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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 9:06 am 
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The latest breed of super-zoom and pro-sumer digital cameras continue to push the boundaries, yet still miss out on what seem like obvious features. Like how come the Sony H9 doesn't let you adjust the JPEG compression or noise reduction?

So if you could get a manufacturer to design the perfect pro-sumer digital camera, what would it have? Lets be realistic though and realise you're not going to get the low noise of a DSLR without a big sensor and the big lens required to address it... although it does beg the question what happened to the Sony R1...

Ok, here's my wish list! (in no particular order)

1: Optical zoom range which starts at an equivalent of 24mm. I'd like a decent telephoto too, but would be happy with a shorter range if it meant better quality and the wider short end... A decent 24-120mm would be fine for me...

2: Image stabilisation. Sensor shift or optical - I don't mind.

3: Fast focusing and short shutter lag. I don't care so much about continuous shooting, but hate it when you try and focus on something and it's gone before the camera's worked it out. The H9's been the best so far in this regard.

4: Flip out and twist screen. And a big one. High resolution too please! I reckon Sony's close to perfection here with the H9.

5: A Mild JPEG compression ratio - and RAW too ideally... And some means by which to turn off noise reduction and deal with the consequences ourselves!

6: Easy access to popular controls like ISO and white balance - Panasonic's user interface has got it right for me right now...

So maybe I'm after a Panasonic FZ8 or FZ50 with a wider angle lens, faster focusing and a bigger screen (and flip out on the FZ8). Or perhaps a Sony H9 with more control over image processing. Or then again a Sony R1 with optical stabilisation and the kind of low noise you'd have hoped for with the big sensor. The R1's lens was certainly ideal for what I'm after...

What does everyone else want from a super-zoom / pro-sumer all-in-one?

Gordon


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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 1:39 pm 
Hi Gordon!
I would like to add something to your wishlist: proper Li-ion battery pack, not AA type alkaline batteries. (like Fuji)
I completely agree with your other options.

When the Sony R1 came to the market, I thought that it will be the perfect brigde camera, but after all I changed my mind. :)

Dani


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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 11:06 pm 
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PERFECT DIGICAM FOR ME:

Brand: Canon
Lens: 28-200 F2.8 (35mm equivalent) with IS
Chip: 2/3" (8.80 x 6.60 mm) - 10MP
LCD: 3.0" 230,000 pixels (I don't care for full articulation, although it would be nice)
Features: Basically like the current G7, full manual, dial control, external flash, plus RAW.
Focusing speed: Like a Canon XT series.
Frames: 3 FPS up to 50.
Slim like the G7, so it's easily carryable.
Image quality: At ISO 100 to match that of a consumer DSLR. Also usable images up to ISO 400.
Viewfinder: Either clear optical or good electronic, with diopter.
Price: MSRP US$599, Street 500.

That's all, easy right? ;)

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PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2007 10:07 am 
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- Geometry like Pana TZ3, dustproof extending lens-tube, automatic lens-cap
- 7.2 Megapixel CCD (1/1.8" = 8x12mm), otherwise the laws of physics will never let you have low noise
- 20-240mm (film equiv.) optical zoom + 3x digi-zoom, macro 1:2 at 20mm
- a real iris with stops down to f22
- maximum stabilization
- Fast autofocus, that shows where the cam had focussed on plus fast trigger
- Start-up time is not so important - you know when it's getting interesting.
- 2,5-3" superbright LCD - don't bother with resolution, readability in bright sunlight is much more important to me!
- LCD should flip up for ground-shots and flip down for overhead-shots
- automatic ISO 100-400 with option of manual selection
- good whitebalance at auto, no manual required
- jpeg fine, normal (+ RAW)
- built in flash with option to trigger additional external flash, tripod mount
- SD-HC card compatible, up to and over 16GB
- 3fps for 4 secs plus video-recording capabilities
- a really balanced auto-programm concentrating on depth of field, depending on focal length, plus sport-prog for fast shutter-speed plus night-shot. The rest of programms is more confusing than helpful
- USB + video + hdmi out

What irritates me most in todays compacts, is that things that depend on the processor in the cam (like speed, RAW, auto vs. manual) are cut off. For me there is no excuse to cripple a compact that way.
The real differentiator to DSLRs are the limits of the small sensor plus the limits of not beeing able to change lenses...

