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Thread: best low light camera for newbie

  1. #1

    Default best low light camera for newbie

    Hi people,

    I am looking for a low light camera for newbie, ie not DSLR. My requirements are just normal shooting on tour, indoor but I hate the effects of the flash as it makes my pictures all blown out. (hard to control the intensity for a newbie)

    So I am looking for a simple camera which can take the best photos without resorting to flash indoors.

    From my research, panasonic ones with the image stabilization so you can use longer shutter time. Or the new fujifilm F10 which supposedly is designed specifically for low light.

    Have anyone of you tried the above cameras and how do they perform? or is there a better choice. My budget is around 1k
    Last edited by wind30; 22nd March 2005 at 09:51 AM.

  2. #2
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    i would suggest getting a tripod and a cable release. these two things can make most cameras good for low-light.

    but... if you want to take pics of people, you probably have to crank up the iso to maybe 800 or 1600 and above? but... u probably still need a dslr or a film camera for that.

  3. #3
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    haven't seen any prosumer with ISO1600 maybe i've missed out a few. But for consumer to prosumers P&S, ISO400 may be already very noisy, 800 is unbearable.

    If you have a budget of 1K ,you might want to push it a bit more and get a 2nd hand 300D with a 50mm F1.8. Fast and good for low light.

    Tripod is the best solution and you can use any camera at almost any shutter speed for your low light.
    “How fortunate for leaders that men do not think.” - Adolf Hitler

  4. #4

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    I am thinking about the Finepix F10.

    here is a link to some of the high ISO samples.

    http://dc.watch.impress.co.jp/cda/re...2/24/1033.html

    Looks much better than my nikon3100 at ISO400.

    What do you guys think? Are the high ISO samples for the Finepix F10 any good?


    Else is the panasonic PZ20. I don't want to get a DSLR as I very blur about lens, maintenance, etc. It is also very bulky to carry on my trips.

  5. #5
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    looks "ok" to me for a consumer cam but i think the catch is that they used rather fast shutter times for the capture and they captured a relatively bright subject. Noise in the shadows are already visible but if your option is just to capture "the moment" then there would not be any issue to the noise.
    “How fortunate for leaders that men do not think.” - Adolf Hitler

  6. #6

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    dun waste your money, p&s digicams are still nosy at higher isos....go get an old FM2 and a 35mm or 50mm prime...

  7. #7

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    Point & shoot do not normally give u control. Flash control is too advance for the point and shoot. For low light, even SLR suffers without flash, so I don't really see how you can compensate without using flash. Bare in mind Point&shoot don't have large aperture.

    The use of tripod model is no good either, unless u can control the shutter very well.

    Having said that, Sony camera is good to handle low light. Give it it a try.

  8. #8

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    sony? I can find a second hand 717 for like 550. But does that work well in low light?

    The 300D with 50mm F1.8 sounds very good. but I am not sure if it will be a overkill for me as I don't really like photography, just want to get a good cam for my honeymoon and travel pics. with some indoor shots for local events.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by wind30
    sony? I can find a second hand 717 for like 550. But does that work well in low light?

    The 300D with 50mm F1.8 sounds very good. but I am not sure if it will be a overkill for me as I don't really like photography, just want to get a good cam for my honeymoon and travel pics. with some indoor shots for local events.
    It has got the NightFraming feature that should be usedful for low light condition. This is an old cam and I cant really remember that it just registered to me that it's good at low light compare to others. Also check out http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sonydscf717/page5.asp.

    300D is definitely overkill for you since you are only using it for leisure purpose. Unless you are constantly being annoyed by the limitation of digicam (like myself ), there is no point for you to go for DSLR. A sony 717 is consider advance amateur camera already.

  10. #10
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    http://fujifilm.jp/personal/filmcame...ras/index.html

    this is a good one
    but bad news is only available in japan ...

  11. #11

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    The reason why I want to get a good cam is that I went for my wedding photoshoot and I happen to realise how nice the portraits turn out. I know that the person behind the cam is VERY impt, BUT I don't think I can get such shots with my P&S nikon. My photographer was using a Canon 10D and I think he did not use flash at all, even for dusk shots. In fact he used flash only once in the 12 days of shooting and that was a night shot.

    Is there any benefits for a newbie with a 300D + 50mm f1.8 lens? I just want to take portraits without using flash cuz once the flash fires... everything becomes very unnatural. There should be advantages for the 300D even for newbies like me. With the good noise performance and big aperture I can probably don't use flash like 90% of the time.

    My hand is also not very steady so I cannot use slow shutter if I am using handheld.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by wind30
    The reason why I want to get a good cam is that I went for my wedding photoshoot and I happen to realise how nice the portraits turn out. I know that the person behind the cam is VERY impt, BUT I don't think I can get such shots with my P&S nikon. My photographer was using a Canon 10D and I think he did not use flash at all, even for dusk shots. In fact he used flash only once in the 12 days of shooting and that was a night shot.

    Is there any benefits for a newbie with a 300D + 50mm f1.8 lens? I just want to take portraits without using flash cuz once the flash fires... everything becomes very unnatural. There should be advantages for the 300D even for newbies like me. With the good noise performance and big aperture I can probably don't use flash like 90% of the time.

    My hand is also not very steady so I cannot use slow shutter if I am using handheld.
    I have one 50mm f/1.8. Even at f/1.8, the DSLR still complain of underexposure when shooting indoor.

    I guess what that guy did was probably setting high ISO, or try to create some "underexpose" for very nice effect during dusk.

    So, it's about knowing the exposure, metering and compensation etc.

    No flash used in the studio simply because he has indeed arrange all the light source nicely, and there is no need to use the overhead flash to spoilt the image.

    Flash can be natural also, if you use it correctly, omninbounce or flash card, or just mere ceiling bounce when shooting indoor can make the image look nice.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by wind30
    Is there any benefits for a newbie with a 300D + 50mm f1.8 lens?
    AF and quality are so much better than any DC in the market. @f1.8 , you will see nice bokeh and fast enuff for indoor at high ISO.


    Quote Originally Posted by wind30
    I just want to take portraits without using flash cuz once the flash fires... everything becomes very unnatural.
    Your flash could be too strong and hash. Your flash should bounce the ceiling or fill-in flash for portrait.
    See my Photo Gallery at the Clubsnap

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    Quote Originally Posted by wind30
    sony? I can find a second hand 717 for like 550. But does that work well in low light?

    The 300D with 50mm F1.8 sounds very good. but I am not sure if it will be a overkill for me as I don't really like photography, just want to get a good cam for my honeymoon and travel pics. with some indoor shots for local events.
    try 300D with a 35mm f2. I was looking for a compact system for low light indoor shoot too and finally have to settle for 300D with iso800.

    BUT, if you are not into improving your photography skills (it still take some time and effort to get good pictures with 'P' mode), what ever camera you use will still turn out 'bad' pictures.

  15. #15

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    Thanks for all the replies. I know the skill is very impt but at least my pictures will be better in terms of noise, sharpness

    Anyway, lets say I decide on the DSLR route and get either a 300D or D70 body.

    What lens should I go for? Does a lens with image stabilization allows me to use a slower shutter? I want a fast lens. basically something that lets me shoot in low light.

    I know the 50mm/1.8 is very good. but lets say if my budget is slightly higher like 1k+ for lens. Can I get something fast, with IS and maybe a little zoom. I just want to carry one lens for my honeymoon.

    Zoom is not so impt, but wide angle will be nice. (I know DSLR has a problem with wide angle from the limited research I have done)
    Last edited by wind30; 25th March 2005 at 09:16 PM.

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