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Old Jul 16, 2003, 9:55 AM   #1
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Default point & shoot with good low-light capabilities

I've been reading the chatter here with regard to low-light capable cameras. I'd love to have an S602 or C5050Z but really can't spend that much right now. My PDR-25 does OK outdoors but in low-light conditions is really noisy. And the flash doesn't help much, even if I could use flash all the time. So ...

2 megapixel is fine with me. I display mostly onscreen, very few prints, most of those wallet sized (granddaughter).

Refurbed/used is fine with me. I'm willing to search eBay or whatever, so it doesn't have to be new production stuff.

What models should I look for that have good low-light capability and at least 3x optical zoom? Powered by AAs is a plus. Compact is a plus. Smartmedia is a plus.
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Old Jul 16, 2003, 12:32 PM   #2
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Various things effect the low light performance of a camera. Speed of the lens, the flash, max time for a timed exposure and ISO capability.

The 5050 has an F1.8 lens (very fast but not much better (really) than F2 or F2.8.

Built-in flashes are essentially rubbish with a range of say 10-12 feet - not much.

Timed exposures are no good for moving things unless you are looking for that blurred look.

ISO is really the key but the higher the ISO the more noise you'll get.

My suggestion is a camera with the following capabilities:

Fast lens
High ISO - at least 400
Slow sync flash
Long exposures of say 1 sec or more is pretty good on a P+S compact but more is better e.g. my Oly 730 up tp 16 secs.

All in all you are asking a compact to do what an enthusiast's camera will do but some are better than others.

Have a good look at the specs in Steve's reviews.
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Old Jul 16, 2003, 1:11 PM   #3
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Thanks, Steve. Yes, your advice matches with what I learned from my film days of yore. Now, if only the database allowed search/sort by ISO and lens speed. And if the industry would come up with a standardized measure for ISO/noise.

Are you THE STEVE of steve's digicams?
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Old Jul 16, 2003, 1:30 PM   #4
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What about the canon a60? It's 2mp, uses cf and aa's, has a 3x zoom and its iso range is 50-400. It also has a built in noise reduction system for the slower shutter speeds. It can even take up to 15 second exposures. There are some examples of nightshots taken with this camera at http://dcresource.com/reviews/canon/...ew/index.shtml
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Old Jul 16, 2003, 1:54 PM   #5
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If you don't mind second hand, try looking for a Canon S30. The ISO goes up to 800, and it's known to have the lowest noise of any digicam around (unless you spend silly money). Takes very good pics, too!
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Old Jul 17, 2003, 1:00 PM   #6
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My husband bought himself a Canon Elph. He was out of town when it arrived, so I unpacked it and completed the set up. I was more than prepared to really dislike it. It's very small (cigarette pack size) and has limited options.

Was I amazed at the quality of the shots. I shot the same subjects with my Canon G2, then with his Elph. I saw no difference in picture quality and it did a great job in low light. I was outside bending down in the flowerbeds. As far as I am concerned, Canon took the Canon G2 and removed as many options as possible without compromising picture quality to reduce the cost.

I've recommended the Elph to many friends who also wanted a simple point and shoot at an affordable price, and so far, I've not had any negative feedback.

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Old Jul 19, 2003, 7:31 PM   #7
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A word of advice for those who consider buying any digital Elph/Ixus second hand; The first series have a noise problem and very limited max. shutter time.
I'm waiting for the Fuji F700 to get on the market to replace my ol' Ixus. Fuji F700 will have ISO 100..800 at full res and ISO 1600 at 1280 x960.
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