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Digital Cameras for evening use...

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Digital Cameras for evening use...

Old 17th Oct 2007, 16:52
  #1 (permalink)  
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Digital Cameras for evening use...

Hello all,
Im on the look for a new digital camera and am asking you for help!
Does anyone know of a camera which will take decent quality photos of 'the views' from the flightdeck at night but also be good enough for general day to day photos, nights out etc.

I need something small and handy to keep in the flight bag and also be able to slip into my pocket for a night out.

Budget around 200

Any help would be much appreciated!
Thanks very much

Last edited by MonarchA330; 17th Oct 2007 at 18:20.
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Old 17th Oct 2007, 17:03
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I'm sure you'll get responses here but might also be worth posting this question in the airliners.net forums as those chaps are ALL about the photography...

Some superb pics on there too...
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Old 17th Oct 2007, 17:13
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Generally you will find that digital cameras adapt a lot better to light levels than most film cameras. This is often because the film itself has a light "rating", (ASA number 100, 200, 400 etc.), that indicates it's sensitivity. Obviously, digital cameras do not suffer from this "limitation".
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Old 17th Oct 2007, 17:35
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Firstly, whats your budget?

If you can splash a bit of cash on a decent camera and you know a bit about photography buy the Canon 400D with the supplied lens. Perfect starter 'DSLR'. IF not that, then i would advise you get the Fuji S900, an excellent 'point and shoot' but with the quality of a DSLR.

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Old 17th Oct 2007, 17:45
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Earlier this year I brought a Canon Powershot G7 as a second compact camera when my EOS SLR is too big.

I mainly use it for aviation photography and chose it as it has all the same controls and functions as an SLR.

Very handy in the cockpit of a Stampe! http://www.jetphotos.net/viewphoto.php?id=6027886
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Old 17th Oct 2007, 18:15
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I recently bought a Panasonic Lumix FZ8 and I'd highly recommend it. Its got a 12 x optical zoom which is very useful. It also has an automatic setting for aerial shots (thats shots from the air and not of antennas - someone would be bound to mention it!)

As with all these things, they bought out another model with an 18 x zoom just after I bought it
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Old 17th Oct 2007, 18:25
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Get a fuji F31 they are great for low light pics and it is the Gadget shows faveroute camera.
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Old 17th Oct 2007, 18:38
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I'd second the idea of getting a DSLR. It doesn't have to be a huge investment or a bulky piece of gear if you choose the right one. For example, my Pentax *ist DS + 21mm "pancake" lens is as big as a big "compact", but the image quality is far superior. Here's a picture of it on the K10D, which is a bit bigger (and better) than my camera, at 141x101x70 mm. I don't know if Sony, Nikon or Canon do anything as compact any more.

Just because a camera can take pictures at e.g. ISO1600 doesn't tell you all you need to know: the size of the sensor makes a difference at high ISOs. Assuming the same resolution, when the sensor is tiny (as in a compact camera) each individual pixel is smaller, and that has a direct bearing on its ability to collect light. It means that more signal amplification is needed to get a particular ISO level, which means more noise in the image. For more details & examples, see here.
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Old 17th Oct 2007, 18:52
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Generally you will find that digital cameras adapt a lot better to light levels than most film cameras. This is often because the film itself has a light "rating", (ASA number 100, 200, 400 etc.), that indicates it's sensitivity. Obviously, digital cameras do not suffer from this "limitation".
It's not true that digital cameras don't have an ASA/ISO equivalent.
However, most will adjust 'film speed' according to available light to keep exposure settings within reasonable limits. Under low (or very low) light conditions the shutter speed will lengthen when the lens aperture reaches its maximum opening, resulting in 'streaks' from point light sources.
It might be possible to trade 'film speed' for picture resolution, but this might result in 'coarse' speckles in the (otherwise) dark areas of the picture.
The FinePix F31fd includes ISO sensitivities as high as ISO 3200 equivalent
- sounds good to me (and it is 'compact' - a requirement for Monarch - as opposed to the bulkier Panasonic recommended above).
Lack of a high-ratio zoom shouldn't be a problem for cockpit shots (unless you are trying to pick out a building on the ground). Accept the compromise (or buy two cameras - one for convenience and one for 'long-distance' high magnification shots).

