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Confused25
02-04-2007, 08:38 AM
Good Morning all... I recenlty got a Finepix F30 and have been having some problems taking pictures in low light. Does anyone have any recommendations how to optimize this camera for lowlight pictures? The Flash doesn't seem to influence my photos much, and the camera goes to ISO 3200 which makes everything grainy. Is there a way to set it so it max's out at around 1600 ISO or do I need to change and do all my settings manually to prevent this problem?? Thanks!

Here are two pictures that came out bad, that I expected more from the camera. It is Probably user error though. Thanks for any help!

http://brandonfishman.com/DSCF0101.JPG
http://brandonfishman.com/DSCF0118.JPG

sjseto
02-04-2007, 11:10 AM
The F30 has a tendency to choose higher ISO's than I'd like (including the very grainy ISO 3200) so I prefer to set the ISO manually. However, there are Auto 400 and Auto 800 settings in the ISO menu that will limit the top ISO used by the camera to 400 and 800, respectively. I think you have to be either in M mode or Aperture or Shutter Priority modes to access this option.

Your first photo seems to have a white balance problem (unless the room lighting really looked like that). Auto white balance (which I'm assuming you used) doesn't always deal with artifical light very well, particularly incandescent light. A colour cast will show up in non-flash shots, or even in flash shots where high ISO is used. If you have the time, setting the white balance manually should help. Otherwise, use flash, or try to correct the image in photo editing software later.

Here's an example of manual white balance in action. Both shots were taken at ISO 1600 without flash. The lighting is halogen. The first was taken with auto WB, the second with WB set manually.

http://www.rosecolouredglasses.ca/Pictures/F30 Samples/DSCF0039_800x600.jpg

http://k43.pbase.com/g4/89/6589/2/61606662.3h5IfFNo.jpg

There isn't a lot wrong with your second photo, in my opinion. It's just underexposed slightly. The EXIF data shows that ISO 800 and flash were used. Although at ISO 800 the flash reach is pretty good for one on a compact camera, I suspect that the subject distance to the camera still exceeded the flash's reach. Exposure of the people in the foreground can be improved by having them closer to the camera. Exposure of the background can be improved by using a slower shutter speed, which can be achieved by using slow sync flash, or by setting the shutter speed manually. Keep in mind that such shots will turn out better by using a tripod, to reduce blur.

Here's an example of a slow shutter night shot using flash. ISO 200, f/3.4, 1s.

http://i5.pbase.com/g4/89/6589/2/62424911.VRwIZBpf.jpg

If you don't have the time to fiddle around with settings, just take the photo exactly as you did, and use your photo editor later. I hope you don't mind me taking the liberty of doing some post-processing on yours. The edited photo is below. I used Curves adjustment in PSP X.

Hope this helps!

Stephanie

mattdm
02-04-2007, 07:02 PM
Hmmm, actually Stephanie, I somewhat prefer the warmth of your first sample image. :)

What color is that wall in the back on the left in reality?

sjseto
02-04-2007, 08:07 PM
Hmmm, actually Stephanie, I somewhat prefer the warmth of your first sample image. :)

Do you really?! :D I think I look almost orange in that photo, although maybe it's just my monitor; it tends to render colours warmer than other monitors.


What color is that wall in the back on the left in reality?

White. So the second photo is closer to reality. I know, I know, photos are supposed to be art. I still don't like being orange, though. :p

Stephanie

RebelRat
02-04-2007, 08:21 PM
I think in between the 2 would be nice. The second one looks a bit flat in colour to me.

I did a quick remove colourcast in Photoshop elements.

Confused25
02-11-2007, 12:41 PM
Thanks for the help I really appreciate it.. Basically I suppose I need to learn to use the camera.. haha... if I am in M or A/S doesn't that mean the camera is completely Manual? IE Shutter... and all that jazz.. is there an auto setting that limits the ISO to 400 or 800? :) For the night shot, was that taken using a tripod? How did you know "ISO 200, f/3.4, 1s" would be such a good setting? Are you that good at photography, or is their a secret? I am a camera novice, but very interested in getting good pictures like the one above...THANKS SOOO MUCH FOR THE HELP!!

mattdm
02-11-2007, 01:35 PM
Fuji's point and shoot cameras have the weird quirk that "M" isn't manual at all. It's what would be called "P" mode on many other cameras. It's an Auto mode which lets you change more settings. One of those settings does indeed happen to be choosing the ISO, including a choice that is auto-ISO but limited to either 400 or 1600 (also 800 on the F31fd). Another weird thing is that some such settings, like white balance, are in the regular menu, but others -- like ISO -- are on the "F" button menu.

Also, aperture and shutter priority modes obviously aren't full manual either, as they only let you manually set whichever of those you've selected -- the other factor is automatic.