There are many debates on how good point and shoot camera are and small sensors that produce very nice images. Many say they are still just a fun little thing to carry with you so you can capture that image you normally would not get because you let your DSLR at home. I believe that is all changing. We now have cameras like the DP2,Leica D-lux 4 the never found LX3 and the new EP1. In 2010 I believe the D-lux 5 will be here and others. Now there are many wonderful DSLR cameras out there today but I am finding many of us are enjoying the fun of using the newer point and shoot cameras. In the realm of fine art many of these cameras find homes. Do they replace the DSLRS, no but they make great images today. I myself am considering buying one just to have with me all the time. I cannot tell you how many things I have missed because my Nikon is at home. I know bigger is better in print but for those moments of creative thought come and go so it is nice to have a tool there at the time
Small format point and shoot cameras are like tripods. The question used to be "what is the best tripod?" and the answer is, the one you have with you when you need it. The same with having a camera with you all the time. The debates are meaningless if you never purchase a take anywhere camera. Forums are filled with people who get too wrapped up in equipment specs and forget about how to take pictures.
I keep two different point and shoot cameras on a table by the door and never leave the house without at least one of them. For me, the primary consideration is the wide end of the zoom. It needs to be at least 28mm. Then I worry about image quality. My current cameras of choice are the CoolPix P6000 which has excellent image quality at base ISO and is compatible with all Nikon's current strobes, including the tiny SB-400, and a Canon SD870 which I've had converted for infrared. One of those is always on my belt.
I for one am guilty of this. Sometimes I just read too much and forget I need to just get out there. I got my Nikon out for the first time in a while and put an 24 2.8 on it and shot about fifty images yesterday. felt good. Sometimes putting those older lens on once in a while is good for the soul. any way Larry you made a good point here.
I enjoy my P&S for two reasons. One is that I don't mind taking it with me. When I travel, that is the camera I take at night to get a snap of the restaurant...along the way, took some decent pics of other things as well. Do I miss the extra features of my DSLR at night, sure, but I'm not about to take it with me when I go out to dinner. I am considering a second P&S because of bad weather/water. No way will I yank my DSLR out during a rain storm or while snorkeling.... a little P&S is fine (looking for a waterproof one right now.) Every tool has a place!
Awhile back when the first 12 MPX P&S cameras were hitting the streets,I did a very controlled test against a 12 MPX dSLR. My conclusion was that at the standard ISO rating there was little to distinguish between the resulting image files, and there would be even less if the P&S camera saved in Raw format. Now a few do!
Thanks David, I get a chance I will read the review. This is what I have heard also. I know they are exspensive but I am thinking of buying a D-lux 4.
You might want to wait a few weeks. There is a rumor that Nikon will be announcing a few new CoolPix cameras in a press release the first week in August.
Thanks Larry, I will wait because it will be a few weeks anyway. I am open here if it fits my needs. I will check out the rumors.
Who actually makes it?
I read the review David thanks for letting me know about it.
Sorry I was not clear in my question, who makes the D Lux 4?
Leica or Panasonic? The latest Panasonic Lumix has 12.1 maegapixels and looks like the same lens as the D Lux 4.
David, Panasonic makes the D-Lux 4 And the LX3. The 4 and the LX3 are pretty much the same camera. The Leica has a little better coating on the lens so I've read and has a nicer fit and finish compared to the Panasonic LX3. The Panasonic comes with a 1 year and the D-Lux 4 with a 3 year coverage. The Leica comes with Nikon Capture and the Panasonic with Silk Pro I believe. The LX3 seems to be back ordered every where. When I talked to some places the D-Lux 4 is out of stock. Both I believe are nice cameras. Panasonic was my first choice because it cost less but you just cannot get it.
Well not easy to find one, but LX3 available. But for the same price ($649), I think I'd buy the Sigma DP2 from Amazon.com
More MPX and better sensor quality, which is all that matters if you want the best image files and prints.
