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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Consumer Hardware & Components > Canon vs Sony Digital Cams

Canon vs Sony Digital Cams
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abeato6
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Sep 29, 2007, 06:40 PM
 
I'm Thinkng about buying a webcam very soon, I'm undecided if I should take Canon or Sony... I want good pictures especially at night, and good light settings... I'm looking for a thin camera, not those SLRs that are huge... any idea?
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mduell
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Sep 29, 2007, 07:01 PM
 
A webcam or a 'digital camera'?

I really like the Canons with Image Stabilization... A710IS, SD700 IS, SD800 IS, etc depending on what your budget and size preferences are.
     
abeato6  (op)
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Sep 29, 2007, 08:26 PM
 
oh gosh! i'm such a fool i dont know why I said webcam... :$ :$ :$ sry!
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abeato6  (op)
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Sep 29, 2007, 08:27 PM
 
I've heard that Sony has better quality with night images
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IceEnclosure
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Sep 30, 2007, 08:59 AM
 
dpreview.com

canon vs sony is just a weird sounding argument.
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Tim Collier
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Sep 30, 2007, 09:16 AM
 
I'd probably go for a Canon. They have seem to have good technology behind their cameras. Both companies are similar in their quality and I think it would be down to personal preference to choose.
     
cgc
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Sep 30, 2007, 11:02 AM
 
I'm a Canon fan and think their small digital cameras are sweet. I have an SD800IS and love it. I hear great things about Canon's SD1000 model...
     
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Sep 30, 2007, 11:53 AM
 
You might want to specify a little more what you want - Canon's entire line vs Sony's? No sensible answer to that.
     
butterfly0fdoom
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Sep 30, 2007, 02:12 PM
 
dcresource is another great place to look for reviews.

But that said, if you're going to go for thin, part of the factor is personal preference. Sony's T-series uses a more modern design with the folded optics and slide-down lens cover while Canon's Digital ELPH series (which I think is superior to the T-series because of a better interface and I feel that Canons take higher-quality pictures) uses the more traditional type of lens design. ELPHs also tend to be heavier and slightly bulkier than T-serieses, but I think it works more in the ELPH's favor since it gives the ELPH a but of a natural grip (since there is no actual grip) and the heft makes it easier to take clearer pictures(since Image Stabilization can't always compensate for everything) and thus it feels more substantial. But I'm one of those that think there's such thing as "too thin" and "too small".
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Veltliner
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Sep 30, 2007, 03:14 PM
 
Take a look at the Panasonic Lumix LX-2, also available as the Leica d-lux 3.

It has the usual limitations of point and shoots: a small sensor, which will give you noise problems.

But this camera shoots RAW, has a good lens, and lets you adjust pretty much anything.

It also shoots in 16:9 format. Widest angle is 28mm (in 35mm translation).

I personally would rather lug a DSLR (which aren't that heavy, compared to the old film SLRs), but if I wanted a shirt pocket cam, it would most likely be this one.
     
abeato6  (op)
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Sep 30, 2007, 04:07 PM
 
well I think I'll check those review websites... personally I have 2 Canon cameras, one camcorder and a digital camera... both of which dont have a very good night quality
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cgc
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Sep 30, 2007, 04:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by Veltliner View Post
Take a look at the Panasonic Lumix LX-2, also available as the Leica d-lux 3.

It has the usual limitations of point and shoots: a small sensor, which will give you noise problems.

But this camera shoots RAW, has a good lens, and lets you adjust pretty much anything.

It also shoots in 16:9 format. Widest angle is 28mm (in 35mm translation).

I personally would rather lug a DSLR (which aren't that heavy, compared to the old film SLRs), but if I wanted a shirt pocket cam, it would most likely be this one.

