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Topic: Which Camera?, Canon s110 or Olympus tg-1?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 14 2013, 3:38 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Want to get a quality compact digital camera, mainly for outdoor shooting to carry while backpacking. Willing to spend up $400 for a good one.

Narrowed it down to the Canon S110 or the Olympus TG-1, both of which get good reviews and have good specs.

Anyone have an knowledgeable opinion?


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 14 2013, 3:48 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

What are you going to do with it and what do you like about each model of those two?

Have you considered the http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c....ra.html

Geotagging (which, in my experience, kills batteries unless used carefully, OTOH it IS amusing), a longer optical zoom along woth optical image stabilization, same 12 megapixels.

Seems to be just no WiFi comparted to the 110.

Or tyhis one with the zoom but not the geotagging:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c....al.html

FWIW? Image stabilization on such a small, and thus almost exclusively handheld, camera is a must.
I've had a couple of Canon ELPHS and been pleased with each.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 14 2013, 3:53 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Like the large sensor on the Canon, and the Olympus is supposed to be tough and waterproof.  Often shoot in low light conditions at dawn/dusk and in forests.

Plan to mainly take pics of outdoor scenery, mtns, lakes, rivers, meadows.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 14 2013, 4:07 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(High_Sierra_Fan @ Jun. 14 2013, 1:48 pm)
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Seems to be just no WiFi comparted to the 110.

As the OP pointed out, the S110 has a larger sensor (1.8x the size, bigger elements on each of those 12 MP).  It also has a lens 3x as bright when wide open (f/2 vs f/3.5).  That comes at the tradeoff of far less optical zoom, but it's definitely more of a difference than just no WiFi, at least with regard to picture quality.  Both have optical image stabilization, btw.

To the OP, I've been happy with the pictures from my S90, and later my S100.  However, I have had mechanical issues with both of them.  The S90 stopped working halfway through a trip to Greenland last year (lens would no longer open, some motor-error), and on my newer S100 the little plastic lens-cover doesn't open all the way when I turn it on now (it opens halfway and then I have to manually open & close it the rest the way, not deal-breaking but annoying).

Not sure if they've fixed such issues with the S105 or S110.  However, I have been extremely happy with the pictures from it.  Great color, great clarity, and as you mentioned, good performance in low light.  I just wish it were a bit more reliable mechanically.  But I do tend to be hard on things (electronics especially), so take that FWIW.

ETA: All that said, I do envy the capabilities of a more "durable" camera.  I can't speak personally to the pictures from the TG-1, but I do like the appeal of those "TOUGH" camera bodies.

ETA2: A few shots from those two Canon cameras:

S90:





S100:





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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 14 2013, 4:13 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I bought a TG-1 a couple of months ago. Being that I use it for work (outdoor environmental work), have a tendency to drop it, have been known to submerge cameras on a fairly regular basis, and have 4 and 7 year olds at home, it was a no-brainer.

Good little camera. The only problem is that the "shoot" button has a tendency to activate by mistake. This nearly cost me dearly when I had shot video at Disney, and then put the camera in the bag. Half an hour later I pulled the camera out and was shocked to see that it had been shooting video for 20 minutes and nearly depleted my battery! From then on, I turn the camera off when not in use (rather than rely on sleep mode).


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 14 2013, 6:05 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

110 sensor: 1/1.7" CMOS

280 sensor: 1/2.3" CMOS

260 sensor: 1/2.3" CMOS

The sensor dimensions don't seem to result in the 110 having the "bigger" sensor at 1east amongst those other Canons.. unless "1/1.7" doesn't mean one dimension is 1" and the other is 1.7" versus 1" by 2.3"....

Sensor aside the faster lens would be a reasonable basis for a price bump (though with today's digital sensors and in camera processing that's probably less of a premium worthy feature than it used to be) along with the touchscreen controls.

