What makes the tiny digicams lenses so good?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Don W, Oct 2, 2006.

  1. Don W

    Don W Guest

    Thirty or 40 years ago I used to have a Pentax Spotmatic (printing black
    and white in my own darkroom) and graduated onto several other SLRs from
    there. I used labs for color. My pictures were never printed beyond 10
    x 8 and to be honest you might call the majority of my photos as "high
    quality family pictures".

    After years of SLRs and some higher quality 35mm compacts, I didn't
    really use my cameras for about 10 or 15 years.

    -----

    Then recently I got to use one of the modern digital compacts. It was a
    Canon Powershot SD450. (UK: Canon IXUS 55.) 5 MP. A 6 element lens
    in 5 groups. Max aperture of f/2.8 at full wide angle (less on
    telephoto)

    My! Oh my! The results are really very good. I look at the tiny weeny
    little microscopic lens and when I see what it can do then I'm very
    impressed. Reviews suggest it I could get a really very decent 10 x 8
    color print from this.

    -----

    Of course contrast, color, vignetting, fringing, distortion may not be
    100% but they are nevertheless more than adequate for a lot of photos.

    QUESTION:
    How does this sort of compact digital camera lens (or even those from
    the slightly better compacts digicams) compare to those old lenses
    without going to the extreme:

    Takumar or Super Takumar (42mm thread) on the old Spotmatic?
    http://tinyurl.com/8clur

    the FD lenses on the slightly later Canon AE-1 (bayonet).
    http://www.camerahobby.com/Review-AE1.html

    the Olympus Zuikos lenses (bayonet) found on the almost as old Olympus
    OM-1? http://tinyurl.com/2kwss
    Don W, Oct 2, 2006
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. Don W wrote:
    > Thirty or 40 years ago I used to have a Pentax Spotmatic (printing
    > black and white in my own darkroom) and graduated onto several other
    > SLRs from there. I used labs for color. My pictures were never
    > printed beyond 10 x 8 and to be honest you might call the majority of
    > my photos as "high quality family pictures".
    >
    > After years of SLRs and some higher quality 35mm compacts, I didn't
    > really use my cameras for about 10 or 15 years.
    >
    > -----
    >
    > Then recently I got to use one of the modern digital compacts. It
    > was a Canon Powershot SD450. (UK: Canon IXUS 55.) 5 MP. A 6
    > element lens in 5 groups. Max aperture of f/2.8 at full wide angle
    > (less on telephoto)
    >
    > My! Oh my! The results are really very good. I look at the tiny
    > weeny little microscopic lens and when I see what it can do then I'm
    > very impressed. Reviews suggest it I could get a really very decent
    > 10 x 8 color print from this.
    >
    > -----
    >
    > Of course contrast, color, vignetting, fringing, distortion may not be
    > 100% but they are nevertheless more than adequate for a lot of photos.
    >
    > QUESTION:
    > How does this sort of compact digital camera lens (or even those from
    > the slightly better compacts digicams) compare to those old lenses
    > without going to the extreme:
    >
    > Takumar or Super Takumar (42mm thread) on the old Spotmatic?
    > http://tinyurl.com/8clur
    >
    > the FD lenses on the slightly later Canon AE-1 (bayonet).
    > http://www.camerahobby.com/Review-AE1.html
    >
    > the Olympus Zuikos lenses (bayonet) found on the almost as old Olympus
    > OM-1? http://tinyurl.com/2kwss


    There are many factors, not just the lens, that go into image quality.

    Since you are talking about different formats (size of film - sensor) it
    is really difficult to compare lenses.

    Small lenses are easier to make well.

    Lens design has improved over the years due to computer designs, better
    glass etc.

    Post exposure processing has been a plus in many ways (also a scourge in
    others).

    If you had a full size 35mm digital SLR you would have a better
    opportunity to compare apples to apples and I believe you would find that
    apples are apples. The lenses are not all that different. We still have
    good ones and some not so good and a few great.

