P&S vs DSLR - Does this argument make sense?

Discussion in 'UK Photography' started by aniramca, Jul 26, 2007.

  1. Well, in any P&S I tested, I see no effect of LCD delay
    versus shutter speed, in any mode from P to shutter to aperture
    priority, from bright outside light to dim room light, from
    exposure times from 10 seconds to 1/400 second. LCD delay
    remains the same. Typical delays seems to be about 0.1 second.
    To me this is too long, especially when you add the typical
    shutter lag P&S cameras have. Full press shutter lag in
    good DSLRs is under 70 milliseconds, and that includes true
    zero delay from the optical viewfinder.

    Please cite specific models that do this, because clearly not
    all do this. You also have yet to cite P&S models that have
    LCD "live preview" in "perfect sync" with as fast as you can move
    your hand in front of the camera.

    A real world test from last Friday:
    70+ P&S cameras versus 4 DSLRs on a whale viewing boat.
    Guess which cameras got pictures of a whale breaching?
    Hint: guess which cameras where hindered by too much delay?

    Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark), Jul 31, 2007
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  2. aniramca

    Scott W Guest

    A whale breaching is slow enough that if you know it is going to happen
    it is pretty easy to capture with even a slow P&S camera. These are
    some I shot with a small waterproof P&S.
    The whale gets enough hang time that I was waiting, trying to hit the
    shutter at the best time.

    The big difference is that if I had my DSLR I would have gotten 3-4
    shots / breach instead of one. And if you don't know the whale is going
    to breach before hand (often the case) the chances of getting it with a
    P&S are close to zero, with a DSLR you have a much better chance.

    Note that when I was using the P&S auto-focus time was not an issue
    because I set the focus to infinity and just left it there, if I tried
    to auto-focus all you would see is a splash left over from where the
    whale went in, I have a number of photos like this.

    Sadly I have yet to be very close to a breaching whale with my DSLR in
    hand, I don't take it out on the water with me.

    Scott W, Jul 31, 2007
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  3. aniramca

    Zach G. Guest

    A real world test from today:
    A "group" of 1-photographer was out all day with his high-quality P&S
    camera taking photos of birds in flight and other fast-action nature
    photography without missing a beat, as is his custom most every day.
    500 wannabe photographers were posting in newsgroups trying to
    convince other wannabe photographers which is the better camera, as is
    their custom 24-7-52.
    Guess which group actually got any photos worthy of being called
    photography this year?

    Hint: tomes of typing speak more about a person's photography
    experience and skills than anything they might actually say in those
    words. A few photos on a web page done 10 years ago does not a life of
    experience, nor wisdom, nor an authority make.

    I for one will pass on your (cough) "sage" advice.
    Zach G., Jul 31, 2007
  4. aniramca

    Zach G. Guest

    Here's an imaginary photo taken with a lowly and slow-as-snails P&S
    camera in the hands of a photographer that actually knows what he's
    doing .... HAND-HELD, available light (no flash), with +7 diopters
    worth of close-up lens on front, at 164mm (35mm eq.) focal length.
    This insect in-flight is less than 1/3" long. (6-7mm to be more exact)


    I guess if my P&S camera didn't have as much display lag as someone
    claims they all have, I might have actually gotten this photo. I sure
    hated missing getting this one due to display and shutter lag. Maybe I
    should spend my money on a dSLR so I won't miss shots like this one
    next time.

    Ignore that shallow DOF, that's also a figment of your imagination.
    Only dSLR's are capable of having a shallow DOF, any dSLR owner will
    tell you that.

