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Old Jan 19, 2009, 5:59 PM   #1
Bex
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I've been using my Canon PowerShot A80 for many years, and I was quite happy with it, but unfortunately it started behaving strangely recently, and I decided to buy a new camera.

My requirements:

1)Budget $300 or less

2)"Ok" or "good" indoor quality AND night performance is a must. I understand I cannot get "excellent" for this kind of money in a camera of this size, so "ok" or "decent" is all I'm looking for. I bought one of those small Sony CyberShots from costco a few months ago, but quickly returned it because indoor performance was horrible. Indoor images were extremely grainy, and looked like they were drawn on paper, rather than shot with a camera. Very "aftificial"... I was very surprised to see a 10 megapixel modern camera perform much worse then my very old A80, which was actually quite decent with night and indoor shots.

3)Some optical zoom ability. Doesnt have to be a lot.

4)Powered by AA batteries. Preferred, but not required.

5)Optical viewfinder strongly preferred.
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Old Jan 19, 2009, 7:36 PM   #2
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The pixel density on your old Canon was probably about a third of the Sony, therefore increased noise at high ISO settings.

Take a look at the Fuji f100fd - better than average low light performance (it has a larger sensor than your A80), 5x optical zoom (28-140mm), and right at your budget maximum.

Good luck with your search.

the Hun

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Old Jan 19, 2009, 8:32 PM   #3
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Take a look of Kodak Z1012is.

It has a High ISO mode, which can nicely capture low light indoor protraits without flash. It this mode, the noise reduction algorithm is pretty good. Not much noise in the picture.

It has a 12x zoom lens.

Current price is around $230.

Its size is slightly larger than one of those bigger-sized Canon PowerShot cameras.

But size is a more subjective issue. Once a camera is bigger than a certain size, the owner will not bother to carry it to attend events. Hence it defeats the purpose of owning the camera to capture pitcures. Do check it out and handle it in a retail store to see if it is OK to you.

Steve has a review of the Z1012is.
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Old Jan 20, 2009, 12:41 PM   #4
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dancheng wrote:
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...Steve has a review of the Z1012is...
...and there's loads of posts about the Z1012 in the Kodak forum right here on Steve's. I have had one since November, and a nearly identical Z712 since May07.

Its high ISO performance is pretty good, but it depends what your expectations are. Taking indoor informal family photos over the Christmas holiday period during a variety of activities, I found I needed flash quite a lot. The built-in flash is very good, butI was for ever running into overexposed things near the camera and underexposed things further away.

If I could have been bothered, I'd have got out my Casio QV-5700 (Jun2003), the last camera I owned that had an external flash sync socket, and held or perched my external flashgun on its long lead somewhere to give more evenlighting. The only solution to this is to buy a slave flashgun, probably more expensive than the camera.

If you have time to fix plenty of lighting for the indoor shots, I think the Z1012 looks easily the best value for money in its price bracket. It's a poor man's dSLR plus lenses, at a tenth the price and weight, albeit with less quality. I've been messing with cameras for approx 49 years, including good SLRs and lenses, and the Z1012 is the best compromise on price, dimensions, weight & performance thatI've encountered.
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Old Jan 23, 2009, 5:56 PM   #5
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It looks like there are two z1012's out there...

There is this one http://www.walgreens.com/store/produ...sku=sku4021981


and this one:

http://www.officedepot.com/ddSKU.do?...d-_-Technology

I am assuming you guys are talking about the 2nd one?

It looks like a nice camera, but I'd prefer a compact or ultra compact if I can get one with decent indoor performance if there is such a camera. If not, I will off course go for the z1012.

By the way, is Canon PowerShot 790is any good?
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Old Jan 24, 2009, 2:07 AM   #6
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Good grief! If you read to the bottom of the first (Walgreens) advert, it says the package contents includes "Kodak V1073 camera" and "KLIC-7004 battery".

Either someone has made a big mistake with web page design, or it's a fraud! There no mention of the Z1012 anywhere but in the title.

I hope I haven't caught anything from that link, though AVG free thinks it's OK.
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Old Jan 24, 2009, 2:51 AM   #7
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Bex wrote:
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.....but I'd prefer a compact or ultra compact if I can get one with decent indoor performance if there is such a camera. ....
Well it depends on just how good an indoor performance you require, but I am rather jealous of the "Rollei XS-10 InTouch" compact that I bought for my daughter for Christmas, after trying it out in our local camera store. I have seen no mention of it here from anyone but me, so maybe it's not outside Europe yet.

Its image quality is easily as good as, or better thanthe Z1012. I finished up paying more than I'd intended (200 ukpounds), because she wanted one that's easy to handle and very small, for her handbag (purse).

It has a touch screen LCD for the menus, which is wonderful! "Say goodbye to fiddly tiny buttons misery!" In one of its focus modes you could even work it wearing gloves, because it will focus on a zone you touch on the LCD and take the shot immediately, with a tap on the screen.

Its high ISO performance looks good to me. I attach a not very well-focused ISO400 flash shot of my mother-in-law, resized but not sharpened, followed bya100% pixel for pixel clip to show the modest noise. I didn't need ISO400; I forgot to turn it down after earlier shots. I took many indoor shots to try it out, with which I'm very pleased.

You can download the PDF manual from....
http://www.rcp-technik.com/typo3/fileadmin/downloads/ROLLEI_XS-10_inTouch/bedienungsanleitung/en/UGuide_RCP_XS10_EN.pdf

Make - ROLLEI
Model - RCP X-10
ExposureTime - 1/60 seconds
FNumber - 5.60
ExposureProgram - Manual control
ISOSpeedRatings - 400
DateTimeOriginal - 2008:12:25 12:19:54
SceneType - A directly photographed image
ExposureMode - Auto
White Balance - Auto
LightSource - Auto
Flash - Flash fired, auto mode
FocalLengthIn35mmFilm - 105 mm
SceneCaptureType - Standard

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Old Jan 24, 2009, 2:55 AM   #8
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100% clip cropped from the above. The camera is the same size as my 7Mpix Casio EX-Z750 bought in Sep 2005, still in regular use, but the high ISO performance and user-friendliness is vastly superior.

Don't tell mother-in-law I posted this - she'd not be amused!
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Old Jan 24, 2009, 3:33 AM   #9
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I just remembered I have a better clip to illustrate the quality we can aspire to in compact cameras now.

This is a full-size clip, unaltered, from a shot daughter's boyfriend sent me to show off her new spectacles. I am amazed at its sharpness at 1:1 pixel for pixel viewing. My friend in Wrexham Cameras (http://www.wrexcam.com), who sold it to me attributes the quality largely to the lens, but I think sensor development must also have a lot to do with it.

Make - ROLLEI; Model - RCP X-10
ExposureTime - 1/60 seconds
FNumber - 3.80
ExposureProgram - Normal program
ISOSpeedRatings - 100
ExposureBiasValue - 0.00
MaxApertureValue - F 3.14
MeteringMode - Multi-spot
LightSource - Auto
Flash - Flash fired, auto mode
FocalLength - 9.40 mm
ExifImageWidth - 2736
SceneType - A directly photographed image
CustomRendered - Normal process
ExposureMode - Auto
White Balance - Auto
FocalLengthIn35mmFilm - 53 mm
SceneCaptureType - Standard
SubjectDistanceRange - Close view

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Old Jan 24, 2009, 4:44 AM   #10
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Full frame of the clip above, resized only...
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