    --
    Joseph Meehan

    Dia duit
    Joseph Meehan, Oct 2, 2006
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. Don W wrote:
    []
    > QUESTION:
    > How does this sort of compact digital camera lens (or even those from
    > the slightly better compacts digicams) compare to those old lenses
    > without going to the extreme:


    One reason is that they are no longer required to fit the SLR format, with
    its mirror making the lens back-focal length requirement much greater.
    Design and manufacture have, of course, improved over the years as well.

    David
    David J Taylor, Oct 2, 2006
    #3
  4. "David J Taylor" <-this-bit.nor-this-part.uk>
    wrote:
    > Don W wrote:
    > []
    >> QUESTION:
    >> How does this sort of compact digital camera lens (or even those from
    >> the slightly better compacts digicams) compare to those old lenses
    >> without going to the extreme:

    >
    > One reason is that they are no longer required to fit the SLR format, with
    > its mirror making the lens back-focal length requirement much greater.


    That's largely only an issue for superwides; since there aren't any wides in
    the P&S world that isn't a significant point.

    One point to note, though, is that as the pixel counts have been going up,
    the lenses have been getting slower. It's always easier to provide good
    performance in a lens if it's slower.

    My bet, though, is that any of the lenses the OP mentioned would cough up
    great images if mounted on a 5D and shot at f/8; there are several people
    claiming certain of the Olympus OM-1 series lenses are better than current
    Canon lenses on the 5D.

    David J. Littleboy
    Tokyo, Japan
    David J. Littleboy, Oct 2, 2006
    #4
  5. David J. Littleboy wrote:
    > "David J Taylor"

    []
    >> One reason is that they are no longer required to fit the SLR
    >> format, with its mirror making the lens back-focal length
    >> requirement much greater.

    >
    > That's largely only an issue for superwides; since there aren't any
    > wides in the P&S world that isn't a significant point.


    But it's the whole thing about having to fit into last century's format!
    Give the optical designer more freedom and they can make better lenses
    (with everything else equal). Plus (as you cropped) the better design and
    manufacturing techniques today. Another point is that these are fixed
    lenses, designed specifically to suit the sensor used.

    BTW: there are now quite a large number of non-SLR cameras with 23 - 28mm
    lenses.

    David
    David J Taylor, Oct 2, 2006
    #5
  6. Don W wrote:
    >
    > QUESTION:
    > How does this sort of compact digital camera lens (or even those from
    > the slightly better compacts digicams) compare to those old lenses
    > without going to the extreme:



    One of the things that makes some lenses on smaller, cheaper cameras
    work so well is that they have a smaller aperture (higher min. f/#). It
    is always easier to design and build a lens of smaller aperture.
    Lenses of larger aperture (lower f/#) are more complex even stopped
    down.

    Both the higher f/# and the shorter focal length gives you some
    additional depth of field. Design techniques and fab techniques have
    advanced in last two decades.


    Note that the smaller aperture is common even on compact 35mm cams, not
    just digitals.
    Don Stauffer in Minnesota, Oct 2, 2006
    #6
  7. Don W

    Evan Guest

    Joseph and Don,

    I don't mean to hijack this thread, but it might illicit some educated
    responses from camera afficionados out there like you.

    My Kodak DX3600 is now about five years old. The resolution of 2.2mp
    has always been adequate, but the quality has never been so good. It's
    now playing up and I anticipate it will die soon.

    Upon replacing it, I'd like to spend a bit to give me something that I
    can set up in home with some decent lighting to take nice family
    portraits to send abroad to the grandfolks. I've seen photos on mom's
    Panasonic camera that look like professional studio photographs when
    the lighting and backgrounds were just right by coincidence (mine has
    never fluked it that nice).