Panasonic has had a bad reputation for low-light photography and noise levels. I'd look elsewhere...
     
abeato6  (op)
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Sep 30, 2007, 04:18 PM
 
These are my 2 choices:

Sony Cybershot DSCW55 7.2MP
Canon Powershop SD1000 7.1MP

I am undecided on these 2
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Sep 30, 2007, 08:28 PM
 
I'd choose Canon over Sony any day. Sony's are usually of good quality, but tend to be more expensive than comparable cameras from other manufacturers. And Sony cameras usually don't accept standard memory cards formats like SD, CF, etc. (unless you're buying a higher-end Sony DSLR)... they rely on Sony's more expensive Memory Stick format.
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Veltliner
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Oct 1, 2007, 12:21 AM
 
Originally Posted by cgc View Post
Panasonic has had a bad reputation for low-light photography and noise levels. I'd look elsewhere...
For low light photography you need to get a DSLR.

No point-and-shoot will deliver good results in low light.

The small sensors are simply too crowded with photosites.
( Last edited by Veltliner; Oct 1, 2007 at 12:28 AM. )
     
IceEnclosure
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Oct 1, 2007, 08:48 AM
 
Originally Posted by Veltliner View Post
For low light photography you need to get a DSLR.

No point-and-shoot will deliver good results in low light.

The small sensors are simply too crowded with photosites.
Are you a photo snob??

DSLR is surely overkill for this guy. I've got TONS of "low-light" pics taken with various pocket-cams. We're not sending these pics off to National Geographic, we're looking at them and saying "oh man, what a fun night!!" Just make sure whatever camera you go with has some bit of manual controls(my Sony and my friends Canon cameras all do), allowing you to tweak settings just enough.
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peeb
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Oct 1, 2007, 12:15 PM
 
Then a cameraphone should be just fine for "oh man, what a fun night!!" shots.
     
shifuimam
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Oct 1, 2007, 02:30 PM
 
I personally always recommend Canon. The SD1000 is only like $215 on Amazon, has a ton of features, and takes amazing shots for a subcompact digicam. It takes surprisingly good low-light shots. Get a tripod if you want avoid the possibility of blur...but the CCD (the digic II or III) in canon's cameras is really fantastic with not bringing in a lot of noise in low-light shots.
     
butterfly0fdoom
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Oct 1, 2007, 02:59 PM
 
I've gotten decent low-light shots out of my Canon SD800. Whereas my friend's Sony W50 is horrible in low-light.

Get a Canon.
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Veltliner
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Oct 2, 2007, 02:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by IceEnclosure View Post
Are you a photo snob??

DSLR is surely overkill for this guy. I've got TONS of "low-light" pics taken with various pocket-cams.
You can also take a shoe box, make a tiny hole into it, and use photo paper instead of film. If you expose for several hours, you can get a night shot, too.

And, if you take heavy weight paper, you'll reach your "tons of photos" sooner.
     
Veltliner
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Oct 2, 2007, 02:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by peeb View Post
Then a cameraphone should be just fine for "oh man, what a fun night!!" shots.
Exactly.

Referring to IceEnclosures' photographic standards.

The OP wanted to take "good pictures". The fact that he didn't express himself too well doesn't mean a priori that he's only interested in low end equipment. There are lots of talented painters and photographers who express themselves rather erratically with words, but are pretty precise in their picture work.

The OP is actually from the Dominican Republic, and the official lanuage there is Spanish.
( Last edited by Veltliner; Oct 2, 2007 at 02:20 PM. )
     
IceEnclosure
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Oct 4, 2007, 01:27 AM
 
Originally Posted by abeato6 View Post
I'm Thinkng about buying a webcam very soon, I'm undecided if I should take Canon or Sony... I want good pictures especially at night, and good light settings... I'm looking for a thin camera, not those SLRs that are huge... any idea?

Originally Posted by Veltliner View Post
For low light photography you need to get a DSLR.

No point-and-shoot will deliver good results in low light.
Well he doesn't want one! So, while we're still HELPING him:
Originally Posted by IceEnclosure View Post
DSLR is surely overkill for this guy. I've got TONS of "low-light" pics taken with various pocket-cams. We're not sending these pics off to National Geographic, we're looking at them and saying "oh man, what a fun night!!" Just make sure whatever camera you go with has some bit of manual controls(my Sony and my friends Canon cameras all do), allowing you to tweak settings just enough.
Originally Posted by peeb View Post
Then a cameraphone should be just fine for "oh man, what a fun night!!" shots.
That was dumb.