Has there been a follow-on to the TG-1, B&H says it's no longer available.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c....al.html
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 14 2013, 6:14 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(High_Sierra_Fan @ Jun. 14 2013, 4:05 pm)
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The sensor dimensions don't seem to result in the 110 having the "bigger" sensor at 1east amongst those other Canons.. unless "1/1.7" doesn't mean one dimension is 1" and the other is 1.7" versus 1" by 2.3"....

That's not what it means, actually.

1/1.7 = 0.588" to a side

1/2.3 = 0.43" to a side

Square those (measuring area) and it's 1.8 times bigger.

Why they list the spec that way, I'm not entirely sure.  But 1/1.7" doesn't mean 1" x 1.7" on the sides.  The bigger sensor with bigger elements (all else being equal) provides better color clarity and low-light performance.

The post-processing is no better on one camera than another, so that doesn't really "make up" for anything.  A brighter lens gives better performance shooting moving targets, and more to the point for outdoor enthusiasts, clearer pictures in low-light ranges as well.  Ya' can't fool the physics.  It simply has better optics.  A lotta folks may not care, which is fine, but the difference is non-trivial to those paying attention.  It's not a DSLR by any means, but many have called Canon's "S" series the "pro photographer's pocket camera" for a reason.

ETA:  All that said, sometimes (especially shooting wildlife) I do miss a bigger optical zoom.  Choices, and all.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 14 2013, 6:18 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Is there an explanation on that? That sort of fraction is way odd.

IRRC neither of my ELPH's had square sensors, certainly the images they produce are not square. and for the 110? The resolution specs state the following for the max number: 12MP: 4000 x 3000 @ 4:3, which isn't a square. While te extreme for that, which perhaps some of these are starting to be optimized for, is 16:9
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 14 2013, 6:23 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(High_Sierra_Fan @ Jun. 14 2013, 4:18 pm)
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Is there an explanation on that? That sort of fraction is way odd.

IRRC neither of my ELPH's had square sensors, certainly the images they produce are not square.

Honestly, I'm not sure.  And I don't even think that necessarily implies it's a square sensor (4x3 is a pretty common aspect ratio), but it does relate to the length of one side (longer side I'd assume, but don't quote me on that).  Who made up that method of specification, and why, I'm not sure.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 14 2013, 6:23 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Screu cameras

http://store.sony.com/p/High-Zoom-Binoculars/en/p/DEV50V/B


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 14 2013, 6:30 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(GoBlueHiker @ Jun. 14 2013, 3:23 pm)
QUOTE

(High_Sierra_Fan @ Jun. 14 2013, 4:18 pm)
QUOTE
Is there an explanation on that? That sort of fraction is way odd.

IRRC neither of my ELPH's had square sensors, certainly the images they produce are not square.

Honestly, I'm not sure.  And I don't even think that necessarily implies it's a square sensor (4x3 is a pretty common aspect ratio), but it does relate to the length of one side (longer side I'd assume, but don't quote me on that).  Who made up that method of specification, and why, I'm not sure.

But
"That's not what it means, actually.

1/1.7 = 0.588" to a side

1/2.3 = 0.43" to a side

Square those (measuring area) and it's 1.8 times bigger"

You corrected me on tha basis the sensors were square.

Granted the format is twisted, a lot easier when they do as Nikon has for one of their dSLRs: "35.9 x 24.0 mm CMOS sensor (Nikon FX format)"

ETA; Well, phoo: even on their (Canon USA) own webpage, they use the above Nikon usage for their dSLRs but not their P&S.

Oh well, side issue.

Bottom line, I like my Canons and a camera that is "no longer available" would give me pause. Maybe look for what they replaced it with? like this one?
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c....Search=

From the TG-2's specs it has a shorter zoom than others (and let's forget about the digital zoom, that's simply cropping in on the sensor) and for backcountry shooting I've found longer lenses nice for isolating landscape elements as well as the usually thought of wildlife useage.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 14 2013, 6:44 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The TG1 has a 1/2.3" sensor (6.17x4.55mm) so 54% smaller than the one in the Canon S110 (7.6x5.7).
The two lenses are as bright as each other over the range.
F2 to F4.9 on the 25-100mm range for the TG1 and F2 to F5.9 over the 24-120mm range for the Canon.

