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Old Nov 30, 2006, 7:53 PM   #11
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Thanks for posting. No, I strongly preach against using Auto and Auto ISO to my students, based on the premise that I want the students to be thinking ahead of their cameras as they compose and take their photos. The Program Mode works well and allows much more choice and flexibility as the set their ISO's manually and have the advantages of many features, such as Exposure Compensation.

I have only had the Fuji S-6000fd for two days, but I have already move the focus and exposure modes to center weighted. Overall, I am rather impressed by the Fuji S-6000fd.

My question about the Sony W-100 arose when a student announced to me that his W-100 was doing rather unusual things. What I really need to determine is this: With the Sony W-100 in the Program Mode and the ISO manually set to ISO 800, how likely is the camera to set very low (non handholdable) shutter speed, when the light level has be greatly overestimated. I really don't think this is a huge problem, as it is always up to the photographer to keep track of shutter speeds that are workable for him or her. You see, Wirraway, the Sony W-100 is one of the very few digicams that I do not own and use, so I must ask blatant questions such as this one.

Many thanks, Wirraway for indulging me with this information. So might I conclude that you feel that the Sony W-100 is a worthwhile altnerative to the Fuji F-20 or the F-30 that actually has an optical viewfinder?

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Old Dec 1, 2006, 11:08 AM   #12
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The Canon SD700 and probably the SD800 will give better handheld indoor photos in available light with still subjects than the F30. An example would be a museum that does not allow flash. The problem for many photographers is that stabilized cameras do this by allowing you to handhold at much lower shutter speeds. The stabilization compensates for camera movement but the lower shutter speeds exacerbate any problems with subject movement. Any subject movement in limited light causes unacceptable blur if you are depending on stabilization and slow shutter speeds.

After a couple of years using a stabilized camera I have concluded that the 3 f-stops advertised by many manufacturers isn't far off the mark. If you include the steadier hold you get with a Canon eyelevel viewfinder compared to a LCD-only camera like the F30 I think 3 f-stops is in the ball park.

I have read a couple of posts over on dpreview by people who seemed competent who said the ISO on the Fuji F10s were over-rated compared to other brands. They were comparing them to a Canon and a Casio. Shooting the same scene with the same fixed ISO the Fujis for both people used a slower shutter and/or wider aperture for the same shot. I have no way of checking their tests or knowing whether it carried over to the F30. They were saying it was close to an f-stop. Perhaps MT could run some tests for us with the F30 compared to other brands.

I think the 3 f-stops is a good estimate considering just the stabilization and viewfinder. That means the shot you can handhold at ISO400 on the stabilized Canon requires ISO 3200 without stabilization. These are test shots from DCRP for the SD700IS and F30. I'm guessing the SD800IS would be close and the wider lens might actually give it a slight low light advantage.

Canon S700 at ISO 400:

Fuji F30 at ISO 3200:

Something I don't like about both the SD800 and F30 is the inability to reduce the contrast and sharpening. Sharpening should be done last in post processing. You increase your dynamic range by reducing the contrast. I also find that most shots taken with small sensor cameras benefit greatly from a defogging step. Defogging can cause too much contrast in scenes that are already contrasty. The W100 doesn't have the five steps I prefer but there is a minus setting available for sharpening and contrast.

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Old Dec 1, 2006, 12:00 PM   #13
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I tend to agree with you. After using the IS onmy SonyH-5, it is obvious that IS does really increase the low light capability of the H-5, allowing me to shoot stage and theater shots at ISO 400, where noise is not really a great factor, and at measurably lower shutter speeds.

However, when moving above ISO 400, clearly the Fuji S-6000 has an advantage. So, it becomes something of a compromise situation. Obviously, the ideal solution would be for Fuji to break loose and put IS on their cameras, then we could compare apples to apples.

As to the SD 700 ISand the SD 800 IS, I was let down to read in several reviews about the so called "watercolor" effect that was noted as the ISO was increased.

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Old Dec 1, 2006, 2:00 PM   #14
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I'm just waking up after being asleep all this time, but I think we spend way too much analyzing what these cameras can and cannot do.Almost anyone of thetop selling models out therewill take decent pictures in auto mode and really great pictures if you take the time to learn how to use the manual settings if so equipped.

There will always be something one model does betterover another or a newer model next year that will make you wish you had waited. We all know the trouble with waiting is we either take nopictures or keep taking pictures with something we obviously hate since those are two good reasons to buy a camera.

I bought an F30 for my wife to use andas a second camera when it is not convenient to drag along the DSLR and in all honesty. Despite no IS, I have yet to take a bad or blurry picture. I say this despite being a fan of IS which I have on all my DSLRs.I have no issues with the F30 in daylight, twilight or any kind of light. I have no problems holding it steady even though it doesn't have a viewfinder. Viewfinders on digicams are awful anyway... just too damn small. BTW.... my 7 year old even takes great pictures and she doesn't know the first thing about holding a camera steady.

Another problem that I frequently seeis when we start to expect these smaller digicams to exceed their limits and perform like a DSLR. By limits I mean,small sensors, fixed lenses, shutter lag, lack of manual settings. Back when 35mm point and shoots became popular, wenever expected them to compete with SLRs. We knew exactly what we were getting and that was convenience. With 35MMfilm point and shoots we did not have an issue with different film sizes like we do sensor sizes on digital. Our limitations then were lens quality and settings.

