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Old Apr 5, 2008, 6:41 PM   #11
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Wow!! Thanks for that website, that is really helpful! I see what you all mean about the F30 on the ISO 1600 shots, it is WAY WAY better than the Canon and also better than the S6000. It is just so hard to find Fuji F30, all the stores have them discontinued and the ones on ebay are used. I'll have to keep my eyes open.

The Panasonic definitely has them all beat in terms of macro shots, but I get the feeling that in order to get a camera with great macro shots AND good performance at high ISO, I need to pay a lot more money....

Looks like the F30 is a good way to go though
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Old Apr 5, 2008, 6:48 PM   #12
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Hmm, I don't understand why the F50fd is cheaper than the F30? It is like half the price but seems to have about equal performance, is this the case? How close do you think I could get to a flower or something else before it wouldnot be able to focus?
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Old Apr 5, 2008, 6:55 PM   #13
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The F30 stopped being produced over a year ago. It was replaced by the F31 which was replaced by the F50fd. Of the three, most people think the F31 was the best with the F30 a close second. The F50fd may not be quite as good as the other two at low-light shots but it's still the best around right now in the compact camera realm. However, the F50fd is being replaced by the F100fd, which looks like it may not be as good as the F50fd, so get your F50fd while you still can.

As far as macro shots go, the F50fd can get down to 7cm, not as good as some cameras but close enough for a decent macro shot.
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Old Apr 5, 2008, 7:04 PM   #14
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Sounds like you need a good manual focus. I would suspect that in autofocus mode, your camera is trying to focus on the glass in front of the fish.

I also wanted a good manual focus as well and found that any of the store models I tried with manual focus were pretty bad at it as you are trying to focus something through a really fuzzy electronic view finder. I ended up buying a KM Dimage A2 as it has the best EVF around. It's view finder is 1 mega pixel as opposed to the 250K or lower viewfinders found on other models.

Not sure how it rates in low light though.

If you are willing to take your chances with the used market, a good example can be had for under 300 dollars. I lucked out and got a like new one with a transferable mack camera warantee good through june 2010.

You might be able to solve this problem with good lighting from above the tank. Ofcourse your fish may not be thrilled with this. Does your aquarium have built in lighting as some do?

I will see if I can get a shot of my daughter's gold fish and let you know how it does.

Pete
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Old Apr 5, 2008, 7:51 PM   #15
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"How close do you think I could get to a flower or something else before it wouldnot be able to focus? "

The F100fd will macro focus at wide angle from 5cm to 80cm (2 to 31"). It will macro focus from 50 to 80cm at telephoto.

The new Fuji S100fs will super macro focus to 1cm or about 0.4"...careful you don't break the glass on your tank. The S100fs also has manual zoom and focus rings, which I consider a huge improvement over toggle switches. The S100fs, however is not a compact cam - it is an SLR-like camera...a lot bigger and heavier than the F100fd. All depends on what you like.

Neither the F100fd or the S100fs have received any professional reviews as yet, so I would recommend patience before springing for either.

the Hun

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Old Apr 5, 2008, 9:05 PM   #16
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"Sounds like you need a good manual focus. I would suspect that in autofocus mode, your camera is trying to focus on the glass in front of the fish."

The fish looks to be in proper focus IMO. Most digital camera AF can focus thru glass, provided there is sufficient contrast in the scene.

"However, the F50fd is being replaced by the F100fd, which looks like it may not be as good as the F50fd, so get your F50fd while you still can."

There are some who would dispute this - over at DPReview there are some pretty happy campers with good photos from this thing. Unfortunately, these early samples have a "pink banding" issue. Time will tell.

Christina, do you have any photos that you consider "good enough" that you can post? And, do you plan to print these photos or view them on the web?

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Old Apr 5, 2008, 10:13 PM   #17
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I am probably going to mostly be printing out the pictures.

The top picture of the fish was about the best one that I got from that camera in terms of being in focus, there is one more that is OK too. If I'm not mistaken this was taken with a low ISO, I don't remember what it was though. Again, it is still pretty grainy...to me at least. Maybe I am expecting too much out of the camera? I know I still had grainy issues with it even with ISO setreally low (like the lowest setting). Was there something else I may have been doing wrong?




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Old Apr 5, 2008, 10:40 PM   #18
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Hmm, there is no EXIF info attacvhed with this pic, so I can't tell what the ISO setting is. However, it does look like it might be around 800-ish.

I've made a one minute quick-n-dirty edit to remove noise.
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Old Apr 5, 2008, 10:41 PM   #19
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To me your photo looks more blurry than grainy. My guess is that the shutter speed was not fast enough to catch the fish's movement. That's one reason why it's so important to use manual controls when shooting in difficult low light conditions. You can widen the aperture to let in more light, increase the ISO to make the picture as bright as possible without being grainy, and set the shutter speed to take a nice, sharp picture, taking into account that the subject may be moving. The Canon A560 does not have manual controls and was not the kind of camera you required.
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Old Apr 5, 2008, 10:43 PM   #20
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Here's the first one. Both of these images were processed with Noiseware.


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