6 MP dSLR -vs- 10 MP point & shoot

Discussion in 'Digital SLR' started by plastic_razor, Oct 24, 2006.

  1. A dSLR has many, many advantages over a point-and-shoot camera. Low
    light photography, stop action, bokeh, etc. Point & shoot cameras,
    especial 10 Megapixel ones, are horrible at anything above 200 ISO.

    But in perfect lighting (ie studio) with a stationary subject, would an
    expensive point-and-shoot like the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX2 (10 MP,
    $480) produce a crisper, more detailed A3 print than a D70 (6 MP,
    approx $1000) with a 50mm prime lens?
    plastic_razor, Oct 24, 2006
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  2. plastic_razor

    Bob H Guest

    There's issues about stuffing small sensors with lots of pixels. I returned
    a Canon S3 and went with a K100D. The noise, CA, and fringing were unreal
    on the S3. I really liked that cam but it was the small sensor is
    punishment. And the EVF for me, sucked.

    And you can't shoot RAW.

    Best to take your flashcards and go try these cams. See if you get the
    results you want.
    Bob H, Oct 24, 2006
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  3. plastic_razor

    Ian Riches Guest

    You can download some studio-type test shots from dpreview.com and print
    them yourself and see...


    Let us know what you reckon.

    Ian Riches, Oct 24, 2006
  4. Bob H wrote:
    The Canon does not have the best lenses in its class, so please don't
    judge all non-SLR cameras by the results you got. Many cameras can shoot
    RAW, even if Canon choose not to provide that facility. Of course, the
    noise is simply a limitation of the smaller sensor, and such cameras are
    best used on low ISO settings. The EVF is an area which could do with
    improvement, and the VGA-resolution finder on the Minolta A2 is the best
    I've seen, and it was a delight to use. A lot better than many.

    What do you particularly like about the Pentax?

    David J Taylor, Oct 24, 2006

  5. I looks to me like the 10 megapixel point & shoot has more detail than
    the 6 megapixel dSLR. The labels on the battery and the wine are much
    more legible on the Panasonic.

    Maybe the megapixel wars isn't all that bad afterall. For all the
    complaints about these cameras, people forget that noise only becomes
    an issue at higher ISOs. But when taking photos in bright light, I can
    see the appeal of these point & shoot cameras.
    plastic_razor, Oct 24, 2006
  6. plastic_razor

    John Francis Guest

    I'd disagree with that assessment. Take a look at, for example, the
    Gretag Macbeth color chart in the example you quote above; the P&S
    has quite a bit of obvious in the dark areas. And that's with the
    in-camera noise reduction in operation.

    It depends what you want, of course. There's no doubt that a P&S
    is more convenient to use; I occasionally take my wife's Casio Exilim
    rather than dragging around a DSLR. But for anything more than a
    quick snapshot I think it's worth starting with the cleanest image
    direct from the sensor.

    Bear in mind, too, that Phil's reviews are mostly done with the
    camera set to the default values. That means you aren't really
    comparing the camera directly - different manufacturers will have
    very different default values for noise reduction, sharpening, &c.
    That's appropriate for someone who is just going to use a camera
    straight out of the box, without ever exploring the menu options.

    If you applied the same amount of post processing to the image
    from a DSLR, I'm sure you'd see significantly less noise. Note,
    too, that there's quite a bit of sharpening being applied; this
    leaves quite visible halos around the colour swatches.

    you'd probably be able to get close to the amount of visible
    John Francis, Oct 24, 2006
  7. plastic_razor

    bmoag Guest

    In my experience the top Sony EVF cameras, the late 828 and the current
    dscr1are the only "p&S" cameras that compare in quality to dSLRs, and that
    is stretching the definition of P&S.
    However opinion and taste trump technical quality so whatever floats your
    boat . . .
    bmoag, Oct 24, 2006
  8. Yes, there's more noise, but the question was which will produce a
    criasper print. I think it is clear that, in the photographs linked,
    the compact has more detail than the SLR. The noise does not reduce
    resolving power enough. In lower light, it would be a different story.
    Yes, but the point here is that under these conditions (good light etc)
    the compact records more details. Yes, there is more noise, the image
    isn't as clean etc (so probably you could print at a lower dpi from the
    DSLR and get a good result).
    But in this case, noise does not play a significant role in how "crisp"
    a print will be.
    achilleaslazarides, Oct 24, 2006
  9. plastic_razor

    Tony Polson Guest

    The quality of the results from the Sony DSC-R1 compare with those
    from DSLRs for a very good reason - it has an APS-C sized sensor.

    I use one. Used within its limitations, it is a fine 10 MP camera
    with a superlative lens. It is an excellent studio camera, and works
    very well indoors.

    However, it is almost unusable in daylight as the otherwise excellent
    LCD is far too dim, and the electronic viewfinder is about as woeful
    as electronic viewfinders get.
    Tony Polson, Oct 24, 2006
  10. plastic_razor

    Bob H Guest

    Shake reduction works great.

    3200 yields usable shots.

    Price. Hotshoe.
    Bob H, Oct 25, 2006
  11. plastic_razor

    frederick Guest

    Perhaps the Lx-2 should be compared with a D80 or 400d...
    Or the D200 or 5d : http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond200/page27.asp
    Wow - perhaps the little P&S looks as good as a 10mp dslr there.
    Looks like you have in order:
    Canon 5d
    400d & LX2 second equal
    d80 & D200 equal third
    Yet that rascal Phil gave the LX-2 a poor rating of 7.5 for image quality...
    frederick, Oct 25, 2006
  12. Yes, there's more noise, but the question was which will produce a
    Of course, there is also the question of print resolution - a difference
    that is apparent in a 100% crop on screen may not be visible at all in
    prints smaller than 8x10".

