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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Jun 22, 2005, 11:42 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 7
Default

Hey Everyone,
I am unable to decide on a digital camera with the following requirements. Good zoom (like the Canon A510), video and audio capture, able to take good night shots (without a tripod), able to take good concert pictures (without a tripod) and which is within a price range of under $300. I have a list of the cameras that fall within my price rangeas I am purchasing this on a gift card and must by from a certain store.

3 Megapixel Cameras
Kodak EasyShare CX7300 3.2MP Digital Camera
Canon Powershot A400 3.2MP Digital Camera
Kodak EasyShare CX7330 3.1MP Digital Camera
Olympus D-535 Zoom 3.2MP Digital Camera
Canon PowerShot A510 3.3MP Digital Camera
Canon PowerShot SD200 3.2MP Digital Camera

4 Megapixel Cameras
Fuji Finepix A345 4.1MP Digital Camera
HP PhotoSmart M23 4.0MP Digital Camera
Samsung Digimax A400 4.0MP Digital Camera
HP Photosmart M407 4.1MP Digital Camera
Olympus D-545 4.0MP Digital Camera
HP Photosmart R607 4.1MP Digital Camera
Sony Cyber-shot DSCS40 4.1MP Digital Camera
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-S60 4.1MP Digital Camera
HP PhotoSmart R607 BMW Williams.F1 Team Special Edition 4.1MP Digital Camera
Panasonic DSC-LS1 Lumix 4.0MP Digital Camera

5 Megapixel Cameras
Pentax Optio 50 5.0MP Digital Camera
Kodak EasyShare CX7530 5.0MP Digital Camera
Hewlett Packard Photosmart R707 5.1MP Digital Camera
Fuji FinePix E510 5.2MP Digital Camera

The main thing I am looking for is good zoom with great picture quality in low light conditions such as a concert without the use of a tripod or additional flash.

I am currently leaning towards the Canon SD200 Digital Elph and the Canon A510 (the only problem with the A510 is many people have had problems in low light conditions). I am also unsure of the quality of certain brands with digital cameras (ie. Sony and Panasonic) although I know that they both make great electronic devices.

Please help me narrow down the list to find the best camera. After more research I am currently leaning towards the Canon SD200 Digital Elph because of the reviews I have heard on the low-light image quality.

Thank you for your help in advance. :O
MusicMonkey is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Jun 22, 2005, 2:35 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Indian Rocks Beach, FL
Posts: 4,036
Default

The lens on the SD200 is f2.8 at wide and f 4.9 at telephoto. It isn't stabilized. You probably are not going to be happy with handheld night shots or even handheld indoor shots without a flash. It will generate the same shutter speeds as other small cameras – they all have about that same light input. The SD200 does have a little better noise at high ISO but it evidently trades detail to filter it out. You might do OK at ISO 400 but you might want to see some sample shots to be sure.

List on the Panasonic LZ1 is $250 and one of the stores you shop at might have it cheaper. You would have to get batteries and charger for it – WalMart has a set with charger for under $20 that would work fine. It has a 6X optical zoom – digital zoom is useless. It also has stabilization. Since it has no optical viewfinder you would have to brace yourself against something, but the stabilization will give you decent indoor shots without flash if you can hit a point where the subject motion is low. You might want to read a review: http://www.steves-digicams.com/2005_reviews/lz1.html It isn't very good at higher ISO though.

Sony and Panasonic both make good digital cameras.


slipe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 22, 2005, 4:00 PM   #3
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 7
Default

What if I was going to use a flash indoors in low-light conditions? Would the handheld images turn out well? From the reviews that I have read so far, the image quality on the Canon SD200 is amazing in low-light conditions but I well definitely research that a bit more.

MusicMonkey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 22, 2005, 4:46 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Indian Rocks Beach, FL
Posts: 4,036
Default

They will all work fine with the flash as long as they focus properly and the flash has enough range. The SD200 is 11.5 feet at wide angle and 6.6 feet at telephoto. It focuses OK with the assist lamp.

