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Thread: what speed can I expect from a compact digital camera?

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    what speed can I expect from a compact digital camera?

    Hi,

    I've recently been experimenting with street photo.
    It's all cool but I have a large DSLR with big lens with large aperture and it tends to look a bit "scary" to people... Not to mention it's just damn heavy to carry around.

    So I'm thinking about a compact camera. Except that they are all freaking slow...
    I looked at the review, and the delay between press the button (including AF) and take the photo is always over a half a second, practically a whole second, sometimes over a second. Each time I used a friend's compact camera the delay was super frustrating. Had to ask people to pose and/or click before whatever I expected to come came. Not many keepers with this messy method...

    Does a fast compact camera exist? Or am I just spoilt by the speed of SLR cameras?

    I guess for now I'll try a couple other "tricks" to make it look less "scary" : stop using the lens hood even if it means flare from time to time, put some gaffer tape on these bright large white logos, get a small strap that is worn as a side bag rather than these big neck straps with "SUPER POWERFUL DIGITAL CAMERA" big enough to be able to read 50 feet away.

    I can live with all the limitations of compact cameras (small sensors that make a not as pretty image, no decent high iso, 2-3 sec recovery time after shooting, not many shots on a battery, not a real viewfinder, and so on ...) but speed is really a problem. A not-so-sharp photo with dodgy colours taken at the right moment is ten times better than 100 million megapixels of what you didn't want to shoot.

    I don't remember having any of these problems with the compact film camera I had a while ago. It was just like... Click and it would go right away. Don't really want to go back to film though, film processing is a pain and it has become even more expensive that it used to be...

    What are your thoughts about this?

    Cheers

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    try it on manual focus or look at mirorless cameras. the new ones are every bit as good as dslr.....even with a smaller sensor, and having a tilt screen means you can take photos from waist level and it won't be noticed or via the viewfinder. they focus very fast, no shutter lag and no recycle time.

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    It all depends on your style of shooting, if you use a small lens,ie focal length, on your DSLR and use it in manual mode,you can set the camera to the hyper-focal distance, shoot from the hip you will have a in focus distance a few metres in front to infinity.
    Last edited by pixy; 03-05-2012 at 5:35pm.

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    Look at the Sony NEX range, the Olympus PEN range, Nikon and Canon make them too
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    The newer Lumix cameras are very fast to focus, and they take good photos too.
    All my photos are taken with recycled pixels.
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom, is knowing not to serve it in a fruit salad.

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    Ausphotography Regular swifty's Avatar
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    Most current CSCs will be on par with DSLRs in single focus mode but won't AF track very well. The exception being the Nikon CX series that have on-sensor PDAF that AF tracks at least on par with entry-level DSLRs.
    Current leaders in AF speed are Nikon CX and m43 but I'm sure you won't be disappointed with Sony NEX either. Haven't tried Fuji XPro1 but I've read it's AF speed is a little slower than competing CSCs but still much better than most P&Ss. Samsung's only just released their new NX range so I'm sure AF has improved again and competitive with the other CSCs mentioned.
    Nikon FX

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    Thanks for your replies!

    With the size of my current camera sensor, hyperfocal is only usable for landscapes (with a tripod and long exposures!), as even if I push the ISO really high and close a wide lens to f/11 it's still several meters away. It's a good idea

    I just did some research on compact cameras with prefocus / deep depth of field in mind. Unlike just a few years ago, just about every recent one can produce sufficient quality to be able to print A4 format so I didn't look at that much. I consider that this part of technology is now good enough to be able to concentrate mostly on proper composition and usage of light without camera limitations getting in the way.

    Anyway, one of them popped out: Canon S95.
    - sensor crop factor is x4. Small but not iphone-small
    - 12-13mm is "normal" lens perspective . at f/8 I can get 1.5m to infinity or 1.2m to 4m. Both options seem awesome.
    - it can shoot raw
    - shutter delay once it's focused is under 100ms. You can manually prefocus it!
    - it's small enough to go into a jean pocket

    The Sony NEX cameras are quite large with their DSLR-size lenses and look very fancy, which kind of defeats the purpose. The Lumix LX5 seems a bit better than the S95 but is still too big to fit in a pocket. All the mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras are bigger too...

    If you know of any others that are about S95 size, and can also shoot raw + be manually focused, I'd be interested.

    Cheers

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    Quote Originally Posted by patrickv View Post
    Thanks for your replies!



    If you know of any others that are about S95 size, and can also shoot raw + be manually focused, I'd be interested.

    Cheers
    Olympus xz1

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    Thanks for your feedback. It looks like a great camera, with a great aperture all through the zoom range, but it's practically double the volume (303cc vs 174cc), just like the LX5 (306cc) and therefore not jean pocket-able. They are both about 1.5x heavier too.
    For now the winner for my use - a carry-around camera that is still decent - is very clearly the S95.

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    A friend told me he has a S95. I'll give it a try next Monday or so.

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