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Old 08-09-2012, 11:26 PM   #46
havoc315
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pea-n-Me View Post
Havoc, can you post the EXIF data for the photos?
Yes, this weekend. Going to sleep now
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Old 08-10-2012, 12:45 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by havoc315 View Post
Yes and no. In this case -- all that I could see with my naked eye, was pitch blackness with a little blur from the clock. So it is just an example of extreme low light --- what the camera can pick up, where the human eye sees almost nothing. It was so dark, I couldn't see the controls of the camera.

The first 2 pictures are more realistic representations of low light, capturing the feel of the real lighting.

The 3rd picture is simply a practically no-light situation. It's a lousy picture. Horrible noise. Not composed in any way (it was too dark to compose anything, all I could do was aim at the clock and shoot). The picture was merely taken to test the extreme limits of the camera.

I'll post them this weekend, I did identical shots with my slr, using automatic and manual settings to the best of my ability. The stark differences are amazing.
I think you're missing my point.

My 50D with a fast prime will pick up more than my eyes can see as well. It is impressive to see that kind of ISO range in a point and shoot.
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Old 08-10-2012, 07:04 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by photo_chick View Post
I think you're missing my point.

My 50D with a fast prime will pick up more than my eyes can see as well. It is impressive to see that kind of ISO range in a point and shoot.
You're right, I am missing your point. I never questioned whether a top of the line interchangeable lens system, in the hands of an expert, could produce better results.

What I did say, was things that only an expert with a SLR could have done a few years ago, can now be accomplished by an amateur on automated settings on a point and shoot.
5 years ago, ask any amateur to take the same picture, with any camera, and you would only get blackness.
I'm slightly above a pure amateur, but my dslr is 6 years old.. And using the standard kit lens, and handheld, I really wasn't able to capture anything.
Now maybe a true professional could have done something with my SLR.

But the point was the ability of the camera, right out of the box, no need to change the lens, no need for a tripods, to capture that image out of the box.
Could an expert with a really fast lens produce a better image?? Yes, of course.
Could any amateur with a manual camera 5-10 years ago, have produced the image? Of course not.
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Old 08-10-2012, 08:19 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by Pea-n-Me View Post
Havoc, can you post the EXIF data for the photos?
Posted with the photos.
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Old 08-10-2012, 10:35 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by havoc315 View Post
You're right, I am missing your point. I never questioned whether a top of the line interchangeable lens system, in the hands of an expert, could produce better results.
This is not what I'm saying either. At all. As far as the rest of that post... still missing my point. But I hope by now the OP gets what we've been saying.
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Old 08-10-2012, 10:53 AM   #51
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This is not what I'm saying either. At all. As far as the rest of that post... still missing my point. But I hope by now the OP gets what we've been saying.
Or is throwing their hands up in the air, lol.
I actually think we are all basically saying the same thing. There is no magical camera, where you can just close your eyes and shoot, and get professional magnificent photographs. Knowledge of photography certainly never hurts.

But this particular camera we have been discussing, on generally automated settings, will perform well in the low light situations that the OP was requesting. And will indeed capture images that were not previously possible for amateurs without specialized photographic knowledge.
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Old 08-10-2012, 12:25 PM   #52
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First of all I want to thank everyone for sharing their knowledge and expertise.

Phew! I have to say that a lot of this is way over my head! I definitely have a lot to learn about photography. But I am certainly willing!

Those pictures look really great to me. My only hesitation with the Sony RX100 is the cost. I guess my question is, if high quality pictures are mostly due to the photographer if I learn more can I get a less expensive camera and still get quality shots? Based on hakepb's TR I am leaning toward the Sony GX 30v because the pics are great and the camera is considerably less costly.

I am definitely willing to learn as much as I can to improve my shots! Any suggestions on ways to learn more is greatly appreciated!

And again thanks to all for the comments and information!
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Old 08-10-2012, 12:32 PM   #53
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Hope it's ok that I jump into this very lively discussion of the Sony RX100 and point-and-shoot cameras in general.

I think it's clear that the RX100 is perhaps the best point-and-shoot camera that has come around in the market. And sounds like it can take great pictures most of the time on Auto.

