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10-09-2011, 01:17 AM - 1 Like   #91
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I think the way this is going, a new rule should be added to the P&S contest:

"Participants must at least have a PhD in physics or mathematics: should they win, they must be able to implement the table and check it against the entries of the participants in their contest"



10-09-2011, 02:27 AM   #92
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Size and Weight

Sorry, but I can't go with you on size and weight being handicapping factors for point & shoot cameras.

For one, it biases the competition towards modern cameras when some old cameras were very much designed and sold as point & shoot cameras.
So you have to first convince me that the Brownie Holiday (circa 1950's)

Is NOT a point & shoot. Fixed focus, fixed aperture, fixed shutter speed, simple optical viewfinder, takes 126 roll film.

Equally what about the even older Brownie Box camera which also had no settings and shot 120 roll film?

Photographer has the huge choice of shooting portrait or landscape!

Neither of these cameras could fit in your average shirt or pants pocket - or even in a big jacket pocket, yet they are absolutely point & shoot cameras.

Arguably the Kodak Medallist from pre-World War II was also a point & shoot, although it did have some aperture and shutter speed
adjustments and focus adjustment (under 10 feet or over 10 feet).

The thing on the top between the film winder knob and the viewfinder is the exposure calculator. Pretty sophisticated in 1936.
Pocketable? Well perhaps if you had a very big pocket but the camera weighs in at over 3 pounds...
Nevertheless by modern criteria we would have to allow it as a point & shoot.

Of course, there were camera which were quite small to carry in a pocket back in those days. Some were quite light-weight too.

This one hails from around 1930 and was highly regarded for its IQ. It was fully adjustable for manual exposure and folded up into
a neat rectangular box when closed. It will fit in a decent-sized pocket (They were often carried into battle by GI's in a leg pocket of their battledress)
which probably equates to the leg pocket in a pair of modern "cargo pants" and doesn't weigh that much either!
By the way, it scores 16 points on the latest criteria table.

If we are going to consider size and weight, then its far easier to carry a very small, compact camera than a heavier or bulkier camera.
On that basis, the owner of a smaller, lighter camera is more likely to have it handy to get that rare shot where something happens purely by chance.
So owners of heavier and bulkier cameras are at a disadvantage. If we then take that into account in the table, it should be:-

Small cameras which fit into a shirt or pants pocket = 0 points
Medium sized cameras which fit a large jacket pocket or purse = 1 point
Large cameras which need a bag for carrying = 2 points.

Myself, I think the size of the camera you use and its weight is purely personal choice and has absolutely no positive or negative influence
on whether you are able to get that one great shot that wins you the point & shoot competition. Hell, I really don't care if you want to make your own camera
by fitting a lens, a sensor and a viewfinder to a brick and then hire one of the wrestlers from WWF to carry it around for you.
10-09-2011, 03:07 AM   #93
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
1) In exposure controls, by "program shift" I suppose you mean EV adjustments? Some digital P&S's allow that in-menu. Some film (and probably some digital) P&S's have a dedicated EV switch for backlit scenes. Does a backlight switch count as exposure program shift? 2) Sorry, I think APS-C is worth 2 points, not 1 point. It's just too fat and juicy to be considered non-advanced. 3) Should video streams be considered? Should we distinguish between video frames that are selected during PP (after the shutter press) vs frames that are grabbed via a one-shot button, ie, taking a still with a vid.cam? 4) And that leads to drive modes. Do we consider a camera's capability for burst shooting?
1) EV adjustment allows for correction where the metered exposure is too light or too dark for your taste. Program shift allows you to use some control (typically a "jog dial" switch) to change a program exposure setting of say f11 @ 1/125" to maybe f5.6 @ 1/500" or even f2.8 @ 1/2000" thus improving bokeh or freezing motion. Program shift changes both aperture and shutter speed to maintain the same overall exposure value. A simple backlight switch does not count as exposure program shift.

2) There is no question that increasing sensor size reduces noise and also improves the overall light sensitivity and changes the angle of incidence of light hitting the sensor. All those things aid image quality (which is relatively unimportant in the P&S competition) but primarily give the photographer more versatility. In reality this all helps enormously with a DSLR, but those are already heavily penalized to a point of exclusion based on other factors. So the question is how much advantage does an APS-C sensor have on a fixed lens, fixed focal-length camera with an optical viewfinder? I think 1 point penalty is enough.

3&4) Generally once you allow vid cams, whether to extract a single image from the video, or to take a single shot, you open a whole new set of problems and criteria. Most digital cameras can also shoot video in some format, so the lines between them are blurring. And yes, most single shot digital cameras can also shoot in burst mode ranging from around 1 frame per second to as much as 15 frames per second, but for a limited number of shots. My own view is that vid cams should be excluded, for taking a single "still" and also no extracting of a single frame from a video however done, and whatever camera is used. Burst mode is OK on a normally single-shot camera.
10-09-2011, 05:36 AM   #94
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bart Quote
I think the way this is going, a new rule should be added to the P&S contest: "Participants must at least have a PhD in physics or mathematics: should they win, they must be able to implement the table and check it against the entries of the participants in their contest"
Agreed 100%, Bart.

