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  1. #1

    Default Canon SX20 vs SX200. Need advice!

    Hi there,

    I am a first-time mum that is completely fed up of the rubbish red-eye photos that my Olympus Compact takes of my now 9 month old son.

    After reading copious reviews, I have narrowed down my decision to either a Canon SX200 or SX20. A friend has a Canon DSLR 450D and has said that external flashes are great for avoiding red-eye as you can bounce the flash off the ceiling, which is making me lean towards the SX20. However, I am a total novice photographer (all I have ever done is point-and-shoot) and am worried that an SX20 might be too complicated for me. Whilst I am keen to learn some skills and tricks to improve my shots of my son, I'm never going to be a full-on amateur photographer, so wonder if I am better off with the SX200?? It will still allow me some manual control, but it's just the lack of external flash that is putting me off. Is the external flash really that important for red eye reduction?? From what I can gather, the only significant difference between the two cameras is the additional zoom and the hot shoe on the SX20.

    Help! Please can someone give me some advice??

    Thanks,
    Emma

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emma78 View Post
    Hi there,

    I am a first-time mum that is completely fed up of the rubbish red-eye photos that my Olympus Compact takes of my now 9 month old son.

    After reading copious reviews, I have narrowed down my decision to either a Canon SX200 or SX20. A friend has a Canon DSLR 450D and has said that external flashes are great for avoiding red-eye as you can bounce the flash off the ceiling, which is making me lean towards the SX20. However, I am a total novice photographer (all I have ever done is point-and-shoot) and am worried that an SX20 might be too complicated for me. Whilst I am keen to learn some skills and tricks to improve my shots of my son, I'm never going to be a full-on amateur photographer, so wonder if I am better off with the SX200?? It will still allow me some manual control, but it's just the lack of external flash that is putting me off. Is the external flash really that important for red eye reduction?? From what I can gather, the only significant difference between the two cameras is the additional zoom and the hot shoe on the SX20.

    Help! Please can someone give me some advice??

    Thanks,
    Emma
    Redeye occurs when light flashes into the eye and out again faster than your pupil can adjust to accomodate such light. As the flash is in direct line with the eye and lens the bounce-back of light will come directly back into the lens. While you could use off-camera flash to counter this, that's really something for pros.

    There are some solutions. Firstly, some cameras will pre-flash so the pupil closes down, thus reducing redeye. That's a bit of an older method and won't entirely save you. These days there's an auto redeye reduction tool in many/most new cameras that auto-detects the red colour of the eyes and then digitally removes it when the mode is on. It's pretty decent too, so that ought to be more than enough for what you're talking about here. Failing that, a lot of manufacturers bundle software with products - and software-based redeye removal (that you'll have to do on the computer rather than camera) often features.

    If you just want a point-and-shoot camera then there's nothing wrong with that at all. The manual settings will be of limited use to you if you're never actually going to advance to use them, plus they'll just add to your cost. As such either of the Canon models listed would make a fine purchase. An alternative is the Samsung ST550 which has a second screen on the front that can display animations to keep youngsters' attention focused on the camera. When they're older it can be used as a second screen for taking self-portraits by easily framing yourself - ideal for you and the lil'un. And, to finish the Samsung package, it also has a 'redeye fix' tool that will auto-correct redness from the eyes without you needing to do anything more than have that mode turned on.

    You may also want to consider going to a pro photographer with a studio to get some shots of your son under proper lighting. Could be worth paying out for too.

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