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Old Mar 13, 2007, 3:13 PM   #1
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Hi everyone,

I'm new here and have found this site very helpful indeed.
I live in the UK and due to my camera breaking over Christmas, I am now looking for a new one.
I'd like to thankyou in advance of any help you could give me.

I have had a digital camera before (Nikon Coolpix 3200) and I was very pleased with it. I took it everywhere on my travels and enjoy taking photos of people, mountains, the sea, buildings, etc. A bit of everything.
I also like to take strange pictures of fireworks or lights where I tilt the camera to get cool effects so I'd like to be able to do all of these things in my new camera.

So to cut a long story short, I now need a new camera and have an idea that I want to have no less than 6 and no more than 8 mega pixels.
A standard 3x zoom would be fine.
My old camera had "sunset" and "fireworks" mode and I got some nice sunsets, fireworks, and things (see pics) from these settings. I am wondering if I could do this on any camera or if this would only apply to these settings ? Anyone know ?

As for choice of camera's, I am starting to go insane as there are so many to choose from.

Some of them that seem to appeal to me so far are:

- Sony DSC- W70
- Sony DSC- W100
- Nikon Coolpix L12 (Due out very soon I believe)

And I'm still looking so.....

Does anyone have any suggestions on a model I should go for that would let me do the kind of photos I have posted here and also general photos ?
I'd like it to do good interiour shots and of people too.
What do you think of the camera's I have suggested?

Many thanks for your time in reading this and the help you can offer me.

Have a good day,

Tim.


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Old Mar 14, 2007, 10:34 AM   #2
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Anyone have any ideas to help me ?
Thanks in advance.

Tim.
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Old Mar 16, 2007, 6:55 AM   #3
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Anyone ?
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Old Mar 16, 2007, 7:22 AM   #4
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A good place to start your search is our Best Cameras List

It's divided into categories and you'll find a 6-10 Megapixel category that has some models you may want to look at with the resolution you want. These models are deemed to be a good value within their market niche, and I see the W70 you're considering listed there (along with a number of other models).

I'll just caution you that more megapixels does not necessarily equal better image quality (sometimes the opposite can be the case, since manufacturers are stuffing more photosites into a tiny sensor, making the size of the individual photosites smaller with less surface area for gathering light).

Make sure to read the Conclusion Section of the reviews for cameras you consider. That's where you'll find comments on things like Startup Time, Autotofocus Speed and Reliability, cycle times between images, image quality with and without flash and more. The Conclusion section is the last page before the sample images in each model's review here.

As for scene modes, I personally never use them. I have yet to use any of the scene modes on my current camera. But, they can be helpful to some users. They try to set the camera so that it's optmized for the scene (sometimes selecting an aperture/ shutter speed combination that's more appropriate, picking a different focus distance, boosting saturation for some types of shots and more).


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Old Mar 16, 2007, 8:58 AM   #5
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Dear Confuse

I know of only one camera brand at present which fulfills your needs in a clearly better way than any other, as i assume you want a pocketable, realatively cheap model:

People - face detection and high iso with low noise for indoor natural light
Mountains - landscape setting
The sea - adjustable shutter and white balance
Buildings - ability to enhace colours, and preferably wide angle
Strange pictures of fireworks or lights - fireworks mode and nightmode with up to 15 seconds shutter

No less than 6 and no more than 8 mega pixels - the quality of pixels is most important, 8mp is only needed if you wnat to print big posters or crop you images, in which case the quality is more important anyway (a 5mp SLR will always beat a 10mp pocketcamera nowadays)

A standard 3x zoom would be fine - absolutely, yet for certain buildings, groups photos and landscapes it would be nice to start at 28mm

Sunset modes are on most cameras nowadays, but it only makes sence if there is a sufficient high iso with low noise

The sony is banned due to their proprietary memory and not apologizing for spreading spyware

The Nikon L12 has iso 1600 on paper, but macro starts at a useless 15cm, its screen is lowresolution, seems to be no whitebalance adjustment etc etc

So that leaves the Fujifilm finepix series as the only ones with sufficient low noise to make real photos in lowlight situations

I have been using the f31fd since it came to stores, and now there is a new model called f40 which is the successor to the lowend f20, and in a few months there should be a f50fd succeeding the f31fd

The facedetection is especially nice when giving the cameras to others (or making steath photos where you dont need to look at the screen) the fd on the name means facedetection, which is convenient but less important than low noise

Iso 3200 (on the f40 2000) means indoor pictures without flash and outdoor before and after sunset or streetlamps, and remember that the image stabilisation on other models only makes your camera more steady, not the moving objects!

