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Old May 18, 2009, 11:18 AM   #1
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My wife attends education conferences. She needs a camera with high optical zoom and good resolution. Because she is usually a good distance from the speaker, she needs a strong flash or a camera that works well in low light situations. Prefers something small and light. Everything she looks at has mixed reviews. Help!!!Thanks.
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Old May 18, 2009, 11:32 AM   #2
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There are lots of superzooms and megazooms that are good in good (i.e. abundant) light, but I don't know of any that are great in dim lighting. I have the Panasonic FZ28 and it's not bad in low light , but ... The champion superzoom for low light is probably the Fuji S100FS, but it's not small at all. The champion compact point and shoot in low light is probably the Fuji F200fd. I am not how sure how bright its flash is though. I can almost guarantee that it won't do much beyond 20 feet. There are some compact superzooms, but they don't excel in low light. There are DSLR's with hot shoes for powerful external flashes, but those are neither cheap nor small.
I would recommend the Fuji F200fd as the best compromise currently available. 5X optical zoom, pretty good low light performance.
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Old May 18, 2009, 11:56 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Hearn View Post
...she needs a strong flash or a camera that works well in low light situations. Prefers something small and light.
These two requirements are mutually exclusive, I fear. She'll have to compromise.
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Old May 18, 2009, 12:06 PM   #4
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Larry-

Robbo is probably correct. The Fuji F200fd, or the F100fd are probably the best compromise solutions. The photo environment that you describe is a very difficult one to shoot photos with the expectation of good IQ. As Robbo noted, any camera's built-in flash unit is not going to cover beyond to 20 to 25 feet. Therefore the entire expectation for image quality must lie in the camera's ability to produce good photos at high ISO settings while using a lot of zoom.

Here is another suggestion. Take a look at the attached photo. It was taken with a Kodak Z-1012 IS camera from 140 feet away at an ISO setting of 800. The Z-1012 is well priced at $(US) 199.95 at Walmart. That is about the best image quality that you can expect.

Sarah Joyce
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Old May 18, 2009, 12:14 PM   #5
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Just to add the following:
I'm guessing by 'a good distance away' you're talking more than 15-20 feet. In that case no built in flash of any camera will be good enough. Your wife would need a camera with hot-shoe and an external flash. Some digicams have this ability as well as all DSLRs. but now you're no longer talking small and compact. For a non-dslr, the external flash is going to give the best quality results.

But let's say your wife doesn't want to go the route of a camera with hot shoe. Let's talk about how good the pictures really need to be. What exactly are the pictures being used for? You mentioned your wife attends conferences - that leads me to believe she's not part of the hosting body so it wouldn't seem like she's taking photos for promotional purposes.
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Old May 18, 2009, 12:22 PM   #6
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That's a brilliant picture, Sarah Joyce! What were its settings? (No exif I can see).

When do we get to see you whirling round the dance floor?
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Old May 18, 2009, 12:33 PM   #7
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Thanks for the compliment Alan-

It was a photo taken during my last contract on the Radiance of the Seas. It was taken at ISO 800 at F 4.0 at 1/100th using an exposure compensation setting of -1.7 to keep the facial tones correct.

We may have to hold off on your dance request, because the Argentine Tango is not my forte.

Sarah Joyce

Last edited by mtclimber; May 18, 2009 at 12:35 PM.
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