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Thread: Advice on Point and Shoot Camera

  1. #1
    Member leanneO's Avatar
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    Question Advice on Point and Shoot Camera

    Hi,

    I have a fairly new camera, its a nikon coolpix S8100. I find it very frustrating to use and am thinking of getting a new one that has the following features:
    - really easy to use - I find with my camera, i am fiddling with all of the different settings - especially at night when i use it most for taking photos of my family etc. The auto mode sets off the flash that blinds people, the auto scene is often blurry, these are a couple of examples.
    - I want a camera that doesn't take blurry photos
    - fast to use, so people don't get sick of waiting
    - once i get camera settings how i like them, i would like to be able to save the settings so that I can automatically use it next time... preferably one setting for everything??
    - I would like to avoid using a flash

    Can anyone help with finding a camera that does all these things, so that i get some clear photos with natural colour?

    Thanks
    Leanne

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    Member AnzacPride's Avatar
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    Just a few qualifying questions first(I sell cameras among other things for a living). Do you still want the sort of zoom you are getting with the S8100?(10x I believe) If so I would probably recommend either the Canon SX220HS or SX230HS, good quality stabilization,better low light shots than most other cameras in that bracket, relatively easy to use and Im pretty sure it has a custom(favorites) setting on the dial. That said Nikon have just released the S8200 which I haven't had much of a play with yet but may have addressed some of the issues you speak of. If your happy to go without the zoom then some of the new little mid range Sony units with the G series lenses look pretty good s

    You have to realize that there is always going to be compromises to be made and decide on what your priorities are. If you want to avoid using flash point and shoots are not necessarily going to be the best option.

    I would suggest doing some reading on dedicated review sites such as dpreview(just read the conclusions) before making your decisions and if possible gets some hands on with the cameras at your local store.

    Oh and dont listen to the salesman we are all a bunch of crooks! lol
    "Before you judge a man, walk a mile in his shoes. After that who cares, Youre a mile away and have his shoes!!" Billy Conelly

    Eos 550D Sigma 17-50 2.8 EX DC OS HSM, 55-250mm IS, Nifty 50 and training wheels

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    Ausphotography Regular Boo53's Avatar
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    The other thing would be to work through the tutorials here in Aus Photography so you can get to understand what the other settings mean and you'll be able to leave the auto settings behind and control the camera rather than the other way around

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    If you want control over the camera you need a point and shoot that offers full manual control...but..you want something that you don't have to fiddle with the settings of, but then you are not happy with the results from your camera when you use auto mode. You cannot have both! You either need to learn how to use the camera in manual mode and thus control how it takes the photos OR let it do its own thing on auto.

    It really is up to you to decide which of the above you want. Auto will let you get photos as the camera decides they should be, or you can spend some time learning how a camera works and use it manually to control the results of your photos.

    So, it's over to you. Decide which you want, and then either take the photos on Auto, or spend a few weeks learning how your camera works and how to control it, and then you, as the photographer, become the creative controller of your photos.

    No camera is perfect, no camera can do everything automatically, just as we want it to, it is up to the photographer to make it do what we want, by understanding how the features/functions and settings work, and making the camera work the way we want it to.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    Indoors, low light and no flash?
    It's possible, but you'll need to run a very high ISO on the camera, and then the images will be very grainy.
    Unfortunately, I don't know of many P&S cameras that will do a reasonable job using very high ISO's, IF they let you use them anyway as many top out at 1600 ISO anyway.
    Another problem with P&S cameras is that their lenses aren't very fast either, with a very few exceptions.

    You'll need to use a lens with a maximum opening of F1.4 AT LEAST, and fast lenses like this aren't exactly cheap for SLR's either.

    You need flash to get dark interiors I'm afraid, and about the only way you'll be able to do that without flashing in people's eyes is to use an external flash which you can point towards the ceiling.
    There are some P&S cameras that will accept a tiltable flash, but they are usually the top end models.

    Your best bet would be to buy a cheap DSLR like a Canon 1100D or a Nikon 3100, and get a flash unit for it, which can be as cheap as $100 if you buy aftermarket grey.

    Won't be too much bigger or heavier than a large P&S, but so much more versatile as you will be able to run much higher ISO's (making the sensor more sensitive to light) and you can buy a fast lens for it for indoor use.
    The much larger sensor size of a DSLR will get you much better results than the tiny sensors used on most P&S cameras.
    All my photos are taken with recycled pixels.
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom, is knowing not to serve it in a fruit salad.

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    Ausphotography Veteran Speedway's Avatar
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    1. Use the manual to learn to use the camera you have first. 2. Use this site to learn to use the camera you have second. 3. Practice using the camera you have third. When you have a grasp of the camera you have, you will realize that good photographs are 90% photographer and 10% camera. You take the photos. The camera just processes what you have taken.
    Keith.
    Last edited by Speedway; 29-10-2011 at 12:00pm.

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    Hi everyone,
    I wasn't expecting so much advice so soon! Thanks so much, I think I will have a good look at this site and I have the manual for my camera in front of me.. I should learn more about the camera I have before I give up on it. I also have a Nikon D90 which I love, and have a lot to learn about that also. The S8100 is just one that I like to have in my bag.
    Thanks again - I think I will learn a lot from this site
    Leanne

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    Ausphotography Site Sponsor/Advertiser OzzieTraveller's Avatar
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    G'day Leanne

    Several things that may be of interest-

    There is a huge difference between the D90 and your 8100 ... the 8100 is aimed at beginners who do not want to get involved with 'settings', whereas the D90 is a professional-level camera that will give excellent results but does require experience &/or training

    It seems to me that you are somewhere in between these two levels

    May I suggest several things -in conjunction with other AP member suggestions as above-

    > firstly - there is a Rocky camera club which runs beginner-photography courses .... you might like to chase them up locally
    > secondly - donate the 8100 to another family member and get yourself either the nikon P500 or P7100 ... slightly different cameras but each is nice & light and each has both auto, semi-auto and manual options for you to explore
    > then start on the D90 when you have some training in camera operations and your self-confidence level is 'up' a bit

    Hope this helps
    Regards, Phil
    Of all the stuff in a busy photographers kitbag, the ability to see photographically is the most important
    google me at Travelling School of Photography
    images.: flickr.com/photos/ozzie_traveller/sets/

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