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  1. My camera is 8 years old and I need an update. It shoots photos in 2736p so I'm not complaining about resolution but my biggest problem with most cameras has been that they're all so damn blurry and it takes multiple shots before you have a hope of getting a good one. I seriously need one that autocalibrates that kind of thing so I don't have to worry about it.
    I also need one with a super sensitive ISO for low light. Any suggestions?

    Nothing above $100.
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  2. Originally Posted by Aludin View Post
    Nothing above $100.
    THERE's the source of all your other issues.
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  3. Member
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    Originally Posted by smrpix View Post
    Originally Posted by Aludin View Post
    Nothing above $100.
    THERE's the source of all your other issues.
    Can't argue with that!
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  4. Mod Neophyte Super Moderator redwudz's Avatar
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    Easy search. Try some of your local online stores and put in your maximum price in a search. Do the same with Ebay or other international sites.
    I would up your search price and read a lot of reviews.
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  5. Dinosaur Supervisor KarMa's Avatar
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    >Nothing above $100.

    At that price point it would probably be best to just keep your current camera, and just buy a tripod to supplement it. Even something like a Canon Rebel 500D would cost ~$200 used with an included kit lens, which is probably much better than the compact camera you are using (or cell phone camera). Compact cameras and cell phone cameras use pretty small sensors and so the amount of light that falls on each pixel is pretty low compared to a DSLR or Mirrorless. Bigger sensors tend to do better in low light.

    If your current camera supports manual settings, I'd suggest in low light conditions you set the shutter speed around 1/20 of second. Which is around the limit for handheld pictures without image stabilization. And set the ISO to one of the highest but might add noise to the image.
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  6. Start saving. Don't even start looking for a camera until you have at least $400 in the piggy. Don't go for anything less than 24.4 megapixels, ensure it has RAW output, and a long exposure setting.

    +1 ^@Karma: "Bigger sensors tend to do better in low light."
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  7. Dinosaur Supervisor KarMa's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by transporterfan View Post
    Don't go for anything less than 24.4 megapixels
    Seems like an arbitrary number based on nothing, other than that's what the Nikon D3X could output. Anyway I'm still shooting well below that.
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  8. Originally Posted by KarMa View Post
    Originally Posted by transporterfan View Post
    Don't go for anything less than 24.4 megapixels
    Seems like an arbitrary number based on nothing, other than that's what the Nikon D3X could output. Anyway I'm still shooting well below that.
    I don't care if you find it arbitrary or not. If you ever get chance to shoot at that res, you'll know why (even the best have to crop). I use a Sony alpha 24.3 megapixel. The Nikon D3X is 24.5. Mines half the price and used properly with a prime, produces a shot almost as good.
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  9. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    As an intermediate compromise, you could get a Nikon D3300 or something similar. Not fullframe, but only 1.5x crop factor & still good sensor size for low light. 24.2MPx. Good AF as well as manual focus. If you crank up the ISO (decent noise up to 3200 or 6400) you can keep a fairly fast shutter and still have deep focus if that's what you're wanting.
    And if normal single shots aren't low noise enough for you, you can always do a median stack and really clean it up. Great for still night shots.

    Plus it has clean 1080pHDMI for video output, and wireless capabilities. Kit package with 2 lenses is ~$500, but I've seen craigslist & ebay offerings for 300-400.

    But it's not just the # of pixels, but how you use it. Nothing beats good habits/skill & good glass. Get a fast normal prime and you can do so much right there.

    Scott
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  10. The Nikon D3300 is renowned for focus issues. Get a good one it's a great camera. Get a bad one, pinning down the issue is a PITA. Used one. Hated it. Hate is not an over-exaggeration, but that's a personal opinion and, I concede, not relevant. The number of pixels is only relevant for prints. Electronic displays (ignoring 8k tv's, who has one of those!) from monitors to 4k tv, span a horizontal resolution of between 1024 and 4096 pixels. Anything from 8 to 22 megapixels is adequate for screen viewing. When printing at 240 or 300 dpi, that's when higher resolution images become relevant, especially for large 'poster' prints, say 24"x16", and above.
    Last edited by transporterfan; 6th Oct 2017 at 05:30.
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  11. Member Bernix's Avatar
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    Hi,
    Shouldnt we talk about PPI not DPI? Nice column about PPI
    But to say true, there is small percentage of people that truly understand the difference between ppi dpi.
    Edit: just for curiosity and it is fresh First camera hit 100 points in review

    Bernix
    Last edited by Bernix; 6th Oct 2017 at 10:33.
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    Shouldnt we talk about PPI not DPI?
    Nope, not in this instance. Transporterfan said "When printing at 240 or 300DPI" and that is the correct terminology. PPI for imaging, DPI for printing.
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  13. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    Not counting the variations due to tricolor sub pixel placement, or due to printer half toning and bleed, despite their separate industry-specific origins, they basically ARE the same, which is why the terms are becoming interchangeable
    Note, that link while good is quite flawed: it says that a ~6"X4" print at 300DPI is equivalent to a 23" diagonal (aka ~20.5" x 11") tv screen at ~96 PPI. The truth is they MAY be equivalent depending on how distant the user is from the screen/display/page. And that is the missing piece to the equation that should ALWAYS be included in these discussions. Look at the conversations about where/when 4K is the best/appropriate choice.

