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Camera equipment and technique for taking photos.
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Re: Camera Suggestions

Postby Mark Curtis » Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:57 pm



Depends on how you define better.....as there is always subjective criteria depending on your needs.

They both have the same wide angle focal lengths at 25mm.......as well as very close to the same max aperture (f3.3 for the Sony and f3.5 for the Canon). The biggest distinction being the long end of the lenses.....the Canon having 20X optical vs. 10X for the Sony. So again, it depends on your usage needs. 500mm range is nice, but expect some compromises on various aspects of image quality accordingly.

Also, the Sony is 18mp vs 12mp for the Canon.....so you have more forgiveness with cropping.

Beyond the advice and insight in this thread, I would suggest doing a mix of reading professional reviews and the anecdotal takes of the users......as well as getting a better understanding of the features and how they fit your needs. Another good idea is to go to a store and try them both out. One thing I would be cautious as a "benefit" for the Sony is the technology for "background defocus". That is a function of lens aperture settings and focal length and I am not sure about there being a legitimate substitute for that "in camera".

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Re: Camera Suggestions

Postby vdavidoff » Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:41 pm

Up until recently all I owned, less my very first digital camera circa 2000ish, was Canon grear and I was always impressed, whether using one of my small powershots (I have had a few but currently own a ~2010 SD780is) or my 5D Mark II.

I'm not the greatest photographer in the world but I guess you could say I'm a serious amateur. Or I try to be.

I used to carry my 5D Mark II and two awesome, but big and heavy, L lenses (24-70mm, 70-200mm), everywhere I went. Totally awesome set up, but I recently got tired of all that weight and bulk and sold all my 5D Mark II gear and, after renting and playing with it, purchased a Sony Alpha NEX-7 with a 18-200mm (27-300mm effective due to sensor size) lens. I got a 35mm prime lens too, but the 18-200mm is all I carry when I hike.

There are some things that Canon definitely got right over the Sony, but comparing the features I actually use, and the performance compared to the 5D Mark II, I was thoroughly impressed (obviously). It's way more expensive than the what you are looking at, so maybe it's not what you're looking for, but depending on how "serious" you want to get, the NEX-7 is an extremely capable camera, comparable in many ways (IMHO) to something like the 5D Mark II, especially for how small and light it is.

The main reason I chime in is specifically because of how much camera you get in such a small, light package, for a relatively great price. And actually, come to think of my, first digital camera was a Sony, and I recall it impressing me, too.

Andy

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Re: Camera Suggestions

Postby PaliKona » Mon Feb 04, 2013 4:25 pm

Mark Curtis wrote:


Depends on how you define better.....as there is always subjective criteria depending on your needs.

They both have the same wide angle focal lengths at 25mm.......as well as very close to the same max aperture (f3.3 for the Sony and f3.5 for the Canon). The biggest distinction being the long end of the lenses.....the Canon having 20X optical vs. 10X for the Sony. So again, it depends on your usage needs. 500mm range is nice, but expect some compromises on various aspects of image quality accordingly.

Also, the Sony is 18mp vs 12mp for the Canon.....so you have more forgiveness with cropping.

Beyond the advice and insight in this thread, I would suggest doing a mix of reading professional reviews and the anecdotal takes of the users......as well as getting a better understanding of the features and how they fit your needs. Another good idea is to go to a store and try them both out. One thing I would be cautious as a "benefit" for the Sony is the technology for "background defocus". That is a function of lens aperture settings and focal length and I am not sure about there being a legitimate substitute for that "in camera".


For printing sharp, beautiful pics at 12"x18", which will work better? The Sony with 18mp?

Also, what is background defocus?

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Re: Camera Suggestions

Postby Mark Curtis » Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:35 pm

PaliKona wrote:
For printing sharp, beautiful pics at 12"x18", which will work better? The Sony with 18mp?

Also, what is background defocus?


Either will be sufficient for that size......unless you crop a significant amount from the original.

"Background defocus" as it were, is as far as I know a Sony proprietary phrase. It describes what some of their cameras do to electronically simulate what a large aperture setting on your lens can do if you want a very shallow depth of field. It is that depth of field that creates the blur background (or bokeh) in images......esp. appealing on macro shots (esp. flowers). It is a subjective thing to define as far as quality goes, but generally speaking the "softer" and more uniform blur is desired. Some lenses do this better than others......and it is typically amplified in a positive way by a full frame format DSLR. Hence the allusion to DSLR's in Sony's description.

