Comparing Old Cameras - Canon, Panasonic, Sony 18 MP to 3.2 MP

in #photography3 years ago (edited)

Taken with Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ7.
Yes, I know, dirty window. What can I say other than that I'm lazy.
And if you think this is horrible, wait for the rest of the photos.
Just so you know, dirty window gives a softer light!

In my last post I was thinking about buying a new camera or at least new toys to my existing camera. Also I was pondering about the fact that I actually don't seem to know what I want.

To clear things, or to confuse myself more (I have no idea which one happened, perhaps both), I took my old digicameras out. You know, from the ages: "Whaaaaaat?! You don't need film in these?"

I think every photographing enthusiastic should once in a while get back to basics. And I happen to think that this applies to other things too, not just photographing. But when talking about photography, it's not the pixels that take the photo, it's the person behind the camera. So what you should do from time to time is take photos with some shitty camera, get to know it's weaknesses and go around it.

Taken with Canon PowerShot A550.

The first rule of taking photographs is that you have to have light. Enough or at least some. If you are lucky, you may have a camera where you have some sort of exposure compensation or you can adjust the light measurement point. But if you are working with a fully automatic compact camera where you can only control the time when to take the photo, you have to have light.

The second rule is to know when to take the photo. If your camera won't do fast sequence photography at all, you absolutely have to know when to press the shutter release button to get the perfect moment captured.

The third rule is that you have to know how to frame your subject. What to leave out and what to include. If your camera has only few megapixels, there's no copping afterwards.

Three rules. Only three rules.

Lights, camera, action.

Size doesn't matter.

How many megapixels your camera has, doesn't matter. It has nothing to do with the fact if you can take good photos or not.

The amount of megapixels matters if you are a professional photographer and people buy your photographs. The quality of the camera matters when you already handle the basics and you want to be more. You want to shine. You want to be more than good.

And after all this talk, I'm humbly showing you my photos that I took with four different cameras. Although I'm not a professional photographer. As I said in the beginning of this post, I took my old cameras out and you know what, I kinda fell in love with them. :)

First the comparison photos. 18 MP, 7.1 MP, 6 MP and 3.2 MP cameras. I know this is useless because we all know 18 is definitely more than 6. And that 6 is more than 3.2, but I was so impressed by the comparison they've done in DPreview, that I had to make my own.

No, I don't have as cool and useful comparison image that they have, I only have four different subjects taken with four different cameras approximately from the same location and same lighting conditions. And sure you can click and open the photos larger and compare how there's always that one camera outshining the rest three, but as I said, we know already that 18 is more than 3.2, so just look at other stuff from the pictures, alright?

How the camera performs in low light? How do the high contrast lines look like? What about the details? Stuff like that.
Actually you can't do that because @steempeak reduces the photos.

Here they are! (Almost four cameras, the Canon 550D refused to be in the same picture with the compact cameras. What a snob!)


I had everything on automatic on all cameras, so things would be fair to the Sony Cyber-shot. Chose the best quality, used jpg, not raw images from Canon 550D. Chose TIFF in Panasonic Lumix and converted that with Photoshop to jpg. No cropping, color of any other corrections in Photoshop afterwards. Only rotated images from horizontal to vertical when that was necessary.

Comparison photos:

Canon 550DCanon PowerShot A550Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ7Sony Cyber-shot DSC-P32
Canon 550DCanon PowerShot A550Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ7Sony Cyber-shot DSC-P32

And some extra photos that I just wanted to show you. If you're sick of plant photography, these are the last two. Taken with Panasonic Lumix.


No more plant photos.

Then the fun part!

As I already said, I took the cameras out. And as I wanted to test how versatile the cameras were, I chose to took photos secretly. I hung the camera down on my right hand and just started shooting. Rammstein was playing in the evening so there were lots and lots of people near the Stadium to shoot. (With a camera, you fools, with a camera!)

The autofocus in Canon 550D is horrible. It really didn't know where or when to focus and when it did, it was almost always too late. I could hear it trying to focus on something and when it took the photo, the person I was aiming to, was gone. So no sharp photos from this camera when I wanted to take a photo from the side as I was walking. Also the physical size. It's obvious that it's not compact. And the mechanical shutter is too loud for anything secret. Only when Rammstein was playing, it was quieter than the music itself.

The best.
Personal opinion.


And the rest.
Well, obviously not all of it. Minus 99 blurry wtf is this photos.


Next camera in line.

