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Old Nov 19, 2005, 6:29 PM   #1
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Well, first off, if this is the wrong forum then I am sorry. I wasn't sure whether or not to post this topic in "What Camera Should I buy" or not. But since I have a question about a camera, I figured it belongs here. Anyways, here it goes....

Ok, so I recently started attending fights ringside (press row), and on Thursday, I brought a camera for the first time, because I want to have my own pictures in my articles and maybe get a friend in as a photographer. Well, I ordered a Z2 and it was supposed to arrive on Wednesday of last week, it didn't. So, I got stuck with some 3.2 MP Samsung and the pictures were.....unflattering, to say the least. Here is one of the pictures...

Yeah....it's pretty bad. Now, as I'm about to reorder the DiMage, I want to be sure that I am going to be getting good quality pics. It looks nice, and the review on here and a couple other sites were helpful, but since I'm a photography newbie, I don't know if the camera is going to suit my needs. And just in case it is relevant (if you were to suggest another camera instead), I am buying this as a refurb, and my budget tops off at about $250 (that includes any warranties). So, do you think it suits my needs? I want good pictures....so this is fairly important for me. A couple other things that might be important ....
  • If I do prints, they won't be any bigger then 8x10[/*]
  • Video Capabilty/Quality doesn't matter to me[/*]
  • Flash photography isn't allowed at these events[/*]
  • I want a fairly simple to use camera, I'm not at all seasoned in photography, and neither is anyone else who will be using this camera[/*]
  • Incase your not sure, the lighting for boxing is usually a dimly lit audience, and a brightly lit ring.
Thanks for any help
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Old Nov 19, 2005, 6:49 PM   #2
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The basic problem with your picture is not enough light. You can solve the problem in one of three ways...

1. A bigger apature.
2. A slower shutter speed
3. A faster ISO speed

These are the only alternatives.

To get a bigger apature, you need to open the apature on your current camera lens to its maximum value.

Slower shutter speeds will make your picture more blurry (not an alternative).

Pumping up the ISO could help, if your camera will let you do it. It wil make the pictures noisey, however.

I don't think you'll find a $250 camera that will do what you're trying to do.

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Old Nov 19, 2005, 7:04 PM   #3
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Ok...so you're saying that the DiMage Z2 WON'T get the job done? It's not a $250 camera, it's a refurb so it's cheaper.

And incase I wasn't clear, that picture wasn't taken with a DiMage Z2, it was taken with a couple year old Samsung 3.2 MP camera.
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Old Nov 19, 2005, 7:15 PM   #4
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There really isn't a consumer level digicam in your price range that will get the job done. Even if your budget was $500, I don't think you'd be able to find a camera that would give you consistent results. Most consumer digicams don't have high ISO capability or fast lenses. The situation you are shooting in really calls for a DSLR.

In order to have any success, make sure you do the following:

1. Shoot at the widest focal length (no zoom). This allows the camera to use its largest aperature, letting in the most light.

2. Pump your ISO up as high as it will go. This will increase noise and decrease image quality. You probably will not be able to print an 8x10 (4x6 may be ok with some noise reduction software), but you may at least get the shot.

Even though the lighting may seem bright, indoor sporting events are in fact very dark to a camera.

Good luck!!
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Old Nov 19, 2005, 7:33 PM   #5
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Hmmm...well prints aren't really a priority, I just thought maybe somewhere down the road, but I don't need prints right now. Errrr...so you guys are saying that this camera won't produce any acceptable results? That's all I need is acceptable results, they don't have to be great, just acceptable.

And the review on the main site said that it runs best at 200 isos, that isn't good is it?

And....how much of an effect does noise have on a picture?
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Old Nov 27, 2005, 4:08 PM   #6
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Sorry for the bump, but I have a few more things to ass to this post.

Ok....just to give you guys ideas of what I want. I don't need magazine quality pics. Take this recent photo from a fight last night (not taken by me)

I just need pics like that, I'm not trying to win anyphoto journalism awards, I just need decent pictures.

So, I have a few more questions
  1. With a Z3 (I've found the Z3 for a better price then the Z2), will I be able to take photos of the quality of the two I posted above.[/*]
  2. Are those dots (or the blurriness) noise? I've read the definition of noise, but I'm still not sure what it is.[/*]
  3. And I know this question isn't really suited for this board but....am I better off gettng the FujiFillm S5200?
Once again, thank you so much for any help. I really appreciate it.
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Old Dec 5, 2005, 4:51 AM   #7
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Wildman is absolutely right. You need either
1. A bigger aperture.
2. A slower shutter speed
3. A faster ISO speed
1) Number one is the most expensive solution. Some cameras whose lenses are faster than F2.8 (wider aperture lenses means more light is captures, which means you can use faster shutter speeds, so such lenses are said to be "faster) include the Canon G6, Olympus C5050, and Sony F717. More info at


2) Number two is not a problem if you don't use the zoom too much and/of if you have image stabilization. If you're zoomed all the way out - say at 38mm equivalent focal length, which I think is the equivalent focal lengths of the Minolta Z's when you zoom out - then you can probably shoot as slow as 1/30 or 1/40 of a second. The general rule is "don't shoot slower than your equivalent focal length". So if you use the zoom and if you're at 400mm equivalent, then shots taken slower than 1/400 will be blurry. However, in order to get enough light in, you pretty much need more time than 1/400 of a second. This is where IS comes in - image stabilization will minimiza vibrations and allow you to get away with shutter speeds that are significantly slower than your equivalent focal length. More info about this at


and at


3)Number three really is a problem with most small digital cameras. As you can see at


high ISOs really increase grain. (Yes, that's what those dots are). Since you have little light to work with, one solution is to make the sensor of the camera more sensitive to light, which is what the higher ISO does. This is, however, a last resort. The reason why wide-aperture lenses sell, and why image stabilization is so great, is that you really want to get more light to your sensor if you can help it at all, rather than making your sensor more sensitive to the light it gets. A solution is to get a camera that is particularly good at high ISO performance. Ideally, that would be an SLR, but the sensor technology in the new Fujis (the F10, Z1, and S5200) give them SLR-like performance at high ISOs.

So, if you want to get a Minolta, get an image-stabilized one like the Z3, Z5 or Z6. However, I would recommend you get an FZ-series Panasonic instead (FZ3, FZ4, FZ5, FZ10, FZ20, FZ30). The Panasonic's lenses are much higher aperture (f2.8 all the way to 420mm, while the Minoltas have only F4.5 or so at 380mm, which means you have to use about three times slower shutter speeds, for three times as much blur). They are also image-stabilized. Number 3 is the only problem, as they do get kinda grainy, but with that aperture and with that image stabilization you should be able to actually keep the ISO low and thus avoid the problem with grain. I have taken many pictures of indoor events with my FZ10, some even using the zoom. So that would be my recommendation, but a Minolta Z3 or Z6 would be a close second since their IS system really is quite exceptional, allowing you to get away with quite slow shutter speeds while avoiding shake-induced blur.

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