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09-10-2008, 02:21 PM   #1
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Do P&S cameras have shutters?

I don't think they do, but if they don't then how exactly does shutter speed work? And do they have an ISO setting? Is there an electronic analog to shutter speed? I kinda want to buy a digital camera, and I don't want a DSLR because I think they are silly...too big, expensive, noisy, expensive, and don't shoot video. But I don't want to have to totally relearn photography. I can see the appeal of DSLR there.

Also, would it be possible to take a P&S digicam, and set the shutter speed, aperture, and ISO, and take a test-shot of a subject, basically using the digikam as an exposure meter?

09-10-2008, 02:51 PM   #2
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As far as i know they have digital shutters. Some of them might have some kind of physical shutter but nothing mechanical to control shutter speed. The shutter speed is controlled by the camera turning the sensor on and off really quickly, only capturing light for a certain amount of time. The sensor is always on but it turns it off, on off, on again when it takes a shot. If it does have a shutter, it will only be to protect the sensor when the camera is turned off.

I wouldnt use one as a lightmeter, the acronym "ISO" is very misleading, as different processors bring out different brightnesses in images.

I haven't actually tried one out, but apparently olympus make some pretty neat small cameras, if you are willing to put up with the super high lens price. Other than that maybe a pentax with a pancake lens, or the fujifilm s100fs which is a full quality full size SLR but with the inner mechanics of a point and shoot, so you get top-notch live view, video shooting ability, much less noise and you don't need to buy new lenses.
09-10-2008, 03:02 PM   #3
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fujifilm s100fs
That camera, and cameras like it, IOW digital cameras that aren't DSLRs, are what I'm interested in. As well as the typical smaller digicams possibly. I wouldn't buy a DSLR because I have plenty of film SLRs, and it's not the digitalness of digital cameras so much as the smallness and live-view shooting style of digital that appeals to me. I had been looking at that little pentax that fits in the altoids tin, but Walmart here has some kind of fuji digicam that's 10Mp, has a nice handgrip and optical zoom, shoots video, and has both a lcd back and a viewfinder, with a popup flash, for a little over $200. It's about right up my alley, considering it doesn't cost much more than a normal P&S.

But they are strange to me; I do not know how they work. If I can't set or at least know shutter speed, aperture, and iso information, the camera is a black box to me and I don't like that. I now understand why DSLRs are popular when previously I didn't understand it. It's because they are basically film cameras with a very long roll of film that you can instantly change the ISO of.

I have never seriously used a digital camera so if someone could explain the 'manual of arms' of the non-SLR digicams, I would appreciate it. I mean I know you can point them and push the button and a picture happens...I can set my AF slrs to do this too, but at least I know what is happening when I push the button. I'm sure this sounds out of the loop, because it is.

Last edited by BetterSense; 09-10-2008 at 03:16 PM.
09-10-2008, 07:43 PM   #4
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I think most P&S have digital shutters. Some must have mechanical shutter. Many P&S cameras are auto or program only. You have scene modes but no manual control over aperture or shutter speed.

Some P&S models have manual controls. I have Olympus C4040 and C5050 that work manually. Also have the Panasonic LX2 with manual controls. Most Pentax P&S don't allow manual setting. The A40 does, and the new water proof WP60 is supposed too. The Canon G series have manual as do many affordable Samsung models. Not that familiar with Fujis. Hate their memory card (XD). My Olympus Stylus (XD) doesn't have manual either. Just +- exposure comp. The Pentax Optios that fit in the Altoids tin don't have manual. Great cameras though. Maybe able to find A10,20,30 used. Similar to A40. Not sure how the movie mode works on them.


Check out POINT & SHOOT CONTEST # 10 WINNERS in P&S forum. Enter #11. Any brand camera. Any subject. Enter now.

09-11-2008, 05:46 AM   #5
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DSLR - like

Sounds like you need an "DSLR-Like" camera .... some models would be the Canon S3, S5 or the Nikon P80.

These camera have manual controls and versatile high zoom built in lens systems.

One drawback with these is you will not get the high ISO performance of a DSLR.
But for most shots, you won't need that. My Canon S3 still gets plenty of use even though I now have a DSLR (Pentax *istD).
09-11-2008, 08:59 AM   #6
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Remember that viewfinders in compacts are electronic viewfinders, and have a 1/20th second delay or something. I found it impossible to take photos of birds using the fujifilm

Also really annoys me that there are hardly any buttons on the outside, you have to go into menus for everything, even shutter and aperture priority mode! You can always walk into a camera shop and try them all out for buttons and how they feel in your hand. I'm sure about half the PS cameras out there have P, S, A, M modes, which are equivalent of Av, Tv, P M.

I think it would maybe good for you to use one of the new panasonic lumix line. They are ALWAYS rated the highest of all P+S and are compact too. I tried one out and always got great results without even trying. I think if you are looking at a P+S it would be silly for you to miss out on the "pocketable" size of compacts.
09-11-2008, 09:02 AM   #7
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Casio gets official with the EX-F1 60fps prosumer camera / camcorder - Engadget

check that out too. around 500. Believe the stats. It IS real. amazing stuff.
10-14-2008, 04:58 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by IsaacEastgate Quote
the fujifilm s100fs which is a full quality full size SLR
Hmmmmmm no, it's not. Check sensor size and high-iso performance to start with.

It's a great camera though, the one I was going to buy before I decided to go SLR. It's more expensive than an SLR though, not counting the lens, so I think it's got a small niche of people who'll appreciate it yet for some reason don't want to spend a little more for a good SLR and zoom lens.


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