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Old Apr 12, 2007, 8:18 PM   #11
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I just read the conclusion at Dpreview and found that photos at iso 400 and above are poor. This would preclude this camera for low light photography. You will want to make anothe choice. DC Views is a great place for research. Good luck!
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Old Apr 13, 2007, 2:00 AM   #12
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samureye wrote:
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I'm being advised that since I know nothing about DSLRs for what I want to do I should look into getting something along the lines of this: http://panasonic.co.jp/pavc/global/l...z50/index.html
for the zoom. But should I stick with a DSLR or not? I don't know much about this at all.
When I wrote my recommendation for a DSLR I was actually considering mentioning the FZ50 as an example of the exact wrong camera for your use, but I didn't seriously think you would have considered it. I have the FZ30 which has lower noise than the FZ50, but is still pretty useless above ISO 100.

My DSLR with the kit lens performs roughly the same at ISO 200 as the FZ30 does at ISO 100, but the K100D is still clean at ISO 800, meaning that with my kit lens the K100D is 4 times brighter. When I use my 50mm f/1.7, the camera is roughly 48 times brighter than the FZ30 at the same focal length. Basically, in situations where I can shoot good exposures at 1/45 second with the K100D, I could get comparable quality with the FZ30 if I do a 1 second exposure. Even with stabilization, that rarely works and there's no way you'll get anyone to sit still for that long.

If you really want to go with a p&s you might want to check out the Fuji F20 and F30. I've heard they perform rather well, but I don't think they give you the zoom you want.
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Old Apr 13, 2007, 4:14 AM   #13
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For a digicam, I'd try the Fuji S6000fd or S9100:
http://www.steves-digicams.com/2007_...i_s6000fd.html

The S6000fd has the same sensor as the F30. It's good through ISO 800. And it has RAW available (and ISO 1600 is useable with RAW).

A DSLR would likely be best, but I'm not sure if you even know what focal lengths you would need most. It sounds as though this would vary, and you would be different distances at different events. You would likely end up needing more than one lens. Maybe more than 2. I'd guess that if it's possible to do it with a digicam, even if not ideal, you would at least get a clearer idea of what you need that way when you are ready. At the same time you might have an opportunity to learn a few things, about camera controls and postprocessing.

I think something like a Nikon D80, together with the lenses you would want, would run more like $2000 (and it would be easy to spend more).


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Old Apr 13, 2007, 4:53 AM   #14
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I tried the S9600 last month.
It's a nice fixed-lens camera, but NOT for low-light photographers.

The screen resolution is poor, very noisy and difficult to see in the low-light.
The AF assist beam is poor and doesn't stay on long enough for the camera to get a sharp focus in the low-light.

It took some very nice clean photos in daylight, but struggled in most low-light situations. Of 300+ shots, only 40 or so were good enough to use on my website.

I'm not saying the S9600 is a bad camera, but there are better low-light performers on the market for the same price or cheaper.
I had to replace mine after 2 weeks.

If you're going for an SLR-like camera, these two have been tried and tested in low-light and are absolutely fantastic performers.
In fact, my promoters currently own and use the P880 for their club photography in favour of the DSLRs.

Kodak P880
http://www.dpreview.com/news/0508/05...k_p880p850.asp

Samsung Digimax Pro 815
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/samsungpro815
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Old Apr 13, 2007, 3:59 PM   #15
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I took a look at Steve's review of the Kodak P880. He doesn't seem to have one for the Samsung.

I don't doubt that you have gotten nice pictures out of the camera. However, it certainly isn't going to stack up against a DSLR. It's ISO 400 photos demonstrate higher noise than a typical ISO 800 shot from a DSLR, it can only take 1 RAW photo every 10 seconds, it's lens isn't going to be as effective as a decent prime lens, and it has no optical viewfinder which is much easier to use in dark settings.

Now I'm not saying you have to use a DSLR, for some the inconvenience of changing lenses or just the size of the camera can be problematic, but if your main concern is quality, it's easily the best way to go.
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Old Apr 13, 2007, 4:44 PM   #16
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I agree with that, but he's said that he has no understanding of DSLR, and no interest in using the camera in any way other than point-and-shoot. I personally can't see how buying a DSLR and expensive lens will benefit his photography.

Surely a good quality SLR-like prosumer would be the best option.
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Old Apr 13, 2007, 4:57 PM   #17
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http://www.steves-digicams.com/2006_reviews/s3is.html
I've just read Steve's Review of the Canon S3 IS and he found this camera to be an excellent choice for a long zoom point and shoot camera. The sample picture are excellent, including night shots. Take a look
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Old Apr 13, 2007, 5:00 PM   #18
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I have a couple of S3 IS owners on my forums and they rave about it.
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Old Apr 13, 2007, 5:02 PM   #19
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I can see why. It's nice to find a product with such great reviews ar a great price. I see Walmart has it on their site for under $310.00!
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Old Apr 13, 2007, 5:05 PM   #20
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My bad! I see your in the UK. Probably don't have Wallmart there.
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