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View Full Version : The more research I do, the more frustrated I get...please help!!!!!



Shibby
08-26-2004, 02:56 PM
Okay, here is my (apparently common) dilemma. I'm in the market for my first digital camera...just a point and shoot, for use around the outdoors, events, people, general photography....I wouldn't mind manual controls, as I've taken photography classes at university and am relatively competent with an SLR, but this isn't a deal-breaker type of thing (if I really want a lot of manual controls, I'll dust of the SLR)

One thing I was looking for was something I could put in my pocket. The other thing, which is an absolute requirement, is photo quality...nothing bothers me more than spending a lot of money and having to look at artifacts like vignetting or blurry corners on my pictures! So I thought I'd splurge for the 5 MP variety of compact cameras. I essentially wittled down my options to the Sony DSC-W1 and the Canon S500 (big surprise). This site, among others, give the cameras stellar professional reviews. Sony had edged things out because of it's huge LCD, and it's optional lenses (I'll likely never buy them...I am buying a P&S after all, but the option is nice)...also it's quite a bit cheaper than the S500 (at least in Toronto)

So that's all well and good...a dilemma between which I liked better, not weighing compromises. So I read the threads regarding issues with the W1 and softness, etc. I understand the reasons behind this, and understand that it's likely an issue with all competing camera such as the S500. So yah, you can fix these things in manual mode and paying attention, standard fare on an SLR, but I'm getting a P&S so I don't have to fool around with settings for half the pictures I take.

Now, I'm reading about how cramming 5 MP onto the small CCDs of the W1 or S500 may actually be a bad thing (so much for splurging on the higher res. cameras). Keeping in mind that I absolutely want good picture quality, should I be making the jump to a regular size camera (ie: canon A series, etc)...I really shudder when I think about this possibility, as I really want a camera that I can pocket (the W1 being about the biggest size that I think you can reasonably pocket).

So yes, I know life is full of comprimises, but instead of narrowing down my choices, I'm driving my head into the wall harder and harder...it hurts so bad :rolleyes: . Am I making a big deal out of things? Will I actually notice the supposed softness of the W1 photos in 'real-life'...should I be looking at the regular size cameras if I want good auto function in low light? Am I making any sense whatsoever at this point? I guess to summerize, I want a compact camera that I don't have to do much manual adjustment on, all-the-while giving impeccable pictures in most circumstances (I recognize the inherent limitations of the 'auto' functions, but am looking to reduce them as much as possible).

Please, somebody give me some direction!!! All I want is the perfect digital camera that will suit all my needs with no comprimises...is that too much to ask??? :eek: :p Sorry for the rant, I just needed to let off a little steam.

John_Reed
08-26-2004, 03:20 PM
The other thing, which is an absolute requirement, is photo quality...nothing bothers me more than spending a lot of money and having to look at artifacts like vignetting or blurry corners on my pictures! So I thought I'd splurge for the 5 MP variety of compact cameras. Vignetting and blurry corners aren't brought about by having too few pixels, like 2MP, 3MP, 4MP instead of 5MP; rather, they're a function of lens quality. You didn't say what size prints you wanted to print, but any of the other sizes I mentioned, from 2MP on up, can make a good 8X10 print. If you're looking for a good lens in a compact camera, I'm sure Sarah Joyce would have several suggestions. Since I'm the local (non-commissioned) Panasonic rep, I'd recommend that you at least take a look at their (4MP) DMC-FX5, and their soon-to-be-released (4MP) FX2 and (5MP) FX7 models. The FX5 is available now, the others soon. But all of these are pocketable, all have high-quality Leica-licensed lenses, and all of them have image stabilizers, which helps promote sharp shots even in low-light conditions.

