Lens Zoom vs Aperture Chart, s95, xz-1, g12, p7000, ex1 / tl500 (low light compacts)

Started Apr 16, 2011 | Discussions
PaulRivers
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Lens Zoom vs Aperture Chart, s95, xz-1, g12, p7000, ex1 / tl500 (low light compacts)
Apr 16, 2011

I thought I would put together a chart showing the different aperture values from different "low light" compacts for easy comparison.

Note that these values are not exact - the problem is that zooms on compacts cameras have "steps" at different points. For example, the s95 goes to 105mm, while the g12 does 98mm then goes to 114mm, so it's hard to put it in a chart without displaying slightly inaccurate information. I put in the aperture value for the closest zoom level to the standard zoom level on the left side of the chart.

As you can see, for easy reading I've bolded the cameras that have the best aperture value at the given focal length, and put a grey background on aperture values that are close - within about half a stop. Kinda silly to quibble over f4.5 to f5.0, or f2.2 to f2.4, you know?

Here's the chart -

For reference, here are the threads I got these values from -

Canon s90/s95 and g11/g12:
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1010&message=36109362

Olympus xz-1:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1008&message=38017721&changemode=1

Panasonic lx5:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1033&message=36598308&changemode=1

Nikon p7000:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1007&message=36598494&changemode=1

Samsung ex1 / tl500

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1001&message=36004892&changemode=1

Here's the chart in text form - with the lack of formatting here on dpreview you can see why I turned it into an image, lol -

000000 s95 xz-1 tl500 lx5 g12 p7000
024mm fn.a fn.a f1.8 f2.0 fn.a fn.a
028mm f2.0 f1.8 f2.0 f2.1 f2.8 f2.8
035mm f2.5 f2.0 f2.0 f2.3 f3.2 f3.2
050mm f3.2 f2.0 f2.2 f2.7 f3.2 f3.5
085mm f4.5 f2.2 f2.4 f3.0 f4.0 f4.0
105mm f4.9 f2.5 fn.a f3.3 f4.0 f4.5
115mm fn.a fn.a fn.a fn.a f4.5 f4.5
140mm fn.a fn.a fn.a fn.a f4.5 f5.0
200mm fn.a fn.a fn.a fn.a fn.a f5.6

Or, if you prefer, without the placeholders (though now it looks really messed up) -
s95 xz-1 tl500 lx5 g12 p7000
24mm f1.8 f2.0
28mm f2.0 f1.8 f2.0 f2.1 f2.8 f2.8
35mm f2.5 f2.0 f2.0 f2.3 f3.2 f3.2
50mm f3.2 f2.0 f2.2 f2.7 f3.2 f3.5
85mm f4.5 f2.2 f2.4 f3.0 f4.0 f4.0
105mm f4.9 f2.5 f3.3 f4.0 f4.5
115mm f4.5 f4.5
140mm f4.5 f5.0
200mm f5.6

PaulRivers
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Re: Lens Zoom vs Aperture Chart, s95, xz-1, g12, p7000, ex1 / tl500 (low light compac
In reply to PaulRivers, Apr 16, 2011

Obviously there are more attributes to a camera than just aperture values. However, I'd like to point out a couple of things.

Winner for Size - the Canon s95 is the clear winner if your highest priority is size, it's often referred to the only camera that's "jeans pocketable" meaning you can carry it around in most jeans pockets. It's sorta of rated like -

1. "Deck of Cards" and smaller cameras like the Canon 300hs and 500hs - easy to carry in a jeans pocket.

2. s95 - bigger, can be carried in a jeans pocket without being to bulky - I carry mine 24/7. However, it pretty much needs it's own pocket with nothing else in it because it is kind of bulky.

3. The others listed - you can actually fit them into a jeans pocket as long as you aren't wearing super skinny jeans, but they are much bulkier (because they're thicker) and it would almost certainly be very uncomfortable to walk around with them like that for any longer period of time. To be fair, people point out that a number of people simply don't put their camera in their jeans pocket, so the size difference isn't such a big deal for them.

Here's a pic that illustrates the difference - all the other cameras listed are about the same size as the lx5 and xz-1, if not a little bigger:

Winner for Cost + Low Light Zoom - the Samsung tl500 is the cheapest of the bunch, and also has a good enough lens to let you zoom some without losing any significant aperture (unlike the s95, or somewhat the lx5 in my opinion). On the other hand if we're talking cost, you might also look for a used s90 (the predecessor to the s95, same size and aperture values) or lx3 (a lot less zoom, slightly different sensor)...but that's another whole topic.

