Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > What Camera Should I Buy?

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Mar 7, 2005, 5:03 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
pianoplayer88key's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 405
Default

All shots are 15", ISO 400, F/3.1, probably 380mm telephoto, camera sitting on its side across the room, and are SEVERELY underexposed on my S1 IS. All of them are facial portraits (using self-timer of me).

First, I will attach one that probably doesn't need a levels adjustment in order to be able to see my face.
Attached Images
 
pianoplayer88key is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Mar 7, 2005, 5:04 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
pianoplayer88key's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 405
Default

note: what I'm trying to ask coming in a couple posts...

here's a pic that looks black on screen, but by a levels adjustment can be made so my face is somewhat recognizable.
Attached Images
 
pianoplayer88key is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 7, 2005, 5:04 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
pianoplayer88key's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 405
Default

One more pic, which is so dark that even levels can't make much of ANYTHING out of it, except you MIGHT be able to approximate where my hair is.
Attached Images
 
pianoplayer88key is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 7, 2005, 5:18 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
pianoplayer88key's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 405
Default

Ok, now what I want to know:

1. How many stops underexposed are each of those pictures? How do I find that out? (All were shot in full manual mode).

2. Is there ANY non-dSLR camera that will be able to (on-camera) properly expose the last shot with no more noise than a 7-megapixel camera has at ISO 400 under average indoor lighting (assuming focal length is considerably shorter - like 100mm or so)? For this one I wouldn't be shooting moving subjects and the camera would be stable. Even in the darkest one, if I remember correctly I could see the camera. I'd like to be able to get a proper exposure (being realistic I don't really care how long the shutter speed is so long as I don't have to wait all night for it) even when I can NOT see the camera even if I'm looking straight at it.

3. Is there ANY camera in existence at ANY price whose physical lens width is no wider than 2'3" (assuming a 35mm equivalent focal length of about 50mm) that could get a 1/125" shutter speed in the amount of light that any of those pics was taken (preferably the darkest one) with no more noise than a consumer cam has at ISO 100 or a dSLR has at ISO 400, without too-shallow of a depth of field, with enough resolution for a razor-sharp 8x10 print (btw I tested my S1 IS - 1600x1200 was maybe ok and 1024x768 was pretty bad at 4x6)?

4. What would be the physical size of a camera required to take low light fast-shutter shots described in #3? Price here isn't a factor.

5. Being realistic, what's the best I can expect in a < $400 (new - prefer cheaper used), (either 2 megapixel and 108mm telephoto or 8 megapixel and 54mm telephoto or somewhere in between), no larger than Sony DSC-V1, with no more noise at its highest ISO than a G6 has at 400 - for fast shutter speeds indoors? For some of my indoor shots my S1 IS is 2 stops too slow. I'm willing to lose most of the zoom just so long as I have the figure of merit described earlier in this question ([email protected]/[email protected]). I max out at F/3.1, ISO 400 at about 108mm - am I more likely to find something that could do F/1.4 at ISO400, F/2.0 at ISO800, or F/2.8 at ISO1600 in a semi-pocketable camera?

6. Is there some other places to look to find reviews (especially of high ISO indoor shots) of cameras besides dpreview.com, steves-digicams.com, dcresource.com, and imaging-resource.com of some older cams which I haven't been able to find on those sites?

7. Does anyone search ebay much? know how to tell it to search for multiple camera models of different brands in ONE search? (for example (Canon AND (S30 OR G3)) OR (Sony AND (V1 OR S75)) OR (Fuji AND F700) - meaning it will search for Canon S30 OR G3, OR Sony V1 OR S75, or Fuji F700?)
pianoplayer88key is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 7, 2005, 5:57 PM   #5
KSV
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 248
Default

1. Point your camera on subject and half-press shutter button - you should be able to read "correct" exposure. If "correct" exposure is not really correct (some meters *DO* have problems with very low light), than only one way - try it and look at histogram. Keep in you mind that ISO sensitivity *DOES* depends on exposure time and dependence non-linear.It means that you have no choice - just experimenting.

