View Full Version : help with dark indoor pics

go marquette
12-18-2007, 02:27 PM
I just bought a Canon Elph 850is, and have found that shots I take indoors have been coming out very dark, even when it does not appear to be that dark in the room. I realize that this is a tiny compact camera with a small or underpowered flash, but have found others with similar cameras don't seem to have this touble, or at least not to this extreme effect. It seems to occur at auto settings as well as with tinkering around with the "manual" settings. These are shots taken in late afternoon, under minimal outdoor light with several indoor lights on, as well as indoors at a church kids concert. What settings should I be looking to adjust to minimize this? I am a true newbie to the photography world, but would greatly appreciate any feedback. Thanks.

12-18-2007, 04:37 PM
I don't think the 850is has any manual setting in practical term. 90% of compact cameras will come undone indoors with the exception of those with real manual controls and providing the photographers know how to use them.
Indoors we might think it's still fairly bright but because our eyes can quickly adjust to the light and the camera lens cannot; to put it in most simple term.

Back to the 850is, I'm not sure how weak its flash is compared to other cameras in its class but my suspicion is that your subject was out of range. Most compact camera flash do not fire further than 3 meters on ISO100. You can check out the range in the owner manual. And of course the flash will be useless in church concert since you will be shooting from far away. One thing you can do is to raise the ISO level but the trade off is that you will get more grainy images.

Your problem is not confined to your camera but more than 90% of compacts. If you shoot mainly indoors where flash is not possible then a Fuji F series maybe more suitable since they can shoot at higher ISO with relatively clean images than other cameras.

12-18-2007, 05:50 PM
I have found that in a very large room, I need to increase the ISO to 400.

12-19-2007, 12:34 AM
So your shots are dark even when you use the flash?
It would help if you posted some pics so we could see them. Do you know how to post pics?

12-21-2007, 06:11 PM
A search of the 850 IS in Google will show that you can't set the aperture or shutter speed on this camera.

What has worked for me in certain instances to use the LCD to expose and focus on what would be the brightest object close to what you are photographing with spot metering. Then aim the camera to what you really want to take a photo of, (you need to keep the shutter-release button pressed half way when you re-aim the camera) and then take the picture.

Also do what JLV mentions-bump the ISO to 400. You also can't zoom in at all. Flash will only work up to a certain distance.