The noise of the fujis is sufficiently low to have iso800 give excellent pictures that can be enlarged, at iso 1600 and especially 3200 you will want to use a program to remove nioce (noiseninja, noiseware, lightroom or neat image) but then they are often quite acceptable for normal picturesize print, which is unheard of in any other model!

The f40 uses standard SD cards, which is great, though it does not have as many manual settings as the f31 - but it seems you dont use manual settings that much anyway

A problem with the f31 is the video which records the focusing clicks, so silent videos will be difficult, i have taken lots of small great videos where the surrounding sound eliminates this problem, and of waterstreams where i hold the camera in one position so it doesnt have to refocus

The possibility to add sound to an image needs the bad fuji software which you should avoid, picasa or iphoto (mac) finds and imports the pictures fast anyway - provided you use a fast card, either xD version H (important!!) or for the f40 a good SD, i recommend 1gb or 2gb

The batterylife is astonishing, i often forget i have to recharge the camera during an entire week, easily more than 500 pictures (300 on the cheaper f40)

Nightmode gives a real possibility to photograph the starry sky, clearly and free from noise (enable long shooting in the menu first)

The wheel remembers most settings, and i rarely use flash anymore, except for fill, and in demanding situations, groupphotos in darkness for example, and the flash is very powerful while not overexposing

The Nikon has select sharp photo, whereas the fuji just takes sharp photos, though in case of moving objects or you moving your hand it is useful to take 3 pictures in a row

Makro on the f31 is hunting a second at focusing, which is annoying, on the f40 it might be corrected and maybe on the upcoming f50, but the photos come out great!

See this amazing test to understand what i mean:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qFiEna9p4U
****************************************

I absolutely advice getting a tiny holder (5€) for taking pictures with long exposures and a zeroshock pocket (10€)

For automatic cleaning up pictures taken with iso 1600 and 3200 you can use neatimage, the f30 had more noiseremoval builtin, so the f31fd look slightly more grainy, but are actually the same, or better after removing noise

I also use photoacute with the use of last 3 continuous (not moving objects) for making truly sharp images, but that is a bit of work, although after initial setup of the programs, i simply drag and drop my pictures into neatimage, and drag and drop the results (which arrive automatically) into photoacute and save

As for SD cards for the f40, try to get hold of the Sandisk ultra plus II USB edition, then you have a usb plug in the camera, extremely useful!!

Hope this helps, and if you for some reason look for other cameras, then i can only suggest getting 28mm, as on the Panasonic models, but beware of speed and noise and remember that 6mp is all you need for A3 posters - only a SLR will give the advantage of more pixels (look at dpreview for more details)

Aurin R
Finland:|
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Old Mar 16, 2007, 9:03 AM   #6
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Example of f31fd indoor picture iso 3200, rezised to 1600 jpg 75 in picasa, taken during a meeting, so flash not allowed
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Old Mar 16, 2007, 9:07 AM   #7
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the same picture after going through neatimage, auto profile, filter and sharpen slightly out of focus, now its actually printable, although this is definately not SLR quality it is amazing from a pocket cam
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Old Mar 16, 2007, 9:23 AM   #8
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A daytime picture taken with the fuji crome setting, giving extra colour boost (picasa export 1200 jpg 80)
Porvoo Finland
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Old Mar 16, 2007, 10:09 AM   #9
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Thankyou for the helpful posts JimC and Aurin,.

I appreciate your time that you have spent writing your replies and will certainly take a look at those models right now.

Thankyou.
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