    Let's say £300 was my budget (for divorce's sake). Is there a range of
    models in the UK that would produce studio-worthy photos that will
    satisfy a trained eye such as your own? Should I concentrate on what
    they're calling the "prosumer" quality range and spend a bit more?
    Evan, Oct 2, 2006
    #7
  8. "David J Taylor" <-this-bit.nor-this-part.uk>
    wrote:
    > David J. Littleboy wrote:
    >> "David J Taylor"

    > []
    >>> One reason is that they are no longer required to fit the SLR
    >>> format, with its mirror making the lens back-focal length
    >>> requirement much greater.

    >>
    >> That's largely only an issue for superwides; since there aren't any
    >> wides in the P&S world that isn't a significant point.

    >
    > But it's the whole thing about having to fit into last century's format!
    > Give the optical designer more freedom and they can make better lenses
    > (with everything else equal).


    Well, maybe. But they can't use it because if they get too close to the
    sensor, then the angle of incidence really will be a problem (normally, this
    complaint about digital is FUD because the dSLR lenses are all retrofocus
    (doh!), but it will impose about the same restriction on lens design as the
    mirror does).

    > Plus (as you cropped) the better design and manufacturing techniques
    > today. Another point is that these are fixed lenses, designed
    > specifically to suit the sensor used.


    The last point is valid. But in terms of lines per height of resolution, the
    old Pentax lenses will cough up more than the P&S lenses. I don't have any
    such older 35mm lenses lying around, but the 35mm f/3.5 wide (medium-wide:
    22mm equiv, but that's all you get in 645) for the Mamiya 645 is razor sharp
    on the 5D. And this particular lens has a pretty poor reputation for
    sharpness in the MF world. (Although it's not all that old a design,
    probably early 1980s or so, I'd guess.)

    > BTW: there are now quite a large number of non-SLR cameras with 23 - 28mm
    > lenses.


    That's pretty wimpy (and 24mm is still seriously rare). Both my dSLRs have
    17mm equivalent lenses, and there's the Sigma 12-24 for folks who want to
    have real fun.

    David J. Littleboy
    Tokyo, Japan
    David J. Littleboy, Oct 2, 2006
    #8
  9. Don W

    jeremy Guest

    "Don W" <> wrote in message
    news:Xns985083882E70A74C1H4@127.0.0.1...
    >
    > QUESTION:
    > How does this sort of compact digital camera lens (or even those from
    > the slightly better compacts digicams) compare to those old lenses
    > without going to the extreme:
    >
    >


    It is as bit more complicated comparing digitsl to film, because on digital
    the lens is not the only factor that determines the quality of the image.

    I started in 35mm in 1973, with a Spotmatic IIa, which I still have, along
    with another dozen or so bodies. In my case, I did not want to abandon my
    familiar film gear, so I went with a film scanner, and I am quite content
    with that arrangement. My requirements are modest, and I shoot only a roll
    per week, if that.

    I have had a 2.3MP digicam since 2000. It was prosumer when it was
    released, and I have always been quite pleased with its results.
    Nine-element, all glass lens. Remote control (great as a substitute for a
    cable release when camera is on a tripod). And I always have my film gear
    when I require higher resolution images.

    The film scanner has, in a sense, turned all of my film cameras into digital
    cameras. Since I don't have large expenditures for film and processing,
    this setup works well for me.

    If you still have your Spotmatics, and if you are the lower-volume shooter
    that your post suggests, you too might want to consider trying a film
    scanner, rather than starting over with digital bodies and their lenses, and
    paying a fortune to replicate what you already have in the film domain.
    This approach is probably unsuitable for people that shoot lots of images.

    I rarely see reviews of lenses for digital cameras, and current software
    like PSP or PS can correct for things like pinsuchion and barrel distortion,
    digital noise reduction, chromatic aberration ("purple fringing"), and
    perspective correction ("falling buildings"). It can also increase or
    decrease sharpening, allowing you to mimic characteristics of specific
    lenses. So the lens itself is not longer as critical a factor as it was
    back in the days when shooting transparencies--when it was just the lens and
    the film, with no intermediate influences.