2. Category "average indoor lighting" does not exist in whole word - greatly depends. As an exercise I have measured my corridor (small window above door, cloudy day) and it give me 1/6F4 @ ISO200. So if you set ISO400, than it would be 1/10F4 - any camera should handle that providing subject is stationary and camera on tripod. But if your definition of "average indoor lighting" means that you barely can see camera than you have only one choice - IR photo. Forget about color and about 1/125 also.

3. Lets do some calculation. If you put such a constrain as ISO400 and 1/125 then it is about 4 stops less than example 2. It means that you have adjust aperture in 4 stops and F became 1.0 :shock:. First of all I do not know anything about lenses 50/1 - minimum what I know is 50/1.2. And secondlyDOF *WILL BE SHALLOW*. You should understand that to obtain proper exposure ISO/shutter speed/aperture combination must be properly chosen. You can not even bend this rule - forget about break it - we are living in real world, not in Matrix. If you twisted it another way around and set exposure 1/125F5.6 (give you reasonable DOF), than ISO should be around 12800 - I know nothing about such sensors - probably only very special B&W film. Theoretically speaking probably it would be possible to make such sensor, but it should be as least 67 format @ 6MP - try talk to Canon and offer them to finance such development :lol::lol::lol:

4. It does not exist.

5. Nothing exiting.


6. dpreview.com andsteves-digicams.com is more then enough for me. Even assuming that reviews here not exact they can not be too far away from the truth, and you basically asking for something far beyond what physics can allow.

7. Bad place to search and IMHO bad place to buy, however some very happy with this approach

======================

CONCLUSION

======================

Please, stop fulling yourself with (sorry) sillyideas and buy some lighting - this is one and one only way to make photos just because any photo-sensor (digital or film) *DOES REQUIRE* light. And may I ask you - what do you intend to capture? It is understandable that heavy light sometimes unpractical or undesirable (wildlife for example), but why is flash (or even better set with couple of flashes) is not good for you?

Regards

KSV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 7, 2005, 6:55 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
pianoplayer88key's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 405
Default

KSV wrote:
Quote:
1. Point your camera on subject and half-press shutter button - you should be able to read "correct" exposure. If "correct" exposure is not really correct (some meters *DO* have problems with very low light), than only one way - try it and look at histogram. Keep in you mind that ISO sensitivity *DOES* depends on exposure time and dependence non-linear. It means that you have no choice - just experimenting.
Do you know how to judge how far underexposed a pic is by the histogram in PhotoShop 5? on camera before shooting it says it's either properly exposed or overexposed, but when the shot comes through, the on-camera histogram is only on the left most few pixels.

Quote:
2. Category "average indoor lighting" does not exist in whole word - greatly depends. As an exercise I have measured my corridor (small window above door, cloudy day) and it give me 1/6F4 @ ISO200. So if you set ISO400, than it would be 1/10F4 - any camera should handle that providing subject is stationary and camera on tripod. But if your definition of "average indoor lighting" means that you barely can see camera than you have only one choice - IR photo. Forget about color and about 1/125 also.
What I mean by indoor lighting is, to be typical, about 1/15" @ ISO400 and F/2.8. As for IR, I would LOVE to get a Sony DSC-V1, but I have yet to find a good deal on one. (If you know of a better (for the use), cheaper, IR-capable camera, please let me know. I really don't need 5 megapixels, but I could use a faster lens if possible.)