Winner for low light while zooming - the Olympus xz-1 - by far . I mean you can zoom into 50mm and still have f2.0 - how awesome is that! It also has the most zoom range of any of the f2.0-or-better compacts...and it's still only up to f2.5!

Winner for "blurred background" effect - the Olympus xz-1 as well. I'm told (don't own one so I cannot say from personal experience), both from several people and dpreview's review, that by having low apertures at the end of the zoom range you can zoom in, plus use a low aperture, and get some really solid blurred background stuff.

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snake_b
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Re: Lens Zoom vs Aperture Chart, s95, xz-1, g12, p7000, ex1 / tl500 (low light compac
In reply to PaulRivers, Apr 17, 2011

Thanks for all the info in this thread. There are a lot of points to consider for me in this class, but I'm focusing in on aperture values because of dark situations without a flash, like concerts.

Right now, the Samsung would be my choice, but sometimes I wonder if the tradeoff of zoom at the long end is worth it or not. The Oly looks great, but none are being discounted or being sold on the used market by me and the consideration is if the less wide lens on the wide end makes much of a difference to consider. I unfortunately haven't been able to side by side them. I want to love the canon, especially with chdk, but the lens isn't doing it for me. Aside from slightly better IQ, I might as well use my wb650 for those values or my slr with the kit lenses.

As far as bokeh goes, I wonder about that. I'd love to be able to get DOF control through these large aperture lenses and relatively larger sensors, but I've seen video reviews on youtube and some have pointed out that you can sort of get blurred backgrounds, but not really so much.

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davechen
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Re: Lens Zoom vs Aperture Chart, s95, xz-1, g12, p7000, ex1 / tl500 (low light compac
In reply to snake_b, May 19, 2011

Excellent Thread, thanks PaulRivers.

I'm going to try to get my hands on LX-5, ZX-1, and TL500 to see how each feels and operates. My local BestBuy does not have these high-end compact on display.

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snake_b
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Re: Lens Zoom vs Aperture Chart, s95, xz-1, g12, p7000, ex1 / tl500 (low light compac
In reply to davechen, May 19, 2011

I played with them extensively. I would rank the XZ and Oly great on controls, though there is different philosphy. The s95 is imo the best for them. Panasonic is not bad, just not as good as the others, IMO.

Photo quality is a toss up. They all have strong points that should be in one camera, but unfortunately, every single one has some weird quirks the other doesn't have...

S95- meant to shoot wide only and has outstanding high ISO to make up partially for it.

XZ- weak jpeg, great lens, though as I found out, I opted for a wider lens and less zoom and it was the right decision to get the EX1 for that reason. Lack of an AEL button is your call.

EX1- my choice. No HD video, but that didn't turn me off. Great controls. Flip AMOLED screen, which is underrated for its usefulness and addition to compositional possibilities. Less zoom, but wider than the Oly. Good performance in jpeg, very good with the group for RAW.

LX5- Good cam, bad colors in jpeg, but not the smearing like the Oly. Darker lens, though not so bad like the canon. Good combo of zoom, aperture, and width and reasonable ISO capability. Controls, meh.

I really don't think you can lose with any choice, you just have to be careful because they seem to have some quirks to them that might make one more ideal for some styles more than others.

PS- be careful with DPR's review of the EX1- they had a defective lens and didn't really disclose that.

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snapshot09
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Re: Lens Zoom vs Aperture Chart, s95, xz-1, g12, p7000, ex1 / tl500 (low light compac
In reply to PaulRivers, Jul 6, 2011

Great info. Hope Canon looks at this type of info for the upcoming "S" and "G" replacements.

PaulRivers wrote:

I thought I would put together a chart showing the different aperture values from different "low light" compacts for easy comparison.

Note that these values are not exact - the problem is that zooms on compacts cameras have "steps" at different points. For example, the s95 goes to 105mm, while the g12 does 98mm then goes to 114mm, so it's hard to put it in a chart without displaying slightly inaccurate information. I put in the aperture value for the closest zoom level to the standard zoom level on the left side of the chart.

As you can see, for easy reading I've bolded the cameras that have the best aperture value at the given focal length, and put a grey background on aperture values that are close - within about half a stop. Kinda silly to quibble over f4.5 to f5.0, or f2.2 to f2.4, you know?

