DSLR Compact Camera or Phone? Belgium c50km/day

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pwa
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Re: DSLR Compact Camera or Phone? Belgium c50km/day

Postby pwa » 31 Aug 2019, 9:28am

I know it is nice to be able to change lenses and all that, but do we really need to do that these days? Surely there are plenty of really nice compact digital cameras out there that have extraordinary optical zoom, the ability to operate well in low light conditions, and offer good resolution.

My own neat, compact camera is this one.

https://www.johnlewis.com/panasonic-lum ... k/p1901695

The feature I value most on this, compared to otherwise similar cameras, is the viewfinder. The camera has the usual screen at the back, but when reflections stop you seeing exactly how you are framing the shot you put your eye to the viewfinder and it gives you a clear monochrome image, like an SLR would. You focus it for your own eye. And it gives you the ability to craft the image precisely. My wife was sceptical about the need for this feature, but even she now uses it a lot. It is so much better than using the screen. You control exactly what you take a picture of.

My previous favourite camera was my Olympus OM10 (with manual adaptor) SLR (circa 1980s) for film, a lovely thing that gave great control and provided great images if you used it correctly. My current camera is even better. And it is the size of a packet of fags. King Size.

Psamathe
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Re: DSLR Compact Camera or Phone? Belgium c50km/day

Postby Psamathe » 31 Aug 2019, 9:43am

pwa wrote:.....
The feature I value most on this, compared to otherwise similar cameras, is the viewfinder......

Likewise (but on a different compact camera). I brought a compact camera year an a bit ago and the one I chose does have an amazing optical zoom range (but under some situations I have still wanted that available from my DSLR lenses). But it was the viewfinder I regarded as crucial.

Since getting the compact camera I've taken around 5000 photos and can't remember ever having used the screen on the back, I always use the viewfinder. I went for the Sony RX-100m6 but was really keen on the Canon M-series (as they'd take my Canon DSLR lenses with an adapter) but the only viewfinder they have available is a hot shoe type clip on one that is rather expensive and being a clip-on one is more of a fiddle.

I wonder if there is something fundamental about viewfinders and good framing or if it's just a historical/age thing for those of us brought-up with viewfinders.

Ian

drossall
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Re: DSLR Compact Camera or Phone? Belgium c50km/day

Postby drossall » 31 Aug 2019, 9:45am

Some time I might compare my K70 for size with my old ME Super, of which I still have two stored away (mine and my late father-in-law's). That of course claimed to be the smallest film SLR available.

Although I suspect that lenses from the film era would be heavier.

pwa
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Re: DSLR Compact Camera or Phone? Belgium c50km/day

Postby pwa » 31 Aug 2019, 9:50am

Psamathe wrote:
pwa wrote:.....
The feature I value most on this, compared to otherwise similar cameras, is the viewfinder......

Likewise (but on a different compact camera). I brought a compact camera year an a bit ago and the one I chose does have an amazing optical zoom range (but under some situations I have still wanted that available from my DSLR lenses). But it was the viewfinder I regarded as crucial.

Since getting the compact camera I've taken around 5000 photos and can't remember ever having used the screen on the back, I always use the viewfinder. I went for the Sony RX-100m6 but was really keen on the Canon M-series (as they'd take my Canon DSLR lenses with an adapter) but the only viewfinder they have available is a hot shoe type clip on one that is rather expensive and being a clip-on one is more of a fiddle.

I wonder if there is something fundamental about viewfinders and good framing or if it's just a historical/age thing for those of us brought-up with viewfinders.

Ian


For me the viewfinder is essential for framing. There is little point in having an otherwise high quality camera with no viewfinder. The reason is that very often the main screen has reflections on it and you struggle to see exactly what is and isn't in shot. Also, with one eye on the viwfinder and the other shut you see only the image you are taking and concentration is on that alone. I'd not waste money on an expensive camera without a viewfinder.

PH
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Re: DSLR Compact Camera or Phone? Belgium c50km/day

Postby PH » 31 Aug 2019, 9:53am

freiston wrote: (and the pleasure was in making the journey rather than the end result of the photo)?