But I wanted to comment on 1 thing and bring it back to the OP's request:

Quote:
Originally Posted by havoc315 View Post
But this particular camera we have been discussing, on generally automated settings, will perform well in the low light situations that the OP was requesting. And will indeed capture images that were not previously possible for amateurs without specialized photographic knowledge.
I looked back at what the OP was actually requesting. This has already been quoted several times in this thread...

Quote:
Originally Posted by megan511 View Post
I am looking for the camera with the best low light pictures. We are attending MVMCP this year and nighttime parade & fireworks pictures are a must. I also take a lot of pictures indoors. I would like a camera that could get some decent dark ride photos with no flash. My kids are young & never sit still so I would like a camera where I can get action shots!
I looked back at the EXIF data of the low-light photos that havoc315 posted. In those 3 photos, the camera chose shutter speeds of 1/13 to 1/6 sec!!! Certainly, if you had a tripod, those shutter speeds wouldn't matter.

But for dark-ride photos with no flash and for young kids running around, those shutter speeds are WAY TOO SLOW! Those slow shutter speeds will not only cause motion blur, but also blurring from camera shake (hand-holding the camera at slow shutter speeds).

Because of the tremendous low-light challenges for dark-ride photos and for young kids running indoors, I think these are situations that NO point-and-shoot camera can do very well. Why not? Let's go back to basics and look at the exposure triangle. These are the 3 things that make each and every photograph: aperture, shutter speed, and ISO.

For these low-light situations, you need a large aperture (small f-number) so that more light gets into the camera. For the Sony RX100, if you use the widest angle (ie. don't zoom in the lens), then you get a respectably large aperture of f/1.8 - this will get lots of light into the camera. However, if you decide to use the zoom, the aperture becomes lots smaller, eventually down to f/4.9. If you do the math, that's 7.4x LESS LIGHT that goes into the camera!

For action photos, you need medium to fast shutter speeds. In the case of low-light action photos, you need shutter speeds that are slow enough to let enough light into the camera, but fast enough to prevent motion blur and blur from hand-holding the camera. For dark rides and for indoor running kids, the SLOWEST shutter speed I'd consider is maybe 1/40 to 1/60 sec. If I can get away with shutter speeds of 1/100 - 1/125 in low-light situations without pictures being too dark, then that's what I'd personally start with.

Again, the sample pictures you took with the Sony RX100 look great, but have slow shutter speeds of 1/6 - 1/13 sec. These shutter speeds are WAY too slow for even "It's a Small World", where the lighting is better than most other dark rides.

Finally, for low-light photos, you'd need high ISO so that the camera sensor is more sensitive to light. Sounds like the Sony RX100 can go up to ISO 25,600. And with super-high ISOs, you run the risk of introducing lots of "noise" into the photo.

While the Sony RX100 sounds like the best point-and-shoot camera on the market right now (with a price tag of $648 to match it), I still don't think it meets the OP's needs for good dark-ride photos and good "kids running around indoors" photos, especially on AUTO. I don't think ANY point-and-shoot camera can meet those requirements.
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Old 08-10-2012, 12:57 PM   #54
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Hope it's ok that I jump into this very lively discussion of the Sony RX100 and point-and-shoot cameras in general.

I think it's clear that the RX100 is perhaps the best point-and-shoot camera that has come around in the market. And sounds like it can take great pictures most of the time on Auto.

But I wanted to comment on 1 thing and bring it back to the OP's request:



I looked back at what the OP was actually requesting. This has already been quoted several times in this thread...



I looked back at the EXIF data of the low-light photos that havoc315 posted. In those 3 photos, the camera chose shutter speeds of 1/13 to 1/6 sec!!! Certainly, if you had a tripod, those shutter speeds wouldn't matter.

But for dark-ride photos with no flash and for young kids running around, those shutter speeds are WAY TOO SLOW! Those slow shutter speeds will not only cause motion blur, but also blurring from camera shake (hand-holding the camera at slow shutter speeds).