    My sense is that it is easier to use less-than-stellar lenses with digital
    photography, since the images can be tweaked during the editing stage. It
    may take additional time to tweak the images, a problem for professionals
    for whom time is money, but we amateurs have a different set of requirements
    than pros do.

    For family photos of 8 x 10 or smaller, your choices are broad. Most
    digicams are perfectly well-suited to that type of photography. I would say
    that your ability to exploit the features of your editing software is
    probably more important than your choice of camera, for such shots.

    Digital P&S cameras are becoming more like commodities. Manufacturers are
    struggling to define niches that separate their products from the rest of
    the pack, but any feature of value can be easily mimiced by other
    manufacturers within 6 months, when the latest updated models come out. For
    my part, I've stopped trying to stay on top of the latest developments--my
    film cameras do exactly whet I want them to do, I already have lots of gear,
    and the film scanner enables me to take advantage of the one feature of
    digital imaging that means the most to ME: that of being able to have a
    digital darkroom where I can edit (and, hopefully, improve) my images prior
    to printing them. The method of capture is of no importance at all.






    Takumar or Super Takumar (42mm thread) on the old Spotmatic?
    > http://tinyurl.com/8clur
    >
    > the FD lenses on the slightly later Canon AE-1 (bayonet).
    > http://www.camerahobby.com/Review-AE1.html
    >
    > the Olympus Zuikos lenses (bayonet) found on the almost as old Olympus
    > OM-1? http://tinyurl.com/2kwss
    >
    jeremy, Oct 2, 2006
    #9
  10. David J. Littleboy wrote:
    > "David J Taylor"

    []
    >> Plus (as you cropped) the better design and manufacturing techniques
    >> today. Another point is that these are fixed lenses, designed
    >> specifically to suit the sensor used.

    >
    > The last point is valid. But in terms of lines per height of
    > resolution, the old Pentax lenses will cough up more than the P&S
    > lenses. I don't have any such older 35mm lenses lying around, but the
    > 35mm f/3.5 wide (medium-wide: 22mm equiv, but that's all you get in
    > 645) for the Mamiya 645 is razor sharp on the 5D. And this particular
    > lens has a pretty poor reputation for sharpness in the MF world.
    > (Although it's not all that old a design, probably early 1980s or so,
    > I'd guess.)
    >> BTW: there are now quite a large number of non-SLR cameras with 23 -
    >> 28mm lenses.

    >
    > That's pretty wimpy (and 24mm is still seriously rare). Both my dSLRs
    > have 17mm equivalent lenses, and there's the Sigma 12-24 for folks
    > who want to have real fun.


    Accepted that what I would call ultra-wides are not available in non-SLR
    cameras, although the correct use of such lenses takes a lot of care.

    With digital, the need for the lens MTF changes. No longer do you want a
    long tail of ever decreasing MTF, but as high an MTF as you can get up to
    the Nyquist frequency (i.e. half the sampling rate), and then no more.
    I've not been involved in optical design enough to know whether of not
    it's easier to try and get that sort of MTF curve rather than another, but
    I suspect that being allowed a wider PSF (which this seems to imply) might
    also ease the design of lenses for strictly digital cameras (non SLR
    cameras where the sensor resolution is fixed).

    David
    David J Taylor, Oct 2, 2006
    #10
  11. Don W wrote:
    > Thirty or 40 years ago [...]
    >
    > Then recently [...] A 6 element lens [...]
    >
    > My! Oh my! The results are really very good. [...]


    So, to answer to the question in the subject:

    Decades of research and technology advances in the design
    and creation of lenses -- for multiple reasons: newly-
    discovered (or newly-designed) materials that lead to
    higher-quality glass; better manufacturing processes
    leading to lenses with fewer and less-significant defects;
    better designs (partly due to computer-assisting tools
    available today and not available a decade or a few
    decades ago).