Yes, sort of, sorry it's confusing. The pleasure is in the journey and the process as well as and as much as the result, or can be!
Separating the photography from the photo. It isn't that the photo is irrelevant, I have some photos I like that could have been taken on my phone, but if that's all I'd had with me I wouldn't have.
In the same way you might do with cycling, where there's the cycle and the ride. You're more likely to go for the ride if you have the bike you like, even though the ride could probably have been done on any bike.
Hope that clarifies :oops:

pwa
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Re: DSLR Compact Camera or Phone? Belgium c50km/day

Postby pwa » 31 Aug 2019, 10:15am

I can see why people take pics with their phones. They have the phone with them anyway, so the ability to record is there all the time in a fairly handy pocketable form. Compact cameras still give you more control and precision if you want it, and they too can be just about pocketable. But I would never go back to bulky SLRs. The bulk means that when you go out with one you go as a photographer first and everything else you are doing is for the photography. And that just isn't me. I do things and occasionally choose to bring back an image or two. I don't go out on an image safari. So for me a bulky camera would stay in a cupboard unloved and unused.

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Cunobelin
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Re: DSLR Compact Camera or Phone? Belgium c50km/day

Postby Cunobelin » 31 Aug 2019, 10:47am

drossall wrote:Some time I might compare my K70 for size with my old ME Super, of which I still have two stored away (mine and my late father-in-law's). That of course claimed to be the smallest film SLR available.

Although I suspect that lenses from the film era would be heavier.


Apologise for being OT, but..

While there look out the old lenses as well. I have played with a couple on my K50 / K70 with reasonable results



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Cunobelin
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Re: DSLR Compact Camera or Phone? Belgium c50km/day

Postby Cunobelin » 31 Aug 2019, 10:52am

pwa wrote:I can see why people take pics with their phones. They have the phone with them anyway, so the ability to record is there all the time in a fairly handy pocketable form. Compact cameras still give you more control and precision if you want it, and they too can be just about pocketable. But I would never go back to bulky SLRs. The bulk means that when you go out with one you go as a photographer first and everything else you are doing is for the photography. And that just isn't me. I do things and occasionally choose to bring back an image or two. I don't go out on an image safari. So for me a bulky camera would stay in a cupboard unloved and unused.


Many of the greatest photos that I never took where because I did not carry a camera at the time.

I love my cameras but would admit that some photos on the phone are just as good.

The only time I have ever been where the phones fail is chasing the Northern Lights in Iceland, Norway, Arctic Circle and Svalbard, these are the areas where the additional control is necessary

I felt sorry for the people who were trying to take the Aurora on their phones.

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freiston
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Re: DSLR Compact Camera or Phone? Belgium c50km/day

Postby freiston » 31 Aug 2019, 1:36pm

PH wrote:
freiston wrote: (and the pleasure was in making the journey rather than the end result of the photo)?

Yes, sort of, sorry it's confusing. The pleasure is in the journey and the process as well as and as much as the result, or can be!
Separating the photography from the photo. It isn't that the photo is irrelevant, I have some photos I like that could have been taken on my phone, but if that's all I'd had with me I wouldn't have.
In the same way you might do with cycling, where there's the cycle and the ride. You're more likely to go for the ride if you have the bike you like, even though the ride could probably have been done on any bike.
Hope that clarifies :oops:

Thanks for the clarification :)
Disclaimer: Treat what I say with caution and if possible, wait for someone with more knowledge and experience to contribute. ;)

HarryD
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Re: DSLR Compact Camera or Phone? Belgium c50km/day

Postby HarryD » 31 Aug 2019, 3:28pm

Did the Camino from Sevilla with my Nikon D3100 (18-55mm) slung over my back. No problems at all even after I lost the lens cap. When it rained it went inside a tick plastic bag in a panier. Got lots of good* pictures and has been said before framing is easy with a DSLR. *By good I mean far better than with a compact or phone. I do tend to take far more pictures in good weather.

drossall
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Re: DSLR Compact Camera or Phone? Belgium c50km/day

Postby drossall » 1 Sep 2019, 9:29am

Cunobelin wrote:While there look out the old lenses as well. I have played with a couple on my K50 / K70 with reasonable results

Yes, I have my late father-in-law's 400mm lens from film days, which I've occasionally used on my K30 and K70. Of course, it's effectively a 600mm on a DSLR. Very much a tripod job!

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Cunobelin
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Re: DSLR Compact Camera or Phone? Belgium c50km/day

Postby Cunobelin » 1 Sep 2019, 10:20am

HarryD wrote:Did the Camino from Sevilla with my Nikon D3100 (18-55mm) slung over my back. No problems at all even after I lost the lens cap. When it rained it went inside a tick plastic bag in a panier. Got lots of good* pictures and has been said before framing is easy with a DSLR. *By good I mean far better than with a compact or phone. I do tend to take far more pictures in good weather.