Because of the tremendous low-light challenges for dark-ride photos and for young kids running indoors, I think these are situations that NO point-and-shoot camera can do very well. Why not? Let's go back to basics and look at the exposure triangle. These are the 3 things that make each and every photograph: aperture, shutter speed, and ISO.

For these low-light situations, you need a large aperture (small f-number) so that more light gets into the camera. For the Sony RX100, if you use the widest angle (ie. don't zoom in the lens), then you get a respectably large aperture of f/1.8 - this will get lots of light into the camera. However, if you decide to use the zoom, the aperture becomes lots smaller, eventually down to f/4.9. If you do the math, that's 7.4x LESS LIGHT that goes into the camera!

For action photos, you need medium to fast shutter speeds. In the case of low-light action photos, you need shutter speeds that are slow enough to let enough light into the camera, but fast enough to prevent motion blur and blur from hand-holding the camera. For dark rides and for indoor running kids, the SLOWEST shutter speed I'd consider is maybe 1/40 to 1/60 sec. If I can get away with shutter speeds of 1/100 - 1/125 in low-light situations without pictures being too dark, then that's what I'd personally start with.

Again, the sample pictures you took with the Sony RX100 look great, but have slow shutter speeds of 1/6 - 1/13 sec. These shutter speeds are WAY too slow for even "It's a Small World", where the lighting is better than most other dark rides.

Finally, for low-light photos, you'd need high ISO so that the camera sensor is more sensitive to light. Sounds like the Sony RX100 can go up to ISO 25,600. And with super-high ISOs, you run the risk of introducing lots of "noise" into the photo.

While the Sony RX100 sounds like the best point-and-shoot camera on the market right now (with a price tag of $648 to match it), I still don't think it meets the OP's needs for good dark-ride photos and good "kids running around indoors" photos, especially on AUTO. I don't think ANY point-and-shoot camera can meet those requirements.
All good points and well stated. I did take indoor pics of my kids running around, with no flash. The pics did indeed come out very well, I just don't like posting pictures of my kids on a message board. So you'll have to take my word, to some extent.

But looking at exif data, of some action shots of my kids playing indoors, at night, no flash, with just modest artificial lighting...
I got a fun but blurry shot of very fast action, with f 1.8, 1/30, ISO 800.
I got a few crystal clear shots, where auto went to f2, 1/125, ISO 3200. (there is some noise is you try to enlarge the picture, but it looks great small)

So this is pretty consistent with what you're saying... and it works quite well with the RX100 -- In a low light "action" setting, it will go to about f2, 1/125, ISO 3200, and produce some fantastic results.
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Old 08-10-2012, 01:01 PM   #55
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Those pictures look really great to me. My only hesitation with the Sony RX100 is the cost. I guess my question is, if high quality pictures are mostly due to the photographer if I learn more can I get a less expensive camera and still get quality shots?
The answer is a very simple -- Absolutely!!
If you look around, you will find amazing pictures taken with cell phone cameras.... By experts who really know how to pick their light, compose their shot, etc. Additionally, with some cheap post processing software, you can "fix" a lot about pictures. Truthfully, I don't even concentrate too much on perfect composition, knowing I'll just crop it later.

A cheaper camera will simply make you do a little more work, and will have less overall potential. And the Sony RX100 has less potential than a really good dSLR.

If you really are willing to get down and dirty to learn the basics, get a used dSLR kit with a couple of different lenses.
If you want the simplicity of a point & shoot, there are plenty of cheaper point and shoot cameras that can still deliver good quality.
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Old 08-10-2012, 01:26 PM   #56
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Something to think about

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Originally Posted by photo_chick View Post
See, this is where the camera not being able to think makes a huge difference and it really drives home my point. The camera chose to overexpose the image rather than capture what is actually there because it doesn't know any better. If you want to capture POTC you want to get a shot of what it really looks like on the ride, not what it looks like when the work lights are on.
This can't be understated.

Could one be sacrificing richness for brightness when allowing the camera to make decisions for you?

Letís take the chair/window shot at sunset.

Quote:
This, indoors, no artificial light. Minimal light from windows around sun set.