    I mean, compare the quality of television 30 or 40
    years ago with today's. Compare the special effects
    of movies 30 or 40 years ago with today's (and I mean
    the "final quality" of the effects -- not the "merit"
    and the ingeniosity involved in it). Compare the
    quality of cars 30 or 40 years ago with today's (again,
    the *technical quality* -- whether or not one may think
    that cars were "cooler" back in those days is not an
    issue here; cars were not fuel efficient, they were
    not nearly as safe -- in fact, they were barbarically
    unsafe 30 years ago -- etc. etc.)

    Yes, I know that there are also counter-examples to
    the argument -- things in which the "mass marketing"
    nature of things has completely ruined products that
    used to be manufactured with higher standards of
    quality (furniture comes to mind -- although under
    certain point of view, one could perhaps argue that
    thy have improved technically -- easy to "assemble
    yourself", easier to move and transport, more
    enviro-friendly, etc.).

    Carlos
    --
    Carlos Moreno, Oct 2, 2006
    #11
  12. Don W

    jpc Guest

    On Mon, 02 Oct 2006 12:55:48 +0100, Don W <> wrote:


    Inexpensive high quaiity molded aspheric lens and better lens design
    program are among the main reasons. The lens on my newest pocket
    camera-an OLY 350-- has six elements of which rhree are apsherics and
    it's close to aberation free thruout its zoom range

    jpc



    >Thirty or 40 years ago I used to have a Pentax Spotmatic (printing black
    >and white in my own darkroom) and graduated onto several other SLRs from
    >there. I used labs for color. My pictures were never printed beyond 10
    >x 8 and to be honest you might call the majority of my photos as "high
    >quality family pictures".
    >
    >After years of SLRs and some higher quality 35mm compacts, I didn't
    >really use my cameras for about 10 or 15 years.
    >
    >-----
    >
    >Then recently I got to use one of the modern digital compacts. It was a
    >Canon Powershot SD450. (UK: Canon IXUS 55.) 5 MP. A 6 element lens
    >in 5 groups. Max aperture of f/2.8 at full wide angle (less on
    >telephoto)
    >
    >My! Oh my! The results are really very good. I look at the tiny weeny
    >little microscopic lens and when I see what it can do then I'm very
    >impressed. Reviews suggest it I could get a really very decent 10 x 8
    >color print from this.
    >
    >-----
    >
    >Of course contrast, color, vignetting, fringing, distortion may not be
    >100% but they are nevertheless more than adequate for a lot of photos.
    >
    >QUESTION:
    >How does this sort of compact digital camera lens (or even those from
    >the slightly better compacts digicams) compare to those old lenses
    >without going to the extreme:
    >
    >Takumar or Super Takumar (42mm thread) on the old Spotmatic?
    >http://tinyurl.com/8clur
    >
    >the FD lenses on the slightly later Canon AE-1 (bayonet).
    >http://www.camerahobby.com/Review-AE1.html
    >
    >the Olympus Zuikos lenses (bayonet) found on the almost as old Olympus
    >OM-1? http://tinyurl.com/2kwss
    jpc, Oct 2, 2006
    #12
  13. Ï "jeremy" <> Ýãñáøå óôï ìÞíõìá
    news:kB9Ug.814$If3.798@trnddc07...
    > "Don W" <> wrote in message
    > news:Xns985083882E70A74C1H4@127.0.0.1...
    > >
    > > QUESTION:
    > > How does this sort of compact digital camera lens (or even those from
    > > the slightly better compacts digicams) compare to those old lenses
    > > without going to the extreme:
    > >
    > >

