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Old Feb 3, 2005, 6:33 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 405

I have a Canon S1 IS, whose zoom I like (but it still doesn't reach far enough btw), but I'd like a smaller camera that I can carry with me at all times.
This will mostly be used for candid snapshots, either outdoors in daylight (probably not outdoors under moonlight or starlight, though, cause I'm not expecting Mark II like high ISO performance and F/0.2 superfast lens), and indoors under incandescent or fluorescent lighting. I probably won't be printing any images - most of them will be viewed on a computer monitor.

I want:
preferably under $100, may be willing to go up to $200-250 (retail price - I'll probably try to find it cheaper though)
at least a 36mm lens, maybe a 54mm telephoto. I probably won't need more than 108mm, though, and would be willing to sacrifice some.
preferably a fast lens (F/2.0 or faster would be really nice, but I'll set a minimum of F/2.8 at wideangle, and no slower than F/4.0 at telephoto (preferably 2.8 or faster at tele). I'd be willing to go with a non-zoom maybe.
at least 1.3 megapixels. 2 megapixels would be nice, and I might even use 3 for cropping purposes, but not at the expense of being excessively noisy at ISO 400.
this image at imaging-resource taken with a Toshiba PDR-M81 at ISO 400 is a good example of the amount of noise and sharpness I'm looking for at ISO 400 / ISO 800 (or maybe even 1600 if possible even if I have to shoot at 800 and -1 or 400 and -2 compensation), and also a good example of what most of my subjects would be (but not zoomed in quite so close (or physically so close as the case may be))
I would especially like aperture priority, shutter priority, and full manual exposure modes. Manual focus would be nice, but if I can get decent autofocus indoors I don't know if I'll really need it especially if hyperfocal is such that I can get good depth of field at F/2.8 or faster.

I would especially like to be able to get around this problem.
/me gets out something the size of a G7 or A80 that looks like a camera.
girls: AUGH!! Don't take pictures of me!! *cover faces with hands*
/me is upset.
One way I might like to combat this is..
/me gets out something that takes decent indoor pics that doesn't look at all like a camera - maybe looks like an mp3 player or pen or something.
girls, while looking straight at it, don't realize it's a camera, when the shutter opens briefly.

One reason I'm asking this here, is because I cannot find any extensive reviews or image quality test shots of low-end digicams or cameras disguised as other objects, on ANY site (Steves, Imaging-Resource, DCResource, DPReview, etc.) So, reading reviews isn't helping me find anything, cause there AREN'T any reviews out there. There's only specs, and there are a LOT of cameras whose specs make them look good, but I want to know by seeing actual images taken with the cameras.
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