The manufacturer way of measuring the sensor is following the standard used to measure video tubes so it isn't even the diagonal of the sensor.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 14 2013, 6:55 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Franco -
Thanks.

Not any clearer, but clarified nonetheless.

:cool:

ETA: thanks Franco. "Tradition" aside it sure looks like that's purely to obscure the reality of the size of those sensors for all those consumers who were familiar with film and could easily compare image sizes. Point and shoots didn't evolve from 1950s video cameras after all they evolved from earlier era film cameras.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 14 2013, 6:59 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Sensor size

(from DPReview)

Sensors are often referred to with a "type" designation using imperial fractions such as 1/1.8" or 2/3" which are larger than the actual sensor  diameters. The type designation harks back to a set of standard sizes given to TV camera tubes in the 50's. These sizes were typically 1/2", 2/3" etc. The size designation does not define the diagonal of the sensor area but rather the outer diameter of the long glass envelope of the tube. Engineers soon discovered that for various reasons the usable area of this imaging plane was approximately two thirds of the designated size. This designation has clearly stuck (although it should have been thrown out long ago). There appears to be no specific mathematical relationship between the diameter of the imaging circle and the sensor size, although it is always roughly two thirds.

note the releshionship between the given number (1/1.8") yellow circle and the actual sensor.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 14 2013, 7:00 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(High_Sierra_Fan @ Jun. 14 2013, 4:30 pm)
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You corrected me on tha basis the sensors were square.

I didn't say that.  And it doesn't actually matter at all whether the sensors are square or not, it's the relative sizes that make the difference when comparing two cameras.  The point was the numbers were in the denominator.  The S110's sensor being 1.8x bigger in area is true, despite you trying to correct me about that.

But you're right, that's a side nit that's really not worth picking.  As Franco points out in post #12, compared to a full-frame SLR they all kinda suck anyway. :D

I agree with you on the taking pause before buying a camera not made anymore wrt the Olympus TG-1.  If I were to look at that one I'd be eyeing the TG-2, personally.  But like you, I've liked my Canons.

ETA: Thanks Franco for the explanations.  Convoluted and outdated these days, but it does make sense.  I agree with HSF they could do better just to list the physical dimension of the sensor in mm like they do with the full frames, rather than that method, but c'est la vie.  We still use imperial units here in the USA too, we've got bigger fish to fry (more inches of fish anyway).


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 14 2013, 9:37 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Why settle for less than

The best for a miniature camera ?

At $ 400, they are all equal. Throw a dart.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 14 2013, 10:52 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Two favorite go to's:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image_sensor

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image_sensor_format

Do your homework at these:

http://www.steves-digicams.com/best-cameras.html#pro

http://www.dpreview.com/products/compacts/statistics

Something with at least a 1/1.7" sensor size which eliminates the majority of point and shoots because they are smaller than that.  A camera with optional manual controls.   If one also has an interest in closeups, then larger sensor size aka format size also means relatively less depth of field results.  So large sensor size is not without cons.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 15 2013, 8:48 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I recently picked up a Sony DSC RX100 for when I didn't want to haul larger equipment.  My basic requirements were:

1) large dynamic range
2) ability to shoot in S, A, or full manual
3) non-interchangeable zoom lens
4) popup flash (indoors, fill)

It also shoots video, which I may use once in a while.  At about $650 it's a bit out of your range, but is very nice if you're willing to go up the scale.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 15 2013, 4:55 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Wow, you guys are scrambling my brain! Thanks for all the detailed info.
I finally narrowed it down to two cameras and now I'm getting more suggestions to further confuse me.

