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Thread: Compact cameras and the lens

  1. #1
    Member Journeyman's Avatar
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    Compact cameras and the lens

    Good day, I would like to buy a point & shoot, not too expensive, pocket size compact camera. The reason is related to a deteriorating spine issue and I want to make it possible to continue photography.

    My query is about the general function. They seem to offer good zoom + digital zoom.
    Wide range of ISO and apertures. View finders are missing. There are Sony and Canon products available for a round $500.00 or so. Reaching the upper end of my budget, ($1K).

    What I would like is a standby birding camera, something with enough zoom to attach to a moon tracking unit. Basic non auto functions Manual, Shutter and Aperture that allow for adjustment. I am aware of the Sony range, an RX100 possibility.

    Perhaps someone with experience or use of this style of camera could offer knowledge related to the cameras.

    My areas of interest are - birds, swamps and lunar. The lunar could be overcome with a telescope.

    Thank you and regards, Journeyman
    Last edited by Journeyman; 14-09-2021 at 9:24am.

  2. #2
    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    A quick, preliminary reply...

    I had a look at the Canon Powershot range. A couple sport 45~65X zoom lenses
    Some have raw image recording, and some only jpeg - And ALL seem to have
    tiny sensors Presented as a "bonus", the wide end of the zoom range
    is "21mm full-frame equivalent", or only modestly wide. You have the privilege of
    paying ~$750~850 for the Powershot sx70.
    CC, Image editing OK.

  3. #3
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    Thank you Ameerat, I was able to catch up with a bloke who is similarly aged and a keen bird photographer. He has offered some strategies to deal with this. The main one is to avoid lens changes when out birding. Lens to suit the site and day.
    Like the Ausphoto corespondents he has serious doubts about a small camera giving any brilliant results. I have work to do to make this work, however worth it I reckon.
    I will add to the post with the results it may help someone else with a similar problem.
    Kind regards, Joy

  4. #4
    Ausphotography Regular J.davis's Avatar
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    I have an RX100mk2 and find it a great pocket camera for my Motorcycle runs, it lives in my jacket.
    My requirements when looking were sensor size, Manual control and RAW format, finding RAW support was the hardest item.
    Not that great for moving shots though.
    Added some samples.

    20210629-DSC03435.jpg

    20201029-DSC02575.jpg

    20201227-DSC02827.jpg
    Last edited by J.davis; 14-09-2021 at 7:30pm.
    Regards
    John
    Nikon D750, Sigma 105mm OS Macro, Tokina 16-28 F2.8, Sigma 24-105 Art, Sigma 150-600C,
    Benro Tripod and Monopod with Arca plates


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    Thank you John, I have read good info about the Sony compacts.

    Love the Guzzi John, beautiful bike.
    Regards Jm (Dennis)
    Last edited by Journeyman; 15-09-2021 at 4:26pm.

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    Ausphotography Veteran Brigitte's Avatar
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    As well as my Nikon I have a small Sony which takes great images especially in good light but it only takes jpg images. I think one of your first decisions needs to be do want or need RAW images. The thing I do love about this camera is that it has a tilt touch screen which I have found very useful and a small view finder which is not that good but better then nothing. I have recently attached one of those small table tripods and use the legs like a handle, still playing with this.

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    Hello Brigitte, may I ask which Sony you are using please?
    Thanks for the info, there are times when a compact camera would be a welcome addition.
    I take my Canon fitted with an 18-400 lens when we walk our dog each morning. Missed a Falcon on a wire the other day, only had my phone. Awful shot of a proud bird.
    A useful pocket camera would simplify things.
    Regards Journeyman

  8. #8
    Ausphotography Regular blkmcs's Avatar
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    I also have a Sony HX90V as a carry everywhere camera and agree with Brigitte, it takes nice images in good light, as long as the subject fills the frame, cropping images is a definite disaster.
    The latest version from Sony is the HX99 which includes Raw as well as jpg.

    Mike
    Last edited by blkmcs; 15-09-2021 at 11:50pm.

  9. #9
    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Take aways: Plenty of light and no cropping.

    And, for me, raw capability is just something not to have taken away.
    Last edited by ameerat42; 16-09-2021 at 7:17am.

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    Windows 10 file manager now offers a plug in within the software that allows RAW (CR3 in my case) files to be previewed for culling or processing. Good step forward, I am not using JPG unless needed for some reason.
    Regards
    Last edited by Journeyman; 16-09-2021 at 8:00am.

  11. #11
    Member Colin B's Avatar
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    I love my Nikon Coolpix B700.

    https://www.nikonusa.com/en/nikon-pr...lpix-b700.html

    It has a 60x zoom which I have used successfully for quite long-range shots of birds. The only drawback is that the smaller lens lacks the light gathering power of the big "howitzers' used by professionals. You also need strong light for a fast shutter speed when using it "off the shoulder" at long range. The built-in stabiliser helps but, obviously, a rest is preferred.

    The shooting menu has rapid-fire options for elusive birds or sports shots and all the manual options are there if that is how you like to roll. yes, it can shoot "Raw" but as a hobbyist I find the in-camera J-peg more than adequate. (Sorry, Ameerat )

    Best of all - it only weighs in at 585gm and this was what attracted me to it. I use it mainly as a travel camera and who wants to wander around exotic cities or hike through bushland loaded down like a pack mule with a heavy camera and a bag full of glass?

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Colin. I just want to comment on the idea you mentioned about light gathering power.

    You are right that a larger diameter lens gathers more light than a smaller one, but
    that does not usually* affect the intensity of the light at the sensor. That is
    usually only dependent on the f-stop used.

    In other words, a larger lens will give the same intensity at, say f/5.6, as a smaller
    lens - depending on the light transmission quality of the respective lenses.

    The main reason you may need "good light" is that in "low light" the performance is
    not as good, needing a cranking up of ISO and the likely introduction of noise. BUT
    this is more the result of having such a small sensor as your camera does - a 1/2.3"
    sensor, according to the specs in your link. That is just about / the smallest
    sensor in digital cams (6.17mm by 4.55 mm) - The main "why" is to keep within a
    budget.

    As for your liking jpegs, that's OK and there no need to apologise. - They'll suit you
    - until they don't! Jpegs have a place in photography.

    For me, the first casualty of such a camera would be image quality. Not for most of
    what you do, from your description, but for "critical stuff".

    Finally, since you left yourself open with your question, I and a heap of other hobbyists
    do indeed carry a camera pack when hiking through the bush or when travelling
    Just keep some chaff hand is all...

    * The only time that lens size does affect intensity at the sensor is for "point sources"
    of light, such as stars or (very) distant streetlights. A point source cannot be made
    larger at the sensor with any telescopic aid, so star images stay the same size when
    viewed/photographed through telescopes - unlike planets, etc.
    Last edited by ameerat42; 16-09-2021 at 1:48pm.

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