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10-03-2011, 04:29 AM   #46
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QuoteOriginally posted by Anton Magus Quote
So, for the Point and Shoot Competitions, only the following should be excluded:-
  • Multi-purpose cameras such as phone cameras, pad cameras etc where the camera is an add-on to the main function of the device.
  • Any film, tape or digital "movie" or video cameras where a single frames is cut or extracted from a movie or digital video.
I'm curious about the logic of these exclusions. I'd expect that phone.cams and vid.cams would have small frames with IQ characteristics close or inferior to P&S quality, and also that they might be more immediately at hand than a dSLR. There's no way that a frame from my TracFone or my old JVC DV1 would be mistaken for output from my K20D. For that matter, I don't see web.cams mentioned anywhere. My avatar was shot with such. Admissible or not?

Back to vid.cams. AFAIK much P&S technology is video-based, where a shutter-press just grabs a frame. Doesn't a video exclusion also exclude P&S's then? Would a frame pulled from the video stream of a P&S be excluded? The CGA- or VGA-size video output of my older P&S's don't look at all dSLR-ish. And some of my older imagery is from simple camcorders via a low-res frame-grabber that produced 360x240px JPGs. Why are these excluded?

Just wondering.


Last edited by RioRico; 10-03-2011 at 04:45 AM.
10-03-2011, 05:26 AM   #47
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"Interchangeable lens" and "p&s" are mutually exclusive terms. No p&s cameras have IL. Pentax will not market the Q as a p&s and the reviews will not call it one.

QuoteOriginally posted by Anton Magus Quote
[*]Interchangeable lens cameras EXCEPT those taking 110 film or digital with 1/2 or smaller sensors.[*]Digital Cameras fitted with micro4/3 sensors or larger EXCEPT those with a separate optical/electronic (non-TTL) viewfinder for focus and composition.
That's odd. You want to allow large sensor cameras, and small sensor cameras, but not cameras with 2/3" or 1" sensors? It doesn't make sense to me to allow large sensor cameras, which have dynamic range and ISO performance equivalent to a DSLR. A small sensor has techical limitations that make it more challenging to get a great photo.
10-03-2011, 12:18 PM   #48
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How about this:

----------------------------

Point and Shoot contest.
Theme - Post your best "Point and Shoot" camera shot.

Restrictions: None.

However your work will be judged by your peers as to the appropriateness of your gear for this contest as well as photographic qualities.

In other words if you post a picture taken with a DSLR, for instance, its unlikely anyone will vote for it.

Make and model of camera must be clearly stated.

One shot only.

---------------------------

Leave it at that.
It would not only determine the "best" picture but would also give us a consensus of those voting what they consider qualifies as a "Point and Shot"

What constitutes a Point and Shoot is a photographic question - let photographers decide for themselves.

I think it would be interesting considering all the legalistic line in the sand thinking going on in this thread.

Last edited by wildman; 10-03-2011 at 12:41 PM.
10-03-2011, 12:35 PM   #49
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QuoteOriginally posted by wildman Quote
Restrictions: None.

However your work will be judged by your peers as to the appropriateness of your gear for this contest as well as photographic qualities.

In other words if you post a picture taken with a DSLR, for instance, its unlikely anyone will vote for it.

Make and model of camera must be clearly stated.
I like it! It's so democratic, with transparency! Now I can whip out my 320x240px shots of Pompeii!

10-03-2011, 12:52 PM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
Now I can whip out my 320x240px shots of Pompeii!
Your shots of Pompeii are, no doubt, legendary. I await with great anticipation.
10-03-2011, 02:49 PM   #51
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QuoteOriginally posted by wildman Quote
Your shots of Pompeii are, no doubt, legendary. I await with great anticipation.
Yeah, shot with a Hi8 HandiCam, then frame-grabbed at sub-CGA quality, and shooped | filtered extensively. Hmmm, I thought I had them online somewhere; guess I took them down awhile back. I'm transitioning ISPs now. I'll see what I can do...
10-03-2011, 08:00 PM   #52
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QuoteOriginally posted by Anton Magus Quote
Interesting fact for those who feel that a PS camera should have NO controls...
PC World's "Top 10" Point-and-Shoot cameras (Top 10 Compact Point-and-Shoot Cameras | PCWorld) show that 8 of the top 10 have some control over aperture and shutter speed, whether by menu selection or other controls.
That is why they are the Top 10 cameras and not the Bottom 10!

QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
"Interchangeable lens" and "p&s" are mutually exclusive terms. No p&s cameras have IL. Pentax will not market the Q as a p&s and the reviews will not call it one.
But if you glue its lens to the mount, what makes it different from the S95?

QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
That's odd. You want to allow large sensor cameras, and small sensor cameras, but not cameras with 2/3" or 1" sensors? It doesn't make sense to me to allow large sensor cameras, which have dynamic range and ISO performance equivalent to a DSLR. A small sensor has techical limitations that make it more challenging to get a great photo.
In the context of a contest, anything makes sense. But the rules of the contest should either take into account what people consider a P&S or change the contest's name to something else like "eclectic camera contest" or something.
10-04-2011, 02:36 AM   #53
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
I'm curious about the logic of these exclusions. I'd expect that phone.cams and vid.cams would have small frames with IQ characteristics close or inferior to P&S quality
Quite true, but the P&S competition is not primarily about IQ. Its more about capturing the "right moment" which is arguably far easier to do if you extract a single image from a vid cam movie.

As far as phone cams are concerned, I personally have no objections whatever, but several posters seem to feel that they should be excluded.

QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
"Interchangeable lens" and "p&s" are mutually exclusive terms. No p&s cameras have IL. Pentax will not market the Q as a p&s and the reviews will not call it one.
However it is marketed, the Q is essentially a small, carry-along camera, which most owners will use as a P&S. And I haven't yet seem any images from the Q which convince me that its current range of intended lenses will give it any unfair advantage in the P&S competitions.

QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
That's odd. You want to allow large sensor cameras, and small sensor cameras, but not cameras with 2/3" or 1" sensors? It doesn't make sense to me to allow large sensor cameras, which have dynamic range and ISO performance equivalent to a DSLR. A small sensor has techical limitations that make it more challenging to get a great photo.
I am not too bothered about the sensor sizes. Larger sensors obviously improve IQ, but as made clear, IQ is not a major factor in the P&S competitions. What I was trying to eliminate was a range of cameras that have an unfair advantage in terms of shutter lag, TTL manual focus and so on. No doubt there will be exceptions where someone wants to submit an image to the competition taken with a specific camera that has a big sensor and otherwise doesn't fit the suggested rules... And who knows what new camera models will be introduced in the future?

QuoteOriginally posted by wildman Quote
Point and Shoot contest. Theme - Post your best "Point and Shoot" camera shot. Restrictions: None. However your work will be judged by your peers as to the appropriateness of your gear for this contest as well as photographic qualities. In other words if you post a picture taken with a DSLR, for instance, its unlikely anyone will vote for it. Make and model of camera must be clearly stated. One shot only.
Interesting idea. It doesn't fit the rules of the existing P&S Competition, but maybe offers an alternative, third competition for those who would want to enter it?

Personally I would like to see the existing P&S Competition long continue, based on a wide variety of "winner-chosen themes" and major emphasis on the composition and uniqueness of the shot rather than IQ. I will keep supporting them because they are interesting, fun, friendly and not too serious. Also the competitors get to learn, practice and refine skills which are equally applicable to shooting with any camera while still considering the limitations imposed by their equipment.

QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
That is why they are the Top 10 cameras and not the Bottom 10!
Apparently the top 10 listing is based on sales popularity, which seems to indicate that the vast majority of new camera buyers want a fully automatic camera but also the option of "graduating" to the use of manual controls as well. This must push camera manufacturers towards ensuring that their new models, even at the basic compact camera level, have more manual controls than just the various mode settings typical a while back. It, of course, makes it impossible to limit entries to the P&S competition to cameras with no manual settings!

10-04-2011, 07:29 AM   #54
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QuoteOriginally posted by Anton Magus Quote
Currently the rules do not allow APS-C sensor cameras or cameras with interchangeable lenses.
Sorry to go back a page or two, but this supposition is correct. The rule stated No 35mm or APS-C SLRs. It never said APS-c sensors are disallowed. The NEX would be disallowed based up on interchangeable lenses, not its sensor size.