I did ponder the Sony RX100 but don't want to pay that much. Same goes for the $8000 Leica.

So because the S110 has a larger sensor, its a better camera for "most" applications -right?


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 15 2013, 5:15 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The other item to consider, IMHO anyway, is the reach of the lens.

The 110:Lens EFL: 5.2-26 mm (35 mm equivalent: 24-120 mm)
Aperture: f/2.0 (W) - 5.9 (T)


The 280: Lens EFL: 4.5-90 mm (35 mm equivalent: 25-500 mm)
Aperture: f/3.5 (W) - 6.8 (T)


That's a lot more imaging "reach" for the 280. Which could have a larger practical implication for your shooting than a few square mm of sensor. Both to isolate landscape elements, say particular areas of a nice rapids in a river or a cliff face, or for wildlife portraits. That's a style issue so YMMV for sure. But for me I've never complained that I had too much lens reach, but there's plenty of times I winced when I hit the zoom limit. :)

For my slrs I love my 24-120 Nikkor, its often my standard walk around  lens. But it just doesn't have the reach I want for out and about backcountry work many times, so along goes an 80-200 2.8, 70-300 variable or since this last December, my 28-300 variable along with my 20mm fixed for the wide stuff. But with a point and shoot's fixed lens, what you get will be what you have....

With the adjustable electronic sensor sensitivity  (ISO) unless somewhere there were complaints about noise at intermediate ISO settings I'm not confident the maximum lens aperture is a significant issue either, that was more of a thing when it meant a brighter optical viewfinder image for focusing and composing, both of which on most modern, optical viewfinder-less cameras, is moot: the display is electronic.... As is the image capture.

To that the issue somewhat hinges on the final size you intend to use the images at?  Web, Facebook, tablet slide show?

Film was SO much simpler. Lol
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 16 2013, 12:02 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Reach is important, but with variable aperture zooms it often comes at a price.  Barrel distortion, greater DOF (fine for landscape but bad for isolating subjects from the background e.g. wildlife).  So short of hauling an arsenal of heavy gear, you have to make compromises.  Dynamic range, maximum aperture (at a given focal length), cost, weight...

A 20x zoom like the 4.5 - 90 is almost guaranteed to have issues, but some, such as barrel distortion, may be overcome in software if you care about it and are inclined to fix it - but you may not care.

Final output is also a consideration, as HSF mentions.  For simple jpegs to post here, facebook, or your own web page you don't need a lot of resolution.  For 16x24 prints worthy of being mounted and framed, you do.

Figure out what's important to you and what isn't.  Then start making comprises based on cost, features, weight, etc.  That will narrow down your choices.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 18 2013, 7:02 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The LX7 is worth a look, I got it for $300, it is on sale right now for $360

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh....&is=REG

One site said it was very close to the RX100 despite its smaller sensor.

More megapixels might mean you could do more of a digital zoom before quality drops off, which might make the RX100 a buy.  I forget now why I did not get the RX100, probably undecided at the time, and then the sale price made me think why not.  I need to sell my LX3


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 19 2013, 7:56 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c....ra.html

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 21 2013, 2:26 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

gobluehiker, those pics are awesome!!!
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(GoWest @ Jun. 15 2013, 2:55 pm)
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So because the S110 has a larger sensor, its a better camera for "most" applications -right?

Not quite.  The bigger sensor helps in low-light and with color sensitivity, as well as the wider aperture.  But the reduced zoom is an issue, especially when shooting wildlife or other things you'd like to see closer up.

For instance, I was in Greenland last month.  I had a 5x optical zoom while one of my colleagues had a 14x optical zoom on her camera (so-called "digital zoom" has always been a joke, pay it no attention).  One day we headed out of town and saw some wildlife along the road.  We didn't leave the truck, these guys have a penchant for charging if you get too close.  So we shot out the window.

