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Old Sep 18, 2004, 4:34 PM   #1
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Hello,

I have been wondering about one issue in digital cameras. I have been reading reviews of small cameras for some months now, but haven't been able to deside. The problem is that they all get good results on outdoor daylight shots, but almost none of them are suitable for good indoor shooting. I guess the problem is too small ccd with so many megapixels, which results in noise. I don't need the MP's but i do want to have good pictures without too much hasling.



I live in Sweden, and here we don't have much day light in winters. And it is so cold, that wedon't really like to spend too much time outside . That means that I will 90% of the time take photos indoors. The megapixel rally has gone to a point where it is very hard to find a pocket size camera that takes sharp photos without much noise.is theremaufacturers that have solved this problem or are still producing 3.2 mp cameras? Or do I just have to forget the size andget one of the bigger cameras (i like canon a85 and s1 SI). I would like to take pictures with a bigger and better camera, buti think that i wouldn't carry i around very much.



Does anyone have any good ideas for indoor photographing? Are the noise reduction programs any good?

thanks for the comments



-Antti
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Old Sep 18, 2004, 6:55 PM   #2
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If you are talking about available light interior B&W photgraphy, I would agree that film has got the edge. But having said that, with digital we have focus assist as seen with the Sony 717 and W-1 and others that can produce some remarkable flash photos especially with the additon of a slave flash. My Sony W-1 has a tiny slave flash that I can fit in my pocket and then place anywhere in the room.

I use Neat Image for noise reduction and find it very good. I have also found that reducing the resolution will at times improve the photo quality in low light settings. Frankly, I really know little about photgraphy. I just push the buttons to see the results etc...etc.
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Old Sep 19, 2004, 11:34 AM   #3
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You can buy an external flash with bouce and swivel. Then, you can bounce light off the walls or ceiling to create a well-lit but not harshly lit scene. All manufacturers will sell you such flashes, and there are good quality dedicated flashes from others too. (I own a sigma).
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Old Sep 19, 2004, 12:00 PM   #4
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I would probably still use my trusty 35 mm SLR for indoor available light photos, but it is a load with the zoom lens on. I recently used my Nikon Coolpix 2200 for some museum shots, came out OK. It has a "Museum" Scene Mode that turns off the flash, self timer and macro features, and turns on the "Best Shot Selector" (BSS). This allows up to ten shots being taken, as long as the shutter release button is held down. Then the shots are compared and only the sharpest one saved to memory. They still recommend holding the camera with both hands and bracing the elbows againt the body - I tried to brace the camera against a wall or something.

The 2200 is pretty small, 3.5"x2.6"x1.5" and 5 ounces. Its a 2MP camera with a 3x optical zoom. The big brother 3200 is in the same case, but has 3.2 MP and some other features, e.g. sound recording in video mode.
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Old Sep 19, 2004, 4:10 PM   #5
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The Canon Powershot A400 has an AF assist lamp. Look at the indoor shots in "sample pictures" and read "Steve's conclusion".

The A400 is inexpensive, compatible (SD cards and AA batteries), fairly small and light-weight. And, above all, the picture quality is amazing ...
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Old Sep 19, 2004, 10:55 PM   #6
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I use a Sony DSC F717 and have had great results in "low light" enviornments. The flash has 3 settings.It is far from compact though.The frog pic ws taken in macro with flash only on my porch at night.The camera does well with the flash from normal distances also.


Another consideration for flash photography is your power source. You will obviously use batteries faster with a flash. A camera with a battery pack or 7 volt is a real advantage.


Trique Daddi

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Old Sep 20, 2004, 3:16 AM   #7
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Thanks for the replys!

I am seriously thinking of gettinga big camera, but i just know i wouldn't carry it with me to places where I want to take pictures usually. I'm still hoping to get a very small camera, something like z-40.

I know that the result will not be perfect with such a small camera with a small ccd, but i'm just wondering if the camera manufacturers are doing something with the problem. e.g. does anyone know if some maker adds a good noise reduction to their cameras? And does it actually really matter how much noise there is, if I can reduce it later with a program?I guess noisy pictures are better than no picture at all.

-Antti
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Old Sep 20, 2004, 4:28 AM   #8
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A simple way to improve flash photos from most small digital cameras is to take a piece of paper and hold that at 45 degrees in front of the flash so that the flash gets bounced upwards where it then again can be bounced from the ceiling. That way it becomes possible to take indoors close-ups, without getting too harsh flash effects.

It might take a few tries to get it right the first time, what is important is that all of the light from the flash is caught without anything else getting blocked. I think most cameras will compensate for the smaller amount of light from the flash, but otherwise it should be possible to compensate through settings.

Jeppe
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Old Sep 20, 2004, 6:37 AM   #9
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I have been using a Kyocera SL300R for some indoor photos along with a small Sony pocket slave flash. I liked the small size, it fits a shirt pocket, and the large LCD and the quality lens. I recommend reading Steve's review as it is not the "perfect camera" for indoor photography. I have set up the standard shooting mode for indoor work and the have found that being able to hold the camera with two hands helps with the focus in low light. The battery is small and the LCD is large and there are always people who want to see the pictures so an extra battery is a must.
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Old Sep 20, 2004, 7:48 AM   #10
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I'm going to have to be slightly contrary here and say that digital cameras can work very well for indoor photography.

The problem is which camera. Yes, the majority of digitals have really small sensors and have serious problesm with noise. But you don't have to buy those! If you are willing to spend the money, there are digitals with larger sensors and better noise levels that film. They are digital SLRs.

One of the downsides is that the depth of field isn't as large as with the digitals with a smaller sensor. For some things that is handy, but if you want to get an entire room in focus, it's hard/impossible.

Eric
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