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Old Mar 30, 2008, 7:36 PM   #1
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I would certainly like to take more vacations to more exotic places than I do, but unfortunately most of the time I use my camera is on holidays and on weekend outings to clubs. I like taking pictures of friends and of local bands performing in clubs.

These aren't severely dark clubs, but they're pretty dark. I don't like to be obnoxious and have the flash going off constantly. Sure, the average performer thinks it's pretty cool to see a couple flashes go off, but if I'm the guy taking shot after shot after shot, it eventually makes me look a little weird. And honestly I'd rather have a grainy picture than a picture with harsh/unnatural flash lighting.

My F30 does better than anything else I've used in low light, but it still bumps the ISO all the way up to 3200 most of the time and results are very mediocre. I've been looking at stabilized cameras, but that's just to reduce hand shake -- if the performer is moving around a lot, it'll still probably be blurry, won't it?

I was looking at Canon's IS cameras, and I was wondering if they all perform the same in low light. There are tons of cameras that have similar specs. For example, every one of these cameras has an 8MP 1/2.5" sensor with lens-shift image stabilization, a Digic III processor, and ISO 1600:

S5 IS, SX100 IS
SD1100 IS, SD870 IS, SD850 IS
A720 IS, A590 IS

My brother has an S3 IS which seems pretty great, but I don't think I'd use more than 4X zoom very much, and I don't NEED an optical viewfinder, and I don't need the extra battery life, so if everything else is the same, I might as well get something smaller. The S5 IS is about $300. If quality is similar, I'd rather have the smaller SX100 IS for $100 less, or maybe the tiny SD850 IS, or maybe just get the cheap A590 IS. Do all of these perform similarly in low light?

Is there anything else I should be looking at? Is it even worth upgrading? Is anything going to be a significant improvement over my Fuji F30?


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Old Mar 30, 2008, 7:42 PM   #2
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The canon cameras while all nice cameras with good IS all have pretty poor high ISO performance - certainly worse than your current camera. That's one area where the canon digicams still suffer - average to poor high iso performance.

Unfortunately after that generation of camera, fuji and others put an emphasis on more megapixels and the current generation appears to have WORSE high ISO performance.

Lots of people would love to get their hands on a F30.

But I think if you want better high ISO performance you'd need to step up to a DSLR - but that's costly and adds a lot of bulk.
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Old Mar 30, 2008, 7:43 PM   #3
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I am not sure that anything among the point and shoots is better than the F30. There is an F100fd, which might have similar lowlight performance, but it's just now coming out in the US market.

I have the F20, which is similar to the F30, except with fewer manual controls. I was wondering why you don't put your F30 in manual mode and set the ISO to 1600. Is there too little light in the clubs to use 1600?
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Old Mar 30, 2008, 7:44 PM   #4
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I don't think any camera out now will out perform the F30 in low light...except for a DSLR with a very fast lens. I think you would be disappointed with the Canon's low light performance as compared to the F30. But don't take my word for it - bring your brother's S5 into one of your clubs and take some shots.

Let us know how you make out.

the Hun

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Old Mar 30, 2008, 8:36 PM   #5
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Rinnie is absolutely correct!

The Fuji F-30 is a really hard camera to beat.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Oct 7, 2008, 2:47 AM   #6
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So, is this still pretty much the case?

I'd like to get something with OIS so I can take better shots without a tripod indoors, but if there's still nothing better than the F30, that'd be a waste.

Fuji F30 = 1/1.7" CCD, f/2.8
Fuji F60 ($250) = 1/1.6" CCD, CCD-shift IS, f/2.8

Canon G10 (about $500) = 1/1.7" CCD, OIS, f/2.8
Canon SX110 IS (under $300) = 1/2.3" CCD, OIS, f/2.8

Nikon P5100 (about $300) = 1/1.7" CCD, OIS, f/2.7

Kodak Z1085 (under $200) = 1/1.6" CCD, OIS, f/2.8

Panasonic LX3 (about $450) = 1/1.6" CCD, OIS, f/2.0

I really thought I wanted the SX110, but I have a feeling I'd be disappointed. The Kodak Z1085 looks awesome -- it's under $200, has ISO 8000 (3200 in full res), does HD video, and has a big sensor, but I really cringe at the idea of a Kodak. The back of it looks cheap, and I just have a feeling the menus/controls would be obnoxious.

The Nikon P5100 seems to have some pretty mediocre reviews. It seemed to only get beat by the G9 by a little in in image quality, though, and it's a lot cheaper than the G9.

The Fuji F60 looks like a slight improvement over the F30, but I doubt the half-baked CCD-shift IS does much. I lost some respect for Fuji for trying to pass-off their bogus "high sensitivity mode" as stabilization.

The Panasonic LX3 is supposed to have an amazing lens, and it's pretty fast. I also like the ability to take 1280x720 24p videos. Maybe I'll save up for that.

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Old Oct 10, 2008, 12:30 AM   #7
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While it may seem like the F30 is getting "long in the tooth" and surely someone has built a better low light compact camera, it's just not happening.

The F30 has developed a "cult like" following for low light performance and it seems to be warranted.

Nothing on your list comes close to outperforming the low light performance of the f30.

Stop wasting your time and "just be happy"

You made either an accidentally good, or well informed choice when you bought the f30. If you just have the desire for something newer... buy something just to spend the money. Use it, then put it in the closet when you find it doesn't beat your f30.

I once had an Olympus c 8080 Wide Zoom that I bought for it's lens performance (I could give a rip about low light).

I sold the Olympus and have not yet found a camera to match the lens performance including APS and 4/3 frame DSLR's. I have seen $600 to $1000 lenses than can't match the fixed lens 8080 within its zoom range and prosumer sensor.

Sometimes emerging technology simply increases our desire to buy, but doesn't really give us solutions. It's a fact of high tech.

Your f30 is extremely viable as a solution for what you desire. Nobody has yet knocked it off the perch for small sensor, compact camera, low light performance.
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Old Oct 17, 2008, 2:36 PM   #8
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fjpeterson wrote:
... I also have different product like toys for kids or men's colognes maybe you can find a great gift for someone. Just give it a look you won't be disappointed trust me.
I never would've thought to use Google.

Normally when I ask about cameras I am actually looking for men's colognes, and I thank you for trying to help.

I'm sorry to hear that last week you thought it was a good idea to pay $199 to GetEstore.com for a "Fully Pre-Stocked Online Super Store," but I think you've been had.
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Old Oct 17, 2008, 10:47 PM   #9
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I have the Fuji F50fd and, while its high ISO image quality is better than other brand cameras, its not as good as the F20, which had the same sensor as the F30. Fuji claims that its cameras will soon use some new technology to beat the F30 and F31's low light performance, but it hasn't come out yet. You could get a DSLR with a bright prime lens but that will cost you a lot more, I would say at least $700.
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