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Old Nov 13, 2008, 9:48 AM   #1
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I need a recommendation for a decent point and shoot for my girlfriend. I have a Fuji S9600 myself and an old Olympus D580 Zoom that work just fine, but the D580 isn't great indoors, in low light. She would like something that will fit in a handbag :roll: that performs well in low light or at night. Is this a big ask? What would you guys recommend?
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Old Nov 13, 2008, 10:11 AM   #2
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This one, to me, is a no-brainer....the Canon Digital Elph. Easy to use and they give great results with little effort. My girlfriend has been using them now over three generations, first the S400, then the S410 and today the SD800, which has now been eclipsed twice, first by the SD870 and today, it's the SD880is.

These are the Elph models with the 28mm wide angle and that's what I would get her. The other versions of this camera start at an only semi-wide 35-37mm, which isn't really wide at all. Yes, you can stitch multiple files together, but a *real* wide angle lens makes it easy to do 4x6 or any other size traditionalprints with a wide view.

Low light performance is often iffy with any point & shoot. I'm not sure you are going to find anything over the SD880isthat performs better than she can legitimately hope for in a compact camera today. Used to, you could get something like a Fuji F30 or F31 with great low light performance, but the newer Fuji models don't hold a candle to those earlier models, which today are only available second hand, and at much inflated prices due to their low lightperformance.

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Old Nov 13, 2008, 1:00 PM   #3
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There is one review of Nikon's new S560 that compares its low light results to the fabled Fujis. Also, if your GF is able to steady her camera against something at night, a few of Panasonic's ultracompacts will run their shutters out to 60 seconds.

Kelly Cook
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Old Nov 13, 2008, 6:47 PM   #4
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The only professional review I've seen of the S560 was on trusted reviews, linked here:

http://www.trustedreviews.com/digita...oolPix-S560/p1

Therein, the reviewer stated, "The S560 has the easily best high-ISO image quality of any recent compact that I've tested, even beating the Fuji F40fd. "

Oddly, Mr. Smith's statement regarding ‘recent compact' was referring to a Fuji model that is nearly two years old...a dinosaur by digital camera standards. The F40 was a replacement for the F20, which was a low budget alternative to the F30. The F30 was replaced by the F31.

Now, I never felt that the F40 was one of Fuji's better low light performers, so your reference to the "fabled Fujis" leads to some confusion. I would be the first to agree with you that the latest round of Fuji cameras are not as good as some of their earlier models when it comes to low light/high ISO performance. However, I would challenge you to produce a side by side comparison of photos taken with the S560 and F30, F31 or S6000 (the real fabled Fujis) and say that the Nikon is better, or even close. Take a look here:

http://www.imaging-resource.com/IMCOMP/COMPS01.HTM

Unfortunately, the S560 isn't there, but the S600 is, which has the same #MP's and same size sensor. Now the S560 uses a new lens, and maybe a newer processor, but select the S600..*****oll down to still-life 400...select it, then click on the thumbnail.

Now go over to the other side and [Display Current/All cameras] click on ‘All'. Select Fuji F30..*****oll down to ISO 800 - yes, 800. Compare the crayons...the coffee cup with brush...what do you think? Don't forget you're comparing an ISO 400 pic to an ISO 800 pic. You could go back and raise the S600 up to ISO 800...never mind. I can't imagine the S560 being that much better than the S600 - unless Nikon started buying Fuji sensors and processors (?)

Try comparing the S600 to the F100D - what do you think?

Since the OP's main concern seems to be low light performance and size, I would recommend the F100D over the Nikon and the Canons mentioned here. It's not great, and certainly not as good as some of the earlier Fuji's, but it has some merit.

Take a look at some low light pics:

http://nickbland.zenfolio.com/p904983449

the Hun




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Old Nov 13, 2008, 7:37 PM   #5
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OooooKaaayyyy, "fabled Fujis" was a poor choice of words. :O

Your position seems to read that Nikon cannot or will not improve on the S600. I would rather cut them more slack than that.

Kelly

(Fuji F45fd)
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Old Nov 13, 2008, 10:05 PM   #6
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The Fuji F40fd has great low light picture quality for a point and shoot. Here's the F40fd matched against Nikon D80 DSLR at 1600 ISO. The D80 has a better picture, but not by all that much.
http://www.digitalversus.com/duels.p...2242&ph=20

Here's the F40fd matched against the Olympus E420 DSLR, at 1600 ISO - The Fuji looks much better.
http://www.digitalversus.com/duels.p...2242&ph=20
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Old Nov 13, 2008, 11:21 PM   #7
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You can also carry the F40fd in a small purse or jacket pocket.
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Old Nov 14, 2008, 11:11 AM   #8
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I did not say that Nikon cannot or will not improve on the S600. I only implied that since the S560 had the same size sensor and #MP's as the S600, I doubted that the S560 could somehow, suddenlybecome the greatest low light compact P&S on the market. Nikon's history in that department hasn't been that great...I'll cut them slack when they produce a real contender - maybe the S560 is one, but I haven't seen a conclusive review on it yet (I'm not a big trustedreviews fan).

My comment regarding the F40 was not intended to bash it. It certainly was one of the better performing low light compacts, even better than many of the current Fuji models. I don't feel, howeverthat the F40 was as good as the F30 or F31 in the low light department.

I will not carry an F40, or any other camera in a small purse.

the Hun
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Old Nov 26, 2008, 4:27 AM   #9
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Thanks for the suggestions guys. Women as usual have their own ideas. She doesn't like the menus on the Nikons, isn't keen on the Canons, I can't find an Elph anywhere anyway. I'm being pushed towards a Samsung NV9 or a Fuji Z100fd. Any thoughts on these two? Am aiming at the lower end of the price range as I have seen the way past cameras have been treated :roll:

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Old Nov 26, 2008, 8:36 AM   #10
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The Samsung is a more clever design, the Fuji has better image quality. If you want to later "move up" to a more advanced camera that is the same brand, Fuji provides such a path, Samsung is slim pickings inthat way.

Kelly Cook
(Fuji F45fd)
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