Best low light camera that I will actually carry

Discussion in 'What Camera Should I Buy?' started by brianwestchest, Nov 22, 2010.

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  1. brianwestchest

    brianwestchest New Member

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    I find myself taking a lot of pictures indoors in relatively low light. The subject is either too far away for the flash to work or there's the fact that I simply hate the light from the flash on every point and shoot I've owned. I've owned several P&S camera including the latest Panasonic DMZ-ZS3 in an attempt to get a camera that will capture a sharp low-noise picture in ambient light. I've been reading about four thirds and micro four thirds cameras and am wondering if one of them might solve my problem. Also, the new Canon S95, I'm wondering about.

    I don't really want to step up to a SLR because of the size of them. It's not the money. I simply won't carry it. I want something I can put in my pocket or at least carry easily in my hand.

    Here are more details:

    Budget

    Budget is $300-500. If I need to spend more, that'd be OK if it'll save me money in the long run because I won't be replacing it in two years.

    Size

    Not ultra compact necessarily. The smaller the better. But, of utmost importance is picture quality.

    Features

    I don't care about megapixels. Again, I'll sacrifice megapixels for picture quality. I never print pictures out.

    Standard optical zoom is fine.

    Image quality is an importance of 10 on a scale of 1-10

    I don't know enough to use manual shutter modes

    General Usage

    The camera is generally used for indoor snapshots. Pictures of my kids at swim meets, basketball games. Pictures at parties.

    I don't make prints

    Indoor shots are VERY important. I'm not pleased with how grainy they look now. That's the main reason I'm looking to replace my current camera.

    Some. But, not a lot of sports or action shots.

    Miscellaneous

    I like Canon.

    I've been considering the Canon G11 and S95. But, I'm not opposed to other brands if I can get better low light performance (bigger sensor?).

    I'd like the ability to have a shallow depth of field for portrait shots- blurring the background.

    Thanks for any help you can offer.
     
  2. Paul79UF

    Paul79UF Member

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    I'd suggest buying one of the Canon cameras that has a hot shoe, such as the S5 IS, SX20, SX30 and several others such as the G10, G11, G12.

    Then buy a used 430EX I or II flash unit. An external flash that you can bounce of the ceiling makes a huge difference when shooting indoors.

    You said image quality is more important than zoom, so choose one of the "G" series cameras which have less zoom but bigger sensors.
     
  3. Andy Stanton

    Andy Stanton Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    The Panasonic G10, an excellent camera with a 4/3 sensor, is widely available online for less than $450 (lens included). It looks like a DSLR but it's significantly smaller - it weighs only 388g. It produces low light images that are much better than either the Canon G12 or S95.

    I agree with Paul that an external flash should be considered if you don't like the results with the built-in flash. The Panasonic G10's flash is quite good but it also has a hotshoe if you should decide that an external flash is needed.
     
  4. KCook

    KCook Well-Known Member

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