In the world of the serious superzoom bridge cameras, Samsung’s WB5000 is currently the company’s only fully-loaded model. It sports an 24x f/2.8–5.0 zoom lens, a 12Mp sensor with with RAW mode shooting and 720p HD video recording. It also features dual optical and digital image stabilisation, two user-defined shooting modes and …
Fewer gimmicks, less noise please
Another camera with lots of bells and whistles, but which fails at the basics - producing a clear noise-free picture.
I bought a Lumix FZ38 at the beginning of the year to replace an ageing HP Photosmart compact camera from around 2000 that had been dropped once to many times.
It was pretty sad that new camera exhibited substantially more noise and compression artifacts than the old one.
Can anyone recommend a nice compact zoom, that allows manual control and has a big enough sensor that things don't get all grainy after 200 ASA?
I like the Panasonic LX3 - manual control, RAW mode and not too slow. The zoom range is limited but suits my kind of photography - mostly buildings, landscapes and macro.
I LOVE HORSES, BEST OF ALL THE ANIMALS
The Leica D-Lux 4 isn't bad. Also, some of the Panasonic Lumix range (which have a lot in common with those baby Leicas including the glass) are nice. Those are pocketable.
If you can stand a tiny bit more size, the Canon Powershot G11 is waffely versatile- shoots raw, has good noise performance, nice manual control. It's somewhere between "pocket" and "bridge" size, about the size of a 35mm rangefinder. That's a fantastic camera for people who want one camera to cover all eventualities without breaking the bank. Focussing suffers a bit from "Canon disease" (their autofocus is a bit pants), but it generally works ok, and it's fun to use.
Canon S90 is pretty nice too, and is smaller, and also shoots raw. Can't comment in detail as I only had a brief play with one, but the output seems ok- maybe look for reviews.
Personally, I carry a Ricoh GR 3 Digital as a pocket street shooter. It has a 28mm equivalent fixed focal length lens, at a very snappy f/1.9. It focusses and works in conditions where I have trouble even seeing. The noise performance and image quality are very impressive for a 400ish quid camera. I have produced images with it that give my DSLR a run for its money, on occasion (when developed properly from raw, of course). It's a tiny little machine, also.
The GR Digital 3 is one of the most fun to use cameras that I have ever owned, but I accept that it's a bit specialised for some folks.
End of waffle, hope that helps, anyway.
That's extremely helpful Mr (or Ms) Anonymous. Thanks for taking the time.
I mean the pages, not the camera
"Face Recognition prioritises a familiar faces over unfamiliar ones"
How does it remember familiar faces?
The amount artifacts and noise just makes the picture looks like it's from a cheap CCTV camera.
Doesn't sound that hot
It seems to me that the only benefit the Samsumg offers over the DMC-FZ38 is the extra (x18-24) zoom; in all other departments the Panasonic (with a much superior Leica lens, and costing £50 less) appears to have it beaten.
Both cameras could do with a "hot shoe" to fit an alternative external (higher power) flash unit, though. Would it cost the makers that much?
Hot shoe Flash
I agree about the hot shoe, I have the LX3, lovely camera with a pop up flash and hot shoe. It is probably me, but I find the built in flash a little erratic. Solved it with a "Yongnuo" (Chinese, Ebay) remote that sits on the hot shoe and I have a baby Nikon SB30 flash which I can get off axis for some more creative shots
High Zoom? Shoot the moon
A great test of a high zoom/telephoto is to take a shot or two of the moon.
I do this a lot on my Nikon D90, manual mode, ISO Lo1, Shutter around 1/160, Aperture F/11 with my crappy 300mm tamiya lens. Of course these will change with different camera bodies/lenses but its a good base to work with. A good tripod is a necessity.
Because its only 300mm, I have to crop the photo down from 12mp to around 1024x768, then its framed nicely.
But I didn't catch whether this camera had a manual settings mode or not.
The test is whether the camera can discern the craters sharply on a well crescented or gibbous moon. Its a good test of the sharpness achievable in the middle of the shot and so is the peak sharpness obtainable. I found it also shows up badly compressed JPGs more than a daytime scenery shot.
Perhaps in future (or in an addendum) you could publish shots of the moon on high-zoom review cameras?