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Old Oct 27, 2005, 11:44 AM   #11
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Schmiedel-

It might be interested to note that the last photo that I posted was taken at ISO 1600. Than puts it into the S5200/S-9000 playing field, with a bit of Neat Image.

I have used 4 different Panny FZ cameras, and I was really never satisfied with their noise output. An SLR will do those photos with ease. I think the S-5200/S-9000 may well surprise you a good deal.

Here is a no flash S-5200 sample at ISO 400 that is better than any of the FZ stuff I shot.

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Old Oct 27, 2005, 12:41 PM   #12
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Hi,

As promised, here are some photos taken with the S2 with low light, handheld and with equivalent focal lengths from 28 to 100mm, shutter speeds of 1/20s to 1/6 (here you can see what IS does for the camera). Aperture was always 2.7 I think, and ISO 400.









You can see the third one is kind of overexposed, this was because I played with exposure compensation (it's not a good picture, I just upleaded it to show different situations). I like the last one most, it was taken with 1/6s and 100mm zoom, it's a great shot assuming it was taken at 1.00AM, without moon and only with the lighting you see in the pictures. You can see the 1/6s on the blurry dancing people.

This were my first experiments with the S2, with a tripod I would have gotten even better pictures, but I am 100% sure there's nothing to do to take night pictures with the quality of a dSLR.

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Old Oct 27, 2005, 3:12 PM   #13
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Schmiedel-

Here is a sample photo with the Kodak P-850 at ISO 400 F 3.6 at 1/60 and the lens rolled out to 258mm of zoom. As you can see, the dSLR's do a much better job, but some fixed lens p&s cameras can do it.

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Old Oct 27, 2005, 3:42 PM   #14
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It's also an interesting picture, it shows a goot photographic technique, but the image is also rather noisy, I love the really black background the dSLR can achieve.

Talking to a friend, the pictures I published have the problem that lighting conditions are terrible, as light comes from the street lamps, which reflected a lot more light than any subject in the picture, so anything I did to capture more light caused these lamps and their shimmer to overexpose that region of the picture.

In a theater, you have all the light spotted at the subject from behind, which helps out a lot more. I just posted the pictures to show the noise levels the Canon S2 produces compared to other cameras. I think the Panasonic, Canon and Kodak all do a good job, but I really preffer to use them at daylight if possible

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Old Oct 27, 2005, 4:42 PM   #15
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Schmiedel-

You are so correct! The P&S ultra zooms can take photos, but noise will always be a problem. That is why I switched over to dSLR cameras. The photos are SO MUCH BETTER.

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Old Oct 27, 2005, 7:54 PM   #16
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I don't think there are any surprises here. Anyone who can afford a DSLR and doesn't mind the hassle should certainly go that route. Like some others, I find the new Konica-Minolta 5D very intriguing, with its "anti-shake" technology build into the camera, giving the advantage of image stabilization with all lenses. (But it's not for me...yet!)

And it's very true that it would be foolish to use an ultra-zoom camera for magazine or professional work. Do you suppose that applies to as many as five percent of the readers of this forum?

For the rest of us, ultrazooms are a viable option, and they're the only option some of us are willing to consider. And they may be perfectly adequate for printing up to 8x10 (or somewhat larger), viewing online, publishing in local newspapers or in newsletters, and many other uses that ordinary, non-professional-photographer type people will put them to.

Admittedly, the noise in ultrazooms makes them unsuitable for making poster-sized prints, or for extreme cropping. But the noise that so many protest about is often irrelevant when photos from these cameras are used in the normal ways that I mentioned in the previous paragraph.

Okay, here's one of my examples. It was taken at an outdoor concert, more than an hour after sunset. 1/60, f/2.8, ISO 400, zoom at 432 mm (35-equivalent). The image is rather large in an attempt to approximate what an 8x10 print would look like. Other than resizing, no post-processing has been applied, although I would do some touching up before printing.

Noise is certainly visible on the wall behind the singer, and even more so in the shadows on the right. Even more noise can be seen on the balloons, which were outside the spotlight beam, and more still on the shadowed heads in the foreground. (Additionally, there's some motion blur on the tamborine, but none from camera shake. Focus is soft, but that's my fault.)

A great photo? Absolutely not! But I think it's a realistic one, with a sense of time and place. It serves my purposes. If I were printing it, I would want to adjust the color balance and saturation, but the noise really doesn't bother me.
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Old Oct 27, 2005, 8:36 PM   #17
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Robb-

Now really- Let's be honest shall we. A point and shoot, and I have used everyone of them, will NOT displace a photo from a dSLR camera. You may indeed wish differently, but when you compare the photos at a 100% crop, you will go for the dSLR photos, everytime.

