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Old 04-01-2008, 10:16 PM   #1
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paging Lies/anyone - camera recommendation?

Hey Lies (or anyone else!)

I'm about to invest in my first compact digital camera...looking at the Canon Elph line and Sony Cybershot ones....something in the $160-200 range? I want one that will be good for no-flash shots on the upcoming tour

My main point of separation right now seems to be ISO. Most of the models I'm looking at are 1000-1600 ISO, and then there is one Sony that is 3200. Is 1600 sufficient for great concert shots, or is 3200 just overkill?
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Old 04-02-2008, 08:26 AM   #2
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I'm not familiar with Canon Elphs or Sonys, but I will say that my old Canon that I used on the U2 tour, I only ever used ISO 100, 200, or 400 b/c I think those were the only available options in manual mode.

These are my favorite concert photos
http://www.flickr.com/photos/liesjer...7600064573298/
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Old 04-02-2008, 08:55 AM   #3
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Thanks Lies! What kind of camera did you use? What do you think of the Canon Powershot? I'm looking at the A720 IS...
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Old 04-02-2008, 09:20 AM   #4
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I used a Canon PowerShot S1-IS, the original S-x (now on S5). I sold it last month. Now I have a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50 (haven't used for concerts yet) and last week I got a Canon PowerShot A460, which is like the cheapest, most basic Canon available, but I love the super-macro on it so I use it for fun macro photography (click the link in my sig). If I had not gotten the Panasonic I would have gotten the Canon S5. However the Panasonic had two features I wanted - shooting raw and using the barrel for zooming and manual focus (rather than levers on the top or back of the camera).
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Old 04-02-2008, 09:41 AM   #5
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Wow those are some great shots! I take it you've never used the 460 for live yet, right? I like that Panasonic too, dpreview gave it high marks if I recall correctly....but I'm worried about trying to get into shows with it. I got stopped with my EOS 35mm a few times last tour, even though I had taken it apart and 'stowed' it discreetly
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Old 04-02-2008, 09:57 AM   #6
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I have the same concern. It was hard getting the S1 into shows! The FZ50 is even better and looks like a DSLR (it's not). I do have a woman's trick I've used to get a camera in inside my purse, but you'd have to have a friend help you!

So far I haven't used the A460 for anything but macros and pics of my mom's garden.
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Old 04-02-2008, 10:01 AM   #7
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Yeah...I'm trying to balance out the need for shows which is proportionately smaller than my everyday need for great pictures...throw in a desire for portability and I'm going to be a tough customer...I don't want to lose my love of SLR quality shots but at the same time I'm not interested in lugging around a separate camera bag anymore...hard guy to please, I guess lol!!!
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Old 04-02-2008, 10:13 AM   #8
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Yeah I had the same problem and in the end, got two cameras. Actually, I got the A460 b/c I figured I'd spend as much or more on a macro adapter for the FZ50. Now Phil can play around with the A460.

This time around, I didn't have to think much about shows. U2 shows are the only ones I care to photograph and I don't do any low light or sport photography so I have it easy.
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Old 04-02-2008, 10:21 AM   #9
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Gah! I forgot about sport photography...have both kids in sports

Do you have a favorite review site? Ive been on dpreview for a while..
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Old 04-02-2008, 10:49 AM   #10
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I use dpreview too and I'm on the Panasonic forum. I also use this site for customer reviews and prices:

http://www.digitalcamera-hq.com/digital-cameras/
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Old 04-02-2008, 11:44 AM   #11
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ISO 400, 800, or sometimes 1600 is good for concert shots. However, over 95% of the compact models (elph, cybershot, etc.) have unacceptable noise at that ISO level. Look for a brand/model that has low noise at high ISOs. www.dcresource.com has noise ratings I think.
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Old 04-02-2008, 02:03 PM   #12
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Yes, I'm finding that out. Most of the reviews I've read state that they can't figure out why manufacturers even bother with the 1000+ iso marketing ploy when they can't possibly offer a decent shot at that ISO. I'm used to using 800 speed film in my 35mm cameras...am I going to be disappointed? Lies seems to have been able to get some pretty damn good shots at 400, that's for sure!!
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Old 04-02-2008, 02:08 PM   #13
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I'll have to dig up those original files and then I can get the EXIF data for them. I can't remember exactly what manual settings I used, but I rarely made adjustments since I didn't really know what I was doing (and still don't). I do do some post processing on almost every photo, and for every good one there were probably 5-10 I trashed.
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Old 04-02-2008, 02:27 PM   #14
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My main recommendation is to check out your max aperture. Also, most newer cameras use COD chips instead of CCDs chips. I've found that (C-Oh-D vs C-Cee-D). COD provides great color resolution, but suffers a bit on the low lighting.

Basically, if you want some nice concert stills, check out their lowlight performance. My CanonPowerShot doesn't look good at ISO1600.

Finally, you can check out chip size. There's 1/4, 1/3, or 1/2 inch chips. The bigger the chip, the more light they can collect quickly.

So basically, I'd be looking for a 1/3 or 1/2 inch CCD chip with large aperture lens that can open up to F1.4 or 1.2 if you're lucky.
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Old 04-02-2008, 03:35 PM   #15
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What do you think of the Canon Powershot? I'm looking at the A720 IS...
I just got that camera for my daughter a few weeks ago. She's taken it to school with her, and she hasn't had much time to play around with it, though.
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