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LarryZ
06-14-2007, 11:00 AM
Hi Everyone,

I'm getting ready for a trip to Florida over the July 4th week. So here are my answers.

I'd like to stay in the $200 to $300 range.

Size doesn't matter that much.

I'd rather have more scene specific settings. For instance, I've read about some cameras with a fireworks setting and that would be nice since I've tried on at least 3 occasions with little success to capture fireworks.

At least 7MP.

4X optical or better would be nice.

I'd give image quality a high number of 8 or 9.

I would like manual controls.

General Usage:

I will use this camera everywhere, indoors, outdoors, and in both bright and dark conditions. My biggest negative about my HP M407 is its low light performance. Forget about trying to take a photo without the flash or at even a reasonable distance. Images of the band on stage are just blurry blobs of color and there are several seconds of shutter lag. I have tried some manual settings with no success. The most annoying part is that it usually looks OK in the LCD before the picture is snapped.

I will rarely make big prints.

I will occasionally shoot fast action.

I'm considering one of the canon powershot models.

Desirable special features: (Image Stabilization, Rotating LCD, fireworks)

If you read this far you have gone above and beyond!

Thank You,
Larry

sjseto
06-21-2007, 12:14 AM
I think the Canon PowerShot models would be fine for your needs, especially one of the A-series models that have manual control over shutter speed, such as the A710 IS. I'm not sure what the Fireworks mode does, but I think that all you really need for decent fireworks shots using a compact camera are shutter priority mode, a tripod, and the 2-second self-timer. And don't forget to turn off the flash!

The A710 IS would be very good for general purpose shooting as well. The Fuji F30/F31fd would be better in low light due to their high ISO capability, but they only have 3x zoom. The IS on the Canon will be useful in certain low light situations - namely, those that don't feature moving subjects - and will save you from having to bump up the ISO too high.

I do love my F30 but I've found that it isn't easy to take good fireworks shots with it, mainly for a couple of reasons: I can't manually set focus; and there is no remote control available. But the same would be true for just about any compact point-and-shoot. A DSLR is much better suited for that purpose. However with a bit of experimentation I managed to get a few that weren't all that bad.

http://www.rosecolouredglasses.ca/Pictures/F30 Samples/DSCF2297.jpg

Edited to add: Oh, I forgot that you mentioned that size doesn't matter much. In that case, you might be interested in the Canon S3 IS as well, which is now priced within your budget. You'll get the added benefits of a 12x zoom lens, rotating LCD, and better video capability.

Stephanie

Visual Reality
06-21-2007, 03:03 AM
Fuji all the way here. No doubt about it, you want the Fuji S6000fd.

http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/cameraDetail.php?cam=893

I had very good results with my Fuji Finepix E550 - better than my S3. My S3 would be way too noisy to do fireworks though I haven't tried yet. The Fuji needed zero noise reduction - the sky was pure black.

sjseto
06-21-2007, 08:19 AM
Fuji all the way here. No doubt about it, you want the Fuji S6000fd.

http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/cameraDetail.php?cam=893

I had very good results with my Fuji Finepix E550 - better than my S3. My S3 would be way too noisy to do fireworks though I haven't tried yet. The Fuji needed zero noise reduction - the sky was pure black.

Good suggestion with the Fuji. I didn't mention it because Larry requested IS and a rotating LCD. But the Fuji would generally be better at taking shots of a band performing in low light, which Larry said he had trouble doing with his old camera.

Regarding the S3 IS and fireworks shots, do you think it would still take noisy shots even if you fixed the ISO at 100 or lower? That's the other suggestion that I should have mentioned regarding taking fireworks shots. Ideally you'd have the camera on a tripod (although I've seen plenty of people trying it hand-held) so using low ISO is no big deal, and actually preferrable.

Stephanie

Visual Reality
06-21-2007, 07:14 PM
I use ISO 100 full time and in my experience they would be pretty noisy. Noise reduction can fix you up some but the end result will most likely be better with the Fuji. It also has a wider wide angle, 28mm (vs the 36mm S3) if that matters to you. You don't get the swivel LCD or some of the other cool things about the Canon but you will have to decide whats more important to you. The Fuji S700 would be another option on a budget.

Reading your post again it seems the S3 may be better for you overall, but the Fuji will make better Fireworks and night time shots in general IMO.

speaklightly
06-21-2007, 09:24 PM
Good fireworks photos are usually made easy by scene modes. The digital camera that you are using already probably is ready to take those shots, using its already in place scene modes.

Check your scene modes, a fireworks mode is probably there. However, read you camera's manual, it will most probably require a tripod for the shot.

Sarah Joyce

wcroswell
06-26-2007, 12:10 PM
Good fireworks and twilight mode. Also has an infrared mode and can make a heat picture with no light.

15x optical zoom 8.1 mpixels