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Old Jul 12, 2006, 1:03 PM   #1
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First, I'll ask if if there is a camera that would fit this request: compact, $300 or less, "bright" lens or a sensor which is good enough to allow great indoor pictures without flash. Also would like RAW mode (seems stupid that the A620 doesn't have that). I'd like a Cannon Digital Rebel XT, but can't afford that right now. Even if I could, I would still need a compact camera for "everyday use". Oh, and I hope I won't have to consider any models with out apeture priority mode, it just seems bizare that a camera would come without at least that feature, it's not like it costs extra to add it.

I looked at a bunch of reviews of Panasonic cameras with OIS but seems like they mostly have noise issues

I had hoped that Olympus had come out with a newer, more affordable updated version of the 5050 but it doesn't seem like they have anything like that recently.

My first child is about 2 1/2 now, we like taking lots of pictures of him, many inside. I don't like the results of using flash most of the time - uneven lighting, over/under exposed, people usually just don't look the same w/flash. In addition to taking pictures of our son, I enjoy macro photography. I often long for sharper, higher resolution than what the 5050 offered.

I've had an Olympus C-5050 for years. The main reason I bought that camera was the "Super Brighte Lens", F1.8. It's been a good camera, though I consistantly wish I could get a camera with a more sensitive sensor. One would think that over several years that sensor technology would have come up with sensors that work much faster/with less light and have less noise (and are cheaper to make).

With the Olympus I found that most indoor shots without flash (with either daylight coming in from outside or bright indoor lighting) come out well, only a few come out too blurry.

Since the lens won't come out anymore on the 5050 I looked around for a long time reading reviews and finally got the A620, mostly because it was the first seemingly acceptable camera I saw for $200 or less.

After using it for a couple weeks it seems like it's almost useless for indoor shots because if you don't use the flash you either have to use a too noisey high ISO or the shutter speed just isn't fast enough.

I read about the problem of the "Auto" setting trying to use too low of an ISO, forcing a too low shutter speed. Such poor configuration of the "Auto" mode is annoying, but at least you can use the Program mode instead.

So, I think I should return the A620, but I don't know which camera to get. Maybe I should just pay the $90 and have my C-5050 fixed and live with 5 MP until some new camera with a good sensor comes out at a decent price?
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Old Jul 12, 2006, 1:08 PM   #2
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critofur-

You might take a look at the Fuji F-30. It is capable of ISO settings up to ISO 3200 so it should make a very capable "indoor" camera for you.

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Old Jul 12, 2006, 1:38 PM   #3
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Thanks for the tip. I think ISO 3200 would be too noisey, but at least some of the ISO 400 & 800 shots I saw in one review didn't seem TOO bad noise wise. I'll have to read some more to see if it has RAW mode and I assume it has apeture priority. It looks even more compact than the A620 but I will really miss using standard NiMH AA cells isntead of proprietary Lithum battery, if I got the F-30.

Also, it's not "$300 or less". I got the A620 because it's only $200. I don't have the extra cash right now and only was going to consider $300 instead of $200 'cause I got $100 for a present and the wife wouldn't mind me using "present money" to pay for something like this. I've gone back to school recently and we need to buy things like food/electricity rather than "toys" :P

If I can find a deal on the F-30 for under $300 I'd prob. get it.



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critofur-

You might take a look at the Fuji F-30. It is capable of ISO settings up to ISO 3200 so it should make a very capable "indoor" camera for you.

MT
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Old Jul 12, 2006, 2:13 PM   #4
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critofur-

Here is an indoor photo sample from the F-30 taken with a bit of window light.


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Old Jul 12, 2006, 2:28 PM   #5
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critofur wrote:
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Also, it's not "$300 or less". I got the A620 because it's only $200. I don't have the extra cash right now and only was going to consider $300 instead of $200 'cause I got $100 for a present and the wife wouldn't mind me using "present money" to pay for something like this. I've gone back to school recently and we need to buy things like food/electricity rather than "toys" :P

If I can find a deal on the F-30 for under $300 I'd prob. get it.



mtclimber wrote:
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critofur-

You might take a look at the Fuji F-30. It is capable of ISO settings up to ISO 3200 so it should make a very capable "indoor" camera for you.

MT
With all due respect, I don't think there is a camera that will meet all your requirements. There are probably only a handful of digicams that have ACCEPTABLE ISO 400. But, given you're looking at digicam lenses of at best 2.8 now - ISO 400 won't even be enough unless you're dealing in completely still photography. And, unless you want to limit yourself to pictures of your baby sleeping that means you'll have some movement. Which means you either need flash or high ISO. There's probably only 2 or 3 models currently out that have acceptable ISO 800 or 1600 capability which is what you're going to need.

Bottom line: you want a camera that is good, fast (meaning low light performance) and cheap. You may choose any 2 of the above 3 categories and there's a camera for you but you can't have all 3.
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Old Jul 12, 2006, 4:55 PM   #6
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John-

Here is a n existing light close-up done with the F-30. Notice the eveness of the exposure and the overall sharpness.

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Old Jul 12, 2006, 7:36 PM   #7
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Not disputing that - but it's not a $200 camera - so the OP has to pay more than he wanted to. The F30 looks like a great step forward but it's still not 'cheap'
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Old Jul 12, 2006, 8:04 PM   #8
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Hmm, so it's probably worth paying the $90 to fix my Olympus C-5050 rather than puting the $90 towards getting a $300 camera that's better at meeting those three criterea than the $200 A620?

Is it expensive to make a lens like the F1.8 on on my 5050? I would gladly pay $100 more to get the A620 except with an F1.8 lens. I guess such a camera just wouldn't fit marketing schemes or something?

Well, surely within a year, or two, or three, sensor technology will improve enough to give us faster low noise sensors.

I could probably borrow a Canon Digital Rebel for a while to see how it compares. Maybe I'll keep the A620 because the movie mode is awesome compared to the crap movies of my old 5050, fix the 5050 for it's bright lens, and hope to get a nice DSLR + a bright lens someday in the future...

If I hadn't gotten the A620 yet and had read about the Fuji F-30 earlier, I might have tried to get that instead. Why don't compact cameras come with anything brighter than F2.8 recently???


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Bottom line: you want a camera that is good, fast (meaning low light performance) and cheap. You may choose any 2 of the above 3 categories and there's a camera for you but you can't have all 3.
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