Questions about purchasing a Canon

Discussion in 'Photography Board' started by letthewookiewin, Jan 9, 2013.

  1. letthewookiewin

    letthewookiewin <font color=blue>"That's 'cause droids don't pull

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    So, I started looking at point and shoots and found this one. I tried to read the specs to understand it, but it was like trying to read ancient Sumerian. Would y'all mind reading these and letting me know if it's ok. It's a Canon PowerShot SX50 HS Digital Camera.

    Imaging
    Pixels: Actual: 12.8 Megapixel
    Effective: 12.1 Megapixel
    Sensor: 1/2.3" CMOS
    Bit Depth: 12-bit
    File Formats: Still Images: JPEG, RAW
    Movies: MPEG-4 AVC/H.264, MOV
    Audio: Linear PCM
    Max Resolution: 12MP: 4000 x 3000 @ 4:3
    Other Resolutions:
    5.9MP: 2816 x 2112 @ 4:3
    1.9MP: 1600 x 1200 @ 4:3
    0.3MP: 640 x 480 @ 4:3
    10.7MP: 4000 x 2664 @ 3:2
    5.3MP: 2816 x 1880 @ 3:2
    1.7MP: 1600 x 1064 @ 3:2
    0.3MP: 640 x 424 @ 3:2
    9MP: 4000 x 2248 @ 16:9
    4.5MP: 2816 x 1584 @ 16:9
    2MP: 1920 x 1080 @ 16:9
    0.2MP: 640 x 360 @ 16:9
    9MP: 2992 x 2992 @ 1:1
    4.5MP: 2112 x 2112 @ 1:1
    1.4MP: 1200 x 1200 @ 1:1
    0.2MP: 480 x 480 @ 1:1
    7.2MP: 2400 x 3000 @ 4:5
    3.6MP: 1696 x 2112 @ 4:5
    1.2MP: 960 x 1200 @ 4:5
    0.18MP: 384 x 480 @ 4:5
    Aspect Ratio: 1:1, 3:2, 4:3, 4:5, 16:9
    Image Stabilization: Optical & Digital
    Color Spaces: Not Specified By Manufacturer

    Optics
    Lens EFL: 4.3-215 mm (35 mm equivalent: 24-1200 mm)
    Aperture: f/3.4 (W) - 6.5 (T)
    Filter Thread: Not Specified By Manufacturer
    Zoom: Optical: 50x
    Digital: 4x
    Focus Range: Wide: 2.0" (5.08 cm) - Infinity
    Wide: 3.3' (1.01 m) - Infinity
    Telephoto: 4.3' (1.31 m) - Infinity
    Telephoto: 43' (13.11 m) - Infinity
    Auto: 0.0" (0.00 cm) - Infinity
    Wide Macro: 0.0" (0.00 cm) - 1.6' (0.49 m)

    Exposure Control
    ISO Sensitivity: Auto, 80-6400
    Shutter: 1 - 1/2000 sec
    15 - 1/2000 sec in Manual Mode
    Exposure Metering: Center-weighted, Evaluative, Spot
    Exposure Modes: Modes: AE Lock, Aperture Priority, Manual, Program, Program Shift, Safety Shift, Shutter Priority
    Compensation: -3 EV to +3 EV (in 1/3 EV steps)
    White Balance Modes: Auto, Cloudy, Custom, Daylight, Flash, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, Tungsten
    Burst Rate: Up to 13 fps for up to 10 frames
    Self Timer: 2 Sec, 10 Sec, 30 Sec
    Remote Control: RS-60E3 (Optional)

    Flash
    Flash Modes: Auto, Flash On, Off, Slow Sync
    Built-in Flash: Yes
    Effective Flash Range: Wide: 1.6 - 18' (0.49 - 5.49 m)
    Telephoto: 4.6 - 9.8' (1.40 - 2.99 m)
    External Flash Connection: Hot Shoe
     
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  3. photo_chick

    photo_chick Knows a little about a lot of things, a lot about

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    You won't get more reach with any of the DSLR telephoto zoom lenses on the market than you have with your Fuji. That's the big selling point of super zooms. The Fuji you have is also capable of producing solid quality images. My DD has a predecessor to it, the S1000. It's a great little point and shoot that my husband used all over WDW to shoot night panoramas. But pulling shots out of it, like with any point and shoot, does require taking it off auto and knowing what you're doing. When left to it's own devices on auto the images are just mediocre.

    So let's take a step back here. What is it that you find lacking in the images? Because the things you're asking for your camera does. So post some examples of what you don't like about the images and if it is a limitation of the camera (like aperture size or ISO range) then we can point you to cameras that are appropriate. And if it's a user issue then you can identify the problem because if you don't you may very well end up with the same issues on a new camera.


