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08-28-2010, 11:56 AM   #1
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Should I stick to P&S????

I have had a k-x for 3 months now and still in the process of learning. I bought a Panasonic ZS6 for my wife, as she doesnt want to carry around a dSLR. I took some shots with it - lots of noise indoors as would be expected, but outdoors shots (in particular macro shots) were superb! I could not replicate these with my dSLR and a variety of lenses! It is puzzling to me how the picture would come out so good with a f/3.6 and the whole flower in focus with excellent detail. The best I could come up with with my K-x and the 28-75 Tamron was at f/8.0, when indeed the picture was fairly similar except for some color rendering. I also suspect the Panasonic may be sharpening the JPEGs immediately. Any thought? Is there a difference in the way the lens features are presented in P&S lenses vs SLR lenses (meaning is f/3.6 the same)? Is it my technique, or are the P&S so good I should sell all my gear and stay with the ZS6 (not really thinking about that, but makes the question more dramatic...)?

08-28-2010, 12:04 PM - 1 Like   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by tbirdas Quote
I have had a k-x for 3 months now and still in the process of learning. I bought a Panasonic ZS6 for my wife, as she doesnt want to carry around a dSLR. I took some shots with it - lots of noise indoors as would be expected, but outdoors shots (in particular macro shots) were superb! I could not replicate these with my dSLR and a variety of lenses! It is puzzling to me how the picture would come out so good with a f/3.6 and the whole flower in focus with excellent detail. The best I could come up with with my K-x and the 28-75 Tamron was at f/8.0, when indeed the picture was fairly similar except for some color rendering. I also suspect the Panasonic may be sharpening the JPEGs immediately. Any thought? Is there a difference in the way the lens features are presented in P&S lenses vs SLR lenses (meaning is f/3.6 the same)? Is it my technique, or are the P&S so good I should sell all my gear and stay with the ZS6 (not really thinking about that, but makes the question more dramatic...)?
Regarding the specific issue of the outdoor macro shots, the reason you were able to get more of the flower in focus with the P&S vs the DSLR is because of the relationship between aperture, sensor size and Depth of Field (DOF). The small sensor in the P&S gives you much large DOF for a constant aperture. So for an application like a macro/flower shot, the small sensor of the P&S is actually an advantage. With a DSLR you would have to stop it down much further and perhaps still not be able to get everythingin focus at once. On the other hand, for portraits or other shots where you would want a more shallow DOF, the smaller sensor in the P&S makes it very difficult to isolate your subjects from the background.

Does that help?
08-28-2010, 12:12 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by tbirdas Quote
I have had a k-x for 3 months now and still in the process of learning. I bought a Panasonic ZS6 for my wife, as she doesnt want to carry around a dSLR. I took some shots with it - lots of noise indoors as would be expected, but outdoors shots (in particular macro shots) were superb! I could not replicate these with my dSLR and a variety of lenses! It is puzzling to me how the picture would come out so good with a f/3.6 and the whole flower in focus with excellent detail. The best I could come up with with my K-x and the 28-75 Tamron was at f/8.0, when indeed the picture was fairly similar except for some color rendering. I also suspect the Panasonic may be sharpening the JPEGs immediately. Any thought? Is there a difference in the way the lens features are presented in P&S lenses vs SLR lenses (meaning is f/3.6 the same)? Is it my technique, or are the P&S so good I should sell all my gear and stay with the ZS6 (not really thinking about that, but makes the question more dramatic...)?

Because of the smaller sensor in P&S, it will give more DOF as compared to your K-x. The more DOF means subjects from near to far in the picture will look sharper. With the proper aperture and distance to subject, you can achieve similar or same result with the K-x. However, it is harder to do the reverse, that is shallow DOF using the P&S. The K-x gives more flexibility. For example, I have recently come back from a trip to Winnipeg, I use A-28mm 2.8 wide open with my K10D.
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08-28-2010, 12:54 PM   #4
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Can the point and shoot do this?



This?



Maybe this?



or perhaps...



Maybe...



Of course, I can't resist at least one..



All different lenses.

The others are correct as to why you're wife's camera appears sharper in 'macro mode' compared to your camera, both wide open. If you want that kind of sharpness, you are going to need a dedicated macro setup. Either an actual macro lens or one of the cobbled setups you'll read about around here. Even then, wide open isn't going to suffice for sharp front to back shots. One thing I don't think I saw mentioned is this. The closer you are to a subject, the smaller the DOF as well.

My general opinion is this. It isn't always Just about being Sharp. It's being able to manipulate Where it's sharp, How sharp, and the overall affect it has on the rest of the photo. It's about color reproduction. It's about getting detail with colors that tend to bleed together, especially on point and shoots (reds and yellows). The bigger your sensor, the better off you are in those respects.

Other people's mileage may and will vary, that's just the way I see it.



08-28-2010, 02:04 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by tbirdas Quote
I have had a k-x for 3 months now and still in the process of learning.
Is it my technique, or are the P&S so good I should sell all my gear and stay with the ZS6 (not really thinking about that, but makes the question more dramatic...)?
Your story is not unique. There are in fact many similar threads in the forum.

When I bought my own K-7, I started to take pictures straight away and I was very disappointed. The IQ of my shots was much lower than the photos I could get with my older P&S that I used for 5 years. I was not only frustrated but also somehow humiliated in front of the family. Then I spent the next two weeks to read the Instructions manual and to test the camera, taking over 1,000 shots. After 4-6 weeks, once I learned the camera, I have been able to get excellent shots. Things even improvved when I bought some prime lenses.

Conclusion: I learned two things in the process
- read the isntruction manual,; a DSLR is more complicated than a P&S and it takes longer to master the dSLR;
- consider to invest in a good-quality lens(es); that does help also.
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