Micro Consumer Reports Camera Critique
I have had some misgivings about the material published at Consumer Reports but never have I had such a knee jerk reaction as in reading the following article-see my notations to follow my line of thought. If this is the advice people are getting, no wonder where are thousands of camera models on the market. And a ton of confusion.
Four steps to choosing a digital camera
If a point-and-shoot digital camera is likely to be on your holiday shopping list*, be sure to consult our digital camera Ratings (available to subscribers) before heading for the stores. In selecting a model, keep in mind the following points:
Select the right type. For portability, look for a subcompact*. Price and performance should be comparable with a compactâ€™s, though you might find a compactâ€™s controls easier to operate, especially if you have large hands. A compact is also a better choice if you need more manual features and controls, but not a lot of zoom*. For sports and nature photography, only a superzoom will fit the bill*.
Match performance to your needs. First consider image quality, the most important performance attribute*. Our assessment includes the sharpness of the images a camera produces, which depends on a variety of factors in the cameraâ€™s design.
Among models of varying image-quality scores, the differences in sharpness can be noticeable in prints but are less so if you print mostly 4x6s. If you often take action shots, look for higher scores for first-shot and next-shot delay. If you travel a lot, consider battery life.* If landscapes are a priority, look for wide-angle capability and excellent or very good dynamic range.
Downplay megapixels. Donâ€™t pay extra for more megapixels. Virtually every camera available has more than seven, enough for most people.
Consider features. If you often shoot in bright light, look for a viewfinder. Our camera Ratings indicate the few models that have one. For greater control over your images, opt for manual controls and RAW-file capability. If you often shoot above the heads of crowds, look for a swiveling LCD. *
And now for the truth…
*Shopping list….” GiftÂ cameras get regifted fast. Buying a camera for someone is as personal as buying a electric razor or mobile phone. The features must be selected, promoted, and experienced by the user for them to make their best choice. Gift card this if you must.
*” ….a compact is also a better choice if you need more manual features and controls, but not a lot of zoom by an application.” What nonsense. Zoom can be extended by a combination of physical lenses and editing capability.Â Â Compact cameras are based on carrying capacity inside a pocket or purse, not feature dynamics. Why would more features and controls crowded onto a smaller device be better?
*If you travel a lot, consider battery life. You should consider battery life if you travel or live and work from a one room apartment cocoon. Traveling a lot should bring weight of the camera as the final determiner into play.
*”For portability, look for a subcompact”*. Ummm,no. True portability depends on battery life, not size. Exotic battery types, no recharging in camera, and lack of flexibility with lenses and accessories stops a photo foray dead in the water. The carrying case is probably the best predictor of portable image taking walkabouts, unless the camera is bigger than a breadbox.
* For sports and nature photography, only a superzoom will fit the bill*. Really? Tell that to the thousandsÂ of super neat nature pictures of Oregon I took with standard factory zoom.
* Wrong. The most important performance attribute is the picture taker’s knowledge of the camera and how to work it to an achievable result. Memory cards full of bad pictures come from good cameras, so this advice is easily wrong.