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Old Mar 14, 2007, 10:46 AM   #1
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I have been interested in purchasing a digital camera for some time now, but similar to the gentleman in this topic: http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...mp;forum_id=87
I find myself offput by the shutter lag and delay between taking photos.

For the most part, this is a problem that can be solved by the half button press prefocus trick that was mentioned in the other thread. However, there are times when I would want to shoot several shots of the same subject in rapid succession. I understand that some cameras have a 'burst mode' which will allow this, but I would also like to know how long they usually take to recover from each 'burst'.

The circumstances I'm thinking of would be indoors from somewhere about four to six feet away. The subjects (usually cats) would be about the same distance away for each series of shots, so is there any way I could lock focus in some manner?

Finally, while digging for suitable cameras on my own, I came across the Canon Powershot SD600. Is there any reason why this camera would not be suitable for my needs? Can you suggest something better?
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Old Mar 14, 2007, 11:34 AM   #2
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Probably never good to just look at one camera, because you'll wind up buying it without ever knowing what else is out there. The camera you selected has a continuous mode, which will take around 2.1 frames per second, with about a 1 second delay to clear the buffer after the shots.

Comparing this performance to another popular compact cam, the Fuji F30...the F30 has a continuous mode, which will take about .5 frames per second (2 seconds per shot). It also has a "top3" mode, which will take 2.3 frames per second, with a maximum of 3 frames, then takes approximately 7 seconds to clear the buffer.

Clear winner - Canon...until you consider the following...you said you wanted to do this indoors...the SD600 isn't the best available light camera around, so you'll need to use the flash. The flash recharge time is 5 seconds per charge. Therefore, to take a 3 shot burst indoors will take 15 seconds.

The F30 is much better in low light situations. Depending on the actual amount of light in your setting, the Fuji could operate without flash, giving you a 3 shot burst in about 1.5 seconds. Clear winner - Fuji. Warning: Boosting the ISO will add grain to the pics, and there may not be enough light in your home to get the shutter speeds up enough to freeze action.

If you really want to take bursts in low light, you will need to consider a DSLR. You didn't give us a budget, however.

the Hun

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Old Mar 15, 2007, 7:25 PM   #3
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I put it in the subtopic, sorry. I'm looking to spend between $200 and $300. I'm not looking for a DSLR because although many of them will do all I want and more, they are far, far out of my price range.

Your reply was most helpful, however. I browsed through many of the reviews on the 'best camera' page and didn't really see anything that told me whether a camera is better for low light or not. Is this something typical of Fuji over Canon or would I have to examine on a case by case basis?
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Old Mar 16, 2007, 3:54 AM   #4
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On most of the review conclusions it has a section on the ISO performance of the camera and that, naturally, is where performance in low light is discussed.

For example on the review for the Sony W70 - a camera in your price range:

Despite being positioned as a beginner/intermediate digicam, the W70 is equipped with a versatile sensitivity range of ISO 100-1000, enabling hand-held photography in lighting conditions that would otherwise require the use of a tripod or flash. Although noise is quite noticeable throughout and saturation suffers at ISO 1000, the images are far more usable than those ruined by camera shake at lower ISO settings and shutter speeds. The noise level drops noticeably at ISO 800, and image noise is not an issue at ISO settings of 400 and below.

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Old Mar 16, 2007, 8:27 AM   #5
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If you are hand holding the camera and the cats are at rest optical image stabilization is worth considering. If the cats are in motion then even ISO 800 may be insufficient so you should also compare flash performance.

In the price range you are considering most of the later designs have a burst mode.
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Old Mar 16, 2007, 3:24 PM   #6
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People are probably sick of me bumping the Fuji on here, but hey, I love my s6000!
Just another to consider, read this thread if you haven't. The Fuji can now be had for under 300.
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