‘Camera Labs’ Point and Shoot Comparison — An Analysis.
by Anura Guruge
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Last week I saw that he had done this post on “Best point and shoot camera” with “Gordon’s favourite compact camera right now: Sony Cyber-shot RX100 III“
Here is a ‘thumbnail’. Click on it, or the link above, to access Gordon’s original post.
I have no issues with his choice or his picks. I had myself just got a Sony RX100 II (from BuyDig) after convincing myself that I could not really justify the III or the IV because this was really my 2nd camera — the Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 (for now) my main.
What surprised me with the choices was the wide variety. Yes, if you carefully read through Gordon’s words you would pick up on SENSOR SIZE and max. resolution. But it occurred to me that I would like to see a real side-by-side comparison of these 12 cameras per the CRITERIA that I look for in a camera (these days).
Per my new regime following the publication of my last book, I do not work on any new books on Saturday, Sunday & Monday. Those 3 days are for me to mess around with my other interests. So yesterday, Saturday, I devoted some time (maybe an hour) to spreadsheet these 12 cameras. It was fun and educational for me.
So here is that spreadsheet (and those you know me know that I live by spreadsheets and I create spreadsheets at the drop of a hat).
So what struck me the most?
I am BIG into Sensor Size because in the end, push-comes-to-shove, there is only so much you can do about trying to violate the laws of physics. Bigger sensors will always give you a better resolution image, especially in low light conditions, than a smaller sensor. I have this ‘sensor size’ image, from Wikipedia, handy at all times when I am looking at cameras just to keep me straight. These days I will not consider a camera with a sensor less than 1″.
So only 4 of the 12 cameras suggested by Gordon have sensors 1″ or greater (that being the ‘Four Thirds’ by Panasonic). That has to be taken into account, first and foremost, with any camera comparison. Otherwise you will not be comparing apples with oranges you will be comparing oranges with coconuts.
Megapixels per se don’t bother me that much since I don’t print posters, but I do like to see what the Maximum Resolution is. I really am not fond of cameras that can’t get me close to 5000x3x00.
BUT my next BIGGEST factor is maximum aperture, bearing in mind that none of these cameras offer constant max. aperture. A max. aperture of 3.5 or 3.6, though, of course, ‘livable’ is not great. Having a 1.7/1.8 max aperture cameras against cameras that are at 3.6 is unfair — and the consumer should be warned.
Then there is max. ISO. A max. 1600 or even 3200 camera in 2015/2016 is SAD. Again this should be highlighted.
Two of these cameras, viz. Canon SX60 HS & Nikon L840, maybe even three, i.e., Panasonic LX100, are not exactly compact. Yes, you can see it in the pictures but a heads up should be in order.
Then there is the price. The average price of these 12 cameras is $398. As such the Sony RX100 III is MORE THAN DOUBLE the average price! No wonder it is the top dog! So a BIG variation in price.
Based on MY spreadsheet I would contend that the Canon G7X or G9X would be a BETTER option, especially if price is a factor — PROVIDED you are not wedded to an EVF.
Again, this was primarily for me to understand how these cameras stacked up. But once I did it I was NOT going to NOT share it with YOU.