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Digital Cameras

shots on Digital

Posts: 2

shots on Digital

Post Sat Jul 18, 2009 4:38 am

I've been through a few digital cameras, and used a few more, mostly all Canon models, one a Canon SLR, some Kodak and some Fuji, never a Nikon, but one thing I've noticed: night shots are always crap.

Which really sucks, because the bulk of my photos seem to be night shots, or low-light; neither of which is handled well at all by any digital camera I've ever worked with: the image ends up grainy if you have the shutter open for short amounts of time to cut blur, or blurry if you leave it open longer to try and cut down on the grain. PictureCode Noise Ninja (a photoshop plugin) helps with digital camera noise significantly, but even it tosses you a blurry image at the end.

People will say "use a good flash!" but I never liked the color that camera flashes tend to put on things. I enjoy the hues of nighttime light. And usually, the camera gets the right color balance I'm after, it's just always grainy to the point you need to take that 8MP photo and shrink it to 640x480 so you don't notice the grain.

I suppose what I'm after is a digital camera that really shines with night shots. Currently I own a Canon SD630 which I cart around for most daytime shots and "spur the moment" things (the size of the camera (small) and large screen coupled with long battery life I just love) and previously I was borrowing a friend's Powershot G7 for dedicated shoots because the image stabilizer seems to help with night shots.

Does anyone have a digital camera that really shines in this regard? A photographer friend of mine that tells me I'm stupid and should just get a film camera, but I'm sure there's a digital solution out there somewhere?

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Posts: 7

Re: shots on Digital

Post Fri Aug 28, 2009 2:23 pm

To get decent quality night shots you will need to consider the following ( talking about the budget of in between $1,000 and $2,500 );

1. Get DSLR with low light capabilities such as Nikon D300 or Canon 40D. Lesser entry grade/level models could be considered too, yet they involve way more hassles and tweaking. Stay away from Sony and Olympus, they cannot handle low light situations. Pentax is good, yet their lenses are too expensive.
2. Get the decent lens with optical image stabilizer to shoot at speeds of 1/15 to 1/60 handheld and as minimum which still bring good results.
3. Get steady tripod to shoot with. Shoot always with lowest ISO possible regardless of the shutter speed. Set camera to apperture priority. I can get absolutely noise free shots with my Minolta A200 8 Mp camera 2/3 sensor while shooting at ISO50 and shutter speeds of up to 2 minutes (!).
4. Best is to shoot in RAW format and then post-process it, but if you are not strong in it, set camera to get you manual white balance and then shoot in manual white balance mode from tripod.
5. Appertures values for night shots with DSLRs and focal distances up to 50 mm should be in range of 6.3 to 8 to get the decent shots.
6. If you shoot against strong light source go down with apperture settings as low as F11.

Let me know if you want to see examples

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