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Prosumer cameras - your views please

MattGrayson 11 622 3 England
10 Sep 2008 2:05PM
Hey everyone
I'm about to do a comparison test on four prosumer models and I'm curious to find out what you all look for when you're buying one.
Is it the price? resolution? zoom? raw? speed? compatibility? brand?

Let me know your list of priorities when looking to buy one of these types of camera and I'll cover them.

Thanks in advance. Smile

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franken Plus
15 4.6k 4 United Kingdom
10 Sep 2008 2:12PM
1: Zoom range.
2: Lens quality.
3: How it handles fringing.
4: How it copes with noise.
5: Raw mode.
6: Build quality.

These are not in any order of importance.

Pete Plus
17 18.8k 97 England
10 Sep 2008 2:16PM
Just to clarify, what Matt means is compact cameras that you may buy as a back up to your SLR, one you would take with you on every journey, on your way to work, out in the evening etc when you leave the SLR at home. I know many have bought Canon G9's in the past.

edit, thanks Ken, spot on! That sort of info will help us provide the right kind of test in future
User_Removed 11 2.2k 3 United Kingdom
10 Sep 2008 2:32PM

To be honest, I'm only buying a compact for recording memories so I'm not really interested in bells and whistles.
10 Sep 2008 3:06PM
in order of importance :

1) does it have a swivelscreen
2) how does it cope with higher ISO
3) RAW

regrettably all the top compacts lack the first (keep wondering what idiot decided that it was better not to have a swivelscreen on the G9) and don't perform too well for the second Sad
Pete Plus
17 18.8k 97 England
10 Sep 2008 3:09PM
Did someone mention swivel screen? Wink

Seriously, though Koen is this for your street photography? Do you usually shoot from the hip etc. I always assumed you just got stuck into the action and didn't worry about being seen to be taking the shots.
cattyal Plus
13 8.5k 6 England
10 Sep 2008 3:19PM
I'm just about to start putting serious thought into a pocket sized (or handbag sized) camera and currently my priorities are

optical viewfinder
lens quality
build - it's going to be knocking about in a bag
resolution - just in case I take the most wonderful shot and need it big!
the ability to use manual settings - I very rarely use auto or any presets.

I'm sure I'll think of more....
guidoa 16 1.4k United Kingdom
10 Sep 2008 3:21PM
The Canon A 650IS has a swivel screen and is apparently almost identical to the G9. I find it a great camera, but it doesnt have RAW
keith selmes 14 7.4k 1 United Kingdom
10 Sep 2008 4:06PM
size (needs to be small enough)
image quality (thats lens and electronics)
build quality (needs to be strong enough, and handle well)
viewfinder (Eyelevel VF highly desirable, EVF is OK)
price (If its too much, I go without)
zoom (Zoom preferred, wide angle preferred)
raw (Desirable but not essential)

I prefer wide angle in the small camera, as it'll be used indoors and in the city, with tall buildings.
Optical viewfinders on small cameras aren't much good, so I'm prepared to use EVF - in practice its OK on a Ricoh GX100.

A rotating LCD or EVF, or both, is very nice, handy in all sorts of ways, as per Canon G5 and Ricoh GX100. Icing on the cake.

I accept that high ISO won't be much good with current technology.
cameracat 14 8.6k 61 Norfolk Island
10 Sep 2008 4:12PM
No 1. Image quality.

No 2. Image quality, With low noise performance up to ISO 800.

No 3. Minimal shutter lag, Ok! maybe not up to DSLR standard, Perhaps half as quick.....Smile
10 Sep 2008 4:22PM
Considerations when I recently purchase a carry everywhere camera (ranked by the importance to me):-

1. Size and build quality
2. Image quality
3. Optical zoom (forget digital)
4. Price
5. Recording media (type of card)
6. Name (manufacturers reputation).

Regards, Stuart
mikesavage 16 299 2 England
10 Sep 2008 6:52PM
Something that offers better optical quality than your typical 3x zoom compact, basically.
Paul Morgan 17 19.1k 6 England
10 Sep 2008 7:51PM

Quote:regrettably all the top compacts lack the first (keep wondering what idiot decided that it was better not to have a swivelscreen on the G9) and don't perform too well for the second

Are they really needed, now you can get these in all sorts of shapes and design`s example some are even wireless.

In no particular order

Build quality
Zoom range and lens quality
Battery life
Image quality and sensor size.
Add-ons, external flash etc

Been hoping for an upgraded Pro 1, now why are none of these new camera`s using 2/3 size sensors.
11 Sep 2008 5:12AM

Quote:The Canon A 650IS

yes, it's probably the compact I would most likely buy for that reason. RAW is nice, but not essential for me. But still waiting for a slightly better model with a swivel screen. And the rather bad performance at higher ISO still is a problem.

Quote:Are they really needed

err... yes Wink

Quote:Seriously, though Koen is this for your street photography? Do you usually shoot from the hip etc. I always assumed you just got stuck into the action and didn't worry about being seen to be taking the shots.

It's the best tool I've seen around for doing street photography.
I usually used it from whatever height is needed. often waist, groundlevel or overhead. You can do all 3 - and actually see what you're doing - thanks to the swivelscreen. I dare anyone to name me an easier and more effective way of doing these kind of shots.

For street photography - where you often want to get close but not attract the subjects attention - it is a priceless tool. Because you can shoot sideways.
Often I didn't face the subject(s), but stood with my right shoulder towards them, so I was shooting from a 90 degree angle. Because of the swivel screen this is perfectly possible.
It makes all the difference. As you are not facing the subject, there is no suspicion, or reaction on behalf of the subjects . They'll just continue doing whatever they are doing since as far as they are concerned, you're not taking their picture - they (think they) know this, since you're not even looking in their direction. And even if they happen to realize that the lens is pointing at them, most of the time they just seem to think you're just standing there and fiddling with your camera. Often you can go really close to people this way, and they still don't have a clue.
The only other thing that I know of that works a bit the same way is the wide angle lens. You can go really close, the lens is pointing past your subject, but your subject is in the picture and unaware of this.

For events like Songkran and the tattoo festival I can use the dslr, as most people are stuck in their actions and often don't even take notice of me. But every situation is different. I will get a lot more (unwanted) silly posing during the happy songkran festival than during the tattoo festival. For the boxing shots there's not much danger of them giving me their 'silly' pose - for obvious reasons.

But for street photography I find it essential. It is not a coincidence that since I use the dslr, street photography 'pur sang' has almost completely disappeared from my portfolio - regrettably.

Or to put it differently :
Time out (sideways),
Game and a Red Shoe (overhead using SS),
Bodyguard (sideways),
Me and my Cup (sideways),
On a Break (sideways),
Yellow Pages Melancholy (sideways),
Smokin' the Soup (ground level),
Travellers (sideways and ground level),
Travellers III (sideways and ground level),
Troubled Mind of a Construction Worker (sideways),
Art of Being Obnoxious (sideways),
? (sideways and ground level),

And most importantly, no window cleaner without a swivel screen as I had to take it completely overhead to avoid branches that were in the way.

and these are just but a few examples.

Actually surprised that I have to explain this. Just don't understand why it isn't obvious to others. Wish people would take the ss a bit more seriously Sad
11 Sep 2008 5:29AM
I mean, what are the disadvantages ?
You really think the thing will just drop off ?
if you don't need it, well then just leave it in place. you even have extra protection for your screen as you can turn the screen inwards when you're not using the camera.
there is the shutter delay on a compact. but even if it is related to the live view, it isn't related to the live view screen swiveling.
So again, I don't get the suspicion towards it.

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