The Current Uprise of Premium Fixed-focus Lens Compact Digital Cameras is Not New. Many a times, consumers are getting confused while buying the Compact Digital Cameras. Many a times, it is difficult for them to understand what is Mirrorless Interchangeable-Lens Camera (DSLM), Bridge Digital Cameras, Digital SLR cameras. Digital single-lens reflex camera (DSLR) or older film single-lens reflex camera (SLR) is actually not always the first choice of a high end ammeter or a professional. It was always Rangefinder Camera except few situations where single-lens reflex camera works better due to their inherited advantaged of shutter mechanism. Choice if budget is not a matter is Digital Rangefinder camera, That is virtually Leica M and Leica Monochrome at the time of writing this guide.
What Fixed-focus Lens Compact Digital Cameras Means?
Technically, Fixed-focus Lens Compact Digital Cameras should mean that the lens’s focus is not adjustable. The focus is set at the time of manufacturing. It is set to the hyperfocal distance, so that the depth of field ranges from few feet to infinity. Rather than having a method of determining the correct focusing distance and setting the lens to that focal point, a fixed-focus lens relies on sufficient depth of field to produce acceptably sharp images. By design they have a small aperture, which increases the depth of field. When such extended depth of field they are known as full-focus cameras.
As such, Fixed-focus Lens Film Cameras existed before in film era. They were actually Rangefinder camera but not system cameras and a range written to indicate that lens can not be changed. They were Medium to Large Format. What “Compact Digital Camera” now indicates were said “Focus Free”! Noobs can not focus, adjust exposure, for them those Focus Free Film Cameras were sold. Kodak Retina S2 is good example. Later in 1990s, zoom with electronic functions came. They had no proper name, usually “Good Zoom Camera” used to point towards them. They had the rangefinder function. Basically, that “Good Zoom Camera” were added a cropped sensor, rangefinder based viewfinder excluded by the manufacturers and became “Compact Digital”. You may enjoy it :
There is no reason to think that these new Fixed-focus Lens Compact Digital Cameras are exactly same like Kodak Retina S2, indeed the new are optically worser breed. Kodak specially manufacturers the sensors for Leica. The resemblance is probably legally accepted.
Fixed-focus Lens Compact Digital Cameras : What the Sellers Promote With
It is normal for the buyers with limited knowledge to seek the best stuff at bargain price. Photography is a luxury for creation of art. Anything related to creation of art has no limit of pricing. Good quality graphite pencil costs a bomb. Most commonly the selling companies give a physical appearance of the cameras closer to a typical DSLR. Furthermore, they mention “manual focus ring”. As commonly abused for all segments, promoting with higher megapixel value is common. We have classified these Fixed-focus Lens Compact Digital Cameras in to two groups :
- Professional Grade or Premium Fixed-focus Lens Compact Digital Cameras
- Consumer Grade Fixed-focus Lens Compact Digital Cameras
Basis of classification is Image Sensor Format, quality of Lens, possible genuine mechanical manual focus system. The reason of this classification is – there are professional grade users who needs a good Fixed-focus Lens Compact Digital Camera for some practical filed works over a camera with interchangeable lens i.e. DSLR or Digital Rangefinder.
Rangefinder is the acceptable mechanism to see through the optical viewfinder. That was standard in zoom lens film cameras. They mostly vanished now among the single reflex cameras except the Digital Rangefinders.
Who Needs the Near Ideal Fixed-focus Lens Compact Digital Cameras
High End Ammeters to Professionals need Near Ideal Fixed-focus Lens Compact Digital Cameras For Certain Purposes. Suppose, there is a civil war. How it is practical to use Leica M or Leica Monochrome in such situation? A hooligan or an innocent mob can push away the photographer. The camera can fall, it can break. Cameras with interchangeable lenses are not so stable unlike a Compact Digital. There is risk to getting dust inside the camera’s body. Portrait Photographers do not need wide range of focal lengths. After having a costly DSLR with many lenses, it is may be impractical to buy Leica M. But a consumer, particularly a newbie never needs a Fixed-focus Lens Compact Digital Camera. As the price range of these few Fixed-focus Lens Compact Digital Cameras are approaching towards the price of Leica’s other cameras, except who has the control on composition, exposure triangle, it is possibly a bad advice them to buy a Premium Fixed-focus Lens Compact Digital Camera. They may want to shift towards wildlife photography or macro photography. DSLR is suitable for such usages.
Normally, for the DSLR and Digital Rangefinders, we prefer the prime lens over the zoom lens. The naming – Fixed-focus Lens Compact Digital Cameras, also targets the advanced users. Cost of Leica M Body plus Lens is far higher than Leica’s Fixed-focus Lens Compact Digital Camera Leica Q.
None Knows the Whole Truth Behind the Premium Fixed-focus Lens Compact Digital Cameras
The driving mechanism of lens elements are different in compact digital camera. There are difference in movement mechanism of a zoom lens. What are true zoom lens, they have a parfocal lens design. Whereas, arifocal lens design is commonly used for the compact digital cameras. Usually it is said that, twist-zoom is inferior. Twist-zoom is commonly used in the consumer cameras. Not to forget that we have diaphragm as an important factor. To find the really good diaphragm blades, nowadays except seeking the vintage lenses, there is really not huge options. How one “mechanical manual focus ring” can control so many parameters on a zoom lens of a compact digital camera, that is really not possible to know. Compact Digital camera has a special Macro Mode, which is different than the true Macro Lens. Most mechanisms are patented.
We are aware that Leica Q has good rating and good feedback. Still, for the new users; we will suggest to think about Mirrorless Interchangeable-Lens Camera (DSLM) or entry level Digital SLR cameras, according to their budgets. Who are advanced users, they can use the tool rightly. Ratings for the segment is possibly from the advanced users. Leica Q is full-frame and actually worths the money. Leica SL is Leica’s professional grade mirrorless. This is the current average street pricing for Leica’s systems –
Leica M9 Digital Rangefinder Camera – $5,500 (Body only) [Old model, We Suggest]
Leica M-P Digital Rangefinder Camera – $5,300 (Body only) [We Suggest]
Leica M7 Digital Rangefinder Camera – $4,300 (Body only) [We Suggest]
Leica Q Digital Camera – $4,200
Leica T Mirrorless Digital Camera – $ 1,600 [We Suggest]
Leica D-Lux Digital Camera – $1,200
Living in-between Leica T and Leica M, possibly not a good idea when the Lens can not be changed.