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Old Jul 27, 2005, 10:24 AM   #1
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Hi all, I have a quick question about the Noikon 5900 and 7900. After reading quite a bit of both expert and user reviews, articles from both groups have complained about the cameras having trouble focusing in low light situations, and in addition even taking poor photos after the focusing problem has been overcome. (dpreview.com and dcresource.com had some things to say about it for example).



Here's the thing: I trust Steve's word in his reviews over the other review sites because his reviews are always so comprehensive and have been correct for previous cameras I have bought. He didn't mention anything about the issue. Is it something to worry about?



I have two examples of what kind of pictures I will be taking:







The first is from my 1MP Sharp TM150 cell phone, and the second is from my friend's HP $100 camera that he got a long time ago.



Will the 5900 and 7900 be able to take acceptable pictures in this situation? I have a Coolpix 5400 that I will be using for most of the outdoor shots that the 5900/7900 excel in, so this will more than likely be an all-indoor camera with the above pictures as examples of the lighting conditions.



I was looking into the Canon SD300 and SD400 as options as well, but they cost more, have issues with cracked LCDs that I would like to avoid, have less-than-pleasing battery life, and do not have all of the cool features that the Nikon offers. So will I be ok with the 5900 or 7900 for indoor photography? Is there a better (ultra-compact) option for $200-350?



Thank you for all of your help!
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Old Jul 27, 2005, 12:01 PM   #2
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I gather from this forum that the best choice for low light photos is the Fujifilm F10.* The reviews of this camera on other sites are amazing.* I don't think Steve has reviewed it yet.* I'm getting one because of the low light issue and for the huge 2.5 LCD screen.* Good luck,* Sam
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Old Jul 27, 2005, 3:11 PM   #3
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Samboh, from my understanding the Fuji F10 is superior in low-light photography because of it's high ISO abilities and its low noise amounts overall, correct? I really like the specs of the F10, but was not impressed with it in the store because of the conservative, brick-like design, and it being noticeably larger than the 7900. Thank you for the help, I will probably be choosing between these two cameras in the next couple of days. If the 7900 can handle shots in situations like in my pictures, then I will be picking it because of its SD compatibility, size, and design. But the F10 is a major contender in functionality, and I will be keeping it in mind. Thanks again!
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Old Jul 27, 2005, 3:47 PM   #4
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You're right, the F10 is boxy. I wish the Casio EX-Z750 got better reviews. Apparently its photos and the LCD are unimpressive. Surprisingly to me, the Kodak V550 gets high marks from both Steve and DP reviews. What have you learned about the V550? I must say it's hard to buy a brand other than Canon or Nikon. I see that one of your contenders, the Nikon 7900, is first in Steve's Best Cameras (5-7 MP) list. Thanks, Sam
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Old Jul 27, 2005, 5:25 PM   #5
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Max & Sam,

Max,

According to the Exif data, the second pic you posted was taken with a Kodak CX 7430, which is a considerably better camera than an old, $100 HP. The pic is blurred since it was taken at 1/8 second exposure, which is nearly impossible to hand hold and get a good picture. That's because the camera has a top ISO rating of 400. The F10 could have used ISO 800 or 1600 and captured a great shot of that group.

I can't believe you think that the F10 is "noticeably larger" than the 7900...according to all of the reviews I've seen, the dimensions for the F10 are: 3.6 x 2.3 x 1.1" and the 7900 are: 3.5 x 2.4 x 1.4". To me, the 7900 is the larger camera, with a volume of 11.6 cu. in. vs. 9.1 cu. in. for the Fuji. Are you sure you were looking at the right camera?

Sam,

At 1:00 this afternoon, you were going to buy an F10 because of the low light capability and the 2.5" LCD. Then, at 4:47 PM, after Max called the F10 "brick-like", you referred to the F10 as "boxy", and are now asking for advice on different cameras. What's up with that?

Max & Sam,

Are you shopping for a camera that can fulfill your photographic needs, or do you want a camera that looks cool?

the Hun

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Old Jul 27, 2005, 9:01 PM   #6
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the Hun,

Sorry, it was a $100 Kodak, not a $100 HP . Still, it performs quite well most of the time, that was one of the more disappointing shots of the night.

I'm pretty sure I have held an F10 in my hand, and for some reason it seemed larger. In fact, never mind, I'm almost absolutely sure I looked at it because the sales rep mentioned to me that it didn't have an optical viewfinder (which matches the description of the F10, plus it was really boxy). It just seemed larger for some reason, I will have to take a second look.

And for your last question, I was hoping that I could find a mix of the two. Originally, I was going to buy the Casio EX-S100 just for looks, until I saw that it has a maximum aperture of F4.0, which would not be good for night shots, right? Then I looked at the Sony T series and they also had strange max apertures, along with weak flashes.

I was hoping that the 5900 and 7900 would be a good mix between "cool looks" and performance. So do you think I will be ok in hoping this?

Again, thank you for your help. I have done a lot of research, but nothing compares to the advice people give on this board.
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Old Jul 28, 2005, 11:26 AM   #7
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Max,

The 7900 is rather good looking, but I'm afraid you'll be disappointed if you think it will take better low light pictures than the Kodak pic you posted. They both are only capable of ISO 400.

Enter the F10with ISO 1600 with similar aperture range to the 7900...there's really no comparison there.

But, you're the one that will be buying and using this camera, and you need to feel comfortable using it. If appearance and style mean more to you, by all means buy the Nikon.

Good luck which ever way you decide to go.

the Hun


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Old Jul 28, 2005, 2:42 PM   #8
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the Hun, thanks again for your help! I went to Circuit City today to look at a F10 again, and I have decided that I can cope with it's terrible looks because I will be getting much better pictures from it, and that is what counts. I pretended like I was putting it in my back pants pocket, and it looked like it would fit ok, it still appears big (and is REALLY noisy!), but the screen is also big, and the camera's performance with battery life, image quality, and movie quality are hard to find.

Another thing that I thought about before I made this decision: I have yet to see one bad expert or user comment about anything about this camera except for its cheap battery housing and convoluted menus. Those I can handle. With the 7900 just about every other review had something bad to say in terms of image quality, which scared me. So I'm going with the F10. Thanks again guys
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Old Jul 28, 2005, 7:36 PM   #9
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Max-

Please realize that there are now two contenders in the high ISO capability sweepstakes. The Fuji F-10, which I admit is very boxy, and the Olympus Stylus 800, which is pleasantly rounded, but still about the same size as the F-10.

The primary difference between the two digital cameras is that to achieve ISO 800 and 1600, the Stylus 800resolution is reduced from 8mp to 4mp. At Iso 400 and below is delivers a full and impressive 8mp.

Here is a sample photo taken with the Stylus 800 set at ISO 1600.The exposure was F 2.8 @ 1/250th. It was taken at our local library.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jul 28, 2005, 7:41 PM   #10
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Sarah,

Too bad you didn't take the same picture with your F10...would have made a great comparison shot.

the Hun

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