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Old 08-09-2012, 11:17 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by havoc315 View Post
2-- The mechanics of the camera. These standards really haven't changed in years, except that sensors replaced film. So 10 years ago, we would be discussing aperture, shutter speed, focal length, and film. Now, it's aperture, shutter speed, focal length, and sensor, etc, etc. Fundamentally, a top of the line SLR camera and lens from 1998 isn't going to be all that different than 2012.
The big change in technology, is putting some of the superior mechanics into smaller cameras -- So here, I give the RX100 credit -- While the mechanics still can't compare to a high quality SLR, the mechanics are far better than other point & shoots.
The biggest difference in the mechanics of how an exposure is made between film and digital is ISO. With film many casual photographers gave little though to what ISO speed their film was and it was a constant for an entire roll of film. Heck, many people settled on one ISO and never bought anything else. But with digital ISO is a variable in your camera. It seems like that third variable to deal with every shot trips some people up. We're also shooting in lower light than we did with film because digital ISO has surpassed the ISO 6400 limit of 35mm film.

Quote:
3-- The "smarts" -- primarily used for setting exposure. For the most part, you use all those different mechanics to get the exposure --- the right amount of light and focus for the picture you're taking. Now, this is where 2012 is VERY different than 1998. Back before computers had advanced micro chips, the photographer had to use their own skill to properly adjust the mechanics, to get the right exposure.
Now, most advanced cameras have very advanced computers built in, that are pretty darn good at adjusting the exposure, etc.
And this is also where the RX100 stands out -- It has a really smart computer, allowing it to get the most out of mechanics of the camera.
My circa 1962 light meter works just as well as my circa 2010 DSLR's light meter. The new one isn't any smarter than my old analog one. It still takes skill to consistently get good shots. but rather than having a spot meter and an ambient meter like I used to I have it all in my DSLR. I still need to understand what metering mode to use when to get the shot I want. I still need to understand about dynamic range, how that affects my image and how to expose accordingly. The camera still cannot make those decisions for me.

Quote:
Understanding all the different factors of good exposure is still very helpful, but far less necessary than it used to be.
I'm going to vehemently disagree here. As someone who has been involved in photography for close to 30 years (who still avidly works with film and in the darkroom) the basics are still just as important with digital if you want consistently well exposed images. And I'm going to add well focused images as well. Because auto focus is just as fallible as a light meter and you need to understand how that system works as well if you want consistently good focus. That includes how depth of field comes into play. Good focus is just as important as good exposure. Probably more so because you can't fix bad focus in post.

Knowledge is still the most advantageous item to have in your arsenal when it comes to making consistently good images. It's also by far the cheapest.
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Old 08-09-2012, 11:25 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by havoc315 View Post
There is certainly no holy grail of cameras. The skill of the photographer will ALWAYS be important... BUT... as the computer systems get more advanced, the photographer needs less and less knowledge to obtain the right exposure. (The knowledge to click the "low light mode," as opposed to the full knowledge of the workings of ISO/shutter speed/aperture/ The knowledge to click "sports mode" as opposed to the knowledge of how fast to set the shutter speed and ISO--- Those pre-set modes are far more advanced than they used to be).
I agree that advances are improving cameras as we know them today.

However (how can I say this?)... I don't think that
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the photographer needs less and less knowledge to obtain the right exposure
or that advocating this approach is a good one.

*Perhaps* this one camera *may* be the exception to this rule. I don't know.

But having photography knowledge allows the shooter to get the best results they can with *any* camera. KWIM?

I personally don't think there will ever be a substitute for knowledge in photography. It takes you from getting a good picture, to getting a great picture.

There is no substitution for that.
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Old 08-09-2012, 11:47 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by photo_chick View Post
I'm going to vehemently disagree here. As someone who has been involved in photography for close to 30 years (who still avidly works with film and in the darkroom) the basics are still just as important with digital if you want consistently well exposed images. And I'm going to add well focused images as well. Because auto focus is just as fallible as a light meter and you need to understand how that system works as well if you want consistently good focus. That includes how depth of field comes into play. Good focus is just as important as good exposure. Probably more so because you can't fix bad focus in post.

