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Old Jun 12, 2006, 9:20 AM   #1
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I had a 2 yr old Canon and it broke out of the blue -E18 error.

I started to check out new cameras and got a great deal on a Sondy DSC-W50 (175.00) well I use it mostly to take pictures of my toddler son who's always on the move (I hate blurry pictures). The Sony dosen't have a action or sport mode and no manual controls so I'm thinking I should have went with one of the Canon (SD450, SD600 etc) since they offer this mode and might be better formy needs. Any options? Do you think I'd be better off spending more on the Canon or am I expecting to much from a P&S camera and should I keep what I have?? Thanks

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Old Jun 12, 2006, 10:45 AM   #2
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Your best bet for taking photos with toddlers using most non-DSLR camera models is to use a flash.

All the action modes are doing on most cameras is opening up the aperture to it's widest setting (smallest f/stop number) for the amount of zoom you're using, and increasing ISO speed.

In low light, a camera's autoexposure algorithms are already going to be using the largest available aperture (smallest f/stop number).

So, by increasing ISO speed, you accomplish the same thing (and most of these "sports" modes don't increase ISO speed to the highest value anyway, so it may not help anything at all using a camera with this mode in low light compared to a model without these modes).

Each time you double the ISO speed, a camera can use shutter speeds twice as fast for the same lighting and aperture. But, higher ISO speeds increase noise levels. So, there are tradeoffs.

Most compact models have a largest available aperture of around f/2.8 on their wide end (least apparent magnification), and lose a *lot* of light as more optical zoom is used (typically, with most smaller models, you only have around 1/3 the light available at their longest zoom setting, since they typically drop off to around f/4.9 or so).

If you increase ISO speed to around ISO 400, and stay at the widest zoom setting (least apparent magnification), you can probably get a few keepers in good indoor lighting without a flash, if you don't mind the higher noise levels and the subject is relatively still).

But, for best results with most non-DSLR camera models, you're going to need to use the flash indoors for non-stationary subjects, regardless of whether or not the camera has any kind of sports mode. ;-)

There are a few exceptions. For example, the Fuji f10/f11/f30 models have higher available ISO speeds compared to most non-DSLR models (but, their lenses still lose a lot of light if you zoom in much, just like most compact models).

As a general rule, a flash is a better way to go unless you are using a DSLR with a bright prime lens.

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