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Old Oct 6, 2009, 11:05 AM   #1
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Default So Confused - Really need some good advise

Hi all,

I have a canon sd630 P&S and I was not happy with it because of blurry images. I got a canon xsi/450d a month or so ago from target at clearance (floor model). I bought it thinking it will be good for me, but i found out soon that its a Money Pit, you need tripod, external flash, lens for different situations etc etc. Also, I wear glasses and found using the viewfinder annoying and carrying it around is cumbersome and attracts attention every time you lift it up to take a picture.

So I planned on returning it, now two days ago I got a error 99 while shooting on Live view mode. I did a firmware update and it was fine yesterday but I got the error msg again today.

I am now sure that I will return this. Now what do I buy next? Zoom cameras are great outdoor with good light but are bad indoors/ low light and are slow.

I am looking at the G11, but the price tag is almost close to a dslr. I would like to at least get 5X zoom, with good indoor/lowlight capability.While the s90 looks promising its only 3.8x zoom,

What are my option if there is any or should I just stop looking and wait till something comes out next year.
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Old Oct 6, 2009, 12:38 PM   #2
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I am now sure that I will return this. Now what do I buy next? Zoom cameras are great outdoor with good light but are bad indoors/ low light and are slow.

I am looking at the G11, but the price tag is almost close to a dslr. I would like to at least get 5X zoom, with good indoor/lowlight capability.While the s90 looks promising its only 3.8x zoom,

What are my option if there is any or should I just stop looking and wait till something comes out next year.
Sorry to hear about your issues with a DSLR. It's tough to answer your question without some more information. Specifically what types of indoor/lowlight situations are you trying to take pictures in? Be very specific. It's critical to get details because there are varying degrees of 'indoor / low light photos'. In some instances a given camera will work without flash, in other instances you'll need to use the camera's flash in still others an external flash is beneficial or necessary (and yes, some non-DSLRs accept external flashes). And finally, there are some instances where the capability of a DSLR is necessary. So, please provide some specifics on what you want to photograph under what situations. For example, 'available light photos of family - well, do you want to take them in daytime with a window near by? Or also at night when only a lamp is providing light. In one case several digicams could get you some shots and in the other, you're simply not going to get great shots without the use of flash and/or the high ISO/wide aperture capability of a DSLR with appropriate lens.
"pictures of kids" - doing what? Sitting in place or running or playing volleyball? Using flash, or not using flash? Hope that makes sense.
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Old Oct 6, 2009, 1:01 PM   #3
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[email protected] - The low light situation would be indoor parties/birthday etc.
The camera will be generally for shooting family,vacations, documenting the places of visits etc, kids playing around the house. I hope I am being specific.
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Old Oct 6, 2009, 1:14 PM   #4
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[email protected] - The low light situation would be indoor parties/birthday etc.
The camera will be generally for shooting family,vacations, documenting the places of visits etc, kids playing around the house. I hope I am being specific.
For kids playing around the house and parties/birthdays you're going to need flash - no real way around that if you want decent shots. There's also no doubt that an external flash will provide better results than a built-in flash - this goes for DSLR and digicam alike. What the external flash provides is:
1) Ability to bounce - provides more even lighting and eliminates red-eye
2) More power, so you can difuse the flash and still properly light your subjects.
3) Faster recycling time. With many cameras it can take several seconds for a built-in flash to recharge. With an external flash those times can be greatly reduced - and, in fact, allowing you to take a couple shots in many instances without the need for the flash to re-charge.

That, of course, comes with downsides:

1) More money
2) Bulkier - on digicams even moreso
3) less convenient - you now need to carry 2 items instead of one.

That's your biggest decision. You should already know the general downsides of going back to a digicam/superzoom for these types of shooting situations:
1) Slower startup time for the camera
2) Slower focus time compared to a DSLR with flash & focus assist
3) slower time in between shots.

Now, if you already have a Canon speedlight you could keep it and buy a Canon digicam with hot-shoe. As long as you are OK with the limitations of the digicam solution then this would give you the most flexibility.

If you choose NOT to use a hot-shoe flash for a camera, then it's important that you start to look at ISO performance of digicams. If you have usable ISO 400 you'll get much better flash shots than ISO 100 or 200 because you won't be demanding so much out of the flash. ISO 800 is nice in this regard too. The higher the ISO the less power you need from the flash. When using an external flash in a small room (a living room for example) this isn't an issue. When using the built-in flash, it can become an issue depending on distance and how wide an area you want to light up for your photo.
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Old Oct 6, 2009, 1:20 PM   #5
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sid-

Return the Canon DSLR. It does not seem to be functioning correctly. In addition, you appear to have and overall negative reaction to the DSLR option. That is not said to be negative. Rather, as just an analysis of what I am hearing in your post.

When you describe low light situations as "...indoor parties/birthdays.., does that mean you do not want to use your camera's built-in flash unit?

Seemingly, a point and shoot camera (as long as it had a good built in flash unit) might create a more upbeat trend to your camera usage. What do you think? Is it time to make a change or to give the DSLR route another try?

A point and shoot camera like the Sony H-10 or H-20 might be an easier solution and create much less frustration. Here is a sample of the kind of photos I am referring to, where the camera's built-in flash unit works properly. There is no doubt that a good DSLR camera with an external flash will do a better job, but that comes at a cost in terms of dollars.

Have a great day.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Oct 6, 2009, 2:06 PM   #6
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I dont mean to be negative towards the dslr, maybe I need more time to adjust to this new kind of camera for me. I love most of the things about a DSLR but I think I am not ready yet. All good suggestions provide here. Indoors, using flash with my current P&S built in flash looks horrible.
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Old Oct 6, 2009, 2:38 PM   #7
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Sarah, that's a really nice photo.

But....

It looks like you had a lot of ambient light coming in through Windows behind the subjects. Also, light coming in through windows is going to be closer to the same color temperature of the camera's flash.

Without that type of ambient lighting in a room where the background is further way, I would expect brighter subjects with a darker background. Since a direct flash is providing most of the light at closer ranges in typical indoor conditions without ambient light coming in through windows, it usually won't help much with the background (unless you want the closer subjects to be overexposed). So,you'll have a greater difference in brightness between foreground and background (and more differences in the color temperature in the image caused by typical tungsten lighting). IOW, you're not going to get more even lighting in a room like you would from bouncing an external flash.
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Old Oct 6, 2009, 4:38 PM   #8
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Yes, I'm with Jim, the built in flash isn't going to do a great job when you have a wide area and can't rely on light from outside.


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Old Oct 6, 2009, 4:52 PM   #9
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Hi JimC and Sid-

Yes, that photo was taken with the Sony H-3, the forerunner to the H-10 and the later H-20. I used the flash in this photo mainly as a fill-in flash to even out the shadows.

Here is anothe Sony H-3 taken with flash where flash provided all the light for the photo.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Oct 6, 2009, 4:57 PM   #10
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JohnG-

Note the photo that I just posted from the Sony H series cameras. The area is not quite as wide as yours, but the Sony H-3, H-10, and H-20 can do a very creditable job with flash photos, and it costs just $240.00.
That is just about the cost of a Canon EX-430 external flash alone, which cannot take any photos at all.

Sarah Joyce


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