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Dave Bloke

Compact Digital Camera

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what to people recommend for compact digital cameras these days?

I would like:

4k video

zoom

photos better than a smartphone

I looked at the Lumix FZ80 but seems image quality and the lens sucks

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How much do you want to spend?

Most compact digital cameras use a 1/2.3" sensor, which is a lot larger than a smartphone, but still pretty tiny compared to a proper camera. In my experience smartphones take really good photos if there's plenty of light, you only see an improvement with a compact when the light drops or if you've zoomed in- and even then compacts are noticeably inferior to cameras with APS-C sized sensors. Bear in mind also that the average computer screen is still only 1080p (~2MP) so you can crop a 10+MP pic quite a way before it loses apparent sharpness, if you're just going to view them on a screen.

I don't keep up with the video capabilities of cameras much at all really- I don't have any screens with higher than 1080p resolution and I very rarely shoot any video. However it seems to me that in anything other than bright conditions 1080p out of a DSLR is likely to actually contain more detail and less noise than 4k out of a compact, just because there's clearly going to be no point rendering a load of noise from a small sensor with a high quality video codec.

If you can cope with carrying something a bit larger than a phone then I've seen the Sony A6300 secondhand in CEX for about £300-350, with the standard lens.

https://www.techradar.com/uk/reviews/sony-alpha-a6300-review

That does 4K and ought to piss on any sub £500 compact for quality. Personally I've always liked Canons and recently bought an EOS M3 secondhand, mainly to play with rather than actually use. I like it, but Canons are relatively poor for video (the very latest ones are improved, apparently). I've also acquired a couple of S95s very cheap on Ebay, one needed a replacement lens module which I bought from China and fitted myself, the other one, sold as 'spares or repairs' appears to actually work perfectly once I put a battery in it! The pics are great and I've not even tried the 720p video.

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Posted (edited)

I would guess they are all much of a muchness these days,  but I would suggest thinking very carefully about whether you really want a compact.  All of ours are now in sock draws.

The reason being smartphone cameras are just so good..  we found the phone pictures were equal to anything taken on a compact..  if not better in some ways. 

If you want better pictures than from a smartphone,  consider going all out and getting an entry level DSLR..  they may be bulky,  but at least you get considerably better photos and much better low light performance.

If my wife wasn’t a compulsive hoarder I’d offer to just send you one of our old compacts for free.

Edited by Libspero
Edit to add: what Rave said above, but get a Nikon instead of a Canon ;)

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I can recommend the Sony RX100.  There are various versions with the pricier being able to do 4K video.  Not cheap but I've had the mk1 for several years and pretty much stopped using my SLR because of it.

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On 12/06/2019 at 13:20, Libspero said:

 

If you want better pictures than from a smartphone,  consider going all out and getting an entry level DSLR..  they may be bulky,  but at least you get considerably better photos and much better low light performance.

I've got two canon eos but have used them once in the last 4 years I've had them, just too complicated for me as I'm not a photo buff.

The only plus for me with the Canon was I went to a sports event this winter and could walk around where I wanted as everyone thought I was a pro. I even had a couple of the female competitors contact me afterwards asking if I would do a photo session with them on the back of some pics I took. The missus put a kibosh on that though. If you saw the women you'd understand her point of view.

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On 12/06/2019 at 12:20, Libspero said:

If you want better pictures than from a smartphone,  consider going all out and getting an entry level DSLR..  they may be bulky,  but at least you get considerably better photos and much better low light performance.

Yes, but you know a phone is quite good, and has probably made these compact cameras obsolete. Also just like in the days of films, one size does not fit all, and a lens even from the same manufacturer might not work with all the cameras in the range, and fuck motorised autofocus. Is the motor in the camera or the lens?  It varies. If you can't see whether it's in focus or not, photography is not for you.

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47 minutes ago, MrPin said:

Yes, but you know a phone is quite good, and has probably made these compact cameras obsolete. Also just like in the days of films, one size does not fit all, and a lens even from the same manufacturer might not work with all the cameras in the range, and fuck motorised autofocus. Is the motor in the camera or the lens?  It varies. If you can't see whether it's in focus or not, photography is not for you.

You will not approve Mr P,   but my old Nikon 5100 really only gets used with the in-lens autofocus unless I know the autofocus is going to struggle for some reason (like if I don't want the subject in the centre of the picture).

I reckon 90% of DSLRs only ever get used in the point and click mode..  but they do it so well,  why not?

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1 minute ago, Libspero said:

You will not approve Mr P,   but my old Nikon 5100 really only gets used with the in-lens autofocus unless I know the autofocus is going to struggle for some reason (like if I don't want the subject in the centre of the picture).

I reckon 90% of DSLRs only ever get used in the point and click mode..  but they do it so well,  why not?

Good for sports photography, where you can get many shots quickly.

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41 minutes ago, MrPin said:

Good for sports photography, where you can get many shots quickly.

Very delicately put..  

Perhaps my equipment is too “entry level”..  whenever I played with the manual focus I found the mechanical resolution too low to ever improve very much over the auto focus..  and thus never really bothered.

I guess if I wanted to catch the perfect picture of a flower pot I might try different ISO / Shutterspeed / manual focus etc..  although nowadays don’t most people just cheat in post processing anyway?

My interest is usually scenery or children..  of which I consider either in the presence of the other a sport in its own right!

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28 minutes ago, Libspero said:

Very delicately put..  