Here's the chart -

For reference, here are the threads I got these values from -

Canon s90/s95 and g11/g12:
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1010&message=36109362

Olympus xz-1:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1008&message=38017721&changemode=1

Panasonic lx5:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1033&message=36598308&changemode=1

Nikon p7000:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1007&message=36598494&changemode=1

Samsung ex1 / tl500

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1001&message=36004892&changemode=1

Here's the chart in text form - with the lack of formatting here on dpreview you can see why I turned it into an image, lol -

000000 s95 xz-1 tl500 lx5 g12 p7000
024mm fn.a fn.a f1.8 f2.0 fn.a fn.a
028mm f2.0 f1.8 f2.0 f2.1 f2.8 f2.8
035mm f2.5 f2.0 f2.0 f2.3 f3.2 f3.2
050mm f3.2 f2.0 f2.2 f2.7 f3.2 f3.5
085mm f4.5 f2.2 f2.4 f3.0 f4.0 f4.0
105mm f4.9 f2.5 fn.a f3.3 f4.0 f4.5
115mm fn.a fn.a fn.a fn.a f4.5 f4.5
140mm fn.a fn.a fn.a fn.a f4.5 f5.0
200mm fn.a fn.a fn.a fn.a fn.a f5.6

Or, if you prefer, without the placeholders (though now it looks really messed up) -
s95 xz-1 tl500 lx5 g12 p7000
24mm f1.8 f2.0
28mm f2.0 f1.8 f2.0 f2.1 f2.8 f2.8
35mm f2.5 f2.0 f2.0 f2.3 f3.2 f3.2
50mm f3.2 f2.0 f2.2 f2.7 f3.2 f3.5
85mm f4.5 f2.2 f2.4 f3.0 f4.0 f4.0
105mm f4.9 f2.5 f3.3 f4.0 f4.5
115mm f4.5 f4.5
140mm f4.5 f5.0
200mm f5.6

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Combatmedic870
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Re: Lens Zoom vs Aperture Chart, s95, xz-1, g12, p7000, ex1 / tl500 (low light compac
In reply to davechen, Jul 6, 2011

I tried out the EX-1 At frys and it just....didnt feel good in my hands. But everything else about the samsung is good. Great colors, decent noise control, ect.....Im hoping to see a EX2 soon!!!

davechen wrote:

Excellent Thread, thanks PaulRivers.

I'm going to try to get my hands on LX-5, ZX-1, and TL500 to see how each feels and operates. My local BestBuy does not have these high-end compact on display.

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mcshan
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Thank you Paul.
In reply to PaulRivers, Jul 6, 2011

Very nice. Thanks for doing this and sharing. McShan

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TechOutsider
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Re: Lens Zoom vs Aperture Chart, s95, xz-1, g12, p7000, ex1 / tl500 (low light compac
In reply to Combatmedic870, Jul 6, 2011

The possibility of an EX2 was discussed on the Samsung forum. One Samsung employee said it was extremely unlikely due to low sales.

Combatmedic870 wrote:

I tried out the EX-1 At frys and it just....didnt feel good in my hands. But everything else about the samsung is good. Great colors, decent noise control, ect.....Im hoping to see a EX2 soon!!!

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snapshot09
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Re: Thank you Paul.
In reply to mcshan, Jul 6, 2011

Agree! Very interesting especially when comparing the S95, LX5, and XZ-1.

mcshan wrote:

Very nice. Thanks for doing this and sharing. McShan

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PaulRivers
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Re: Thank you Paul.
In reply to mcshan, Jul 6, 2011

mcshan wrote:

Very nice. Thanks for doing this and sharing. McShan

Thanks for the note! One of these days I mean to add the p300 to the chart to (though it's aperture values are basically the same as the s95's).

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snapshot09
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Re: Thank you Paul.
In reply to PaulRivers, Jul 7, 2011

That would be great to see. I hope Canon can address this on the S95 successor.

PaulRivers wrote:

mcshan wrote:

Very nice. Thanks for doing this and sharing. McShan

Thanks for the note! One of these days I mean to add the p300 to the chart to (though it's aperture values are basically the same as the s95's).

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PaulRivers
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Re: Thank you Paul.
In reply to snapshot09, Jul 8, 2011

snapshot09 wrote:

That would be great to see. I hope Canon can address this on the S95 successor.

...they're going to "address" the fact that the other camera of the same size has the same lens specs?...

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snapshot09
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Re: Thank you Paul.
In reply to PaulRivers, Jul 8, 2011

With regards to the LX-5, ZX-1, and TL500 which have better apertures for the associated focal lengths. f2.0 is great, but when it goes to f3.2 at only 50mm and f4.5 at only 85mm and f4.9 at 105mm???

