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Old Dec 7, 2010, 10:17 PM   #11
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I received the Canon SD-4000 today (12/07) and I will with this post begin posting some photos taken with the SD-4000.

As this is a low light photo environment camera we begin with a no flash indoor photo of some orchids.

http://anchorse.smugmug.com/Other/Ca...9_RrCro-XL.jpg

The next photo from the SD-4000 is an informal portrait of my husband:

http://anchorse.smugmug.com/Other/Ca...5_erP97-XL.jpg

A friend is opening a new hair salon this week, so I took some photos for the Grand Opening using the tiny SD-4000. All of the Salon photos were taken using the SD-4000's built-in flash unit:

http://anchorse.smugmug.com/Other/Ca...5_SZAUn-XL.jpg

The balance of this first set of photos are the photos that I took with the Salon's Grand Opening:

http://anchorse.smugmug.com/Other/Ca...5_B53hz-XL.jpg

http://anchorse.smugmug.com/Other/Ca...1_hoL6F-XL.jpg

http://anchorse.smugmug.com/Other/Ca...8_TiZqD-XL.jpg

The final photo, also taken using the SD-4000's built-in flash unit, was in our local bank, as I stood in line to make a deposit.

http://anchorse.smugmug.com/Other/Ca...3_cSqpd-XL.jpg

All in all, I found the SD-4000 very easy to use right out of the box, after battery charging. The SD-4000's built-in flash unit is powerful and easily lit each photo. When closer than 8 feet, I had to use some minus Exposure Compensation to prevent over exposure.

The SD-4000 is zoom limited as it has just 3.8X optical zoom, so plan to do some of the zooming with your feet. I was also pleased with the no flash/low light level macro or close-up photo of the orchids, which I took when grocery shopping.

I am happy to answer any questions about the SD-4000, and to discuss any of the photos.

Sarah Joyce

Last edited by mtclimber; Dec 7, 2010 at 10:19 PM.
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Old Dec 8, 2010, 1:38 PM   #12
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good first impressions and seems to be pretty consistent with what others have said, a nice little cam that produces well in a variety of conditions, and really nice at the new pricepoint. a good value i would say and a good gift choice for family members looking for a new pocket cam.
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Old Dec 9, 2010, 4:25 PM   #13
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I received the camera yesterday and I am very happy with it. The low light pictures are fantastic. Above and beyond any other camera I have ever had, some at a much higher price point. I don't mind the zoom because most of my pictures are family oriented. I haven't even had time to play with it. All my pics have been in auto mode. I knew the camera would be small but I was still really surprised how tiny it was. It packs a punch for it's size and at $200 I can not imagine a much better deal out there. My only gripe right now is the wrist strap. My old canon elph from years ago has a tightener slide on the wrist strap so it was more secure. But that is something I can just get on my own.

Thanks you both in the decision - I truly appreciate it!
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Old Dec 9, 2010, 7:29 PM   #14
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Suzanne-

Thanks for your post. I am happy that you are pleased with the Canon SD-4000. I am also very happy with the SD-4000 as well. It is very sharp,easy to use, and does indeed due well in a low light level photo environment, thanks to its fast F 2.0 lens at it wide angle zoom position.

For those that want a zoom greater than the 3.8X zoom provided by the SD-4000, there is the SD-4500 with a full 10X zoom.

Thanks to the power built-in flash unit, you can take nice informal portraits, even when fully zoomed. Here is an informal portrait sample:

http://anchorse.smugmug.com/Other/Ca...2_Gc7Dn-XL.jpg

And here is a sample of a no flash, low light level macro shot:

http://anchorse.smugmug.com/Other/Ca...9_RrCro-XL.jpg

Sarah Joyce
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Old Dec 11, 2010, 8:09 PM   #15
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This is sorta unrelated to the SD4000 (though--I saw that deal on Amazon and was tempted to pull the trigger!)...

But I wanted to post here, since the title is the subject that I'm posting about (low light capable). I went out with a buddy last night to a sports bar, and he took a picture with his new iPhone 4. I was quite amazed at the low-light capability of his camera! Apparently, the iPhone 4 is equipped with a CMOS (backlit) sensor.

Now, this brings me to the question as to whether people's expectation level is waaay higher than my layman's expectation w/regard to low-light photography, in criticizing various cameras and their performances in low light (e.g. Canon SD4500, Nikon S8100, etc.)

My intent is not to produce 8x11 prints, or anything of the sort. I do want quality-looking photos, but it's not like I'm going to nitpick to the nth degree about technical issues. All I want is basically bright, relatively clear pictures.

Because the iPhone 4, while it has that CMOS sensor... I'm sure it doesn't have a lens of any special regard. I'm sure things that affect low-light ability (sensor, aperture, lens) aren't in the iPhone 4's favor, in comparison to cameras like I listed above.

So, I'm starting to feel like these CMOS-equipped sensors do produce noticeable improvement in low light situations.
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Old Dec 11, 2010, 10:49 PM   #16
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I had a long post that attempted to explain things to you (again) but the browser crashed and I don't have the patience to type it all again.

If viewing an image at cell phone size is good enough for you, then you're absolutely right - a cell phone camera will do the trick. However, if you think you're going to get good low light performance for even a 5x7 print, you're fooling yourself. You can't and you wont. While the iPhone 4 does have an F2.4 lens, it's sensor is 30% smaller than even the SD4000 and 50% smaller than an S95. Again though, if you're only seeking to get a 3x2" memento of an event, then a cell phone camera is more than enough even in less-than-ideal lighting.

