Home News Buyers Guide About Advertising
 
 
 
   
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Denmark
    Posts
    4

    Size of lenses = Quality of pictures in low light?

    Hello Everyone

    I've just bought a Nikon 7900 and I’m impressed by the picture quality in general. BUT it isn't enough for me I'm afraid. I'm a musician and wont be using the camera for much else than indoors photos, sometimes in quite lowlight. And that's certainly not the Nikons strong side.

    Even in well lit rooms, pictures without flash are blurry. It's of course due to the loong shutter time it automatically uses when flash is off. And I have no control of it.

    So I think I’m looking for a new camera. I don't mind the size, it can be bigger if it helps, that won’t bother me. I was thinking that maybe a bigger lens was good for me? Are they more light sensitive, so I can use shorter shutter settings with the same "light result" but no blurriness? Been looking at cameras like the Minolta DiMage Z5 or the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ5. As you may understand, I don't know that much about it, and I'm a little afraid of the human "bigger is probably better" kinda thing that exist for non-drummers aswell I don't care much for more than 3-4 MP neither, 3 is what I'm going to use anyway I think.

    Well. So. Hm. I don't know where to start my quest. But first I need to know whether the size of the lens does affect a digital camera’s indoor capabilities. And I guess it’s not that simple.

    What else should I look out for? Picture stabilisation?

    Thanks for your time…
    Johannes
    Last edited by Døberen; 01-26-2006 at 01:39 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    4,428
    Size of lenses = Quality of pictures in low light? The answer is NO.
    My FZ20 has the largest lens for a digicam, but is known for poor low light capability. The same goes for all ultra zoom cameras.
    I am not surprised by the failure of Nikon 7900 indoors without flash. In fact, not many cameras have the ability for indoors condition. Even with built-in flash, you won't be able to reach that far - 3 metres is considered exceptional.
    Neither FZ5 nor Z5 will be your solution - neither one is bought for lower light capability. And OIS (Optical Image Stabiliser) will only work for still objects. If you are to shoot moving musicians then no IS in the world will give you a sharp picture.
    What is the reason that you don't use a flash?
    If you can't use the flash for whatever reasons, then the solution is to look at one of the Fuji cameras: Fuji FinePix F10, F11 or ultra zoom (bigger) Fuji FinePix S5200, S9000.
    If you really want nice clear pictures, then consider a camera with hotshoe for external flash. That will involve a learning phase but the result will well worth it.
    Nikon D90, D80
    Nikkor 16-85mm AF-S DX F/3.5-5.6G ED VR, Tamron SP AF 28-75mm F/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF) macro, Nikkor 50mm F/1.4D, Nikkor 50mm F/1.8D, Nikkor AF-S VR 70-300mm F/4.5-5.6G IF-ED, Sigma 105mm F/2.8 EX DG Macro ||| 2x SB800 | SB600 ||| Manfrotto 190XB

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    6,590
    Tim11 is right, and you can also consider a Digital SLR with a prime lens (single focal point lens, no zoom) that lets more light through.

    Depending on what kind of photos you make (up close, telephoto, wide angle... portraits?), if you for instance would choose a Nikon D50 or Canon EOS 350D/XT, you could choose between 24mm wideangle, 35mm, 50mm, 80mm, 135mm prime lenses which would give you large apertures for low light photographs. Also these DSLR's are better at higher ISO in regards to noise, again a step up from the mentioned Fuji's.

    They are expensive though, and the Fuji camera most like your Nikon is the F10/F11
    Canon EOS 350D, Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 macro, Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 DC EX, Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L USM, Tokina AT-X124 Pro 12-24mm F4, Soligor 1.7x C/D4 DG Teleconvertor, Manfrotto 724B tripod, Canon Powershot S30

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Posts
    113
    I have had very good luck indoors with my Fuji Finepix 3800. I also don't use a flask a lot of the time foew a few reasons. Living in Germany I visit a lot of churches and other areas where you can't use a flash and still get good quality pictures at 3.2MP. I can't use my flash at all now because my camera got wet at the 2004 ADAC 24 at Nurburgring. After that I found how fun it can be to do low light and indoor picture with out a flash. I have tried to take similar picture with other cameras but the Finepix was still the best until a friend bought an s5200. It worked great and had a better zoom. I bought a Panasonic for indoors flash pictures but the Finepix was still my primary camera. I just got the Olympus E500 and this was a huge step up from the others as far as low light pictures and that is with the 17.5-45mm 3.5-5.6f lens.
    Last edited by penz; 01-26-2006 at 08:02 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Denmark
    Posts
    4
    Ok. I understand.

    Right now it's not so much the moving musicians that is the problem, there's nothing to do about that, I know. It just seems impossible to hold the 7900 steady enough for anything to get sharp without flash, and we're not talking really low light, just "indoor light". A picture inside my apartment at evenings is 100% sure to get blurred unless I place the camera on a table or use the Sports mode, and then the shutter time is too short... When placed on a table it's really nice, but very very strong colours... more than I need. Just wish I could adjust the shutter time. Think everything would be alright then...

    Well, the reason I don't use flash is that I think it looks so much better without.. warmer colours. But maybe I should try and edit some flashed pictures, and see if I could remove some of than cold look.

