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Old Oct 10, 2010, 2:08 PM   #21
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I really appreciate all the help you guys have offered! I feel like I'm learning a lot and am narrowing down my possible choices. I went out today to look at some of the ones you mentioned. Unfortunately Wolf Camera didn't carry any of the ones I wanted to look at and they said they don't carry any Canon cameras at all. I was surprised to hear that. They recommended the Nikon P7000 after the ones that I mentioned (from the list above) and said that it would be much more intuitive to use compared to the Canons that I'm leaning towards. I had to wonder if they were only saying that because they didn't sell Canons? Thoughts on that?

I was able to see the G11 and the S95 at Best Buy. I'm really pleasantly surprised with how small the S95 is! Though, the size on the G11 is fine too. Again, small size is nice but it's not going to be my deciding factor. I need to look further into the Nikon, Samsung and Panasonics.

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Originally Posted by shoturtle View Post
the FZ uses the same size sensor as most of the point and shoot cameras out there. A tiny 1/2.23 size. So the difference form one to another is really not great, as the amount of light they came capture is limited. Most of the difference is processing the camera does.

So yes I have a old canon A460 point and shoot, that in good lighting shoots as well as my newer point and shoots with the same size sensors. And about the same in low light.

To really move up in image quality you need to move to a larger sensor, the cameras I mention have 1/1.63 sensors. So in low light you can shoot at higher iso, with good point and shoot results at 800 to 1600iso.

And M4/3 is 4 times as large of a sensor, so if you shoot at the same 800-1600iso, the results are just way better. Bigger sensor equals better image quality. Especially in low light.

Higher iso is needed for shooting indoors and low light if you do not want to use a flash. That is one of 2 things you can do to get the shot.
Thanks for this information explaining the sensor size. Makes sense and is very helpful.

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Originally Posted by Roooby View Post
Kim, there are probably going to be a few people that yell at me for saying this, but *whispers* I don't use my FZ35's flash a lot either indoors or at night.

Here are two I shot at night with the FZ35, and I didn't even tweak them in PP (post-production).


(That said, I have a friend who has a Canon G11 - one of the other cameras I think shoturtle mentioned -- and that does very nice lowlight photography; she shoots with it at concerts -- indoors *and* in the dark -- and enjoys it a lot. )
Thanks Roooby! Great shots!

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Kim.. there's 1 thing that's very underrated and should be considered almost in the manner of going from landline to cellphones that's in camera video ability. I was pleasantly surpised by both pictures and videos of the FZ35 initially...
Thanks for the tip... I really haven't been paying attention the video capabilities because I don't intend to use it much in that area. I have a little Flip HD that serves its purpose perfectly for what we need.

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Originally Posted by Hards80 View Post
when someone mentions compact camera, and they want one that performs inside both with and without flash, it can only lead to 1 conclusion. and that is the compacts with the larger 1/1.7" sensors.

these are the cameras mentioned by Sarah and Shoturtle. The Canon s90/s95, Canon G11/G12, Nikon P7000, Samsung EX1, and Panasonic LX3/LX5.

these are the best pool of cameras to pick from for the goals of good indoor shots both with and without flash, and not needing a large zoom. each camera has its advantages and disadvantages over 1 another, but all will perform as well indoors as you can ask of a compact.

if small size is priority, the S90/S95 is the easy choice, as being the most pocketable. slightly larger than that sits the LX3/LX5, here the LX5 is the easy choice as it offers a better zoom over the LX3 and enough to make it worth it. Similar size is the Samsung EX1 which boasts a really fast lens, but not quite as refined of package though it is a bit cheaper than the Canon and Panny with its new rebates. If you move up to the G11/G12 and P7000 you gain full ttl flash capabilities and more manual controls and dedicated switches but you do this at the expense of considerable size and weight.
Thanks for all the great information! I think I'm definitely going to go with one of these with the bigger sensors that you mentioned.

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Originally Posted by mtclimber View Post
For Kim to really see any noticeable improvement in her photos it will take a compact camera (S-90,S-95, LX-3,LX-5, G-11, G-12, P-7000, or the EX-1).

The plus with one of those cameras is that they can also handle higher ISO settings with ease, better image quality, and less noise. Another bonus is that some of those cameras have a dedicated hot shoe (G-11,G-12, P7000, LX-3, LX-5, and EX-1) which allows for an accessory external flash. An external flash, used properly will easily eliminate most common flash complaints that we see with P+S cameras using their built-in flash units...
Sarah Joyce
Sarah, is the external flash difficult to learn how to use? Sounds like it could come in handy!
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Old Oct 10, 2010, 3:48 PM   #22
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Kim-

Learning to use an external flash is not hard at all. It easily improves indoor image quality by 100%.

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Old Oct 10, 2010, 3:52 PM   #23
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Kim-

Learning to use an external flash is not hard at all. It easily improves indoor image quality by 100%.

Sarah Joyce
Thanks Sarah. That is good to know. I'll be taking probably 50% of my photos indoors so it seems like this might be a good investment. Is it true that the hotshoe (which I assume is the spot you attach the external flash) is the big pull towards the G11/12 over the S95. I'm leaning towards the S95 but am continuing my research to make sure I'm making the right decision.
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Old Oct 10, 2010, 3:54 PM   #24
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Forgot to mention... I just discovered that the G11 has a viewfinder that you can angle and that also folds in so that it won't get scratched as easily. That sounds like a neat feature!
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Old Oct 10, 2010, 6:33 PM   #25
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Kim-

Yes, the Canon G-11 has an articulated LCD screen, an optical view finder, and a hot show to mount an external flash. None of those features are available on either the S-90 or the S-95 cameras.

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Old Oct 10, 2010, 6:59 PM   #26
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The G12 has the folding lcd as well plus hd video.
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Old Oct 10, 2010, 8:36 PM   #27
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Right when I think I've made a decision I read something that tips the scale. ;-) So, this folding LCD... Is it really as cool as it sounds or is it just a gimmick? Seems like it would make taking shots a little easier because you wouldn't have to have your face right up to the LCD to take pics. Also, it's nice that it wouldn't get all scratched up since it folds inward.

I don't think I'd probably ever get around to using an external flash, but now that I say that if it really makes a huge difference in indoor picture quality then maybe it would be smart to have it when doing a planned "photo session" with my daughter...

How big are these external flashes and any idea on how much one of the more less expensive ones cost?

Thanks again everybody! You have all been so very helpful.
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Old Oct 10, 2010, 8:43 PM   #28
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well the OVF of the g11/12 and p7000 do not give you a full view of the frame. Only about 75% of the actually frame. So it is helpful with the framing if you are not shooting in bright sunlight.

But with scratching up the lcd. You still would want to put a lcd protector film on it. If there is a little dirt that you did not see, it still can scratch up the screen while folded back.

But with the flash. Since the camrea all support ttl. It makes flash shooting simpler to get the power level correct.
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Old Oct 10, 2010, 8:49 PM   #29
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Oh, that's good to know about the OVF not showing the full image. Just to be clear... is the OVF the "little glass window that you look through with your eye close up to the camera"? Sorry for the extremely non-technical verbage but I don't know any other way to describe it. The OVF is not the same thing as the LCD screen, right? So, can you see 100% of the imagine if you shoot by framing your image with only the LCD?

Oh wait... did you mention the bright sunlight because you can't see the LCD in extremely bright sunlight? (So you could use the OVF instead)

Btw, what is ttl?
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Old Oct 10, 2010, 8:50 PM   #30
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correct to all account.
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