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Old Jan 9, 2009, 12:00 AM   #1
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More and more so lately, we encounter camera fans who are looking for ultra compact size cameras that have a great low light level photo capability. Beyond the very unique Fuji brand cameras that were developed with special high ISO capable imagers such as the F-10 F-11, F-20, F-30, F-31, F40, the F-45 (a camera that was uniquely developed for Ritz Cameras, the F-50, the F-60 and the F-100 cameras, Very few ultra compact cameras, in today's market, are up to the challenge of producing excellent high ISO iamages no what brand you might care to choose.

The Sony H-3 and H-10, and the Fuji S-8000 and S-8100 are the only cameras that can challenge those special imager equipped Fuji Cameras mentioned above. So to summarize a bit, this is a rather select group.

Of course, the much higher priced DSLR cameras can get into that high ISO territory with ease due to their measurably larger imagers, but we are talking about big bucks for those DSLR cameras.

I have already begun a very workable low light capable dialogue on the Sony H-3/H-10 cameras. Now it might be appropiate to talk about an even somewhat physically larger camera the Fuji S-8000/S-8100 cameras. They too, are capable of using settings of ISO 800 and ISO 1600 very effectively and producing excellent photo results.

Here is a Fuji S-8000 photo sample at ISO 1600 that might interest you.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jan 24, 2009, 6:26 PM   #2
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Hi Sarah

I am one of the fans of low light (indoor night) photography with a compact camera. I noted that you listed Fuji and I have a f40d model. While it is much better than my Canon 710 at low lightfor capturing color, it is very noisy (no comparison to Canon).

I just came across Olympus C8080 on the Forum and checked its low light sample on the lesnumeriques site. It is significantly better than Fuji, Sony and even Canon 400D DSLR (see picture below). I wonder how accurate is this site but if true, looks like nothing beats this obsolete Olympus camera. Do you know if Olympus has kept using this technology in its new smaller cameras?

Thanks

Anour


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Old Jan 24, 2009, 8:11 PM   #3
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Anour wrote:
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I just came across Olympus C8080 on the Forum and checked its low light sample on the lesnumeriques site. It is significantly better than Fuji, Sony and even Canon 400D DSLR (see picture below). I wonder how accurate is this site but if true, looks like nothing beats this obsolete Olympus camera. Do you know if Olympus has kept using this technology in its new smaller cameras?
I don't think what you are being shown is a comparison of quality but probably rather a comparison of how the camera meters or can work in full auto settings. It is hard to tell what they are comparing asI couldn't find the section you get these from and if itis exposure theyhave done something horribly wrong in a lot of the cases.If we are talking about that ability to shoot in low light (high ISO shots) then the 400D (or 99% of other dSLRs) will beat any of the point and shoot cameras.

If you look at the following two links they are ISO 400 shots from the Oly and Canon respectively. As you can see the Canon performs a lot better than the Oly. The 3rd link is to the Canon at ISO 1600 or 4 times more sensitivity andI would still rate this above what is being put out from the Oly at ISO 400.

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2004_...289_iso400.jpg

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2006_...s/IMG_1611.JPG

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2006_...s/IMG_1613.JPG


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Old Jan 24, 2009, 8:56 PM   #4
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Hi Mark

The full site address for lesnumeriques is

http://www.lesnumeriques.com/duels.php?ty=1

It is in French and I do not know if they explain how they take the candle light pictures but it certainly could bemisleading. However its side-by-side comparison is very handy.

Nevertheless, does anyone know how new compact Olys compare to Fuji in low light?

Thanks for the clarification

Anour
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Old Jan 24, 2009, 10:27 PM   #5
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On the upper right portion of the page you linked to are a set of flags...click on your language preference. The method of testing is explained - not very scientific or fair IMO.

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Old Jan 25, 2009, 4:05 AM   #6
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I have great respect for Sarah's experience; and have no doubt that she has owned and used more P&S cameras than just about anyone.

However I do not find her recommendations particularly convincing.

Fuji don't make those cameras anymore, and everyone else has pretty much caught up. The difference in sensors is now negligible. All you are comparing is the default settings on in-camera NR processing.

Dpreview did a whole bunch of P&S camera comparisons in different categories at Xmas time, and their recommendations for low-light shooting do not match Sarah's. That information is here at Steves too of course, just not set out in such an easy to compare fashion. Perhaps next Xmas. :-)

Fast lenses count for more, and the flexibility to process RAW and gain full control over the noise/detail trade-off. In this regard the Panasonic LX3 now stands out in front when it comes to low-light shooting with a small camera. It has a lens that is 2 stops faster across all focal lengths than most of the competition and allows you RAW capture.

Apart from the LX3 if you are looking for low-light small cameras I would strongly recommend the Sigma DP1 and (soon to be released) DP2 and the Panasonic G1 and forthcoming M4/3 cameras from Olympus.

The Fuji 8000 ISO1600 image is interesting only in as much as to say: "Do not use this camera at ISO1600".

The LesNumerics.com comparison shows nothing more than the fact that the cameras meter that scene differently. The Olympus is certainly not better, just has greater exposure. If they can seriously put up that sort of thing as anything other than a metering comparison then they must be the least credible photo site on the web. (And that's quite an achievement.)
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Old Jan 25, 2009, 7:29 AM   #7
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DP Review's survey noted that the Panasonic LX3 and the Fuji F100fd were significantly better at high ISO shooting than the competition.
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