    But to return to the topic, guess my experience with budget. Nikons has been much more favorable than yours. Regardless, there are good options in that price range. But I would not seriously recommend ANYTHING at the sub-100 price point.

    Scott
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  14. Member Bernix's Avatar
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    I dont fully agree. It is confusing thing.
    Thats because you are providing photo to printer. Dpi is printers thing. You can print image with PPI 10 with dpi 300. Or you can print image PPI 300 with DPI 150. What will looks better. And I think we are talking about cameras. So PPI for printing digital images is importing. Imagine image with ppi 3 prinetd 1x1 meter with 300dpi.

    Bernix
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  15. Here's the problem, I can't put a number on the quality of a camera so what exactly do I go by when searching on eBay? ISO doesn't mean jack shit, that's just a measurement for how much the camera brightens the image AFTER the picture is taken. It has nothing to do with light sensitivity.
    Number of megapixels also means nothing if the picture will be blurry. My current casio ex-z33 camera takes 3648x2736 pics (10 MP) but I have to halve the resolution to get the real resolution. Other cameras I've tried were a lot worse, 3 or 4 times less than the actual amount of detail. But I'm not worried about that because 1824x1368 is good enough. Whatever camera I buy in 2017 will probably have one even more than this so that's satisfactory for me.

    Low light is my issue. I already have the exposure time set to 1/60s, the lowest available. Now, if I could actually search by any kind of meaningful metric, then I wouldn't be posting here in the first place. I'd go to a camera-equivalent site like userbenchmark.com and sort by my preference while setting a ceiling for things like price. I clearly can't do that, hence why I'm here.

    Bigger lens means better sensitivity? That makes sense and is good to know. Having done enough stimulants that dilate my pupils, I can confirm that things get brighter but they also get blurrier, especially things right in front of you. I hope more expensive cameras can have a neutral focus or something. Nothing pisses me off more than trying to take a selfie and later I find out my face was blurry but the curtains in the background were sharp. Let there be a balance. Good for me and good for the (ugly) curtains.

    Cameras like this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bTgG2Ft4xQ are very interesting, turning pitch black nights into daylight. But honestly, I just want it to look as good as real life does when viewed by human eyes.
    But if this means really big lens then it sounds like I'd be buying a bulky camera so is this as contradictory as wanting a bulldozer that can fit in your pocket?
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  16. There is no perfect answer. To be fair you seem happy with your existing camera except for the low light issue.
    Cameras are not like human eyes. The only thing they have in common is that they both have a hole in the front.
    Most all cameras have a problem with focusing in low light. That's why they have a flash or a hot shoe for a flash unit.
    How low is low light? A light meter would tell you. LCD preview screens are the bomb!

    Chip sensitivity is getting better all the time. That is why camera phones seemingly surpass DSLRs for low light
    photography. But they lose on dynamic range, zoom, prime glass, long exposure, frames-per-second, depth of field
    and a host other things that, quite literally, fill volumes. Tripods are good things.

    After much thought I find I can't suggest a camera for you that will work in all situations.
    Although, I never did. And never would, only highlighting what is positive about them.
    They all have limitations.
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  17. Guys, for low light it says I need wider apertures but does that mean lower or higher is better? f/2 is better than f/3? For non-low light, what are the consequences?
    Also I noticed many listings say 8.0MP CMOS but maximum 24MP. Does that mean any resolution higher than 8 megapixels would basically be upscaled?

    I see now that point-and-click as well as phone cameras are only good for pics on a whim and that I need a DSLR or bridge camera which will never be at the price of a point-and-click. Fair enough.
    I realize that this will be as complicated of a decision as building my efficiency PC which 7 years later is still only half the speed of the very best and only cost me $600. It seems to me digital cameras have hit that same wall where nothing is improving anymore besides the resolution.
    Seriously, a common camera in 2017 should be able to see exactly what a human eye can see and the expensive ones can do all the impressive shit that our eyes can't.
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  18. Originally Posted by Aludin View Post
    Guys, for low light it says I need wider apertures but does that mean lower or higher is better? f/2 is better than f/3? For non-low light, what are the consequences?
    You need to have it open for low light. If outside, you use ND filter. If not, objects could be overburned or not a good quality, because f-stop is at its maximum, aperture is almost closed. That also means you get very shallow depth of field (cheaper camcorders have smaller sensors too). Or you introduce flickering in video because cameras automatically set very short shutterspeed. Those would be the effects of your cheap $100 camcorder. And low light performance would be poor anyway because sensor is very small. They are designed to have "perfect" picture for daylight, not low light.