Disclaimer: "The tables I have been creating are solely based on the comments being made in this forum, and are not necessarily the view of the designer".

What I do believe is:
The essence of the P&S Competition is to have fun and submit images which best portray the theme of the competition by uniquely capturing the subject. Image quality is of relatively minor importance.
There is a need for a set of rules for the P&S Competitions, stated at the start of the competition and fixed for the duration of the competition. No changes in mid-stream!
The rules should ONLY prohibit (or penalize) cameras that have an UNFAIR advantage.
The rules must be designed to include a wide range of makes, types and styles of camera. (Size, shape, weight, manufacturer are personal choice and alone do not create any UNFAIR advantage.)
The rules should be clear and understandable. "No (whatever) cameras" and underneath having another rule that allows those, or very similar, cameras is just confusing.
Any photographer with basic knowledge must be able to understand the rules and know whether his/her camera complies or not.

The big question is how do we frame up a set of rules to meet the above?
Camera manufacturers bring out new models regularly. To some extent these new cameras have features which meet market demand and modern technological developments. It seems that the market demand is for better image quality, improved ease of use, greater control and convenient size. Technological development ranges from increasing lens and mounting ranges through sensor design improvements to advanced in-camera processing. Don't forget increasing resolution of LCD screens and even touch-sensitive screens.

A modern 1/2.33" backlit CMOS sensor is NOT the same as an older 1/2.33" CCD sensor. The big question is does the more modern sensor give an UNFAIR advantage over the older sensor IN THE P&S COMPETITIONS?
I contend that it does not, while I happily admit that it can improve the light sensitivity, reduce noise and hence improve the IQ. - But IQ is a minor factor in the competitions.

On the other hand I think a camera with manual focus and a "live view" system to show exactly the focus of the subject and the bokeh of the background has a huge advantage over a simple, low resolution, 230 000 dot LCD.
Similarly a camera which can automatically take one over-exposed, one perfectly exposed and one under-exposed shot and combine them in-camera to produce one HDR image must have a huge advantage over a camera that can't do that.
The problem is where do you draw the line? What cameras are acceptable and which are not acceptable?

Some people on this forum have suggested banning entries not taken with a very basic, fully automatic, compact camera - a "true" point & shoot. That would severely limit the entries and lower the competition's value to contestants.
A handicap system would level the playing field for different cameras but would maybe scare off new photographers starting out in "green mode" and favor those who are more experienced. But maybe experience is always an advantage?
A competition open to any camera in its basic/auto mode would be simplest to run but would give some cameras an unfair advantage.

Thus a table/points system with a cut-off could allow a wide range of cameras, but not DSLR's and the like. It could allow some advanced features (depending on the cut-off score) like interchangeable lenses with a small sensor (Pentax Q) or a non-interchangeable, fixed focal length lens with an APS-C sensor, (Fuji X100) but not both interchangeable lenses AND APS-C sensor. The final table can be simple and only needs a few rows and two columns. Anything in column 1 is OK and you can have a maximum of 2 items/criteria from column 2.

Nobody should need more than basic knowledge to understand that...

10-10-2011, 05:38 AM   #95
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QuoteOriginally posted by Anton Magus Quote
Arguably the Kodak Medallist from pre-World War II was also a point & shoot, although it did have some aperture and shutter speed
adjustments and focus adjustment (under 10 feet or over 10 feet).

The thing on the top between the film winder knob and the viewfinder is the exposure calculator. Pretty sophisticated in 1936.
Pocketable? Well perhaps if you had a very big pocket but the camera weighs in at over 3 pounds...
Nevertheless by modern criteria we would have to allow it as a point & shoot.
I am the proud and very happy owner of a Kodak Medalist, and I think I need to set a few things straight about it.

First, they were introduced in 1941, just in the for the war.

Second, A point and shoot? Hardly! Taking a 6x9cm frame on 620 roll film, the Medalist was every bit a professional camera. The Tank-like medalist was used as a combat camera, and because of it's amazingly sharp Ektar lens and huge frame size, it was used as an aerial reconnaissance camera too, because you could blow up its negatives to map-size.

"Some shutter speed and aperture adjustment" is a massive understatement, as well. The Shutter has Bulb, then goes from 1s on the slow end of the slow speed cam, then through 1/2s, 1/5s, 1/10, 1/25, 1/50, 1/100, 1/200, up to a blazing 1/400, and this is a leaf shutter! The Aperture goes from f/3.5 (A VERY fast 100mm lens for 1941) down to F/32, with no incrementation. If you want to set your lens to F/4-and-a-bit, you can!