My sense is that the Sony "interpolation" of this effect is a gimmick to sell cameras, but since I have no firsthand experience with its use in their cameras......I can only offer that skeptical appraisal.

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Re: Camera Suggestions

Postby PaliKona » Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:47 pm

oh ok, makes sense (re: defocus). Not really what I'm interested in.

I would like to have a better zoom and have those come out crisp. My current Canon doesn't do this very well.

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Re: Camera Suggestions

Postby IronLionZion » Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:35 pm

I love my cannon g12!
Hold up my goings in thy paths, that my footsteps slip not. Psalm 17:5

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Re: Camera Suggestions

Postby Oman » Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:37 pm

Image

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Re: Camera Suggestions

Postby pseudoghost » Tue Feb 05, 2013 3:12 pm



The Sony. Definitely the Sony. I tried both cameras (bought and returned the Canon) a few months back, and the Sony blows away the Canon in terms of an overall package, but they both have their pros and cons.

The big setback for the Canon is that it has problems focusing in many situations. I couldn't get the Canon to solidly focus except under very bright daylight conditions. In anything less than that, it always had very soft focus which destroyed some pictures. I literally could not print them anything larger than 4x6 without noticing the focusing issues (and I'm not a noob). It's a well-known problem on Amazon, and I saw it and had to return the camera because of it. IMO, the focus issues basically kill this camera for most people.

The big problem with the Sony is that it's JPEG compression engine is pretty aggressive, so you'll notice artifacting if you zoom in too far to the images on your computer. It's not really a big deal though: the images print fine, even up to 16 x 20 in most situations. There are some circumstances though, where the contrast in the scene will cause the artifacting to become really prominent and could even ruin pictures, but overall I think the focus issue on the Canon is more likely to cause problems for your images. Don't believe the 18MP hype though, it won't make a big difference. You can't really crop images on either camera, as they're going to be too noisy to be useful. But you shouldn't be cropping images from a camera with such large zoom anyways (you should be zooming instead of cropping).

The Sony has a few features that the Canon doesnt: in camera panorama stitching (which can be really awesome when it works, often it has stitching artifacts, so make sure to take the same panorama a few times to get the best one), and in-camera HDR are nice. The Sony's video quality blows away the Canons. The Canon stitch-assist mode is better for creating really high-res panoramas later when you get home. I like the build quality on the Canon better.

Neither are terrible cameras. If one has a killer feature over the other then get it instead. I think they're closer in price than they were over the holidays right now.

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Re: Camera Suggestions

Postby Mark Curtis » Tue Feb 05, 2013 7:32 pm

pseudoghost wrote: Don't believe the 18MP hype though, it won't make a big difference. You can't really crop images on either camera, as they're going to be too noisy to be useful. But you shouldn't be cropping images from a camera with such large zoom anyways (you should be zooming instead of cropping).



I agree there is a saturation point for the extra pixels. It is to a large degree a marketing scheme to be sure. And I recognize the practical difference between 12 and 18 megapixels is not as dramatic as the figures suggest. But I also think the counter opinion espoused by many that higher megapixels are unequivocally worse is just as much nonsense. Because, like most things.....it depends.

There are a myriad of factors that comprise the entire discussion.....such as lens quality, sensor size, and the processing engine of the camera. The latter two of those three things have improved dramatically since the inception of digital cameras, and today's cameras are capable to a large extent of extracting quality resolution within the framework of "higher" resolution (ironically Sony has made some of the biggest advancements with their sensors). For example, one of the improvements has been to shrink the amount of space "between" the pixels, as well as other improvements to maximize sensitivity. Also you will notice some of even the point and shoots today have faster glass which allows more light to help with the signal to noise ratio and help raise the ceiling of maximum resolution.

So yes, more MP is not always better if those other issues are not resolved. But it can be enough of a difference when cropping.....actually especially the more you zoom (the anecdotal insight of other issues you stated about the two cameras notwithstanding). I understand there is a big difference between a DSLR and a point and shoot primarily because of the sensor size, but I'm not talking about massive amounts of cropping.....just enough to serve as a useful method of editing (for a variety of reasons). If you don't crop some of your photos, then you either take perfect compositions every time....or you are not aware of things that detract from the scene. Or, you simply don't care.....in which case why worry about any of this stuff?

