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Best low light compact that doesn't compete with my DSLR

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Best low light compact that doesn't compete with my DSLR

Postby Jake » 20 May 2011, 23:21 •  [Post 1]

I never thought I'd say this.. but I hate my Nikkor 35mm 1.8G dx lens. This is the 2nd time I've owned the lens and I've been dissatisfied with it both times. It's always either not wide enough or not zoomed enough.. maybe I'm too used to zooms?

I'm seriously thinking of letting mine go and maybe picking up a point and shoot like the TX5 (Sony) or the P300 (nikon) for bars and stuff.
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Re: I never thought I'd say this..

Postby Terry Tibbs » 22 May 2011, 21:01 •  [Post 2]

If your after a decent P&S have a look at the Canon S95.

I have one and the low light function is epic, perfect for dimly lit bars and discos.
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Re: I never thought I'd say this..

Postby Jake » 22 May 2011, 21:25 •  [Post 3]

good point Terry. I'm sort of leaning towards a waterproof camera. And it may not be a bad thing since it can pour a river in LOS fast.

But yes S95 is a great camera. Just not sure if its waterproof. Will have to check.
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Re: I never thought I'd say this..

Postby Terry Tibbs » 22 May 2011, 21:28 •  [Post 4]

Jake wrote:good point Terry. I'm sort of leaning towards a waterproof camera. And it may not be a bad thing since it can pour a river in LOS fast.

But yes S95 is a great camera. Just not sure if its waterproof. Will have to check.


Ah ok... You would need an enclosure to make it waterproof otherwise it could get expensive :D
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Re: I never thought I'd say this..

Postby Jake » 25 May 2011, 22:07 •  [Post 5]

Ok my 35mm f/1.8 is gone.

So now the choices to replace it with are:

Sony TX-5 but its an f/3.5
Nikon P300.. very tempting f/1.8 @ 24mm (actual) but not waterproof and no RAW (not that it would matter).
Canon S95.. too expensive really.

The P300 does have some nice video capabilities though:





Image
Downtown Indianapolis Skyline by IndyLL, on Flickr

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Kawasaki Rider by IndyLL, on Flickr

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P300 Sample: The Grove by PVA_1964, on Flickr

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DSCN0765 by ihancioglu, on Flickr
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Re: I never thought I'd say this..

Postby Jake » 25 May 2011, 22:10 •  [Post 6]

So... what do you think? Any suggestions?

The only thing is waterproofing hmm..
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Re: I never thought I'd say this..

Postby Jake » 27 May 2011, 15:41 •  [Post 7]

Had a look at the video quality and FF's TX-5 makes better videos than the S95. Hmm..
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Re: I never thought I'd say this..

Postby manarak » 27 May 2011, 17:43 •  [Post 8]

for waterproofing you can just buy one of these small Dicapacs

And I think you will fully appreciate the low-light limitations of mainstream ultracompact cameras when you will be in the bars in the LOS.
I think the S90 or S95 are the only ones able to shoot in these conditions
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Re: I never thought I'd say this..

Postby Jake » 27 May 2011, 18:01 •  [Post 9]

If the S95 was 24mm I might have gone with it, but the S95 is only 28mm wide. :facepalm:
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Re: I never thought I'd say this..

Postby manarak » 27 May 2011, 19:12 •  [Post 10]

yes, I had the same thoughts
unfortunately, ultracompacts with 24mm zoom are really rare.
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Re: I never thought I'd say this..

Postby Jake » 27 May 2011, 19:23 •  [Post 11]

Image

Yes I agree and its an f/1.8 which makes it pretty enticing lol.

Also this chinese site did an in-depth review and the pro's and cons at the end of it pretty much says it all.

Can we live with the cons or can we not? Also its a full $100 cheaper than the S95. Sooo tempting. :shock:
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Re: I never thought I'd say this..

Postby manarak » 27 May 2011, 20:07 •  [Post 12]

f/1.8 and 24mm? go for it!!!
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Re: I never thought I'd say this..

Postby Jake » 27 May 2011, 22:32 •  [Post 13]

ordered!

What really got me interested in wideangles were the shots you took of the khmer princess. But the Tokina 11-16 was just too expensive for me.
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Re: I never thought I'd say this..

Postby manarak » 27 May 2011, 23:13 •  [Post 14]

a wideangle is a winner around a table!
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Re: Best low light compact that doesn't compete with my DSLR

Postby Jake » 28 May 2011, 02:26 •  [Post 15]

You may like this review. It includes 1 thing I find rather silly but I guess I can live with it for that kind of image and sound quality that it provides.