Quote:
3. Lets do some calculation. If you put such a constrain as ISO400 and 1/125 then it is about 4 stops less than example 2. It means that you have adjust aperture in 4 stops and F became 1.0 :shock:. First of all I do not know anything about lenses 50/1 - minimum what I know is 50/1.4. And secondly DOF *WILL BE SHALLOW*. You should understand that to obtain proper exposure ISO/shutter speed/aperture combination must be properly chosen. You can not even bend this rule - forget about break it - we are living in real world, not in Matrix. If you twisted it another way around and set exposure 1/125F5.6 (give you reasonable DOF), than ISO should be around 12800 - I know nothing about such sensors - probably only very special B&W film. Theoretically speaking probably it would be possible to make such sensor, but it should be as least 67 format @ 6MP - try talk to Canon and offer them to finance such development :lol::lol::lol:
I thought that a 2' aperture at 54mm would be something like F/0.064? Ok, so that's a bit shallow depth of field though. What about using a large 5-megapixel film format and an aperture of F/1.0? Could I get a longer depth of field that way, or is depth of field more constant if the true focal length and/or true aperture (in mm) are constant? How does that work?

Quote:
4. It does not exist.

5. Nothing exiting.
Which is cheaper, an 8-megapixel 2/3" sensor camera with a 54mm F/2.0 lens, or a 2-megapixel 1/3" sensor camera with a 108mm F/2.0 lens? Emphasis on getting as much figure of merit (detail) as possible, prefer not to have to point camera right at subject, but don't want the "fisheye"/etc type distortion that comes with super-wideangle shots.

Quote:
6. dpreview.com and steves-digicams.com is more then enough for me. Even assuming that reviews here not exact they can not be too far away from the truth, and you basically asking for something far beyond what physics can allow.
The reviews for some cameras I'm looking for don't EXIST on those sites, and when they do there are no low-light high-iso shots. Personally I prefer the subject that imaging-resource.com uses for their indoor no-flash portrait tests, as that most closely (of the review sites I know of) approximates what I would be shooting.

Quote:
7. Bad place to search and IMHO bad place to buy, however some very happy with this approach
that's where I got an A80 (and before that, an A70). Was happy with the purchases at the time. I got my S1 IS at a store though thanks to impatience (and somewhat foolishness) at the time.
BTW, are the Panasonic FZ series cameras either A - less noisy at ISO 400, or B - finer grained and easier to do noise reduction without masking much detail - than the S1 IS? If so, by how much?

Quote:
======================

CONCLUSION

======================

Please, stop fulling yourself with (sorry) silly ideas and buy some lighting - this is one and one only way to make photos just because any photo-sensor (digital or film) *DOES REQUIRE* light. And may I ask you - what do you intend to capture? It is understandable that heavy light sometimes unpractical or undesirable (wildlife for example), but why is flash (or even better set with couple of flashes) is not good for you?
I don't mind a flash, so long as my (99% human) subject(s) doesn't (don't) see it. I intend to capture mostly people (friends) that are not posing - chances are they won't be sleeping either - would be quite active. Main thing is I want completely candid shots. (although I would be willing to take the occasional posed shot should the opportunity arise.) Also, my S1 IS doesn't have a flash hot-shoe (and I wouldn't use it anyway unless it didn't have an onboard flash.)
pianoplayer88key is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 7, 2005, 8:17 PM   #7
KSV
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 248
Default

Quote:
I intend to capture mostly people (friends) that are not posing - chances are they won't be sleeping either - would be quite active.
Sexually active?!? (Just kidding :blah

OK. Ideal histogram should be spread from minimum to maximum without including minimum and maximum, but approaching to them as close as possible - this is your indicatorfor correct exposure. Sometimes it is difficult to get - for example if you have light in your frame - in this situation compromise need to be exercised. Also you can crop most important part of your shoot (i.e. face) and examine its histogramin photoshop or similar tool. Anyway histogram with "only few left pixel" not good at all - it is far underexposed.

What is F0.064? :lol:No such thing exist! I know nothing about lens with F less than 1.2! Probably some very special stuff can get 1 or even less, but 0.064?!? Impossible. And besides DOF directly depends on (and ONLY on if focal length constant) F number. Even if you manage to construct F0.064 lens its DOF will be incredible shallow.

