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Old Jan 19, 2005, 11:35 PM   #1
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I finally shelved my 1970s Olympus OM1 and purchaseda new Canon S70 for general family use. I havethe following problemswhen shooting inlow to moderately lit rooms (twoor four70 watt incandescent bulbs) at night.Imust either resolve them or find another model of camera.

1. In low to medium-low lighting, whenI extend the lens to 3x to frame a shot, and the aperture increases to 5+, and the shutter speed drops to 1/60 or 1sec. everything becomes ablur.

2. WhenI pull back the lens to 28mm to shoot a person's face the subject person gets "chipmunk cheeks" from the barrel distortion.

3. The flash does not "throttle down". When subject is within 6 feetthe flashgives faces amoverexposed"waxy" look thatresembles the proverbial "deer in the headlights'.

This ismy second S70. I returned the first one because it made a faint grinding sound after I used the zoom,and before I touched the shutter. Iread in a forumofanother person who experienced this sound on a A series Canon and was advised by Canon to return it. So I following thier advise.

I am considering returning the current S70. I need a camera that can shoot families indoors without blurring, noises, and chipmunk cheeks. I am looking at the Panasonic FZ20 because of Panasonic's reputation for reliability in other products,it's ability to shoot in low light, and the cult-like followingit gets in these forums. But the FZ20 is 5 mp! The Canon S70 is 7mp. I have been doing a fair amountof cropping and enlarging to get the shot framed right.

How can I resolve the low light issues?

What would be an alternative camera?

Would the FZ20 be the a good fit to my use - people shots, scenery, family outings?

Suggestions welcome!

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Old Jan 20, 2005, 1:19 AM   #2
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I have the same camera.
What mode are you shooting in?
Try shooting in P, dropping the both the flash down, and the exposure down. You can save your indoor setting into C, and have that all set up if your lighting is as predictable. I shoot in similar situations, taking pictures of my cats for fun at night with my flash at - 1 1/3 and the exposure - 2/3. The pictures are much less washed out for me.

Leaving the flash at full blast indoors usually results in bleached images that blink at me in histogram view.

I also have luck with AV set to F8.0 1/60 with flash at normal. ISO 50 or 100. My situation is a small room with 3- 75 or 90 watt bulbs.

Hope that helps, but I nkow I am no expert.
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Old Jan 20, 2005, 9:39 PM   #3
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Greyem:

I have been shooting in the various preset modes - auto, potrait, night scene. I have not used any of the manual modes yet. Thanks for the tips. I will work on it tonight.

When I purchased the S70 I was hoping for an easy "point and shoot" camera.Have your outdoor shots reqired less custom settings?



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Old Jan 20, 2005, 11:36 PM   #4
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Yep, outdoor, is no problem at all. I shoot inside a room with 40 feet x 60 feet of windows on 2 walls each (pretty much outside) and I am shooting P mode at ISO 50 1/80 F2.8 no flash. No under/over exposing.

My biggest trouble is getting it to focus indoors.

I was trying to acheive less overexposure on cheeks in portrait shots inside (It seems to be what your complaint is). I got decent results by dropping the flash to -2 and raising the exposure compensation to +1 in P mode. Shooting in ISO 50 the camera selected f3.2 The images are slightly underexposed, but there is none of that super glowing cheek business. I also do not get any flashing overexposure notices in the histogram view. I think if you start there and adjust to a setting that works fairly reliably, you w be able to take some good shots. I would save the setting to the C mode and have your indoor setting ready without having to set all that up every time.

But, to your question: outside is marvelous, the pictures are super clear and very easy to take. The small cameras have small lenses and it just makes taking pictures in the dark difficult. Big lensed cameras can do a better job but cost twice as much, and are heavy, etc.

As to an easy point and shoot camera, I think they exist, but they dont have all the features you end up needing. This camera is not really designed to be an "easy" camera, as it has 3/4 of the functions of a professional DSLR camera, without the big fat lens, and the big price tag. It has small camera limitations and pretty much all of the little ones share the same problems.
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Old Jan 24, 2005, 11:37 AM   #5
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I have the s70 and have no problems at all. Play around with the white balance - put it on tungsten for indoor low light and see what happens. I found that it corrected any darkness issues I had
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Old Jan 25, 2005, 8:47 PM   #6
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Greyem, Hotchiledamo,

Thanks for the advice. However, I purchased the Panasonic FZ20 over the weekend and returned the Canon S70. The Panasonic was more successfulin the low light indoor shoots where I do allot of family photos. It does not seem to have the "waxy face" overexposure issue. We shall see. Guess I'll be switching over the the Panasonic forum.

Thanks again...

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