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1st Digi Cam Advice Needed

Discussion in 'Photography Forums' started by KieranE83UK, Oct 18, 2005.

  1. KieranE83UK

    KieranE83UK
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    Well here it goes I'm after my first ever digital camera i'm looking to spend no more than £130 really and definately need a good optical zoom. It's main use will be taking photos at wrestling events (in dark arenas) so it needs to be able to take good quality photos in quite dark conditions. As I say this will be my first cam but Ive flicked through the Argos and Boots catelogues and these are a few that caught my eye. Any one got any opinions and advice it would be much apreciated.

    HP Photosmart M417
    Vivitar V5385
    Kodak C330
    Praktica HPM417
    Jenoptik JD 5.Z3
     
  2. longleyc

    longleyc
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    £150 Might get you more choice at that price.
    You are looking budget realistically.

    Though thinking about nightshots............

    You really want something with an AF Sensor. The Sonys usually have them. They emit a beam of hologramatic light to calculate focusing etc. Very useful. But only 3x zoom on budget.
    Minolta use another system to do this but found on much pricier cameras though.

    Not wanting to confuse you.......but these budget cameras tend to be designed fit in the pocket. Its useful but they use quite small CCD`s. By nature they can create a lot of noise in high ISO and dark night scene photography. (Imagine the CCD and each light sensor is a bucket collecting light. Some buckets get full quicker more than others and overspill into adjacent buckets, this causes noise = Unwanted colours randomly in the picture.)
    It can look quite horrible, especially if you intend lots of night shots. This a called Low Dynamic Range of the CCD sensor. ie. its unable to capture a more sensitive range of light.
    More expensive cameras have larger CCD`s, hence less noise. ie. The sensors have more space on the CCD. Essentially, CCD`s convert light into electrical signals which are stored and given a value, 255 is White 0 is Black.

    Taking action shots in low light will be difficult. You will have to use a high ISO and slowish shutter speed. (You can set the flash to fire and usually a 1/60ths shutter is predefined, but you might not illuminate the subjects if far away.)

    Sorry, but least you learnt something!

    Sony P150 might be worth looking at though might be too expensive.
    My best advice is look for a second user Minolta 7Hi. It will do all you need for around £120-£150 second hand. Good auto focus speed and low light performance (despite the lack of AF assist lamp).

    Maybe other members can recommend a camera they have used for good night shots.
     
  3. Applespider

    Applespider
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    The Fuji F10 gives good night shots with usable 4x6 prints at 1600 ISO - wouldn't try enlarging them much more. Haven't tried 'action' shots from a distance with it though.
    It's closer to £200 so not really in budget.

    A friend has a Panasonic FZ3(?) from a few years ago. It's only 2MP but has a 10x zoom on it. I find her low-light shots a little noisy even at ISO 200 but they're not bad at snapshot size. But she got some great shots in American football stadiums able to get reasonable shots from fairly far away. She paid about £250 for it 2 years ago so you might be able to find something secondhand.

    Bear in mind with these superzoom cameras that the more you zoom, the worse the lowlight so if you're very far away, you're not going to get great shots. There's a reason that pro photographers shoot from the ringside.
     
  4. longleyc

    longleyc
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    The Olympus Stylus 800 is a new camera that can offer a pseudo 2500 ISO, ideal for night shooting. Its probably a lot more you want to pay though.

    There are some noise issues with it, but unless a purist, it could do nice enough 10x8 prints without showing these issues, as it has an 8MP image sensor (CCD).

    Apart from that, im all out of ideas on this!
     
  5. KieranE83UK

    KieranE83UK
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    thanks for the bits of advice well the bits i understood lol
     

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