If we disallowed APS-C sized sensors, we'd have to disallow all APS-C and up film cameras, and I don't think being a full frame 35mm film camera gives you an inherent advantage. I wouldn't see a problem in a full-frame 35mm digital fixed-lens camera entering, either.


QuoteOriginally posted by Anton Magus Quote
Without commenting on the APS-C sensor cameras, I made the comment that I did not believe that interchangeable lens cameras gave entrants an UNFAIR advantage over those entrants with super-zoom cameras. Bear in mind that these competitions are not squarely aimed at professional photographers and judging is not based mainly on image quality. They are FUN competitions where amateurs enjoy themselves shooting images which fit the theme set in the competition and try to get the best out of their cameras (whatever cameras they use) as a learning experience for themselves.
Interchangeable Lens cameras aren't disallowed because of image quality, they are disallowed based upon the idea that you shouldn't be able to shoot an image with a highly specialized lens, like a macro, fast super-tele or fish-eye.

QuoteOriginally posted by Anton Magus Quote
Now, while it is a fun competition, obviously the playing field needs to be approximately even for all players. There are already competitions on this forum for owners of DSLR APS-C and upward cameras. The point-and-shoot competition is for the small-fry with less-expensive cameras who take a few pictures for their own memories and for fun. So, for those people, how do you set the rules to be as inclusive as possible while still keeping the equipment they use to a level which is ROUGHLY equivalent for all entrants? That is the $64 million question.

Does someone using a large format film camera have an UNFAIR advantage over someone using a digital 1/2.3 sensor camera?
Does the ability to set the aperture or shutter speed give an UNFAIR advantage over simply setting the shooting "mode" to match the scene?
Does having an electronic viewfinder give an UNFAIR advantage over an optical viewfinder, or a LCD screen?
Does having a super-zoom lens have an UNFAIR advantage over, say, a 10x optical zoom lens?
Does having manual focus with a split-image rangefinder have an UNFAIR advantage over an electronic auto-focus camera?
We also have to consider that Post Processing is allowed, so does the entrant with Photoshop CS5 and the skills to use it have an UNFAIR advantage over the entrant with some simple, free software that allows cropping and resizing only?
1. Yes. 357-million-pixel scans aside, large format cameras give control over perspective not possible on other cameras. Further, even using a LF camera as a handheld camera e.g. Speed Graphic, you have massive control over Depth of Field.

2. Maybe, maybe not. For landscapes and some people scenes it simply doesn't matter, and on smaller cameras the aperture's effect no DoF is essentially bugger-all. Unless you're using shutter speed to stop motion blur or introduce desirable motion blur, these functions don't give an unfair advantage. The clever photographer would probably be able to use EV compensation (if equipped) or a combination of lighting and neutral density filters to get the right effect.

3. An LCD screen is the worst of the lot, as you have to hold it at arm's length and the sun can wash it out. An EVF shows you the camera's actual view of the scene, and is visible in all light, plus you hold the camera steadier. an OVF is almost as good as an EVF for most purposes if it zooms with the camera's lens.

4. 10x optical zoom isn't "Superzoom?" I'd say it doesn't really. Most of a Superzoom's range is in the telephoto segment, and very few contest images occur at very long range, especially due to haze/atmosphere between the subject and shooter.

5. I'd say a split-image or coincidence RF gives an unfair advantage over slow, contrast-detection AF, but not necessarily over faster, phase-detection AF.

6. Yes, and I think P&S contests should be either no PP, or Crop/resize/correct exposure only.
10-04-2011, 09:34 AM   #55
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One rule (previously suggested, but heretofore expanded) - My mom has to be able to use it within 2 minutes without any instruction. Ship the camera to me. I will go visit my mom, sit her down at the kitchen table, and then present her with your camera. Then I will flip the 2-minute hourglass timer. If she has not been able to turn the camera on and take a photo within 2 minutes, it is not a point-and-shoot. If she has been successful, we will apply a small sticker, perhaps of a kitten or a unicorn, to the camera and you will be qualified to enter point-and-shoot contests.

