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Basic truth of mid-range (and below) point and shoots?
I've been reading a lot of reviews of various popular point and shoots on several different sites...the newer Canon Powershot, Fujifilm Finepix, Panasonic offerings..

It seems like a basic truth that cameras in the $200 range and below will simply not perform well at high, even medium ISO settings. 200 seems to be the maximum setting before very noticeable noise and grain sets in, according to everyone..

So can I pretty much assume that evening/night shooting will not be worthwhile with a camera such as the Canon A720 or Fujifilm S700?..

Comments (11)

Evening and night shooting? Long exposures and high ISO?.

Support the camera on a tripod (or anything) and use a remote release (or self-timer) and there will be no reason why you can't set ISO 80. Even my little old Canon s400 takes nice shots at ISO 80. Also if the camera offers IS you'll be able to hand-hold further into the shutter speed range making high ISO not so vital..

If you're really obsessive about night shooting and noise then do yourself a favour and get a Nikon D40 right now while you still can (or any entry level DSLR). 800 will be like 80 on the P&S and there's no mistaking it. Remember, all these big cameras have auto modes so the only disadvantage is the hang-round-your-neck form factor and the much smaller sensor size on the P&S..

John.Please visit me at:http://www.pbase.com/johnfr/backtothebridgehttp://www.pbase.com/johnfr/digital_dartmoor..

Comment #1

If you get a camera where you can set the shutter speed manually, you can set the ISO quite low, put it on a tripod and get quite nice pictures.. not neccesarily of people though(because they can't stay in the exact same spot for a few seconds)..

Smallest (pocket-sized) camera I can recommend for that is the Cannon A710, A720, and SX100..

Comment #2

One of the better bets is the Fujifilm F40fd. Find a store with an easy return policy and give one a try. It's the only way you will know for sure..

Kelly Cook..

Comment #3

Slowpogo wrote:.

So can I pretty much assume that evening/night shooting will not beworthwhile with a camera such as the Canon A720 or Fujifilm S700?.

It depends on how large you want to print. e.g. You can get usable (undetectable effect of NR/noise) 5"x7" prints at ISO800 from these. And acceptable (faintly visible fine grains) 8"x10" prints..

As an experiment, just fit-in the full resolution image on your desktop (at desktop's maximum resolution, e.g. 1200x1600 etc.) and see whether you like the image or not. Full screen image on 17" monitor will correspond to approx. 10"x13.5".Best Wishes, Ajayhttp://picasaweb.google.com/ajay0612..

Comment #4

Cheers from John from Adelaide, South AustraliaJohn Harvey Photography http://johnharvey.com.auCanon 40D, Canon 20D & Fuji F10..

Comment #5

Slowpogo wrote:.

So can I pretty much assume that evening/night shooting will not beworthwhile with a camera such as the Canon A720 or Fujifilm S700?.

Well yes and no..

Rememeber that low-mid priced cameras can take pictures that the highend ones could only dream of a few years ago..

As others have mentioned, in small to midsized prints, it's unlikly that you'll see the effects of any noise or noise reduction. I'd even go so far as to say that unless the camera is VERY noisy AND you don't do ANY post processing on the pictures before printing, it's very douptfull that you'll see much of anything that the camera reviews harp about..

The one thing you will notice is how fast the camera operates. I owned a SX100 for a whole 48hrs before taking it back because it was to dreadfully slow. Mind you, once it did actually take a photo, I was generally pleased with the results, however the shutter lag and other operational delays were unexceptable to me..

Technologist @ Large- Mark0..

Comment #6

OK, this all gives me a better idea. I'll probably be OK with something in this range..

Regarding speed of operation it's not all that important to me, but I hope it would be an improvement over what I'm using now. My C-4040 zoom, at the highest quality setting, takes almost 10 seconds to do it's thing after each shot. How long is that time on one of the models mentioned in this thread?..

Comment #7

On my H7, it takes a fraction of a second..

(Unless I have the shutter speed set super slow - like 10 seconds+, then it takes a few seconds to record the image after the shot is taken)..

