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Old May 7, 2009, 7:43 PM   #1
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Default Sony DSC H50

In general, what does everyone think about this camera ? I had purchased a Nikon P90 and after a week returned it. Blurry and grainy pictures indoors. The guy at Best Buy told me that this Sony will take marvelous pictures indoors and during sports events without the flash. Any inputs ?

Also, what is the lens hub cap for ?
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Old May 8, 2009, 6:37 AM   #2
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
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Welcome to the forums.

I've moved your post down to our What Camera Should I Buy? Forum, where you'll likely get more responses.

None of the ultra-zoom type cameras are going to do great job for indoor photos without a flash, unless you're taking photos of stationary subjects and keep the ISO speeds set lower.

Because of the smaller image sensors in a non-dSLR model, you tend to get more noise as ISO speeds are increased (how sensitive the sensor is to light). You've got millions of photosites being stuffed into a small sensor (about the same size as a fingernail) with the types of cameras you're looking at. As a result, the surface area for each pixel is very small and doesn't gather a lot of light to generate a good signal. That requires more amplification as the signal gets weaker (as when light gets lower). This amplification adds noise (the grain you see), sort of like turning up the volume on a weak radio station. But, instead of getting hiss and static, you get image noise.

Basically, the camera is amplifying the weak signal from the sensor in low light (increasing ISO speed) so that the image can be exposed faster (and you'll need faster shutter speeds to help reduce blur from subject movement).

If you really need to take indoor photos without a flash, your best bet is a dSLR model. These have much larger sensors and can provide a better image as ISO speeds get higher (and you'll need higher ISO speeds indoors without a flash in order to get your shutter speeds fast enough to reduce most motion blur). Indoor photos of moving subjects is very demanding on equipment. You'll also need a brighter lens with wider available apertures (represented by smaller f/stop numbers), even using a dSLR with good high ISO speed performance. IOW, the "kit" lenses bundled with dSLR models are still not going to "cut it" for good image quality for that type of shooting without a flash.

What kind of indoor photos are you trying to take? I see you mentioned sporting events. For indoor events like basketball, you really need a dSLR with good ISO 1600 or ISO 3200 images, depending on the lighting and lens. Using ISO 1600, it's best to stay with a prime (fixed focal length versus zoom), since these are available with wider available apertures like f/2 or f/1.8, allowing faster shutter speeds to reduce blur from subject movement. Using a dSLR with good ISO 3200 images, you can get away with using a bright zoom lenses with f/2.8 available throught the zoom range. For night games at a stadium (football, baseball, etc.), an f/2.8 zoom is usually the preferred choice.

I'd give members a better idea of the conditions you're shooting in, as well as your budget for better suggestions on a kit that may meet your needs better.
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