All cameras will be returned within 4-6 weeks, postage due. We withhold the right to keep any camera that does not pass the test. Please send the battery charger too.
10-04-2011, 09:42 AM   #56
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Here's a thought

To see if your camera is eligible for the point-and-shoot competitions, check off its features against the entries in the block below.

The sensor crop factor as well as sensor size are included as there could otherwise be some confusion arising from the way that some
camera manufacturers state sensor sizes in mm or inches, or in "types".

Cameras that have ONLY the LCD screen for composing photographs would still score 2 points.



Each green block scores 2 points, each blue block scores 1 point and yellow block score 0

By my reckoning almost all basic compact cameras score around 10 points, while "bridge" or super-zooms score around 7 points.
The Pentax Q (as far as I can work out) scores 5 points and so does the Fuji X100.
Rangefinder type film cameras score at least 5 points while folding, box and holga-types with fixed focal length lenses score more.
Cameras like the Sony NEX range, and the Samsung equivalent score maybe a 2 while DSLR's score 0

So, you establish a cut-off of 5 (or 6 or 7) points. If your camera scores the cut-off value or more, your entry is acceptable,
otherwise it is not. Its easy to understand and allows for a wide range of different types of cameras, but still keeps the playing
field relatively even for everyone.

The judge could even insist that every entry also includes the camera score and use that as a factor in the judging if they wanted.

Maybe someone would like to suggest an improvement to this idea?
10-04-2011, 09:50 AM   #57
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
One rule (previously suggested, but heretofore expanded) - My mom has to be able to use it within 2 minutes without any instruction. Ship the camera to me. I will go visit my mom, sit her down at the kitchen table, and then present her with your camera. Then I will flip the 2-minute hourglass timer. If she has not been able to turn the camera on and take a photo within 2 minutes, it is not a point-and-shoot. If she has been successful, we will apply a small sticker, perhaps of a kitten or a unicorn, to the camera and you will be qualified to enter point-and-shoot contests. All cameras will be returned within 4-6 weeks, postage due. We withhold the right to keep any camera that does not pass the test. Please send the battery charger too.
Fantastic idea. Please send the second K-5 submitted for testing to me - I'll willing pay postage and insurance.
10-04-2011, 10:26 AM   #58
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
One rule (previously suggested, but heretofore expanded) - My mom has to be able to use it within 2 minutes without any instruction.
This might disqualify some otherwise-obviously P&S models because of their plethora of SCENE modes only accessible via menus or daisy-chain button-presses -- and some scene must be selected in order to shoot! My Oly 770-SW (good to 10m underwater) is infuriatingly difficult to operate -- and its printed user manual requires a magnifier to read. Luzer...

QuoteOriginally posted by Anton Magus Quote
Maybe someone would like to suggest an improvement to this idea?
My only quibble is re: image format. My older P&S's offer either compressed JPEG or uncompressed TIFF output. Where would this fit into your matrix?
10-04-2011, 11:15 PM   #59
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
My only quibble is re: image format. My older P&S's offer either compressed JPEG or uncompressed TIFF output. Where would this fit into your matrix?
To my mind, if it doesn't shoot raw, it gets 2 points. Even TIFF, whatever they say, loses some image data, and doesn't give you the advantage of Post Processing the raw image for noise and sharpness. - But maybe I'm wrong?
10-05-2011, 04:57 AM   #60
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QuoteOriginally posted by Anton Magus Quote
To my mind, if it doesn't shoot raw, it gets 2 points. Even TIFF, whatever they say, loses some image data, and doesn't give you the advantage of Post Processing the raw image for noise and sharpness.
TIFF is uncompressed, or it can use lossless compression, but does not use lossy compression like a jpeg.

It's odd that the chart shows both 1 point for "raw format selectable", and 0 points for "raw format selectable". It would make sense for the blue column (1 point) to be allocated for "lossless format selectable, e.g. TIFF), and leave the yellow column as raw format selectable.

BTW, the Canon A720 and A570 cameras that some people objected to here both score 10 points on this scale. I believe a K-5 scores 1, the Q scores 4 and a Canon G12 scores 8. The limit of what I consider p&s would be 6 points and up. It's an interesting way to evaluate all of the various camera formats available these days.

Last edited by audiobomber; 10-05-2011 at 05:12 AM.
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