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Old Mar 18, 2006, 9:00 AM   #1
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I work with office furniture, and need a good camera to capture details, enhancing the quality.

Those are my needs:

High ISO capability

The smallest the possible

Good wide angle

QUALITY OF IMAGE (good lenses)

Any sugestions? I own a FZ-20 and knowits weaknesses, mainly ISO capability (poor performance in low light) and the size (it's not so small as i need for these works)

DSLR is in the moment out of my plans, due to the complexity of maneuvering. Price is not the most important.

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Old Mar 18, 2006, 10:49 AM   #2
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I find my FZ10 to be pretty good in low light with type 2 stabilization. Try some shots in burst mode with the FZ20 working to hold the camera steady. You should be able to get some shots at 1/4 second to come out sharp.

I understand you want something smaller with wide angle, but if you can get the FZ20 to work for you the FX01 might be appropriate. It has stabilization and a wide angle plus a good burst mode. If you tuck your elbows into your side you can partially make up for the unsteady hold without an eyelevel viewfinder.

For furniture I think stabilization is better than high ISO. The shot you can take at ISO100 with stabilization requires ISO800 without stabilization. The ISO 100 shots will be better.

An interesting compromise is the Sony T9. It has both optical stabilization and much better than average ISO400 noise. The combination should give about the best available light furniture shots of anything I can think of. ISO400 with IS should give you about the same capability as ISO3200 without stabilization and with better noise.

Canon is also claiming better noise at higher ISO and optical stabilization with their soon to be released SD700. And it has the added benefit of an eyelevel viewfinder for a steadier hold. I would wait for some reviews to see just what level of noise they actually get at ISO 400 & 800.

The new Fuji F30 will go to ISO3200 and the series has had excellent noise for higher ISO. I anticipate ISO3200 is still going to be pretty noisy. Higher ISO is much better for capturing action in limited light, but furniture doesn't move much.

Nothing mentioned except the FX01 have wide angle though. For years I have just held my cameras with the long side up and taken several shots. They stitch to a 4:3 of about 27mm from a 38mm lens with the added benefit of more pixels. If you use a mode with fixed WB and exposure there are no stitch lines and the stitching is fast with simple software. Using continuous mode I can grab 3 quick shots almost as quickly as a single one, and continuous on most cameras fixes the shooting parameters.

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Old Mar 18, 2006, 3:06 PM   #3
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Architecture means quite much that good wide angle is mandatory, using separate wide converter isn't option if size and convenience matters... neither is stitching panoramas convenient (if you need those photos fast) so would suggest looking for cameras with at least 28mm wide angle.

BTW, what you mean exactly with that "details" do you mean close shots of small details?
(now any camera should capture details normally, but if you mean high ISO details strong incamera noise processing often "washes" those)

Kodak P880 has very wide 24mm wide angle but doesn't have image stabilization...
One "very compact wide angle" possibility would be Kodak V570 because it has secondary fixed 23mm lens but again it doesn't have stabilization.

Fuji S9000/9500 would have 28mm wide angle and good ISO400 but no IS, also size is really big.

slipe wrote:
For furniture I think stabilization is better than high ISO. The shot you can take at ISO100 with stabilization requires ISO800 without stabilization. The ISO 100 shots will be better.
True, high ISOs of almost all non SLRs are less or more (more later) PR BS and done using excessive processing.

And considering these new just released cameras from many makers with high ISOs...

Here's how Sony's new "high ISO capable" H2 gets rid of colors after grossly exceeding capabilities of very small high megapixel sensor and noise processing which destroys colors of image but still leaves chroma/color noise:

Canon S3 uses similar sensor, also that SD700 uses sensor with exactly similar specs so it's highly propable those use same sensor.
Now Pana uses it own sensor, then downscales image down to couple megapixels, process it more and covers it by interpolating it back to original size which sure might be quite clean from noise but is also detail free.

Here's ISO 400 shot of that Sony T-9
That pic has definitely gone trough heavy processing.
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