    A doctorate is totally not required to learn about photography. But a BFA helps. ;) (I'm joking here. I'm about to graduate with a BFA in photography. It's only taken me 20 years to get here so I'm a little excited)

    Seriously though.. just learning the very basics about shutter speed, aperture and ISO can go a long way to helping you make great images with any camera.
     
  4. mikegood2

    mikegood2 DIS Veteran

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    That camera should be a nice camera, but I think you may be getting to caught up in the zoom. On your Fuji how often did you shoot photos completely zoomed in? Also if you shoot anywhere between 25 to 50x zoom you're going to need a tripod or a monopod unless you're shooting on the outside on bright sunny day. Unless you are really into wildlife like birds or shoot a lot of spots a 50x is overkill.

    If zoom is important to you I would look into the variety of super zoom point-and-shoot cameras. Look up any of these cameras on YouTube and their should be videos showing you examples of video shot fully zoomed in and fully zoomed out. Check out this discussion http://disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3042200 about super zooms.

    As far as a dSlr goes, your not going to find something equivalent to a 50x (1200mm?) zoom. Just do a search for canon 600mm lenses and take look at the price and size of those lenses. WARNING! If you look those up on a laptop or portable device, set them down first, because there is a good chance you will pass out.

    Make a list of what you are looking for in features and prioritize them. If you post it here, I think people here could help you out better.

    Sent from my iPad mini using DISBoards
     
  5. mikegood2

    mikegood2 DIS Veteran

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    Sorry Double post!
     
  6. mikegood2

    mikegood2 DIS Veteran

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    Triple Post. The DISboard app went crazy!
     
  7. havoc315

    havoc315 DIS Veteran

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    The sx50 has a good reputation as a super zoom. It sounds like telephoto is your top priority, so it may be a good choice. For most users, the top telephoto zoom lens they use is 200-300mm, for an equivalent of about 450mm. With equivalent 1200mm zoom, the sx50 offers MUCH more reach.
    The lens is slow - it won't perform well at night, it won't perform indoors without a flash.
    You mentioned capturing your son's football games -- you can capture them standing on the field in good day light, but you won't get many action shots (between the slow lens and the slower autofocus of p&s).

    Each camera type has strengths and weaknesses. Within dSLR, each lens has strengths and weaknesses. While massive telephoto is theoretically possible for a dSLR, that's not the common use or strength. On the other hand, capturing sports is 1 of the strengths of dSLR.
     
  8. letthewookiewin

    letthewookiewin <font color=blue>"That's 'cause droids don't pull

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    I'll have to find my external hard drive, that's where all of my pictures from our last trip are. My main problem with the Fuji is how grainy it gets when you use the zoom at it's max. Plus I would really like it to go a little further. Then when I try to take a quick picture, well that just doesn't happen. It had problems with the shutter button sticking. I haven't had that issue with any other digital camera I've had in the past.

    I found a Sony that has 18.2 Megapixels and 30x optical zoom. If they could get me close to the picture on the first page, then I would be happy. I just don't see the Fuji doing it.
     
  9. boBQuincy

    boBQuincy <font color=green>I am not carrying three pods<br>

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    For reference, that photo was taken with a Panasonic G3 ($399 with 14-42 lens, $249 without lens at B&H) and Panasonic 45-175 lens ($360 but the 45-200 is almost as good and it is on sale for $229). I used a tripod so add a little more for that.
    So you could get into that setup for under $500 although the G3 is an older model and has been superceded by the G5.

    And another $100 for the dinner at California Grill to get access to the photo spot! ;)
     
  10. letthewookiewin

    letthewookiewin <font color=blue>"That's 'cause droids don't pull

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    I never knew picking a camera could make my brain hurt so much. This is as hard as trying to pick which WDW resort to stay at. I had less problems figuring out who to marry than this. :lmao:

    If the Panasonic G3 got that shot, I may just get that. I looked at Fry's and they have one for $421.57 with the 14-42mm lens and has 16 Megapixels. They also have a Sony DSC-HX200V for $399.99 with 30x optical zoom and 18.2 megapixels. I think I'll just go in and see which one feels better in my hands.



    ....but....but...that requires putting on something other than Mickey Mouse pajama pants. Hopefully, I can get those kind of shots from my balcony at the CR.
     
  11. havoc315

    havoc315 DIS Veteran

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    Your fuji should be able to get you as close as that picture.

