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-   -   More light thru the lens=fewer flash needs? (

Andrus Nov 21, 2003 10:07 PM

More light thru the lens=fewer flash needs?
Is there any way to get a list of digis that have at least a 2.0 lens opening?

NHL Nov 22, 2003 6:09 AM

You have to look @ both end as well...

One can get a larger f/stop lens camera, but with a smaller CCD behind it... and ends up with a lower sensitivity (or more noisy for the same ISO) camera with an f/1.8 lens. :wink:

... there's always the EF-50 f/1.8 @ ~$60 for the Digital Rebel with a larger sensor and silky smooth images @ ISO 100! :lol: :lol: :lol:

gibsonpd3620 Nov 22, 2003 7:11 AM


The Olympus C5050 and C4040 both have lens openings of F1.8 and produce excellent pictures.

JimC Nov 22, 2003 10:18 AM

What type of photos are you trying to take with the camera?

You have to look at other parameters, too.

If you're just looking for existing light photos without flash indoors with fairly good ambient lighting, that's one thing. The Olympus C-4040z and C-5050z cameras that Phil mentioned are good choices with a widest aperture of F1.8 at wide angle, and F2.6 at full zoom.

Canon's G3 and G5 models are also good choices, with a fairly fast F2.0/F3.0 lens.

You also have to keep in mind the amount of zoom used, as less light reaches the sensor using zoom (with apertures stopping down), and higher shutter speeds needed to prevent blur at longer focal lengths).

The Sony DSC-F717 is a great choice, with it's F2.0/F2.4 lens, and it's also got a much longer lens (190mm), with a wider aperture at it's much longer zoom (F2.4 at 190mm).

These are all good cameras for indoor shots with good ambient lighting at wider focal lengths (most indoor shots are at full wide angle anyway).

But, if you're looking to stop action, at longer focal lengths (higher zoom) that's another thing entirely.

To take low light indoor or nightime sports photos, you'll need fast enough shutter speeds to prevent blur -- especially at longer focal lengths. When using Zoom, Camera Shake magnifies any Camera or Subject Movement, so faster shutter speeds are needed.

To get faster shutter speeds, both a faster lens (wider aperture, or lower F-Stop Number) is needed, as well as higher ISO Speeds.

Also, with a Zoom Lens, you have to look at the Maximum Aperture Available at both full wide angle, and at full zoom (where you'll likely be taking your photos at sports events).

In this type of shooting condition, you may not be happy with any consumer model (non-DSLR) camera.

Then, your best bet would be to buy a camera like the Canon EOS-300D (Digital Rebel) or Canon EOS-10D. These can shoot at much higher ISO speeds with lower noise. Then buy a very fast lens (wider aperture/lower F-Stop than F2.0) to go with it.

Then, you may have a better chance (depending on how much light is available).

The shutter speed used by a digital camera for proper exposure, is directly related to the maximum aperture (light gathering capability) of the lens, ISO Speed used, and lighting conditions.

Most compact models will have a maximum aperture of around F2.8 at full wide angle. Much worse when using zoom (because less light can reach the sensor using zoom).

You can increase ISO speed to allow faster shutter speeds (for example: ISO 400 is 4 times as sensitive as ISO 100, allowing shutter speeds 4 times as fast).

However, increasing ISO speed increases noise. Most users find that lower light photos at ISO 400 have too much noise, and lower ISO speeds result in blur from camera and subject movement due to slower shutter speeds needed for proper exposure at slower ISO speeds.

Some consumer models are better than others. For example: the fastest lens you'll find in a Prosumer (non-DSLR) camera for it's focal range is the Sony DSC-F717. It's lens is rated at F2.0 at full wide angle, but only stops down to F2.4 at full 190mm zoom (most stop down to apertures that are not as wide at this zoom level.

F2.0 is TWICE as bright as F2.8, allowing for shutter speeds that are twice as fast for the same lighting conditions and ISO speeds.

The difference in aperture is even more to the Sony's favor at longer focal ranges, since it only stops down to F2.4 at full 190mm zoom (but, the Sony's maximum is 190mm equivalent which could be limiting compared to some of the longer zoom models).

However, even with a Sony DSC-F717's F2.4 Aperture at 190mm Full Zoom, a high percentage of your photos may not be useable due to motion blur or noise. Also, print sizes may be limited, too (due to loss of detail/noise at higher ISO speeds). Also, depending on lighting conditions, you may not be able to get useable photos either.

What is bright to the human eye, is not bright to a camera's lens (especially a "Prosumer" Digital Camera, with limited Dynamic Range).

Cameras like the Canon EOS-300D or EOS-10D have much larger sensors, and are able to shoot at higher ISO speeds with lower noise. This helps to prevent blur due to camera shake and subject movement.

However, you still need a relatively fast lens to go with it (and you may want something longer than 190mm equivalent too), and these can get somewhat expensive (especially when you get down to apertures wider than F2.0 (which would be desirable for fastest shutter speeds at longer focal lengths to help prevent blur from camera shake and subject movement).

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