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Old Jan 18, 2006, 10:26 AM   #1
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Hi guys... I think this post can be answered by reading all previous posts so I apologize from this moment on. But.... I read to many camera reviews, specs, comparative reports, and I still can't make a decision since I think I want something that really doesn't exist

Well,I'm looking for a camera with the following specs:
  1. great pictures of moving objects and under low light [/*]
  2. great video mode ([email protected], not less) [/*]
  3. ultra compact [/*]
  4. I really prefer an optical zoom better than standard 3x [/*]
  5. acceptable battery life
[/*]
I actually don't need too many manual controls, but to take good pictures under situations like thouse in point 1 may be some manual controls that I don't know are required.

I already discarded many models: S4 because of its poor movie shots; A610 and S1 IS beacuse of its "big" size; SD400 because of its short battery life and absence of shutter-priority; and many others.

The search is getting more dificult since I really don't have neither enough knowledge nor experience, so any tip or suggestion can be helpful for me.

I'm out of time since a friend of mine is going to purchase the camera for me but I have to make a decision before, and I don't want to make a mistake (an expensive one :roll

Thanks a lot for your pacience, I'll wait for your post (hope so).

T

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Old Jan 18, 2006, 11:49 AM   #2
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I don't know of anything small with good capabilities for low light action and a long zoom. Optical stabilization lets you take handheld shots of stationary targets in lower light, but it does nothing for action. You need high ISO capability for that.

The Panasonic LZ2 has optical stabilization and a 6X zoom in a compact camera, but it isn't good at high ISO. It is also a pure point and shoot.

It is a compromise, but take a look at the Sony T9. You have no manual controls but it has both optical stabilization and decent noise at ISO400. The combination would give decent low light action performance, but not great. It is only 3X but it is tiny.

The Fuji F11 isn't available in the US yet but it has excellent high ISO capability and aperture and shutter priority. I use full manual more often on small cameras and it doesn't have that. The controls and menu system evidently aren't the best, but you learn to use it. The F10 available in the US is a pure P&S but it has the great high ISO. Both are only 3X zoom though.

I like my Casio Z750. It has a great control setup and manual everything. But with 3X zoom and poor high ISO capability it doesn't really meet any of your criteria. It does have excellent MPEG4 movies and the past movie mode is great.

You can do a lot with the controls on a small P&S camera. Spot metering and EV shift using the histogram works for most situations. I don't find manual controls that useful except for things like night shots and macro. I don't find I use the manual controls a lot in normal shooting like I do with larger cameras with an EVF.

None of the cameras mentioned have optical viewfinders other than the Z750. I like having manual controls and a viewfinder, but the Z750 isn't good at all for low light action. Or even low light stills without flash for that matter since it doesn't have optical stabilization.

Shutter priority doesn't help in low light BTW. The camera already has the lens wide open and is giving you all of the shutter speed it can for the available light. Raising the shutter speed just gives you dark pictures. The only thing effective for action in limited light is high ISO, and I don't know of a tiny pocket camera that has over 3X zoom and decent noise at high ISO.

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Old Jan 18, 2006, 2:20 PM   #3
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Perhaps a hybrid like the Sanyo Xacti C-6 is worth looking at.

MT
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Old Jan 19, 2006, 2:28 PM   #4
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slipe wrote:
Quote:
I don't know of anything small with good capabilities for low light action and a long zoom. Optical stabilization lets you take handheld shots of stationary targets in lower light, but it does nothing for action. You need high ISO capability for that.
Actually I'd like good capabilities for low light and moving objects shots, but not necessarily at the same time. The first requirement means for me night pictures, museums, etc. By moving objects I meant kids, cars, sports. Nothing unusual.[/quote]Is a good tip for a newby like me the ISO thing [/quote]
The Panasonic LZ2 has optical stabilization and a 6X zoom in a compact camera, but it isn't good at high ISO. It is also a pure point and shoot.[/quote]
Sounds like a good option, but LZ2 only takes movies at 320x240 :roll:[/quote]
It is a compromise, but take a look at the Sony T9. You have no manual controls but it has both optical stabilization and decent noise at ISO400. The combination would give decent low light action performance, but not great. It is only 3X but it is tiny.[/quote]
Sounds nice also, but I think it's too expensive for the features it have, not to mention the expensive media it uses :?. Is the lens big enough for a 6mp camera? I'm not sure but... cameras with so small lenses... I don't know, may be is just my lack of knowldegde...[/quote]
The Fuji F11 isn't available in the US yet but it has excellent high ISO capability and aperture and shutter priority. I use full manual more often on small cameras and it doesn't have that. The controls and menu system evidently aren't the best, but you learn to use it. The F10 available in the US is a pure P&S but it has the great high ISO. Both are only 3X zoom though.[/quote]
I'm starting to think more than 3x optical zoom is the most dificult features to find, at least in ultra compact cameras. Thanks for these two advices also.[/quote]
I like my Casio Z750. It has a great control setup and manual everything. But with 3X zoom and poor high ISO capability it doesn't really meet any of your criteria. It does have excellent MPEG4 movies and the past movie mode is great.[/quote]
Mmmm yeap, you're right.[/quote]
You can do a lot with the controls on a small P&S camera. Spot metering and EV shift using the histogram works for most situations. I don't find manual controls that useful except for things like night shots and macro.[/quote]
Well, I completlely agree with that. In fact, I can't really picture me spending too much time adjusting several manual controls to take a picture.[/quote]But, if only through manual controls is possible to take nice night shots (just to pick one of my requirements) then I think thouse manual controls are a must looking for a new camera.[/quote]
I don't find I use the manual controls a lot in normal shooting like I do with larger cameras with an EVF.
None of the cameras mentioned have optical viewfinders other than the Z750. I like having manual controls and a viewfinder, but the Z750 isn't good at all for low light action. Or even low light stills without flash for that matter since it doesn't have optical stabilization.[/quote]
:roll:[/quote]
Shutter priority doesn't help in low light BTW. The camera already has the lens wide open and is giving you all of the shutter speed it can for the available light. Raising the shutter speed just gives you dark pictures. The only thing effective for action in limited light is high ISO, and I don't know of a tiny pocket camera that has over 3X zoom and decent noise at high ISO.[/quote]
Yes, actually I expect shutter priority for moving objects.
[/quote]It's getting complicated... but, this answer is very useful for me, thanks a lot for you time and the information here.[/quote][/quote]I thinkCanon Powershot SD400 is one of the most atractive cameras I've seen (despite is doesn't have good capabilities for moving objects and 3x optical zoom). The price seems to be ok in US (where I'm planning to purchase it).[/quote]So, what do you think about it? Is there any other similar camera that improves in the SD400's weeknesses? Maybe I should forget about more than 3x optical zoom, but I certainly want my camera to nice night shots, movies (unlimited) and moving objects pictures.[/quote]Thanks a lot, once again...[/quote] \T
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Old Jan 19, 2006, 2:31 PM   #5
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mtclimber wrote:
Quote:
Perhaps a hybrid like the Sanyo Xacti C-6 is worth looking at.

MT

Thank you MT, seems to be a really nice hybrid camera, an expensive one indeed.

I know maybe is a good price for that kind of camera, but I was expecting to pay at most 400.

Once again, very nice camera...
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