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Old Jan 2, 2007, 10:35 PM   #11
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The Olympus SP-350 has white balance fine tuning (white balance compensation) and alot of other advanced settings typically found on a DSLR. But in low light, it's not very good past ISO 200, and doesn't focus too well either. In better light, metering and exposure is very good, and ISO 400 really isn't bad for a camera of this type. But to get decent results at ISO 400 your best off shooting in RAW (in which case in camera white balance setttings won't matter). ISO 50 on this camera is quite good.

The Kodak P-850 is another model with alot of features, and even more control over white balance. But it's even a bit worse at higher ISO. It also supports RAW shooting.

Really no small point and shoot is going to be very good in low light without flash. The sensor is just too small. So either you have to put up with a larger DSLR camera, or make some compromises. One choice would be the Fuji cameras which are better than most at higer ISO shooting.

The other option is to use a flash in low light shooting. If you go this route, one of the above cameras, each of which has a hot shoe for external flash, might do.

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Old Jan 3, 2007, 9:14 AM   #12
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JSt0rm wrote:
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Actually she likes to tweak the white balance. So she likes to be able to further adjust the white balance with in each setting (-3 to +3 resolution). Do any of these cameras do this?
That's exposure compensation - not white balance adjustment. Two different concepts. What you describe is adjusting the exposure with each shot - exposure bracketing to be precise. This is different than setting white balance. So you may want to confirm if she is actually wanting to set white balance and how precisely she wants to do it (e.g. does she want to choose from a list of prefab WB settings or set custom or actually enter a temperature value).
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Old Jan 3, 2007, 1:20 PM   #13
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Many of the Panasonic models also have white balance fine tuning. The LX1 and LX2 have a sophisticated 2 chanel WB adjustment with +10 -10 steps. The FZ7, FZ30, and FZ50 all have +7 -7 steps for finetuning white balance presets and custom settings. But again the Panasonics are not good at all at low light/high ISO.

I believe his girlfiend is talking about white balance here, not exposure compensation. Her old Coolpix 4300 had white balance fine tuning of +3 -3, and even included white balance bracketing.

I think the key question here is how small it really needs to be. A superzoom like a Fuji S6000, or S9100, or Panasonic FZ30, might be a good DSLR substitute, but it's not really much smaller than a D70. Though D70 should be bigger once you put a lens on it.

If she wants small enough to put in a pocket, the Fuji F30 or F31 would be the obvious best choice due to low light capability, even without some of those controls like white balance fine tuning.

If she wants more features and controls, in a bit larger camera, then she should probably also have RAW mode and maybe even a hot shoe for an external flash. Something like the Olympus SP-350, or a Canon Powershot G6 or G7, or Kodak P-850, or maybe a Panasonic LX1 might do. Some of these might be still small enough to fit into a jacket pocket or purse.


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Old Jan 3, 2007, 1:26 PM   #14
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Ken - fascinating. What does each 'step' in the WB equate to? 100 degrees Kelvin?
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Old Jan 3, 2007, 1:42 PM   #15
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Ken - fascinating. What does each 'step' in the WB equate to? 100 degrees Kelvin?
I have no idea. But I think the presets tend to differ by about 2000 degrees, so 100 degrees seems like a sensible guess. I think it might vary between cameras.


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Old Jan 5, 2007, 8:19 AM   #16
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The S6000 is a bit big, but the Fuji low-light capabilities are now legendary and the Wide 28mm would be ideal for buildings.

The two Fuji's named provide good manual controls. The F30's wide is 36mm, which is still better than her 4300's 38mm. It's thinner than the 4300 and has the same sensor and low light as the S6000. And you can get the F30 relatively cheap these days.

The reason why I mentioned price is because I really like the 4300; and if it's not broken, I'd keep it. Unless, of course, I need the pictures for low-light. And after reading some ppl's experiences, I can imagine your 4300 is broken.

So, if not the 4300, go with the F30 I say.
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Old Jan 7, 2007, 1:59 PM   #17
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thanks all,

Shes is going to go with the fuji f30. Your right about the 4300 being broken or well its just running very slow so she is going to send it in for repair and work with both for a while. A possible upgrade will then be the d70s or whaever else is sitting at that pricepoint for more serious stuff.

Here are some of her older photos with the 4300

http://flickr.com/photos/atso/

Thanks again!!
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