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JohnBrowning
09-26-2004, 04:45 PM
I just purchased a Sony W1, and it defaults down to 1/30 or 1/40 shutter speed on indoor flash pictures (using P or Scene modes). The slow shutter speeds are resulting in many blurry pictures (that or it has a focusing issue). 1/60 is the shutter speed that my old SLR defaults to on flash pictures, and thus I'm conditioned to believe that that's about the slowest shutter speed you want for flash pictures. Do most/all compact digitals default down to such a slow shutter speed on indoor flash pictures? Is it a Sony issue? Or is there a way to change the default in the scene and program selections (I'm using manual mode, that seems to work ok)?

Thanks!

PS -- Man, you can't believe how fast this camera starts up and is ready to take a picture -- amazing!

jamison55
09-27-2004, 01:18 PM
Don't know about the Sony, but on my DReb, using Av or TV the camera meters for the background and the flash just sends out enough light for the foreground subject. This means that the camera picks a much slower shutter speeds when the background is dark. If I switch to Full Auto or Program mode, the camera meters for the foreground subject, and uses a faster shutter speed alon with a more powerful burst of light.

While most higher end cameras can sync the flash at much higher shutter speeds, there are reasons for using slower ones. For instance, I often use a technique known as "dragging the shutter" in which I use a slower shutter speed 1/30 to 1/60 to make sure that more of the background is illuminated in the picture. Using a faster shutter speed with a flash, say 1/125 to 1/200, causes the background to darken in relation to the foreground subject and causes more seperation.

A lot of digicams now have a "night portrait mode", which changes the camera settings automatically to allow you to "drag the shutter".

SylvainL
12-04-2004, 09:58 PM
Hi,
I have a W1 and I also noticed that the flash sync speed is too low. Since your Thread, did you learn if the speed can be changed?
I cannot beleive that such a fantastic camera will make 50% of the indoor flash pictures out-of-focus.
Thanks
Sylvain

PhilR.
12-04-2004, 11:08 PM
Interesting question, so even though I don't have one of these cameras, I went to the reviews of this camera and found out that the flash has different modes (as does most dc's), one of which is called "slow synchro". Is it possible that ya'll are taking your pics in this mode? Is it possible that the modes you are using automatically default to this mode? Something to consider....

PhilR.

John_Reed
12-04-2004, 11:54 PM
I just purchased a Sony W1, and it defaults down to 1/30 or 1/40 shutter speed on indoor flash pictures (using P or Scene modes). The slow shutter speeds are resulting in many blurry pictures (that or it has a focusing issue). 1/60 is the shutter speed that my old SLR defaults to on flash pictures, and thus I'm conditioned to believe that that's about the slowest shutter speed you want for flash pictures. Do most/all compact digitals default down to such a slow shutter speed on indoor flash pictures? Is it a Sony issue? Or is there a way to change the default in the scene and program selections (I'm using manual mode, that seems to work ok)?

Thanks!

PS -- Man, you can't believe how fast this camera starts up and is ready to take a picture -- amazing!My Panasonic FZ10 also defaults to a very slow shutter speed, like 1/30 to 1/60 of a second. But the flash duration itself is so short, I've found that in shutter priority mode, the flash will still illuminate the subject out to as fast as 1/2000 of a second. So, try using shutter priority mode on the W1, and set the shutter speed you want; see if it works?

SylvainL
12-05-2004, 09:00 PM
Hi Thanks for your replies.
First to answer PhilR:
No I am not using slow sync. I am using the normal "Flash ON" setting. It sets the camera to 1/40s which i find too slow.
For your info the slow sync mode sets the shutter to 1/20s.

To Answer John Reed:
The Sony W1 does not have shutter priority. (I whish it had!, It would effectively solve my problem). The only solution I found is to switch in manual mode and set both shutter and aperture. It takes time (You have to check the exposure is OK) and is different from shots to shots. Not very pleasant when people are waiting for you to take the picture...
I chose this camera after comparing it with the Canon S410 ELPH. Altough the Sony has more interesting features, the canon did not have the shutter problem. I suspect it was around 1/60 (the camera does not tell you), there was no blurr around the people in the pictures.
Thanks
Sylvain

ReF
12-05-2004, 11:36 PM
to JohnB: the slow shutter speed seems to be a W1 issue. If you look at the user comments on Amazon.com, you will find that many people have the same issues with the W1, but not with other cameras. As far as I know, all the current Canon digitals will select 1/60 for standard indoor flash pictures, and my old crappy sony cam took indoor flash pictures without blur, so no, it's not a problem with digitals in general.

To JohnB and Sylvain: if you can't tell whether the picture is out of focus or blurred due to motion, look at your pictures and see if there are any trailing lines where there shouldn't be. An easy way to tell is to photograph dots, such as periods on printed text and see if they are elongated. I personally would like to know if this is a motion blur or focus problem.

The W1 has no shutter priority.

If the blur is caused by motion blur, then part of the fault the on the camera for using such a slow shutter speed and part of the fault is on the user. Some people simply cannot hold the camera steady enough, and some just are not used to it. Personally, 1/25 or 1/30 for me is 95% a steady shot for me, but everybody's different, so first try to take steady shots at 1/10 sec. Then try several at 1/5 sec, and I mean really try. Try it for several minutes if you have the patience (it's do-able at 1/5), focus on your steadying your hands, inhale deeply then exhale slowly and smoothly while depressing the shutter release button. Then go back to 1/40 and that should feel like a breeze. It gets easier with practice. I'm sure it won't work for everybody, but it's sure worth a try.

SylvainL
12-06-2004, 09:56 PM
To ReF:
From my SLR experience, I can usually take a 1/30 good steady picture. I also have done 1/15 on occasions.
My problem is more with "what" I am shooting. During a dinner for example, as soon as somebody turns his head, he or she is in a blur.

As I said before, I knew that you can go to the manual mode and change the shutter speed. But I just tried and learned the following:
The camera (worst light condition) flash mode is 1/40s & F2.8. If you go in manual mode and increased the shutter speed to 1/60s, the camera tells you that the picture will be under exposed. I found out that the flash is so strong that the picture comes out OK. I also tried to boost the flash (manual mode again) and the camera even took the picture at 1/60s - F3.2 (it closed slightly the aperture!)
The only disadvantage (which is logical!) is that the highest speed you choose with your flash, the less natural room lightning you're gonna get. Ex: if the room is 'light bulb yellow" it will appear more under fluorescent white.
So my conclusion is that you can take picture at 1/60 with flash. If you increase the speed even more, you loose the light effect of the room.

So since I ran several test at various speed with flash, I can say that the blur is due to the motion not to the camera focusing.

SylvainL

ReF
12-14-2004, 08:20 PM
hmm, interesting to know the W1 has these kind of issues with indoor flash pics. it's really weird that the aperture closes down on it's own! well, now i finally know that the blur problems are associated with motion and not focusing. Thanks.

SylvainL
12-16-2004, 09:12 PM
To ReF
I am writing to let you know that I made a mistake in my previous writing. I may have mislead you. I did some more tests and found following:
1) When I did the shot at 1/60 F3.2, I was slightly zooming. This is the reason why the camera used F3.2 instead of F2.8. So the aperture did not close down on its own. Sorry for that.
2) I did some shot up to 1/80 with flash (1/80 F2.8) the picture turned out OK. My comment about the fluorescent effect is still valid though. The more you increase the speed, the less room lighting color you get. This is logical but it was the first time I could try it. My SLR has a fixed flash speed at 1/125.

SylvainL