    But more to the point, another question is, how easy is it to get shots
    as good as the controlled test shots Phil takes when shooting in the
    real world. That is, do the controls on the camera easily allow you to
    set the ideal parameters for the shot, or is the default shot going to
    be what you settle for because it is too much hassle to set it
    otherwise? And what range of shots are even takeable? Clearly, a P&S
    with a super-zoom is going to make some shots takeable that wouldn't
    without changing lenses on a DSLR. But if you need control over depth
    of field or focus or motion blur, the P&S may or may not even be able to
    offer you the option you want, and if it does, it may well be harder to
    get at. If none of these things seem like they would matter to you,
    then by all means, the P&S is going to do the job nicely. But these are
    definitely things that matter to some.

    Marc Sabatella

    Music, art, & educational materials
    Featuring "A Jazz Improvisation Primer"
    Marc Sabatella, Oct 25, 2006
  13. True. It may also not be visible on larger prints. It depends on how
    contrast changes when you print and other things, too.

    I agree, I think that how a camera handles is much more important than
    most people seem to think here.
    Well, control over depth of field is nice and makes some images
    possible that are not otherwise, but if that was the only advantage of
    a larger sensor, I doubt I'd ever buy an SLR, personally. And as far as
    controls are concerned (how easy it is to adjust shutter speed,
    aperture etc), they hardly need to depend on whether the camera is an
    SLR or not. See, for example, cameras like the Minolta Dimage A2:
    excellent ergonomics, everything easily reachable. However, nowadays,
    one needs to buy an SLR to get a camera that handles well.
    Well, the things you mention do matter, but not all that much. What
    does matter is ability to take photographs under low light conditions
    (ie good high sensitivity behaviour), speed and sensitivity of
    autofocus, short viewinder blackout time and generally quick reactions
    (I hate thinking faster than machines I operate can react, to the point
    that I actively avoid using them if this happens), good handling (as
    mentioned above), interchangeable lenses (preferably with the ability
    to use old manual focus lenses available used for not a lot of money),
    and various other things.

    I just find it irritating that people have to say that the images from
    the DSLR have more detail when they blatantly don't in this case
    (irrespective of other advantages, both image quality-wise and
    handling-wise). Just like when people tell me they print 4mp images at
    30 by 45 inches and they look fine (ah, but it's from a Nikon D2h!
    Don't laugh!).
    achilleaslazarides, Oct 25, 2006
  14. plastic_razor

    cjcampbell Guest

    No. The noise of a Panasonic Lumix is visible even in perfect lighting.
    cjcampbell, Oct 25, 2006
  15. plastic_razor

    Alan Browne Guest

    That you RichA?

    Pretty good images but the noise will be higher and resolution possibly
    worse due to the lens. DOF won't be as shallow either which is a
    requirement in some images. At A3 the noise from the Lumix will show in
    the shaddow areas. At A3 the 6 Mpix DSLR will be at its limits for a
    sharp image.

    If you constrain the print size enough, of course, the Lumix will do
    fine, but that is hardly the point of studio shooting. And today's
    DSLR's at 10 and 12 Mpix will certainly outgun the smaller sensored
    cameras like the Lumix.
    Alan Browne, Oct 25, 2006
  16. plastic_razor

    m II Guest

    To me, that IS comparing the cameras most directly. The default settings
    provided by the manufacturers are what they feel the vast majority of
    the users will want and use. They think the cameras will be likely used
    at those settings the majority of the time.

    It seems valid to compare the median settings of the offerings.

    Think of it as the 'Default Camera' comparison..

    m II, Oct 26, 2006
  17. plastic_razor

    cjcampbell Guest

    Except for DSLRs, especially the better ones. Most of those stay on
    their default settings for all of about 2 nanoseconds after the box is
    cjcampbell, Oct 26, 2006
  18. plastic_razor

    John Francis Guest

    I made precisely that point a little later, in the part you elided.

    It depends on why you are reading the reviews. If you want a camera
    that you can use, straight out of the box, without ever changing
    any of the settings, then the reviews are ideal. If, however, you
    are prepared to configure the camera to provide optimal image quality,
    and are trying to decide between one or two cameras, then you're still
    pretty much on your own. In particular if you expect to produce RAW
    images, without letting manufacturer-supplied software do much in the
    way of processing, the reviews aren't particularly helpful.

    A review process that makes sense for a miniature point-and-shoot
    isn't necessarily ideal for DSLRs aimed at the advanced amateur or
    professional market.
    John Francis, Oct 26, 2006
  19. Depends mostly on the quality of the lens.
    Many P&S lenses do not have the resolving power needed for their
    MPix count.

    (And for that, even a good non-zoom lens can be underutilizing
    a dSLRs sensor, especially towards the borders, wide open or
    f/16 or slower ... That's why stopping down often improves the
    image quality.)

    Oh, and then there is the RAW->JPEG transformation, which does have
    a lot of impact. e.g. if the P&S oversharpens and oversaturates,
    the non-critical eye will think that image to be 'crisper'.

    Wolfgang Weisselberg, Oct 31, 2006
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