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Old Mar 6, 2006, 3:01 PM   #1
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Okey so I really need a digital camera. I was about to buy one a few months ago but there didn't seem to be a model that had everything I needed. My top choices then were Panasonic FX9 and Sony T9 but none of those two seemed right: Panasonic had that noise problem and T9 wan't that good in low light conditions.

What I need? Well, I need an ultracompact digital camera (preferably weighs under 150g and that's depth is under 25mm). I really would prefer a camera that was black but I guess I can compromise in order to get better performance. I would use this camera in Finland (cold weather now) in and outside of clubs (so the lighting would mostly be street lights at night or disco lights) or in other words: in low light conditions. I would keep the camera in the inner breast pocket of my party-jacket so that's why I really need a small and slim camera. Now I now ultracompacts aren't that great in low light conditions but since the small size is an absolute must it can't be helped. Also, bare in mind that I just want to "point and shoot" and not do any manual adjustments et cetera. So an easy and fun camera is needed.

So those four models are the ones I feel strongly about. Panasonic FX01 should be great and now with higher ISO levels but again the noise factor might be a problem. Casio EX-Z850 is successor of the super popular EX-Z750 and should be great but is Casio really the best dc-brand and also you don't get it in black. Canon SD630 has that big screen and that Canon quality but it has kinda low ISO levels and you don't get it in black. And then there's Sony W10... I'm not too sure about Sony cameras although they have a rep of being so called "fun cameras" (which I'm looking for) and also it comes in black.

Of course there are other choices as well: Pentax T10 (slim but Pentax hasn't exactly the best rep in this class nowadays), Canon SD700IS (should be great but a little too big for me and with SD630 you get 3" lcd), Olympus 810 (comes in black, is weatherproof and has high ISO levels but again I have to question the manufacturer) and Fujifilm F30 (has a rep of being great in low light conditions but is a bit too big for me and loses in style to others).

So please, I beg of you to give me your expert advice on which model to get. The trouble is that I live in a place where I do not get to demo any of these models so I really need advice. So please, which model would probably be great for me?
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Old Mar 6, 2006, 5:46 PM   #2
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How about the new Fuji V10? Depth of 23 mm, 3" LCD, ISO 1600 (at full resolution)...

http://www.steves-digicams.com/pr/fu...06_v10_pr.html

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/spec...finepixv10.asp

http://www.letsgodigital.org/html/re...ji_camera.html

(some sample pics here)

...available in gunmetal or orange...I'd opt for the gunmetal...

the Hun

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Old Mar 7, 2006, 3:41 PM   #3
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Well what about Fujifilm V10? It certainly looks like an impressive camera with its slim appearance and big 3" lcd. But... it doubles as a gaming machine? Come on now! I mean there's nothing wrong with that but I have my doubts about Fujifilm and this cam and I bet the innovation here is the games and not a slim camera with great performance.

Anyway, I have limited my choices to three now (based on their weight, depth and availability):

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/comp...1&show=all

Any recommendations? Remember I'm looking for a cam that takes good pics in low light situations and that's easy to use. So which one of these three?

rinniethehun wrote:
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How about the new Fuji V10? Depth of 23 mm, 3" LCD, ISO 1600 (at full resolution)...

http://www.steves-digicams.com/pr/fu...06_v10_pr.html

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/spec...finepixv10.asp

http://www.letsgodigital.org/html/re...ji_camera.html

(some sample pics here)

...available in gunmetal or orange...I'd opt for the gunmetal...

the Hun
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Old Mar 7, 2006, 7:19 PM   #4
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I didn't recommend the V10 to you because of the games. I recommended it because of Fuji's proven track record with high ISO cameras. Did your computer have built in games when you bought it? Can you even buy a computer without cames on it? How about your cell phone? Pretty soon you'll be able to play games on your toaster oven. As long as there's a chip in it with some room left over, they'll put a couple of games on it. But that doesn't mean the V10 is a bad camera. They're using a proven sensor with a proven processor.

But let's compare your three selections for low light. Both the Panasonic and the Casio have high ISO, but with limitations...they can only achieve that ISO at reduced sensitivity. I don't know what that would be, but it would probably be close to, if not the lowest sensitivity, like 1.3 to 1.8 MP's. Now why would you want to buy a 6 or 8 MP camera that can only take low light pics at less than 2 MP? Because you don't want games on your camera? Not sure about the Canon, but they claim to have a new "high sensitivity setting", which gets you up to ISO 800. Does that mean you can only shoot at ISO 800 in the new setting? How about AUTO mode or Manual mode? I don't know. How are the other ultracompact cameras of those brands regarding noise at ISO 400 or even 200?