My close-up:


Her close-up:



The bigger zoom-range is a big deal to a lotta folks, hence the ads you see for pocket-sized 20x and 24x (and even 30x) zooms these days.  The heavy barrel distortion is corrected on the camera in post-processing when creating a JPG.  Although it creates artifacts, and isn't as good as a big SLR telephoto lens with little or no distortion, it's good enough for most folks.

It's always about trade-offs.  What's "better"... is subjective, as usual.

ETA: The durability is another issue.  The benefits of a waterproof field-durable camera are obvious to a backpacker.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 21 2013, 4:17 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

tis true, the reach of my Canon SX230 HS with it's 14x stabilized optical zoom is a treat. That was the basis of my raising the issue. And while higher resolution sensors mean a bit more detail to crop and enlarge from, as GBH mentions, that's in many ways the equivalent of a "digital" zoom, which yields pretty aweful results unless you are really, really into Pointillism. Not that there's anything wrong with that...

Here's a digital zoom from my old ELPH: :)


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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 12 2013, 9:01 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I ended up getting the Canon s110.
I know its zoom is limited, but I chose the larger sensor.
Got what I felt was a good deal, $284 on line.
The salesman tried to sell me a higher quality SD card saying they work so much better: "Don't want to buy a Mercedes and put regular gas in it", he said.

Is a better quality SD card that important?
Do I need an SDHC or SDXC?


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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 12 2013, 10:08 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'm an IT specialist. An SDHC card is plenty enough. SDXC cards just allow for larger storage capacity. There is no real "better quality" card in regards to how it affects a photo. There are higher standards on some SD cards. The actual speed of transfer will affect video so if you think you will be doing video with your camera, get a class 10. Some photographers have their "favorites" but from a technical standpoint, there is no logical reason for it.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 12 2013, 11:41 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(GoWest @ Jul. 12 2013, 7:01 am)
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Got what I felt was a good deal, $284 on line.

That is a good deal.  Good score.


Re: The memory cards, standard SD is fine as long as it's not among the super-low-end cheapo generic brands.  I used to buy those to save $$, but I've had enough cheap SD-card failures on backpacking trips that I only get the name-brand ones any more.  Sandisk, Sony, etc.  And I always carry two, just in case.  Call me paranoid, but after 4 failed cards and a lotta lost pictures on trips, I grew tired of cheap SD cards with high failure rates.

QUOTE
The salesman tried to sell me a higher quality SD card saying they work so much better: "Don't want to buy a Mercedes and put regular gas in it", he said.

Is a better quality SD card that important?
Do I need an SDHC or SDXC?

ETA: The "HC" and "XC" formats are about capacity ("High Capacity and "X-High Capacity", respectively), not quality.  A standard SD card can hold up to 2 GB before running out of address space.  SDHC, up to 32 GB.  SDXC, up to 2 TB.  They use slightly different card formats due to the added address-space necessary for each capacity limit, but it doesn't directly relate to the quality of the card at all.  You can buy a low-end SDXC card or a high-quality standard SD card, conversely.

How many GB you think you need is up to you.  That really depends how many pictures you're taking, whether you're saving them in JPEG, RAW or both, and (especially) how much video you record.


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 Post Number: 30
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 12 2013, 12:14 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Tigger @ Jul. 12 2013, 8:08 am)
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I'm an IT specialist. An SDHC card is plenty enough. SDXC cards just allow for larger storage capacity. There is no real "better quality" card in regards to how it affects a photo. There are higher standards on some SD cards. The actual speed of transfer will affect video so if you think you will be doing video with your camera, get a class 10. Some photographers have their "favorites" but from a technical standpoint, there is no logical reason for it.

I agree with that.  The card records digitally, so as long as the cards' still working, it doesn't affect the quality of the photos whatsoever.  It's really the reliability of the card that made the difference to me.

The speed does matter, especially (as Tigger notes) if you're wanting to record video, and especially if they'll be 1080p like that camera records at full resolution.


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