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01-08-2019, 02:33 PM   #1
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Small cheap point and shoot cameras, is each iteration better?

In addition to my K70, I also had a Nikon Coolpix S3600 that Iíd carry in my pocket constantly.
It accumulated too much dust inside that showed up in photos.
After a failed attempt at cleaning, I now need a new little camera (Sony, Canon, Nikon).

The smallest cameras are generally low speck and low cost.
Besides mega pixel increase is there any improvement year to year in these cameras or do they just stagnate since they're low end?

Because I can buy one a few models back with the same mega pixels and ISO range for less than a new one.

01-08-2019, 03:10 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentax360 Quote
In addition to my K70, I also had a Nikon Coolpix S3600 that Iíd carry in my pocket constantly.
It accumulated too much dust inside that showed up in photos.
After a failed attempt at cleaning, I now need a new little camera (Sony, Canon, Nikon).

The smallest cameras are generally low speck and low cost.
Besides mega pixel increase is there any improvement year to year in these cameras or do they just stagnate since they're low end?

Because I can buy one a few models back with the same mega pixels and ISO range for less than a new one.
It depends on which models you look at. But if they have 1/2.3" sensors, I don't think there's been much progress there. The developments have mostly been in terms of connectivity, sharing, durability, and so forth.

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01-08-2019, 03:15 PM   #3
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For the Sony RX100 series, it is mostly new features added. Sony sells most of the previous models new still, and you can get a good deal on them used. The newer sensors have added some crazy burst modes and other cool features, but they might not be worth double the price of the older model.
01-08-2019, 03:23 PM   #4
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I agree with michki on the Sony RX100. The Canon G9X also has a 1" sensor, and is very compact. I have one and I am quite impressed with it.

01-08-2019, 03:49 PM   #5
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Thanks, guys that's what I thought.
01-08-2019, 04:40 PM   #6
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A phone with a decent camera makes much better images than any compact with a small sensor. Something about computational photography. Yesteryears top models are already very affordable.
01-08-2019, 05:03 PM - 1 Like   #7
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I wasn't going to suggest it initially, but I should say I actually do the majority of my shooting on a Ricoh GR II now. I bought it to have something pocketable for a trip over the RX100iii, but I use it so much I've actually sold my apsc dslr. And it is another option that you can probably get for cheap on the used market if your patient.
01-08-2019, 05:31 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentax360 Quote
In addition to my K70, I also had a Nikon Coolpix S3600 that Iíd carry in my pocket constantly.
It accumulated too much dust inside that showed up in photos.
After a failed attempt at cleaning, I now need a new little camera (Sony, Canon, Nikon).

The smallest cameras are generally low speck and low cost.
Besides mega pixel increase is there any improvement year to year in these cameras or do they just stagnate since they're low end?

Because I can buy one a few models back with the same mega pixels and ISO range for less than a new one.
Honestly, if "all" I wanted was a P&S, I'd get a smart phone - their prodigious computing power allows them to overcome many obstacles.

01-08-2019, 05:58 PM   #9
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P&S cameras have a history of crapping out or developing other problems such as dust, even the expensive ones.
Make sure the sensor is BSI, that is the last significant improvement in small sensors.

Ruggedized P&S cameras are an option, although they are limited in zoom range.

If you don't need telephoto capability, a good phone will work fine for most things.
01-08-2019, 06:01 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentax360 Quote
In addition to my K70, I also had a Nikon Coolpix S3600 that Iíd carry in my pocket constantly.
It accumulated too much dust inside that showed up in photos.
After a failed attempt at cleaning, I now need a new little camera (Sony, Canon, Nikon).

The smallest cameras are generally low speck and low cost.
Besides mega pixel increase is there any improvement year to year in these cameras or do they just stagnate since they're low end?

Because I can buy one a few models back with the same mega pixels and ISO range for less than a new one.
I wanted a small, cheap p&s for my niece last year. Nothing new looked useful, so I bought her a 6-year old Panasonic with a 16x zoom or something like that. Itís identical to one I bought in 2012.

The sensor isnít as good as the one in a modern phone, but it has a real flash, optical stabilization, and very handy zoom.

-Eric
01-08-2019, 07:13 PM   #11
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Well I have bought a few 1/2.3 sensor compacts over the years... The cheap ones under $200 dollars really wonít be that different and donít seem to have changed much in the past five years... The megapixel race on compacts slowed down a bit after 2010 or thereabouts.

If you are buying one for some zoom that is understandable but many wonít even take as good of photos as your phone. You do get optical zoom but many times donít even get full 1080p video...

Honestly, I bought a compact the other week it has a 1/2.3 sensor but it wasnít cheap and handles RAW to boot. So obviously that is a very different scenario... I think the Sony DSC HX99 I got, handily out does my iPhone X. Has nice zoom range and shoots killer 4K video despite the small sensor size. From what I have seen punches above its weight. It is no crop or full frame killer but will give me better photos than my phone and easily fit in my pocket and cost less than half my last Pentax branded lens. I can live with that... In fact it is going to Boston on a work trip next week with me.
01-09-2019, 12:08 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cipher Quote
P&S cameras have a history of crapping out or developing other problems such as dust, even the expensive ones.
Make sure the sensor is BSI, that is the last significant improvement in small sensors.

Ruggedized P&S cameras are an option, although they are limited in zoom range.

If you don't need telephoto capability, a good phone will work fine for most things.

Thanks for bringing up BSI, I saw that mentioned but didn't know it was something that mattered.

For everyone talking about phones, I use a flip phone.
01-09-2019, 09:03 AM   #13
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I have the K-70 + a Sony RX100. It's the mark 1 model still available new here in the UK at approx 1/5th of the cost of the mark 6. The RX100 is capable of capturing good images on occasion, almost, indistinguishable from a DSLR.

Previously I've owned two P & S cameras from the Panasonic TZ range which were also good albeit fitted with a 1 2/3 sensor
01-09-2019, 02:26 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cipher Quote
P&S cameras have a history of crapping out or developing other problems such as dust, even the expensive ones.
Very true, sadly. My RX-100 v1, which was quite expensive when new, crapped out recently, for no good reason - not even dust. Pity - it was a great little camera. Ideally I will be able to replace it with something equally as pocketable, but cheaper, more capable, and perhaps more robust.

In the meantime an A5000 I had floating around, with the tiny Sony 16-50 stabilized kit zoom attached, while not as compact, is doing an OK job as a replacement.
01-12-2019, 10:43 AM   #15
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I like a compact to have a viewfinder - I am often out against bright light which makes an LCD screen on the back unusable. My current one is a Panasonic Lumix TZ70. It takes pretty good pics in Program model while the AI mode will always get a pic but tends to sacrifice quality by upping the ISO rating and going mad to get the pic. Its got a reasonable telephoto capability, image stabilisation etc but does allow manual control quite well given its limitations. Oddly when I bought it Panasonic had throttled back the pixels from the previous version (possible due to noise or processing time) but it still takes a good pic plus its got some extra bells and whistles which I never use (composition guides, effects processing). On balance its the best I have used in pocket cams but it can be outperformed by the latest generation smart phones but then it was less money than a smart phone and I am old fashioned enough to want a camera
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