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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 4:03 am 
Clearly the SLR cameras have larger sensors and therefor lower noise particularly at high ISO settings than do the Prosumer cameras.

However many buy SLR claiming that they want a better picture and I have seen expensive purchases for very ordinary photography, often encouraged by "pros". To me they seem wasteful purchases when a Prosumer would have been quite sufficient.

Leaving out low light noise problems. Is there any real clarity difference that really matters, given the lenses and the same megapixels?

I suspect that I am witnessing what I have seen in the past with HiFi. That a lot of money must be spent to get 0.0001% audio distortion. Where more distortion will be sufficient and the numbers game is being played ie I have a lower distortion figure therefore it must sound better.

I see masses of very expensive and weighty Canon cameras in the hands of those that could not really use them. Basically the position being that I am not serious if I do not sport a large lens and Canon is tops so if I own one I will get the best results (numbers game I suspect).

From what I have seen the Prosumer camera is ideal for many with clarity just fine. The "Pros" seem are playing up the sensor size etc when for the many misled it is really not an issue and technology is advancing.

Salesmen really want to sell the most expensive camera and can be very convincing.

Am I making sense?


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 5:56 am 
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yeah sort of, I see where you are coming from.

But its no different to powertools, I have seen plenty of good gear in people`s shed and the owners aren`t exactly adept at getting the best out of them.

There is a few other advantages a DSLR offers over a compact and that is focus ability, ie accuracy, speed and at lower light.

Then there is dof. You cannot compare the two from that alone.


look at these images Gordon posted on flickr one from a Powershot S95
http://www.flickr.com/photos/cameralabs ... 253248855/

and compare to the entry model Canon 1100D
http://www.flickr.com/photos/cameralabs ... 886347289/

look at colour contrast sharpness.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:33 am 
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davmax wrote:
Leaving out low light noise problems. Is there any real clarity difference that really matters, given the lenses and the same megapixels?


In addition to the issues noted above, there may also be print size considerations. But since most of the people who would be well served by a prosumer camera probably won't be printing in large format (poster size or above), yes, I think you're making sense. In fact, I've previously posted similar comments more than once.

Mark


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 Post subject: Picture quality
PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 2:23 am 
Thanks Maxjj for your examples. Making direct comparisons like that I found very difficult in that the exact same shots and conditions did not exist. Yes I saw differences, some in colour, but which was the correct colour, I would not know. Very difficult indeed.

My point I guess is what is sufficent for many who do not do massive blow ups etc. Then colours can be purposely enhanced or colour shifted. All highly debatable.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 8:33 am 
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You will find that those people who purchase SLR cameras also think of the lenses avaliable.

Recently I replaced my Prosumer camera with a Canon 7D - with the aim of purchasing a 70-200mm f/4 lens. Now that I got it, I never looked back. I shoot school sports and events and My set up is worth the 4 grand I spent. Because I can do what 99% of everyone else in the area cant.

The things I do now with my camera I could NEVER EVER do on my last camera. I shoot portraits, sports, and events for the school, and if I spent 1 grand or 2 grand on a cheaper camera, sure the school would be happy as they cant tell the difference, but I would have only a handfull of useable images at the end of the day. With my current camera, I can shoot and always get a good useable photo. My workflow is faster, my speed and quality has risen (since Im using quality lenses) and most of all, I can rely on my camera in most conditions, something I can never say about a cheaper camera.

To give you a comparrison - I would take a 4GB card and fill it and on my cheapy camera I spent hours looking for a photo that had 1) Accurate focus, 2) Acurate motion 3) Accurate WB 4) was Sharp and most of all 5) Had the subject surrounded by Bokeh.

With my currnet set up, I never complain anymore and I just shoot knowing that 99% of the time I got the shot. I dont see my camera as 4k bucks I spent, I see it as, I wasted 2k on my previous camera when I should have gotten a 40D all those years ago - I wasted a lot of money on somehting that gave me a lot of greif.

Leo

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 9:16 am 
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I see big differences, not in colour, but sharpness, contrast clarity and noise.
In my opinion that is way more important

keep in mind this links above is comparing the most basic DSLR with a basic lens compared to a compact camera.
Colour is one of those things that can be shifted with auto white balance and saturation levels, but dynamic range cannot.

What is good enough for you or for a happy snap is always open to discussion, but there is a point, like with hifi where you spend a lot of money for small incremental improvements.

For me a crop sized sensor is way better than a compact sensor, a better lens does make a noticeable amount of difference. Am I likely to step up to a to full frame sensor, no not for my type of photography. I find it hard to justify the expense versus the results. Its a cost vs benefit thing, but compact sensor vs crop sensor that is an easy one.