Knowledge is still the most advantageous item to have in your arsenal when it comes to making consistently good images. It's also by far the cheapest.
I've developed my own photographs in a dark room... Though that would be back in 1986 or so.

Knowledge is always advantageous. Knowing how to compose a photograph will always be a skill and art. A smart camera will never master that ability.
And fully understanding exposure, and its elements, will always be helpful. Helpful is picking how to position your camera, helpful is getting more consistency due to the fallibility of camera computers. And yes, Mastering use of depth of field, etc.

I'll never make the claim that an amateur photographer with a good camera can match a photography expert.

But the claim I am making -- advances in the technology allow amateurs to take high level photographs, that could only be taken by a professional 10 years ago.

If you took an amateur with practically no camera experience...
Set the clock to 1999... Told them they could use any camera on the market, to get a low-light photograph of a kid with his birthday candles--- No amateur would be able to get a usable photograph.

Take that same set up in 2012, hand them the RX100 in anti-motion blur mode, and most amateurs will take a pretty good usable picture.

The quality of an expert in the 1990s... can be approximated by someone with moderate knowledge today. The quality of someone with moderate knowledge in the 1990s, can be approximated by an amateur today.
And with advances such as ISO and post-processing that you mentioned, the expert of today can surpass the experts of the 1990s.
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Old 08-09-2012, 11:55 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Pea-n-Me View Post
*Perhaps* this one camera *may* be the exception to this rule. I don't know.

But having photography knowledge allows the shooter to get the best results they can with *any* camera. KWIM?

I personally don't think there will ever be a substitute for knowledge in photography. It takes you from getting a good picture, to getting a great picture.

There is no substitution for that.
I'm not exactly disagreeing with you.
Let me compare it to golf ---
The professionals rarely get a hole in one. And amateurs are capable of sometimes getting a hole in one. Professionals will do it more often -- they will also birdie holes more often than an amateur, but an amateur will sometimes birdie holes as well.

The professional/expert will always be better overall. More consistent. Get a high frequency of better photographs.
But technology ups the amateur to a great degree, allowing them to also get more birdies and more holes in one.

And exposure being 1 huge element of a great photograph, where technology really helps the amateur.
9 times out of 10, my camera *knows* how to get the best possible exposure, with me doing no work. Okay, the professional knows how to get the best exposure, 10 times out of 10. So the professional is certainly better, but the amateur is going to get some great photographs as well.

To continue the golf comparison -- The great golfer needs to be able to hit for distance, being able to aim, account for wind, hills, slopes, needs fine control over putting....
So an amazing camera... umm.. golf club... imagine it gives the same ability to hit for distance as the professional. There are still lots of other factors where the professional exceeds.

As I said early, for a photographer, the single biggest element of a good picture is composure of the shot -- which is why a pro with a lousy camera can exceed an amateur with a great camera.
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Old 08-09-2012, 12:19 PM   #20
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Sorry, have to disagree with much of your last two posts. Too much to quote.

Look, lots of people are reading here, and are going by what's being said because this is where the "experts" are. Further, if I had a buck for every thread where someone is coming here asking about the Holy Grail of point and shoot cameras, I'd be able to have a really fun day somewhere. Clearly people still aren't getting the great shots they want in 2012. So no, I can't agree with your premise. (But it's JMO and take it for what it's worth.)

Anyway, IMO you are stating the exception more than the rule.

