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Old Dec 15, 2004, 5:59 PM   #1
M2
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I have spent days researching cameras, and I need an ultra-compact, price doesn't matter... I was set to get a Canon S500 until i learned of the dreaded E18 error. Now I am deciding between the Fx7, the P150 and the EXZ55.

The dealbreaker for me is pics in low-light. i.e. in bars and clubs.

Does anyone have any insight into how these three perform (out of the box) in low-light ?


P.S. Also is the FX7's battery that bad?
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Old Dec 15, 2004, 6:24 PM   #2
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The stabilization on the FX7 lets you handhold in a lot lower light – like 1/8 the light if you accept the full 3 f-stops advertised by Nikon and Minolta. But it doesn't do anything to help for subject movement. Stabilization just helps prevent blurring from camera shake letting you use a lower shutter speed. The FX7 doesn't have an optical finder and the LCD doesn't gain up in low light, so it would be frustrating framing in some situations even if the subject is within flash range. It is also a point and shoot with no manual exposure settings. Steve said the battery is good for 260 pictures and didn't complain about it in the conclusions.

None of those cameras is going to be great in a club with moving subjects once the target is out of flash range. Optimum would be a DSLR that can shoot at very high ISO. Next would probably be a Canon G6 with a f2.0 lens and decent flash range. You can get a good automatic zoom flash unit that will reach to 70 feet with that camera – price about $75. But the flash is a lot bigger than the camera.


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Old Dec 15, 2004, 6:32 PM   #3
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I see. So basically none of the ultracompacts will be that great.

I'm leaning towards the P150 since it has an optical viewfinder. Ugh this is all so frustrating. Its like each ultracompact is ALMOST really good...

Canon = E18
Sony T1 - bad pic quality and no optical viewfinder
P150 = can be shakey and small LCD for the price
FX7 = No optical viewfinder, and poor battery life
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Old Dec 15, 2004, 9:24 PM   #4
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I'm not that familiar with ultra-compacts but how useful are the viewfinders anyway?
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Old Dec 15, 2004, 9:35 PM   #5
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They are only useful in the dark really....and these cameras are awful in the dark, so you have a point.

They are also useful if the battery is running low. Which is one reason why I think not including one with the FX7 was a big mistake.
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Old Dec 15, 2004, 10:09 PM   #6
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Sivaram Velauthapillai wrote:
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I'm not that familiar with ultra-compacts but how useful are the viewfinders anyway?

You can steady the camera a lot better with your eyebrow, nose etc assisting in stability. I would put it at around 1 f-stop compared to putting your elbows into your stomach and holding the camera in front of you. Probably 2 f-stops advantage over just holding the thing out.

In telephoto it is hard to find something moving in the LCD fast enough to capture it. No problem with an optical finder. Burst shots are almost impossible with a LCD that blanks following a moving target unless the burst is very fast.

The LCD is the biggest power hog on a camera. You get a lot more shots with it off – on the order of twice as many.

I've held a camera to my eye my entire adult life. I know "I've always done it that way" isn't really a valid reason, but…….I've always done it that way.


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Old Dec 15, 2004, 10:16 PM   #7
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M2~ It seems that your needs are similar to, but even more severe than mine...

http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...jump_to=213187


I was prepared to spend up to $700 to find a digicam (and memory card) that would satisfy my needs for candid shots by availableindoor-lighting. At this point, I don't believe either one of us can satisfy our needs with any digicam (unless it's a dSLR)!

From what I'vejust experienced, as well as what I've read from the very knowledgeable folks here, digicam noise at ISO 400 is pretty bad. However,grain from ISO 400 film isn't much of a problem at all, so perhaps 35mm is still best forour purposes!
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Old Dec 15, 2004, 10:26 PM   #8
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Yes I am starting to think that this is an impossible task. The problem is I really cant get a dSLR. I am going to be traveling a lot in the next few months and need something pocket size.

I am starting to think that I should just get a camera with the following attributes:

Good Battery Life.
LCD at 1.8" or bigger
Optical Viewfinder
Good Overall Photo Quality.

Maybe I should just forget about the low-light stuff.

Of course this doesn't make my decision any easier. The only thing I have figured out is that I wont be getting a Canon (afraid of E18 ) and I wont be getting the Sony T1 (bad reviews)

The P150 is looking good to me... but the FX7 is tempting too (if i can do without the optical vf)
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Old Dec 16, 2004, 8:26 AM   #9
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slipe wrote:
Quote:
I've held a camera to my eye my entire adult life. I know "I've always done it that way" isn't really a valid reason, but…….I've always done it that way.

When I used to use film cameras, I did that too. But ever since I got my ultra-zoom (Canon S1 IS), I haven't used the viewfinder at all. Do keep in mind that this is an electronic viewfinder (as opposed to optical) so there really isn't anything extra in the viewfinder (in fact the resolution is so bad that the viewfinder isn't worth using--maybe it is better on higher-end cameras with higher res electronic viewfinders).

In any case, I find the LCD to be better than a viewfinder (even an optical one I imagine). The LCD can show far more information whereas most optical viewfinders have displays/indicators overlaid on the optical viewfinder. I find it easier to compose and take pics with the LCD than with any viewfinder. You say that camera shake is lower but I really wonder how much...

My personal feeling is that the optical viewfinder will be eliminated in all lower-end cameras and they will be replaced by LCD. This is especially true for ultra-compacts, which are very small and hard to press the buttons (let alone trying to use the viewfinder and the buttons at the same time). The only benefits right now for these low-end cameras are that they perform better in low-light (nighttime with no light) and high-light (eg. bright sunny days). Once the LCDs fix these situations, I see little reason to use an optical viewfinder.
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