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Old Aug 3, 2006, 8:32 AM   #1
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Hi everybody.

My first post... Better post a little introduction first.

Okay so I'm a club photographer from Manchester. Basically I go to supporting bars and clubs taking photographs of the clubbers which are then published on their websites.

I've tried various cameras during the last 12 months. In fact, I'm now on my 8th. Until recently, the objective was to find something small enough to fit into my pocket, but with enough power to take good quality, bright colourful and clear images in very low-light conditions.

Some camera performed better than others in those conditions, but lacked any real power, whilst others were good for general use but below average in the low-light environment.

Now, with a greater demand on quality and less priority on compact size, I decided to purchase a slightly bigger, more powerful camera, although I don't think I'm quite ready for a full DSLR.

With this in mind, having read various reviews online, I opted for the P880.
It arrived early this morning and I wasted no time in putting it to the test.

Having tested it in various daylight conditions, I have to say I'm not greatly impressed.

The first thing I noticed was the loud noise made by the hunting auto-focus. In all fairness I had read that this was a problem on other reviews however I hadn't imagened it would be so bad as it actually is.

The next thing which came to my attention was a single blue pixel just slightly to the the right-center of the LCD. At first glance I thought this may be a faulty LCD, but I noticed that the same pixel is also there when you switch to viewfinder.
I'm wondering is this a fault or does that rouge pixel actually serve some special purpose?
Either way, little things such as this really get on my nerves and I could quite happily live without it.

Now, in all fairness, I haven't really had time to fully test the camera, and I certainly haven't got into the configuration in manual modes, but the initial indoor shots on automatic seem very poor in terms of sharpness and clarity. The focus is very poor with any level of optical zoom.

The outdoor shots were fantastic in both auto and manual modes, and I'm sure that this can be enhanced with correct configuration.

I was very impressed with the 24mm wide-angle lens. It gives greater depth to the photographs and will come in handy when I'm shooting in busy clubs with lots going on in the backgound.

The macro feature is absolutely first class. By far the best camera I've ever used for close-up photography. Test shots of flowers, and even spiders on their webs were absolutely stunning and very professional looking.

I have to say that until I tested the macro I wasn't greatly impressed with my purchase, but that feature alone sold the camera. Having said this, I didn't buy the camera for close-up photography... But it's nice.

So... First impressions, not great, but definitely clear potential.

Not being a professional photographer with a massive understanding of the in's and out's of digital photographer and related features and settings, I'm eager to hear the thoughts of those who have the knowledge.

Can you guys give me any advice, or guide me towards finding the optimal settings and configuration for nightclub (low-light, brightly coloured flashing backgrounds) portait photography.

And... Is this rogue pixel on my LCD something I should be concerned with?

Thanks, Aron.
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Old Aug 3, 2006, 9:36 AM   #2
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I've had my P880 since january. It's certainly capable of taking great pictures, but unfortunately with the type of pics you take, I think you will be disappointed. The low-light performance is sub-par, and you can see noise on some pictures even at ISO 200. It's great for outdoor daytime photography, although I haven't really gotten great macro shots myself (I don't do that many), I've heard that it excells at these.

I do wish it had a greater zoom, 5.8x doesn't cut the mustard most of the time. If you plan on keeping it, plan on getting a teleconverter adapter to go with it. The one kodak has available, a schneider 1.4x, has been very highly rated for the 880 but 1.4x is on the low side of tcons on the market. The olympus tcon17, which has shown great results with other kodaks, has been rather disappointing with the 880. No one has tried a raynox yet, I believe those will bring very good results. Don't be afraid to use 1.4x digital zoom, it doesn't show any really noticeable distortion and allows you to occasionally use a bigger apeture by not using the full optical zoom.

I haven't noticed a noisy autofocus with mine, it's quieter than my former kodak dx6490. Could just be a variance in production quality, and manufactured item is subjected to things like this.

The rouge pixel, does it show up on your pics? If not, then I'd say it's very strange to be on your live view LCD as well as your viewfinder, but not something to be terribly worried about.

I've taken mine to several clubs as well as concerts, the low-light performance really causes some problems here. The best thing I can recommend is to save your pics into RAW file format so you can better adjust the levels later on. Exposure times should be kept 1/10 or preferably faster to avoid blurring with the apeture all the way open. Find something to rest the camera on as well, a tripod if you can. Positioning is probably the most important thing, but you can't always do alot about it. The flash will wash out the images, but if you use some kind of diffusion with it that may help.

I've had fun with my 880 but the limitations have me looking towards a dSLR now, interchangeable lenses is where it's at!
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Old Aug 3, 2006, 10:03 AM   #3
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[align=left]DOH! I now wish I had joined this forum prior to the purchase. I had joined two other forums and posted a similar thread asking for advice on the camera. One didn't get any replies, the other had one with a chap absolutely raving about the camera.

DSLR is definitely where I'm going, but I really need to focus on understanding how everything works before I spash out the better part of £600 on one.

Anyway... Tripod isn't really an option. My work environment is a very busy one and I take on average 120 photos an hour, moving quickly from one person to the next.

This pixel doesn't show on the images, but it's there on both screens, and it's a little frustrating... Well to be honest, It's pushing me to return the camera as faulty but since it's purchased online, that could well be a lengthy process, and I am currently without a camera having sold my old one a couple of days ago!

Bad news regarding the low-light photography... That's not great, but just goes to show that I should have done more research before buying. I guess I'll know for sure on Sunday having taken the photos.

Is the addtional flash something you guys would recommend for indoor photography?
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Old Aug 3, 2006, 10:49 AM   #4
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I don't have a P880 but I have seen people getting fine pictures from it in a variety of conditions. For instance, "demarren123456" in the DPReview forum.
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Old Aug 3, 2006, 12:04 PM   #5
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I've taken around 800 photos in various light conditions today. The camera really seems to struggle to focus indoors.
I've not given up hope yet since I have yet to fully understand the manual controls. But the auto setting doesn't seem to produce sharp photos indoors.

Outdoors photos seem very good, and I'm very, very impressed with the marcro.

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Old Aug 3, 2006, 12:16 PM   #6
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Well, you'll decide what you'll decide. Cameras seem to be very much a matter of personal taste.

BTW- I'm hoping you didn't take your handle from the character in the movie, "8MM." :-)


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Old Aug 3, 2006, 12:29 PM   #7
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LOL No mate, I've not seen it yet! I've been "TheMachine" online for around 5 years now. The result of working 20 hour days... Like a machine.
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Old Aug 3, 2006, 12:37 PM   #8
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TheMachine wrote:
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LOL No mate, I've not seen it yet!
If you do then you'll either laugh or really hate my guts. :-)


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Old Aug 3, 2006, 12:40 PM   #9
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I'm guessing he's a bit of a gimp then
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Old Aug 3, 2006, 2:57 PM   #10
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TheMachine wrote:
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I'm guessing he's a bit of a gimp then

Psycho-sexual murderer is more like it.
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