I have an Olympus Stylus 1020 and the lens cover recently jammed. I took it in to the camera shop and they permanently forced the lens cover open. (No real issue with that, I always carry in a case, anyway).
But when I was in the shop and discussing the cost of actually fixing the automatic lens cover, I was told that it really wasn't worth it because I could get a better camera for not much more than the ~$100 repair price. When I tried to pin the sales person down on how the new camera was better, I couldn't really get a very good answer. I understand that the light sensitivity for no-flash shooting has improved and I like that -- but how much improved?
I know the chip has more pixels but mine does 10mp but I usually shoot 5mp which is fine. What I like about my camera is that it has a really good lens (used -- even by pros -- in the predecessor film camera.) As such, the image quality is superb. The salesman wouldn't discuss lens quality comparison -- dunno if he just didn't know or didn't want to admit the new stuff wasn't better. . .
So . . . Is there enough improvement in electronics and lens quality that would merit an upgrade? What models would you suggest?
Edited by Keith (09/03/1212:25 AM) Edit Reason: Correct camera name
Human Resources Memo: Floggings will continue until morale improves.
Keith Your Canon is an Olympus. Olympus (as well as Canon) cameras have indeed being used by professionals, however not of the type you have. Basically a Toyota Camry does not compete in the Formula One Grand Prix, other Toyotas do.. Not to elaborate too much on this but the factory that makes compact cameras like that Stylus (most probably Sanyo) is not the same as the one that makes the Pro Olympus models (usually but not always Olympus)
If a new camera in your price range is going to be better or not is up to you to determine. In a way if you are happy with what you have, keep it. No I would not want to have a compact digital camera repaired unless it is of sentimental value. Most likely for what you paid for yours , you will get a better camera now, however not around $100. The biggest improvement that has trickled down to basic models in the last few years has been in the firmware and the processing engine.(more powerful on board computer) What that means is that cameras are now much better at "photoshopping" your image before you see it. So colours are more natural, low light shots are better rendered, lines are straighter and shot to shot speed is better. Do keep in mind, when you compare , that most often what we think we have in our photo albums (computer files) as far as detail/sharpness,colours is concerned and what we actually have may not correspond. Maybe if you tell us what you like and what you don't like about your camera and give us an idea of your budget, some may be able to help you. (I sold cameras for 30 years...) Franco
Yup, cameras are vastly improved, especially in low-light, and there's pretty much a camera for everybody. It takes 1. narrowing down your specific needs list and 2. parsing specs for potentially a hundred or more cameras, to settle on something.
Or, more simply, just pick something and go with it. Menus are pretty customizable to one's needs.
Backpacking places a few unusual demands on cameras, so can be considered as a way to filter through the many, many options.
"I use iPhoto, Aperture, and if necessary, Photoshop CS3. So I don't really care whether the camera does the internal processing or not as long as the image data is there to work with. "
That only applies if you camera can output a RAW file. A RAW file is pretty much the same as a negative, a starting point. When you start with a JPEG file you already have a processed image ( a print if you like) weather you like it or not so you can only manipulate what your camera has already done not what it captured. Most compact cameras, including your Olympus, do not have a RAW output. However it sounds like you are happy enough with what you have , so keep that. Franco
You are absolutely right number of pixels don't mean a whole heck of a lot. What is more important for a p&s digital camera is ccd size. This is where you might beat out current models. It is becoming more and more difficult to get p&s cameras with larger ccd's. However, what the camera does with the ccd will be blown away by current models. Its not just things you can replicate in photoshop. Light sensitivity, reduced blurring due to motion, speed between photos, noise (made worse by a large number of pixels). You might be able to get better pictures with your current camera (with maybe a bigger ccd and nicer glass), but you are more likely to get a better picture with the modern electronics. The only way to know is try out a few models. If you are happy with what you have, stick with it.
Two cameras each having the same number of megapixels may not be comparable at all of image quality. Franco speaks the truth. Some of the updates have been in the image processor. How it handles noise etc. Also, the newer cameras are often faster to turn and be ready to shoot and will shoot more frames per second. The bottom line, in my opinion, if you're happy with what it does why would spend more money? Unless of course the answer is, "ya, I'm happy, but I wonder if I could be more happy with a newer camera." Only you can really answer how much good images are worth to you. I love my cameras and frankly end up with more gear than I need, so this is just my two cents worth.
Cameras are almost as bad as laptops - essentially as soon as you pull one out of the box it is outdated - but that's far from saying an older camera should be replaced. If you like the images you are capturing then stick with what you know until it completely wears out or you drop it over a cliff. If you decide to buy, others are right - pixel count is just a marketing tool these days. I would ignore those numbers, I'd even argue that in the type of camera you are looking at ISO numbers are meaningless. I am a fan of the Panasonic Lumix line; but if I were you I'd find a store that rents/loans cameras to poential buyers and take a few to the park to test. Try them in lots of different light and see which one produces images you are happy with straight out of the camera.