    But all those other things, like the graininess, the slow shutter button --- those issues will exist on all point and shoots. Some will be better than others. But none will be as good as a dslr.
    Those super zoom cameras are can give you very good telephoto results if the lighting is excellent. Once there is movement, or once the lighting becomes challenging, it becomes a much more difficult scenario.
     
  12. mikegood2

    mikegood2 DIS Veteran

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    :) i know what you mean. The problem is their is no "perfect" camera. That's why making a list of what is important and prioritizing it can be very useful. A dSLR gives you better image quality, but they are larger and more expensive, a p&s is nice and portable at the expense of image quality or other features. Then you have the micro 4/3 cameras that have probably become mature enough of a market that they are a great compromise between the two.

    It's kind of like a camera bag, you will never find the perfect one. It's just a matter of finder the one that best suites your needs, but also realize their will will always be a shiny new one you want or think is better. ;)

    Sent from my iPad mini using DISBoards
     
  13. letthewookiewin

    letthewookiewin <font color=blue>"That's 'cause droids don't pull

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    Most of the graininess issues come at the further distances. My biggest issue with it is the slow shutter. Sometimes I find myself acutally saying, "yes you stupid little thing, I pressed that button because I want you to take a picture".

    Now I would put my priorities at quicker shutter speed than my Fuji, good quality with at least 16 MP, and a minimum of 24x optical but it didn't have to have more than 30x.
     
  14. havoc315

    havoc315 DIS Veteran

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    From the further distances, you may be getting motion blur, or you may be getting graininess from noise, as the camera ups the ISO.
    The solutions are: Faster lens, tripod, camera with bigger sensor (such as dSLR)

    The shutter -- A p&s shutter won't shoot until the focus is locked. Zooming in from a far distance, it may be having trouble with focus, thus not firing right away. Same solutions --- faster lens, tripod, and a camera with a better focus system (dSLRs have the best focus systems, compacts have a wide range in quality of focus speed)

    You say "at least 16mp" -- But mp have very little to do with quality. For a 8X10 picture, there is no difference between 8mp and 50mp. (If you want to print a poster, you may want more mp). In fact, if you squeeze TOO MANY mp into a small sensor, it reduces image quality.

    A 24X zoom.....
    If we consider "1 times" to effectively be about 24mm, you are looking for an effective zoom of about 576mm. On a standard crop dSLR, that would be about a 400mm lens. I've never even seen a 400mm lens on an amateur dSLR.
    Canon has a zoom lens that is 100-400mm... It is "on sale" on Amazon for $1300, and it is the size of a truck.
    In other words... Your typical dSLR owners really don't use 400mm lens, they don't get "24 times."

    BUT... Many photographers accomplish telephoto results in post-processing by cropping their picture.
    In other words, if you crop a 16mp 200mm picture--- Cutting out half the image, you then basically end up with a 8 mp 400mm picture.
    (This is where more mps are helpful -- they give you more room to crop).

    My point and shoot is less than 4X zoom. But it is 20mp.... so I can crop, and basically turn it into 8-12X, with still keeping high image quality.
     
  15. letthewookiewin

    letthewookiewin <font color=blue>"That's 'cause droids don't pull

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    Between picking a camera and the new class I just started (legal and ethical issues) I'm pretty sure my brain is about to explode.

    boBQuincy, what do you think about the shutter speed of the Panasonic? The speed info on that is listed as...
    Shutter Speed/Shutter System
    Type:Focal-plane shutterShutter speed:Still Images: 1/4000˜60 and Bulb (up to approx. 120 seconds)Motion image: 1/16000˜1/30 (NTSC), 1/16000˜1/25 (PAL)

    Then the Sony as...
    hutter Speeds iAuto(4'' - 1/4000) / Program Auto(1'' - 1/4000) / Shutter Priority(30'' - 1/4000) / Aperture Priority(8'' - 1/2000) / Manual(30'' - 1/4000)

    I can't make heads nor tails about what any of that means.
     
  16. havoc315

    havoc315 DIS Veteran

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    Those speeds are irrelevant to what you're talking about. That's the speed that the shutter opens for, now how long it takes to click the shutter.
    So in other words... On the Panasonic, you can take pictures with the shutter speed open for as little as 1/4000th of a second -- WHich is never really necessary. Or you can keep the shutter open for up to 120 seconds. (Also never necessary except for some types of night photography on a tripod).
    On the Sony-- You can open the shutter for as little as 1/4000th of a second, to keeping it open for a whole 30 seconds.

    Really, for 99% of your pictures, the shutter speed will be between about 1/10 and 1/250. You'll likely never get near the extremes.

    The issue you are having -- it isn't shutter speed. It's focus speed. How quickly does the camera focus, to allow the shutter to get pressed. How much lag is there between pressing the shutter button, and the picture actually being taken.

