Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Snow storm

Steel and glass, originally uploaded by jiihaa.

Lights, originally uploaded by jiihaa.

Pier, originally uploaded by jiihaa.

Ice, originally uploaded by jiihaa.

Water, originally uploaded by jiihaa.

Shadows, originally uploaded by jiihaa.

We got a lot of snow in 24 hours. There was a strong wind, and near the coast it gained quite a force, piling snow here and there. Above are some photographs from yesterday and today. As you can see, we now have quite a winter landscape, even at the seaside.

Reviews! And lots of them. Lets start with the ugly one, namely The Worst Cameras of 2010. Sadly, there are more than one manufacturer featured on this list: Olympus, Casio, Samsung, Fujifilm, ...

But lets go to more positive matters. Thom Hogan has reviewed the high-end compacts, namely Canon G12, Nikon P7000 and Panasonic LX5. And quite a thorough job he did with the review, although the results aren't simple, as none of these cameras shine in all areas. Which of these you prefer is quite up to the preferences of the photographer. All are good choices.

And then - some would say: finally - there is the Dpreview group test of Canon Powershot S95, Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 and Nikon Coolpix P7000, which are given the label "2010 enthusiast compacts". And if you were expecting big differences between the cameras, you might be disappointed, as all have some drawbacks and all shine in some areas. The best grade goes to the LX5, and the S95 is right behind. Both are great cameras, and so is the P7000 if you like what it does best.

Interestingly, Dpreview tells us that you can get good photographs with these cameras up to ISO 800 (and higher if you use RAW). This is something which would be interesting to test in practice, as it would mean that one could take handheld photographs in quite dark conditions - such as what we have here in Finland right now. With the LX3, I very rarely go above ISO 200, although ISO 400 may work in some situations.

Today I discussed cameras with some colleagues, as it seems quite a few people are getting interested in buying a new camera (of the enthusiast compact type). If your criteria is good image quality and pocketability, the S95 is the way to go, but if there are other factors, such as usability or suitability to a particular purpose, then it not so clear which to choose. In any case, it is worthwhile to go and try out the various choices.


Sven W said...

I really like the images in this post -- interesting compositions and colours. BTW the shot of the pier almost has a sepia look about it.

I'm thinking of upgrading as well. I've been using the Canon SD880 for a while now; it's fine when the light is good but it's IQ drops with the amount of available light. I do use ISO 800 and put up with the noise (I don't even bother with noise reduction software).

I walked into a camera shop today and did a side-by-side test of the SD880 and S95 at ISO 800. Glad to report the S95 is noticably better.

The reviews indicate there's not much between the IQ of the LX5 and S95, so for me it comes down to size ... the S95 is smaller. But perhaps I should do my own side-by-side test of the LX5 and S95 to be sure (it only takes a handful of strategic shots to do a comparison).

Juha Haataja said...

Thanks for the info on S95. It is really a good package (and I wonder is there any market left for the G12?)

Please let me know if you manage to test LX5 and S95 alongside.

Sven W said...

I think the G12 suits people who want a more chunky camera with knobs and also want the flip-out LCD. If you generally carry a bag or wear a coat with big pockets then the G12 would always have a spot.

Sven W said...

One of my motivations for upgrading (perhaps the main one) is to find compact camera that does a reasonable job in low light. I've been looking at another option: retain my current camera and use some noise reduction software. I've downloaded NeatImage and found it does a very good job ... better than I can do with CS3.

Juha Haataja said...

Yes, with postprocessing one can do wonders. But for me this is not an option, as I'm trying to minimize the time spent at the computer doing stuff to photographs.