Compact APS-C Camera with the Most Realistic JPEGs

Started 6 months ago | Discussions thread
i_Coon Forum Member • Posts: 80
Re: Compact APS-C Camera with the Most Realistic JPEGs

fleurviola wrote:

Thank you for the various comments and advice. Considering the issue longer, I am beginning to understand that what I'm looking for actually has little to do with color: it is instead a visual impression that the image, for example a human face, emerges "alive" and is not a clever (or even technically superior) but non-living representation, like a perfect figure in a wax museum. The video below helps explain what I'm trying to describe. If you are willing to view from minute 1:45 to 3:00, I see especially the medium format film - but even the 35mm film shots - as being more "real", even though the Sony mirrorless images have far greater detail. But I don't want to shoot film anymore - gave that up in 2004. Is there any way to get whatever I'm seeing in the film images in digital?

The only analogy I can make is to music recordings. I make my living as a classical musician. When listening to recorded music, I much prefer vinyl LP records to digital CDs - in spite of the fact that CDs are cleaner, with less noise and more detail. But through the slight haze of the LP emerges, to my apprehension, a more alive, more "authentic" sound. Nevertheless, with the right CD and the right playback equipment, very acceptable and satisfying results can also be had. That is what I'm looking for in digital camera jpegs. Impossible?

I used to be an audio engineer and audiophile, and I would never describe vinyl as more realistic than CD. Quite the contrary, the level of detail and realism you can get in digital audio is frankly scaring. If you have ever visited a high-end studio or mastering facility, you would know. The absence of multiple levels of distortion creates such a clean and realistic sound, that people start missing some "vibe" and are now adding this vibe with digital emulations of analog equipment distortion. (Or move back to vinyl, tube amplifiers, and even cassette.)

I think you are therefore looking for the most vibe in your pictures, the highest analog factor, with a slight "haze". That is a far cry from what I would call the most "realistic" jpeg... If I were you, I would start looking into cameras that have good film simulation engines. These will produce images that digitally emulate the analog vibe and haze of film. Far from realistic, but very nice to look at. In this regard, I think Fujifilm may be your best bet, although there are manufacturers that offer similar options. The Ricoh GR series comes to mind.

Furthermore I have to wonder - if detail isn't that important to you, why are you specifically looking at aps-c cameras? Wouldn't a compact camera with a smaller sensor (and a nice lens) suffice? If you don't intend to make large prints of your pictures, I think an m43 sensor or even smaller would suffice. Perhaps a Leica D-Lux 7 could be to your liking?

Apart from that, I see that this is the third thread you created on this topic in just as many weeks. I get the distinct feeling that you are overwhelmed by the options and don't really know what your priorities are. You should get those straight before you start looking for a camera. I would advise you to take a rest and give it some time. In the meantime, perhaps you can make a spreadsheet with everything you are looking for in a camera, and start ordering those needs from most to least important. When you come to a forum like this with a specific use case, you will get more specific recommendations. As it is now, I think every aps-c camera in existence has been recommended to you - and how does that help?

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