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Old Dec 18, 2006, 8:34 AM   #1
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Hi there. Last April I posted here asking advice on a new camera purchase. (http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...hlight=Therese) I was basically looking for a decent all-purpose camera that would mostly be used as a p&s. But low-light capacity was also on my mind because we are going to China for an adoption and I had heard the lighting in Govt. buildings would be poor.

I ended up with the F10. Overall I'd say I was very happy with it. I wanted a camera with little shutter lag since we are always taking kid shots, and the F10 was great in that regard. My one complaint is probably due to user error. But when trying to take pictures in low light, I didn't feel as wowed as I thought I was going to be by the results. I'd put the setting on "natural light" and end up getting a blurry or dim result. I got in the habit of taking two of everything--one on auto and one on natural light, and the auto was sometimes better, sometimes worse (overexposed subject in the foreground). It seemed I could never keep the camera still long enough. I'm sure I was doing something wrong. Any suggestions?

My purse, camera, etc., etc. were stolen out of my car yesterday, so here I am shopping again and wondering if I should just replace the F10 with an F30, or look around more. Back in April I also looked at the Canon A610/620 and Kodak Easysahre Z740. I don't know if those are still around, if I should consider them or their equivalents this time around. I don't want the low-light issue to completely drive the decision, when most of our photos will be of little kids and will need to be captured quickly. We will NEVER be using a tripod, that's for sure. If the F10 is a great camera for taking photos of city skylines, etc. etc., than I'm hardly ever going to use it in that capacity. If it's great for taking a picture of rambunctious kids around a Christmas tree, then that's great and I just need to figure out how to take that kind of picture. Maybe I need image stabilization?

Sorry to be so long-winded. What do you think? What forerunners should I consider, along with the F30?
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Old Dec 18, 2006, 9:03 AM   #2
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Very sorry that your purse got stolen!

The F30 is hands-down the best point-n-shoot for capturing moving subjects. However, from what I have read, the user does have to work a bit to get the most form the camera. You may have to manually boost the ISO to 800, 1600, or even 3200 in in order to capture fast-moving children. Also, use the flash.

Image stabilization helps to compensate for you hand moving, but does nothing for subject movement. Having a high ISO and a quick shutter is the best medicine for that! You may want to post your query in the Fuji forum, as I am sure you could get good advice for shooting children (with a camera!) there.

Attached is an indoor (obviously) photo of my mom's cat I took 2 days ago. He was a bad boy for jumping up on the kitchen counter! I snapped this as he made his way down. He wasn't moving cat-quick, but he wasn't exactly posing, either. The camera used was a Kodak C875, auto mode, with flash. The exif info shows ISO 125, shutter 1/60.

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Old Dec 18, 2006, 2:35 PM   #3
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Bad news first:
1. No P&S is really good in low light.
2. The F30 is a very minor step up from the F10 in this.
3. IS is very good for helping with camera shake, but won't help with subject motion, like kids.

Good news:
1. Some recent models (like Fuji F31fd) now also have "Face detection" technology, which is very useful for keeping those kids in focus.
2. Entry level DSLRs, which are good in low light, continue to come down in price as well.

For situations with both low light and subject movement, you still get best results with a DSLR. If budget is an issue, it's worht noting that there are now entry level models available with kit lens for under $500. The Pentax K110D and 18-55mm lens, for example can now be had for about $420 after rebate. But, it's obviously still a bit large to pack in a purse.

So if you want compact, you have to make some compromises.

For something pocket sized, consider the F30/F31fd, and the Canon SD700IS or SD800IS (which has a nice wide angle). The Fuji F20 is sort of a lesser F30, with a lower quality LCD, weaker battery, and no manual controls, but not bad on a budget.

The replacements for the Canon A610/620 are the A630 and A640, and if you like the A series right now you should really look at the A710IS. t's a bit large for a pocket, but probably just right for a purse, and if that's small enough, I think the best overall camera in that price range.

The Kodak C875 mentioned is another good choice, and one of the better value options. It lacks the IS on the Canon A710, but otherwise is close in its capabilities, with Kodak ease of use.

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Old Dec 19, 2006, 8:55 AM   #4
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Thank you both for your responses. You've given me some things to think about. Now if only the insurance company would call so I can get some money to go buy it!


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