DSC00218 by Havoc315, on Flickr
Yes, nice and very bright. But was that really what your eyes saw? Sunset = rich colors. I donít see any real colors there. Is what you want a bright image or is what you want a rich, colorful image? If you keep a camera on Auto and this is what it gives you, is this really the ideal?

This, to me, is sunset, in all its beautiful glory. Also taken with a point and shoot.



Now perhaps you really didn't have an orange glow in your living room when you took the shot. I get that not all sunsets are like that. But I'm illustrating a point that's an important one for users on Auto. Going back to photo_chicks post, is it preferable to get pics at WDW that are bright, or that capture the essence of the atmosphere? That is up to each individual photographer.
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Old 08-10-2012, 01:29 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by megan511 View Post
First of all I want to thank everyone for sharing their knowledge and expertise.

Phew! I have to say that a lot of this is way over my head! I definitely have a lot to learn about photography. But I am certainly willing!

Those pictures look really great to me. My only hesitation with the Sony RX100 is the cost. I guess my question is, if high quality pictures are mostly due to the photographer if I learn more can I get a less expensive camera and still get quality shots? Based on hakepb's TR I am leaning toward the Sony GX 30v because the pics are great and the camera is considerably less costly.

I am definitely willing to learn as much as I can to improve my shots! Any suggestions on ways to learn more is greatly appreciated!

And again thanks to all for the comments and information!

Yes. You can probably get a used DSLR kit for less than the Sony RX-100. A nice used D40, a fast prime (35 f/1.8), and a cheap tripod and shutter release.... and you're on your way to low-light shooting, assuming you put some effort into learning the basics of exposure. That entire set-up could be had for less than the Sony RX-100.

If you really want to stick with point and shoots, look for something that allows you to shoot in manual mode (taking full control over ISO, aperture, and shutter speed settings); something with a high ISO; something with a low f/ number (this is where you're going to struggle with point and shoots--they just generally don't have the widest apertures on their lenses--and 1.8 on the wide end still isn't any help if you want to be zoomed in); and, to compensate for the aperture problems with most point and shoots, something that has that "stacking" technology Justin was talking about.
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Old 08-10-2012, 01:33 PM   #58
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Havoc, I think you should start a thread about your camera for people who want to know more about it specifically and share pics, etc. I'm sure many people will be very interested in knowing more about it. It seems like it deserves its own thread.
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Old 08-10-2012, 01:35 PM   #59
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P.S. Havoc.... thanks a lot. I am now lusting after a Sony RX-100 as a nice pocketable camera for the times I don't feel like lugging the D700 around. Would have come in handy at Hershey Park last week when I left the DSLR home...

But man... $650 is halfway to a 16-35 lens.... or is more than a couple SB-700 speedlights....

Yowz.
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Old 08-10-2012, 01:36 PM   #60
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This can't be understated.

Could one be sacrificing richness for brightness when allowing the camera to make decisions for you?

Letís take the chair/window shot at sunset.

Yes, nice and very bright. But was that really what your eyes saw? Sunset = rich colors. I donít see any real colors there. Is what you want a bright image or is what you want a rich, colorful image? If you keep a camera on Auto and this is what it gives you, is this really the ideal?

This, to me, is sunset, in all its beautiful glory. Also taken with a point and shoot.



Now perhaps you really didn't have an orange glow in your living room when you took the shot. I get that not all sunsets are like that. But I'm illustrating a point that's an important one for users on Auto. Going back to photo_chicks post, is it preferable to get pics at WDW that are bright, or that capture the essence of the atmosphere? That is up to each individual photographer.
The window behind the chair faces north, with big trees just 10 feet behind the window. Plus, it was extremely cloudy. There was very little light coming into the window, and certainly no gorgeous red sun set.

If I had actually taken a picture of the sunset...
Oh wait.. I did take a picture... Now, it was very cloudy, so not nearly as nice as your picture.
But this is still what was captured by the camera of an actual sunset:


DSC00189 by Havoc315, on Flickr

On a clearer day, was able to capture his about an hour before sunset:


IMG_0010 by Havoc315, on Flickr

Seems the camera is meeting the tests.
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