Photography: Don’t Be Fooled by Big Numbers and Fancy Paint Jobs

Very often, as I peruse the ‘used’ cameras upon EBAY, I pause when confronted by low prices, big spec, or natty colour schemes. But seldom do I bite. Last week was an exception. I’d first noticed the very attractive and well specified Samsung WB30F a couple of years past; but it was always too expensive to warrant spending money on a camera that I didn’t need. So when no one else seemed interested in said camera, I bought it at rock bottom price. Today it arrived, and so I rushed outside to give it a try. But, just as a comparison test, I grabbed another camera (at random) and took a picture of the same subject within seconds of the Samsung shot. Below is a group photo…

Top  right is the WiFi able, 16 megapixel Samsung with its x10 zoom. Top left the rather lower spec 7 megapixel, x7 zoom Ricoh Caplio R5. Below each camera is the photo taken with it. Now you tell me how the Samsung is more desirable and worth so much more than the Ricoh. And (rhetorically) why does the older camera out-perform the newer? Answer: the lens. Look at the pissy little opening on the Samsung.  How’s that supposed to let enough light in? Then regard the Olympic swimming pool sized one on the Ricoh. Nuff sed. So when browsing for a camera, forget the spec and the colour: just let your eye measure the lens.

P.S I still like the Samsung though. I mean, look at it: it’s so pretty!

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