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Old Nov 8, 2006, 10:54 AM   #1
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NIKON COOLPIX L1

Olympus SP-500

Panasonic DMC-FZ7

Kodak EasyShare Z650

something with alot of zoom, good in low lighting, and thats about it.
I need help FAST
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Old Nov 8, 2006, 11:03 AM   #2
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The nikon has have the zoom range as the others. the olympus has no IS. I wouldn't buy any long zoom (300-400mm equivalent) without IS. None has the low light capabilities. Only Fuzi s6500/s9100 are good at high ISOs but they also lack IS.

What do you plan to shoot with this camera?
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Old Nov 8, 2006, 11:08 AM   #3
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I like going to concerts and capturing the lighting there.
Scenic, people. I don't need anything TOO professional because I haven't learned enough to know about all the specs.

I just want something that can capture good lighting, and take crisp nice pictures.

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Old Nov 9, 2006, 12:24 PM   #4
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Night time concerts are going to be hard. You would need good high ISO performace as flash won't help much as the distance to subject would be large, assuming you don't have front row seat. Wish the fuzi had IS but it's high ISO peformace might be the best. Check other resource to see if this is true as I haven't looked into it myself. I only know about Fuzi F10/F30 which are great for indoor/low *********s.
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Old Nov 9, 2006, 5:10 PM   #5
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Of the cameras you listed the FZ7 is the best all-round choice. You need optical image stabilization in a long zoom camera. The stabilization helps a lot in limited light as far as dampening out camera shake, but it doesn't help for subject movement. The good burst mode on the FZ7 helps in hitting a moment of null movement on stage. It is the best of the cameras you listed for concert photography but still very limited.

The only kind of camera that really works reliably for concert photography is a DSLR that you can use at high ISO with a fast lens. From your choices I would guess that isn't an option.

The Fuji F30 has excellent high ISO capability but has only a 3X zoom and an unsteady hold with no eyelevel viewfinder. The S6500 will combine a long zoom with the great 6Mp Fuji 1/1.7 sensor, but I don't think it is out yet.

For overall photography I think you would be happiest with the FZ7.

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Old Nov 9, 2006, 6:51 PM   #6
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Ideally, you would have a superzoom with IS and good lowlight capabilities. Unfortunately, the best lowlight cameras, the Fuji S5200, S6000fd (aka S6500fd), and the S9100 (aka S9600) don't have IS. What camera you should choosekind of depends how far you are from the stage. If you are close, you can almost always usemuch less zoom and much wider apertures. If you are at full-zoom, the maximum wide apertures are usually much smaller. So, the S5200 goes from F3.2 (wide angle) to F3.5 (full telephoto). That's a narrow range. But other cameras, like the newer Fujis, go from F2.8 or so to F4.9. That's a big difference. The full telephoto shots will require much slower shutter speeds or higher ISO settings to take in the same amount of light.

The Sony H2 and H5,do have IS, andare supposed to be ok in lowlight though not as good as the Fujis.

Can you borrow any of these cameras from friends and see how they work on a trial or two?

The best setup would be a DSLR with a bright lens but costs a lot more.
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Old Nov 9, 2006, 10:57 PM   #7
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bobbyz wrote:
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Night time concerts are going to be hard. You would need good high ISO performace as flash won't help much as the distance to subject would be large, assuming you don't have front row seat. Wish the fuzi had IS but it's high ISO peformace might be the best. Check other resource to see if this is true as I haven't looked into it myself. I only know about Fuzi F10/F30 which are great for indoor/low *********s.
I don't know about the rest of the Fujis but I have the F30 and don't miss the IS. It works fine without it. My 7 year old has even taken indoor pictures at a christening without it and I was shocked to see how sharp the pictures were. I believe they get away with it because in auto mode the camera favours higher ISO speeds than required, therefore it automatically bumps up theshutterspeed, which also reduces shake.

Onmy DSLR, I am glad I have IS... I wouldn't buy a DSLRwithout it.
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Old Nov 13, 2006, 12:10 AM   #8
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well I don't go to large shows, usually just club shows where there's a max of 200 people or less, sometimes way less.
Sometimes I go to mid sized shows around 1000 or so.

I like to catch the lighting on stage without using flash, while still getting a crisp picture, nothing too fuzzy or grainy.

I had taken one like this awhile ago with a crappy 3mpi small digicam, basically want to catch more shots like these but a bit better:


this one..I like but there's something missing.
It needs to be a bit more crisp


I just want to be able to capture the ambience like this picture:
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Old Nov 13, 2006, 11:43 AM   #9
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If you can get close (liek these shots) then fuzi f30 is the best bet.
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Old Nov 13, 2006, 1:13 PM   #10
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Those shots are pretty good considering the camera.

From the exifs, I see those are both taken at 1/15 sec. I would guess that you get motion blur alot of the time at that speed, and that these are the rare keepers. But maybe you have gotten very good at stabilizing your camera at that shutter speed.

A camera with stabilization would allow you to get shots like the above more consistently. But it won't allow you to use a faster shutter and get less subject blur.

For the second picture above, at ISO 400, and 1/15, something like the Sony H2 might be a bit better. It's probably a bit better at ISO 400 than that camera. You maybe would get better results at ISO 800 and 1/30 sec. But you at least would more consistently get useable results at ISO 400 (with less problems due to hand shake).

If you are getting away with shooting at 1/15 now, you will likely see a bit more improvement with one of the Fuji cameras. But even there the improvement isn't that great. You could have shot picture 2 above at ISO 800 and 1/30, or possibly even ISO 1600 and 1/60. At ISO 1600 though, the Fujis do start to get very soft and lose alot of detail. You might get some usable results there for smaller prints in some situations, and maybe even have some occaisional use for ISO 3200, but you're not going to get high quality at those settings.

So the Fuji S6000fd is probably your best bet, but still not ideal. Ideally you would want to get that shutter speed up to 1/100 or faster if possible, without having to go over ISO 800. That might happen occaisionally with good stage lighting. At about 120mm EFL (equivalent focal length), you would still have a f3.5 aperture with the S6000. So in the above 2 shots you could have had shutters of 1/60 and 1/30 without going past ISO 800. And I don't think either was from more than 60mm EFL, so that's getting at least twice as close.

You can do better with a DSLR, but it can also be costly. You can get some entry level bodies for $400 and under now. But the kit lenses, and affordable inexpensive zooms, don't leave you that much better off than the Fuji. You would have a good quality ISO 1600. But to really do it right, something like an $400 85mm f1.8 prime lens would be more ideal. That would give about a 125mm EFL, with the 1.8 aperture giving two stops advantage over the Fuji Zoom at that EFL. So at that point you might be able to shoot 1/120 at ISO 800, or even go to ISO 1600 and a shutter as fast as 1/240 sec .

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