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/panasonicfx9/page5.asp

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/casioz750/page5.asp

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canonsd400/page5.asp

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/fuji...zoom/page5.asp

Sorry, couldn't find the same test of a Fuji ultracompact, e.g., Z1. The Z10 will have more noise than the F10, due to a smaller sensor.

the Hun





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Old Mar 8, 2006, 2:43 AM   #5
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Okey, but my question was that while for example Fujifilm F30 is clearly targeted for low light situations with its ISO3200 the V10 has games and while this does not mean necessarily that it's an inferior camera it does raise up a question whether or not Fujifilm engineers have concentrated on different things with V10, other than great performance in low light. I mean Olympus has those cameras that you can sink under water and while they are great at that the image quality is inferior to 'normal cams'. The same goes with Sony and its half-videocam-half-digicam cams. So my question really is whether V10 ia just an avarage camera with which you can play games or a great camera that just happens to double as a gaming machine.

Well, I guess I'll add Fujifilm V10 to my final three to make it a final four. Hopefully all of these four will get released soon and reviews will start appearing.

rinniethehun wrote:
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I didn't recommend the V10 to you because of the games. I recommended it because of Fuji's proven track record with high ISO cameras. Did your computer have built in games when you bought it? Can you even buy a computer without cames on it? How about your cell phone? Pretty soon you'll be able to play games on your toaster oven. As long as there's a chip in it with some room left over, they'll put a couple of games on it. But that doesn't mean the V10 is a bad camera. They're using a proven sensor with a proven processor.

But let's compare your three selections for low light. Both the Panasonic and the Casio have high ISO, but with limitations...they can only achieve that ISO at reduced sensitivity. I don't know what that would be, but it would probably be close to, if not the lowest sensitivity, like 1.3 to 1.8 MP's. Now why would you want to buy a 6 or 8 MP camera that can only take low light pics at less than 2 MP? Because you don't want games on your camera? Not sure about the Canon, but they claim to have a new "high sensitivity setting", which gets you up to ISO 800. Does that mean you can only shoot at ISO 800 in the new setting? How about AUTO mode or Manual mode? I don't know. How are the other ultracompact cameras of those brands regarding noise at ISO 400 or even 200?

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/panasonicfx9/page5.asp

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/casioz750/page5.asp

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canonsd400/page5.asp

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/fuji...zoom/page5.asp

Sorry, couldn't find the same test of a Fuji ultracompact, e.g., Z1. The Z10 will have more noise than the F10, due to a smaller sensor.

the Hun




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Old Mar 10, 2006, 3:33 PM   #6
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I wanted to voice my appreciation for the suggestion of the Fuji V10.* I really had my heart set on the Lumix FX01 coming out, but just can't wait for the April 24th release date and wasn't sure where to turn to. I loved the widescreen video recording and the 28mm wide-angle and the Image Stabilization feature sounds impressive, but I definitely need something now and am willing to give the V10 a try.* So ordered from Amazon and will give it a shot (pardon the pun) and see how it does.* I'm really looking for good quality VGA video so I don't have to carry a cam around with me to get decent content.
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Old Mar 10, 2006, 11:47 PM   #7
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You have to be careful to not just look at the ISO numbers you can crank in with a particular camera. As the Hun pointed out there are often resolution reductions required for high ISO. With others you just get poor images with excessive noise.

The Fuji F10/11 and probably the F30 do a marvelous job with noise. They did it by having a large sensor with probably the lowest pixel density currently available in a small camera and with very good internal noise reduction. Unfortunately the large sensor makes for a camera that while quite compact is probably a little larger than you are looking for.

Optical stabilization is generally advertised as giving 3 f-stops advantage and that is probably pretty close. So the shot you can handhold at ISO100 with stabilization you would require ISO800 for without stabilization. An ISO 100 shot from most stabilized cameras will be better than an ISO800 shot from the F10.

But stabilization does nothing for freezing subject motion. For anything moving in low light high ISO capability is a necessity. I personally prefer stabilization to high ISO capability because I don't shoot a lot of action in limited light.

A nice compromise is the Sony T9 with optical stabilization and much better than average ISO400 capability with low noise. Reviews are good and it has an excellent LCD and lots of internal memory rather than a useless throw-away memory card. You can keep a large permanent photo album in the internal memory.

Just because it says Fuji on the label doesn't mean it will have high ISO capability like the F10. The V10 mentioned has the same sensor as the Fuji Z1, and ISO 400 wasn't any better on that than the T9. Many of the Fuji cameras aren't that great in low light without stabilization. I would wait for some reviews before assuming it will have great low light capability.

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Old Mar 11, 2006, 7:34 AM   #8
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Well, I do still have my doubts about Fujifilm Finepix V10 but I has become one of my top choices. Actually, my top two choices are V10 and Panasonic FX01. By the way, I don't now about the Z1-sensor thing but doesn't V10 use the same sensor as F10 but only smaller.