Hiding flashes is not a problem. You can put couple of "slave" flashesaround - behind curtains or on shelfs and point them into ceiling. "Slave" flashes discharge itself when "master" flash (i.e. small flash on your camera) get discharge - you do not need even wire! One thing only - you need quite expensive set up to make your exposure happensautomatically or you can use dummy (not TTL) slave flashes, but you have to figure out correct exposure by experimenting. If your flush(es) and camera are stationary it is only once-off exercise.

Hope it helps. Sorry - do not have enough time to discuss everything else.
KSV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 8, 2005, 5:58 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
jsiladi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 587
Default

pianoplayer88key
Quote:
What I mean by indoor lighting is, to be typical, about 1/15" @ ISO400 and F/2.8. As for IR, I would LOVE to get a Sony DSC-V1, but I have yet to find a good deal on one. (If you know of a better (for the use), cheaper, IR-capable camera, please let me know. I really don't need 5 megapixels, but I could use a faster lens if possible.)
Panasonic Lumix FZ1.. Can be had for less than $200.

Quote:
I thought that a 2' aperture at 54mm would be something like F/0.064? Ok, so that's a bit shallow depth of field though. What about using a large 5-megapixel film format and an aperture of F/1.0? Could I get a longer depth of field that way, or is depth of field more constant if the true focal length and/or true aperture (in mm) are constant? How does that work?
I think you are misunderstanding what the aperture is with respect to f-stop.. It is the ratio of focal length to opening. So a 100mm lens at f2.8 has an aperture opening of 35.7mm. At f4, it's opening is 25mm.. To get a lens with f1.0 would require an opening of 100mm and to get less than f1.0 would require More of an opening.. They just simply aren't made.. Not on digitals anyway. If they were, the price would break most people. Depth of field is determined by the relationship of focal length, aperture opening, AND film (or sensor) size. The smaller the film (or sensor) the greater the DOF.

Quote:
Which is cheaper, an 8-megapixel 2/3" sensor camera with a 54mm F/2.0 lens, or a 2-megapixel 1/3" sensor camera with a 108mm F/2.0 lens? Emphasis on getting as much figure of merit (detail) as possible, prefer not to have to point camera right at subject, but don't want the "fisheye"/etc type distortion that comes with super-wideangle shots.
Are you serious?

Quote:
The reviews for some cameras I'm looking for don't EXIST on those sites, and when they do there are no low-light high-iso shots. Personally I prefer the subject that imaging-resource.com uses for their indoor no-flash portrait tests, as that most closely (of the review sites I know of) approximates what I would be shooting.
Try finding someone who owns the camera.. Google, Eopinions, etc..

Quote:
BTW, are the Panasonic FZ series cameras either A - less noisy at ISO 400, or B - finer grained and easier to do noise reduction without masking much detail - than the S1 IS? If so, by how much?
With the low lighting you are talking about, ALL digicams are going to be noisy at 400. The bottom line is in order to take a photo, you need light.. Without it, you already know what the results will be. To get a camera that will do ISOs higher than 400, without noise (or loss of detail in post processing) you are into a Digital SLR and probably one with a 4/3 sensor (or regular SLR).. Far exceeding your $400 requirement.
Quote:
Quote:
======================

CONCLUSION

======================

Please, stop fulling yourself with (sorry) silly ideas and buy some lighting - this is one and one only way to make photos just because any photo-sensor (digital or film) *DOES REQUIRE* light. And may I ask you - what do you intend to capture? It is understandable that heavy light sometimes unpractical or undesirable (wildlife for example), but why is flash (or even better set with couple of flashes) is not good for you?
I don't mind a flash, so long as my (99% human) subject(s) doesn't (don't) see it. I intend to capture mostly people (friends) that are not posing - chances are they won't be sleeping either - would be quite active. Main thing is I want completely candid shots. (although I would be willing to take the occasional posed shot should the opportunity arise.) Also, my S1 IS doesn't have a flash hot-shoe (and I wouldn't use it anyway unless it didn't have an onboard flash.)
[/quote]
Jeff
jsiladi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 8, 2005, 4:58 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
pianoplayer88key's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 405
Default