Sorry if you guys got "camera-phone 1MP quality" from my post.

Originally Posted by Veltliner View Post
Exactly.

Referring to IceEnclosures' photographic standards.

The OP wanted to take "good pictures". The fact that he didn't express himself too well doesn't mean a priori that he's only interested in low end equipment.
Well, by saying he WANTED a thin camera and NOT a DSLR, he explained himself pretty well. I think you just didn't get it. But I think you do now.

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cgc
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Oct 4, 2007, 09:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by Veltliner View Post
For low light photography you need to get a DSLR.

No point-and-shoot will deliver good results in low light.

The small sensors are simply too crowded with photosites.
Right, but there are some digital point & shoot cameras that are better than others no matter their relationship to a DSLR. Of course, my Canon film SLR will out perform any DSLR in low-light photography but that's besides the point
     
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Oct 4, 2007, 11:51 PM
 
also check out the reviews on cnet

Canon PowerShot SD1000 Digital ELPH (Silver) Reviews. Digital cameras Reviews by CNET.

personally, another main criteria would be to use rechargeable AA batteries. Longer lasting than any internal battery, cheaper to carry a spare set. Much handier when you're on long vacations 'cause you can always buy AAs if you've exhausted your batteries.

I got excellent photos out of a Panasonic lumix with 10x optical zoom with image stabilization. Loaned it to my daughter, and now I can't go back to the measly 3x optical of other digital cameras...
     
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Oct 5, 2007, 02:56 AM
 
Originally Posted by cgc View Post
Right, but there are some digital point & shoot cameras that are better than others no matter their relationship to a DSLR. Of course, my Canon film SLR will out perform any DSLR in low-light photography but that's besides the point
Point-and-shoots can be a lot of fun. Up to a certain point. I heard of a Ricoh, forgot what model, that is pretty good. But not shirt pocket size.

And then there's a Sigma, good looking. It doesn't have to be a Canon or a Nikon all the time.

So, for the OP: check out cameras on dpreview. Go to other brands, too, like Olympus and Pentax. Go to photo.net, and check out what people say there.

The limit is the tiny sensor.

People still think, when they buy a 12mp point they get the same as 12mp with a 12MP dslr (marketing with those cameras goes a lot that "I have more megapixels than you" way. Which is nonsense, because it all ends up in noise and smear, combined with the downside of gigantic file sizes, if they shoot RAW.

Another thing that is, on the long run not so great with point and shoots, is the absence of a viewfinder. The sleepwalker pose - holding the camera away from the body and to the target with outstretched hands, waving about to find the correct framing - not for me.

It's the same thing to buy a mac mini (which is a great computer, no question), but expect the power of a MacPro.

Regarding your Canon film SLR: with DSLRs, there is a complete new generation of cameras evolving, that shoots incredible pictures in low light. First to appear are the D300 and the D3 by Nikon. I have seen shots of the D3 at ISO 3200 - incredible.

There is actually a technique, similar to Hight Dynamic Range photos, that blends two shots into one (in CS3), that eliminates noise almost completely. I haven't tried it myself, but the results are amazing.
( Last edited by Veltliner; Oct 5, 2007 at 03:12 AM. )
     
Veltliner
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Oct 5, 2007, 03:17 AM
 
Originally Posted by amazing View Post
also check out the reviews on cnet

Canon PowerShot SD1000 Digital ELPH (Silver) Reviews. Digital cameras Reviews by CNET.

personally, another main criteria would be to use rechargeable AA batteries. Longer lasting than any internal battery, cheaper to carry a spare set. Much handier when you're on long vacations 'cause you can always buy AAs if you've exhausted your batteries.

