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Old Nov 11, 2009, 3:24 PM   #1
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Default Unhappy with Canon SD1200

Purchased a Canon SD1200 a couple of weeks back. Outdoor shots look great, indoor shots under florescent light with and without flash were pretty good, but shots in the house with standard lighting (cans, track lighting) were horrible. Tried (all with and without flash in pretty good lighting) Auto, Indoor, and Personal setting while using ISOs of 400 and 800. Lots of noise on the pictures. Cannot even crop the pictures because of the noise.

One person suggested I exchange the camera for a new one to see if this makes a difference. Wondering if this makes sense, or do I need to find a better low light camera for $250 or so?

Or is there another setting that might work better?

Thanks!
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Old Nov 11, 2009, 4:12 PM   #2
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Welcome to the Forum. We are glad you dropped by.

Let's see if we can isolate the problem. Please keep in mind that the flash range of a camera like this, is rather short. You can get good flash photos, as long as your camera to subject distance is no more than 10 feet.

How far away from your subject when you were taking photos using the camera's built-in flash unit? Was it greater than 10 feet? If it was 10 feet or greater, your photos would be progressively darker and darker as the distance increased in excess of 10 feet.

The problem may be camera technique, not a camera problem.

Have a great day.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Nov 11, 2009, 4:14 PM   #3
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i agree. i am thinking it is more of a problem of unrealistic expectations for this type of camera rather than a real problem in the camera itself.
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Old Nov 11, 2009, 5:30 PM   #4
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Just measured - was between 8 feet and 10 feet away for the pictures.

One other thing I did notice - any reason you can think of that with these same indoor pictures in the house would never seem to focus, even when the cameras auto feature puts the speed at 400 or 800? I barely have any pictures where the shot does not have motion blur or seems unfocused where it should be focused.

I'm only questioning this new camera because my Canon A75 rarely had issues like this, and now I have to tell my wife that 75% of all pictures I took for a family party did not turn out that great with a new camera.

You talk about unrealistic expectations - should I not expect to have some clear pictures indoors from a camera like this? Or are you suggesting to not take any indoor cameras?
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Old Nov 11, 2009, 5:58 PM   #5
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I can see that you are in a rather difficult situation. The Canon SD-1200 is just exhibiting some of the problems associated with tiny, pocket size cameras:

(1) They have a very small, and weak built-in flash units. I guessed at 10 feet, it appears that the flash range for the SD-1200 is even shorter than that. Try 6 to 8 feet, and if that does not give you the photos that you are looking for, gradually move in closer, and closer until you actually determine what your flash range really is.

(2) Small, pocket size cameras, and just about all Nikon point and shoot cameras will not achieve actual focus due to low light level in your photo environment. A recent review of an SD camera done by a British reviewer is classic. He said, "I turned on lights in the room until I could easily read a book or a magazine. Still, the SD-XXX would not focus properly. After turning on 3 more sizable lights, the camera finally focused."

So you are going to have to be sure there is sufficient lighting in the room so that the SD-1200 can focus. You see, your Canon A-75, had a focusing lamp built into the camera. It provided sufficient light so that the A-75 could focus under almost any lighting conditions. The SD-1200 does not have a focus assist lamp.

So you are going to have to create some "work arounds" to cope with the capabilities of that SD-1200. If you can return the SD-1200, that would allow you to purchase a somewhat larger and more equipped camera.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Nov 11, 2009, 6:24 PM   #6
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Thanks. Amazing that the more advanced these get, the less advanced they get too.

I've seen the info on low light cameras, how they have noise at these levels, and unfortunately I cannot afford the Canon S90, G11, or the Fuji F70.

Suggestions for the 200-300 range? I had been looking at the Canon SD1200 before, the SX110, the SD780, and the Sony W290.
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Old Nov 11, 2009, 8:00 PM   #7
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If you can find a Canon SX-110, that is a good choice. Another possibility is the new Kodak Z-950, which offers a lot of advanced automation. I have one and I like it a lot. Another possible choice is the Sony H-20 camera, it is excellent in automatic and has a great, almost record breaking built-in flash range, up to 20 feet.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Nov 12, 2009, 7:08 AM   #8
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Thanks for the help. One correction - it was the Canon SX120 IS, not the 110 that I saw. Still recommended that one?

And after you mentioned the AF Assist, I looked back at the camera because something clicked, and there was the option to turn it on or off. Turned it on, and pictures seem more clear. Did not even realize it was there, so thanks for that too. I will test it out with that feature on and see what happens.
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