    >
    > It is as bit more complicated comparing digitsl to film, because on

    digital
    > the lens is not the only factor that determines the quality of the image.
    >
    > I started in 35mm in 1973, with a Spotmatic IIa, which I still have, along
    > with another dozen or so bodies. In my case, I did not want to abandon my
    > familiar film gear, so I went with a film scanner, and I am quite content
    > with that arrangement. My requirements are modest, and I shoot only a

    roll
    > per week, if that.
    >
    > I have had a 2.3MP digicam since 2000. It was prosumer when it was
    > released, and I have always been quite pleased with its results.
    > Nine-element, all glass lens. Remote control (great as a substitute for a
    > cable release when camera is on a tripod). And I always have my film gear
    > when I require higher resolution images.
    >
    > The film scanner has, in a sense, turned all of my film cameras into

    digital
    > cameras. Since I don't have large expenditures for film and processing,
    > this setup works well for me.
    >
    > If you still have your Spotmatics, and if you are the lower-volume shooter
    > that your post suggests, you too might want to consider trying a film
    > scanner, rather than starting over with digital bodies and their lenses,

    and
    > paying a fortune to replicate what you already have in the film domain.
    > This approach is probably unsuitable for people that shoot lots of images.
    >
    > I rarely see reviews of lenses for digital cameras, and current software
    > like PSP or PS can correct for things like pinsuchion and barrel

    distortion,
    > digital noise reduction, chromatic aberration ("purple fringing"), and
    > perspective correction ("falling buildings"). It can also increase or
    > decrease sharpening, allowing you to mimic characteristics of specific
    > lenses. So the lens itself is not longer as critical a factor as it was
    > back in the days when shooting transparencies--when it was just the lens

    and
    > the film, with no intermediate influences.
    >
    > My sense is that it is easier to use less-than-stellar lenses with digital
    > photography, since the images can be tweaked during the editing stage. It
    > may take additional time to tweak the images, a problem for professionals
    > for whom time is money, but we amateurs have a different set of

    requirements
    > than pros do.
    >
    > For family photos of 8 x 10 or smaller, your choices are broad. Most
    > digicams are perfectly well-suited to that type of photography. I would

    say
    > that your ability to exploit the features of your editing software is
    > probably more important than your choice of camera, for such shots.
    >
    > Digital P&S cameras are becoming more like commodities. Manufacturers are
    > struggling to define niches that separate their products from the rest of
    > the pack, but any feature of value can be easily mimiced by other
    > manufacturers within 6 months, when the latest updated models come out.

    For
    > my part, I've stopped trying to stay on top of the latest developments--my
    > film cameras do exactly whet I want them to do, I already have lots of

    gear,
    > and the film scanner enables me to take advantage of the one feature of
    > digital imaging that means the most to ME: that of being able to have a
    > digital darkroom where I can edit (and, hopefully, improve) my images

    prior
    > to printing them. The method of capture is of no importance at all.
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > Takumar or Super Takumar (42mm thread) on the old Spotmatic?
    > > http://tinyurl.com/8clur
    > >
    > > the FD lenses on the slightly later Canon AE-1 (bayonet).
    > > http://www.camerahobby.com/Review-AE1.html
    > >
    > > the Olympus Zuikos lenses (bayonet) found on the almost as old Olympus
    > > OM-1? http://tinyurl.com/2kwss

    You have a point.Many people that used to have SLRs and shot transparencies
    and B&W have switched over to digital and not everyone has got a DSLR.But,
    you're missing some practical aspects of digital
    photography.Economy.Convenience.Easy sharing.You won't have to wait for the
    36 exp roll to fill up to have it developed.You can see your "prints"
    instantly, and delete the ones you don't need anymore.You can reuse and
    reuse the same memory card, and burning in your own computer a cd or a dvd,
    and send a copy to your relatives (no more fussing with lost negatives)or
    even email them, and allow the public to view them.I had a Nikon FM-2,
    complete with flash, photometer, 24mm f2.5 Tamron,50 mm 1.4 Nikkor,70-210
    Sigma, several filters, close up lenses etc.and imagine what happened when I
    had to use the flash (a soviet vintage one, which charged with mains
    plug!).Usually my subject had lost patience.I gave it away, and I'm telling
    you,I'm better off without it.Now I have a Kodak CX 7300, (3.2 MP) which is
    fine for the couple of dozens of photos I shoot every 6 months.