    In reality you just need to pay for those top consumer models to get so, so low light performance. Also more reliable autofocus as you mentioned. Are they still too big for you? Well for most they are and they just using their cellphones dealing with noise and autofocus fail all the time. Hopefully not shooting vertically
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  19. Originally Posted by _Al_ View Post
    Hopefully not shooting vertically
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bt9zSfinwFA
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  20. Originally Posted by _Al_ View Post
    You need to have it open for low light. If outside, you use ND filter. If not, objects could be overburned or not a good quality, because f-stop is at its maximum, aperture is almost closed. That also means you get very shallow depth of field (cheaper camcorders have smaller sensors too). Or you introduce flickering in video because cameras automatically set very short shutterspeed. Those would be the effects of your cheap $100 camcorder. And low light performance would be poor anyway because sensor is very small. They are designed to have "perfect" picture for daylight, not low light.
    I'm not following, is a higher or lower fstop better?
    Yes, we've established that I will never get good quality with cheap click-and-shoots. But if I'm gonna pay more money, I wanna make an informed decision which is why I asked about those stats.
    Can someone also answer my question about the CMOS megapixels?
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  21. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    F-stops are inverse (as they refer to ratio comparing lens opening vs lens focal length). So, f2 is wider open than f5.6 which wider open than f16.
    More wide open (aka lower fstop)=more light let in.
    How much light to let in? Depends. On what you want it to look like (in terms of exposure, grain/noise, focal depth of field, motion blur).

    Scott
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  22. Dinosaur Supervisor KarMa's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Aludin View Post
    Can someone also answer my question about the CMOS megapixels?
    I don't really get this question, with your example of 8MP CMOS with 24MP. Sometimes cellphones are listed like that with the front sensor being different from the face camera sensor. But I don't think that's what you mean. Maybe list a link to a camera.
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  23. http://www.panasonic.com/de/consumer/foto-video/camcorder/hc-v180.html
    10 mp stills but a 2.5 MP sensor, something like that?
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  24. Dinosaur Supervisor KarMa's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by flashandpan007 View Post
    http://www.panasonic.com/de/consumer/foto-video/camcorder/hc-v180.html
    10 mp stills but a 2.5 MP sensor, something like that?
    The way I understand something like this is that the sensor is really 10MP but due to heat output, power usage, or other bottlenecks in the chain it can only take stills at 10MP. Because taking a still image every few seconds is much less demanding than a 30fps video. So for video only a fraction of the pixels will be actively used, giving you an different and smaller MP. So for 1920x1080, that's almost 2.1MP. A 4K video capture would be around 8MP.

    I know there's a newer camera (I forgot which) that can take like 24MP pictures and can also take 4k video. But when it takes video, it only uses the 8MP out of the very center of the senor which effectively gives you a different size senor for video. Kind of like when taking a full frame lens off a full frame camera, and then putting in on a smaller cropped senor camera body. So the angle of view is much narrower in video mode, than with picture, with the same lens and same lens settings. I don't believe this is the norm however. With the usual method I believe being that you use the full height and width of the sensor but just evenly turn off the majority of the pixels.
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  25. I think, this entry level model panasonic has a sensor which has 2,5 MP, not more, but some newer cams with bigger 3:2 1 inch sensor use only a spot of the sensor to get 16:9. these sensors have for example 15 mp and use 8,29 mp 16:9 spot for uhd 3840x2160
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  26. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    KarMa you are correct in your assumption.

    Scott
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  27. Originally Posted by Cornucopia View Post
    KarMa you are correct in your assumption.

    Scott
    But not on all models, just like http://www.panasonic.com/de/consumer/foto-video/camcorder/hc-v180.htmlt takes 10 mp stills but it only has a 2.5 MP sensor, how can this be done, maybe interpolating?
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  28. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    That camera looks like it might be interpolating, so not truly capable of full 10MP resolution. Aka cheating.

    Scott
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  29. Member Bernix's Avatar
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    Interesting reading but very very old
    IMHO video camera is for video and still camera is for still pictures. So don't buy video camera for shooting still images
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  30. that panasonic is cheap,
    you will not find good low light camcorder at that price, look at the size of its senzor, almost 1/6", it does not matter how many pixel it has or has not, it is too small , therefore optics are cheaper as well, the whole body could be smaller - hence camcorder is cheap
    bernix - exactly,
    forget about taking pictures for world press using dedicated camcorders
    if going with good photo cameras, it is the same, not cheap models
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