Shibby
08-26-2004, 03:30 PM
Sorry about the garbled logic, didn't mean to imply that I thought vignetting, etc., is a result of pixel #, I just meant that I wish to avoid those sorts of problems in a camera. The MP issue only comes into play with regards to general picture quality (which is a must) but I'm conflicted with the apparent issues with cramming too many onto small sensors. I know Sarah Joyce is a proponent (at least from the point of a happy owner) of the W1, but she also uses manual adjustment for eash pic (according to another thread)...I want to minimize this (just for ease of use, I CAN do it, just don't want to, otherwise I'd just use my SLR). I just want to minimize the amount of manual work, am I barking up the wrong tree with the W1 or compacts in general.

Really, I should probably bite the bullet and buy the W1, see how I like it, and take advantage of futureshop's liberal return policy...just trying to cut down on the trial and error.

Thanks for your help, John!!!

Greg




Vignetting and blurry corners aren't brought about by having too few pixels, like 2MP, 3MP, 4MP instead of 5MP; rather, they're a function of lens quality. You didn't say what size prints you wanted to print, but any of the other sizes I mentioned, from 2MP on up, can make a good 8X10 print. If you're looking for a good lens in a compact camera, I'm sure Sarah Joyce would have several suggestions. Since I'm the local (non-commissioned) Panasonic rep, I'd recommend that you at least take a look at their (4MP) DMC-FX5, and their soon-to-be-released (4MP) FX2 and (5MP) FX7 models. The FX5 is available now, the others soon. But all of these are pocketable, all have high-quality Leica-licensed lenses, and all of them have image stabilizers, which helps promote sharp shots even in low-light conditions.

speaklightly
08-26-2004, 10:01 PM
I personally own and very much like the Sony W-1. I have not encountered any of the many problems that have been listed for this excellent digital camera.

You realize that of these so called digital camera defects might indeed be attributed to the person taking the photograph.

Sarah Joyce

Shibby
08-27-2004, 08:38 AM
I personally own and very much like the Sony W-1. I have not encountered any of the many problems that have been listed for this excellent digital camera.

You realize that of these so called digital camera defects might indeed be attributed to the person taking the photograph.

Sarah Joyce

I know, it's difficult to know who to trust. I realize that yeah it's likely a user issue, and that Sony's apparently don't use a lot of sharpening (leaving it for software to do), etc., but there's always that voice in the back of your head (or maybe just mine) that doesn't want to take a chance. Buyer's remorse sucks.

I know that I should know better, as I said, I've taken photography courses and am used to being critiqued/critisized for my own mistakes. I just worry about spending a lot of money on a camera only to realize that it isn't up to par in it's class.

I guess it's the W1 for me! Thanks for talking some sense into me :D

John_Reed
08-27-2004, 09:19 AM
I just worry about spending a lot of money on a camera only to realize that it isn't up to par in it's class.Hey, once you get the camera and start shooting with it, it'll be in a class by itself, right? You won't have anything to compare it against from the rest of the "class," and you'll be stuck with snapping away and enjoying the results. I'd say get the W1 from someone with a return policy just to be safe, but if you like how it works, and the photos it delivers, just enjoy it! :o

Shibby
08-27-2004, 09:30 AM
Hey, once you get the camera and start shooting with it, it'll be in a class by itself, right? You won't have anything to compare it against from the rest of the "class," and you'll be stuck with snapping away and enjoying the results. I'd say get the W1 from someone with a return policy just to be safe, but if you like how it works, and the photos it delivers, just enjoy it! :o

Thanks, man. I was going to buy from Futureshop here in Toronto (it's like Bestbuy...actually it's owned by them now!) Their sales people sometimes leave a little to be desired, but they have a very liberal 30 day return policy, and just found out that they will beat competitor's prices by 10%..even internet ads (from Canada of course). I found a store that offers the W1 at a great price ($530 as opposed to $599 msrp...actually sounds shady compared to other prices I've got...$550 or higher, but they are a sony authorized dealer, so it should be okay), but with a crappy 10 day exchange policy. Think I'll bring that price in to Futureshop!

Just a lesson that the best deals aren't always on the internet :D :D

P.S. Hats off to you and Sarah...you 2 have more patience in dealing with a lot of essentially repetitive 'what to buy' questions than I can fathom!