Tiny P&S advice?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by kallun, Jun 9, 2007.

  1. kallun macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2007
    #1
    Hello,

    I am after a very small Point and Shoot digital that I will be carrying while wearing a suit.

    My priorities are:

    1. Size "sleekiness"

    2. Decent low light capabilities.

    3. Price!

    Have been looking at Nikon Coolpix range (which is smallest the SXX or the p5000?, The Samsung NV10/7 (whats the difference between 10 and 7 in size) and the Ricoh GR´s.

    Am am not knowledgeble in the matter and despite intense searching and reading on dpreview etc. I have a hard time to find a really small but still decent camera.

    All insigths are much appreciated!

    Thank You,

    /Kalle
     
  2. Lovesong macrumors 65816

    Lovesong

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    Stuck beween a rock and a hard place
    #2
    Ultra compact and "decent low light capability" don't often go together much. If you're looking for the "sleek" camera, and don't really care about the performance, check out the Nikon S series, the Sony T series (T10), and the Casio Exilim series. Don't bother with either the Ricoh or Samsung.

    If you want a not so sleek, but still pretty compact, check out the Fuji F30 or F31. Their low light performance and image quality is on par with some entry level DSLRs.
     
  3. kallun thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2007
    #3
    Thank You!

    Will check these. For this camera sleekiness really has to take priority. (I do own a D70 if I would want to take "proper" pics.

    /Kalle
     
  4. KD7IWP macrumors 6502a

    KD7IWP

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2004
    Location:
    American living in Canada
    #4
    I vote for any of the Canon Elph's. I have the SD 700is and it is so wonderful that my girlfriend's dad got one for everyone in their family. It works well in low light too. And it looks sleek.
     
  5. Butthead macrumors 6502

    Butthead

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    #5
    How sleek does it have to be? Nikon P5000 is ~1.5in, which is kind of bulky in either a suit (jacket) pocket or trousers. Fuji F30/F31 (I would take the slightly improved noise reduction characteristics of the F31, and then apply Noise Ninja to further improve upon ISO 800 and above) is only 1in thick, but lacks much of the manual controls (has AP & SP modes but that's about it) that someone used to using a dSLR might miss. Check dpreview & especially dcresource-for nighttime SFBay shoreline, to see how noisy these are in fully enlarged images at 800ISO or higher, the Fuji is in a class of it's own, but you may not need that kind of performance in a PnS camera if you can get by with very slow shutter speeds and image stabilization. If not, and thinness is more important, go with Fuji's F31 with the knowledge that like most PnS compacts, you are stuck with a relatively annoying 35mm equivalent wide angle.

    Canon's 800is is better than the 700is (though just slightly noiser at higher ISO) because it goes wider to 28mm. Just go into any store like a Best Buy or what not, and use a 35mm WA lens PnS right next to one that has 28mm and you'll quickly appreciate that ability to go much wider for indoor shots/space confined ares, or even taking pictures of large groups of people...invaluable.

    Want a little more control, actually the 800is is pretty much all auto only except manual white balance (but it does have a rarity in a optical viewfinder which can come in handy in bright sunny days, or indoor bright lighting such as sporting events or the like where they use high intensity lighting, as even the brightest of LCD's are not easity to use with bright light shinning into the LCD), then you could try the 28-200mm Ricoh R6 which is also only 1in thick, which even has a limited manual focus control, and other system tweaks/controls like manual white balance/exposure bracketing, and a somewhat useful limited live? histogram.

    While only 35mm at the wide end, if you do go to 1.5in thick, then the soon to be discontinued? A710is and under $300 has many manual controls, and most importantly if you are really serious in the use of dSLR's, the Digic II processor engine can be hacked to get you RAW images and a histogram including zebra highlight over-exposure indicator! DIGIC III hasn't been hacked as yet.

    Linky for CHDK RAW hack for DIGIC II cameras:

    http://scratchpad.wikia.com/wiki/CHDK/FAQ



    Another option you might consider for low light or high-contrast situations is the High Dynamic Range technique which is a PITA time consuming process (that many pros who have time to compose their images or what to use higher end dSLR's AE wider range consecutive multi-frame capability will use), if you have the patience/time, can work wonders.

    Links for(to read explanation of, now to use software to obtain is and shoot it) HDR / HDRI:

    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/hdr.shtml

    http://www.flickr.com/groups/hdr/pool/

    http://www.hdrsoft.com/


    Only problem with the Fuji F30/31 is lack of image stabilization, Panasonic is supposedly best on this front, and their TZ3 has a quality Leica lens and also does 28mm wide, but the image processor kills detail with very heavy and not so successful noise reduction (this one also has bracketing but no RAW image caputure capability). Samsung and Ricoh's GR series seem to have as bad or worse jpeg image processing.
     
  6. theLimit macrumors 6502a

    theLimit

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2007
    Location:
    up tha holler, acrost tha crick
    #6
    I also have to throw in a vote for the Canon Elphs. My wife has been a fan of them for years.
     
  7. dobbin macrumors 6502a

    dobbin

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2002
    Location:
    England
    #7
    I was looking for a camera with similar criteria. You obviously have to concede that you can't have everything (e.g. SLR low light capabilities in a 0.8" thick P&S).

    I narrowed my search down to the Canon Ixus 70 vs the Canon Ixus 800IS (I think these are called Elphs in the US).

    The 70 was the smallest and nicest looking and the 800IS had better low light capabilities.

    I decided that for me size was the more important, and I went with the Ixus 70. It really is a superb little camera that I can put in a pocket and not notice its there. Its smaller than my wallet or my phone (nokia communicator).

    It copes pretty well with low light for normal "snaps" such as a night out in a pub or a party. Of course its not a patch on my dSLR with a fast lens which I will lug around with me for really important things like a wedding in a dark church.

    The Ixus 70 is a superb camera for the price with all the latest P&S features like face recognition, time lapse setting, good battery life and a decent screen.
     
  8. kallun thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2007
    #8

    Thanks a million! Great post!

    For this camera size is really the highest priority. I am willing to sacrifice a lot to have a camera as tiny as possible.

    Will look into the Fujis you suggest.

    Any opinions on the Nikon sXX series? according to measurements they seem to be the very smallest available (not including "toy cameras").

    /Kallun
     
  9. form macrumors regular

    form

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2003
    Location:
    in a country
    #9
    If good low light capability without flash is what you need, the fuji f30/f31fd cameras have no peers in the compact realm. You need good shutter speed to avoid blurring the moving subjects, not image stabilizing features that only reduce the blur you produce yourself by shaking the camera. Image stabilization is a substitute that works best when taking pictures of objects that don't move.

    Even so, you should probably avoid ISO3200 on the fujis; ISO1600 is fine, and as good as ISO400 on most other compacts, but ISO3200 is very noisy.

    If I've missed the ball on what the original poster is looking for, it's because I didn't read the whole list of replies.
     
  10. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #10
    If you want shutter/aperture priority the only choice seems to be the Casio Exilim EX-Z500 (21mm thick).

    If you want to cut it to 17 or 18mm thick and can live with full auto, there's the Olympus FE-230, FE-240 and Pentax Option M30.
     
  11. glennp macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #11
    Don't forget the new Fuji F40. It's also good in low light and a bit thinner than the F30 body.
     

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