I got excellent photos out of a Panasonic lumix with 10x optical zoom with image stabilization. Loaned it to my daughter, and now I can't go back to the measly 3x optical of other digital cameras...
The problem with CNET reviews are, that those people aren't photographers.

So sometimes they come to weird conclusions. There was one case, where they claimed the shutter delay of a Pentax K100 was half a second (You cannot use a camera with a noticeable shutter delay. You would miss everything). What every photographer knows: you have to first set the focus with half-press (with lower end cameras that can take a little longer, like a fourth of a second). When you then fire the shot, there is not shutter delay.
This is why I prefer dpreview and dcresource.
     
butterfly0fdoom
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Oct 5, 2007, 03:34 AM
 
I would never buy a camera based on what C.Net says. I used dcresource to pick my camera and I have no regrets. I don't really give C.Net much consideration when buying anything, really. They're almost as terrible as Consumer Reports... C.Net uses bells and whistles as their criteria for judging, and they're inconsistent when applying criticisms. Steer clear from them.
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Oct 5, 2007, 08:23 AM
 
Just remember that the smaller the lens/flash/battery/buttons the more limitations in quality/exposure/performance a camera will have.

Also a larger screen sucks more juice and is easier to break.

At the moment the new Nikon 5100 is a good benchmark.
Compare the menu to Sony and Canon, Colours and contrast in menus are good.
Nikon have the ? feature for most items in the menu meaning the book is often not required and they can take an add-on flash if you ever feel the need.

I also like that the Nikon is a lot less like a bar of soap (ie there is something to hold)

Of the Sony and Canon Models I like the W55 and Ixus 70 (Ixus 75 has larger screen, buttons more awkwardly placed and no viewfinder)
Also there is a nice canon that has 28mm equivalent lens, image stabiliser and viewfinder. I think it was the 850 and unfortunately might now be discontinued
( Last edited by SunSeeker; Oct 5, 2007 at 08:32 AM. Reason: To add more information)
     
bearcatrp
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Oct 5, 2007, 09:06 AM
 
Check this site out for good camcorder reviews... Camcorders - Independent Camcorder Reviews, Ratings & Comparisons . Has a pretty good active forum too.
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butterfly0fdoom
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Oct 5, 2007, 11:25 AM
 
Originally Posted by SunSeeker View Post
Just remember that the smaller the lens/flash/battery/buttons the more limitations in quality/exposure/performance a camera will have.

Also a larger screen sucks more juice and is easier to break.

At the moment the new Nikon 5100 is a good benchmark.
Compare the menu to Sony and Canon, Colours and contrast in menus are good.
Nikon have the ? feature for most items in the menu meaning the book is often not required and they can take an add-on flash if you ever feel the need.

I also like that the Nikon is a lot less like a bar of soap (ie there is something to hold)

Of the Sony and Canon Models I like the W55 and Ixus 70 (Ixus 75 has larger screen, buttons more awkwardly placed and no viewfinder)
Also there is a nice canon that has 28mm equivalent lens, image stabiliser and viewfinder. I think it was the 850 and unfortunately might now be discontinued
I would suggest shying away from Nikon point and shoots. I'm sure they have GREAT quality and performance for their higher-end cameras, but my experience with their point and shoots has been beyond sub-par (same goes for Sony, actually).

Larger screens aren't necessarily more fragile. Canon uses a hard plastic covering integrated into the rear face for their cameras with 3" screens instead of their usual recessed, not-so-durable plastic screen. It's really all down to how the camera is designed, something I think Canon excels at.

And I wouldn't consider the 5100 a benchmark. The G9 is a far superior camera, IMO.

I'd still suggest a Canon. Their ELPHs may be shaped like bars of soap, but they feel more substantial than Sony's point and shoots.
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art_director
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Oct 14, 2007, 10:13 AM
 
I've owned several digital cameras -- they all have their pros and cons.

IMO the Canon point and shoot models have gone south. They used to be a good buy but are now over priced.

The Sony cameras are OK-ish but I find their GUI to be wonky.

