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Old May 21, 2013, 7:10 AM   #1
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Default low light compact.

I have a DSLR what I use for special occasions, But I'd like to buy a compact for general use, trip's, nights out etc etc.
in an ideal world Iíd like at least 12MP, at least x15 zoom and got to be good at low light. the camera hasnít got to be the current model so Iím not worried about Wi-Fi etc, but that would be cool.
please could someone help as Iím a novice.
thanks
Steve
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Old May 21, 2013, 9:41 AM   #2
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i suspect you'll need to make some compromises. there are compacts with larger sensors (how much larger depends on your budget) and fast lenses that do better in low light, but they tend to have 3 to 5 times zoom. those are cameras like the canon G1 X and G15, the sony RX100 and the panasonic LX7.

or you can go with a long zoom camera. while some are better in low light than others, don't expect miracles in lower light. cameras like the canon SX260, which does better in low light than a lot of others in its class, but don't expect miracles. you can easily adjust shutter speed and ISO, which is helpful when shooting in lower light with a small sensor. i found the panasonic FZ20 did much worse in lower light, so i returned it. i'm sure others here will have some more suggestions.
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Old May 21, 2013, 6:41 PM   #3
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Steve- you have a choice to make- ditch the zoom for decent low light performance, or ditch the low light performance for the zoom.
If you want 15x zoom (at least),then you're looking at something like the TZ panny's, Canon's SX range or Sony's HX compacts- though their small sensors and long lenses compromise their low-light abilities- unless you're using a tripod and are taking images of static subjects with low iso settings.
The compacts with faster lenses and/or slightly larger sensors (such as the ones mentioned above) don't offer the zoom range you're looking for.

Perhaps Nikon's P7700 is something occupying a unique "middle of the road" position.
A fairly fast f/2-4 lens with a useful 28-200mm zoom.

http://www.dpreview.com/previews/nikon-coolpix-p7700
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Old May 21, 2013, 8:09 PM   #4
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Simon40 is right. You can't have it both ways. The Canon G1X has almost completely replaced my DSLR for low light, and other shots, but you have to know what you're doing to make this camera sing. And it does.
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Old May 22, 2013, 12:07 AM   #5
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Ok, thanks for the advice, I'd have to ditch the zoom. but is there a low light camera with a half decent zoom?
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Old Jun 6, 2013, 5:20 AM   #6
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Hi, I've been looking into this a lot and even though its a super zoom the sony cybershot hx50v has had a lot of really good low light reviews. has anyone got one of these or can give me some advice?????
thanks
steve
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Old Jun 6, 2013, 8:25 AM   #7
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steve - I think the Sony hx50v is a decent compromise for people looking for one camera, not a second camera for a DSLR owner.

It aims to make up for a slower zoom by using more pixels on the sensor. Add in the stabilization it probably can make up a 1/2 stop or more on the lens. But end of the day it is not going to equal the low light specific compacts with their high quality fast but shorter lenses.

I guess the other point I'd wonder is how often would you really need the longer zoom and you'd be willing to compromise the image quality? Your DSLR or something very DSLR like such as the Panasonic Lumix FZ200 is goint to be such a better tool for telephoto photography, I think the compromise you're considering is going to leave you with reduced low light capability in favor of a longer zoom which you may never really get the use out of that you expected.

If I were you I'd go with one of the low light compacts which have the fast lens at the expense of zoom length, as a DSLR owner this will I think make the best second camera.
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