    The specs you posted have nothing to do with that issue.
     
  17. letthewookiewin

    letthewookiewin <font color=blue>"That's 'cause droids don't pull

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    Hmmmm, neither list focus speed under the specs. I did find a review of the Panasonic that said this about the focus speed..
    The DMC-G3 now offers a powerful Light Speed Auto Focus (14-140mm ~0.1sec, 14-42mm ~0.18 sec., 45-200mm ~0.15sec.)
    Is that the kind of thing I need to be looking for?
     
  18. havoc315

    havoc315 DIS Veteran

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    Yes.... but...... You won't typically find specs like that listed. The best is when you can find an independent third party that tested the focus speeds. But really, focus speed is dependent on so many factors, it's hard to list it as a spec. Depends on the lighting, depends on the focal length (focus speed can be different zoomed in, versus zoomed out). It can depend on the contrast of the picture. (Try taking a picture of a field covered in snow... the camera may never be able to focus). That's why the G3 only listed "approximate" focus speeds.

    Really, in determining whether focus speed is going to be good --- You look at other factors. What TYPE of focus system does it use? Phase detection system is usually faster than Contrast detection. Most dSLRs use phase.. most compacts use Contrast.
    You look at the number of focus points a camera has. I've seen dSLRs with as many as 99 focus points. My compact camera -- the Sony RX100, has 25 focus points.. which is a huge number for a compact system. (and as a result, it focuses very fast).

    Thing is..... Virtually all cameras will have similar focus speeds, under IDEAL circumstances. You're not going to notice the difference between 0.15 seconds and 0.22 seconds. Every modern model camera is built to POTENTIALLY focus in a fraction of a system.

    Your problem is --- Cameras often encounter less than ideal circumstances. That's where your camera is having the sticky shutter. It's just having trouble finding focus. And that comes down to so many factors --the quality of the lens, the sensor size, the focus system, etc, etc.

    For example, if you are zooming in to Cinderella's Castle in low light, hand-held, with no tripod... Some cameras may hunt forever, and never be able to get focus.
     
  19. boBQuincy

    boBQuincy <font color=green>I am not carrying three pods<br>

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    The number of focus points has little to do with focus speed, more is not faster. Many of the experienced photographers on this board use only the one center focus point so they know what the camera is focusing on, to avoid having the camera decide where to focus. The focus method (contrast vs phase) is not usually an issue unless we are serious sports photographers (phase is better for sports).

    Sensor size rarely affects focus speed because the main sensor is not used for focus in phase detect (most dSLRs) and the entire sensor is not used in contrast detect (most mirrorless and P&S).

    Focus speed can be affected by the lens, those that let in less light can take longer to focus. 24x zooms often fall in this category and this could be one of the problems with the Fuji.

    Cindy's castle is actually easy to get in focus, it has nice sharp lines that are usually lighted, surrounded by darkness. A nice clear contrasty subject, good for focusing. A difficult subject would be as described, a field of snow with no contrasting detail to focus on.
     
  20. boBQuincy

    boBQuincy <font color=green>I am not carrying three pods<br>

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    I took one of those classes, my first response to the teacher was "I work for a Fortune 100 company, what use do I have for ethics?" He didn't get the joke.

    The shutter speeds listed are used to regulate the amount of light entering the camera. They are not of much concern since most cameras have enough of a range to handle almost any brightness.

    As Havoc noted, your main concern is probably how fast the camera take the photo from the time you press the button. DPreview.com sometimes tests this. In the case of the G3 it is pretty fast, I have not missed many photo opportunities due to the camera. Most dSLRs are at least as fast, many P&S are not. Another spec is how fast can it get the next photo, most non-P&S cameras are fast enough (about 3 per second for a G3).
     
  21. havoc315

    havoc315 DIS Veteran

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    Hmm, suppose you are correct about the sensor size. Technically, you are 100% correct about focus points not affecting focus speed -- but I think many point and shooters are actually expressing frustration with not finding focus at all. I have experienced pushing the shutter button on a p&s and getting nothing -- almost feels like the camera is broken. In reality, it's just that the camera isn't snapping the pic, because it can't focus. More focus points can increase focus reliability (though I usually use spot as well). I'm not a fan of the Nikon J1, but it does focus at an amazing pace, and Nikon at least claims it's partly due to all the focus points and phase detection.

    The castle at night, I agree it's a nice clear contrast. But I can image having trouble focusing at night, if you are zoomed in with a 300mm+ focal length (on a slow lens and small sensor and handheld ). Maybe I'm wrong, but I could imagine even tiny bits of motion blur could really make focus difficult.
     

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