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Old Jul 12, 2009, 7:50 PM   #1
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Default (ultra)compact for salsa clubs?

After searching through the posts on this forum and looking at a bunch of different camera review sites, I have decided to ask for help. If my request has already been answered before, I apologize. But I don't think it has, so here goes...

My current camera is a Nikon Coolpix L4. I hardly use it anymore because (a) the flash is so strong that it whites out people's faces, and (b) if I don't use the flash, all my pictures are blurry.

I go to salsa clubs frequently, and I would like to be able to take my new camera with me. This means, first of all, that it must be fairly small. I am also looking primarily in the $200-250 range. As for the purposes that I would use the camera for in such clubs, they are as follows:

(1) I want to be able to take pictures of people posing together while not dancing. This means that the camera must be able to take pictures in dim light with no or minimal flash.

(2) I would like to be able to take some action shots of people dancing in low light.

(3) I would like to be able to capture video of people dancing in low light.

In addition, I would like to be able to take clear, crisp pictures of people posing and dancing under good light conditions. For this I think it would be nice to have image stabilization of some sort.

NOTE: I am fully aware that most of what I am asking is difficult to find in a point and shoot camera, especially an ultracompact one. Indeed, I have even read commenters who have said that that it is impossible to get a point and shoot camera that will take good pictures under low light conditions. The thing is, I have very low expectations. When I speak about action shots or video in low light, I don't expect high quality. I am not a professional, and I haven't used many digital cameras. My hopes are simply for people to be recognizable in the action shots and for the video to show what is happening with people's bodies. Color, noise, etc. are not a big deal for me. As for posed shots, I just don't want people's faces to be blurry or washed out. I'm not a professional by any stretch of the imagination. I just want to be able to take shareable, average-quality pictures to remember things by.

So far, I've been looking at a few different cameras:

First of all, my interest was captured by the Canon Powershot SD780 IS. The physical size of this camera seems ideal, and so does the fact that it records video (though I am not necessarily looking for HD video). However, I have read that the SD780 does not perform well in low light conditions, so this is obviously a drawback. Also, I'm not sure what low light would do to the video recording.

Second, I have been looking at the Fujifilm FinePix F100fd. This seems to perform well under low light conditions, but I have read mixed reviews. Also, I seem to remember reading that the image stabilization of the F100fd is not as good as what you find in Canon and some other brands.

I have also looked at the Canon Powershot SD1200 IS, Sony Cybershot DSC-W290, and Olympus FE-5010.

Any feedback, advice, etc. would be greatly appreciated.

- Mike
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Old Jul 12, 2009, 9:13 PM   #2
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Probably the Fuji F100fd.

Here's a link to some dancing pictures taken with the F100fd:
http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=danc...pix_f100fd&z=t
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Old Jul 12, 2009, 10:48 PM   #3
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I agree with Andy. STRONGLY. In the interest of disclosure, I happen to own a Fuji ultracompact (different model). As for a 2nd choice to the Fuji, I would try a Sony W230.

Kelly Cook

Last edited by KCook; Jul 13, 2009 at 7:05 PM.
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Old Jul 13, 2009, 3:48 PM   #4
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Thank you both for your advice. The flickr link was especially helpful.

One more question: I haven't been able to find the F100fd at a store, so I'm not quite sure what it feels like physically. Would you consider it comfortably pocketable?

Thanks again.
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Old Jul 13, 2009, 4:23 PM   #5
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best of luck! I am a salsero and have seen people struggle with all sorts of DSLRs and a multitude of flash options- just get in close! ;-)
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Old Jul 13, 2009, 5:13 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by el_flaco View Post
Thank you both for your advice. The flickr link was especially helpful.

One more question: I haven't been able to find the F100fd at a store, so I'm not quite sure what it feels like physically. Would you consider it comfortably pocketable?

Thanks again.
It's 3.9 inches wide, 2.3 inches high and .9 inches thick. It weighs 210 grams. I'd say it's very pocketable.
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Old Jul 13, 2009, 8:58 PM   #7
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I have it. It's very pocketable. ISO 1600 pics are ok for 4 X 6 prints.
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Old Jul 13, 2009, 11:01 PM   #8
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awesome. Thank you so much to everybody.
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