    --
    Tzortzakakis Dimitrios
    major in electrical engineering,freelance electrician
    mechanized infantry reservist
    dimtzort AT otenet DOT gr
    Tzortzakakis Dimitrios, Oct 2, 2006
    #13
  14. Don W

    Colin Wilson Guest

    > Let's say £300 was my budget (for divorce's sake). Is there a range of
    > models in the UK that would produce studio-worthy photos that will
    > satisfy a trained eye such as your own? Should I concentrate on what
    > they're calling the "prosumer" quality range and spend a bit more?


    See the recent thread where the Canon S3 IS was mentioned (amongst
    others)

    http://www.steves-digicams.com/2006_reviews/s3is.html
    Colin Wilson, Oct 2, 2006
    #14
  15. "Evan" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    Joseph and Don,

    >I don't mean to hijack this thread, but it might illicit some educated
    >responses from camera afficionados out there like you.




    Get yourself along to www.ephotozine.com
    Good bunch of folk there on the forums who will gladly answer your
    questions.
    You can also browse the gallery and see what pictures were taken with what
    camera.
    www.dpreview.com is American based but has some good guides.
    http://www.camerapricebuster.co.uk/index.html is a good price comparison
    site.
    SLR camera is the way to go if you can afford it.

    Steven.
    Steven Campbell, Oct 2, 2006
    #15
  16. Don W

    chrisu Guest

    Steven Campbell wrote:
    > "Evan" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    > Joseph and Don,
    >
    >
    >>I don't mean to hijack this thread, but it might illicit some educated
    >>responses from camera afficionados out there like you.

    >
    >
    >
    >
    > Get yourself along to www.ephotozine.com
    > Good bunch of folk there on the forums who will gladly answer your
    > questions.
    > You can also browse the gallery and see what pictures were taken with what
    > camera.
    > www.dpreview.com is American based but has some good guides.
    > http://www.camerapricebuster.co.uk/index.html is a good price comparison
    > site.
    > SLR camera is the way to go if you can afford it.
    >
    > Steven.
    >
    >

    There are times when a point and shhot thats fits in the pocket is
    just the job - I have a Ixus 60 - having said that I'm pretty impressed
    with my EOS400D.

    --
    1976 Z900, 1980 Z1R, 1973 Beamish suzuki, 1976 GT250, 2000 ZRX1200
    chrisu, Oct 2, 2006
    #16
  17. "chrisu" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >
    >
    > Steven Campbell wrote:
    >> "Evan" <> wrote in message
    >> news:...
    >> Joseph and Don,
    >>
    >>
    >>>I don't mean to hijack this thread, but it might illicit some educated
    >>>responses from camera afficionados out there like you.

    >>
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >> Get yourself along to www.ephotozine.com
    >> Good bunch of folk there on the forums who will gladly answer your
    >> questions.
    >> You can also browse the gallery and see what pictures were taken with
    >> what camera.
    >> www.dpreview.com is American based but has some good guides.
    >> http://www.camerapricebuster.co.uk/index.html is a good price comparison
    >> site.
    >> SLR camera is the way to go if you can afford it.
    >>
    >> Steven.
    >>
    >>

    > There are times when a point and shhot thats fits in the pocket is just
    > the job - I have a Ixus 60 - having said that I'm pretty impressed with my
    > EOS400D.


    Totally agree with you but out of curiosity, if you think your Ixus 60 does
    the job, why do you also have the 400D?
    P&S is great for convenience but no so on versatility.

