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Old Jan 5, 2009, 2:47 PM   #1
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Like many other users, I'm trying to find the best camera to meet my need. Years ago I bought a Fujifilm Finepix S3100 (cost a couple hundred when I bought it) without researching it and it has not been ideal. The issues I have with it are the things I'm looking to rectify in a new camera.

It's bulky.
In any type of lighting except outdoors you either opt out of the flash and get a ton of blurring or you use the flash and it's blown out (even if you turn the flash down).

I'd like to get a really compact camera that can take pictures when I go to parties or out on the town - day or evening. I'd like to have some minor manual control. Video's not a priority since I own an HD camcorder.

I've seen SO many cameras now and have spent hours online looking at reviews and I just don't know. Looking around the $200-$225 range (but am flexible).

Some I looked at while I was at Circuit City:

Canon SD790 IS
Canon SD 870/880 IS
I looked at a Samsung - maybe the 310W?
Looked at a Sony Cybershot - T70 I think it was

I looked a lot of the sample images on the main page here and I thought everything I looked at was "meh". The cannon image with the flag, for example - most of the camera's shots I looked at the foliage was all blurred quite horribly when looking at full-res.

Thanks in advance.




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Old Jan 5, 2009, 3:04 PM   #2
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matt-

In the Fuji line certainly, the F-50, F-60, or the new F-100 fit right into your use category. The Canon SD-880IS is a good choice if you like that format. It has received good reviews.

The Panasonic TZ-5 is a possible choice, but its built-in flash is very under powered.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jan 5, 2009, 3:10 PM   #3
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Thanks for a speedy response! So you don't recommend Canons? I've always heard the best about them.

By the 880 format you mean wide angle, correct? I suppose it could be helpful for tight rooms?

Is there a place to go to view good pictures taken by these cams? I was looking at the F50 online and amazon had some, but it's hard to tell if the poor image quality on some of them in the camera or the user's .jpg compression settings.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-me...F8&index=1

I'm not sure what he's referring to when he says infrared camera once converted either but they're some nice images.


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Old Jan 5, 2009, 3:57 PM   #4
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For manual controls I really like the new Canon SX110 IS. It's no ultracompact however. If the Fuji F60fd price is uncomfortable, the Sony W150 would make a nice budget choice for a party cam. When in doubt buy from a store that makes returns easy.

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Old Jan 5, 2009, 4:29 PM   #5
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Kelly gave you some good advice there-

As to good photo samples, go to www.pbase.com and you can bring up photos from any camera you desire.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jan 5, 2009, 4:51 PM   #6
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So do the ultra compact cameras suffer image quality because of their size?

I'm looking at this image - it's only one of MANY images I ran across from these ultra compact cameras - http://www.pbase.com/image/99502020

It looks terrible. Everything looks blurry, there's a bunch of grain. This one was taken with the Sony W150

And it seems like I see this in the other models too:

Canon SD880 - http://www.pbase.com/image/104657993 - grainy
Fuji F60 - http://www.pbase.com/image/106734948 - looks low quality .jpg compressiony
Canon SX - http://www.pbase.com/barryrosen/imag...74366/original - grainy

Perhaps it's the users and not the cameras. I dunno but my video camera gets about the same quality. I would expect more out of a still cam.

Perhaps it's impossible to get results like this on a ultra compact - http://www.pbase.com/bracciodiferro/image/107409820?

If so, I guess I could open my mind to something if it wasn't TOO big and bulky.


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Old Jan 5, 2009, 5:10 PM   #7
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matt-

You hit it right on the nose. Yes, small camera do suffer in the image quality department. Larger camera tend to produce much better image quality. Even just coming up a little bit in size to say something like the Sony H-10 you get an excellent built-in flash unit and 10X optical zoom.

Here is a photo sample from the Sony H-3 the predecessor to the H-10 in a German Candy shop when my husband and I were on vacation. Also you might enjoy taking a look at my thread entitled "Are You Looking for a Family Friendly, Simple Camera" where I display a series of H-10 photos and explain exactly how each photo was taken.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jan 5, 2009, 7:01 PM   #8
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Quote:
So do the ultra compact cameras suffer image quality because of their size?
Err, my timid answer would be "sort of". DSLR style pixel peeping can make a great ultracompact look 'orrible. Instead, print one of those shotsin a size that is useful to you. Or resize it down to the image size that you would use for an E-mail or web page. The real world results may not be so 'orrible as the pixel peeping.

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Old Jan 5, 2009, 7:09 PM   #9
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kelly-

You make an excellent point. However, you will also notice that by reading upwards a bit in the thread, that the OP has a very critical eye, when viewing photo samples over at www.pbase.com.

So I thought it wise to move upwards in the "food chain" a bit in an effort to get better IQ.

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Old Jan 5, 2009, 7:52 PM   #10
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matt,

A couple of things..

1 - Don't expect $12,000 DSLR photo quality out of a $200 ultra-compact P&S. Maybe someday, when electronics are developed to the point of being able to overcome the laws of physics, but not today.

2 - Don't judge a camera by a picture someone (who may or may not have a clue) posts on P-Base.

3 - In your 4:51pm post, you compared 3 pics of live subjects taken with P&S cameras to a pic of a still life taken with a DSLR - is that a fair comparison?

If you want to see what a camera can do, see what a real photographer can do with it...

Example:

http://nickbland.zenfolio.com/p904983449

If you want to compare two particular cameras, look at identical subjects taken under identical conditions by the same photographer.

Example:

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

Plug in the two cameras you want to compare, scroll down to the Still-life series, and click on some of the higher ISO settings and compare.

Good luck with your search.

The Hun

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