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Old 15.05.2008, 10:40
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Compact cameras for low light

I know there are a lot of photo buffs here, so I thought I'd throw this out.

I'm sick of all my pictures from concerts and nightclubs turning out all blurry. I don't want to use the flash as the shots end up undramatic and dull.

Soooo... are there compact (pocket sized) cameras that could do what I want? I'm guessing it's possible because when I take videos, indivdual stills come out ok, if a little low res. What are the specs am I looking for?

Be handy if the camera could take a few knocks too...
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Old 15.05.2008, 10:52
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Re: Compact cameras for low light

There are no compact cameras that I know of that specifically are targeted for low light. basically you need to choose one with the largest aperture (which is shown as the smallest f number - I doubt it will be less than 2.8 on a compact) the smaller the f number, the more light the lens will let in allowing for a shorter shutter speed.

Also look out for one with adjustable ASA (film speed) on manual settings and choose the highest available, it may be only 400 or 800 on a compact.

When shooting in low light, try to hold the camera steady against something solid, a wall or railing etc. Most pro's carry a small bean bag that they can use between the solid surface and the camera to keep it steady.

Lastly, you are more likely to get a blurred image when you zoom in, stay as wide as you can if possible or as close to the action as you can.
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Old 15.05.2008, 11:56
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Re: Compact cameras for low light

Also, many of the new digi cameras have anti-shake or image stabilization built into them now.

reviews of a few
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Old 15.05.2008, 12:12
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Re: Compact cameras for low light

I Have a Sony Cybershot (7.2 Pix) and that seems OK in Restaurants and clubs etc.

DC
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Old 15.05.2008, 12:18
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Re: Compact cameras for low light

I agree with Grumpy Grapefruit entirely and Chemgoddess is right about the image stabilisation (IS) built in to some of the newer compacts.

But the IS only steadies the photographer and not the subject so if the guy on stage is jumping around, you will get blurry images of him, although the background will be steady.

Your best bet is a camera with a reasonably long lens with a wide aperture, with "film" speed adjustable to about 1600 ISO.

Spot metering is also something worth looking into. What this does is to measure the light from whatever the spot circle area in the viewfinder covers.

So let's say that you are far back from the stage and the singer is spot-lit and brighter than the background. Your camera will "see" mostly darkness and will produce a picture that is bright. If you place the spot metering area over the subject, the camera's light meter will only consider this area and the exposure will be more akin to what your eyes see.

Hope this helps.
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Old 15.05.2008, 13:02
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Re: Compact cameras for low light

Check out the Fuji Finepix F30

http://www.dpreview.com/news/0602/06021403fujif30.asp

I don't have one, but it was my 2nd choice when I bought my last digital camera.
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Old 15.05.2008, 14:40
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Re: Compact cameras for low light

I had (and broke) an Olympus c5050

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/spec...oly_c5050z.asp

It goes down to f1.8, However probably doesn't fit into your 'compact' definition.
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Old 14.02.2011, 13:30
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Re: Compact cameras for low light

Took me 2 years but I finally got myself a new camera (thanks all for suggestions BTW, even though I ignored them!), I went for the Canon s95. Only had it a couple of days but it's a vast improvement over my old samsung thing. I'm still guessing with the settings but already got some great low light shots, and it seems to do a fantastic job with the flash.

It's got a lot more user customisable settings than my old camera, I'm specifically missing my old night scene function, which would take really long exposure shots, I'm pretty sure I can do the same thing with this one, but it looks like I forgot all the stuff I learned from doing a photography class back at school. Can anyone suggest a site for simpletons on how I might use all my new settings?
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Old 14.02.2011, 14:24
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Re: Compact cameras for low light

Read David Pogue's A Love Letter to a Camera :
Quote:
But above all, I love your enormous sensor. It’s 0.59 inches diagonally—88 percent more area than most pocket cameras’ sensors. And I love that you have an f/2.0 lens, a rarity among pocket cameras, meaning that you let in a lot more light.

...

So many times I’ve used you for pictures at night, indoors, in shadow. Cathedrals, restaurants, parties. No, the results aren’t as good as an SLR’s—you still manage to blur a shot, especially in very dark situations when the subject is moving—but they’re light-years better than any other pocket camera can do.
Seems to be exactly what you wanted/needed
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Old 14.02.2011, 14:32
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Re: Compact cameras for low light

You could try holding a lighter up ? I see lots of people doing that at concerts.
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Old 14.02.2011, 14:37
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Re: Compact cameras for low light

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You could try holding a lighter up ? I see lots of people doing that at concerts.
Dear oh dear, that's so passe, should be using a mobile phone nowadays.

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Old 14.02.2011, 14:40
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Re: Compact cameras for low light

I am not a photographer; but my wife is quite keen and my sister in law`s father is a photographer. I was looking for a new camera having got fed up of the Sony Compacts, T10, T12 etc; I have gone through 5 or 6 in the last 8 years.

I was recommended the Canon G12. It is a tad bigger than a Compact Camera. The picture quality is great and I am very happy with it.
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Old 14.02.2011, 14:42
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Re: Compact cameras for low light

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Read David Pogue's A Love Letter to a Camera :Seems to be exactly what you wanted/needed


Tis' indeed, fits in the pockets, seems pretty rugged and takes great shots. Other benefits, the auto modes seem pretty good, but I still have the option to play around with the settings so I can start trying for shots I couldn't get before.

Also picked up a gorilla pod tripod for nightshots, pocket sized, fantastic idea.
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