    For the rest of you, don't buy into all this blatant misinformation
    about P&S cameras. It's just uneducated and inexperienced bias being
    posted in this group by people with an obvious agenda against any
    camera they didn't personally choose for their own equipment. Only
    their camera is the best one, they did after-all spend that much money
    on it. At that much cost it has to be the best camera. Right? (more
    Zach G., Jul 31, 2007
  5. http://www.clarkvision.com/galleries/gallery.NEW/web/whale.breach.c07.27.2007.IMG_3556b-800.html

    Out of the 70+ P&S cameras on board, none got the shot.
    Of the 4 DSLRs, 2 people were chimping and missed it.
    The two images were the one above and one by a guy with a Nikon DSLR.
    We had no warning, only knew a breach was possible anytime, anywhere.
    My main regret is I didn't take my 1D Mark II with me (I was traveling
    light and didn't plan on doing this).

    Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark), Jul 31, 2007
  6. aniramca

    Scott W Guest

    Yup, if you don't know it is coming it is all but impossible to get with
    a P&S. Fortunately we get a whale from time to time that will keep
    breaching over and over in pretty much the same spot. So you have a
    pretty good idea of where the camera is going to have to be pointed.
    With out that capturing a whale that breaches just once with a P&S would
    take a lot of luck.

    Scott W, Jul 31, 2007
  7. aniramca

    Mel & Amber Guest

    I've watched many whales breaching in my travels. None while I had my camera
    along, but then I'm not into whales for photos so no big deal. Photos of whales
    are for "ooo-ahh" tourists and snap-shooters that don't get out much. I usually
    viewed whales with compact 10x binoculars from hiking trails above the ocean.
    From the time the water starts swelling until the whale slams back down into the
    water is usually a good 2 to 4 seconds. If you can't swing around to snap off
    several shots of that with __any__ camera then there's other issues at work. My
    guess is that this is another senior citizen's tour boat like most tours you
    probably go on for your photographs.

    Don't be so proud Gramps. It's good for your age but still slow. You caught the
    whale at the last of its decent, 2-3 seconds into the action. If you're going to
    convince anyone of your POV find a better scenario to show your problems between
    camera designs. Find one that doesn't reveal your aging reflexes so clearly.
    While you're at it, correct the text on that photo. The numbers betray you
    inventing new ones to try to prove something that goes against reality.

    I'm beginning to now see why you find a time lag in everything around you,
    except for the only cameras with which you are still remotely familiar. The
    world and whales are all moving a bit fast for you these days, are they? Having
    a hard time finding those little camera buttons on the new cameras too, eh? EH?
    Turn up your hearing-aid Gramps! Your bifocals are over there! YES, OVER THERE!
    KISS OFF".

    Oh screw it.

    Well I tried. I'll let someone else explain things to the ol' coot. And please,
    someone show him where his bifocals are before they let him near his photo
    editing software again. Call the attendants for him or something.
    Mel & Amber, Jul 31, 2007
  8. aniramca

    SMS Guest

    When I went to Alaska a few years ago I didn't yet have a D-SLR. I
    decided to bring my film SLR rather than a P&S digital, based on advice
    from several people. One reason was shutter lag/auto-focus lag for shots
    such as whale breaching (the other was because I was advised of the need
    for long telephoto lenses).

    I had the same experience as you. I would always get the shot of the
    breach, while a boat full of P&S digital people would always miss it,
    groaning over photos of plain ocean. The breaching is too fast and too
    unpredictable for most P&S digitals, especially because pre-focusing
    isn't possible in that situation.
    SMS, Jul 31, 2007
  9. Nice shot Roger!

    I have only a limited experience of Digital cameras (a few of my own and
    the P&S other people ask me to use for them), and I would agree that
    I've never come across a delay proportional to shutter speed.

    I use cameras with viewfinders, but keep both eyes open. One for framing
    on the v/f and one for timing. In practice, the action shots (with
    manual focussing) suffer from no greater delay than an SLR.

    The digicam (I certainly would not call my cameras P&S) suffers from the
    following delays...