And btw, in the 90s with a 35mm automatic camera, I could get better shots in many conditions than I can today with a digital point and shoot camera, despite my knowing far more about photography today than I did back then. Why? Because the film size was a lot bigger than the tiny sensor in most digital point and shoot cameras of today. I use a 4:3 dSLR and a Mirrorless today and I still need photoraphy knowledge to get good pictures. This can be said even of users of APS-C and full frame sensors. Big disappointment to buyers who think that that will be the key to better pictures to find out they're still not like the ones that make them ooh and aah. Getting those takes work, no matter how you slice it. Composition is important, but there's so much more.
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Old 08-09-2012, 01:31 PM   #21
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And btw, in the 90s with a 35mm automatic camera, I could get better shots in many conditions than I can today with a digital point and shoot camera, despite my knowing far more about photography today than I did back then. Why? Because the film size was a lot bigger than the tiny sensor in most digital point and shoot cameras of today. I use a 4:3 dSLR and a Mirrorless today and I still need photoraphy knowledge to get good pictures. This can be said even of users of APS-C and full frame sensors. Big disappointment to buyers who think that that will be the key to better pictures to find out they're still not like the ones that make them ooh and aah. Getting those takes work, no matter how you slice it. Composition is important, but there's so much more.
You're talking exceptions.... For most people, under most situations, the picture taken with a 2012 top of the point and shoot camera is going to be better than the 1990s point and shoot automatic.

But I'll limit this to talking about myself:
I used a DSLR since 2006. I've used SLRs for most of my life. I am not an expert, but I am more advanced than most amateurs.
The pictures I am taking with the Sony RX100 are *better* than most of the pictures I have taken with my SLR.
I am NOT claiming that the RX100 is *better* than a DSLR. I am sure that an expert could do more with a DSLR than the RX100 or any other point and shoot. But as an amateur with moderate photography knowledge (read some books, took a couple of classes, and years and years or practice), I am taking better and more consistent pictures with the RX100.

And looking at it primarily as an exposure issue -- I went back to the 600 DSLR pictures I took on my last trip to Disney World. I'd say the exposure is really only correct in about half of them. Some of them can be saved with post processing (I shot in RAW+JPG to have the most options). But I'd rate the exposure as poor on about half the pictures.
In contrast, using basically automated settings on the RX100, my exposure has been nearly perfect in about 95 out of the 100 pictures I've taken. Including low light, including macro. Pictures that I needed a tripod for with the DSLR, are coming out beautifully with the RX100.

Now, I don't like the way I'm sounding... I sound like a television commercial for this product, I sound like a paid sponsor.

And I think before this camera, you would have been correct in advising people, that NO point & shoot will ever give you the quality of a DSLR.

But this camera honestly is a game changer. In the hands of a professional or expert, I still agree that a DSLR will give you better performance than any point & shoot.
But in the hands of a layperson, even in the hands of someone with moderate knowledge, this point & shoot in automated modes, will give pictures comparable to a DSLR.

So if we want to give people advice, let them see what the experts say:

The New York Times review:
"This is a review of the best pocket camera ever made....
No photos this good have ever come from a camera this small....
This is an ideal second camera for professionals. And it’s a great primary camera for any amateur who wants to take professional-looking photos without having to carry a camera bag."

Disney photo expert and blogger Tom Bricker:
"The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 is the best point & shoot camera ever...
That this camera can do everything that it does in such a small size almost defies the laws of science. It’s one amazing camera in one really, really small package...
It was as if the Sony RX100 was doing its best DSLR impression. It was a pretty good impression. The discerning eye could certainly tell a difference, but to have that look to a photo taken by a point and shoot camera? Wow..."

And I agree with Tom Bricker's conclusion:
"This is a truly revolutionary camera. That I’m comparing its performance to my DSLRs in areas of this review should speak volumes, given that it’s a pocket-sized, point and shoot camera. To be sure, quality is not DSLR quality in most regards, but it can be very close. Close enough that I’m betting the Sony RX100 would be a suitable replacement for a DSLR for a lot of you reading this. A point and shoot that is a suitable replacement for a DSLR for many people and is pocket sized?! I honestly never thought I would see the day. "

photo expert Steve Huff:
"The Sony RX100 Digital Camera Review – The best pocket digital compact of the year…actually…EVER!...

