Friday, 6 February 2009
Which camera would I buy today
People often come up to me and ask me for advice on camera choices – they often say they are not interested in an DSLR but just want a Point and Shoot (P&S) camera. Which one should they buy?
This is a hard question for me to answer because I am using a P&S camera that is 3 years old and no longer being made (Fujifilm F30), plus P&S cameras usually have a shelve life of one year. After one year, a new model is released to replace it – usually with just more MP crammed into the new model. I just cannot keep up with them all. However, more importantly, I don't know what you intended use for the camera is. What I find important may not be important to you.
My general advice would be narrow down when and what you want to shoot. For me, I need something to fit in my pocket or belt pouch that I can dance with, so DSLRs or the big superzooms are out of the question. I also need something for low light clubs – this means I need the biggest sensors and fastest lens that I can get in a P&S.
Lucky for you, I have been looking for a replacement to my F30. In late 2008, Panasonic released the LX3 with a 1/1.63” – 10MP sensor with a F2-F2.8 lens with a hot shoe slot. What this means is that this camera can take a full size DSLR flash for more light power.
Another excellent choice is the Canon G10 with a 1/1.7” – 14MP sensor with a F2.8-F4.5 lens with a hot shoe. You will notice that the G10 has a similar sized sensor (most P&S cameras have a 1/1.23” size sensor) with MP on it. This usually means more noise at high ISO but Canon has historically been able to combat this by in-camera processing. They seem to have better processing programs than other manufacturers.
So if you ask me which cameras I would buy in today’s market for my needs – it would either be the G10 or LX3. G10 would be better outdoor use because of the longer zoom while the LX3 would be better for indoor use because of wider and faster lens.