There are people who nitpick photo quality but I'm not one of them. I don't expect any miracles out of any P&S camera. However, there is a huge difference between the output of the iPhone 4 and any decent P&S camera at anything above base ISO. If you plan on using the camera in only bright sunlight, then sure, base ISO will do the trick.

You also failed to mention what ISO the photo was taken at and whether the flash was used. If the flash was used - and it would be unless he forced it off - then we're not talking low light capability anymore.

A CMOS sensor does not provide a marked improvement in low light capability but it is noticeable. You haven't said anything that wasn't already considered common knowledge. However, these backlit CMOS sensors also create more noise than their CCD counterparts. To avoid a blocky, noisy image, manufacturers must employ additional NR (noise reduction) which cleans up the image and makes it more appealing to the average consumer. However, it ruins the image for many enthusiasts who actually wish to see details like hair and blades of grass, rather than clumps of color that resemble hair or grass. Of course, the CMOS sensors also provide the ability to shoot 1080 video. I am certainly not against the trend towards CMOS in P&S cameras but one must realize there are trade-offs.

Of course it comes down to your needs but the difference isn't anywhere near as simplistic as you'd like to make it. Without the flash, the amount of light that makes it into the camera is dependent on sensor size and the lens. You can sit here and hem and haw day in and day out, but those are the facts. Then there are other issues such as optical zoom which is non-existent on these camera phones. What about IS (Image Stabilization)? If the phones offer it at all - and most don't - it pales in comparison to that found on any decent camera.

Here's an iPhone 4 ISO 1000 sample at a very small print size. It looks horrible but that is true of any of the tiny sensor P&S cams. I'm not going to argue the degree of crappiness - crap is crap. More important is the fact that the phone selected ISO 1000 with the flash.





For comparison, here's an image shot at ISO 1000 (with no flash) with the Canon S95. You can't see a huge difference here even at these small sizes???




... and ISO 800 (with no flash) w/ the Canon S95.



... and this is what happens when you don't have image stabilization (iPhone 4):




Again, if you're comparing tiny prints at ISO 80 (which requires bright light OR a flash) then you can certainly achieve a satisfactory end result with a camera phone like the iPhone 4. However, many people want to shoot indoors without a flash or shoot photos at dusk, etc - and then the difference in performance between a proper low-light camera and an iPhone 4 becomes very noticeable even at small print size as above.


p.s. If you can make do with a cell phone camera's limitations, the Nokia N8 has a far better camera. The sensor is only 10% smaller than the S95 and it has Carl Zeiss lens.
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Last edited by FiveO; Dec 12, 2010 at 2:48 AM.
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Old Dec 12, 2010, 10:50 AM   #17
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Thanks for the perspective FiveO. I definitely see what you are saying in that first comparison (w/the S95... do you have a iPhone 4 too???) I do not know if he used flash, and yes you are absolutely right. (With that GREAT S95 btw, I assume that the SD4000 should be capable of producing in a similar way?)

I'm still learning about all these things; I was attracted to this post because of the surprising ability of a phone (which after I researched it, had the CMOS sensor) to shoot indoors. But side-by-side, it's clear that I put the horse before the cart. It's also interesting to note that the S95 doesn't even sport the CMOS sensor that's supposed as a low-light killing component. In fact, that sort-of adds to my confusion.

Without getting technical, I just assumed that the CMOS was brought in for 1a) high-speed capability and 1b) low-light improvements, in compacts. It doesn't necessarily seem to be the case, considering the S95 & S90 are considered the best in this category, and sport a different sensor.
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Old Dec 12, 2010, 2:33 PM   #18
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I do think the iPhone 4 sports a great camera for a camera phone. I just wanted to illustrate that there was a trade-off for it. The Nokia N8 has a huge sensor for a phone and so it actually should do better than many P&S pocket cams. Of course a Nokia N8 is $400-600 in the US.

The SD4000 won't perform as well as the S95 in low light since the SD4000 still has the smaller sensor. However, the F2.0 lens and the fact that the sensor is a BI CMOS help to compensate for the small sensor and so the SD4000 does have considerably better low light performance than its tiny-sensor brethren. Also, Canon has done something amazing with the high ISO performance of this camera considering that tiny sensor. I'm not sure I've ever seen such clean high ISO shots for a cam w/ a 1/2.4" sensor.

The BI (back illuminated) CMOS brings improvements for sure but they don't live up to the hype of offering "twice the performance" (stated in some Sony ads) and they don't bring enough improvements to compete with a CCD sensor that is considerably larger. If you put a 1/2.33" (0.429) CCD and a 1/2.4" (0.417) BI CMOS side-by-side in low light, the CMOS will do better, all other things being equal. However, if you put a 1/1.7" (0.588) CCD alongside a 1/2.4" (0.417) BI CMOS in low light, the CCD will win out. If that BI CMOS was 1/1.7" it would beat out the CCD of the same size but for whatever reason, they have not yet started using larger CMOS sensors in pocket cams. It may simply be a matter of money since a larger sensor costs more.
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Old Dec 12, 2010, 9:44 PM   #19
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Here is another from the Canon SD-4000 at 1600. I just wanted you to know that the first photo was not a fluke. This has the same lighting: a 60W light bulb overhead on an 8 foot ceiling.

What is nice is that the WB and exposure are spot on each time as well.

http://anchorse.smugmug.com/Other/Ca...7_4ehjR-XL.jpg

Sarah Joyce
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Old Dec 13, 2010, 6:47 PM   #20
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wow this sounds like a possible answer for my question i just posted.....how is the video? does it autofocus during video? any thoughts would be appreciated! Thanks.

Brian
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