The good news is that the sensor in this camera ROCKS and ROCKS hard and I have never seen a small camera such as this deliver this quality in not only photo but video as well....

This Sony RX100 has all of the features, and even more, than a huge DSLR. The image quality makes no apologies to it’s bigger DSLR brothers. Sure, you can go buy a DSLR and pro lens and get sharper images and make huge *** prints but you can also do this with the RX100."

Gizmodo:
"Near-DSLR power packed into a body the size of a compact point-and-shoot camera? What's the catch?"
"There is a lot to like about the camera, but without question, the camera's focusing abilities are its best feature. In low light, bright light, near, far, or anywhere in between, images look great. The ability to pick up macro-level detail isn't easy for a camera this size (the Canon G1X proves that), yet the RX100's abilities are very good in this regard. The camera's powerful depth-of-field strength, as it focuses on something in the mid-ground, while blurring the foreground and background, gives images the stunning look that's long been a DSLR exclusive."
"This is a camera that 90% of the population can pull out of a pocket on a whim to fire off a few beautiful shots without much trouble."
"Or, let's say you're a serious photographer who doesn't want the burden of always carrying around a DSLR. The RX100 is right for you as well. No, you absolutely won't get all the same shots you can pull off with your bigger camera. But you will get some of them (especially in good light). "
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Old 08-09-2012, 01:59 PM   #22
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I could put together a bunch of quotes also, but suffice it to say, you're talking about one camera and it may or may not do a fantastic job for amateurs. (Which is what this thread is about.) People can certainly buy one themselves and find out. BTW, the people you quoted obviously have TONS of photography experience and can likely make just about any camera sing. It still is going to be difficult for your average non-experienced user to get great pictures with any camera, including a dSLR.

Good luck to all with their camera purchases. (Done now.)

A recap of the OP:
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Originally Posted by megan511 View Post
I am a lurker on the photography board and I am in awe of the fantastic pictures on here. We are looking to purchase a new camera. I currently have a Nikon Coolpix L810 but I have not been too happy with it. I can not get decent pictures in low light. My husband and I have both been trying to play with the settings but we just can't figure it out. If anyone has any tips on how to improve the performance of this camera I would so appreciate it.

Some of the cameras we have been looking at are the Canon sx40, the Canon Powershot sx260, the Sony hx20 and the Sony Nex 5n. I'm not sure I'm ready to invest in the Nex 5n if I can get good quality pictures out of one of the point and shoot cameras. My husband is interested in this one based on the shutter speed.

I am looking for the camera with the best low light pictures. We are attending MVMCP this year and nighttime parade & fireworks pictures are a must. I also take a lot of pictures indoors. I would like a camera that could get some decent dark ride photos with no flash. My kids are young & never sit still so I would like a camera where I can get action shots!

Thanks for any input!
A tall order indeed.
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Old 08-09-2012, 02:10 PM   #23
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I think both of you are sort of talking past eachother - there are two issues at hand, and in some ways, I think both of you are 'right', but on different planes.

What Pea is referring to, and I agree, is that the camera technology cannot achieve things like composition, or interesting subjects, or understanding of depth of field control and why, or being cognizant of horizontal lines, or having good timing to capture candid or spontensous moments. No matter how smart the auto modes, no matter how capable the sensor, these are the things that require a good photographer to get right.

What Havoc is referring to I think is that there are gains in the technology that can now make up for a few areas that amateurs once had no ability to shoot or no access to...they may not know composition, or focus depth, or complimentary colors, or even keeping horizons level...but what they can do that they never could before is take a quick, thoughtless, handheld snapshot of a child blowing out candles on a cake in an unlit room, and actually get a discernable photo of a child, with clean details and low noise, and a well lit exposure. This is something that only a professional or highly skilled photographer was even capable of in the past, because the camera technology then simply couldn't produce an automatically exposed, full auto snapshot at ISO6400 that was in any way presentable. The skilled photographer knew tricks to getting around the limitations, and therefore knew how to get that shot, but the amateur was completely out of luck. Now, with large-sensor cameras that have intelligent auto modes, access to fairly clean ISO results up to 12800, and multi-stacking modes built in, even a snapshooter with no skill can get that shot exposed.