Canon PowerShot A550 was the second easiest of these four cameras to use as a "spy" cam. Silent. Surprising amount of sharp or almost sharp photos when I wasn't shooting to my side. Downside was that this needed two AA batteries and the batteries became useless pretty quickly. Fortunately my Sony still worked with the "dead" batteries.

The best.
Again personal opinion.


And the rest.
Deleted about 10 photos that I also wanted to show you. Finally managed to decide which ones to leave out.


Next one.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ7 may become my new favourite old shitty camera to use. But not in spy camera mode. Blurry, blurry, blurry photos. I think when walking, it can't decide where to focus, so it takes too long and then the moment is gone. Also the battery is pretty old so pretty soon it was empty. And I have never bought a second battery for it. But on the other hand it is light and if I wanted to, I could control pretty much everything that I would want to control in it. Except manual focus. A horrible joystick control. But shutter, aperture, ISO, exposure compensation and huge zoom. But as I said, not a good spy cam.

The best.
I was having a hard time finding anything that could be the best, but here they are. Now that I've looked at these for a while, they do have a certain charm in them.


And the rest.
Obviously again not everything but something that I just wanted to show you.


Moving on!

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-P32 is from now on my favourite spycam! Small and really easy to use as it has nothing, absolutely no options to choose from. Well, except perhaps flash, white balance as it's auto white balance is really slooooooooow in reacting to new situations and exposure compensation, but that's about it. Downsides: two AA batteries, but fortunately it wasn't as demanding as the Canon Powershot was, so I didn't run out of batteries. Another downside is that it uses Memory Sticks. I have only two and both of them are really quickly full, especially when spy photographing. :D

I had slight issues with framing the photos and when the first, larger Memory Stick was full, I moved on to the next camera and totally forgot to check out these how the photos were and that I had a second Memory Stick too. But fortunately I can go out there rehearse this spying stuff and people photography any time I want again.

The best.
Most of the photos were in the sky category, but managed to find one good. :)


And the rest.
Sky, sky, sky, sky, sky... Oh! There's someones limb in the photo. Will do!


All photos: CC BY-SA 4.0 - Insaneworks

I love how genuine and relaxed looking (most) people are when they don't know that they are being photographed. And I love the fact that I would (almost) never take this kind of photos if I saw what I was photographing. I love the surprises when I come home, download the pictures to my PC and have a look what I've caught. And I love the idea that I now found use for my old, not so shitty (because they have a purpose now) cameras.

Not just old and forgotten but showing me new ways to see the world around me.

I have been pondering and pondering if this post (the things I wrote before this pondering) is STEM related enough. Do I dare to use the STEM tag as I most certainly do not want to be one of those who just use every tag available to get the most of all tokens. I do not want to be a shoe-horner. Although I love the words, I don't want to be accused of being one.

So perhaps this helps:

No, no, no, no, no... Don't have that topic... Don't have technology innovations, only old tech. So is old tech a no-no? But gadgets? Is a camera, especially an old camera a gadget? Have I written gradgetty enough (compared my gadgets) or does my post focus too much on photographing? How much does the post have to focus on the gadget being a gadget? Does the gadget have to be really weird and self made prototype (and if I made it, does it have to work?) or do I have to use a screwdriver and look what treasures the gadget has inside it?

I could go and ask at the discord... but as I mainly focus on talking to my cats, cameras, robot vacuum cleaner ("You idiot, don't go there, you already were there!"), the idea of talking to a stranger and asking things in discord makes my stomach turn around and bend in to knots, I prefer just using the tag and doing a mistake or perhaps getting a silent approval... or a "Please do not be a shoe-horner." -comment.

Which also as an idea makes me pretty much freak out and terrified, bite my nails and turn me purple (I don't know what that means), buuuuuuut... I'll take my chances, use the tag and will remove it if asked / ordered.


Congratz, your post has been resteemed and, who knows, will maybe appear in the next edition of the #dailyspotlights (Click on my face if you want to know more about me...)
Check the rules of the Daily Spotlights if you want to nominate someone!
Pixresteemer is also listed as promoter on The Steemians Directory

Love this post, It showed me some cool sides of photography that I didn’t had clear like your 3 rules ...
I think all (you) made nice shots and I wouldn’t choose only one as the one. All of them have their points to love and hate.
You know, I used to take such kind of photos long time ago using analog cheap cameras, I think I have anywhere some undeveloped film rolls that maybe someday I’ll try and unveil not whitout learning from tutorials how to use chemicals needed 😂


Quickly! Develop your film rolls now when they still have some images in them! Film rolls have an expiry date you know.

