I am in a deadlock between buying a Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX60 or Nikon Coolpix L610. The former is more compact and has Carl Zeiss lens while the latter has more optical zoom.

Other factors, both companies brag about their lens being superior . Can anyone please provide me with facts as to which lens is better?

I am looking for a camera for everyday use for hangouts with good low-light shooting so that I may get good pictures at night.

  • On the Zeiss name used for non-interchangeable camera lenses, see photo.stackexchange.com/questions/4756/…
    – mattdm
    Jul 4 '13 at 20:41
  • 2
    Zeiss and Nikon both make very good lenses. I don't think the image outcome on a point-and-shoot is going to be significantly impacted by the lens. The sensor is going to matter more.
    – Joanne C
    Jul 5 '13 at 0:03

If it's primarily low-light shooting you are concerned with, the answer is that the "better" lens is the one with a wider aperture (lower f numbers). But, especially on a compact super zoom camera like this, factors like sensor size and sensor tech generation will be more important.

Here, the maximum aperture of the two cameras isn't very different -- f/3.3 for both at wide angle, and a non-significant difference of f/5.9 vs f/6.3 at the telephoto end (zoomed in). I'm sure that these lenses are engineering marvels, especially considering their size and price, but don't be fooled by the marketing: in order to fit so much zoom into a cheap lens, there is inevitably a lot of design compromise. You can take great pictures with it, but don't think your results will be like that from a high-end SLR lens.

Both cameras have a 1/2.3"-class sensor, which translates to "a baby's thumbnail size". This is also not great, but modern technology is pretty amazing, and depending on your pickiness level, you may be perfectly happy. Many people certainly are, with either model. I really wouldn't sweat the differences too much — unless you're prepared to go up a large factor in price, I'd just pick the one of these you feel most attracted to and go with that.

  • This is spot on on all this. For the same budget you can do much better with a camera having a brighter lens and, consequently a much shorter zoom. Something like a Nikon P310 which goes for $169 today, the lens is F/1.8 and sensor is larger.
    – Itai
    Jul 5 '13 at 11:59
  • Splitting hairs, but.. my thumbnail is 8 times the size of 1/2.3" sensor (240 mm2 vs 28 mm2). Oct 10 '13 at 15:07
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    @EsaPaulasto Better? :)
    – mattdm
    Oct 10 '13 at 16:31
  • Thanks. It was a good and rational analysis there. Your advice was helpful. I have bought a WX60 and am quite content with it.
    – adimoh
    Jan 4 '14 at 17:28

Usually good lenses are all on a Pareto frontier (meaning that they excel on some aspects and lack in others: less distortion, chromatic aberrations, flare, sharpness, bokeh, colour rendition, contrast, zoom ratio, aperture, weight, toughness, price... too many parameters!).

In your case, to get pictures at night, the aperture of the lens (F-number) is as important as the sensor size and efficiency, so do not just look the lens and forget about the rest. I'd look also which camera has the best flash.

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