Where Pea is right again is that the amateur's shot may have blown white balance, a pole growing out of the child's head, the entire photo tilted 30 degrees left, and the child's eyes part-closed. So is it a 'great photo'? Maybe not, unless luck was very much on that amateur's side. But is that photo exposed and captured in a way that simply wasn't possible 20 years ago unless you were a highly skilled photographer with the right tools? Yes.

So, you're both correct in my opinion.
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Old 08-09-2012, 02:24 PM   #24
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I think both of you are sort of talking past eachother - there are two issues at hand, and in some ways, I think both of you are 'right', but on different planes.

What Pea is referring to, and I agree, is that the camera technology cannot achieve things like composition, or interesting subjects, or understanding of depth of field control and why, or being cognizant of horizontal lines, or having good timing to capture candid or spontensous moments. No matter how smart the auto modes, no matter how capable the sensor, these are the things that require a good photographer to get right.

What Havoc is referring to I think is that there are gains in the technology that can now make up for a few areas that amateurs once had no ability to shoot or no access to...they may not know composition, or focus depth, or complimentary colors, or even keeping horizons level...but what they can do that they never could before is take a quick, thoughtless, handheld snapshot of a child blowing out candles on a cake in an unlit room, and actually get a discernable photo of a child, with clean details and low noise, and a well lit exposure. This is something that only a professional or highly skilled photographer was even capable of in the past, because the camera technology then simply couldn't produce an automatically exposed, full auto snapshot at ISO6400 that was in any way presentable. The skilled photographer knew tricks to getting around the limitations, and therefore knew how to get that shot, but the amateur was completely out of luck. Now, with large-sensor cameras that have intelligent auto modes, access to fairly clean ISO results up to 12800, and multi-stacking modes built in, even a snapshooter with no skill can get that shot exposed.

Where Pea is right again is that the amateur's shot may have blown white balance, a pole growing out of the child's head, the entire photo tilted 30 degrees left, and the child's eyes part-closed. So is it a 'great photo'? Maybe not, unless luck was very much on that amateur's side. But is that photo exposed and captured in a way that simply wasn't possible 20 years ago unless you were a highly skilled photographer with the right tools? Yes.

So, you're both correct in my opinion.
Actually, everything you just said... is what I've been trying to say. I think you said it better, so

Composition is the biggie that cannot ever be replaced by technology. But where obtaining proper exposure used to require great skill, knowledge and equipment by a professional, it is much more within the reach of an amateur with automated equipment now.
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Old 08-09-2012, 02:43 PM   #25
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But the claim I am making -- advances in the technology allow amateurs to take high level photographs, that could only be taken by a professional 10 years ago.
I'll agree that technology has made photography more available to more people, and expanded ISO ranges have made it easier to get low light shots. But as far as specific cameras helping people take professional shots... you keep pointing to the camera that took the shots you posted. Just the technical aspects. The focus and exposure leave a lot to be desired, as does the contrast. Now they're great shots for a casual photographer, which is what most people are after, but they don't come anywhere near professional quality. And that's because a camera, no matter how advanced, will never replace a thinking human being with the appropriate knowledge and skill.

Early on I learned in my very first college photography class that 90% of getting the shot is on the photographer. It was reitterated anytime a student used the excuse that they had cheap gear. The gear is just a tool. Good paint brushes won't make you paint like Monet. Having a slab of marble and a chisel won't make you sculpt like Michelangelo. And no camera, no matter how advanced, will make you take professional quality images. But a skilled photographer can take any camera and produce professional quality images. And Michelangelo could probably have created a masterpiece with a Play Doh fun factory.
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Old 08-09-2012, 02:46 PM   #26
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Justin, I'm not sure you captured what I was trying to say this time around. I was talking about technology.

