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Old January 26th, 2008, 08:47 AM   #1
i_am_hydrogen
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The Official "I have a question about photography" Thread

The title is self-explanatory. This thread is devoted to those questions about photography that may not be covered by the DSLR User's thread.
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Old January 26th, 2008, 09:25 PM   #2
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good idea.
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Old January 28th, 2008, 07:06 PM   #3
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I have a Canon A570 IS. If I want to take nighttime pictures, but I do not want to go setting up a tripod, what are some of the settings that I should try?

I have done some night pictures under "Program" mode, and left everything in default mode, but the pictures get grainy if I zoom in a little bit. It does seem to work pretty well, though, for a quick point-and-click night picture.
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Old January 28th, 2008, 09:41 PM   #4
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in order to expose a photo at night you have to have a slow shutter 1-30 secs.

If you try to shoot anything by hand (without a tripod) you will get a blurs at about 1/10 of a second. Even with IS, VR or any other kind of vibration reduction this is unavoidable.

You can get a decent cheap tripod for point and shoot cameras at like Walmart or Target...maybe $30. If you want to take night photos of cities and anything worth keeping you will find that a tripod is a must.
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Old January 29th, 2008, 03:28 AM   #5
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^ Actually, a good camera can take handheld night shots without a slow exposure, but for this you need to use a high ISO rating. The problem with this is that it has high noise levels as well. The better the camera, the less noise at high ISO levels. The A570 can go up to ISO1600 which is reasonably high, but I also suspect that noise on this camera at that level would be quite bad.

BuffCity has good advice. Another is to just sit the camera on a ledge somewhere, use a slow shutter speed and low ISO as recommended and use the self time so there is no camera shake.
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Old January 29th, 2008, 05:49 AM   #6
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even then, with high ISO you are going to get noise thats gonna wreck a 'normally' crisp photo from a tripod.

IMO, you can't avoid it, gotta get a three-leg. lol

I know the mid to high end Nikon DSLRs are getting great results with high ISO stuff, but still its not going to be a quality result.
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Old January 29th, 2008, 01:15 PM   #7
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In good lens, you don't have to use high ISO.


Photo taken with Canon EOS 30D, f/1.4, 1/40, ISO 500, No Flash


Photo taken with Canon EOS 30D, f/1.4, 1/60, ISO 640, No Flash


Photo taken with Canon EOS 30D, f/1.4, 1/250, ISO 500, No Flash
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Old January 29th, 2008, 04:48 PM   #8
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I have taken a few evening shots without a tripod, but with my faster lenses (Nikon f/1.8 50mm and Sigma f/2.8 18-50mm). A fast lens and a steady hand will definitely help, but if skyline shots is what you want to take, then I would recommend a tripod and Mirror-lockup. Also, make sure you turn off any image stabilization settings on your lens, if you have a dSLR camera. Yours isn't a dSLR, but I would still recommend you play with the IS settings; try with on and off, if you use tripod.

One more suggestion: use a monopod. It is easier to carry than tripod and will still help you a lot.
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Old January 29th, 2008, 07:35 PM   #9
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Raleigh-NC...what difference do you see by keeping the Mirror-lockup feature engaged when shooting at night? Less 'snap' vibration inside the body? I know my father (photographer) explained to me about using that feature when shooting portraits because that 'snap' will create a blight blur on the image and take are from how sharp the image is. I never though to consider this for extended shutter night photos.

thanks.
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Old January 29th, 2008, 08:41 PM   #10
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I have not seen any difference because I don't use it... To get the most out of it you need to have a remote control, or shutter release cable. However, all the articles I've read agree that Mirror Lock-up adds to the sharpness and overall quality of the photo. I would not doubt it. Between good glass, a steady tripod, accurate settings and mirror lock-up, you should be able to get the most out of your evening photography.
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Old January 29th, 2008, 09:56 PM   #11
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I have a tripod, but sometimes I just want to take a picture when I'm out at the bars or running errands or will be in an area anyway, and I don't want to set up a tripod.
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Old January 30th, 2008, 08:53 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MILIUX View Post
In good lens, you don't have to use high ISO.


