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Old Dec 22, 2009, 10:32 AM   #11
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Thanks Perip. Taken in the spirit intended.
My wife and I run a few Stagecoach Theatre Schools (a UK franchise that has now gone transatlantic). We teach children and I tend to end up running sound and light so will be at the back of a small school hall with a small audience. The distance is only 6metres or so and I can stand at the back near the sound desk.

From feedback in the thread and redaing around it does seem that finding a P+S with good ISO1600 capability is what I need, so that I can get a good shuter speed. Although ultimately I think I'll probably go second hand dSLR I don't think I can stretch to that at the moment.

I've increased my expected spend to $450 (300 pounds) already.
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Old Dec 22, 2009, 11:16 AM   #12
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3 p&s models do ISO 1600 reasonably well, at least much better than the rest. that would be the Canon G11 and S90 and the Panasonic LX3.

the panny lx3 has too short of zoom, only 60mm equivalent.

the S90 and G11 use the same sensor and perform similarly at high ISO. the s90 is much more compact and faster (2.0) at the wide end, but is slower (4.9) at its more limited 105mm tele end. the G11 is a larger, near DSLR sized, camera that is a bit slower (2.8) at the wide angle but gives you a faster (4.5) and more generous 140mm equivalent tele capabilities.

the s90 runs about 400$, while the G11 is around 440$ at the moment.
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Old Dec 22, 2009, 12:41 PM   #13
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When I was faced with my own budget crisis, I made due for a long time with the Kodak Z-1012 at ISO 800. The photos certainly were not DSLR quality, but we managed to get by with those photos when we kept them at small sizes. So a "work around" is possible but at times, not very pretty.

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Old Dec 22, 2009, 7:50 PM   #14
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thanks for clear suggestions Hards80.
What about the Fuji s200EXR? Aparently the CCD is bigger and so better light gathering than previous cameras.
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Old Dec 22, 2009, 10:17 PM   #15
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Ok. Making the suggested leap, how about a used Canon EOS 400D with Canon EFS 18-55mm and Tamron 70-200mm lens for $450 ?
or the EOS 300D ?

Last edited by khblue1; Dec 22, 2009 at 10:21 PM.
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Old Dec 23, 2009, 3:01 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khblue1 View Post
Thanks Perip. Taken in the spirit intended.
My wife and I run a few Stagecoach Theatre Schools (a UK franchise that has now gone transatlantic). We teach children and I tend to end up running sound and light so will be at the back of a small school hall with a small audience. The distance is only 6metres or so and I can stand at the back near the sound desk.

From feedback in the thread and redaing around it does seem that finding a P+S with good ISO1600 capability is what I need, so that I can get a good shuter speed. Although ultimately I think I'll probably go second hand dSLR I don't think I can stretch to that at the moment.

I've increased my expected spend to $450 (300 pounds) already.
Aha, now I know what you're after. I live in West London and my daughter attends Stagecoach. So I have taken a few photos under exactly the same conditions you are talking about using ISO400 film with an f2 lens.

I think that a 2nd-hand DSLR might be best, but I do think that if you can find a Canon S90 or Panny LX3 you might well be able to manage.

Of course each hall is different, but you often get some daylight through. You might be forced to convert most of the shots to BW where the noise isn't always a drawback.
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Old Dec 23, 2009, 10:32 AM   #17
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Perip. That's a fortunate coincidence !
I do like finding out about a new world and although I started of with a Zenith EM many moons ago I haven'treally explored photography.
Interesting how the light bulb goes on when you understand the actual room conditions, what fun !
I'm going to have a look over here (Colorado) in the January sales to see what's available.
Do you think that the EOS 400Dis a good second hand alternative ? Presumably there is an age of dSLR where actually modern P+S cameras do a better job.
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Old Dec 23, 2009, 12:42 PM   #18
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Ach! So many variables!
Do you think that image stabilisation is essential for this kind of thing ?
I ask 'cos the eos 400d doesn't have it.
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Old Dec 23, 2009, 12:55 PM   #19
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To clear something up.
Looking at kelkoo.co.uk under 'like SLR' there are a bunch of cameras that look more like SLRs than the G11 and LX3. They appear to have larger lenses and so I'm surprised they haven't better light gathering than the G11 and LX3, but they never got a mention. Do they look good but are actually are not ?

Panasonic FZ28 or 38 - 245 pounds
Fuji 2000HD - 145 pounds
Fuji s200EXR - 250 pounds
Sony DSC-HX1 - 290 pounds
Sony DSC-H20 -185 pounds
Nikon P90 -265 pounds
Canon SX IS - 320 pounds
Casio EX-FH20 -210 pounds
Olympus SP-590UZ - 230 pounds
Nikon L100 -165 pounds
Samsung WB5000 - 274 pounds
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Old Dec 23, 2009, 11:39 PM   #20
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ok. After all the valuable discussion here and talking to a chap in the local pro camera shop and getting my hands on some hardware, I think I have a handle on things.

So. My main consideration is a high light gathering lens (f2.8 or better at wide angle), ideally one that doesn't deteriorate too badly with zoom. I can get this with a top end P+S but not with a low end dSLR since it will have an inexpensive lens attached. The larger CCD/CMOS chip on a dSLR will not compensate for this lack of light. (Anyone disagree? This still surprises me.)

This would suggest a Canon G11/S90 or Panasonic LX3/FZ38. Any 'zooming' would then need to be done by cropping the shot before printing, but with 10MPixels rather than my previous 4 that would probably be fine resolution.

Alternatively one of the better 'super zooms' would allow me to frame a shot directly without losing much on the light gathering front e.g. Canon SX20is or Olympus SP something.

Interestingly last time I was over here in the US I picked up a Panasonic DMC-LZ2 on ebay as a holiday snapper camera, which I assumed would be much worse than the Konica Z3, since the Z3 looks more like an SLR and has a whizzy zoom. This camera actually does more what I need with:
f2.8-4.5
x6 Zoom
5 M Pixels
ISO 400
so having completely ignored it on the basis that it didn't look right and I didn't understand things at all, I should probably give that a try. It does have reviews of being noisy at ISO 200/400 though, and this is the limit of what it can do. It also has no manual control other than ISO setting.

Thanks for all your help, I think I at least know now why I should spend money and on what.
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