If those ranges aren't within what you think you will need you might peruse the reviews for something in your price range with a stronger flash.


slipe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 23, 2005, 2:37 PM   #5
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 7
Default

Okay after reading many reviews I have narrowed the list to the following 7 cameras. This is definitely narrowed down from the original 20 camera list. I am still looking for a camera that performs well in low-light conditions such as concerts and night shots with city lights as the only light. Thanks for the continued help.

Canon PowerShot A510 A510 3.3MP Digital Camera
Canon PowerShot SD200 3.2MP Digital Camera
Fuji Finepix A345 4.1MP Digital Camera
Samsung Digimax A400 4.0MP Digital Camera
Olympus D-545 4.0MP Digital Camera
Panasonic DSC-LS1 Lumix 4.0MP Digital Camera
Pentax Optio 50 5.0MP Digital Camera
MusicMonkey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 23, 2005, 4:55 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Indian Rocks Beach, FL
Posts: 4,036
Default

I was probably too subtle in my first post. None of those cameras will take a handheld night shot with just city lights unless your target is within flash range. Most will do fine on a tripod as long as they have a night mode and 4 seconds of shutter speed.

You will not be able to take concert pictures unless the stage is well lit and you can hit a point where everyone is still. Even then you will have to really work to steady the camera. If you can get within flash range it is no problem. But keep in mind the flash range decreases as you zoom.

Go through the reviews and look for the things you need. On the first page of Steve's reviews the specs usually give the flash range. Then read the record modes page to see whether it has a night mode and how long a shutter speed it can generate. Then read the conclusions paying special attention to the low light focus. You generally want a camera with an assist light, but not all of them focus well with even that. http://www.steves-digicams.com/hardware_reviews.html

slipe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 23, 2005, 10:39 PM   #7
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 7
Default

I noticed on a certain website they were comparing some cameras taking pictures of skylines at night and a lot of them turned out pretty well without a tripod, such as the SD200.

I do not know much about digital cameras and do not really understand all the jargon that goes along with most reviews concerning flash range and even ISO is confusing to me. I think it will come down to playing with the features of whichever camera I purchase.

If there is anyone here who has been to a concert and used one of the cameras on the list I would like to here your opinions as well.

Thanks slipe for your continued feedback.
MusicMonkey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 24, 2005, 2:46 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 676
Default

Is there a reason the Fuji F10 isn't on your list? It would seem to be better for your intended use than any of the cameras you've mentioned. It can be bought for around $300 although perhaps not at the store for which you have the gift card.
lucky2505 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 24, 2005, 11:17 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,870
Default

Monkey,

You can play with features all you want, but you can't make a camera do what it's not capable of doing. The only camera that I'm aware of (other than a DSLR) that can take decent available light concert and city light pics is (as lucky suggested) the Fuji F10. This is because (and you need to learn some of the jargon) the F10 is ISO 800 and 1600 capable. This means the camera has great light gathering ability, which you will need for low light pics without a tripod.

Take a look at the sample pics on this link, especially the cafe shot and the concert hall shot - I sincerely doubt that you could come close to those pics with the cameras on your list:

http://www.dpreview.com/gallery/?gal...lmf10_samples/

Even if you have to dig down deep and add a few bucks to the gift card amount, I think this camera would be the best for your needs.

the Hun




rinniethehun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 24, 2005, 11:53 AM   #10
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 25
Default

Ditto lucky2505 and rinniethehun. I just got a Fuji F-10. Normally, I am a Canon fan but if you like low-light pictures with or without flash, your only choices are DSLR's or a Fuji F-10. It is really an amazing little camera. My wife loves it because it's fast. I wish it had a 4x or 5x lens, but then the camera would be much larger. It is what you call shirt pocket size. You will not be unhappy with this camera. You could take this camera to a dinner party or banquet and not use the flash. However, its AF-assist is something else. It is one powerful green beam that may catch a few people's attention. In all, this is your only choice. I got the predecessor to the A510, the Canon A75. The A510 is much more versatile, but low light ability is nowhere near the F-10's.
Deadzone1003 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 10:42 PM.