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Old Aug 4, 2006, 8:58 AM   #1
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I looking at getting an Ultra-compact. Portability is key.

What do i want to use it for ? Mainly Video clips andindoor photos. The problem with most cameras is good quality photos in poor lighting conditions and poor quality video and sound.

I'm mainly focussed on Sony W50 ,70 or 100, Canon SD600, 630 and 700 Is, Nikon P5

Not looking for the perfect photo, but rather not having to take 10 photos to only delete the other 9. I want a camera that takes great photos in poor lighting but also has great video clip capabilities.

What are the pro's and cons between these cameras. Aslo what is the difference between the SD 600, 630 ? as well as W50, W70 , w100 other than mpixels ?

There seems to be a $50-100 diference between each these with no discernable difference in features.

I don't mind spending more if the features are worth it, but at the same time since digicams have a limited lifespan i don't want to spend too much as i will probably get a newer one in 3-5 yrs.
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Old Aug 4, 2006, 4:02 PM   #2
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This has a comparison table of the Sony W series: http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/so...ew/index.shtml

I notice that all of your choices have optical viewfinders in addition to LCDs. I personally agree with that choice. You get a steadier hold and can acquire and follow moving targets better when zoomed. And I've yet to see a LCD that is really good in low light other than transreflective LCDs, which they don't make anymore that I am aware of.

If you are referring to low light flash shots just look at the flash range and low light focus in the reviews. I think everything you named has an assist light and accurate low light focus, although Jeff thought the low light focus on the W50 was a little slow.

If you want something that can take photos in low light without a flash, all of the cameras you named are limited.

The Sonys are pretty good at ISO 400, but that isn't enough to get good low light shots without flash.

Dpreview thought the SD700 was also good at ISO 400 and it has optical stabilization. Stabilization helps a lot in low light because you can handhold at a lower shutter speed. That combined with ISO400 might be better than most in limited light. But stabilization doesn't help for subject motion.

About the only pocket camera that has a chance at capturing action in limited light is the Fuji F30. It is definitely too large to be called a sub-compact and it has no eyelevel viewfinder. And dpreview thought the LCD was hard to see in bright sunlight – a bad feature in a LCD-only camera.
But it is a nice camera if you can do without the viewfinder and it isn't too fat for you.

I'm not familiar with a current Nikon P5 model.

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Old Aug 4, 2006, 6:17 PM   #3
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Thanks slipe.

I'm struggling to find sample videos of these cameras other than those on this site.

I was surprised to find that (on this site) the sample photos of the canon are of pooer quality than those of the Sony and Nikon cameras. Whereas the videos of the SD600 seem better quality than the Nikon S5 and Sony W series. (in that order)

I'm looking for more video samples to make an objective comparison.
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Old Aug 5, 2006, 3:09 AM   #4
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The new Sony W-100 review has just been posted by Steve.

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Old Aug 5, 2006, 6:23 AM   #5
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The image stabilizaion in the SD700IS or the Sony DSC-T30 might be worth paying a bit extra for; it will help in those lower light shots where hand holding the camera at lower shutter speeds would otherwise tend to cause blur.

No compact is really going to be "good" in "low" light. But for normally lit interiors, without excessive motion, the best will do well enough.

The Fuji F30 might be the best for indoor shots, as it does have an advantage in less noise as ISO increases. But getting the best results does require some fiddling with controls and knowledge of manual settings; so it appeals a bit more to enthusiasts. If convenience is more of a concern, you will probably prefer either of the above models with optical image stabilization. On a tighter budget, the less costly recent Sony W or Cannon SD models still have decent low light performance, good image quality, and point and shoot convenience..

The only significant difference from the W30 to the W50 is the LCD screen size (W30 is only 2"). The only significant difference from the W50 to the W70 is the pixels. But the W100 has not only more MP, but a newer, larger sensor which should also boost image quality in some ways (one being high ISO shooting which helps in low light).

As for the Cannons, the SD600, SD630, and SD700 are all 6MP. The 630 has a large 3" screen (the only significant difference from the 600), the other two are 2.5". All share the same sensor. But the 700IS has a few other improvements, especially the IS, but also a 4x zoom, and longer battery life.

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