The DP2 I considered but I like what I believe the contrast of the Leica lens will give which is important aspect of this camera. The sensor is an issue for more detailed print but my purpose for this camera is meant to shoot particular aspect of the subjects I shoot. Mostly BW. I usually put great thought sometimes too much in what i want here. All I know very few people have had any regrets using the D-lux 4. 700 is a lot of money for a point and shoot. I am crazy enough if I had the money I would have an M8. Thank God I don't. I have put my 18-70 lens away and shoot all I can with the Manual 24 2.8 now and really enjoy it. Nikon and Canon make great cameras which produce wonderful images. I just need a little kick to carry with me that I like not because it is less expensive but because it has what I want. I regret very few decisions I make so I hope this one when I get one is no different. I donot have the site in front of me but you might find Jim Radciffe review of the D-Lux 4 interesting.
I might ad David that the DP2 is a good choice for image quality. The reviews have left me unsure but the image quality is first rate
"The DP2 I considered but I like what I believe the contrast of the Leica lens will give which is important aspect of this camera."
Like many film photographers, I expect you have never looked at a completely raw, and unsharpened image as it comes directly from an image sensor. Everyone should be fully cognizant of what a sensor actually captures. And any careful examination of a raw, unsharpened digital photo image will reveal that it is very, very soft, and low in contrast and saturation. A truly raw digital image is far from being usable as a photograph we would recognize as good quality.
So how does an image made by a digital camera obtain the qualities of sharpness, contrast and saturation photographers find good photographic qualities? This is done by a post exposure digital processing chip that includes sharpening filters as well as global increases in contrast and saturation. But the image is still in "raw"format, and if it is to be saved as a JPEG output file it is processed by yet another chip that applies automated color correction including optimizing the image gamut.
In other words, although a corrected lens for all kinds of potential aberrations and distortions is required for digital capture, as it is with lenses for film exposures, lens sharpness with digital sensor exposure is not critical. Image sharpness, acutance and detail rendering quality are almost entirely the result of image post exposure processing.
I have been doing portraiture for publication for 50 years, and have used almost every soft-focus portrait lens made, and have several for 35mm film cameras; so I have attempted to use them with a full-frame digital SLR. They don't work with digital sensor capture in the same way as they were effective with film, and that is largely due to the fact the post exposure processing of digital camera images interferes with the soft-focus effect. In fact one lens I have used for special effects is a single element Plus 10 Tiffen closeup "filter" accessory, mounted on a focusing extension tube, to which I have added a Waterhouse aperture disk to get an effective f/8, and this very simple lens used to make exposures with a dSLR resulted in photographs in standard Raw format almost as sharp as using high quality lenses made for the camera.
But most significant understanding, and proof of the fact that in-camera post exposure processing is the source of image sharpness, is a close objective examination of raw/raw unsharpened digital capture images, that makes it obvious that lens sharpness is largely irrelevant because image sharpness is the result of post exposure processing.
David, until recently I have not worked with raw images,but Lately I have processed about 100 using the D200 and 18-70 lens. I have been impressed with the ability raw gives me. I am still stuck somewhat in my film days with my thinking. I will get over it. I use the 24 2.8 lens because I have always liked fixed focal lens and I happen to have that one. Most people love the zooms. I can live without them. Nikon makes the 12-24 17-35 both which I have considered. A friend of mine shoots with the D300 which I have considered the upgrade, but I plan on using raw in any point and shoot I get. I spent some time reading last night on the DP2, I can see the difference just because of the sensor size in it. Many people use Point and shoots for grab shots I plan to use mine for smaller prints like 11x14 or 8x10.
I think I am finding out with the development of software and improving my skills in processing images my images are becoming more film like. That makes me happy. Camera makers are listening. when I read reviews on the internet i have found that it varies so much from one to another. also images posted in reviews are only as good as the person who post them so I do not go much by that. I look for a camera I feel I will click with, The D200 has never been one I felt that with, Call me silly I am. Looking for A point and shoot I want one that is fun to use and produces a nice file to work with. I am okay if I cannot put the camera in my pocket. I just want to be able to have it in my car. The Nikon is just too big to have with me in every day travel. I will continue David to work with raw images because I can see real improvement in my images. You are right with what you say. I do look backwards at things here but I am still learning,