    Thanks for you help!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    68
    This may not add very much to the forum but might influence your decision. The Panasonic FZ-5 while a great camera does not perform well under low light or indoors. One thing you might want to do is look for a compact (if you don't need the ultra-zoom and other stuff) IMO these are made for indoor shots. The reason is is that I view compacts as an all-around family cam so theoritically a lot of shots would be indoors.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    4,428
    Døberen: The term 'LOWLIGHT' is all relative. The problem you have is all basic in photography thought somehow complicate to explain.
    I will include a standard family house indoors lighting as LOWLIGHT condition in this discussion. Yes, it's bright enough to human eyes because our eyes adjust to changing in lighting conditons due to our greatest organ of all - the brain. But camera lens is dumb.
    As Wildwind said Panasonic FZ5 is a great camera but not for indoors. Standard zoom cameras are not much better. As Penz and I mentioned before Fuji Finepix cameras are performers in lowlight without flash.
    Døberen, I understand exactly why you don't like flashed photo and I feel the same. And I hate the harsh shadows behind the subject with direct flash. But if you have a 'real' camera with hotshoe and external flash, and using flash techniques correctly you can 'create' cool and warm pictures you like. And bounce the flash off the wall or ceiling you can avoid the shadows altogether. But you will need to get a prosumer camera or DSLR for that.

    Let me try to explain in simple term why you get blurred pictures. For any given exposure, the camera will meter how much light is needed, thus open the aparture and shutter duration accordingly. Typical indoors shot, the shutter duration is from 1/8 to 1/4 second. In one quarter of a second, a person walking will make roughly half a step - resulting in a blurry picture.
    Why it's not possible to manually increase shutter duration:
    As stated above, any given exposure the camera will try get a perfectly exposed picture [which is the combination of Aparture and Shutter duration]. With standard Point and shoot camera of max aparture 2.8, if you set the camera shutter duration to 1/60 second to freeze a walking subject it will result in a blackout picture [since ideal shutter is 1/4sec].

    There is only so much you can do with software. So my conclusion is one of Fuji camera or prosumer with hotshoe (or better still a DSLR).
    ______
    Aparture size can be thought of as the size of a window, the larger you can open it the more the light comes in.
    Shutter duration = the time the shutter open up and close to let light in.
    Nikon D90, D80
    Nikkor 16-85mm AF-S DX F/3.5-5.6G ED VR, Tamron SP AF 28-75mm F/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF) macro, Nikkor 50mm F/1.4D, Nikkor 50mm F/1.8D, Nikkor AF-S VR 70-300mm F/4.5-5.6G IF-ED, Sigma 105mm F/2.8 EX DG Macro ||| 2x SB800 | SB600 ||| Manfrotto 190XB

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Denmark
    Posts
    4
    Thanks a bunch! That cleared things up indeed!

    Im looking at the Fuji P10/P11 and they look hot indeed (exept the stupid charger/usb design)... and the Panasonic FX9 too. Wouldn't you think the image stabilisator would help me too?

    Moving on to.. "What camera should I buy".

    Thanks for the help!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    1,807
    tim is correct about the shutter speed. the camera will keep the shutter open long enough to gather enough light. the problem with indoor lighting is that it is very dim and in the time it takes for a proper exposure, the subject will have move enough to cause blur. Stabilization is only helpful when photographing still subjects in combination slow shutter speeds, or on long lenses with which slight movement of the camera/lens can cause blur even at reasonably high shutter speeds. stabilization will NOT help stop motion that is due to subject movement.

    seriously, i think you need to look at a dslr and a prime lens for this type of shooting. most fixed lens cameras will become very "noisy" at ISO 200 and have a max aperture of f2.8. taking my own camera and setting it to ISO 100, f2.8, indoors, i can only get a shutter speed of 1/6 sec. at ISO 200 shutter speed increases to 1/13, but is still too slow to avoid movement blur. i really wouldn't suggest ISO 400 on a fixed lens camera.

    now i take a dslr with large aperture prime lens (50mm f1.4), set it to f1.4 at ISO 400 (remember that dslr's have very low noise at high ISO) and the proper shutter speed is 1/100 sec, which is a massive improvement. if i increase the ISO to 800 the shutter speed is a nice 1/200 and ISO 1600 gives me 1/400 sec (i don't suggest ISO 1600 unless noise reduction software is used though). if i wanted more DOF i go down to f2.0 and still get a shutter speed of 1/100 at ISO 800 and 1/200 at ISO 1600. BTW this is just an example based on the the numbers i am getting with the indoor lighting around me. your lighting situation may be different. the problem is that DOF is very shallow at the required apertures for low light shooting, so it may take some practice to get consistent results. zoom lenses on slr's still only have a max aperture of f2.8, which is why i suggest primes. you can also learn to use external flashes in a manner as to produce even, soft lighting that does not look like typical flash, but you may have to bounce that flash off the walls and/or ceiling which may distract or freak out the musicians/audience.

    you can still try out the fix lens cameras, but i have a pretty good feeling you'll just waste your time, lose shots, and become frustrated. good luck.
    canon 17-40 L, 70-200 f2.8 L, 400 f5.6 L, 50 f1.4 & f1.8, 1.4x TC, sigma 15 f2.8 fisheye, flash 500 DG Super, kenko extension tubes

    note to self: don't participate in sad, silly threads unless you're looking for sad, silly responses.

    "anti-BS filter" (from andy): http://dcresource.com/forums/showpos...94&postcount=4

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Denmark
    Posts
    4
    Thank you! It is funny how things evolve. In the beginning I just needed a camera for taking pictures, didn’t care much for it, and thus bought the 7900. Now I feel like buying a dslr. As I get onto the photo-world, I see how exiting it is, and just want more. But right now time and money isn’t for a dslr. I think I’ll try the Fuji F11. Looks like an interesting toy, and definitely an improvement over my 7900. Then if I want to take perfect pictures of still images, I can use tripods or a table or something.

    Just played around with the ISO setting on my 7900, and going 400 help a hole lot, but introduced a lot of noise. But I have a good feeling of how this ISO works.. thank you guys!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •