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Larger sensors in ultra digital cameras
Do larger sensors in ultra compact cameras take better pictures in low light or even normal situations compared to ultra cameras with smaller sensors or are there other factors that determine the quality.

Heres a list of cameras Im interested with ranging from larger sensors to smaller.Pentax Optio S12....................... 1/1.7Casio Exilim EX-Z1080............... 1/1.75 "Canon PowerShot SD950 IS...... 1/1.7".

Smaller sensor camerasNikon Coolpix S60..........................1/2.33"Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FS..................1/2.33"Ricoh Caplio R8.............................1/2.3"Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FS5.............. 1/2.33"Casio Exilim EX-Z200....................... 1/2.3"Canon PowerShot SD870 IS........... 1/2.5 ".

Im now currently on the market for a digital camera after my Canon Ixus 55 passed away, I was quite happy with it's performance apart from it's low light and video capabilities. Its been 2 years since I purchased this camera and I was thinking in that time there would/should/could be advancements in technology from a yesterday camera compared with todays ultra compacts..

What Ill basically be using the ultra compact for is travelling, taking pictures of landscapes, portraits museums churches, inside of churches, family gatherings inside and outside..

I understated there is no such thing as the perfect camera so I will compromise with a few of my needs..

- Low light  id like it to be able to handle this situation at least better than my old Ixus 55.- Wide angle  is a bonus but not a necessity..

- Video  As best as possible, Id like it to be at least better than my old ixus 55..

If video has HD capabilities does that mean it will give me better results in regards to noise and fuzziness??.

Picture quality is my First and foremost need in a camera, everything else after is just a bonus..

If you had to rank in order the ultra cameras listed above (small sensors and large sensors combined), which ones would be best suited for my needs?If you have any other recommendations, please dont be shy to tell me why.

Thanks in advance...

Comments (14)

I think the Canons will give you the best overall image quality from the ones in your list..

Sensor size is important, but you need to work out if a 7MP small sensor has more or less pixels on it than a 12MP large sensor since it's the density of pixels that makes the difference..

It looks like the latest cameras with very small sensors and ten or more megapixels don't have the greatest image quality so perhaps steer clear of these..

For low light, have a look at Fuji's latest offerings. Although they're catching up in the megapixel race and their new cameras are argualbly not as good as their older ones, I'd still look at the F50 or the new F100..

Androohttp://Androo.smugmug.com..

Comment #1

Saveferris wrote:.

Do larger sensors in ultra compact cameras take better pictures inlow light or even normal situations compared to ultra cameras withsmaller sensors or are there other factors that determine the quality.

I'd consider the SD870 IS. It isn't any better (or worse) in low light than most of the others, but it has IS, making long exposures much more possible, reducing the need for extremely high ISO's. It also has a 28mm equiv lens...

Comment #2

1. First of all, rest assured that sensor size does not play much role in these P&S cameras. Pixel size does matter but that is merely one of the factor (other being pixel effective area, charge collection efficiency, lens quality, JPG algorithms, noise reduction techniques etc.)..

2. If you want the best possible IQ, then choose a camera which has Raw mode. e.g. Canon G9 (best), Panasonic LX2, etc..

3. Nevertheless JPG output is better from Nikon & Canons (followed by Fuji, Panasonic). My choices will be Panasonic FX500 (for fabulous wide-angle view), Nikon P60 (which has EVF too, helpful in shooting with stable posture), Fuji F100fd (wide-angle, value for money)..

Saveferris wrote:.

What Ill basically be using the ultra compact for is travelling,taking pictures of landscapes, portraits museums churches, inside ofchurches, family gatherings inside and outside.I understated there is no such thing as the perfect camera so I willcompromise with a few of my needs.- Low light  id like it to be able to handle this situation atleast better than my old Ixus 55.- Wide angle  is a bonus but not a necessity.- Video  As best as possible, Id like it to be at least better thanmy old ixus 55.If video has HD capabilities does that mean it will give me betterresults in regards to noise and fuzziness??Picture quality is my First and foremost need in a camera, everythingelse after is just a bonus..

Best Wishes, Ajayhttp://picasaweb.google.com/ajay0612..

Comment #3

Forgot to mention that choose the feature set you want among these brands and buy. Personally I would feel uncomfortable without Manual and Raw modes..

Ajay0612 wrote:.

1. First of all, rest assured that sensor size does not play muchrole in these P&S cameras. Pixel size does matter but that is merelyone of the factor (other being pixel effective area, chargecollection efficiency, lens quality, JPG algorithms, noise reductiontechniques etc.).2. If you want the best possible IQ, then choose a camera which hasRaw mode. e.g. Canon G9 (best), Panasonic LX2, etc.3.

My choices will be Panasonic FX500 (for fabulous.

Wide-angle view, manual mode, NR options), Nikon P60 (which has EVF too, helpful in shooting.

With stable posture, manual mode), Fuji F100fd (wide-angle, value for money, A/S priority modes)..

Saveferris wrote:.

What Ill basically be using the ultra compact for is travelling,taking pictures of landscapes, portraits museums churches, inside ofchurches, family gatherings inside and outside.I understated there is no such thing as the perfect camera so I willcompromise with a few of my needs.- Low light  id like it to be able to handle this situation atleast better than my old Ixus 55.- Wide angle  is a bonus but not a necessity.- Video  As best as possible, Id like it to be at least better thanmy old ixus 55.If video has HD capabilities does that mean it will give me betterresults in regards to noise and fuzziness??Picture quality is my First and foremost need in a camera, everythingelse after is just a bonus..

Best Wishes, Ajayhttp://picasaweb.google.com/ajay0612.

Best Wishes, Ajayhttp://picasaweb.google.com/ajay0612..

Comment #4

Wow, thanks to everyone for there reply and giving me a massive headache .

I'm a little closer to my p&s camera of choice, it's out of The Fugi F100d, Nikon Coolpix S60 or the Canon 870 or 950.

Having a read through these forums I have rulled out the Panasonics for having poor image quality, a lot of people have had issues with the panasonice and have sent them back..

From what I gather the canons are the choice for an all round compact!.

I have had a read around the traps that the Fugi F100 is better than all compacts in low light situations, How does the Fufi F100d compare with the canons in normal daylight situations such as landscapes, macro's etc?.

If you had a choice between my updated list of P &S cameras, which one would you choose and why?.

Once again, thanks to everyone for all your great advice...

Comment #5

Hi - I'm in a similar position to you. I'm looking for a wide-angle compact (by compact I mean pocketable) with the best image quality "out of camera" (little or preferably no post processing on PC). After much research I've got to the same shortlist also, in this order :-.

1) Fuji F100fd - has a bigger superCCD sensor (1.6) than most others with a 28mm x5 zoom lens. Looks like it will provide good all round image quality both in outside / good light situations and in lower light situations. The sample images I've seen via links on the fujitalk forum have been outstanding (in my opinion) in terms of colour, vibrancy and sharpness. Although there does seem to be a potential "pink banding" issue with early models, check out the forum and you'll see..

2) Nikon Coolpix S600 - a first and very positive review on photoxels web site. With some excellent sample images, better than I expected. The CCD sensor is marginally bigger than the canon SD870/Ixus 860 at 2.33 and the lens is 28mm x4 zoom. benefits over the Fuji seem to be that is is even more compact and very fast in terms of operation speed. I'm a bit concerned about battery life though, seems shorter than the others, although I'd always by a 2nd battery anyway..

3) Canon SD870 / Ixus 860 - the proven performer on the shortlist as it's been available for 6 months or so. Has a 2.5 CCD sensor Generally very positive reviews other than comments about distortion at the wide-angle. In terms of image quality, compactness, great 3 inch LCD and battery life, it seems a very competent all rounder. As it's older than the others you may also be able to pick one up cheaper or on ebay..

I also looked at the Panasonic FX series including the new FX35 and FX500 - seem to have a great feature set but I've not been at all impressed with the image quality. Too fuzzy for my liking, the technical term for which appears to be "noise"..

Right now, my choice is the Fuji F100fd. I just want to see an expert review first..

Saveferris wrote:.

Wow, thanks to everyone for there reply and giving me a massiveheadache .

I'm a little closer to my p&s camera of choice, it's out of The FugiF100d, Nikon Coolpix S60 or the Canon 870 or 950.

Having a read through these forums I have rulled out the Panasonicsfor having poor image quality, a lot of people have had issues withthe panasonice and have sent them back..

From what I gather the canons are the choice for an all round compact!.

I have had a read around the traps that the Fugi F100 is better thanall compacts in low light situations, How does the Fufi F100d comparewith the canons in normal daylight situations such as landscapes,macro's etc?.

If you had a choice between my updated list of P &S cameras, whichone would you choose and why?.

Once again, thanks to everyone for all your great advice...

Comment #6

Saveferris wrote:.

Wow, thanks to everyone for there reply and giving me a massiveheadache .

I'm a little closer to my p&s camera of choice, it's out of The FugiF100d, Nikon Coolpix S60 or the Canon 870 or 950.

Having a read through these forums I have rulled out the Panasonicsfor having poor image quality, a lot of people have had issues withthe panasonice and have sent them back..

From what I gather the canons are the choice for an all round compact!.

I have had a read around the traps that the Fugi F100 is better thanall compacts in low light situations, How does the Fufi F100d comparewith the canons in normal daylight situations such as landscapes,macro's etc?.

If you had a choice between my updated list of P &S cameras, whichone would you choose and why?.

Once again, thanks to everyone for all your great advice..

By the way saveferris it's Fuji not Fugi or Fufi, * embarrassed*..

Comment #7

Interbear wrote:.

Hi - I'm in a similar position to you. I'm looking for a wide-anglecompact (by compact I mean pocketable) with the best image quality"out of camera" (little or preferably no post processing on PC).After much research I've got to the same shortlist also, in thisorder :-.

1) Fuji F100fd - has a bigger superCCD sensor (1.6) than most otherswith a 28mm x5 zoom lens. Looks like it will provide good all roundimage quality both in outside / good light situations and in lowerlight situations. The sample images I've seen via links on thefujitalk forum have been outstanding (in my opinion) in terms ofcolour, vibrancy and sharpness. Although there does seem to be apotential "pink banding" issue with early models, check out the forumand you'll see..

2) Nikon Coolpix S600 - a first and very positive review on photoxelsweb site. With some excellent sample images, better than I expected.The CCD sensor is marginally bigger than the canon SD870/Ixus 860 at2.33 and the lens is 28mm x4 zoom. benefits over the Fuji seem to bethat is is even more compact and very fast in terms of operationspeed. I'm a bit concerned about battery life though, seems shorterthan the others, although I'd always by a 2nd battery anyway..

3) Canon SD870 / Ixus 860 - the proven performer on the shortlist asit's been available for 6 months or so. Has a 2.5 CCD sensorGenerally very positive reviews other than comments about distortionat the wide-angle. In terms of image quality, compactness, great 3inch LCD and battery life, it seems a very competent all rounder. Asit's older than the others you may also be able to pick one upcheaper or on ebay..

I also looked at the Panasonic FX series including the new FX35 andFX500 - seem to have a great feature set but I've not been at allimpressed with the image quality. Too fuzzy for my liking, thetechnical term for which appears to be "noise"..

Right now, my choice is the Fuji F100fd. I just want to see an expertreview first..

Saveferris wrote:.

Wow, thanks to everyone for there reply and giving me a massiveheadache .

I'm a little closer to my p&s camera of choice, it's out of The FugiF100d, Nikon Coolpix S60 or the Canon 870 or 950.

Having a read through these forums I have rulled out the Panasonicsfor having poor image quality, a lot of people have had issues withthe panasonice and have sent them back..

From what I gather the canons are the choice for an all round compact!.

I have had a read around the traps that the Fugi F100 is better thanall compacts in low light situations, How does the Fufi F100d comparewith the canons in normal daylight situations such as landscapes,macro's etc?.

If you had a choice between my updated list of P &S cameras, whichone would you choose and why?.

Once again, thanks to everyone for all your great advice..

Its good to see I'm not alone. If you find out any more info, don't hesitate to give me a yell, I'm in urgent need of a P&S camera for my Europe getaway..

I did see the pink branding issue on the Fuji forum, hopefully it is just a bad batch..

How is the canon 870 in low light compared to the Fuji's ? The word around the traps is that the Fuji's are the way to go. I'm still not sure in day light situations when compared with the Canon though, hopefully someone can fill us in...

Comment #8

A camera which is better performer in low light will be more so in good light..

Saveferris wrote:.

How is the canon 870 in low light compared to the Fuji's ? The wordaround the traps is that the Fuji's are the way to go. I'm still notsure in day light situations when compared with the Canon though,hopefully someone can fill us in..

Best Wishes, Ajayhttp://picasaweb.google.com/ajay0612..

Comment #9

The main consideration (put simply, if that's possible!) with image quality is photosite density and size, and processing algorithms..

You might like to check out this little site which explains a few basic principles about sensors, pixel sizes and areas etc etc. Hope this helps..

Http://home.comcast.net/~plutarch/Sensel.html.

Cheers ..

Comment #10

Saveferris wrote:.

How is the canon 870 in low light compared to the Fuji's ? The wordaround the traps is that the Fuji's are the way to go. I'm still notsure in day light situations when compared with the Canon though,hopefully someone can fill us in..

The daylight samples of the F100fd look excellent - a few links on the fujitalk forum take you to japanese or chinese sites with these samples. To my eye the F100fd produces sharper and more colourful images than the Canon SD870, but that's down to personal preference. It's the sample Fuji images that convinced me to put it higher on my shortlist than the Canon - the extra zoom on the Fuji is another benefit I think...

Comment #11

Check Phils review, they are the best performers when it comes to low light, providing useable images where other cameras produce mush..

Http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/fujifilmf31fd/.

The more megapixels the more noise, and this is a greater problem in PS cameras with tiny sensors. Stay away from the 10-12Mpixel cameras. More is not better....

Http://www.pbase.com/kingfisher/..

Comment #12

Michael G2 wrote:.

The more megapixels the more noise, and this is a greater problem inPS cameras with tiny sensors. Stay away from the 10-12Mpixel cameras.More is not better....

Http://www.pbase.com/kingfisher/.

The Fuji F100 is a 12 mp camera, is that the case with this camera also?..

Comment #13

But you need to keep in mind that 12 megapixel is only 1.4 times greater than 6MP, and because of the smaller microsites (pixels) a 12 MP camera will have more noise, be less sensitive to light and create more space consuming pictures that are not any sharper than a 6MP picture. The sensor is simply packed too tightly to improve resolution.http://www.pbase.com/kingfisher/..

Comment #14

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