Comment #8

Slowpogo wrote:.

MyC-4040 zoom, at the highest quality setting, takes almost 10 secondsto do it's thing after each shot. How long is that time on one of themodels mentioned in this thread?.

Well. Around a second between shots without flash. However if you use flash then it's recycling time will be 5-8sec., and obviously that much time between shots then.Best Wishes, Ajayhttp://picasaweb.google.com/ajay0612..

Comment #9

Slowpogo wrote:.

It seems like a basic truth that cameras in the $200 range and belowwill simply not perform well at high, even medium ISO settings. 200seems to be the maximum setting before very noticeable noise andgrain sets in, according to everyone..

There are some other if's and but's (quality issues), but basically, it is about sensor size. The larger sensors divided into larger pixels have less noise than the tiny sensors and tiny pixels..

Many of the little point & shoot cameras have a tiny sensor size called 1/2.5", which is about 5.7x4.3 mm size - well less than 1/4 inch across it (the entire image). DSLR have much larger sensors, perhaps 23.7x15.7 mm size (maybe 4x width and 4x height, for 16x more area). Both of these sensor sizes are divided (now) into 6 to 12 million pixels, so any one pixel is perhaps one six-millionth or one twelve-millionth of this sensor area..

The larger the pixel area, the less noise in the image. You simply need a camera with a larger sensor. Not speaking of megapixels, but speaking of the size of the sensor that is divided into megapixels..

Http://www.dpreview.com/...learn/?/Glossary/Camera_System/sensor_sizes_01.htm..

Comment #10

Slowpogo wrote:.

It seems like a basic truth that cameras in the $200 range and belowwill simply not perform well at high, even medium ISO settings. 200seems to be the maximum setting before very noticeable noise andgrain sets in, according to everyone..

So can I pretty much assume that evening/night shooting will not beworthwhile with a camera such as the Canon A720 or Fujifilm S700?.

It rather depends on what you mean by 'evening/night shooting' - as others have pointed out, if it's sunsets and you can use a tripod or equivalent, ISO isn't even a factor, if it's friends in social settings, that's a different beast - and in this regard, some cameras are better than others. I think that the Fujifilm Fxx series are probably still the front runners in this regard, but I think the Canon G7/G9 does well too in lower light - but perhaps up a niche in terms of price And it also depends on what you want to do with the resulting images - a '$200 range' camera is clearly going to have some limitations. And your own standards and expectations..

I have a Fuji F11, which has been surpassed by 2 generations or more now, so it's certainly an older model - but I've not seen anything yet in newer incarnations to make me inclined to upgrade it. I like doing available light work and my usual tool of choice is a Canon 20D with some fast lenses. I have the F11 as my pocket companion to it and a jolly fine job it does too..

These were all taken in restricted light 'evening' situations and whilst they wouldn't withstand being printed at 40 x 30" - they meet the need I had for the camera and then some and I'm not sure there's anything out there in that price niche yet that can do much better. These are all without flash, no noise reduction other than the big advantage of reducing size and careful sharpening..

1/27 F2.8 1600ISO 8mm.

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1/40 F2.8 1600ISO 8mm.

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1/38 F2.8 1600ISO 8mm.

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1/50 F2.8 1600ISO 8mm.

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1/128 F3.6 800ISO 8mm.

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I have used it regularly at gigs, when I'm not actually working and although I sometimes need to wrangle the results a bit, it still does pretty well for a camera I can stuff in my shirt pocket and the results would have been unthinkable a handful of years ago..

1/180 F2.8 1600ISO 8mm.

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1/52 F4.7 1600ISO 20.10mm (tighter aperture due to zooming).

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1/105 F2.8 1600ISO 8mm.

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1/28 F5 1600ISO 24mm (tighter aperture due to zooming).

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So many photos, so little time.http://www.peekaboo.me.uk - general portfolio & tutorialshttp://www.boo-photos.co.uk - live music portfoliohttp://imageevent.com/boophotos/ - most recent images.

Please do not amend and re-post my images unless specifically requested or given permission to do so...

Comment #11

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