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Thread: Help !! Decision time for a small cam, advice please?

  1. #1
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    Help !! Decision time for a small cam, advice please?

    Here is my scenario to all the good folks ( and quite knowledgable) on this forum.
    Starting in January my daughter and her two boys ( ages 3 and 5 ) will be living with us while their father is away being trained by the Army for further duties. They will be moving to an army base in Colorado probably July 2009. I would like to have the ability to get as many candid shots of the boys while they are with us and of course many will be inside with normal room lighting to sunlight through the windows. The budget is definitely a factor and I would like the camera to be discrete ( rules out the E-1 with flash for sure ). Which way to go??? Ricoh, DP1, LX3 ???? Black and White is fine as long as I get those precious moments captured. Thanks everyone in advance for your help!

  2. #2
    asabet
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    Re: Help !! Decision time for a small cam, advice please?

    If you want to stick with a pocketable camera, then I think your best bet for indoor non-flash photos would be either the LX3 or a Fuji F20/30/31. I'd go with the LX3, though the Fuji F20 would cost much less on the used market and offer excellent image quality. Here's an old ISO 1600, f/2.8 window light shot of my son with the Fuji F30:


  3. #3
    VladimirV
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    Re: Help !! Decision time for a small cam, advice please?

    If you want candid shots look for a Ricoh GRD I, the auto focus is some of the fastest in any compact camera, the lens is fast and b/w images look very nice up to ISO 800 and even 1600 is not bad. The GRD II or GX200 would be my 2nd choice if you use them in snap mode. The LX3 had too much of a focus and shutterlag for me but the lens is fast so with MF it could work and the DP1 is very slow (focus, operation and most important has a slow lens) so not really great to use indoors.
    Amin's suggestions of the Fuji F20/30 is a good one but the 36mm lens might be too limiting as it could be not wide enough to capture group shots or when people are not standing up close.

  4. #4
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    Re: Help !! Decision time for a small cam, advice please?

    Where would one find the GRD on the used market?

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    Administrator Bob's Avatar
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    Re: Help !! Decision time for a small cam, advice please?

    I am very pleased with the few minutes in which I held a grd II in my hands.
    It is a fast snap shooter with almost imperceptible lag between power on and shutter actuation. The fixed focal length lens helps develop the eye.
    OTOH, the LX3 is a very nice camera, although a but more "measured" (slow) in its pace.
    Hard to pick, but grd is my current pick of the lot
    -bob

  6. #6
    asabet
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    Re: Help !! Decision time for a small cam, advice please?

    Quote Originally Posted by bbodine9 View Post
    Where would one find the GRD on the used market?
    Adorama is selling GRD II demos for $535. You will be able to get original GRDs cheaper, and as Cristian points out, they focus faster (though not as well as the GRD II in low light according to some - Cristian can correct me if I have this wrong). However, the originial GRD does produce a noisier image overall. Some of us like the look of the original GRD images, but they may or may not be to your taste. Specifically for indoor snapshots of family, I would prefer the GRD II to the original GRD.

  7. #7
    VladimirV
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    Re: Help !! Decision time for a small cam, advice please?

    Amin is correct, the GRD I is fantastic in good light (including indoors during the day) but not as good as the GRD II in low light.
    The noise is not an issue if you always overexpose slightly or get the exposure exactly right, so no underexposure. At high ISOs cleaning color noise with Photoshop or Noise Ninja works very well.
    Unfortunatelly the original GRD can only be found on ebay at the moment but they are quite rare. Callumet in London still have 2 GRD I available and they are new so come with 2 years warranty.

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