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Old Apr 21, 2006, 3:44 PM   #1
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I'm trying to find a new/recently released large aperture non-DSLR camera as I want to take indoor pictures without flash and prefer not to increase the ISO. The smaller the size the better of course.

My wife is trying to capture our 9 month old baby that does not stop crawling/moving and getting quite upset with our antiquated Sony T-1.

I know there is the Canon G6 f/2.0 and Olympus C4040Z/C5050Z f/1.8 which have been out for some time. And Sony S85 f/2.0 which is discontinued.

I also want to know why for example the largest aperture on the new Sony R1 is f/2.8 and the older model F828 it replaces is f/2.0.

I have read elsewhere that larger sensors in new cameras can capture more light...does that mean that it does not require a fast lens...I'm very confused here.

I've read good reviews on the Fuji F10/11 and newer F30...perhaps I don't need a large aperture/fast lens as I think.

Perhaps someone can enlighten me on where to find a non-DSLR with a f/2.0...I hope I am not asking the silly/impossible/non-existant here.

Thanks in advance...best regards!


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Old Apr 21, 2006, 4:06 PM   #2
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OnederBoy wrote:
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I'm trying to find a new/recently released large aperture non-DSLR camera as I want to take indoor pictures without flash and prefer not to increase the ISO.
None of them have very bright lenses, and the smaller the camera, the smaller the lens and sensor.

Depending on the lighting, none of them may be good enough if your subject is not relatively stationary.

A used Sony DSC-F717 would be one way to go (but, borderline for a moving subject indoors, as you may need to shoot at ISO 800 to help with motion blur).

It's lens is much brighter than most. I'd avoid the newer DSC-F828 for existing light use (it's sensor will have higher noise as ISO speeds are increased, since it's stuffing more photosites into a 2/3" sensor). Because there are more photosites, they have to make them smaller. So, the signal requires more amplifcation for equivalent sensitivity to light (which adds noise).

But, you'd probably need to shoot at ISO 800 with a DSC-F717 in some indoor conditions, even at f/2, depending on the lighting and subject type. That means more noise.

The Fuji F11/F11/F30 models would be another way to go. They lose detail as ISO speeds are increased. But, you should be OK through ISO 800. You'd probably need to stay on the wider end of the lens indoors (it loses too much light as focal lengths get longer). It is much better than most for existing light use, though. It's a borderline solution, depending on the lighting and how much motion blur you're willing to tolerate for moving subjects.

Your best bet is a DSLR using a bright prime. DSLR models have dramatically larger sensors compared to the non-DSLR offerings. As a result, the photosites for each pixel have larger surface areas and can generate a stronger signal compared to the much smaller photosites used in sensors found in non-DSLR models. So, less amplification is needed, resulting in lower noise levels as ISO speeds are increased.

Make sure to get a bright lens to go with one. I'd look at something like a Nikon D50 using a 50mm f/1.8, a KM 5D using a 50mm f/1.7, or a Canon Rebel XT using a 50mm f/1.7 as a minimum. You may also want to think about a wider prime (28mm f/2, 35mm f/2, etc.), since a 50mm can be a bit long in closer quarters. I tend to use a 28mm f/2 on my KM Maxxum 5D more often than not indoors. But, I'm thinking about replacing it with the new Sigma 30mm f/1.4 (f2 is not bright enough in some lighting, even with ISO 3200 and anti-shake).

I'd also take a look at the Pentax DSLR offerings. The Olympus models will have higher noise levels (because their sensors are smaller than competing DSLR models).

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Old Apr 22, 2006, 12:34 AM   #3
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Don't forget the Panasonic LC1 at f 2.0
http://panasonic.co.jp/pavc/global/lumix/lc1/index.html
A friend has one, and I'm very impressed with it.

It's true there are electronic and software tricks coming on the market for better looking low light photos, but I think there is no substitute for a good fast lens.
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Old Apr 22, 2006, 8:31 PM   #4
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I've got an Olympus 5050 that features a f1.8 lens which gives me fantastic pictures. They can still be found at reasonable prices on Ebay.
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Old Apr 22, 2006, 9:01 PM   #5
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The Canon Powershot G5 is a great camera with an f2.0 lens and can now be had for about $300.
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