And one should always experiment with chemicals without knowing what one is doing. :D

"If you like, go and take those chemicals
Don't think twice"

 3 years ago 

I think it's pretty STEM, actually. Now I'm wondering what the opposite of shoe-horning is? 😂

I don't think you need to worry about putting the tag back. It appears to me that scotbot doesn't know how to deal with edits.

Phew! I don't have to hold my breath wondering about that anymore. :D

Now I'm wondering what the opposite of shoe-horning is? it's a good thing you gave me other things to think about.

Very nice comparisons. As for the slow autofocus on the Canon is that with the multi region or spot focus with continues on? mmm not sure what they call it you know the one where the camera decides where to focus in many spots? Personally, I don't like that at all and always put mine on spot focus.

Congrats on the curie, as for the stem ... pffft only those in the stem ring can use stem... I think that is how those tags work...

Spot focus is the more difficult one. Depends sometimes on things that I have no idea what they are. Although, with the other options, the end result is often blurry. Depends on the situation which focus I use, but as I was photographing today I started to think that it doesn't matter what I choose, the camera does what it pleases. So I'm actually suspecting that something else is also a bit broken than the Tamron lens. That means I may need a whole new camera, not only lenses.

Thanks! Pretty STEM now. :)

Yip pretty STEM :) Awe ... then again it may give you the excuse to buy a new camera ;)

It does!

 3 years ago 

Looks pretty T of the STEM front to me.

Phew! :)

We know that but do they...

I wonder if I should have a disclaimer for being a sour puss.

I wonder if I should have a disclaimer for being a sour puss.

No. Obvious things do not need to be mentioned. If there is a person who needs obvious things to be mentioned, one should not talk to that person at all. So obvious things do not need to be mentioned. Unless you are an entrepreneur. Then you always have to mention eeeeeeeeverything out loud and have it written everywhere three times.Oh, but that's an obvious thing... ...but I'm an entrepreneur! So things are in balance.

 3 years ago 

Yes, because you are talking to one of them.

Then that is a win for them :).. Ah I forget you mentioned STEM. I love STEM long time.

hey dear @insaneworks, great post with all these photographic experiments! every camera has advantages and disadvantages, the photos you have shown seem to me all beautiful ;-)) maybe there is not a wrong camera but everything depends on the purpose you want to achieve! good choice for the next and enjoy your vote curie

Thanks! :)

Yet another verification to the fact that if I want to take this photographing thing really seriously, I need to have more than five cameras hanging around my neck, so I perhaps have to start working out my neck muscles more.

When I decide something and find the next camera for my needs, Steem is the first place where I will come show off my new toy. :)

What a great 'project' you had. And you also got some cool pictures. I probably wouldn't be able to decide which one I like the best without trying it out myself but it was still great to see your experience, you secret photography agent :)

I usually avoid taking photos of people because they change their mood when they realize that you're taking a photo of them but doing it secretly sounds like a great idea, so thank you for the tip! :)

Congratulations on your curie vote!

Thanks! :)

That's just the thing I was aiming for. The real expressions. People not worrying because someone is photographing them. You have to try that too. Photographing secretly.

And thanks. :)

Today the cameras have a lot of advantage for the area of photography, it is important to know what their differences are and have the best camera for one

Indeed. That's so true.

Thank you insaneworks! You've just received an upvote of 41% by artturtle!

Learn how I will upvote each and every one of your posts

Please come visit me to see my daily report detailing my current upvote power and how much I'm currently upvoting.

Hi insaneworks,

This post has been upvoted by the Curie community curation project and associated vote trail as exceptional content (human curated and reviewed). Have a great day :)

Visit or join the Curie Discord community to learn more.

Oh my. Oh my! Thank you so much! :)

Congratulations @insaneworks! You have completed the following achievement on the Steem blockchain and have been rewarded with new badge(s) :

You received more than 20000 upvotes. Your next target is to reach 25000 upvotes.

You can view your badges on your Steem Board and compare to others on the Steem Ranking
If you no longer want to receive notifications, reply to this comment with the word STOP

You can upvote this notification to help all Steem users. Learn how here!

Hi @insaneworks!

Your post was upvoted by @steem-ua, new Steem dApp, using UserAuthority for algorithmic post curation!
Your UA account score is currently 3.220 which ranks you at #8951 across all Steem accounts.
Your rank has not changed in the last three days.

In our last Algorithmic Curation Round, consisting of 157 contributions, your post is ranked at #9.

Evaluation of your UA score:
  • You're on the right track, try to gather more followers.
  • The readers appreciate your great work!
  • Great user engagement! You rock!

Feel free to join our @steem-ua Discord server