    1. Sensor to viewfinder / LCD screen (the V/f is sometimes slightly less
    than the LCD, depending on refresh rates.

    2. Focus delay when in auto focus mode

    3. Exposure calculation delay (are you using your dSLR in auto exposure
    - is that a factor?) - the time it takes to measure the light and set
    aperture and shutter. (Reduced but not eliminated by half-press

    4. Response delay - the inherent delay between activating the shutter
    and capturing the scene (equivalent to your 70ms

    5. Human delay (should have put this first) - seeing the action and
    deciding to press the shutter.

    In practice, apart from having to view with both eyes, I use my digicams
    in such a way that only 4 & 5 and the inevitable bit of 3 affects me.

    I have to say, I can't relate much to Alfred Molon observations either.
    I'd like to know which cameras he's referring to.

    [The reply-to address is valid for 30 days from this posting]
    Michael J Davis
    Some newsgroup contributors appear to have confused
    the meaning of "discussion" with "digression".
    Michael J Davis, Jul 31, 2007
  10. Thanks, Mike,

    Good summary. In a DSLR, with <70ms delays, that includes your
    number 2, 3, and 4 (#2, focus delay does depend on how far the
    focus has to move) and #1 does not apply.

    In action photography, with the subject of the action a large fraction
    of the frame, focus is critical (and on the animals eyes, for example),
    so the camera system must have focus squares that can be placed on
    the eyes, and the camera must respond fast enough to catch that
    action. Film and digital SLRs also have predictive autofocus
    which tracks moving subjects, predicts and sets focus projected
    to the time of the actual shutter opening. For the whale image
    above, I was using predictive autofocus, and aperture priority (the camera
    did measure and set exposure for each frame).

    DSLRs have independent circuits for measuring exposure and autofocus,
    and some cameras have dedicated computers for this too (e.g. pro
    series cameras, both film and digital).

    There is no reason why P&S cameras couldn't have these features too,
    but currently they don't.

    Some examples where all these features and fast response is
    critical to get the shot:




    Certainly not everyone wants to do wildlife action photography,
    but the situations are similar if you want to do other actions, for example,
    baby's first step, kids or pets at play, sports, etc.

    (When these facts enrage the troll who keeps changing
    its name and forging headers, just ignore it. Its theme is always
    the same: personal attacks, incorrect facts, ignores other facts
    and doesn't answer direct questions.)

    Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark), Jul 31, 2007
  11. aniramca

    Rob Akins Guest

    Now why on earth would some troll want to bring even more attention to your
    mediocre photography so you can spam the newsgroup more than you already do with
    your biased and misinformed replies? All it would do is give you yet another
    excuse to post links to your beginner's photography, just like you always do.

    Get real.
    Rob Akins, Jul 31, 2007
  12. aniramca

    Allen Guest

    What a juvenile post. Grow up! If you ever do grow up I might start
    reading your posts again, but that is very unlikely. Goodbye.
    Allen, Jul 31, 2007
  13. aniramca

    Allen Guest

    Another sicko pops up from the depths of the slime mold. Goodbye.
    Allen, Jul 31, 2007
  14. aniramca

    Alfred Molon Guest

    How did you measure it or are you just guessing? I couldn't detect any
    shutter delay in the three cameras I tested. For all practical purposes,
    unless you are planning to photograph a bullet in mid-air, LCD delay is
    not an issue.
    There are ways to reduce the shutter lag in P&S cameras, by using manual
    focus and exposure.
    The Sony R1 and the Olympus mju 700 behave like this. The image in the
    LCD screen gets blurrish if you hold a fast moving object in front of
    them and the exposure time is long enough. Here indeed you see how the
    final picture will be in the LCD screen, i.e. the motion blur is made
    The Olympus 8080 instead does not behave like that (or to put it
    differently, I didn't find a way to make it behave like this).
    Sony R1, Olympus 8080, Olympus mju 700 - just did a new test with a hand
    moving in front of the camera.
    But let me mention that this was a subjective, unscientific test. I just
    didn't notice any delay between the image in the LCD screen and the
    But that's a different type of delay Roger. This is focusing delay and
    shutter lag. Nobody questions that a phase detection focusing system -
    which BTW could also be built into a P&S - is way faster than a contrast
    detection focusing system.
    Alfred Molon, Jul 31, 2007
  15. I haven't used a camera using electronic predictive af, although as one
    gets to know one's equipment one can simulate it!! ;-)
    The first is the most impressive, as the others are relatively static
    within the frame (albeit moving!). Like


    Which was a matter of setting the focus on the likely passing point.
    (Ancient Fuji 6900z).
    However, I am about to get a red dot sight so that I don't have to use
    the two eye approach!