Perhaps my equipment is too “entry level”..  whenever I played with the manual focus I found the mechanical resolution too low to ever improve very much over the auto focus..  and thus never really bothered.

I guess if I wanted to catch the perfect picture of a flower pot I might try different ISO / Shutterspeed / manual focus etc..  although nowadays don’t most people just cheat in post processing anyway?

My interest is usually scenery or children..  of which I consider either in the presence of the other a sport in its own right!

I meant that.  A couple I knew were fond of air shows, and quick is good there, so these DSLRs are good, but I'm still on film for the portraits and scenery.

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On 10/06/2019 at 11:54, Dave Bloke said:

what to people recommend for compact digital cameras these days?

I would like:

4k video

zoom

photos better than a smartphone

I looked at the Lumix FZ80 but seems image quality and the lens sucks

I have a TZ80 which I bought to replace the TZ70 I dropped when I was pissed. It still works and I still use it as a backup, but the pictures are distorted if you are at the wide end of the zoom. I bought a strap when I got the TZ80 and so far I haven't bust it - I am a clumsy bastard...!

I chose it as a replacement as it had "better" features such as 4K instead of 1080p, but there is just something badly wrong with the pictures produced with the standard settings. You can make it much better by using the custom setting, but the TZ70 produced much better photos "out of the box".

I wished I'd bought another TZ70. 

The 30x optical zoom on both models is very good for the price, though you need rock solid hands or a tripod at the extremes, and it does go a bit soft at the maximum.

For a camera you can fit in a (big) pocket, both of these offer a lot for around 200 - 250 quid.

If you got 500 sovs to blow, the TZ100 which has a proper 1 inch sensor gets good reviews, but is limited to a 10x optical zoom.

All of that Lumix range are good for learners like me, as they can do most things that DSLRs can do without the huge price. The features aren't as comprehensive, but they are good enough for me.

You can go full manual if you want, or prioritise the shutter or appeture, and they are I believe the only cameras in the price range that have a proper viewfinder. It's small, but very useful. They also do time-lapse video, which is fun to play with.

Both cameras struggle in low light due to the small sensor, but you can get good results in the semi-auto or manual modes.

They also don't have a swivel screen so you can't take perfect "selfies" - which is another reason I chose them...! Selfies are for mongs.

Here's some pics I took with the TZ70 at the local parachute club on a bright day. The viewfinder made getting these shots much easier...

EDIT: These were taken using a manual shutter to teach me how to anticpate pressing it, and not "cheating" in burst mode...! 

 

33052080_2016517218676967_5661551762746638336_o.thumb.jpg.0590a73443a44f2782bad30f65cfb41b.jpg

32899209_2016517095343646_8923329285163319296_o.thumb.jpg.b2f60f43b88fe823380b0bcd4315b78d.jpg

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32926053_2016516472010375_2963551898373718016_o.thumb.jpg.2188fd508cb0f0f9f85c10270c736d05.jpg

32879716_2016517388676950_9066213359518482432_o.thumb.jpg.6ea333e984d0d93c0e3f9285683c0575.jpg

 

XYY

Edited by The XYY Man

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@Dave Bloke

Another feature you should consider if you fancy a compact camera in the price-range that I'm stuck fairly-and-squarely in is can it save your pictures in RAW format...?

RAW stores your photos uncompressed - which is the BEST way to save them, but it eats into a lot more of your memory card.

The Lumix TZ cameras can do that - albeit in an odd-ball Panasonic implementation of the RAW format. File extensions are RW2, which all the well-known image manipulation software packages support.

You can even save in both RAW and best-quality jpeg formats - if that is what floats your boat...!

I bought these cameras to learn photography as a total beginner, and they are more than fit for that purpose.

I have had the TZ70 for well over a year, and I have still yet to use it - or my TZ80 - in burst mode.

Why...?

Because I want a basic camera to learn the ropes with - exactly as someone with an equivalent 60s camera would have done back then. The difference is the learning time as I don't have to pay for and wait for film to be developed. I can correct my mistakes very quickly using a logical approach. I'll turn all the fancy-dan tricks on when - and only when - I can take a half-decent photo without them.

I have gone out on photography trips where I have shot exclusively in full auto, I have also gone full manual - which caused many a fucked-up photo...! :)

I also do "shutter priority" days, and "aperture priority" ones. I learn something new every time when I get home and review the photos.

My next ones will be on bright summer days where I will shoot only at one iso level without the auto-iso safety net. I learn best by trial-and-error rather than from instruction manuals - and you can fuck-up plenty when you first start. But the results do get better as you figure it out.

I am learning photography from the bottom up - and for what I paid for them, these Lumix cameras are well worth the cash I spent on them in order to find out if I can take decent photos before I lay out serious coin on something better.

You really can get some stunning stuff from these relatively cheap cameras if you put the effort in - and the 30x zoom really will give you a serious bonk-on...!!!

;)

 

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P1010026a.thumb.jpg.bd5be8638240b96d8b0f30c8a913b8c5.jpg

 

XYY

 

Edited by The XYY Man

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Olympus TG5, does 4K, ruggedised, waterproof, zoom and used by my outdoors youtubers to produce excellent video.

Only drawback is the sound is vulnerable to wind noise.

There may even be a TG6 now.

Powers up in 2 seconds from cold.

Has gps built in as well and can do tracklogs.

https://www.olympus.co.uk/site/en/c/cameras/tough/tough_cameras/tg_5/index.html

 

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