My advice to anyone after doing a fair amount of research and hopefully shortening down you list to 2-4 models is to try each one out or at least hand hold it in a bricks and mortar store to see how it feels. Then buy one, because chances are it will take decent pictures. Does that guarantee you will be happy? Of course not, but it helps just in case if you can get it at a fair price with a good return policy.BTW... American Express has a buyer's remorse program just in case you are not happy with your purchase and the retailer won't take it back. I believe you have 90 dayswithin which to change your mind. There is also the option of selling it on EBay and in some cases for more than what you paid.

This all may sound like a hassle to some but we don't always make the right choices despite all of our research and advice and no matter how smart we are. In some circles I'm actually considered a genius, but I still bought the wrong digital camera my first time out. Not only did I get the brand wrong, I bought the wrong type.I thought I wanted a compact, ended up buying an ultra-zoom and then discovered that it tooknoisy pictures and upgraded to a DSLR and eventually added the Fuji F30 as a second camera.

I was able to return my mistakeand get all of my money back. I know that the idea of buying the wrong camera might not sound appealing and might actually make some squirm, but it happens and when it does it is important to make the best of it and to have a contingency plan. I look at it as part of theresearch and learning curve since at the timeI though I knew what I wanted and who I wanted it from, but found out otherwise. The important thing to me was that I was taking pictures and having fun rediscovering photography and the newly found joys of digital.

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Old Dec 1, 2006, 2:59 PM   #15
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You make an excellent point. I often purchase cameras from Walmart or walmart.com knowing that I have 30 days to try the camera, and i can always return it for a full refund, with no questions asked.

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Old Dec 3, 2006, 11:18 AM   #16
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Regarding your question about the shutter speed on the Sony W-100, unpacked the H5 and put some batteries in it, testing it at ISO 400 at the same target as the W-100 found the shutter speeds to be identical.

What is not identical is the noise at ISO 400, it is about double on the H5 compared to the little camera, makes one wonder about all this talk about more pixels= more noise, not in this case, 8.1 has less noisethan the 7.2 on the H5.

To your other question, I concluded that the W-100 is the best compact for my wife to use as it is her camera, If it was for me and I was into high ISO photography, obviously it would be the Fuji F30.

Regards Wirraway

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Old Dec 3, 2006, 11:42 AM   #17
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Thanks for the nice input Wirraway-

I have found that ISO 400 is about top of the shop for the H-5, if I want reasonable results. Isn't that a pleasant surprise that the W-100 shows less noise at high ISO settings than the H-5.

I went ahead and purchased the Fuji S-6000fd formy high ISO setting shots and have been quite pleased with the results thus far.

All the best!

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Old Dec 7, 2006, 9:52 PM   #18
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Is the SD800-IS worse than SD500 or SD550??

I checked out the SD800-IS at MicroCenter and thought the pictures it took were yellowish, even after adjusting the setting for their
fluorescent light.

I then found this comment posted on line:

"Yesterday, I got home with my new SD800-IS.  I compared exact duplicate shots from my SD550 to this "upgrade" SD800-IS. I am very sad to say that in normal shooting conditions, this model just couldn't keep up. The main things I saw the SD800 losing horribly to the SD550 in were: picture clarity, sharpness (edge to edge) and color accuracy (the SD800 produces a very warm shot, too much yellow & red). 

I returned the sd800, and got the sd900. Let me just say that the quality from this camera will NEVER be achievable from an SD800.  If IS is your "make or break feature," go for the 700is, or 800is. However, if its quality you want from your shots, and you aren't found in low light situations often, the SD550 or SD900 are the way to go."

Has anyone found the SD800-IS to give poorer picture quality than the SD500 or SD550? Is the SD900 any better?

Does that make any sense??
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Old Dec 28, 2006, 10:16 PM   #19
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js797 wrote:
I'm having real real difficulty after weeks of research choosing between the Canon SD 700IS, 800IS, Fuji F30 and Sony W100 for my third digital camera. My first was a canon powershot and I'm currently on the Olympus C-765UZ.

With the two Canons my dilemna is this:

1) What appeals more: 28mm lens with corner softness tradeoffs or better optical zoom?

2) Does the new processor in the 800 actually improve image quality or does it just add the odd new feature like face detection?

The Sony from what I have seen appears to offer stunning outdoor image quality - the best of the bunch I think. But:

3) Will I be able to take sharp indoor shots at ISO400 on the Sony without flash? I suspect not. The lack of IS or the F30's phenominal ISO capabilities is a real problem.

As for the Fuji,

4) Obviously it's phenominal indoors but is the outdoor image quality that bad in comparison to the others? I'm not sure I'd even notice in 7x5 prints. I will be using the camera mainly for holiday snaps when I go travelling - would a Canon or Sony perform better? I don't mind doing PS editing.

5) Finally are there any products in development that may provide the answer post-Christmas?

I've added the questionnaire to help a bit.




6+ MP
Best possible image quality

Do you care for manual controls?

Only a night mode and white balance

General Usage

Mainly outdoor sunlight shots, but also some darker indoor use.
Won't be printing above 8x6


Have had good experiences with Canon products

Thanks in advance for any advice, I really am completely lost so it would be very much appreciated.
What camera did you end up getting? I am looking for a new camera and like the idea of IS. I am looking at the SD700 and SD800.

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