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Re: Best low light compact that doesn't compete with my DSLR

Postby Jake » 28 May 2011, 14:12 •  [Post 16]

BTW manarak what is this? Some sort of roleplaying?

Captured with P300 too but what caught my eye was the actual thing itself, not the technical jargon.

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Re: Best low light compact that doesn't compete with my DSLR

Postby manarak » 28 May 2011, 14:19 •  [Post 17]

don't know what that is... probably some kind of historic-classic-grunge-medieval-roleplay-musical...
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Re: Best low light compact that doesn't compete with my DSLR

Postby Jake » 28 May 2011, 18:42 •  [Post 18]

Found the difference inbetween the 35mm on dx and actual 24mm. *sooo envious* of your 11-16. :fear:

Image
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Re: Best low light compact that doesn't compete with my DSLR

Postby manarak » 28 May 2011, 19:32 •  [Post 19]

Jake wrote:Found the difference inbetween the 35mm on dx and actual 24mm. *sooo envious* of your 11-16. :fear:


aye, and imagine it at 11mm - it is 17mm equivalent!
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Re: Best low light compact that doesn't compete with my DSLR

Postby Jake » 01 Jun 2011, 00:29 •  [Post 20]

My P300 arrived. So far, I'm impressed.

I have 3 gripes..
1. Max shutter speed in shutter speed is 1 second (no long exposures.. not that I would want to do it with a point and shoot anyways)
2. Recharging requires a USB cable
3. It makes me want to leave my dslr at home. :cry: :cry: :cry:
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Re: Best low light compact that doesn't compete with my DSLR

Postby manarak » 01 Jun 2011, 00:52 •  [Post 21]

yes, the specs look impressing - sensor size is smaller than the S90 though.
I'm surprised about the loading from a usb cable.

In the end, you will notice the P300 will not probably not be able to compete with your DSLR for the following:
- fast pictures of kids, sports, etc.
- capturing details in low light
- wideangle pics (if you got the lens on the DSLR)

the P300 is very nice.
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Re: Best low light compact that doesn't compete with my DSLR

Postby Jake » 01 Jun 2011, 15:11 •  [Post 22]

I took some low light pics this morning before I shaved and showered and even used short lighting (which I would never do consciously as it's not really flattering) and the results weren't really that bad.

I found something interesting from that test.. the P300 auto iso feature in aperture priority (f/1.8) tends to prefer cleaner ISO (ISO 200 and 1/8th) over a faster shutter speed (ISO 800 and 1/30th), so it's advisable to use shutter priority over aperture priority when shooting self portraits.

Not a major gripe since I will use full manual most of the time anyways but it is something to note for people not used to it.
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Re: Best low light compact that doesn't compete with my DSLR

Postby manarak » 01 Jun 2011, 15:33 •  [Post 23]

Jake wrote:I found something interesting from that test.. the P300 auto iso feature in aperture priority (f/1.8) tends to prefer cleaner ISO (ISO 200 and 1/8th) over a faster shutter speed (ISO 800 and 1/30th), so it's advisable to use shutter priority over aperture priority when shooting self portraits.


you'll have to be careful that everything on the face is in focus. OTOH, I suppose the lens is so small... can you try if there are actually portions of the face that aren't in focus?
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Re: Best low light compact that doesn't compete with my DSLR

Postby Jake » 01 Jun 2011, 15:43 •  [Post 24]

Actually it is interesting you brought that up.

One would think since bokeh on crop sensor dslr's is better than bokeh on full frame sensor dslrs that the same would be true for point and shoots but I'm finding it different.

Case in point the lenses on full frame and dx frame are the same focal length say.. 200mm and we know the longer the focal length, the shorter the depth of field (and obviously the greater the amount of bokeh).

But the focal length on a point and shoot is only 4-17mm (atleast on mine) and at that kind of short focal lengths it is very hard to create bokeh as the depth of field is quite large by default.

I did however get a few blurred photos and they surprised me till I looked at the shutter speed (it was showing 1/3rd of a sec) so I was obviously not holding the camera steady. Otherwise if you want bokeh, point and shoots don't seem to be the way to go..

I will keep testing this but I have an intuition that if the background is far away say 30-40 feet back instead of 3-4 feet and the subject is almost in your face say 2-3 feet, then the depth of field will be shallow enough to blur the background.
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Re: Best low light compact that doesn't compete with my DSLR

Postby manarak » 01 Jun 2011, 17:51 •  [Post 25]

ok, add bokeh to my list above :-)
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