The high end PS cameras do all have very good lenses, and many of them have quite extensive controls. Some are I think justifiably highly priced, others....
I have a Gr1 which has an excellent 28mm lens, extensive manual controls, spot metering option, and fits into my shirt pocket. It is fabulous. I also have an Olympus mju (?Stylus Epic in US) with the fixed 35mm lens. A bit bigger, no controls of note. 1/4 the price new of a second hand GR1. Very different animals: I wont take the GR1 white water rafting.....
They are great tools. A Magnum shooter explains some of the benefits:
As for "worth".....well, that is such a loaded word.
My next major (and first "new") camera purchase is likely one or maybe a pair of G10s. It suits what I shoot a lot of now. For many things I don't need sharpness, quickness, a huge file, etc. In fact, I rarely will need to even print the pix. The silence, size, weight, low light ability, unobtrusiveness, different viewing methods, etc. are great reasons to use these cameras. Their benefits are actually quite in line with many of the benefits of an old Barnack-style rangefinder. Given what the G10 could give me that an SLR cannot, I think they are "worth" the price.
Besides all that, they have manual controls and can talk to the 580. It has FE lock, FEC, etc.
The weird thing is that it seems most folks with some disposable income think the fact that these cameras are so small and so inexpensive means that their purchase makes him or her inferior in the world of conspicuous consumption, and go for a consumer SLR instead. Many (most?) of the folks who are buying Rebels, X0Ds, and even 5Ds really don't need an SLR 90% of the time, and would probably take better pictures with a point and shoot. So, the question to me is not really why are great point and shoots so much, but, rather, why are low-end SLRs so close in price to high end point and shoots? Exactly for this reason. To bait yuppies into buying a more impressive camera when they don't need it. A camera that could lead to a lifetime of buying accessories, new bodies, lenses, etc.
So, I don't think a "real" photographer is stupid for paying a lot of money for a great point and shoot, but I do think that those conspicuous consumers who jump to a low end SLR when they don't need it are probably biting off more than is necessary and not only wasting their money, but digging a money pit for the future.
Last edited by 2F/2F; 10-18-2008 at 06:33 AM. Click to view previous post history.
"Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."
- Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)
The most important component in any camera is the nut behind the viewfinder. Some people take great shots with a disposable others woul take a lousy shot with a leica.
Any commodity is worth what people are prepared to pay. If you want to take good photographs with little manual control but a good lens and decent viewfinder I think a contax P and S or similar is probably very desirable.
Hmm- Wonder if she'd notice if I bought that :)
Those particular P&S cameras fall in the "might be nice to have but very non-essential" category for me.
They are all P&S cameras at the end of the day - you still have to "know your camera" - when it is likely to fire or not fire the flash, if your flash is prone to red eye, general focussing methods, etc. The better lenses on the more expensive ones particularly might be nice, but I don't think they matter substantially for the majority of people shooting with P&S cameras.
That said, apparently you *can* make a living shooting (mostly) P&S - see Juergen Teller and Terry Richardson (the fashion world is strange, I don't particular like much of either of their work, but there you go).
i can't wait to take a picture of my thumb with this beautiful camera.
- phirehouse, after buying a camera in the classifieds
Design sophistication and build materials....
are what separates the big buck P&S models from the others you mentioned. That does NOT necessarily mean greater reliability, IMHO.
I really don't see any difference in longevity between the two types; I've come across almost as many broken Contaxes/TI's/Hexars as IQZooms/120EDAF's/etc. I can't say I'm willing to spring more money for an expensive one when the repair estimate will be much higher, as well. I do have a Leica Mini 3 (fancy plasticam), but that's a far cry from a TVS, etc.
The plasticams you mention are usually capable of producing photos similar to the expensive ones....at least in my darkroom.
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"The most important component in any camera is the nut behind the viewfinder. Some people take great shots with a disposable others would take a lousy shot with a leica."
Holding all else equal [i.e. the nut], my direct experience with PS cameras is with several Nikons and a Contax tvs. They all took adequate photos which were good for getting prints to mail to grandma, etc. None of them produced anything of particular quality. IMO, the lens and lack of manual control were the limiting factor. So, in terms of value these cameras are definitely NOT worth the $500-$700 the OP is seeing.
When you consider that you can get a good 35mm slr and lens for $300 or a Hasselblad kit for $1,000, any price like that for a PS seems high.
If one wants a PS type camera I would recommend the Rollei 35. It is 100% mechanical and gave very nice results which I though were much better than the PS cameras in question here. EX condition at KEH is about $275 for the models made in Germany, less for those made in Singapore in later years.
All this being said, I have made great pictures with all kinds of cameras -- in the end, to me it is more about how I react to a photo than about how I took it. Of course, that's not to say fondling camera gear isn't part of the fun!
Look for my "Mint+" Contax Tvs on ebay
I own a Nikon 28ti, bought it second hand 10 years ago. In that time it's had one service - to clean out some dirt that had gotten into part of the mechanism. I've put hundreds & hundreds of rolls of film through it, including a lot of slide film. The metering & lens quality are excellent. The lens opens to f/2.8, it has aperture priority & exposure compensation +/- 2 stops. I love this camera, one of my best ever buys. I'm sure the 35ti is also good if you want a not so wide view.
Point and shoot
The biggest mistake in buying cameras I ever made was a Lecia point and shoot. Hey it was a Lecia how much could go wrong?
No.1 the controls are tiny , tiny and nearly flush to the top, feeling them with out looking is a problem .And wearing gloves or cold weather forget about it.
No.2 the camera is going to preserve it's batteries whether you want it to or not If you haven't made the shot in two or three minutes it shuts it self off. When you turn it back on it will automatically return to full auto mode with flash!
No. 3 The exposure choice must be set in every time the camera turns on, it will not remember or save your choices such as no flash, increase exposure for dark or back light subjects,etc.
No. 4 Speed is not a factor in point and shoot, They should be called point and wait, .”I'll get back to you” the auto focus has to check the focus, then check and compute the exposure. By the time it is done the grab shot is long gone.
I actually threw the camera away in disgust, $300 down the tube! When I want a small easy to carry camera I take a little manual zone focus, aperture preferred Yashica Electro 35MC that fires the shutter when I press the shutter release and exposes the film according to my choices I'll stick with manual .
If all these drawbacks are not a factor then get a point and shoot and knock yourself out
I find it interesting that in the heyday of the P&S compact about twenty years ago that the technological advances in cameras ( Auto Exposure, auto focus, DX coding auto zoom etc.) started in compacts, and the ideas were cross fertilised into SLR cameras which seems to me to be the wrong way round somehow.
Konica C35 auto has a very good lens.......small but not exactly a point and shoot as you have to focus (well I just judge the distance with a 38mm lens and dont use the rangefinder) and no inbuilt flash....seen one go for £5 on ebay.
Originally Posted by Anscojohn
scanned the 5"X7" print (taken with c35) with an 8 year old scanner and used sharpen in photoshop:-