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A buyers guide introduction to compact & bridge camera's

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Posted 05-17-2012 at 04:15 AM by Dirk

Often i see questions about how to handle when a camera has to be compact / small but still has zoom abilities .

Let me make it clear that i can't and wont talk here about all models instead i point out where a type of camera could be used for and what to have and what not . (sounds vage now but i wll lit a candle on it soon)

I am not going to talk about film compact or bridge camera's but only digital camera's

there are too many models and i will only pick a few to lit the candle on a specifik group.

Compact camera's and brige camera's are often chosen because they fit easily in a small bag or purse or ruck or shoulderbag , and there is a large demand becuase not every one wants a camera and lens combo that easily weighs over a kilo (1000 gr) to carry arround allday

the group is split in compact camera's for now

with compact i mean camera's with a zoom factor optical less than 10x zoom

a typical compact camera is generally small like the Panasonic lumix dmc-fs62

9.7 x 5.4 x 2.1 W X H X D (cm)

imho this is a above entry level quality camera due to the lens quality and Mega O.I.S

I know that 10MP is considered old but i will point out why it is moere than enough

most people only use 10x15 cm photo prints for that a resolution of 3.2 mp is allready more than enough , most people won't see the difference

this camera has 4x zoom and a sensor of 1.2*5 inch most compacts will have a sensor smaller than the nail of your pink . on that surface the mega pixels are cramped and the more mp the better it will sell .

Yes i say sell , i think that with compact's 16MP is the max that i would buy because the closer the pixels the worser it will be in low light and in difficult light

the options on this camera are pretty basic it doesn't do panorama's or record in HD

they more money a camera costs ussually mean that it has more options and a better quality
if you plan to use only 10x15cm prints you could reduce the MP to 3 steps dowm from maximum quality ( test it for your self)

Personally i always use the full resolution and not 3 steps less but if you do most people still stay the quality is fine and there will fit more photo's on the memory card

a bridge camera is often a compact camera (digital) with a high zoom lens like 16x or 20x
these are great travel camera's because they are light and often have good quality and a wide set of possibilities like the casio ex-fh 20

from the look you can see differences between the 2 camera's , the first is light (116Gr) and thin this one is thicker and heavier but stiil a good camera . resolution here is 9.1MP on a 1/2.3-inch sensor

this is also a fast camera where the panasonic is reasonable fast for it's class the casio is capeable to 40 fps (at 7.1MP to be hounest)

the advantages lie in the bigger screen size 3.0 against 2.5 and more video speed. this camera can record in hd . it can aslo resord in 1000fps (ultra slow motion)

the disadvanteges are that at full zoom image deteriorates at corners and is lesser sharp than in wide range , this is normal and lies in the quality of the lens . wich is good but not from Leica or Carl zeiss or Schneider Kreuznach wich imho are the 3 best lenses ion compacts or brigde youcan have.

It is up to you if you want a lot of zoom expect in the budget and prosumer class (till 600$) a nice and good but not super lens , if lens is one off the 3 mentionend mostley zoom will be limited to 16x zoom ( i speak on optical zoom only)

i always advise to turn off digital zoom on compact cameras and use optical zoom only
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