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Old Jan 25, 2005, 11:43 AM   #1
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i was thinking of getting a 5100, but the fact that it doesn't have IS makes me weary. can you actually use full zoom without a tripod?

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Old Jan 25, 2005, 12:23 PM   #2
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Yes you can!, don't let the naysayers turn you off, long zoom cameras have been around forever (without image stabilization), and some excellent pictures have been produced. First, if you have enough light (daytime outside) your auto mode shutter speed is fast enuff to take great pics, I've noticed the same thing daytime indoors with this camera (S5100), even most average indoorlight night time pics, are fine without flash and full zoom, but of course in low light you have a better chance with flash. You may not get great results with each low *********, but thats with any camera. Also, shooting at, or towards a light source, improves your odds quite a bit. I have a few shots in my gallery that were shot hand heldfull zoom, very low light, 20' across a room at a lighted kinetic painting, that I'm surprised & happy with. Here, look for yourself, 2 NYbridge pics in random gallery, also stone arch bridge 1 pic is partly zoomed, in first gallery.


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Old Jan 25, 2005, 4:12 PM   #3
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Don't get too suckered into the benefits of IS - it does help, but not half as much as some of the adverts would have you believe.

A camera without IS would be difficult to hand hold much below 125th/sec at full zoom unless your really steady and careful, with IS you could probably do the same at 60th or even 30th... but thats assuming the subject was stationary; and that there wasn't something like a tree or wall convenient that you could lean on and get the same (or better) effect from
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Old Jan 27, 2005, 8:07 PM   #4
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I'm certainly no expert on the topic, but when I use my video camera with image stabilization it degraded the picture quality, so I don't use it.

I regularily hand hold my camera down to about 1/60th of a second and get okay results. Obviously a tripod or a higher shutter speed is going to increase the sharpness of the shot.

Probably more critical is having a fast lens. A digital SLR with a 50mm 1.4 lens over a zoom that has a max aperture of F2.8 is going to give you two extra stops of light. Which means, you can have a faster shutter speed and still get a nicely exposed shot.

So something can be said for a fast lens. You get higher shutter speeds for the same amount of light.

Having said that, some lenses at wide open f-stop give you a slightly "soft" image.

Or, you can dial up the ISO and face more digital noise in your shot.

So, there are always constraints to photography. Luckily, as equipment gets better, we can push our equipment harder before hitting new constraints.

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Old Jan 27, 2005, 11:31 PM   #5
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Minolta and Nikon are claiming 3 f-stops for their stabilization. Panasonic doesn't say, but their stabilization tests as effective as others. 3 f-stops might be a tad optimistic, but it is certainly better than 2. That means you can handhold the same shot in 1/4 to 1/8 the light or have 4 to 8 times the shutter speed with the same lens. If your technique is good enough or your standards low enough to be satisfied with a 1/60 second telephoto shot without stabilization you can make the same shot with the same quality at 1/15 to 1/8 second with stabilization.

Stabilization doesn't help at all for subject movement. Shooting people you find yourself using burst mode to try to hit a moment of null movement. Some situations don't provide moments of null movement and you just need all the light and the largest glass you can get. The S5100 will actually do better for subject motion at full zoom than some of the stabilized cameras like the Minolta Z3 and Nikon 8800 because they stop down to f4.5 and f5.2 respectively. The Canon S1 keeps the same f3.1 as the Fuji and the Panasonic FZs are just a tad faster at f2.8. The Minolta and especially the Nikon are so slow at full zoom they lose a lot of the advantage of stabilization for stationary subjects and are well behind the S5100 for subject motion. Only the Panasonics are better at both, and even then not by much with subject movement.

But there are a lot of telephoto shots that don't involve subject movement, and you have a lot more versatility with stabilization if the lens doesn't stop down too much. And stabilization is also great for limited light at wider angles.

There are two kinds of stabilization on camcorders BTW. Many have electronic stabilization, which degrades image quality. Top of the line cameras use mechanical stabilization and there is no image degradation. Don't confuse the two. Stabilized digital cameras have mechanical stabilization which doesn't degrade the image.

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Old Jan 28, 2005, 10:14 PM   #6
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Yes IS is a great invention it is not always necessary. The S5100 is a capable camera at full zoom even at night. I have taken full zoom pictures without flash and have had very good results, here are some shots at a tree lighting. I hand held the camera and it was crouded so I was getting bumped around, no flash was used....

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Old Jan 29, 2005, 8:24 AM   #7
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Sure, but you had the best kind of flash for these shots...a 100K spot light!
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Old Mar 3, 2005, 6:42 AM   #8
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You`re pictures are great,i`m really very impressed.I suppose that if you carry around one of those tiny tripods you can then make very cool night pics.

Do you have a couple of macro shots and a few made during the day ?

The 5000S looks to be a very good choice for just 300 euros.I`m hesitating with the new Minolta Z5.

The Minolta has IS + a large LCD 2`+ Sd card instead of Xd which are more expensive + 5m/pixels and all this for a total of 410 euros.

I`d like to make handheldindoor and outdoor pics in low light conditions so IS might just be the thing ? I`m a bit worried about the noise,which of the 2 is less sensitive to noise?

If someone could show me a pic or 2 made with a Z5 or Z3 at night with IS and without ,this would really help a lot.

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Old Mar 4, 2005, 2:36 AM   #9
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The S5100 is the upgrade of the S5000, which came out about a year ago. The S5000 is 3.1 megapixels with 6 megapixels interpolated. The S5100 is 4 megapixels with no interpolation. If prices are close, I would chose the S5100, though the S5000 has its fans, too. Overall, it seems that reviewers like the image quality better on the S5100.

Good luck!
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Old Mar 4, 2005, 7:31 PM   #10
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In most areas xD card prices are falling. I expect this trend to continue as more of the larger xD cards are sold and some other manufacturers (like Kodak) bring out new models using xD cards.

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