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Best Canon for indoors, not a G11

I have finally narrowed my criteria for a great point and shoot to replace my Canon G7 (which I loved). I want to stick with a Canon, for many reasons. I tried the G11 but did not like the swivel LCD nor the sensitivity of the menu buttons on the back (possibly just on the one I tried--often pressed them inadvertently when trying to take a pic). I don't care that much about video, and a huge zoom is not even that major to me. I do like good close-ups, but primarily, I want great photos indoors.

Any suggestions?

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Canon S90

In reply to: Best Canon for indoors, not a G11

I previously had a G9, when that finally retired, I decided that I liked Canon and wanted to stay in the family. Looking at the G11 and the S90, I went with the S90 because it has the same sensor as its cousin but with a smaller size. It still takes good photos, is (almost) as fully manual as the G series, and its sleeker too. Not comparable to an SLR of course, but still a good buy

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In reply to: Canon S90

The S90 has a larger aperture lens, which makes it better for indoors.

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In reply to: Also,

Does the popup flash bother you?

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I never use on-board flashes,

In reply to: S90

Unless it's absolutely necessary. On-board flashes give the "point and shoot" look to photos. When I used the G-series cameras I used an external flash and bounced it. I have sold the S90 but do not own one, but it's an extremely nice camera.

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Indoor/low light photos

In reply to: Best Canon for indoors, not a G11

If you really want high quality indoor/low light photos, then obviously a D-SLR with external flash/strobes will be the choice.

None of the compacts will give you very high quality low light photos. You need to keep ISO at or below 200 to get the best quality. Anything over ISO 400 will look grainy and unappealing. Some models do better than others, but I haven't seen any compacts (including the Canon G series, S90, Panasonic LX series, etc) to have very good output above ISO 400. That means you need to use the built-in flash or external lighting when in low light to get good quality photos. Although built-in flash will give you the overexposed foreground and underexposed background, I will rather have this PS style photo than to have a blurry grainy photo at high ISO without flash. You can easily fix shiny forehead, red eyes, even underexposed backgrounds. But it is impossible to fix a blurry grainy high ISO photo.

The Canon S90 is a very good compact. I have the G10 because I use external lighting (bounce flash or the Litepanel Micro) that can fit into the hotshoe (the S90 and Panasonic's LX3 do not have a hotshoe). I can get photos close to D-SLR quality with external lighting, when keeping my ISO at 200 or below. Even at higher ISO (to expose the background), the foreground subject still turns up pretty well with external lighting. However, many compact user will say that the external lighting is more bulky and more expensive than the compact camera. It is true, but it is still much lighter than my D-SLR equipment.

So if you want better quality photos with a compact in low light, then the Canon G series with a hotshoe will do better than the S90 (only if you carry external lighting). My G10 with a Canon Speedlite gets better photos than my friend's S90. But if you want to be a minimalist and carry as little weight as possible, then the Canon S90 is definitely lighter.

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In reply to: Indoor/low light photos

Thanks to all for the responses to my question. I am printing off your suggestions. I have just obtained a Canon S90 and am so far very pleased, based on my initial trials. I understand that nothing else compares to a DSLR, but I also know that I have taken excellent photos (for my needs) for years, without a DSLR. One of these days, when I grow up, and when DSLR's become a bit easier to handle for small folks like myself, I'm sure I'll have one. Meanwhile, thanks for all the help, and I think I'm FINALLY going to be happy with my camera once again.

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