Like I said earlier dof and focusing ability is a huge thing, that as a simple generalisation compact cameras just cannot deliver.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 4:18 am 
The last post a are very interesting. I am sure there are differences with the most expense cameras, why else would you buy one. At the risk of repeating myself. For many this would not be necessary and in the examples offered it is very difficult to be accurate with the comparisons that are different in distance and lighting. eg the organ pipes on the SLR example show very good contrast of green and gold, not so good on the other example BUT the pipes are further away making differential and resolution difficult.
I was interested in that a large amount was spent to obtain a good 200mm F4 lens. I have trouble justifying this in my mind when a Panasonc FZ150 goes from 25mm to (600MM F5.4) a pretty good quality coated Lieca lens and fast focusing. No jugling of heavy lens, full 1280 video with again fast AF. Bulging with flexibility. A flexible video camera as well, in fact video and stills simultaneously, two cameras in one. All costing approx. $450. A very good choice to travel with, min bulk and weight and still great results.
Light, powerful and flexible. The only major negatives being auto sound level adjust (but great for zoom video) and no extremely high ISO levels as in the good SLR cameras. This class of camera is real value and performance for many who do not have exceptional needs.

Most Canon SLR's do not support video very well with no AF and limited features.

In the final analysis it often lies with personal preference.
If not already read, the review of the FZ150 on this site is quite an education. A new and increasingly popular generation of camera.


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 Post subject: Re: Picture quality
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 1:13 am 
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davmax wrote:
My point I guess is what is sufficent for many who do not do massive blow ups etc. Then colours can be purposely enhanced or colour shifted.


On one hand, I agree. I've also posted before that, at a certain point, the skill of the photographer and post-processor will have a more significant impact on the resulting images than the camera.

On the other hand...

Quote:
a Panasonc FZ150 goes from 25mm to (600MM F5.4)


Don't forget that, in addition to focal length, crop factor also applies to aperture. i.e. the FZ150's 4.5-108mm f2.8-5.2 lens is equivalent to 25-600mm f16-30 and the higher f-stop not only affects low light performance, but also aids in focusing. And that brings me to...

Quote:
Most Canon SLR's do not support video very well with no AF


True, but if you shot with the equivalent aperture on an SLR, a lot more of the image will be in focus. And instead of a Canon, if you compare the Panasonic FZ150 to a Panasonic m4/3 camera which does AF while shooting video while also using a shallow depth of field that the FZ150 is not capable of...

Now, maybe you don't need AF while shooting video or can't afford a GH2 + 14-140mm + 100-300mm lenses. Then yes, those would not be very good recommendations. But the corollary is that, if you do need those features, then the FZ150 would not be a very good recommendation.

Bottom line, as I've said before, it's about finding the equipment that best fits your particular needs.

Mark


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 8:30 am 
Thanks Maestro

I am really puzzled about this "25-600mm f16-30" I did not realise that you multipled the F number when converting to 35mm equivalent focal lengths. Surely F16 to 30 would be tragic and the FZ150 5.2 max is real as recorded in the photo data.

Please enlighten me.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 11:21 am 
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I was temporarily confused by the title of this topic, as "prosumer" in the USA seems to usually refer to a high-end, semi-pro DSLR, such as the 7D or 5D2, as opposed to a consumer DSLR, such as a Rebel series.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 11:43 am 
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RexGig, your first assumption is correct. In sales, its, Digital Compact, high end Digital compact, Superzooms, Mirrorless, DSLR, Prosumer, Professional. But according to the context, we can assume Produmer = High End Digital Superzooms and Mirrorless.

@davmax, From my reading and experience, the f30 versus the recorded f5.6 is relative. Let us assume the Compact sensor is the same size of 35mm, the 5.6 would be the equivelent, just like how people make focal length equivelents. the f30 is reffered to the the practical usage.

instead of 4.5mm - 108mm, its 25-600. The same applies to the F number. If you look at hte focal length, the recorded number is not 108 but 600. The f Number of 5.6 is recorded because the equivelent is recorded. As sensors get smaller, the focal length in practice gets longer, and the f number gets larger as well, in practice.

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2) Pentax MZ-60 [Sigma 28-90 & 100-300]
3) Canon 7D [EF-S 15-85 & 70-200mm f/4 IS & 50mm f1.4]
4) Leica M [50mm Summicron Pre-aspherical - Silver]

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 1:09 am 
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I suppose this thread would be a good place to bring up the raw vs jpg debate. :wink:

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 5:35 am 
Leo,
Thanks for your input re F number. I not sure that you are right. The F number we would agree represents the amount of light falling on the sensor, this varies according to the particular light transmission capability of a lens.

In the Super Zoom cameras we have small sensors ie the light is focused on a smaller area. This means that because F number represents light/unit area there would be a higher light density (higher F )if a standard SRL lens were focused down to the small sensor. However to bring the light level down to the same F level at the sensor a super zoom lens does not need to gather as much light and therefore a smaller lens can be employed. Yes the lens does pass less light than a larger SLR lens therefore it could be taken as a higher F rated lens, but if fact what counts is the light density a the sensor. So when a super zoom records an F number with each shot it represents the real life light density at the sensor and F 5.6 means F 5.6. When you think about it. Why would a camera record F 5.6 if it were F 30 something?