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PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2007 2:16 pm 
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Hi Shiva,

not quite sure why we arrived at widely different sizes of the the sensor, because 2/3" should be roughly the same as 1/1.8".
I thought the measure gives the diagonal of the sensor, so that should be something between 14 and 17mm diagonally.
My guestimate was 8x12mm which is 14mm diagonally
You quoted 8.8x6.6mm which is 11mm diagonally or around 1/2.4"

Am I getting something wrong here?

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PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2007 10:22 pm 
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Hi Thomas, you have watch out when comparing actual sensor dimensions against the sensor types - such as 1/1.8in, 1/2.7in etc... this last measurement does not refer to the diagonal dimension of the actual sensor!

If you imagine the rectangle of the sensor itself, then the 1/1.8in part refers to a circle which surrounds it and with space to spare. This harks back to the old days of video multiplier tubes and strangely has been inherited and just not updated for modern sensors. I think the measurement refers to the diameter of a tube which surrounded the sensor itself.

As far as I understand it, there's no easy formula for calculating the actual sensor area from the 1/x measurement - you just have to look it up!

So a 1/1.8in sensor actually measures 7.18x5.32mm.

A 1/2.7in sensor measures 5.27x3.96mm.

The older 2/3in sensor which we sadly don't see much of these days measured a relatively large 8.8x6.6mm.

These are all of course dwarfed by a typical DSLR sensor which even in a non full-frame body, will measure around 25x16mm. A full frame sensor will measure 36x24mm.

Gordon


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PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2007 10:57 pm 
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Didn't get that: The diameter of a tube surrounding the sensor?! That should be the diagonal, shouldn't it!?

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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2007 12:40 am 
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Nope, the inner diameter of the tube actually has some space between it and the sensor - so it's bigger than the sensor's diagonal.

As I understand it anyway!

Gordon


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2007 5:59 pm 
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So Shiva is right:
- a 10MP chip 2/3" has the size 8.80 x 6.60 mm
That meaning a 24x16mm Sensor with this density would have 66Megapixels :shock: :shock: :shock:
I wonder how they get any decent low noise picture out of that :?:
But then: 66MP : 10 MP says just that a ISO 800 pic with a 10MP 24x16mm sensor can be as good as a ISO 120 pic with a 1MP 8.8x6.6mm sensor because it can collect the same amount of photons per square-mm and thus can have (theoretically) the same signal to noise ratio.

In practice the s/n ratio of the smaller sensor should even be worse, because with higher photo-cell density the retio of photo-cell silicon to borders between photo-cells becomes worse...

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:38 pm 
Hi Gordon and the others,

I just wanted to tell my thought about a near perfect point & shoot digital camera.

I think a camera like Canon G9 can be the one if it just has got the lens range of a Panasonic TZ3 and the ability of optically zoom while video shooting like in a Panasonic TZ1 and was able to fit a swivel screen borrowed from its sister Canon A650 IS without having to get any thicker.

It will be a prefect cam when delivers the quality of a Sony R1, but this could be a bit unfair as R1 is a bridge camera while G9 is a compact. But if a Fujifilm F50fd make better IQ then this should be the sensor used in that near perfect compact cam.

Does any of you think that replacing a feature of such a camera would make it even better?

Also, it is too hard for Canon, Sony, Panasonic, or Fujifilm to make it?

Sorry for my English.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2007 9:18 am 
Casio is supposed to be coming up with a 60fps cmos camera. Even 5 fps at full res. on a non-dslr would be really cool.


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