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Old Dec 11, 2006, 1:18 PM   #1
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I've been a long time-user of a Canon S1 IS and a Canon A410 (the 3 MP no optical zoom pocket camera). Most of my photos are non-flash and range from sunlight days to long-exposure night shots. These cameras have worked great.

To have a pocket camera with some optical zoom, I recently tried out an A530. Took it out for a city walk yesterday using Program (P) mode and immediately noticed that for any shots where it was a little shady or didn't have direct sunlight- the camera was setting the exposure times relatively long and warning me with the little red "camera shake" icon upon autofocus. The same thing was happening indoors even with a window-sunlit room. As a result, all of these photos in what I consider to be pretty standard / routine conditions for me became extremely sensitive to the slightest handheld camera shake. I've never had such problems before- even with my cheap A410!!!!

Can anyone comment on this? Is this normal in newer cameras? Could this be a function of the A530 being limited in the number of F-stop values available at each zoom level?

Would it help or give me any more flexibility if I upgraded to the A540 and worked with it's shutter priority mode (which the 530 doesn't have)?
Would appreciate some advice....
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Old Dec 11, 2006, 2:18 PM   #2
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You would do no better with the A540. Long before you get a shake warning the camera has the lens wide open and is giving you all the shutter speed available for the light. Overriding and increasing the shutter speed will just give you dark pictures.

Your S1 is stabilized and allows you to handhold at lower shutter speeds.

If you use the A530 at its widest (1X zoom) setting you will probably get results similar to your little fixed lens camera. At 4X zoom you need 4 times the shutter speed to handhold. And as you zoom the camera lets in less light which exacerbates the problem.

You need either stabilization or a camera good at higher ISO.

Stabilization lets you handhold at lower shutter speeds. That lets you get images of subjects not moving in lower light. Since stabilization is letting you handhold at lower shutter speeds anything moving in the scene is likely to blur in limited light. You are already familiar with that using the S1. Panasonic makes several small stabilized cameras in the price range of the A530 and 540.

High ISO will capture motion better at the cost of noise. The Fuji F20 is in a similar price range as the A540 and has excellent high ISO capability. The F30 is a little larger with better controls and an even higher ISO but is a little pricier.

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