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Old Aug 29, 2006, 11:18 AM   #1
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I want to get a digital camera that can take good night photos. I have an HP R817. It takes horrible night photos and the camera takes forever to snap a night scenary. When the camera finally takes the photo, I have already decided to start walking and thus the pictures come out all blurry.

Of course, the camera should also do well in outdoor and under bright daylight. I want something small, not bulky. A good size LCD, preferred to be 6MP+,snaps photos fast (least amount of delay between photos) & costs <$500

The rep at J&R recommended the Fuji F30. Other than the F30, any suggestions?

Thanks.
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Old Aug 29, 2006, 12:28 PM   #2
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Fuji seems to be the best point&shoot in low light.

If you are serious about low-light, though, you should go with a dSLR. You can get a Pentax kit for about $400 after a $100 rebate. The Pentax *ist DL is their entry model. I had one and really liked it. I sold it because Pentax released the K100D that has in-body image stabilization for about $200 more.

If you want small, point & shoot, go with Fuji. If you want to step up a little, get the Pentax *ist DL.
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Old Aug 29, 2006, 3:13 PM   #3
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Thanks. I will look into Pentax.
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Old Aug 29, 2006, 3:28 PM   #4
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You're going to want a tripod of photos of night scenary (cityscapes, etc.), no matter what camera you buy (although you can sometimes find something to rest a camera on for the photos).

Yes, you might be able to get some photos without too much blur if you set the ISO speeds high enough with a DSLR, and the lights are bright enough, and your lens is bright enough, and it's not too long after sunset, etc..

But, the higher the ISO speed, the more noise you'll have in an image (and just because a DSLR has lower noise, doesn't mean that it's noise free).

As for your blurry photos, if you don't use a tripod, and leave the shutter open long enough fo expose the image, that's what happens. ;-)

How long that takes will depend on the aperture setting for the lens, the ISO speed, and the amount of light (and if you're taking photos of scenary at night, shutter speed is going to be longer than desired in most cases).

The best way to approach this kind of photography is to keep your ISO speeds set lower and use a tripod. Then, experiment with camera settings (white balance, aperture, shutter speed) for the desired results.


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Old Aug 29, 2006, 10:06 PM   #5
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Jim C you are very correct-

By using a good tripod and low ISO settings, you will be amazed at the reults. here is an example of what you can do.

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Old Aug 30, 2006, 5:20 AM   #6
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You're going to want a tripod of photos of night scenary (cityscapes, etc.), no matter what camera you buy (although you can sometimes find something to rest a camera on for the photos).

Yes, you might be able to get some photos without too much blur if you set the ISO speeds high enough with a DSLR, and the lights are bright enough, and your lens is bright enough, and it's not too long after sunset, etc.. 

But, the higher the ISO speed, the more noise you'll have in an image (and just because a DSLR has lower noise, doesn't mean that it's noise free).

As for your blurry photos, if you don't use a tripod, and leave the shutter open long enough fo expose the image, that's what happens. ;-) 

How long that takes will depend on the aperture setting for the lens, the ISO speed, and the amount of light (and if you're taking photos of scenary at night, shutter speed is going to be longer than desired in most cases).

The best way to approach this kind of photography is to keep your ISO speeds set lower and use a tripod. Then, experiment with camera settings (white balance, aperture, shutter speed) for the desired results.


Yes, I agree.

I always set my ISO to the lowest, set the appropriate aperture setting (depends), set the best (subjective) shutter speed for the shot to create the effects I want, and set the nicest looking WB setting for my taste.

A tripod is a must in such a situation or else you will find that you are missing out agreat dealby shooting at high ISOs. (IMO sucks)

High ISO shooting is only for stopping actions in general (In my book).

Other things to consider during long exposure photography is to turn off any image stabilization feature and use the mirror lock up (vibration reduction) feature toprevent vibrations. (If you are not using a dSLR, then mirror lock up is not necessary since there isn't anymirror slap to cause vibrations.) But you must still turn any IS feature that you have off since it might cause minute vibrations.

Forgot to add that you should alsouse the self-timer function in case you shake the camera by pressing the shutter button on the spot of exposure.


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Old Aug 30, 2006, 10:47 AM   #7
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Here is one with FX01 on wooden support and using built in timer.


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Old Aug 30, 2006, 11:36 AM   #8
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Here is a nice F-30 photo sample that I found over at dpreview. notice that it has been cropped to provide a sort wide angle effect.

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Old Aug 30, 2006, 12:04 PM   #9
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Here is one taken with my Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-N1 at10 secs long exposure placed on a thin balcony hundreds of feet above the road!

Resized to 1 MP from 2592 x 1944 res.




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Old Aug 30, 2006, 12:19 PM   #10
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Here are a couple I took this weekend handheld with the Pentax K100D (which has shake reduction).The long exposures gave a little noise, but I didn't really use noise reduction. 1.5 seconds and 1 second isn't long enough to trigger the in-camera noise reduction. The first image is 1.5 second exposure, ISO800, and the second is a 1 second exposure, ISO800.







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