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Old Jun 4, 2008, 2:06 AM   #1
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Hi everyone,

I've been looking for a new camera for a while, and it's quickly becoming crunch time (I need one before the month is over). My number one desire is IQ, but I'll need a P&S (Even the smallest DSLR will be too big, what with the lenses and all). I've thought about the Canon A650, Ixus 90IS, Panasonic T-Z5, among others, but now I've come to the G9.

The only question I have is how well does it work in low light?

Looking at the low light picture at http://www.luminous-landscape.com/re...G9-Japan.shtml I think it looks stunning... but since that picture has been reduced, I have no idea if it really is that good.

I'm by no means a professional (I hesitate to call myself even a novice), and I know that a P&S will never be a DSLR, but I want the best, for the least... Is that too much to ask? :O

If anyone has any alternatives, I'm all ears. Unfortunately I cannot get a hold of the Fuji F31fd, so that's out....

Thanks
Michael
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Old Jun 4, 2008, 3:34 AM   #2
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All the small sensor cameras are pretty close in low-light ability. So they are all equally good (or bad). The sensors themselves are incredibly efficient at low-light capture, but suffer from being very small.

Even so, in the right hands it is possible to get pretty good results, as the LL article shows. Of course you will see noise in large prints, but if you find it objectionable you can always work on it with NoiseNinja or something.

The most important thing you can do in low light is make sure you are exposing according to the ETTR principle. See the latest LL articles for the reasons why.
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Old Jun 4, 2008, 10:09 AM   #3
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TBH certain Fuji compacts in recent years have proven themselves to be markedly superior to other brands in low light situations, i could point you to a myriad of reviews to prove that point.
Get hold of an F40d or an F50D if you can.
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Old Jun 4, 2008, 12:12 PM   #4
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Fuji's newest small camera that's good in low light is the F100fd. It's more expensive than the F40fd and F50fd but is probably a better camera overall. These three are the best low-light small cameras you're going to find.
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Old Jun 4, 2008, 12:18 PM   #5
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I tend to agree on the fuji front. Canon in general does pretty poor at high ISOs in their digicams. And don't think I'm biased as I use Canon - it just isn't a strong suit of their digicams. Unfortunately, even the fujis have taken a step backwards. Their prior generation was better in low light. But unfortunately the public has bought into the hype that quantity of megapixels are the single most important feature. So, they've upped the megapixels but at the expense of low light performance. Still, probably the best out there.
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Old Jun 4, 2008, 4:47 PM   #6
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I don't buy it. On a number of counts...

Firstly I think that Fuji's alleged advantage is vastly overstated, and any advantage they may have had in the previous generations no longer exists IMO.

Secondly, any difference between manufacturers is far less important than proper exposure (ETTR).

Thirdly, how does noise on the new higher resolution sensors compare to the previous generations if you down-res to the same megapixels as they had before? Most tests don't do this comparison, just complain that the sensor is more noisy. The few tests I've seen where they take the new 12Mp sensor and down res to 8Mp and compare against the old sensor show no difference in noise.

Finally, a bit of noise doesn't ruin most pictures if the other aspects (both technical and aesthetic) are good. In fact it can even be used to good effect.

Fuji make some decent cameras, but to buy one because it has less noise in low light is allowing the tail to wag the dog.
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Old Jun 4, 2008, 5:11 PM   #7
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It's all a matter of perspective, keeping in mind that you're looking for a good balance between detail captured and noise levels (as well as the impact of noise reduction on detail, color accuracy, and more), for a given viewing/print size, taking issues like blur from subject or camera movement in mind (which will be less obvous at smaller viewing sizes since it will occur across a smaller portion of the frame, and the the human eye needs a certain movement distance across it's view to detect blur).

You'll also want to consider your percentage of keepers (and practice with timing will help to improve that part). You'll want to balance the need for a higher percentage of keepers with less blur, versus the image degradation you'll get as you increase ISO speeds to help reduce the need for slower shutter speeds.


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Old Jun 4, 2008, 5:20 PM   #8
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http://www.google.co.uk/search?num=1...earch&meta=

Peruse any number of those links and see just how many refer to Fuji devices :-)

True, since the FD50 and the introduction of 12MP on the 1/1/6 sensor the advantages have diminished somewhat i agree.

Dont remember Fuji exposure accuracy being any worse on average than any other brand, but simple laws of physics cannot be denied, the larger chips utilised by Fuji DO give them an inherant advantage using high ISO.
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Old Jun 5, 2008, 10:49 AM   #9
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I recently used my G9 to take low-light, no-flash, hand-held pictures at my niece's pinning ceremony for Nursing school. I was pleased with the ability to take available light pictures, and have some good results. Here are two shots to show a couple of examples.

ISO 800, 1/20 sec shutter;



ISO 3200, 1/8 second



These have not had any PP applied to them.

Dennis
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Old Jun 6, 2008, 2:00 AM   #10
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Thanks for your replies, everyone. Given me much food for thought. I'm kind of starting to lean to the Fuji now... just to add another spanner to the works, if going second hand, what do people think of the Canon G6? Samples look great, but I'm not sure if they're nice to use... I've heard varying reports.



Thanks

Michael
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