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Old Aug 8, 2006, 9:59 AM   #1
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Ok, i am completely stuck here folks!!!

I am looking to buy an ultra-compact camera. Something i can carry around easily and take to parties, vacations, etc. I have read a ton of reviews on both of these and just cant decide whats better to buy.

Obviously the 3200 ISO sounds amazing and some of the sample shots i have seen @ 1600 ISO have looked briliant. However, the Canon has the Image Stabilization, which could prove highly usefull at parties (especially where alcohol is involved).

Also, Canon uses SD cards while the F30 has the xD Type M which is a bit more rare and cant really be used on too many other devices. Also, correct me if i am wrong but the Canon looks a bit nicer also.

I havent had a chance to handle either camera (yet), so would really appreciate some input/guidance.

I have owned the Canon A520 and it was great but now i want a compact to easily take around. I am not a complete beginner but also not an expert, so willing to trade away some of the manual features for compact.

From everything i have read...seems like these are the 2 Best choices in their class....if anyone disagrees, please let me know.

Thanks.
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Old Aug 8, 2006, 11:57 AM   #2
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I'd recommend the F30 (having one myself), but I try to be fair to the competition...

This weekend I took some shots of friends while at lunch. We were in the back of the place, so the lighting was pretty poor. I was surprised that even at ISO1600, the camera could not provide blur free images (without flash)!!! Taking pictures of a baby, which doesn't stay still much anyways!

But, at ISO3200, the images were rubbish (noise!). Eventhe ISO1600 images weren't very impressive IMO, but that was probably because there wasn't much light. When I turned the flash on, the camera used ISO 200-400 (auto mode).

When I was outdoors, the camera didn't use anything less than ISO200?!?! *boggle* BRIGHT DAY! ISO200! Wha?!!? That doesn't make sense to me. I want the best quality possible. Bright days = ISO 100...But, the AUTO400 mode wouldn't use 100 (grrrrr)...

I love the F30, but ISO3200 isn't usable (IMO) and ISO1600 seems unreliable (sometimes pictures look ok, sometimes not depending on lighting). ISO800 is acceptable, but I don't know why the auto mode is sticking to ISO200 when it's bright and sunny! :roll:

In all fairness to the F30, I'm pretty strict on quality. I don't like the SD700's ISO800 mode and find the ISO400barely useable in the same manner I find the F30's ISO800 (acceptable).
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Old Aug 8, 2006, 1:44 PM   #3
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Thanks for the comments. Anyone else??? Any other models worth looking into?

Please keep the comments commind. Thanks.
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Old Aug 8, 2006, 2:19 PM   #4
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Ruski-

I am another very happy Fuji F-30 user. IMHO your choice is clear. Get the F-30.

MT
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Old Aug 8, 2006, 8:33 PM   #5
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Could someone correct me if i am wrong, but here is how i see it. To get good pictures in dark locations:

1) you can either use high ISO...so 800 or 1600 on the F30.

OR

2) use longer exposure time with Image Stabilization on the SD700 IS

Am i wrong in these assumptions? Basically i am thinking that the IS might make up for some of the dim-light shortcommings of the SD700.

The reason why my decision just got harder also is because:

Usually here in Toronto, Canada...the F30 will cost: $389.99 CAD + Tax
SD700 IS will cost: $539.99 CAD + Tax

BUT, now i can pickup the SD 700 IS for 439$ CAD with taxes and all!!!

So at this point, the SD700 IS is even cheaper than F30. Everyone still recommend the F30?
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Old Aug 8, 2006, 8:48 PM   #6
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Ruski1982 wrote:
Quote:
Could someone correct me if i am wrong, but here is how i see it. To get good pictures in dark locations:

1) you can either use high ISO...so 800 or 1600 on the F30.

OR

2) use longer exposure time with Image Stabilization on the SD700 IS

So at this point, the SD700 IS is even cheaper than F30. Everyone still recommend the F30?
You are correct. However, if you are taking pictures of anything that is moving, then there are more chances thatthose moving things will be blurry on the camera with IS.

Of course I'd still recommend the F30. I'd recommend the SD700 also :G
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Old Aug 9, 2006, 6:08 PM   #7
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Not only "anything that is moving", but also anything that is alive.