Photo taken with Canon EOS 30D, f/1.4, 1/40, ISO 500, No Flash


Photo taken with Canon EOS 30D, f/1.4, 1/60, ISO 640, No Flash


Photo taken with Canon EOS 30D, f/1.4, 1/250, ISO 500, No Flash
Sorry for our English forumers, but I will ask a question in Dutch because there are some terms that I don't know the English translation for.

Heb jij deze foto's met een lange sluitertijd genomen? Zo ja, hoe kan het dan dat de mensen er scherp op staan en niet als een soort waas?

Zo nee? Hoe heb je dat dan precies gedaan. De omschrijvingen die je noemt f/1.4, 1/250, zeggen mij niet zo veel.
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Old January 30th, 2008, 10:14 PM   #13
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The first photo is 1/40 second. The second photo is 1/40 second and third photo is 1/250 second. You can see that this is not a slow shutter speed because the people are not blurry and in focus. What made it take so fast is the fast aperture of of f/1.4.
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Old January 30th, 2008, 11:18 PM   #14
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ISO is up there too...but not too bad
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Old January 31st, 2008, 12:03 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MILIUX View Post
The first photo is 1/40 second. The second photo is 1/40 second and third photo is 1/250 second. You can see that this is not a slow shutter speed because the people are not blurry and in focus. What made it take so fast is the fast aperture of of f/1.4.
Thanks. I think I just have to try and see what happens.

But I guess you used a tripod for these pictures, didn't you?
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Old January 31st, 2008, 05:11 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xzmattzx View Post
I have a tripod, but sometimes I just want to take a picture when I'm out at the bars or running errands or will be in an area anyway, and I don't want to set up a tripod.
It's not really possible with a camera like yours, unfortunately. You need really fast lenses (f/1.2-f/1.8) to take night photos without a tripod. Maybe it's time for you to move up to an entry-level SLR, Matt. The Digital Rebel XT--a fantastic camera--is now available for around $450, the price of some digicams.
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Old January 31st, 2008, 05:28 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by i_am_hydrogen View Post
It's not really possible with a camera like yours, unfortunately. You need really fast lenses (f/1.2-f/1.8) to take night photos without a tripod. Maybe it's time for you to move up to an entry-level SLR, Matt. The Digital Rebel XT--a fantastic camera--is now available for around $450, the price of some digicams.
I recommend the Nikon D40 as well, its in that range...http://shopping.yahoo.com/p:Nikon%20...130,srch:kw,x:
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Old January 31st, 2008, 06:16 AM   #18
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not to be a jerk about the hand held night photography, but the shutter is still too fast to properly expose the light well in most cases especially when you compare it to a tripod mounted shot with a slower shutter...the difference is clear.

Also, raising the ISO for night photos can be bad news, its worth shooting at 100 ISO as the noise will drive you nuts as you get up there above 800 ISO.

If you think taking a tripod around would be annoying you should consider a small or more compact unit, but still I don't see how you can avoid getting one regardless of the lenses.

*note: when shooting at night you have to utilize whatever light you have available, sometimes there is more than others...but to expose that light longer to the sensor will not only define details in the light but bring out elements you might not see (for example in a sky) at night. But in order to do this you will want your exposure time beyond 1 second for sure.
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Old January 31st, 2008, 06:17 AM   #19
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if you are just shooting snap-shots...use the flash and don't move.

i you wanna get a skyline...write the spot down and come back with a three-leg
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Old January 31st, 2008, 06:18 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbotnyse View Post
I recommend the Nikon D40 as well, its in that range...http://shopping.yahoo.com/p:Nikon%20...130,srch:kw,x:
D60 is out!

decent price too as it comes with a VR lens for about $750 US
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