PaulRivers wrote:

snapshot09 wrote:

That would be great to see. I hope Canon can address this on the S95 successor.

...they're going to "address" the fact that the other camera of the same size has the same lens specs?...

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AdamT
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Re: Thank you Paul.
In reply to snapshot09, Jul 8, 2011

With regards to the LX-5, ZX-1, and TL500 which have better apertures for the associated focal lengths. f2.0 is great, but when it goes to f3.2 at only 50mm and f4.5 at only 85mm and f4.9 at 105mm???

they're far bigger cameras - the S90/95 shouldn't be compared really as it's the REAL successor to the large sensor Ixus line and not an S series at all ... the Ixus 400, 500, 700, 750, 900Ti, 960IS and 980 are the predecessors to the S90 and all have horribly slow lenses due to their size, the 900 onwards also have serious lens issues too , the S90 does well in regard to range and aperture speed in that respect ..

How slow or limited something is, is only relative to what you're comparing it to and sticking the S95 in with the LX5/EX1/XZ1 is like comparing a Merc A class to a BMW 3 series.

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PaulRivers
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Re: Thank you Paul.
In reply to AdamT, Jul 8, 2011

AdamT wrote:

With regards to the LX-5, ZX-1, and TL500 which have better apertures for the associated focal lengths. f2.0 is great, but when it goes to f3.2 at only 50mm and f4.5 at only 85mm and f4.9 at 105mm???

they're far bigger cameras - the S90/95 shouldn't be compared really as it's the REAL successor to the large sensor Ixus line and not an S series at all ... the Ixus 400, 500, 700, 750, 900Ti, 960IS and 980 are the predecessors to the S90 and all have horribly slow lenses due to their size, the 900 onwards also have serious lens issues too , the S90 does well in regard to range and aperture speed in that respect ..

How slow or limited something is, is only relative to what you're comparing it to and sticking the S95 in with the LX5/EX1/XZ1 is like comparing a Merc A class to a BMW 3 series.

Exactly. Though although I thoroughly enjoy your phrasing, I have absolutely no idea what categories those cars would be in, lol.

The competition hasn't come out with anything that beats the s95's lens specs in the same size package. The only competing camera is the p300, which matches it's lens specs (and with a slightly smaller sensor).

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AdamT
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Re: Thank you Paul.
In reply to PaulRivers, Jul 8, 2011

The only competing camera is the p300, which matches it's lens specs (and with a slightly smaller sensor).

Sadly its a drastically smaller, noisier sensor and a CMOS . it shows too. I happen find most of the 10Mp CCD cams in the list need RAW to shine, the S90 is a little powerhouse when developed in Capture One V5

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PaulRivers
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Re: Thank you Paul.
In reply to AdamT, Jul 8, 2011

It's only about 50% smaller, which is a lot smaller difference than the sensor size difference between an s95/g12/lx5 and a dslr. It believe at higher iso's the p300is about on par with the these other cameras as well. It's main complaint is slightly less detail at base iso. And no raw.

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snapshot09
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Many say the S95 does compete with the LX-5, ZX-1, and TL500
In reply to AdamT, Jul 8, 2011

I love it, one minute it does and then doesn't compete with these others. LOL

Many on here beg to differ:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1010&message=38837432

AdamT wrote:

With regards to the LX-5, ZX-1, and TL500 which have better apertures for the associated focal lengths. f2.0 is great, but when it goes to f3.2 at only 50mm and f4.5 at only 85mm and f4.9 at 105mm???

they're far bigger cameras - the S90/95 shouldn't be compared really as it's the REAL successor to the large sensor Ixus line and not an S series at all ... the Ixus 400, 500, 700, 750, 900Ti, 960IS and 980 are the predecessors to the S90 and all have horribly slow lenses due to their size, the 900 onwards also have serious lens issues too , the S90 does well in regard to range and aperture speed in that respect ..

How slow or limited something is, is only relative to what you're comparing it to and sticking the S95 in with the LX5/EX1/XZ1 is like comparing a Merc A class to a BMW 3 series.

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snapshot09
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P300 to the chart
In reply to PaulRivers, Jul 15, 2011

If you could add the P300 when you get a chance, that would be great.

PaulRivers wrote:

mcshan wrote:

Very nice. Thanks for doing this and sharing. McShan

Thanks for the note! One of these days I mean to add the p300 to the chart to (though it's aperture values are basically the same as the s95's).

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