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Old Apr 5, 2007, 10:26 AM   #1
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I'm a current owner of the SD800, previous camera S30. Loved the shots from the S30 therefore I assumed the SD800 would be better. So far I've been gravely disappointed. Auto mode - useless indoors as ISO goes too high and pictures are too grainy. Tried manual with ISO 200 - too slow for most pictures. Maybe outdoor shots are better but hate to have a camera onyl good for 50% of the time. Bottom line is I'm looking to replace it. Considering the F31fd, new Sony line DSC-W series. My concern is that the underlying problem with quality is the sensor size (1/2.5" vs. 1/1.7 in the S30). I assumed as resolutions went up manufacturers would also up the sensor. I'm in image processing system design for a living therefore know there is generally no substitute for a larger sensor when it comes to quality. My main concern is image quality. I am leaning toward the DSC-W80(Sony) as it has the best feature set of the series with the best sensor to resolution ratio. Anyone have this camera? Can;t find much out there (brand new) to compare.



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Rich Z
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Old Apr 5, 2007, 12:14 PM   #2
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the Fuji F31FD ISO quality will almost certainly be much better than the Sony DSC-W series cams. Since you've highlighted your concern about ISO and low-light image quality you should be considering the Fuji cams, as they are the lead the way in low-light photography.
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Old Apr 5, 2007, 12:24 PM   #3
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Rich,

Just a little confused by your post...if sensor size/image quality is your main concern, why are you considering a 7MP camera that has a 1/2.5" sensor (W80), albeit one which was only released last month and has no professional reviews yet published? I would have thought that the F31FD (6MP, with a 1/1.7" sensor) that you were also considering would have been the logical choice. Larger sensor...fewer MP's...?

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Old Apr 5, 2007, 1:12 PM   #4
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The F31fd would be my first choice for all the reasons you listed but, I've heard some bad regarding outdoor photos. I am waiting to see the results on the new Sony's before I purchase though. The IS was why I went with the SD800 in the first place. If the W80 (7.2mp) comes in close to the Fuji I'dprefer it. The W100 (not listed on Sony's site for some reason) would be my first choice (1/1.7") sensor if it had IS.

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Old Apr 5, 2007, 1:48 PM   #5
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Is there a good reason no one makes a camera with the larger sensor and the IS?

Canon's latest, including the IS models, all seem to have the small 1/2.5" sensor. Sony has the 1/1.7" sensor in the N2, but no IS. Fuji has the larger sensors in the F series, but no IS.

The new Sony W-200 will the 1.7 sensor and IS, but it's also 12MP.

This is one of those things that it seems it would obviously be a big seller, but the companies won't produce it.

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Old Apr 5, 2007, 2:53 PM   #6
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My thoughts exactly. I've used the IS - a worthy feature. Fuji seems to be the best of the bunch, but no IS, not even in upcoming models. Most manufacturers are going this route, why not Fuji? The entire DSC-W80,90,200 series have IS. I suspect the W80 will edge out the others (90, 200)in picture quality due to the resolution. Having lost many a good shot to shake, I'd give up 'some' quality for IS. I'd love to see a 1/1.6" with a 8.2mp, IS. The newFuji A820 comes close, but a 39mm lens? Too close for me. Ashame - it's like manufacturers are in a cave, with no understanding of those who use the cameras. I understand there are probably some physical limits in matching sensors to lens, but again, it can be done (A820). Just give me IS - I'll pay more.

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Old Apr 6, 2007, 1:11 AM   #7
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IS is useful in only one situation with a camera of only 3-4x zoom and that's only in low-light, where you must use a low shutter speed in order to get a clean picture without flash. The IS will stabilize the camera throughout the image capture process but still, the subject must also be standing still in order for the image to be perfectly sharp.

Fuji's answer to this scenario is instead of using a low shutter speed, use a high shuter speed by notching up the ISO. The high ISO's in Fuji cams are cleaner than other cameras at the moment. A high shutter speed will counter any camera shake and you also don't have to worry about the subject moving. Fuji solves two problems at one go by developing their ISO.

IMO high ISO is more important than IS.
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