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Old Jul 11, 2004, 11:07 PM   #1
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I'm not new to Digital Photography, I have had two Digital Camera's and I'm now looking to upgrade to a camera with some more manual features. My Current Digital is teh FujiFilm FinePix2650. I've enjoyed it as a camera, but I feel it has some drawbacks for taking indoor pictures that do not need flash. In taking pictures of my 3 Year old, I tend to get BLUR without the flash. There are no manual settings to resolve this issue.

So, It's time to move up and onward. 4MP that I can take family pictures, vacation pictures (I like to snow ski so think white mountains), and just all everyday shots. Now my quandry I've done a good bit of reading on the Cannon A80, Minolta G400, and Olympus 580. They all tie out, I've gone to image archives online and don't see a Super differeance in picture quality. Now I need some outside opinions to sway my purchase (This friday).

What do you think... Anyowners that have opinions, anyone who has thought and decided between these 3? Am I missing a better choice?


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Old Jul 12, 2004, 1:47 PM   #2
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
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The overwhelming majority of Digital Cameras are not going to let you shoot in most indoor situations without flash. This is because shutter speeds will be too slow to prevent motion blur. When you use a flash, the flash itself freezes the action.

There are some exceptions (some models with a very bright lens, and low noise at higher ISO speeds, may give you "borderline" photos indoors without flash, as long as your subject is not moving). A Digital SLR (like the Canon Digital Rebel, or Nikon D70) with a bright lens, and the ability to shoot at higher ISO speeds isthe best choice. These models can shoot at much higher ISO speeds, compared to non-DSLR models.

Here is a useful chart (see the Exposure Values, F-Stops and Shutter Speeds section). Again, what your eyes tell you is bright (indoors), is not to a camera. Note that this chart is based on ISO 100. So, each time you double the ISO speed (settable in camera), you can also double the shutter speed. However, increasing ISO speed will add noise to the photo. Your Fuji does not let you increase ISO Speed. However, even if it did, you probaby wouldn't get fast enough shutter speeds in many indoor conditions.


BTW, you'll need shutter speeds of approximately 1/focal length to prevent motion blur from camera shake. This translates to 1/40 second at 40mm focal length, 1/50 second at 50mm focal length, etc. So, the more zoom you use, the faster you'll need shutter speeds. This "rule" is for stationary subjects only. You'll need faster shutter speeds to stop action with a moving subject.

Anyway, all else being equal, the smaller the photosites for each pixel, the higher the noise. Out of the models you are looking at, the Canon A80, with it's 4MP 1/1.8" (.556") CCD has the lowest noise as ISO speeds are increased.

Personally, I find it doubtful that you'll be able to get acceptable quality photos indoors with this model, either. The larger Canon Power G3 (withit's MUCH brighter F2.0/F3.0 lens) may be able to "get by" in existing light, though. Although, this model is getting hard to find, since it was replaced by the 5 Megapixel Canon G5 (which has more noise than the G3, because of it's higher resolution sensor).

Note that there are a couple of products that can be used to reduce noise, should you decide that increasing ISO speed is the only way to get shutter speeds fast enough for proper exposure without too much blur (however, it's very unlikely you'll be successful unless lighting is dramatically better than in your example). Noise Ninja and Neat Image are probably the best two. Here are the download links:



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