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Old Apr 10, 2008, 1:49 PM   #1
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I still have not bought a good digital camera as Im determining what I want. But I had a question on how to know what to look at when deciphering all the specs. My current Kodak has a fill flash which makes the lighting work really weird at dusk or darker, most cases the pictures dont come out from blurryness or pixelation but I think thats camera related.

So if I want to get a camera that has excellent ability to take pics in darker conditions would I just try to get one with a bigger ISO range? And are there any other specs I should be looking into that would improve image quality in the dark. Thanks in advance!
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Old Apr 10, 2008, 2:00 PM   #2
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the answer depends entirely on what you want to take photos of.

For example: a cityscape. No amount of flash is going to help you with that. So, high iso performance, anti-shake and use of a tripod are all features that could be beneficial

For example: People outside at night but relatively close without direct lighting. You'll definitely want flash for this. Antishake and high ISO won't be enough to expose your subjects properly.

Give us some examples of the types of shots you want to take and we can better help identify features that would benefit those shots.

If you've got some example photos - especially ones where the results were less than you expected, post them.

I have the ability to use a tripod, anti-shake, high ISO, wide apertures and flash - and I've used them all at night. The type of shot will help determine which of the above is likely to be helpful.
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Old Apr 10, 2008, 2:58 PM   #3
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John covered the ground very well. I'd just add that if you are going to use flash for the main lighting, a powerful, well diffused/bounced external flash will do much better than the dinky flash built into a camera.

If you really feel that you want to spend more money, I'd suggest that you spend it on a good tripod before getting a different camera. A good tripod will outlast several cameras.

Turbo6 wrote:
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... My current Kodak has a fill flash which makes the lighting work really weird at dusk or darker, most cases the pictures dont come out from blurryness or pixelation but I think thats camera related. ...
Fill flash is meant to only provide part of the light for the picture, e.g., to fill in the face where it is shaded by a hat. Most of the light will come from whatever light is available. A useful setting, but not one for very dark situations.

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Old Apr 10, 2008, 3:01 PM   #4
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BillDrew wrote:
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If you really feel that you want to spend more money, I'd suggest that you spend it on a good tripod before getting a different camera. A good tripod will outlast several cameras.
Keep preaching the mantra Bill! Few people seem to want to hear it, but it doesn't make it any less true.
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Old Apr 10, 2008, 4:01 PM   #5
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I dont think I have any of the bad photos anymore. They were all about 20% darker than realityand wereblotchy. But generally I would like to do some videos and photos at the local race tracks at night. So sometimes it may be dusty and 75% of the shots would be during dusk are night. Im not expecting magic from a digicam but just the best possible outcome. The areas of race tracks are not lit all that well and from the stands it will be fairly far away. I dont know how that affects the choice but obviously Im not using a tent here. So just general outdoor low lighting situations is what I want to improve on. My kodak is garbage, tripod or not.

The video is my main concern as its very hard to find a digicam that lets you zoom while recording video. Its even rare to find a Canon that does it. And of course this is something nobody actually displays in the functionality of the camera.
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Old Apr 10, 2008, 6:05 PM   #6
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I suggest that you are imposing a dificult situation for one component to do both. If you are mainly interested in doing videos why not purchase a video camera? One at least that will cover the situation you plan to cover. If you want good photos then choose a camera that will do what you want it to do.
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Old Apr 10, 2008, 6:30 PM   #7
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Simple answer, money! :G

If money were no object I would buy both. Like I said, Im not expecting to find the miracle camera that does both perfectly. I just need a decent performing camera. Im sure I will find something.
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Old Apr 11, 2008, 5:33 AM   #8
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I agree that it all depends on what you want to take pictures of. While there are methods that might be able to give what you need using small cameras, the bigger ones can often make things easier......eg big lens, low noise cameras (like good quality DSLRs etc).
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Old Apr 11, 2008, 7:56 AM   #9
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Turbo6 wrote:
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...
The video is my main concern ...
If that is the case, you really need a tripod. As important as a tripod is for still camera work, it is even more imporant for video.

If you watch amatuer video on TV, the real marked difference between that and the pro video is the slow wobble/tilting (the pros might be using a gyro - which costs much more than a tripod). Wobble often to the point of sea sickness. Wobble to the point that watching more than at ten second clip very painful.
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Old Apr 11, 2008, 9:27 AM   #10
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Perhaps you should check out a hybrid digicam: http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fo...orum.php?id=92

These place more of a priority on video than stills.

The digicam reviews over at DCResource.com cover video modes and sample videos.
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