OT: 6 megapixels best format for your woodworking pictures?

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The important missed fact here is that the standard film camera to take the better croppable/enlargeable pictures was 35 mm and larger. Imagine trying to start with 110 and get the same results as a 35 mm. That is what the problem with more mega pixels on a CCD that is 20 times smaller than a 35mm digital is up against along with a cheaper quality slow lens. Exposure time has to be much longer and shake really comes in to play.
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Yes, that makes sense, a bigger sensor seems to be part of a successful equation. A pal of mine just got a Nikon digital SLR with the same size sensor as they put in their pro models at several times the price, looks like a smart way to go. However, given two models with the same sensor I'd go with the one with more pixels.
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Actually, not. Shake is NOT the big problem, nor are longer times. Shutter lag is and noise.
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One major difference with digital is that creating too fine a grain for sensor size creates grain (noise). It is simply impossible to state that more and more pixels is always better. A 10 MP point & shoot camera is a waste of money. A 10 MP DSLR is not, but it has a sensor that is much larger, thus can accept more density and give better results.
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It goes way beyond having more pixels. There are noise issues as well. Plus the fact that each pixel has dynamic range issues. If you have a 6 MP camera and each pixel can discern 256 levels of light, then the result of that is far better than a 20 MP camera where each pixel can discern only 4 levels of light. The ideal would be 20 MP with 256 levels each, but good luck processing all that info off a AA battery.

That is what optical zoom is for.
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Only if you have a telephoto zoom lense. Last time I checked, the good ones are pretty expensive and you can only use them on digital SLR's (like the one I own).
Good luck doing that with a non-SLR type digital camera.
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GarageWoodworks wrote:

My Panasonic non-SLR type digital camera has a Leitz lens which fills the sensor with the same field that a 400 would on a 35mm. Canon has a similar model. Further, it is capable of quite close focus with that lens.
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That's an interesting camera, I've been reading up on it lately, very tempting especially at half the price of the German-branded version. However given the choice between the 7 and 10 Meg models, I'd still go with the latter.
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DGDevin wrote:

Which model are you thinking of? The FZ7 (which I have) has been discontinued in favor of the FZ8, which is an 8 megapixel camera. Neither is sold under the "Leica" brand, only the "Panasonic" brand. There's a new addition to that model range, the FZ-18, also 8 MP, which goes both longer and wider.
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Huh, I seem to be more confused than usual, I could have sworn there was a 10 meg version, maybe I'm thinking of the FZ50, is that the one that's effectively the same as the V-LUX?
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DGDevin wrote:

Hmm. I never even knew that the FZ50 was being sold under the Leica name. Both it and the FZ30 are very nice hardware for the price.
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That's my impression. All my 35mm gear has sat in the safe for years, I'm not about to lug around a bag of bodies and lenses and so on these days, but a one-piece design with a lense with that kind of range would be a different matter.
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Wait a month. There will be a new version of any P&S, AFAICT.
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Charlie Self wrote:

Dunno, it's been over a year since there was a new version of the FZ50 family. Panasonic started shipping their SLRs and they may have seen the FZ50 as competing.
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John, I think the FZ50 is what is called a bridge camera, not a true P&S, yet not a DSLR. The bridge camera is a dying breed because there is more money in DSLRs, even with low end prices skidding as they have. It's now possible to get a very good entry level DSLR and lens for under $500...that is a 6 MP camera, with an 18-55mm lens. By this time next year, low end DSLRs may be as much as $200 under that, and almost certainly will be at least $100 under that $500 mark. If a bridge camera with a tiny P&S sensor costs $550 and an entry level DSLR with an APS-C sensor costs $425, which would you buy, even given the fact that the bridge camera may offer the equivalent of a 35mm-200mm lens, while the DSLR offers 27-75mm or so?
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Charlie Self wrote:

That particular camera offers 35-420 with optical stabilization and macro at both ends. If my budget was 550 bucks then it would be a hard choice--to match the capability would mean spending quite a lot more on the SLR. The FZ18 is actually more capable for $350 but the manual controls are less convenient, there is no hot shoe or PC connector, and using filters requires a screw-in mount extender.
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FWIW, "digicam" is the label I see most often for those. Perhaps, hybrid might be a better term. I looked long and hard at the FZs and still would have one if I had need of a backup or grab-it-and-go. As it is I still ride around with the PowerShot G2 under the passenger seat of my truck. At 4 megapixels it still does a respectable job and is handy when I need to have pics of a prospective job.
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Dave in Houston wrote:

FWIW, B&H lists the FZ50 as "Advanced Digital Camera". Others in the category are the PowerShot G9 and S5, an infrared capable Fuji that Fuji seems to be making a concerted effort to not sell (among other things they want you to fill out an "authorization form" and show several forms of ID), the Leica M8, the Leica V-Lux (which is a rebadged FZ50 with some firmware tweaks), and the Coolpix 5100.
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Four MP is usually plenty. I bought my daughter a Canon A460 for Christmas, a 5 MP camera that is quite low in cost, but solidly made. It takes excellent shots...I tried it before passing it along. My wife likes it enough that she'll get one for her birthday or our anniversary (two weeks earlier). IIRC, I paid $110 delivered, and tossed in a 1 GB SD card I had here, plus a 256 MB card a friend gave me. The shutter lag seems awful after you use a DSLR for a few years, but...
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While I am sure you are happy with your results and yours having a good brand lens, I would be willing to bet that the lens on your camera is much slower, has a much higher number F-Stop on the low/wide open end than the 35mm camera lens your are compairing to. This will result in the need for longer exposure times for proper exposure and can distort the recording.
My digital goes to something like 325 mm as a comparison and will focus to .4 inches but is still no comparison to any of my Canon 35mm film cameras and their cheaper lenses. The 35 mm camera telephoto lenses simply let in tons more light.

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