I found two links to pics taken with V10:

http://www.letsgodigital.org/html/re..._camera_5.html
http://www.pbase.com/megapx/fuji_v10

Well Sony T9 was my top pick just a few months ago but apparently it has a very weak flash and a dude that bought T9 said that he wasn't happy at all with the results in low light. Also, eventhough I definately need an extra small cam, I would prefer something a little bit bigger than T9 (that cam seems so delicate).

About the other cams. That Sony model, W100, is too big for me, the Canon model has too little pixels in its 3" lcd and that Casio model has optical viewfinder which I don't need (or particularly want).

But right now, it's V10 vs. FX01 although I might still think about F30 (eventhough it is too big for me).

I guess the big question hear is: Which is more important: Optical Image Stabilization (FX01) or better ISO performance with less noise (although I don't now this for sure but I'm willing to bet that FX01 is noisier than V10).



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Old Mar 11, 2006, 1:08 PM   #9
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JungleKing wrote:
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I guess the big question hear is: Which is more important: Optical Image Stabilization (FX01) or better ISO performance with less noise (although I don't now this for sure but I'm willing to bet that FX01 is noisier than V10).


There isn't a simplistic answer for you. It has a lot to do with what you want to capture.

The optical stabilization on the FX01 will let you handhold the same shot in limited light at ISO100 that you would need ISO 800 for on the V10. I can guarantee the FX01 shot would be less noisy.

But optical stabilization doesn't' help for capturing motion. It just dampens hand movement so you can shoot at a lower shutter speed. Increasing the ISO lets you shoot at a faster shutter speed and is much better for any movement. Although the ISO 800 shot from the V10 will be noisier you will get a lot less blurring from any subject movement.

My personal preference is for optical stabilization over high ISO. But I don't tend to shoot much movement in limited light without turning my flash on. For available light photos of your night life I would think the high ISO would be preferable. It is almost certain that the V10 will give better shots at high ISO than the FX01. But the wide angle would be handy at times.

The F30 would be far and away the best camera for any action in available light if you could live with the extra size.

The T9 is a good compromise with both better than average ISO 400 performance and optical stabilization. Just guessing from tests of other Fuji cameras with the 1/2.5 sensor the V10 isn't going to be much better at ISO 400 than the T9. With optical stabilization the T9 should be more versatile than either the FX01 or V10 in limited light without using flash .

Unfortunately the T9 flash is weak and I doubt you could get much improvement with higher ISO. My guess is that they use the higher ISO to extend the pitiful range from the previous T models without changing the actual flash power.

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Old Mar 12, 2006, 6:17 AM   #10
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Well about shots with motion on them: 99 per cent of the time I would only shoot photos with my friends striking a pose so there would be no movement in the picture. So I guess OIS would be a good thing for me. In this case I'd go with FX01 because Sony T9 is just a little too delicate and it has a really weak flash. Or would you seriously put T9 ahead of FX01?

So I guess my choice will be Panasonic FX01 although I'll keep Fuji F30 also in my mind.

slipe wrote:
Quote:
JungleKing wrote:
Quote:
I guess the big question hear is: Which is more important: Optical Image Stabilization (FX01) or better ISO performance with less noise (although I don't now this for sure but I'm willing to bet that FX01 is noisier than V10).


There isn't a simplistic answer for you. It has a lot to do with what you want to capture.

The optical stabilization on the FX01 will let you handhold the same shot in limited light at ISO100 that you would need ISO 800 for on the V10. I can guarantee the FX01 shot would be less noisy.

But optical stabilization doesn't' help for capturing motion. It just dampens hand movement so you can shoot at a lower shutter speed. Increasing the ISO lets you shoot at a faster shutter speed and is much better for any movement. Although the ISO 800 shot from the V10 will be noisier you will get a lot less blurring from any subject movement.

My personal preference is for optical stabilization over high ISO. But I don't tend to shoot much movement in limited light without turning my flash on. For available light photos of your night life I would think the high ISO would be preferable. It is almost certain that the V10 will give better shots at high ISO than the FX01. But the wide angle would be handy at times.

The F30 would be far and away the best camera for any action in available light if you could live with the extra size.

The T9 is a good compromise with both better than average ISO 400 performance and optical stabilization. Just guessing from tests of other Fuji cameras with the 1/2.5 sensor the V10 isn't going to be much better at ISO 400 than the T9. With optical stabilization the T9 should be more versatile than either the FX01 or V10 in limited light without using flash .

Unfortunately the T9 flash is weak and I doubt you could get much improvement with higher ISO. My guess is that they use the higher ISO to extend the pitiful range from the previous T models without changing the actual flash power.
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