Also, the camera does not have an "Over ten feet, under ten feet" focus system. The windows below the main VF are a very wide-base and highly magnified rangefinder, which when it comes down to focus accuracy and precision is every bit the equal of any Leica.

The "Exposure Calculator" between the viewfinder and wind knob is actually just a reminder wheel to let you know what you've got loaded.

The medalist also had a glut of accessories available, including a ground-glass focusing back, sheet film holder, and extension back for Macro.

In 1941, the price for a new medalist was $165. Adjusted for inflation, this figure comes out to $2,416.00.

The Medalist was replaced by the Medalist II In 1946, which had a price of $262 (Adjusted for inflation, $2893.53) and featured flash synchronization and a multi-coated Ektar lens.

As much as I'd love to use the Medalist in the P&S competition, I really do think it'd be unfair, despite the fixed (but incredibly sharp, even by today's standards) 100mm F/3.5 lens and the lack of an internal meter. I've gotten really good pics out of my Medalist...unfortunately they are such high resolution when I scanned them, Flickr won't let me upload them until I shrink them down. Suffice to say, They are amazing.

Looking at the spreadsheet, the Medalist manages to score 14 points. What's the current suggested cutoff?

Another idea for a category:

Price New (Inflation Adjusted)

3 points - under $30

2 points - Under $300 but no less than $31

1 point - Under $700 but no less than $301

0 points - $701 and over

ADDITIONALLY, I agree mostly with Anton, except that I think it should be a category. It, however, shouldn't be the end-all, be-all. There's plenty of unpocketable point and shoots from years past, and I don't like the digital-centric idea that it has to fit comfortably in a pocket.

Then again, the Retina, the first camera to use 35mm film as we know it today, was TINY when folded up, even by today's standards. And that was in 1934! Of course, the Retina wasn't cheap either at $57.50, or $926.00 adjusted for inflation.

I think also we could do with some weight for Film sizes...say, 35mm and below at 2, anything above 35mm up to 6x9cm at 1 point, and anything bigger than 6x9 at 0 points.

Again, none of these by themselves is a reason for exclusion, but they do form an aggregate that we can use as a guide.

Last edited by unixrevolution; 10-10-2011 at 06:06 AM.
10-11-2011, 06:03 AM   #96
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Based on the currently proposed matrix... without the additions proposed, what is the cutoff?
10-11-2011, 06:20 AM   #97
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I've just read thru this thread from start to finish...............great thinking...................

When does the contest start?
10-11-2011, 06:23 AM   #98
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QuoteOriginally posted by unixrevolution Quote
You said youd buy it. No excuses!
I didn't say when.

10-11-2011, 06:32 AM   #99
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I believe that most of the confusing technical terms are film related. What about separate charts for film and digital?
10-11-2011, 06:54 AM   #100
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
I believe that most of the confusing technical terms are film related. What about separate charts for film and digital?
I think a set of criteria for film and digital may be helpful.
10-11-2011, 10:33 AM   #101
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QuoteOriginally posted by unixrevolution Quote
I think a set of criteria for film and digital may be helpful.
Oh boy, two multidimensional matrices! Ooh ooh! Hold me back!

This is starting to look like AH tabletop wargame decision tables.
10-11-2011, 11:02 AM   #102
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
Oh boy, two multidimensional matrices! Ooh ooh! Hold me back!

This is starting to look like AH tabletop wargame decision tables.
Most people will only need to look at the digital chart, once. Removing a bunch of qualifiers that only apply to obsolete film cameras would make it easier for them to see if their particular camera qualifies.

It's not as though one has to consult the chart with every new contest. You look at the relevant chart one time. Either your particular camera qualifies, or it doesn't.

Last edited by audiobomber; 10-11-2011 at 11:15 AM.
10-11-2011, 11:14 AM   #103
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QuoteOriginally posted by wildman Quote
My S95 comes out to 5.
I've never used an S95 but I would have thought it would score more points.
1 point for zoom lens
2 points for auto focus only
2 points for sensor size
2 points for LCD viewfinder
2 points for no DR control
2 points for in-body flash

I make it 11 points total. Where did I go wrong?
10-11-2011, 01:06 PM   #104
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so far as I can tell under "viewing/composing System" any camera with just a LCD would logically qualify for all three conditions.

this is what I come up with for S95:

Last edited by wildman; 10-19-2011 at 05:15 PM.
10-11-2011, 01:34 PM   #105
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You used the old chart instead of the revised version. Even on the old chart, I don't agree with your ratings:

Two points for sensor size, not one. The S95 is 1/1.7", i.e. smaller than 1/1.6"

I don't believe the S95 has an EVF, so two points instead of one.

How do you manually focus?
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