IS will not totally offset the innate blurriness caused by a long exposure when the camera is being hand-held. MT & SW are spot-on.

I have an A620 btw and have not used the F30 nor the SD700.

swgod98 wrote:
Quote:
Ruski1982 wrote:
Quote:
Could someone correct me if i am wrong, but here is how i see it. To get good pictures in dark locations:

1) you can either use high ISO...so 800 or 1600 on the F30.

OR

2) use longer exposure time with Image Stabilization on the SD700 IS

So at this point, the SD700 IS is even cheaper than F30. Everyone still recommend the F30?
You are correct. However, if you are taking pictures of anything that is moving, then there are more chances thatthose moving things will be blurry on the camera with IS.

Of course I'd still recommend the F30. I'd recommend the SD700 also :G
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Old Aug 9, 2006, 9:40 PM   #8
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I don't find it nearly as clear cut as others.

Stabilization is advertised to give a 3 stop advantage for hand held shots. That seems pretty close from my experience and Canon is reported to have especially good stabilization. So the shot you can handhold with ISO 400 on the SD700 requires ISO 3200 on the F30.

In the conclusion of the dpreview SD700 review Simon said:
"It's also surprisingly good in low light, with the combination of image stabilization and usable ISO 400 (even ISO 800 is fine for social snaps), meaning you can shoot without flash if you want to."

Here is a comparison of the ISO3200 shot you need from the F30 to get the same handheld shot as ISO400 and stabilization on the SD700:

ISO 3200 F30:


ISO400 SD700:


Of course that doesn't account for subject motion. You can get the shot with the F30 often when you can't with the SD700 if you are dealing with subject motion. I don't shoot that much limited light action and prefer stabilization. But if you want limited light action shots the F30 can't be beat.

There is another big issue for me. In the dpreview conclusion on the F30 there are a couple of items that taken together make for a bad deal if you live in a sunny climate as I do.
"Screen can be hard to see in very bright light"
"No optical viewfinder"


Besides the problem in bright light I think an optical finder gives you about an extra half stop due to a more stable holding position. You can also acquire and follow moving targets better when zoomed.

The SD700 also does better in bright light with better dynamic range. Simon says that you need post processing to get F30 daylight shots to look good. The SD700 is good right out of the box. I also prefer the 4X zoom.


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Old Aug 9, 2006, 10:37 PM   #9
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I have been taking some looks at the daylight pics of the F30 vs. SD700 IS

To me it seems that there is a pretty BIG difference in color depth. The SD700 seems to capture very true, natural looking color, while the F30 seems to look a bit bland...or almost slightly bleeched.

Can some of you confirm this kind of results??? or was i just looking at crappy samples?

I realise that the colors can be sharpened by some post-processing, but i have no experience with that and dont know if i want to spend the extra time to do it.

Please keep the thoughts comming...i am kind of a typical 'starving student' ... so i dont want to make a mistake in my purchase lol

Thanks everyone for your input
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Old Aug 9, 2006, 11:40 PM   #10
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Ruski1982 wrote:
Quote:
I have been taking some looks at the daylight pics of the F30 vs. SD700 IS

To me it seems that there is a pretty BIG difference in color depth. The SD700 seems to capture very true, natural looking color, while the F30 seems to look a bit bland...or almost slightly bleeched.

Can some of you confirm this kind of results??? or was i just looking at crappy samples?

I realise that the colors can be sharpened by some post-processing, but i have no experience with that and dont know if i want to spend the extra time to do it.

Please keep the thoughts comming...i am kind of a typical 'starving student' ... so i dont want to make a mistake in my purchase lol

Thanks everyone for your input
I don't know what bland pictures you are referring to, but that is not something I have noticed with my F30. Of course if you compare two cameras regardless of brand, you might find one with colors more enhanced or saturated. That can often be compensated for by changing in-camera processing settings or even post processing. My point is that I would not let that influence my decision. I do not own the Canon, but I can tell you I am more than happy with the F30 and I normally shoot with a Digital SLR, which puts me in the hard to please category by default. I don't think you would make a bad choice with either model, but I went with thethe F30 because simply put, I think it is a better choice in low light.


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