I would echo the suggestion of the Leica D-Lux 3 / Panasonic Lumix LX-2. It shoots RAW and is the only pocket sized point and shoot on the market that's fully automatic. Someone else (cgc) posted that Panasonic cameras have a rep as being bad in low light. That may be true but in the case of this camera Panasonic bought it and the technology from Leica so it cannot be judged the same.
     
art_director
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Oct 14, 2007, 10:17 AM
 
One other note on the Leica -- go to a camera store and look at it. The feel in your hand makes all other point and shoot models look like cheap junk. Heck, even the battery compartment door is made of metal as opposed to the plastic you'll get with all others.

Also, for proof of what cameras will do I suggest you look at Flickr.com and search by camera model. Here's a D-Lux 3 group that will give you an idea of what that camera will do:

Flickr: Leica D-LUX 3

The D-Lux 3 is spendy. It's also the best P&S camera I've ever had.
     
abeato6  (op)
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Oct 14, 2007, 10:22 AM
 
well guys i was doing some research, and I definitely will take the SD1000, I've seen review websites and the reviews on amazon and.. u know that's my choice thanks to u all for the help
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Oct 14, 2007, 02:34 PM
 
FWIW, my new Sony DSCW90 just bricked itself for some reason. That's the first time I have ever had a product do that to me. I assume it's the battery, but since it's proprietary I don't really know right now.

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Feb 27, 2008, 12:49 AM
 
Unfortunately, I cannot find this one up here in Vancouver so a trip across the border might be necessary. Good link to the flickr group; I'll be perusing these to see how well the quality of the photos are.

Originally Posted by art_director View Post
Also, for proof of what cameras will do I suggest you look at Flickr.com and search by camera model. Here's a D-Lux 3 group that will give you an idea of what that camera will do:

Flickr: Leica D-LUX 3

The D-Lux 3 is spendy. It's also the best P&S camera I've ever had.
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Mar 8, 2008, 02:13 PM
 
of note - i think most of leica's digi line except for the M8 are basically rebranded panasonics (leica designed the optics which are then made by panasonic or whomever panasonic sources manufacturing for)....that said, not all panasonics are leicas. and if you want the leica logo and sleek black casing then you have to go leica dlux's.

Optics for the canon and leica/panasonic point and shoots are both pretty good - canon has a zeiss design they manufacture under license but i think the leica vario elmarits seem a little nicer in terms of the look and feel you get.....zeiss just goes for max sharpness, but leica lenses go for maximum character ;-)
     
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Mar 13, 2008, 07:39 PM
 
If you're considering the Canon SD1000, might I recommend the Canon PowerShot SD750 instead? Amazon is carrying the SD750 for $182 as compared to $156 for the SD1000. The biggest difference between them is that the SD750, being a newer model, has a larger screen (3.0" vs 2.5"). You'll probably be happier with the larger screen considering all other factors remain the same.

I'm primarily a Sony user, though. I've stuck with my DSC W-5 for its double-A batteries. It's also proven to be reliable and sturdy (survived several falls, going through a washing machine, etc). Between the Sony DSC-W5 and Canon A540, A550, SD750 I've used/tested (rest of my family are Canon users), however, the Canon's tend to perform a bit better in night mode shots using a tripod. It also tended to have a shorter lag time (< 2s). Using any other non-stable surface, neither will get you superb shots in low-light conditions. In automatic mode during low-light conditions, I've found that the Canons tend to produce brighter but washed out images than the Sony. Probably because the flash has a longer reach.

My other reason for recommending a Sony? SD cards are far cheaper and more common compared to Sony's Memory Stick Pro Duo cards. Not too big a deal, but these tend to add up.
     
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Mar 13, 2008, 11:25 PM
 
1) The SD750 isn't a newer model, it's the larger-screened counterpart of the SD1000.
2) The SD750 is being phased out (the SD1000 currently for sale are what's left of inventory) in favor of the new ELPHs, all of which have image stabilization.
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