    Steven.
    Steven Campbell, Oct 2, 2006
    #17
  18. Don W

    HLAH Guest

    "Steven Campbell" <> wrote in message
    news:4521863d$0$24490$...
    >
    > "chrisu" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >>
    >>
    >> Steven Campbell wrote:
    >>> "Evan" <> wrote in message
    >>> news:...
    >>> Joseph and Don,
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>>I don't mean to hijack this thread, but it might illicit some educated
    >>>>responses from camera afficionados out there like you.
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>
    >>> Get yourself along to www.ephotozine.com
    >>> Good bunch of folk there on the forums who will gladly answer your
    >>> questions.
    >>> You can also browse the gallery and see what pictures were taken with
    >>> what camera.
    >>> www.dpreview.com is American based but has some good guides.
    >>> http://www.camerapricebuster.co.uk/index.html is a good price comparison
    >>> site.
    >>> SLR camera is the way to go if you can afford it.
    >>>
    >>> Steven.
    >>>
    >>>

    >> There are times when a point and shhot thats fits in the pocket is just
    >> the job - I have a Ixus 60 - having said that I'm pretty impressed with
    >> my EOS400D.

    >
    > Totally agree with you but out of curiosity, if you think your Ixus 60
    > does the job, why do you also have the 400D?
    > P&S is great for convenience but no so on versatility.
    >

    To butt in, I have an Ixus 60 - what a cracking little camera! but sadly, no
    flash level control, no aperture or shutter priority mode and no full manual
    mode. I can't see any reason why these features couldn't have been
    included - the camera uses the Digic II processor like other cameras in the
    Canon range and it surely wouldn't have been too difficult? Still then it
    would wander into the feature set realm of the S series range, not good
    marketing I guess.

    Also other problems are, it's noisy in low light and it can fluff the focus
    a bit too often. The battery warning is rubbish as well.

    I expect the 400D doesn't have these problems but you would have to be some
    fat bastard to slip one into your pocket like I can an Ixus :)

    H
    HLAH, Oct 3, 2006
    #18
  19. Don W

    Paul J Gans Guest

    David J Taylor <-this-bit.nor-this-part.uk> wrote:
    >Don W wrote:
    >[]
    >> QUESTION:
    >> How does this sort of compact digital camera lens (or even those from
    >> the slightly better compacts digicams) compare to those old lenses
    >> without going to the extreme:


    >One reason is that they are no longer required to fit the SLR format, with
    >its mirror making the lens back-focal length requirement much greater.
    >Design and manufacture have, of course, improved over the years as well.


    I agree. Further, a smaller sensor fits a smaller lens.
    Many such cameras I believe have cast acrylic aspherical
    lenses which can be *very* good.

    ---- Paul J. Gans
    Paul J Gans, Oct 3, 2006
    #19
  20. Don W

    Paul J Gans Guest

    In rec.photo.digital Don Stauffer in Minnesota <> wrote:

    >Don W wrote:
    >>
    >> QUESTION:
    >> How does this sort of compact digital camera lens (or even those from
    >> the slightly better compacts digicams) compare to those old lenses
    >> without going to the extreme:



    >One of the things that makes some lenses on smaller, cheaper cameras
    >work so well is that they have a smaller aperture (higher min. f/#). It
    >is always easier to design and build a lens of smaller aperture.
    >Lenses of larger aperture (lower f/#) are more complex even stopped
    >down.


    >Both the higher f/# and the shorter focal length gives you some
    >additional depth of field. Design techniques and fab techniques have
    >advanced in last two decades.



    >Note that the smaller aperture is common even on compact 35mm cams, not
    >just digitals.


    Wait a minute here. The OP was talking about the Canon 450D.
    That camera has a 5.8 to 17.4 mm f/2.8 to f/4.9 lens. It
    certainly isn't small aperture. It runs about 5 megapixels.

    On the other hand, with very short focal distances, it isn't
    that hard to get a fast lens.

    And no, I don't have this information memorized. I just
    happen to have mine with me at the moment. ;-)

    ---- Paul J. Gans
    Paul J Gans, Oct 3, 2006
    #20
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