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Old Jan 30, 2009, 5:44 PM   #1
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I had written in a couple of weeks ago when I was planning on getting a DSLR. I went to the store and held it, and tried it, and realized that it would never work in regard to what I need it for, unfortunately.

I need a point and shoot that is easily transportable, can take quick action shots, does okay in low lights (think a hospital room with just a dim light on), yet can also take decent portraits.

I'm not asking for too much, right?

I am a doula and take labor as well as birth photos at times. So, the camera needs to be able to be slipped in a pocket or put down in my small-ish bag. I also like to take belly portraits sometimes of my mom-to-be clients, and of course, I love to take photos of my toddlers, mostly candids.

So yeah,

* low-light
* portable
* quick action shots
* nice portraits
* quick to turn on and be able to take a picture without much set-up

I have been doing some research since putting away the dream of the DSLR and trying to find what might best suit my needs. I like how the Canon G10 and the Panasonic Lumix FZ28 both look on paper. My husband went and checked out the G10 during his lunch today and said he liked how it felt. I know that the Lumix would not fit in my pocket but it would fit well in my bag.

Would either of those two fit the bill on what need? Does such a singular beast exist? :lol:

I really appreciate any advice / suggestions offered.

TIA!
Michelle
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Old Jan 30, 2009, 6:44 PM   #2
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I have the FZ28. I think it can take decent pictures at ISO 800. I heard the G10 takes good pictures at ISO 200 and below, but some might say ISO 400 and below.

The FZ28 has a huge optical zoom - 18X. I doubt you need all that zoom for your work pictures. It would fit into a medium sized purse but you might find it challenging to fit into your jacket pocket.

Have you ever considered a Fuji F100fd? It is pretty good in low light. It zooms from 28 to 140 mm. It would fit in your pocket. It got a good review from dpreview.
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Old Jan 30, 2009, 7:22 PM   #3
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I really would consider getting the Panasonic LX3, it has what I believe is the brightest lens for a point and shoot (I could be wrong) so this means it will let more light into the camera allowing you to get better shots in low (ish) light without using flash. After that I would go for the FZ28 over the Canon but there is quite a gap in the LX3 and FZ28 so if you don't need the big zoom then the LX3 is the winner.
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Old Jan 30, 2009, 9:28 PM   #4
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Here's another vote for the Panasonic LX3, Michelle. I have the LX3 and it may be the best compact digital camera I have ever owned.

The LX3 is excellent for use in low light because of it's very fast f/2.0-2.8 lens. The speed of the lens not only allows you to get good shots without flash indoors, but it allows you to use a lower ISO, which means less noise in darker parts of the frame. But there is a good, built-in flash if you want it.

Plus, on top of all this, Panasonic has finally learned how to strike a good balance between noise suppression and detail retention with its sensors and in-camera processing. And speaking of sensors, the LX3 has a large (for a compact camera) 1/1.6 sensor, like the Canon G10. The FZ28, despite being possibly the best camera in its class, has a smaller 1/2.3 sensor.

The LX3's lens pulls out to a very wide 24mm - which is perfect for a lot of indoor shots and getting a number of people in the frame at once. The lens only pushes to 60mm - so you're not talking telephoto zooming here. 60mm would be good for portrait work. The lens is great not only for indoor use but landscapes - both urban and rural - as well.

Performance is speedy, with very little shutter delay. The camera has no viewfinder, but the LCD on the back is large and very high in resolution. And the LX3's Intelligent-Auto and Intelligent-Exposure modes work better than traditional auto exposure - although the camera will give you manual control if you want it, along with shutter priority, aperture priority and a variety of scene modes.

The LX3 will cost you around $400 - usually slightly less than the G10. That's not cheap. But for your stated needs, Michelle, I can't think of a better compact camera.

I understand what your husband said about liking the way the G10 felt in his hands. I almost bought the G10 for that very reason - along with all the nice manual-control dials and buttons on the camera body. But the LX3's lens and low-light performance won me over. There is absolutely no question the LX3 will outperform the G10 in low-light and high-ISO situations. Plus the LX3 has the advantage of being smaller and lighter than the G10.
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Old Jan 30, 2009, 9:42 PM   #5
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There is no perfect camera. You could spend $100,000 and still fall short of the perfect camera.

That said, most cameras are quite good. In fact ifyou scored cameras on a scale of 1-1000 most of the cameras would score within a few points of each other.

While a faster lens is always nice (faster means smaller f-stop number), faster is not always fast enough.I suspect you will find you need flash in a hospital room more times than not, even with a faster lens. Maybe not to capture movement, rather to fill the scene with light and even out the shadows.

Both Panny's and Canon's are good cameras.

Personally I would TRY the cameras. See how the camera feels to the hand. Are you going to need to shoot one handed? Do you need easy to access menu's while wearing latex gloves?

BTW, ifyou think the Panny's won't fit in your pocket, you haven't tried the G10. Itreally is a chunky camera and there is no way it will fit in my front shirt pocket for example.

That said, the G10 mightor might not be theeasiercamera to handle for your usage.
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Old Jan 30, 2009, 10:03 PM   #6
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Thank you so much for the responses so far - I really do appreciate it!

I am going to have to to go the store tomorrow and handle both and see how they feel in my hands.

And Biro - I see that we are practically neighbors!
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Old Jan 31, 2009, 7:29 AM   #7
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A bit late to the table BUT I owned the LX3 and liked it (not thrilled with it's white balance functions) then bought a G9 and found the G9 to perform overall much better. When I say perform, I mean quality of pics, handling, getting to controls quickly, etc. Now I don't shoot often in low light but when I do I use a canon external flash on the G9, another great feature of either the G9 or G10.


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Old Feb 1, 2009, 11:15 AM   #8
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Morning, I am another LX3 user, and one of the reasons for acquiring it was its low light capability. It has been so good, it just dawned on me that I have never used the flash yet. It excels at low light with the f2 lens. Coupled with its image stabilized lens, it does quite well in every low light situation I have used it in, even with a low iso speed. I do admit that at iso 800 it is noisy, however at 400 and below (especially 80), I have found the images to be very clean.

I like the camera a lot!!! It is not as small as the Canon SD500 I had (my son now has it, forcing this acquisition) - it might not fit into a shirt pocket, but it is certainly a lot smaller that anything else you would consider.

The only real setup it needs is - taking off the lens cap, beyond turning it on.

Hope that helps....
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Old Feb 1, 2009, 12:10 PM   #9
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We bought a G10 today.

I decided that I wasn't comfortable with bringing a more expensive camera to the hospital in case it gets lost (I have lost things before there) and will get an ELPH or something to bring to the hospital. Maybe the SD1100 and I will use the G10 only for my family photos along with belly portraits.

I loved the LX3 and would have chosen that but I was just too wary of the pop-up flash around my household of two wild toddlers!

I really appreciate all the responses - thank you everyone, so very much!

Michelle
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Old Feb 1, 2009, 12:18 PM   #10
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Fantastic, Michelle. The G10 is still one of the best compact/semi-compact cameras you can buy. At ISO's up to 200, it'll give you stunning results. If you need to go higher than that, especially ISO 400 and above, you'll notice noise. But that's when you'll use the flash, right? Congratulations on your purchase and the best of luck to you.
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