As a further limitation of high-ratio zoom, there is greater 'camera shake' unless some sort of image-stabilization is provided or you are taking tripod shots (resting the camera on the aircraft structure isn't recommended as it will pick-up the vibrations).
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Old 17th Oct 2007, 20:09
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IMHO there's only one to buy.

Panasonic Lumix TZ-3

10x optical zoom. 7 megapix. buy for under 200 on the web. Fits in your shirt pocket. Image stabilisation to reduce 'the shakes'. Lens is made by Leica. Batt never goes flat. Takes cracking pix.

what more could you ask for?

I've got the slightly older TZ-2 and its amazing.
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Old 18th Oct 2007, 00:20
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I would thoroghly reccommend the Canon Ixus range. I bought my wife the 850 and it;s the only camera we use now. Has a night shot function which is excellent.
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Old 18th Oct 2007, 03:08
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Sam-man, he said his budget in the initial post.

Just got a Nikon Coolpix P-something.

Fab pix and the stewardesses loved it when I zoomed in. With the camera.

But when I tried to buy another for my Dad they had discontinued it.

The Nikon coolpix 'P' series is apparently good according to my man @ Jessops (UK)
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Old 18th Oct 2007, 04:18
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what camera

Sony Cybershot 7.2 Mega Pix works for me.
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Old 18th Oct 2007, 04:32
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Overstress, I was gonna say that but I've been told off too much lately

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Old 18th Oct 2007, 04:32
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Another vote for the Canon Ixus.
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Old 18th Oct 2007, 04:38
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What you seem to be looking for is a model that has low noise in low light conditions.
Go DPReview and look at the review of the Fuji 31 (as has been mentioned)
In the compact point and shoot class it is is the best I have seen reviewed for low light noise. I would suggest having a look at some of the other reviews of similar types of cameras but the Fuji seems to be the best in low noise.
Actually I believe the 31 has been superceded but the latest versions of that line are apparently very good.
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Old 18th Oct 2007, 04:47
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I absolutely love the Powershot series, I would recommend them to anyone looking for a fit-in-your-pocket camera.

However, you're looking specifically for scenic views so wouldn't hurt to have the widest angle lens, and I believe Panasonic advertises it's range of point-and-shoots as having the least focal length of them all (28 mm as opposed to 36-38 mm of the rest). Helps a lot for the wide angles especially when you can't take a few steps backwards to increase the field of vision (like in a cockpit).

Just checked the web, the models are TZ2 and TZ3. Wouldn't hurt to check them out
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Old 18th Oct 2007, 05:32
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BombayDuck, the sensor on the Panasonic Lumix LX-2 with 28mm lens is astonishingly noisy. I gave up on it and got the Ricoh GX-100, which is outside MA330's price range.

Since the best camera is the one that's always with you, I'd consider one of the Casios, for example the Exilim Hi-Zoom EX-V8 which packs a huge zoom into a very small package, but is only 38mm (equivalent) at widest angle. The EX-S880 has a brighter lens but half the zoom range.

Also, if MA330 isn't particularly organised when it comes to carrying rechargers, consider a camera that can run on AA or AAA cells and/or can recharge through its USB port. Any Canon "A" series, the Ricoh GX-100 and others can do that.

Don't get hung up on who makes the lenses: "Leica" doesn't mean the lens is made by Leica, it means the design is licensed from Leica. You also get to pay more to put the word "Leica" on the lens, which is why a few years ago some of the Sonys had "Leica" on the lens, and some didn't, even though it was a Leica design. To all intents and purposes, there are no optically bad lenses in well-known branded compact cameras.

You'll note I spend a lot of time talking about getting a camera that's always with you, and always works! Most other things are secondary.
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Old 18th Oct 2007, 09:54
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Guess the first thing you should check is, can you focus at infinity, and can you manually turn off the flash.

I like me Nikon coolpix. The latest one has got a "time lapse" feature, which may be useful for your application.
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Old 18th Oct 2007, 13:07
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Canon Ixus 750 will do what you want. Still available new on ebay.

Last edited by Hobo; 18th Oct 2007 at 18:20.
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