Please let's be honest shall we? The photos from my Canon 20D and the Pentax 1st DS easily surpass any photos taken by the P&S crowd, no matter what brand. The case is closed.

I honestly don't see it any other way. Do your magic with neat imaGE, or Noise Ninja, and the like, but the truth is, sadly to say, that P&S cameras cannot cope with the superior images that comefrom dSLR cameras.

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Old Oct 27, 2005, 9:21 PM   #18
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mtclimber wrote:
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....when you compare the photos at a 100% crop, you will go for the dSLR photos, everytime....
So what, Sarah? Why should I care about the 100% crop? Remember, I don't have illusions about sales to magazines or stock photo agencies. I'm not going to print these images at billboard size. The noise I see in a 100% crop is irrelevant to my purposes.

But okay, let's go ahead and take a look at a 100% crop from the image I posted earlier. Here it is, in all its noisy glory. The noise is objectionable here, and it's also very obvious that my focus was off. If my printed image looked like this, I'd be very unhappy!

But of course, it doesn't. At 8x10, it looks very much like the image I posted earlier. And I'm happy with that. It's not a stunning image, as many of yours are. But it's a reasonably accurate and (to me) evocative image of a specific time and place. Which is what I wanted.

I spent less than $500 on the camera that captured this image. How much did you spend on your 20D and its lenses? How much on the *ist DS and its lenses? It doesn't matter, as long as you're happy with them.

However much it may offend you, I'm also happy with my camera. And, although you get unquestionably better images, I think I got a much better deal!

(And by the way, if you absolutely must deal with the 100% crop, a bit of noise reduction would certainly help. Converting to b&w is another option.)
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Old Oct 27, 2005, 9:41 PM   #19
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You know, Robb, you have to whatever flips your switch. I guess whatever flips your switch is what counts.

You seem to have very low tolerances. Yep, I spent a bit a bit of money on my dSLR cameras. But do you know what? I sell my images for big money, so the cost of thedSLR cameras is not a big issue.

I honestly attempted to help. But you, my friend, do not need any help!

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Old Oct 28, 2005, 5:28 PM   #20
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mtclimber wrote:
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....I honestly attempted to help. But you, my friendĀ*, do not need any help!
Sarah/ultrazoom/mtclimber, if this works as it's supposed to, we've both helped the original poster and others who may be asking the same question. You have very effectively presented the arguments of the rigid SLR-only crowd. And I've tried to stand up for those of us who are irrationally stubborn holdouts and refuse to be stampeded into spending more money than we need to.

I don't think I ever sought your help, and I certainly didn't expect to change your mind. But I do think it's important that anyone reading this thread should be aware that there's more than one answer to the question.

Congratulations on selling your photos. And congratulations on making big money on them. As a professional, it's certainly understandable that your standards must be at least as high as those of the photo editors you deal with. And you can't afford to use anything less than the best equipment (within limitations).

But those of us who are not professionals do have the luxury of setting our own standards, and we can take pleasure in choosing our equipment accordingly.

In fact, I have consistently acknowledged the superiority of DSLRs over non-SLR digicams. Looking back over this thread, I've said:

"...a digital SLR is your best bet for available light photography, especially if you need zoom."

"If you choose any non-SLR digital camera for the job, you'll want to shoot a lot and hope some turn out reasonably well."

"Anyone who can afford a DSLR and doesn't mind the hassle should certainly go that route."

But having conceded that, I still think it's important to recognize that there are other options, as long as certain compromises are accepted. As a professional, you can't and shouldn't accept those compromises. The rest of us should be able to decide for ourselves.

After all, as a professional photographer, you have already had to accept some compromises. If image quality were the only thing that mattered, you would be shooting medium format film, at least, if not an 8x10 view camera! Either of those offers far more detail than your 8MP DLSR. But for you, the DSLR is an ideal working compromise between image quality and convenience. And a lot of DSLR fans agree with you. For others, the ideal compromise is somewhere else. You can look down on those of us who choose to get by with ultrazoom digicams, if it gives you pleasure. But I'm sure there are some Hasselblad users out there who would lump you in the same category with us.

Heh. I have to admit that I'm wavering. Like you, I enjoy my toys, so there's a good chance I'll be buying another camera in another year or so. And there's a good chance it'll be a DSLR. But until then, I'm still going to make the most of what I've got. My "most" may not be much, by your standards... but it's mine!

This is rather distant from the original point of this thread, but would you like to see some amazing images by truly creative photographers? Check out the "Tinycams" site:

http://www.geocities.com/charles_islas/

This is a site dedicated to the sort of cheap, low-end digital camera you'd expect to find in a cereal box! Getting photos like these with these cameras requires patience, thoughtfulness, and a great eye. I know I couldn't do it, because I've tried. The point is that great photography (which I appreciate, even if I can not create it) is not about equipment. It's about vision.
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