Thursday, August 21, 2008

Pixel-peepers and tech enthusiasts

I read through two excellent essays on reviewing cameras at Luminous Landscape: The Case of the Nit Picking Pixel Peepers and Digital Bridge Cameras and Cognitive Dissonance. This is a quote from the latter essay:

Here’s the thing: of much greater importance to photographers than whether one there’s a few lines per millimeter difference in resolution between one lens and other, or if there’s a bit more chromatic aberration on a particular digicam than in another model, is how well the product performs its overall job, and why and why not.

I believe I have looked at these essays previously, but not really thought about the message. Maybe I'm now a bit more experienced, and I feel there is deep truth there.

As an aside, when I bought five years ago my Ixus 400, I looked at lots of reviews, but what finally decided me was the convenient size and easy handling plus reasonable good performance and image quality. And it was not a bad decision, although the camera is a compromise in many ways. But it is a good compromise.

Coming back to camera reviews, I'm quite eagerly browsing through them, hoping for a camera which would be a similar good compromise, with a slightly more advanced feature set, better noise characteristics, and the same or better durability and handling as Ixus 400.

The current best compromises seem to be Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W300 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3. But I'm still waiting to see what Canon has to offer this autumn. I have been a happy user of my Ixus, and thus I'm reluctant to switch to a different interface and handling, with all its familiar quirks.

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