    [The reply-to address is valid for 30 days from this posting]
    Michael J Davis
    Some newsgroup contributors appear to have confused
    the meaning of "discussion" with "digression".
    Michael J Davis, Jul 31, 2007
  16. aniramca

    Zach G. Guest

    As does the whole Sony DSC line of cameras, and all of the Canon
    PowerShot line of cameras.

    It appears that this resident know-it-all is lacking in quite a bit of
    "know-it-all". Surprising, since he claimed that he tested "all the
    ones (he) owns, (his) family owns, and all the models (he's) tested in
    stores" but somehow happened to miss those whole huge lines of
    cameras. Is he a family of one and a camera of one and has never been
    to a store that displays more than one camera?

    His advice appears to be just as full of "facts" and real-life
    experience as all the other resident know-it-alls in this group.

    Time to stop reading this one. It's fun outing him for what he truly
    is though.

    It's times like this when my news-reader's liar-filter/spam-filter is
    so handy.

    btw, Alfred, try a half-press to see if it triggers the shutter-speed
    sync effect in your Olympus 8080. I found that some cameras' EVFs
    don't mirror the shutter-speed and f-stop's DOF until then.

    Anyway, I'm out of this discussion. There's no sense in beating a dead
    and exposed horse's ass.
    Zach G., Jul 31, 2007
  17. aniramca

    DaveB Guest

    Let's just hope he's not using PhotoShop with bicubic being the only resampling
    option in that software or he's going to smear any details when using any
    leveling, perspective, resizing, or barrel & pincushion correction in his
    work-flow. He'd be much better off with PhotoLine 32 or even freeware IrfanView
    for those tasks where he can choose this century's Lanczos resampling methods.

    It's hard to teach old-dogs new tricks. Once they learn to roll-over and play
    dead they think that's all they'll ever need to earn a treat during their
    DaveB, Aug 1, 2007
  18. This is a good example of P&S versus DSLRs, especially when
    you include the statement on the above web page:
    Using pro series DSLRs on the fastest action, I get about
    90% in sharp focus images, with consumer DSLRs, like a
    30D, that percentage drops to a little under 50%. And when
    one uses a much slower P&S, that percentage drops to less than
    one percent.

    Of course for other, more static subjects, the differences
    are less. DSLRs, with their large sensors, excel in
    fast action and low light. P&S cameras do very well in situations
    where there is plenty of light, and speed is not an issue,
    and they excel at portability.

    Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark), Aug 1, 2007
  19. Actually, I set up a rotating target and photographed the P&S
    camera with its LCD showing the image from the "live preview" and
    the real scene, and photographed the true view and the P&S
    with a 1D Mark II at 8.5 frames per second. The rotation is
    well calibrated and the timing clearly shows the delay.
    Yes, but that doesn't help when the subject is moving toward
    or away from the camera and the focus point is changing.
    I have not tested a Sony R1, but I can say the troll is lying
    again: he says the entire Canon powershot line has variable
    LCD frame rates with shutter speed, yet I have tested powershot
    cameras that do not behave that way.
    The test includes all the delays typical in cameras, and that is
    what is important when you must get the shot, and you only have one

    Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark), Aug 1, 2007
  20. aniramca

    Alfred Molon Guest

    Did you read my post? I explicitely mentioned that the Sony DSC R1
    behaves like that. Possibly also other Sony cameras behave like that.

    Will try tonight.
    Alfred Molon, Aug 1, 2007
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