Quote:
I think you are misunderstanding what the aperture is with respect to f-stop.. It is the ratio of focal length to opening. So a 100mm lens at f2.8 has an aperture opening of 35.7mm. At f4, it's opening is 25mm.. To get a lens with f1.0 would require an opening of 100mm and to get less than f1.0 would require More of an opening.. They just simply aren't made.. Not on digitals anyway. If they were, the price would break most people. Depth of field is determined by the relationship of focal length, aperture opening, AND film (or sensor) size. The smaller the film (or sensor) the greater the DOF.
So, if the lens opening is 610mm wide and the focal length is about 54mm, what kind of aperture would that be?
Or, how would I get a picture that bright without more noise but with more depth of field? Would using a much larger sensor/film (and higher ISO speed) with a smaller aperture work?

Quote:
Try finding someone who owns the camera.. Google, Epinions, etc..
(note: I took the liberty to correct spelling on one of those sites.
Also, I want to see actual pictures (not studio test shots unless they're of people) taken indoors in low light at the high ISO settings without the flash, preferably with some exif info.

Quote:
With the low lighting you are talking about, ALL digicams are going to be noisy at 400. The bottom line is in order to take a photo, you need light.. Without it, you already know what the results will be. To get a camera that will do ISOs higher than 400, without noise (or loss of detail in post processing) you are into a Digital SLR and probably one with a 4/3 sensor (or regular SLR).. Far exceeding your $400 requirement.
I know that small sensor cameras are noisy at ISO 400 and 800 - I'm just wondering which is the best at making it not too obtrusive?
pianoplayer88key is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 8, 2005, 6:35 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
jsiladi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 587
Default

pianoplayer88key wrote:
Quote:
Quote:
I think you are misunderstanding what the aperture is with respect to f-stop.. It is the ratio of focal length to opening. So a 100mm lens at f2.8 has an aperture opening of 35.7mm. At f4, it's opening is 25mm.. To get a lens with f1.0 would require an opening of 100mm and to get less than f1.0 would require More of an opening.. They just simply aren't made.. Not on digitals anyway. If they were, the price would break most people. Depth of field is determined by the relationship of focal length, aperture opening, AND film (or sensor) size. The smaller the film (or sensor) the greater the DOF.
So, if the lens opening is 610mm wide and the focal length is about 54mm, what kind of aperture would that be?
Or, how would I get a picture that bright without more noise but with more depth of field? Would using a much larger sensor/film (and higher ISO speed) with a smaller aperture work?
Umm, What kind of lens has a 610mm opening and a 54mm focal length? IF such a lens existed, the f-stop would be in the order of .00885... Never going to happen. Now if you mean it the other way around, about f11 which for a 610mm lens would be okay.. By it's very nature, High speed film ISO 800,1600, 3200 is grainy, or what you would call noise in a digital.. regardless of the size. Digitals make an attempt at replicating that and some do better than others.. The larger sensor (and lower MP) does help.. You have to remember the more info you try to cram on these sensors, the more chance there is for cross talk from pixel to pixel, creating noise. For the noise issue and having something workable, I wouldn't go to an 8mp camera. I have the Panasonic FZ20 and in low light, can get pretty respecable results. In NO light, forget it, with Any digicam.

Quote:

Quote:
Try finding someone who owns the camera.. Google, Epinions, etc..
(note: I took the liberty to correct spelling on one of those sites.
Also, I want to see actual pictures (not studio test shots unless they're of people) taken indoors in low light at the high ISO settings without the flash, preferably with some exif info.
I see my browser corrects it as well.. The suggestion was to write one of the private owner reviewers and ask them about the particular camera. I get the impression that you want to take photos of people without them knowing it, in the dark.. Correct?

[/quote]
jsiladi is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 7:17 PM.