I stopped using lens caps for that reason, I use what my wife refers to as "camera condoms" known as "silicon universal lens hoods"

Offer protection to at least part of the lens as well

Image

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Audax67
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Re: DSLR Compact Camera or Phone? Belgium c50km/day

Postby Audax67 » 1 Sep 2019, 3:24pm

I feel inclined to suggest you take two cameras, a preferably-waterproof point & shoot compact for shooting on the fly and something with more welly for more leisurely pics.

The ones I carry:

Panasonic FT-3 (2011). Waterproof, relatively shockproof, 12 Mp, quick to start, good for shooting while riding, no need to worry about downpours or knocking it off the pub table, decent quality shots. This is the camera that goes on all my rides.

Nikon 1 J1(2011). 10 Mp but a 1" sensor, whence excellent resolution. Nikon failed with the Series 1 because they seemed overpriced, and the user interface on the early models was somewhat ludicrous (e.g. they included a selection of tunes that you could play with each pic). The lenses, however, were excellent, and you could cover 27-297mm equiv. with just two. When I cleared the crud out of my bar bag it nestled in there quite happily. The longer lens is great for candids & semi-macro shots. The one big fault they had was that in some circumstances the LCD would show a clear, bright pic but the result would be much darker, Nikon's rationale being that the bright LCD helped composition. You get used to it. I liked this camera so much that I bought its bigger bro, the V1, as well. The V1 has an optical finder. Oh yeah: through an adaptor, it also works with my old Nikon 18-200mm zoom, yielding a 540mm-equiv tele at the long end. The stabilization works too.

Of course, if you get one you might hate it because of the interface - lots did, and I swore at it myself a few times. But I did a lot of stuff with it that I like a lot. All this J1 bit is in the past tense because I rarely do any photography these days.

Re the current flock of long-zoom small-sensor compacts: my wife has one (Sony HX90V) & loves it; I borrowed it and found that the pictures look impressionist unless you only look at them on a computer screen: i.e. it takes a 20 Mp sensor to turn out a pic that you view at e.g. 1200x800 px. Results from the 10 Mp J1 are much more subtle.

Tip: use the camera search facility at http://www.pbase.com. This will get you a selection of pics taken with almost any digital. Of those, a fair number will have been uploaded without any processing or resizing; this allows you to look at the image quality in various lighting conditions right down to pixel level.
Have we got time for another cuppa?

pete75
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Re: DSLR Compact Camera or Phone? Belgium c50km/day

Postby pete75 » 1 Sep 2019, 3:45pm

Fifteen years ago our friend who is a writer and photographer for a German horticultural magazine used a DSLR. A few years ago she changed to a compact saying that produced pictures of the right quality for publication. A couple of years ago she switched to using a mobile phone again saying a mobile now produced pictures of the correct quality.

LittleGreyCat
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Re: DSLR Compact Camera or Phone? Belgium c50km/day

Postby LittleGreyCat » 1 Sep 2019, 5:21pm

A while back I bought a Canon Ixus 285 HS because I occasionally see scenes which the Samsung Galaxy S5 can't do justice to.
I have an early entry level Nikon DSLR which has done me well but I very rarely strap it on these days, and it is far too large to routinely carry on my bike either for day rides or longer tours.

I hadn't planned to use it with my bike (or I would have spent extra for a waterproof one) but I have added a handlebar mount so that I can take snaps or short movies whilst on the road. Mainly aimed at touring where I am seeing something interesting enough to record, but not to stop and start digging out a camera. Must keep rolling!!

The level of quality I am looking for is something that looks good on a PC monitor.

The Nikon gives this. So does the Canon. The Galaxy not so much.
On the other hand I always have my phone with me so I can always capture a basic image which makes it less important to carry another camera.
Although I do usually have the Canon clipped to my belt when out walking.

So for what I think was the original question, I would have a lightweight compact (or whatever the current correct name is) camera like the Canon or a Panasonic equivalent which is either waterproof or which will be carried in a protective case (or both).

You will lose the ability to take really well framed pictures using an optical viewfinder (which is still my preferred method) but in terms of usability you should have an acceptable compromise.