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Old Nov 24, 2009, 3:59 PM   #11
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Yes, I agree -- I am expecting to see a flying carpet zoom in across the picture!
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Old Nov 26, 2009, 12:47 PM   #12
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vvcarpio!

I wonder, how did you focus and make your composition when shooting in the dark, that evening? Is the A350 Viewfinder / LiveView LCD light and clear enough for you to have control over what you get on the final picture in the evening-light?

I have never used Sony's Alpha-system before, except held a A550 in my hands in the camera-shop the other day. As it is not a TTL-viewfinder, but in fact a small video-screen (LiveView) i wonder how did the system cope with the dark?

This would have been the case special for #3, 4 and 5 where a good amount of darkness is present.


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Old Nov 27, 2009, 3:13 PM   #13
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Some places in Central Park were unlit and simply too dark for me to see anything in the viewfinder. (No wonder it earned the reputation of people getting murdered there...) My A350 can't focus either and so won't even let me shoot in AF mode. The scenes in #s 3, 4, and 5 actually had a little more light than the other places we went to.

For those 3 shots -- and for dark scenes in general -- I set AF to "wide" instead of the "spot" which I normally use. In "spot", the camera tries to focus only on the center. In "wide", the camera surveys the whole scene looking for something to focus on, so I get a better chance of the camera locking on something shiny or lit to focus on.

But for some really dark places, like I said in paragraph #1, even when in "wide" mode it can't autofocus. Interestingly, when I change even slightly the camera's direction (by tilting the gorillapod off one of its legs or swiveling the tripod's pan head just a tad) it gets to focus on something.

That's pretty much what I do -- switch from "spot" to "wide" and hope for the best. If it still can't autofocus I simply give up.

I still have to master how to use the manual focus mode. I tried a few times using the Viewfinder (not the LiveView since it's harder to tell if the scene is in focus) but have been unsuccessful. My shots in my attempts were out-of-focus.

Regarding LiveView, one criticism that some make is that the LCD displays only an approximation of how the final shot would look. It's not 100% accurate so I guess their point is you really can't trust it. But I think it's something you grow accustomed to. That is, after using it so many times, based on what I see on the LiveView LCD screen, I have developed a fairly good sense of predicting of how the final shot would look so I fire away.

I'm still too much of a newbie to give a definitive answer, I hope this helps.

P.S. My wife was with me at the time and I was envious of how her Nikon P90 can "see" better in the dark. Some places in Central Park were simply too dark for my A350. My wife's P90, however, can focus fine and shows the scene brightly lit on its LCD viewfinder.

Her P90 is a recent acquisition -- we chose it over the Olympus 590UZ because of the P90's "vari-angle" LCD viewfinder screen. I just thought I'd mention that to let you know how much I've grown fond of my A350's tiltable LiveView screen.
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Old Nov 27, 2009, 4:28 PM   #14
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I just thought I'd include my wife's turn at The Plaza Hotel with her P90:

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Old Nov 28, 2009, 1:47 PM   #15
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vvcarpio!

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.

The reason I ask is that I have a camera on trial that has an EVF as well (sadly no TTL , mirror and Pentaprisme) and a LiveFiew-LCD. I am not impressed by its night-shot capabilities at all!

In fact I don't see a damn thing at night, exept for streetlights, the moon, etc.

So I thought I should have a look at the Sony-cameras as well - Your fault, posting all those good shots here! The trouble is, they all look good in the camera-shop and most shop-attendants really do not know (or care) how the camera behaves in darkness. So, you have to buy the camera first, in order to try it out for night-shots.

For night-shooting I think that a good and big OFV is essential, if you want to have control over composition and focusing.

BTW - I think your wife's photo of ther Plaza-hotel is as good, if not better, than yours. Except for the buisy street-life which is somewhat distracting (I would crop just where the flags end), and a certain photographer behind his tripod....

Have a nice week-end!
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Old Nov 30, 2009, 2:55 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walter_S View Post
BTW - I think your wife's photo of ther Plaza-hotel is as good, if not better, than yours. Except for the buisy street-life which is somewhat distracting (I would crop just where the flags end), and a certain photographer behind his tripod....
But if you crop out the photographer behind the tripod, you would remove what would make this a million-dollar photo just kidding! Seriously, if you guessed that was me, you're right.

My wife likes your comment BTW. Oh, alright, so do I...
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Old Nov 30, 2009, 3:01 PM   #17
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this is a very nice series!

1,2,5,7 are my favorites.
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Old Nov 30, 2009, 3:08 PM   #18
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Thank you, Hards80! All those techniques I learned from here. Thanks to all of you!
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Old Nov 30, 2009, 3:16 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vvcarpio View Post
Thank you, Hards80! All those techniques I learned from here. Thanks to all of you!
Looks like you have learned alot. Great use of lines and nice perspectives and the exposures are all very good.
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Old Nov 30, 2009, 3:55 PM   #20
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Thanks! I have so much more to learn -- and looking forward to it .
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