Finally, noise tolerance as it applies to "useful" is relative to the eye of the beholder.....and there are noise reduction software choices to help mitigate its effect in many situations. I think for all practical purposes, shooting at low ISO in good light (to make noise less relevant) and considering even a 20% difference in "true" resolution between 12mp and 18mp in this case......there is every reason to believe there will be more latitude for cropping (without suffering significant image degradation) with the Sony vs the Canon discussed here. For example, even within the framework of 20X optical, there are still reasons why one can't get close enough to a subject to capture it to their satisfaction. Along those lines, cropping can also do more than just clean up an image.....it can bring the subject closer. That's where the extra pixels can play a role.

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Re: Camera Suggestions

Postby globreal » Tue Feb 05, 2013 11:33 pm

Oman wrote:Image



:lol: :lol: :lol:

Nice play on words!
Last edited by globreal on Thu Feb 07, 2013 11:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die."
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Re: Camera Suggestions

Postby pseudoghost » Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:57 am

Mark Curtis wrote:
I agree there is a saturation point for the extra pixels. It is to a large degree a marketing scheme to be sure. And I recognize the practical difference between 12 and 18 megapixels is not as dramatic as the figures suggest. But I also think the counter opinion espoused by many that higher megapixels are unequivocally worse is just as much nonsense. Because, like most things.....it depends.

There are a myriad of factors that comprise the entire discussion.....such as lens quality, sensor size, and the processing engine of the camera. The latter two of those three things have improved dramatically since the inception of digital cameras, and today's cameras are capable to a large extent of extracting quality resolution within the framework of "higher" resolution (ironically Sony has made some of the biggest advancements with their sensors). For example, one of the improvements has been to shrink the amount of space "between" the pixels, as well as other improvements to maximize sensitivity. Also you will notice some of even the point and shoots today have faster glass which allows more light to help with the signal to noise ratio and help raise the ceiling of maximum resolution.


All other things being equal, higher MP (beyond about 12 MP) usually translates to a "noisier" image, especially on small sensor cameras (i.e. a camera with a 1/2.33'' sensor or smaller). Like I said previously, the 18MP is effectively discarded because the Sony JPEG processing engine is so aggressive. If you look at the raw amount of information in the files from the Sony and the Canon (both only record JPEG), the Sony usually outputs only an additional 10-20% information, whereas if they output in Raw mode you would expect the Sony to export an image with 50% more information than the Canon. It's discarding most of the information from most of those pixels anyways.


So yes, more MP is not always better if those other issues are not resolved. But it can be enough of a difference when cropping.....actually especially the more you zoom (the anecdotal insight of other issues you stated about the two cameras notwithstanding). I understand there is a big difference between a DSLR and a point and shoot primarily because of the sensor size, but I'm not talking about massive amounts of cropping.....just enough to serve as a useful method of editing (for a variety of reasons). If you don't crop some of your photos, then you either take perfect compositions every time....or you are not aware of things that detract from the scene. Or, you simply don't care.....in which case why worry about any of this stuff?

Finally, noise tolerance as it applies to "useful" is relative to the eye of the beholder.....and there are noise reduction software choices to help mitigate its effect in many situations. I think for all practical purposes, shooting at low ISO in good light (to make noise less relevant) and considering even a 20% difference in "true" resolution between 12mp and 18mp in this case......there is every reason to believe there will be more latitude for cropping (without suffering significant image degradation) with the Sony vs the Canon discussed here. For example, even within the framework of 20X optical, there are still reasons why one can't get close enough to a subject to capture it to their satisfaction. Along those lines, cropping can also do more than just clean up an image.....it can bring the subject closer. That's where the extra pixels can play a role.


Sure, you can do a small amount of cropping. But if you're trying to crop a small subject to enlarge and center them, then you're going to be very disappointed with either camera, as the image quality is just not sufficient in either case. Cropping as a substitute for telephoto zoom (or getting closer to your subject) is a mistake with a small sensor camera. I'm not saying you can't do it. I'm just saying the results are not going to be very good unless you plan on making small prints only.

If you really want to crop, then you need to buy a camera that can support it better, like the G15 or the LX7, or a ILC or DSLR.

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Re: Camera Suggestions

Postby PaliKona » Thu Feb 07, 2013 3:36 pm

What's the diff btwn the Canon G12 and the ones I linked?

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