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Old Oct 16, 2006, 4:59 PM   #1
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HI there. I came to this site a while back when I bought my first digital camera. I now have a Sony Cyber Shot dsc-v3 7.2 megapixels. It is a good camera, but I am wanting a small one to carry around in my purse. My main reason for the camera is to take pictures of my daughter. She is 3 and is constantly moving when I am trying to take her picture. I read on the internet about the Canon sd 800is or 700is, and I thought it looked like a pretty good one. It said something about Image Stabilizer that helps with the blurriness. Does anyone have an opinion on a good camera? My 3 most important things I am looking for is small size, quick shutter speed, and have as little blurry pictures as possible. I am not a professional photographer, just a mom who wants a great camera. Thanks again for any help you can provide. Jen
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Old Oct 16, 2006, 10:42 PM   #2
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You should not mistake "image stabilization" as the ability to freeze fast moving subjects. Image stabilization only works for slow shutter speeds (eg. 1/60 or less) at which pictures get blurry because of shaky hands. It is only useful mainly when you want to take pictures in dark condition without using the flash and a tripod.

You are correct that you need fast shutter speed to freeze the quick movement of your daughter so that the pictures are not blurry. This has nothing to do with image stablilzation. For a fast moving child, any shutter speed 1/250 second or faster should freeze the picture enough (she's not a jet fighter or Nascar afterall!). Most if not all cameras have at least 1/250 second shutter speed.

Most point & shoot (P&S) cameras have different "scene modes", one of which called Sports mode (or equivalent names eg. I think Canon calls it "Pets and Children"). This mode automatically sets the camera's shutter speed as high as the lighting condition allows, usually increasing the ISO (light sensitivity) of the camera at the same time. Some high-end P&S cameras have manual control over the shutter speed (and/or aperture), but if you know little about cameras you probably don't want to go into this.

The trick to shooting fast moving objects is fast shutter speed and adequate light. Make sure it is bright enough - sunlight is best, or plenty of indoor light. If the shot is close enough, the camera's flash may help to "fill in", at least a little. The problem is that the smaller the camera, the weaker the flash usually is (the flash of most small P&S cameras only work up to about 5-6 ft max.).

You may get by shooting in dark areas, but you may find the picture quality subpar because the ISO setting has increased - in most cameras, this introduces noise into the pictures, as grains, color blotches, or fuziness (loss of details). However, some cameras have light sensors with better ISO performance than others, producing less noise at the high ISO.

It seems that recommendation for "ultra-compact" cameras is the most popular request in the forum nowadays. This is also the niche most camera manufacturers are concentrating on right now, so there are plenty of choices. If you are shooting in plenty of light, most cameras do a good job.

Since you are looking at the Canon SD700, this review may help you:


Go down to "Look and Feel" - there is a table listing some the cameras of comparable sizes at the time of that review (October 2006). That should give you more brands and models to research upon.

Just some random names of "ultra-compacts" that come to mind: Casio Exilim series; Kodak V series; Olympus Stylus series; Sony W series (extended lens); Sony T series (folded optical zoom lens - no external moving lens parts); Nikon S 5/6/7/9 (folded lens); Fuji Z series (folded lens); Samsung i6 and NV3 (folded lens).
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