In fact F number is constant for all cameras irrespective of focal length so that it is used as a stable reference for quoting a photo shot condition (just as ISO and shutter speed).

Short focal length of Super Zooms relates to the sensor size.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 7:31 pm 
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I find you are quite on target, and have long thought so myself. I've even tried to point it out to some folks who were buying into DSLRs yet clearly were not going to be using the advantages of these cameras in a way that would make them better choices than a compact ultrazoom.

While there are some passionate posts above pointing out how the differences ARE clear, and how much more capable DSLRs are than compacts, and how much their photography has improved with a DSLR, all these posts are missing the wider point that the silent masses who buy DSLRs (ie: those NOT on these forums because they are passionate about cameras!!) are the types who very likely don't even have an understanding of control over depth of field, dynamic range, ISO sensitivity, etc. There are certainly a good many DSLRs in the hands of folks who use them no differently than P&S cameras, and in conditions which are unchallenging even for a P&S, certainly far from ever tapping the potential of their DSLR. I presume the O.P.'s point was that these folks could have been just as well served, image-quality wise, with a prosumer or high end compact, and possibly even better served considering they would have spent less money and would have less bulk to carry around. And not to mention the use of the photos - with a large majority of folks displaying photos on iPhones or iPads to family, e-mailing it to friends, or possibly displaying on an HDTV - all of which would be well within the capabilities of even a tiny sensor P&S camera. Few use their photos for extremely heavy cropping, large-format printing, selling, publishing, etc, where a DSLR image will start to show clear advantages over the small sensor photos.

But it certainly has become one of those things people feel they must buy almost as much for status or cache as for image results (sometimes moreso) - certainly anyone who has been to Disney World has seen the huge number of DSLRs being carted around by families, shockingly even some high-end semi-pro units, of which a closer scrutiny would reveal kit lenses only, dial set to 'auto' mode, pop up flashes firing at stage shows from 200 feet away, and a clear demonstration by the users of a complete lack of basic photographic knowledge. I have spent many of my minutes at Disney World walking inexperienced camera users through some basic settings, revealing features they didn't even know they had, explaining long exposures at night and fill flash and depth of field.

And of course just to be clear - there's nothing wrong with that. Everyone's got a right to buy whatever makes them happy. I'm not judging it, just confirming that I too notice the trend, and do feel that some of these folks would have done just as well if not better with a good P&S camera for a whole lot less money and weight. It wouldn't suit me or my needs personally anymore - I shot with prosumers and ultrazooms for nearly 10 years before moving into DSLRs...after coming from 20 years of film SLRs. I did in fact cut my teeth on prosumers, and only moved to DSLRs when I absolutely needed the benefits of the larger sensor and faster focus, along with lens interchangeability and better controls. While the potential for growth exists for anyone with a DSLR, arguably many of these folks have a very long way to go to become a great photographer, and much of that learning could have been achieved with a prosumer as well...and that doesn't even broach the subject of whether they actually WANT to become a 'photographer' or will always simply be 'people who need a camera for family snaps and travel'. Certainly many DSLRs out there aren't being used anywhere near their potential, and many aren't being used beyond the capabiltiies of P&S cameras - but if that's what makes people happy and they don't regret their decision, that's OK too.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 4:06 am 
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davmax wrote:
Thanks Maestro

I am really puzzled about this "25-600mm f16-30" I did not realise that you multipled the F number when converting to 35mm equivalent focal lengths. Surely F16 to 30 would be tragic and the FZ150 5.2 max is real as recorded in the photo data.

Please enlighten me.


Sorry for the late reply. I was trying to not get used to the default forum format. Now that the Camera Labs customizations are in effect:

Yes, it's real the same way the 4.5-108mm focal length is real. But if you go back and look at my previous post, you'll notice that I was addressing your "600MM F5.4" statement. In other words, I was addressing your mixing of effective focal length with real aperture.

Remember that aperture is the ratio of focal length over pupil diameter. So changing one value and not the other has to change the result. e.g. 200mm focal length / 50mm pupil diameter = f4.0 vs 400mm focal length / 50mm pupil diameter = f8.0

If you (and/or someone you know) has access to the appropriate equipment (and a suitable subject) this is easy to demonstrate practically. (i.e. in real life) e.g. setup a tripod along a picket fence, mount your FZ150 on it and take a pic at, say, 50mm (actual) and wide open (which would be what, f4.0-ish? you can check the EXIF to verify). Take a second pic at 9mm (actual, which is ~50mm with the crop factor) and the same f4.0-ish aperture. Finally, mount a full frame camera on the tripod and shoot with the same 50mm (actual, obviously, since there's no crop factor on full frame) and that same f4.0-ish aperture. Compare the Depth of Field in the three pics.

Mark

Now that I think about it, this would be really good to do with a Nikon 1 with an F mount adapter, and a Nikon D800.


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