The vast majority of point and shoot users are going to keep their cameras on Auto. There are some who won't, but those are usually either experienced photographers or those who are attempting to learn more.

Aside from people hanging out here, who are generally either part of the latter group or wish to be, most people looking for a point and shoot will be keeping it on Auto. At least this is what I see from reading and responding to these types of threads, both here and on other parts of the board, and IRL with friends and coworkers, etc.

The OP wishes to get photos that are typically difficult to get with any camera and without at least some knowledge of exposure.

Havoc seems to be saying that this one camera (or other newer cameras of the current generation) can circumvent all the traditional wisdom and get great photos regardless. Which is what I'm disagreeing with.

Further, he or she is espousing this idea to people who are looking to buy a new point and shoot camera. Which to me is because people may be disappointed when they find out those types of shots will still be challenging on Auto.

Now, if people want to venture off of Auto and see what they can do with this camera, perhaps they will have good results.

As you know, I use 4:3 cameras and as evidenced by the graphs posted earlier in this thread, because these have a larger sensor in the camera in question, shouldn't I be able to get great pics in low light and with movement? Guess what? I still generally cannot, unless I work at it. (Which would include using certain lenses, or experimenting with settings, etc.) On its own, it's still difficult. And we've seen that over and over again with new dSLR users, too.

I know you are a Sony shooter and undoubtedly know more about this camera than I do. (I'm talking general principles, though.) If it really is the Holy Grail of cameras and anyone - even users with no experience - can get fantastic photos under challenging conditions, then I'll be the first to acknowledge there are obviously more exceptions to traditional wisdom than I am aware of.

I would still be really interested in seeing havoc's photos from this camera that are the types of photos mentioned in the OP:
Quote:
I am looking for the camera with the best low light pictures. We are attending MVMCP this year and nighttime parade & fireworks pictures are a must. I also take a lot of pictures indoors. I would like a camera that could get some decent dark ride photos with no flash. My kids are young & never sit still so I would like a camera where I can get action shots!
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Old 08-09-2012, 02:53 PM   #27
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Early on I learned in my very first college photography class that 90% of getting the shot is on the photographer. It was reitterated anytime a student used the excuse that they had cheap gear.
Come on. That thinking is so.... outdated....
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Old 08-09-2012, 02:59 PM   #28
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Your Camera Doesn't Matter

Quote:
http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/notcamera.htm

It's always better to spend your time and money on learning art and photography, not by spending it on more cameras.

Why is it that with over 60 years of improvements in cameras, lens sharpness and film grain, resolution and dynamic range that no one has been able to equal what Ansel Adams did back in the 1940s?

Ansel didn't even have Photoshop! How did he do it? Most attempts fall short, some are as good but different like Jack Dykinga, but no one is the same.

Why is it that photographers loaded with the most extraordinary gear who use the internet to get the exact GPS coordinates of Jack's or Ansel's photo locations and hike out there with the image in hand to ensure an exact copy (illegal by US copyright laws and common decency), that they get something that might look similar, but lacks all the impact and emotion of the original they thought they copied?

I'm not kidding. A bunch of these turkeys used university astronomers to predict the one time in almost two decades that the conditions would match and had 300 of the clueless converge at just the right spot. They still didn't get the clouds, snow or shadows right. This makes Ansel or any other creative artist cringe. Of course they didn't get anything like what they wanted. Art is a lot more.

Cameras don't take pictures, photographers do. Cameras are just another artist's tool.
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Old 08-09-2012, 03:27 PM   #29
Pea-n-Me
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I got a chance to look around a bit at the Sony RX100. It certainly does appear to be a nice, capable - probably more capable than most - point and shoot camera. (As it should be for $650!)

I did see reports of blur with low light photos. (One user even calling his "unusable" No doubt, in large part user error.)

But this review sort of summed up what I've been trying to say. Take from it what you will.

