Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Point and Shoot Cameras vs. Low Lighting

I haven't acquired any new products to try or anything so instead I'll talk about my camera woes. They didn't really form into woes until yesterday really.

I have a Sony DSC-W120. I did a decent amount of research and decided that the functions and features on this line of cameras would fit my needs the most. It can take 7.2 mp shots, but usually I set it at 5 mp because I just don't have the need for such big pictures. I'm usually just posting them on facebook and here anyways so too big of a picture actually becomes a hassle since the pictures take forever to upload and I have to resize them smaller. Besides, just because it has more megapixels doesn't mean it takes better pictures, it's really more dependent on the lens. So I got my camera used off of ebay for $30 because I'm a poor student and it's been working fine for at least a year, half a year? something like that. (I was skeptical and thought it might break within a week or so).

I won't complain about picture quality because I'm pretty satisfied with that, the pictures that come out look beautiful... well except for this thing where it can't pick up purple and sees it as blue instead (made more upsetting by the fact that purple is my favorite color). What I'm most upset about is the video capabilities.

I didn't think I'd be using video all that much, but I've found that lately I've been attending a number of concerts and it's upsetting to not be able to properly pick up what's going on. The problems are listed below:

1) The video picture is grainy. Even when I put it on the highest setting (fine) it still comes out looking grainy.
2) You can't zoom while filming. Sometimes I want to go in for a closeup during at a performance. You can't do that while filming, you have to stop, then readjust, then resume filming.
3) In low lighting, the camera can't see anything. Well it can, but barely. I went karaokeing yesterday and the room was dim, but bright enough that you could see everything clearly. My camera just picked up dark shadows moving around while my friend's Canon was able to see everything (although, it almost made things a bit too bright imo, but better than not seeing anything)
4) Even when it does zoom in, it doesn't zoom in enough. When I zoom all the way, the faces of people become blurred. When I look at other people beside me's cameras, the faces are sharper and you can zoom in closer
5) Sometimes it loses focus during filming. How upsetting!

I'm not sure if the later models have these problems changed/ fixed, but I feel like I just need to go to a different camera brand altogether. The only problem is that I don't want the picture quality to suffer and I have no idea which is best to get. I read the panasonic is particularly good in low lighting, but some comments say they don't last long and that the faces of people are blurred.

If anyone has any suggestions I'd love to hear them!

Just because, I'm putting sample pictures and videos up for you to see how my camera performs.
Vid: I did a sampling of dim lighting like that of what it was like at the karaoke place and the second half is what I saw and how I would have preferred if the camera picked up that way.
Pics: They're all taken at 7.2 mp and from max zoom so you can really tell the quality.

My purple lamp is a genuine purple, but on the pictures it shows more indigo. =(

NO FLASH                                         FLASH

Fluorescent Lighting

Dim Lighting

Dimmer Lighting (Where the video was taken)

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