bucket load of additional features are brought into it.
Apr 14, 2012 7:22 AM
- Why is that?
Astonishes me that you have to ask that.
Because if there is no detail in an image file you can't put in back in there anymore?
You simply can't go from left to right with the help of software:
- Gimme the extra Olympus features (including a proper optical zoom) any day.
For you yes, but you don't care (or can't distinguish) about image quality. OP does care, he/she wants higher image quality.
I wouldn't call it a 'close call' - any 1?1.7" size sensor camera is clearly the winner looking at image quality. Of course it comes at a higher cost, that's why OP might better look at second hands. And yes, those seconds hands will still get better image quality than a new 1/2,3" inch sensor camera.
Once more, the additional features, including a 'proper zoom' (whatever that is?) does not improved image quality per se.
A second hand dSLR might be the best bet for OP actually as it delivers best image quality. By a wide margin.
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