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Old Oct 12, 2006, 6:34 PM   #1
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I want a good camera for indoor pics. I do not want to buy an SLR(too big in size+$), or add an external hotflash(too complicated). My real Q is: what small digital camera type will be best? For example, is the canon S2 much better than the canon SD700? They both have ImageStablization, but since the S2 has a bigger looking lense, will it take better indoor pics? (getting good outdoor pics is pretty easy so I am not making that part of my decision) Thanks
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Old Oct 13, 2006, 2:24 AM   #2
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If you want indoor (or low light in general) pics without using flash, then the Fujis (F10, F11, F20, F30) have no competition in my opinion.

Image stabilisation (that the Fujis don't have) is a nice thing to have as well, but if you're forced to use lower ISO to have the pics come out okay, then in my experience it wouldn't be enough to get clear shots indoors - depends on the lighting of course, but my indoor no-flash shots with the F10 are generally in the 1/4-1/10 seconds exposure time range even at ISO 800.

If you plan to use flash, then some other models are probably better. I've not been impressed at all with the F10's flash pictures (my Panasonic FZ5 takes rather okay flash pictures indoors though, certainly much nicer ones than the Fuji, which come out too harsh, at least at auto settings) but fortunately with the F10, I haven't had to use flash much at all.
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Old Oct 13, 2006, 11:03 AM   #3
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Yapyap wrote:
Thanks Yapyap. I will check out the Fuji. But what I really want to know is this: Is there an advantage to the S2 over the SD700 for indoor pics? or the FZ7 vs the SD700. I am trying to decide between the bigger less pocketable types(s2/s3/fz7) with the bigger lenses, and the SD700(where the lense retracts completely and I can put the camera into a shirt pocket). Thanks again.



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If you want indoor (or low light in general) pics without using flash, then the Fujis (F10, F11, F20, F30) have no competition in my opinion.

Image stabilisation (that the Fujis don't have) is a nice thing to have as well, but if you're forced to use lower ISO to have the pics come out okay, then in my experience it wouldn't be enough to get clear shots indoors - depends on the lighting of course, but my indoor no-flash shots with the F10 are generally in the 1/4-1/10 seconds exposure time range even at ISO 800.

If you plan to use flash, then some other models are probably better. I've not been impressed at all with the F10's flash pictures (my Panasonic FZ5 takes rather okay flash pictures indoors though, certainly much nicer ones than the Fuji, which come out too harsh, at least at auto settings) but fortunately with the F10, I haven't had to use flash much at all.


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Old Oct 13, 2006, 12:21 PM   #4
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I don't think physical lens size really is the decisive factor there. The Fuji F-series are all small cameras with fully retractable lenses and as I said, outside of DSLRs they have the best low light capability out there.

What matters more is the sensor (the Fuji cameras mentioned use a different kind of sensor to other cameras); to an extent also sensor size vs megapixels (in general, more megapixels on a smaller sensor is likely to give less good results as light gets lower, but this depends also on the particular model and is not a completely firm rule), maximum aperture available on the lens (for most above average cameras these days, the maximum aperture seems to be f/2.8 in the wide end - some cameras retain it throughout the zoom range but others don't - if you shoot in small rooms and at close range, this isn't an issue, but at longer range it can become an issue).

Of course the lenses on some of those bigger "prosumer"/ultrazoom cameras are better quality than most pocketable camera lenses (the Panasonics, ultrazooms as well as smaller models, for example have a very nice Leica lens on them), but this affects mostly other things in my experience - sharpness, the presence or lack of chromatic aberrations, etc., not so much how well the camera behaves indoors. Pair the best and biggest point&shoot lens with a noisy / less sensitive sensor, and you won't get good no-flash shots indoors (unless you shoot at low ISO, with long exposures, on a tripod -> i.e. objects that don't move around).

If you want a bigger camera with more zoom that you can also use indoors, I believe Sony H5 (?) which has been mentioned as being above average indoors, and Fuji's new S6500fd which uses the F30 sensor, are probably better than the Canons or the Panasonic line, which are all excellent cameras otherwise - but either for shooting outdoors in good light or indoors with flash. The problem with the new Fuji camera might be that it's quite bulky from what I've gathered (heavier than my Pentax K100D DSLR body), and the Sony isn't very small either.

As for the Canon IXUS (SDxxx) models, I've read a lot of nice things about them, but my only "personal" experience comes from a friend having one of the latest models and it's in my opinion (and theirs) not too good indoors, getting quite a lot of noise in the pictures already at ISO 200 or so. I don't have any real experience with using any Canon models myself though, so take what I say with a grain of salt - I certainly don't want to make it sound like I'm only recommending Fuji and am anti-Canon!
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