Need Advice: Point And Shoot Digital Cameras

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by redAPPLE, Jul 16, 2009.

  1. redAPPLE macrumors 68030


    May 7, 2002
    2 Much Infinite Loops
    hi guys.

    i would need a point and shoot camera, that would be good with low lighting. example, during a concert or camp fire etc.

    i have been told that the "flash" needs to be a good one.

    maybe i even only need good tips how to take pictures during low light...

    actually, i don't even know how to search google to get the help i need.

    maybe you guys could point me to the right direction. thanks a lot.
  2. Unibody5 macrumors member

    Jul 15, 2009
    Canons are amazing. Have a look at the PowerShot SD790 IS.
  3. cube macrumors Pentium

    May 10, 2004
    Now that the Fujifilm F200EXR is available, used Fujifilm F30's at a reasonable price have been popping up. I got one for about the equivalent of $150.

    F31fd would be a slightly tweaked version of the F30 with face detection. Little difference.
  4. jdavtz macrumors 6502a

    Aug 22, 2005
    Low lighting is kinda ironically the hardest thing for a compact camera to do well, and the thing they're probably most-used for.

    The discontinued Fuji F30/F31fd models probably still are the kings of low light performance.

    I think the Panasonic LX3 is a competitor now, possibly also the Canon G10.

    But none of them will have a powerful enough flash to use at e.g. a concert - you need a camera with a hotshoe for an external flash. Or don't use flash at all and work with the stage lighting - this is probably a more realistic option - but it means you need great high-ISO performance, a decent-length zoom lens WITH a LOW f/number (e.g f/2 or f/2.8 would be okay - probably nothing higher than that).

    I don't actually know if a camera like that exists.

    Mmmm.... I hope that's some help.

  5. cube macrumors Pentium

    May 10, 2004
    If you don't find one, the F20 is the all-automatic version that goes up to only 1600 ISO (not that 3200 on the F30/F31fd would actually be any good).
  6. redAPPLE thread starter macrumors 68030


    May 7, 2002
    2 Much Infinite Loops
    thanks for the quick answers guys.

    will check out your suggestions, and would surely report back :)
  7. jampat macrumors 6502a

    Mar 17, 2008
    Although you may get better than you have now by buying something, most SLR's struggle with the situations you have described. I am not saying it is not worthwhile, just don't expect miracles from a PnS. Flash pictures generally look terrible in these situations too. You have nothing to bounce the flash off, so it will be direct flash. Direct flash always looks like direct flash (deer in headlights look).

    To shoot a concert from the pit and have a reasonable proportion of acceptable pictures you are probably looking at close to $1500 in SLR gear. You can get great shots with less, but the majority will be quite poor. To shoot from the audience, even more money is needed. Turn off any on camera flash, it will just light up the people around you and put nothing on the stage. If you have an external flash, it can be used, but the shots still won't look like what you are experiencing at the concert.

    Again, I am not saying that you can't get good shots, just expect nothing and be happy when you get something.

    EDIT: To try to get low light pics, turn up the ISO on the camera (this will increase the shutter speed and helps you avoid motion blur in your shots). Higher ISO will give you more noise (especially in a PnS), most SLR's can shoot at 800 or 1600 without unacceptable amounts of noise, most PnS that I have used (I am not saying all of them) look like hell past ISO 200. Basically, if you want a clear picture say you want a shutter speed of 1/100 (just an example) of a second which a DSLR and enough money may give you, with a PnS, your shutter speed will be 4 to 8 times longer (ie 1/25 to 1/12.5 seconds). At those shutter speeds, almost every shot will be blurry. Unfortunately the best way to improve low light performance is a bigger sensor, bigger sensor requires bigger glass, bigger glass costs more money and PnS are incredibly budget sensitive so they go with small noisy sensor and small glass. Hope this helps a bit.
  8. Mr Ski 73 macrumors regular

    Dec 11, 2007
    Panasonic TZ7 probably the best point and shoot there is and the video is HD and superb as well!
  9. redAPPLE thread starter macrumors 68030


    May 7, 2002
    2 Much Infinite Loops
    thanks for the insight. i am a wiser person now.
  10. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Flash will have a limited range. Maybe about 12 feet. Ok for night shots at a campfire but unless your seat is within 12 feet of the stage it will not be of use at a concert.

    What is your budget? For your use the Panasonic LX3 would best. Or if you can sped a bit more the Lieca version of the same camera is the "D-lux4"
    All of these camera have very fast, high quality lenses and larger than normal sensors

    But the real important features are

    (1) the abilty to shoot in RAW format. This allows most powerful post processing where you can correct an under exposed image. You campfire shots will need a lot of work in Photoshop or some other image editor. and RAW makes this work better.
    (2) the hot shoe flash. This allows you to add a larger flash to the camera. With this you can add a lot more light and even boundce the light to make the result look better

    If you want top save money you can buy a good used SLR for less than the LX3. But I assume you want a Smaller more portable camera, not a cheaper one. The SLR with an f/1.4 lens will beat the P&S but will not fit in a pocket

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