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Old Oct 18, 2006, 7:58 PM   #1
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I have a sony dsc-p200 (7.2mp point and shoot) and the low-light pictures rarely come out at all and the 20"x30" prints aren't very sharp. Also I'm interested in getting more into photography. So I am looking into something more like the sony dsc-h5, the panasonic fz50, or the panasonic fz7. Also I can get the FZ7 for only $275 on amazon right now while the fz50 is twice that. So I'm not really sure what camera would be best for the poster sized prints and the low light shots. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.
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Old Oct 18, 2006, 8:11 PM   #2
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If you want still lowlight shots, you should use a tripod.

If you are taking pictures of moving objects in lowlight, you need camera with decent picture quality at high ISO settings (800 and above, probably). The best at this are DSLR's.Canon, Nikon, Sony, and Pentax have all produced entry level DSLR's with 10megapixel sensors. Recent Fuji point and shoots are better than their competitors at this. You can consider the F6000fd, the S9000, the newer S9100, and the F30. The 9000 and 9100 are 9 megapixel cameras which, in bright light at least, might give you sharper large prints. All these cameras shoot in RAW, too. The RAW converter software can output double megapixeled TIFF's though they are nowhere near as sharp as the images of cameras with twice the megapixels.

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Old Oct 18, 2006, 9:22 PM   #3
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The Pentax K110D with 18-55 lens is $475. That will give you excellent low light, high ISO performance. For about $100 more, you can get the K100D, which is the K110D except with shake reduction built into the body. Both of these cameras are 6MP, which is plenty for 20x30 after upsizing. The Nikon D50 is also a good choice, though currently it's more than the K100D and doesn't have shake reduction.

If you go to the 10mp cameras, the high iso performance won't be quite as good, because the sensor is the same size, just with more pixels crammed onto it. It will still beat a P&S, though.

If you don't want to go dSLR, I think Fujis probably have the best low-light performance in P&S, except they don't have any kind of stabilization. That can really help in low light.

Good luck!

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Old Oct 18, 2006, 10:07 PM   #4
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The biggest complaints I see on those Panasonics is that they're terrible in low light.

Like robbo said, with still low light shots you can just use a tripod with about any camera. Otherwise things are going to get expensive really fast.

Your Sony is 7.2 MP and ISO 400 with a 1/1.8" CCD. The FZ7 is 6.0 MP and ISO 400 with a 1/2.5" CCD. It would probably be worse for low light and worse for big prints. I would quickly dismiss anything with a CCD smaller than 1/2" if you don't want to use a tripod and long exposures. The FZ50 is 10 MP and ISO 1600 with a 1/1.8" CCD, so that would certainly be a step up.

The FZ50 and the Fuji S9000 are both $500, but the Fuji has a $100 rebate until the end of the month. The S9000 is 9 MP and ISO 1600 with a 1/1.6" CCD.

So, you can get a tripod or get an SLR and your problem's solved. The real hard part is finding a cheaper camera that does well in low light, and the only cameras I keep hearing people say good things about are the Fujis with the 5th-6th generation Super CCD. This conflicts with you wanting poster-sized prints, though. If you didn't need to bump up the resolution, you could get great low light performance from a 6 MP Fuji like the F30 for $271 or the S6000fd for $399, both of which have a $50 rebate currently. But for the bigger prints I'd go with the Fuji S9000.

And it's not like I'm some huge Fuji fan. I would still prefer a Nikon or Canon, but as far as low light performance in a consumer camera, Fuji seems to be where it's at.

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Old Oct 19, 2006, 6:01 AM   #5
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Well i'm leaning towards te fz50k because the large prints of outdoor shots definitely matter more to me than the ability to take good low-light pictures.
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Old Oct 19, 2006, 10:46 AM   #6
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The kodak p880 have a 24mm wide-angle and a 6x zoom perfect for landscapes !!

You also have the P.A.S.M. mode so you can adjust the exposures for night shots !!

Oh and by the way its 8mp so I guess it can make some nice prints
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Old Oct 20, 2006, 9:55 AM   #7
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What kind of low light pictures? A lot depends on that. If you mean low light landscapes, then you don't need high ISO performance. Use lowest ISo and tripod. if you want low lighta ction then any p&s is not going to help.

Also how are you making the big prints and how you viewing them?
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Old Oct 20, 2006, 2:04 PM   #8
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mostly low-light landscapes

also I'm printing them through kodak at 20x30.
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Old Oct 20, 2006, 4:37 PM   #9
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Very true, Boily!

I own a Kodak P880. I can mosty highly recommend it! 24mm wide angle is amazing. It creates tack sharp and clear images. With tons of detail. It isn't the fastest camera on earth, but, its not meant to be a sports cam. So the performance doesn't really bother me! (On the latest firmware) And since you can get it at costco.com for $300 after rebate, its and incredible value. With 8mp, 24mm wide angle, great image quality, not to mention, manual zoom and focus rings. And good AF indoors and outdoors, its a great camera.
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The kodak p880 have a 24mm wide-angle and a 6x zoom perfect for landscapes !!

You also have the P.A.S.M. mode so you can adjust the exposures for night shots !!

Oh and by the way its 8mp so I guess it can make some nice prints
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