Quote:
Should I Buy This

On performance alone, absolutely. This is a camera that 90% of the population can pull out of a pocket on a whim to fire off a few beautiful shots without much trouble. Still, this is not a camera for everyone.

Let's say you're thinking of buying a DSLR or mirrorless camera, slapping a 50mm lens on it, and shooting whatever you come across during the weekend Buy the RX100 instead. It's smaller, and for your purposes, will yield photos that are just as beautiful with less tinkering.

Or, let's say you're a serious photographer who doesn't want the burden of always carrying around a DSLR. The RX100 is right for you as well. No, you absolutely won't get all the same shots you can pull off with your bigger camera. But you will get some of them (especially in good light). And you won't have five extra pounds strapped on at all times. Plus, this is way better than your smartphone camera (even the good ones). Sure $650 is expensive, but considering all the money you blow on photo gear already, you likely won't consider this a huge extravagance.

Now, this is not quite right if you prefer to keep a camera set to all auto everything to occasionally take a few pics of a kid, a dog, or a summer vacation to Niagara Falls. Using the RX100 is easy enough, and you can get some beautiful shots out of it. But, at $650, you may be spending extra cash on a camera with benefits you won't fully appreciate. Look into the $420 Canon S100 instead.

The other class of folks that might avoid the RX100 is the group looking to get into photography as an actual hobby or profession. You should instead spend that money on an entry-level DSLR—like the Canon Rebel T3i. There's only so much you can gain from a fixed lens attached to a sensor—and this sensor may be big by compact standards, but it's still small on an absolute scale.

This is a great camera to buy. Just make sure you're buying it for the right reasons.

http://gizmodo.com/5931587/sony-rx10...relevant-again
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Old 08-09-2012, 03:43 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pea-n-Me View Post
Havoc seems to be saying that this one camera (or other newer cameras of the current generation) can circumvent all the traditional wisdom and get great photos regardless. Which is what I'm disagreeing with.
Where did I ever make such a global extreme statement?

I repeatedly stated that composition is purely in the realm of the art, skill, knowledge and experience of the photographer. I further repeatedly stated that a high quality DSLR on manual in the hands of an expert will always out-perform an amateur with a point and shoot.

But I also said.... That this camera (and others that are surely to come in the future), on mostly automated settings, allow an amateur, or someone with moderate photography knowledge, to obtain exposure quality, that only an expert would have been able to obtain 10-20 years ago.
On fully automated settings, you can get a very good exposure, without even knowing the definition of the word aperture.
Does that mean it will be an amazing photograph? No.
Is more knowledge still helpful? Yes, knowledge never hurts.

But in a direct competition with myself --- With a fair (but not great) working knowledge of ISO, aperture, shutter speed, focal length, dynamic range --- I am getting similar or better results with the point & shoot on automatic, than I was able to get with my dSLR.


Quote:
I would still be really interested in seeing havoc's photos from this camera that are the types of photos mentioned in the OP:
I'm not going to be near any night time parades or fireworks for a few weeks. So those will have to wait. I can say, and I will post examples, that on automated modes (either strictly automatic, or simply using 1 of the low light pre-settings) the camera is producing amazing low light photographs.
The sushi photograph, while looking like bright day light, was taken indoors, no flash, in dim lighting. I'll try to post more examples tonight or tomorrow. I took a picture of 1 of my children by just the light of their nightlight, it practically looked like daytime.

I'll tell you what --- Give me 3 pictures that you'd like me to take, that I can replicate around my own home -- And we'll see the results. If the results are poor, so be it. If the results shine, so be it. I'll even take each picture twice -- once using a dSLR camera to the best of my ability, and once using the point and shoot. So give me 3 examples you want to see, and I'll try both cameras side by side. I'll post with access to exif data as well. I won't apply any post processing, except what is done automatically in the camera. For the point & shoot, I'll only use the automated and pre-programmed modes. I won't shift to A/S/M-- I'll let the camera handle the exposure.

Might take me until the weekend to get it done, but I think it will make an interesting test.
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